Yuval Steinitz, former Chair and Current Member of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee gave an interesting talk here in Haifa this week in which he stated that much of the over optimism and, to some degree, arrogance in the Israel Defense Forces has now been eliminated after the consequences of the second Lebanon war last year.
He was also advocating a much stronger role for non army personnel in security decisions; he himself came from the department of Philosophy at Haifa University.
In his view, future warfare is more likely to be carried out by lazer technology and much effort and money is being invested in this field. He pointed out that almost 90% of the cost of an attack aircraft is the defense systems installed to protect the aircraft, whilst only 10% of the cost is designated for the attack role of the aircraft. He believes much more needs to be invested in defense systems for the military infrastructure.
Steinitz was a member of Peace Now in the past, an organization dedicated to the land for peace solution to the conflict but he stated that after the experience in Lebanon and Gaza, it is now not a case of land for peace but a case of land for war and continued incitement.
With the Annapolis conference in everyone’s sights now, he felt that, the attempts to strengthen Abbas were, in his opinion, doomed to failure. The reason for this, he felt was that Abbas was not in a position to give anything in return, since, on the one hand, by not giving anything in return, he could maintain his position vis a vis the Palestinian population at large. On the other hand, by giving something in return, he would be considered weak. This is the trap facing Israel.