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Předmět, akademický rok 2019/2020
Understanding Israeli Security Policy: Territory, Occupations and Withdrawals - JPM806
Anglický název: Understanding Israeli Security Policy: Territory, Occupations and Withdrawals
Zajišťuje: Katedra mezinárodních vztahu (23-KMV)
Fakulta: Fakulta sociálních věd
Platnost: od 2019 do 2019
Semestr: letní
Body: 6
E-Kredity: 6
Způsob provedení zkoušky: letní s.:
Rozsah, examinace: letní s.:2/0 Zk [hodiny/týden]
Počet míst: 15 / neurčen (10)
Minimální obsazenost: neomezen
Stav předmětu: vyučován
Jazyk výuky: angličtina
Způsob výuky: prezenční
Poznámka: předmět je možno zapsat mimo plán
povolen pro zápis po webu
při zápisu přednost, je-li ve stud. plánu
Garant: Irena Kalhousová
Vyučující: Irena Kalhousová
Soubory Komentář Kdo přidal
stáhnout Rob Syllabus.pdf Sylabus Irena Kalhousová
Sylabus - angličtina
Poslední úprava: Irena Kalhousová (03.12.2019)


Spring Term 2019/20

Charles University


Lecturer: Dr. Rob Geist Pinfold

Email: Robert.pinfold@kcl.ac.uk


Course Description


Israel’s conflicts with its Arab neighbours are diverse and varied, but are consistently underlined by one commonality: the struggle for territory. Concurrently, Israeli security policy has always been closely linked to predominant understandings of the strategic utility of territory. Nevertheless, how the Israeli public and decision-makers frame territory is fluid and has evolved over time. Sometimes, Israel has withdrawn from territory; on other occasions, policy-makers have deemed territorial control an existential issue that will determine Israel’s survival. Thus, by focusing on territorial withdrawals and non-withdrawals, this course traces the perceived and actual link between security and territory, in Israeli policy-making and society. This course is recommended for students seeking a deeper immersion in the Israel-Arab conflict. Additionally, this course will be particularly useful for students who seek to better understand a prolonged conflict that still shapes the Middle East and persistently captures the attention of audiences and decision-makers, across the globe.


Course Objectives


Students taking this course will gain a clear understanding of the following topics:

·        Critical assessments of Israeli security policy, from both right and left.

·        Ideological and security influences in Israeli security policy.

·        Specific aspects of the Arab-Israel conflict pertaining to territory.

·        How Israel employs territory to achieve its security goals and how this has changed over the years.

·        Why Israel has withdrawn from some territories, but not others.

·        Domestic divides within Israel concerning security and territorial policy.

·        How the West Bank affects, and is affected by, Israeli policy.


Course Requirements


Because this is an intensive course, attendance at all classes is compulsory and essential for you to have a broad understanding of all the issues raised.

Required reading is also compulsory BEFORE the lecture; further reading is optional for class, but highly recommended for the essays.

Students will be evaluated on participation and on their successful submission of one essay on schedule. Late submissions will not be graded.




Participation – this will count towards 20% of your final grade and can be easily achieved by attendance at every lecture. Though students are encouraged to speak in the post-lecture discussions, this is not mandatory and won’t be graded.

Essay – each student will submit a 2000 word essay, which will count for 80% of a student’s final grade. Students may choose from the four questions below:

·        Is Israeli territorial policy affected by security needs, ideology, or both?

·        Why did gradualism succeed in the Sinai, but fail in the West Bank?

·        Were Israel’s withdrawals from southern Lebanon and Gaza a mistake?

·        What are Israel’s contemporary policy options in the West Bank?



Class Schedule and Reading


This course will consist of five combined lectures and discussions, with each session 80 minutes in total. The first 60 minutes of each class will be given as a lecture; the remaining time will be allocated for questions and class discussion.

The lecture questions below describe the content of each lecture; each session consists of two questions, which will also be debated in the class discussion.

I have copies of all of the below readings, which will be shared with the class via Google Drive before the course begins.  


1. Israel, Territory and Security: An Overview


Lecture Questions:

-        Why do states fight over and capture territory?

-        In the Israeli case, how is territory associated with security and ideology?


Required Reading:

McPeak, Merrill A. (1976), ‘Israel: Borders and Security’, Foreign Affairs, Vol. 54, No. 3, pp. 426-443.

Naor, Arye (1999), 'The Security Argument in the Territorial Debate in Israel: Rhetoric and Policy', Israel Studies, Vol. 4, No. 2, pp. 150-177.


Further Reading:

Duffy Toft, Monica (2014), ‘Territory and War’, Journal of Peace Research, Vol. 51, No. 2, Anniversary Special Issue, pp. 185-198.

Alpher, Joseph (1994), ‘Israel's Security Concerns in the Peace Process’, International Affairs, Vol. 70, No. 2, pp. 229-241.

Rynhold, J. (2001), 'Re-conceptualizing Israeli Approaches to “Land for Peace” and the Palestinian Question since 1967', Israel Studies, Vol. 6, No. 2, pp. 33-52.


