TEL AVIV (Aug. 22)
A number of reserve senior officers and academics and academics have formed a new organization in order to promote their views on how best to resolve the Arab-Israeli conflict while still maintaining Israel’s security.
The idea is familiar, and so is the name: “Officers and Academics for Security and Peace.”
But unlike a similarly named group formed earlier this summer, the new group’s members are largely identified with the nationalistic views of the Likud and Tehiya parties, and reject justifications for trading land for peace.
At a founding meeting held here Sunday, the new group announced that its objective was to illustrate “the vital importance Judea, Samaria, Gaza and the Golan Heights have for Israel’s security and existence.”
The new group’s more prominent members include former intelligence chief Yehoshua Saguy former navy commander Shlomo Harel and former deputy defense minister Mordechai Zipori.
They are less well known than members of the leftist “Council for Peace and Security,” who say that Israel can avoid a demographic tragedy and still ensure its security by relinquishing much of the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
Founders of the new group have been careful to put “security” before “peace” in its name. They blame the earlier council of frightening and misleading the public, and of putting political considerations before purely military ones.
The leftists’ readiness for territorial compromise, they claim, deprives Israel of strategic depth.
The earlier group argues that a few kilometers of strategic depth are insignificant in the era of short-and medium-range missiles.