Israeli Foreign Policy

Israel’s foreign policy was shaped by the 100 years prior to its establishment when state-seeking and state-making dominated Zionist ideology and diplomacy. After the state was established, foreign policy was determined by the element of state-keeping. Seven elements emerged in defining and applying Zionist and Israeli foreign policy: (1) creating and sustaining a Jewish territory with a significant Jewish population, (2) developing a viable economy, (3) finding and retraining major power political support, (4) evolving a “never again syndrome,” that is that Jews would never again find themselves unable to defend themselves (military acquisition and developing a nuclear weapon for deterrence), (5) evolving a defense policy to offset the asymmetry of Israel’s demographic inferiority and geographically small size as compared to the surrounding hostile Arab population, (6) assuring access to water and fossil and other fuels sufficient to sustain the well-being of the state, and (7) seeking accommodations with neighbors when available and neutralizing regional existential threats.

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