Ariel Center for Policy Research (ACPR)


ACPR Research Summary


Israel's Survival Imperatives:
The Oslo Agreements in International Law
and National Strategy

Louis René Beres

Policy Paper No. 25, 1998 

The Oslo Accords exhibit a chilling irony. Not only are these non-treaty agreements inherently illegal, they also weaken Israel in the Jewish state's protracted struggle for survival. From this starting point, the policy paper that follows identifies the overwhelming jurisprudential fallacies contained in Israel's pro-Oslo stance (a stance that is not even acknowledged in the Islamic world) and the substantially injurious effects of Oslo on Israel's security. This paper ends with the informed recommendation that Israel terminate its self-imposed and unreciprocated Oslo obligations immediately, a suggestion that may appear markedly naive and dangerous, but which is, in fact, considerably less risky than maintaining the present collision course. In reaching this conclusion, the paper examines such specific issues as Palestinian "demilitarization", the requirements of Israeli nuclear deterrence, the question of Israel's "bomb in the basement" and certain possible preemption expectations. Also included is an extensive/intensive examination of the effects of a nuclear war upon Israel and the region. This sobering examination, which draws upon the author's more than quarter-century acquaintance with this subject (Professor Beres is the author of Apocalypse: Nuclear Catastrophe in World Politics, one of the first major books on nuclear strategy and nuclear war), advances three primary models: (1) exclusively counterforce attacks against Israeli hard targets; (2) exclusively countervalue attacks against Israeli civilian populations; and (3) mixed counterforce/countervalue attacks. Here the author's hope is that such heuristic models will assist Israeli strategists in fashioning a pertinent "master plan", a body of generalized and interrelated propositions from which precise policy options could be derived.

In the end, the so-called "Peace Process" never anything more than an enemy Trojan Horse must be stopped before it is too late. The obligation to rescue Israel from this process of attrition (terrorism) and annihilation (war) stems from both a legal and a strategic imperative. This policy paper clarifies the essential arguments that underlie these closely related imperatives.