2.     Israel’s withdrawal from the Sinai (1974-1982)


Lecture Questions:

-        Why did Israel change its position and withdraw from the entire Sinai?

-        Did Israel’s gradual withdrawals make peace with Egypt more possible?


Required Reading:

Fischer, Louise (2014), ‘Turning Point on the Road to Peace: The Government of Yitzhak Rabin and the Interim Agreement with Egypt’, Israel Studies, Vol. 19, No. 3, pp. 55-80.

Stein, Kenneth (1997), 'Continuity and Change in Egyptian-Israeli Relations: 1973–97', Israel Affairs, Vol. 3, No. 4, pp. 296-320.


Further Reading:

Tucker, Robert C. (1978), ‘Behind Camp David’, Commentary Magazine.

Pinfold, Rob Geist (2015), 'It's the "Special Relationship", Stupid: Examining Israel-US Relations Through the Prism of Israeli Territorial Withdrawals, Strife Journal, Special Issue I, pp. 48-57 [Specifically, pages 52-54].

Tal, David (2016), 'Who Needed the October 1973 War?', Middle Eastern Studies, Vol. 52, No. 5, pp. 737-753.


3.     Israel’s ‘unilateralism’: The Gaza Strip and Southern Lebanon (2000 and 2005)


Lecture Questions:

-        Were Israel’s withdrawals from Gaza and Lebanon irrational, as many critics allege?

-        Can Israel’s withdrawals be described as ‘unilateral’?


Required Reading:

Geist Pinfold, Rob (2019), ‘Territorial Withdrawal as Multilateral Bargaining: Revisiting Israel’s “Unilateral” Withdrawals from Gaza and Southern Lebanon’, The Journal of Strategic Studies, DOI: 10.1080/01402390.2019.1570146.

Luft, Gal (2000), ‘Israel’s Security Zone in Lebanon- A Tragedy?’, Middle East Quarterly, Vol. 7, No. 3, pp. 13-20.

Amidror, Yaakov (2004), ‘The Unilateral Withdrawal: A Security Error of Historic Magnitude’, Strategic Assessment, Vol. 7, No. 3, pp. 9-16.


Further Reading:

Erlich, Reuven (2011), ' Israel’s Unilateral Withdrawals from Lebanon and the Gaza Strip: A Comparative Overview', Military and Strategic Affairs, Vol. 3, No. 1, pp. 61-73.

Peters, J. (2010), ‘The Gaza Disengagement: Five Years Later’, The Israel Journal of Foreign Affairs, Vol. 4, No. 3, pp. 33-44.

Kaye, Dalia Dassa (2001), 'The Israeli Decision to Withdraw from Southern Lebanon: Political Leadership and Security Policy', Political Science Quarterly, Vol. 117, No. 4, pp. 561-585.


4.     Israel’s non-withdrawal from the West Bank (1967-2005)


Lecture Questions:

-        Why does Israel attribute significant value to territory in the West Bank?

-        Why did Israel’s ‘peace process’ with the Palestinians not end in withdrawal?  


Required Reading:

Newman, David (1996), ‘Shared Spaces - Separate Spaces: The Israel-Palestine Peace Process, GeoJournal, Vol. 39, No. 4, pp. 363-375.

Waxman, Dov (2008), 'From Controversy to Consensus: Cultural Conflict and the Israeli Debate over Territorial Withdrawal', Israel Studies, vol. 13, No. 2, pp. 73-96.


Further Reading:

Brom, Shlomo (2013), ‘Twenty Years Since Oslo: The Balance Sheet’, Strategic Assessment, Vol. 16, No. 2, pp. 91-104.

Lustick, Ian S. (2001b), ‘Camp David II: The Best Failure and its Lessons’, Israel Studies Bulletin, Vol. 16, No. 2, pp. 1-7.

Rabbani, Mouin (2001), ‘Rocks and Rockets: Oslo's Inevitable Conclusion’, Journal of Palestine Studies, Vol. 30, No. 3, pp. 68-81.


5.     Territory and Security in Contemporary Israel (2005-Present)


Lecture Questions:

-        Why has Israel not withdrawn from further territory, since 2005?

-        What are Israel’s options for changing the territorial status quo?


Required Reading:

Mor, Shany (2016), 'A Decade after the Disengagement: Where do we go from here?' Israel Journal of Foreign Affairs, Vol. 10, No. 2, pp. 237-245.

Greene, Toby (2015), ‘Israel’s Two States Debate’, International Affairs, Vol. 91, No.5, pp. 1009-1026.


Further Reading:

Roth, Natasha (2016), 'Most Israeli Jews Think There's no Occupation. So what is it?', +972 Magazine.

Amidror, Yaakov (2017), Israel’s Inelegant Options in Judea and Samaria: Withdrawal, Annexation or Conflict Management (Ramat Gan: Begin-Sadat Centre) [Introduction and executive summary].

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