Israel's Foreign Policy towards the PLO
By Amnon Aran
This detailed examination of Israeli foreign policy towards the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO), between the 1967 war and the 2005 withdrawal from the Gaza Strip, focuses on the impact of the process of globalization on the Israeli state's politics, economy, society, and culture. In order to determine how interfacing developed between foreign policy and globalization, a theoretical framework is presented that brings together two established approaches that hitherto have been advanced in parallel, Foreign Policy Analysis and Globalization Theory. This is the first attempt within the discipline of international relations to theorize the relationships between foreign policy and globalization. Causal relationships underpinning Israeli foreign policy, involving government, the state, the economy, social stratification, and the media, are linked to globalization by specific example. Conventional accounts of this relationship strip military and political factors of any significance, in terms of the conceptualization of globalization and its causes, in favor of spatio-temporal and economic dimensions. The state is viewed as being compelled to transform in response to the pressures of globalization. But in the case of Israel, the state acted proactively by using foreign policy towards the PLO as a key site of action to capture the opportunities and cope with the challenges presented by globalization. To date there have been only partial historical accounts of Israeli foreign policy towards the PLO in the context of globalization. It is generally understood that foreign policy towards the PLO became entangled with globalization due to the socio-economic and cultural globalization of Israel in the mid-1980s, but this study shows that the increasing impact of military and political globalization during the Cold War on the Arab-Israeli conflict resulted in Israeli foreign policy towards the PLO, and globalization effects in Israel, becoming entwined from the early 1970s.
Publication Date: 11/1/2009