Wall, barrier, fence –what word?? near Ramallah. Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Security is a major issue with many different aspects. The macro-issue, for Israel, is that it is a small state surrounded by hostile neighbors.  Given the history of anti-Semitism culminating in the Nazi Holocaust, the question of security for Israel is central to any peace process. The commonly voiced Israeli fear with regards to a military pull out from the West Bank is that “the West Bank will turn into Gaza, but with rockets in range of large urban centers.” There are also the issues of border control, continued Israeli military presence, and the prospect of international forces.

Most peace initiatives include some sort of transition period during which Israeli military presence would be phased out from the West Bank, with replacement by some sort of permanent international force. Palestinian safety and security is also important of course, but most peace initiatives focus on Israeli security concerns. The question of a de-militarized Palestinian state is sometimes advanced to allay these concerns.

Some discussions also addressed border crossings, continued military presence, option of international forces, and settler violence.

Below are the participants’ responses. Click the name to see what they had to say.

Issa Amro Yishai Fleisher Emmanuel Navon
Yossi Beilin Hamas Elie Pieprz
 Noam Chomsky Nader Hashemi Magid Shihade
 Mohammed Dajani Badran Jaber Murad Shtewi
Alan Dershowitz Amal Jamal Yuli Tamir
Bassem Eid Mordechai Kedar Einat Wilf
Norman Finkelstein Yisrael Medad