Netanyahu continues to be a faithful disciple of Jabotinsky’s Iron Wall thesis, which says that only Israel’s might will get Arabs to accept Israel’s existence.
The question one needs to ask is: At what point would you say that the Arab world has accepted Israel’s existence, and can hence change the policy of building Israel’s existence exclusively on might? At what point do you try to build more constructive relations with the Arab world? The problem with Jabotinsky’s Iron Wall thesis is that it can easily turn into a self-fulfilling prophecy, because no change in the Arab world will be taken as an indication that a cooperative approach is now in order. The result is catastrophic, because Netanyahu actually seems to believe that there is no connection whatsoever between how Israel conducts itself and the Arab world’s relation to Israel. And he also seems to think that time is not of the essence and that Israel can stall further without weakening its position.
Moreover, Netanyahu’s mantra has had powerful influence on many in world-Jewry who mean to defend Israel’s existence. They keep amassing evidence for Arab Anti-Semitism to prove to the world, that Israel must be supported no matter what it does, because it is threatened by Arab Anti-Semitism. But, as the foreign ministry’s professional echelon has realized long ago, this strategy doesn’t work. Hence it has been working towards a re-branding of Israel as a progressive country. The problem is that such a re-branding needs to be backed up by actions that are consistent with it.
Israel’s actions do make a difference; they can either play into the hands of radical Islam, or they can empower Arab moderates and strengthen their stand against radicalism.
Netanyahu’s policies are providing radical Islam with the iconic images that consistently weaken moderate Arab positions, both among the Palestinians and elsewhere in the Arab world. This undermines Israel’s security rather than enhancing it. It is high time for him to realize that repeating his old position doesn’t make his ideas true: It is time to overhaul them radically.