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Zion's DilemmasHow Israel Makes National Security Policy$
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Charles D. Freilich

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780801451041

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801451041.001.0001

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Disengaging from Gaza, 2005

Disengaging from Gaza, 2005

(p.177) Chapter Eight Disengaging from Gaza, 2005
Zion's Dilemmas

Charles D. Freilich

Cornell University Press

This chapter examines Israel's disengagement from Gaza in 2005. In December 2003, Premier Ariel Sharon announced his plan for unilateral “disengagement” (withdrawal) from Gaza. The idea of withdrawing from Gaza, though not unilaterally, was part of a broader trend in Israeli thinking that began in the early 1990s and sought to bring about a separation between Israel and the Palestinians. This chapter first considers the strategic setting in which Israel's specific national security decision-making process (DMP) took place. It then discusses the five DMP pathologies in relation to the Gaza disengagement, suggesting that the absence of planning impaired Israel's ability to negotiate effectively. It also explores how the DMP was affected by partisan politics, coalition machinations, and public involvement. Finally, it assesses the disengagement in relation to the Israeli government's semi-organized anarchy, along with the role of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) and the defense establishment in the DMP aspect of the disengagement.

Keywords:   disengagement, Ariel Sharon, Gaza, Israel, national security decision-making, partisan politics, semi-organized anarchy, Israel Defense Forces, defense establishment, decision-making process

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