Israel and Future Borders: A Multidimensional Approach to the Assessment of a Dynamic Process
This article deals with the question of determining a future Israeli-Palestinian border within the context of an originally developed analytical framework. Following the presentation of a previous model (Taigil et al., 1977, 1984), the authors offer a greatly modified and more detailed framework for the analysis of border determination. The modified framework emphasizes factors such as national ethos and two alternative national ‘imperatives’ (territorial and ethnic) as important determinants of borders. The
article then applies the model to the Israeli case, offering detailed historical and statistical data related to the determination of a future Israeli-Palestinian border. The article demonstrates the dramatic transformation (among Israel’s elites and public alike) from a territorial to ethnic imperative and from integration (annexation of the West Bank and Gaza) to separation (Israeli withdrawal from the territories). In offering a general model for studying interstate and intercommunal conflict, and in demonstrating its applicability to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, this article is of immediate relevance to numerous other ethnic disputes around the world. The article, originally submitted three months prior to the Israeli-Palestinian mutual recognition of September 1993, has assumed particular importance by identifying the parameters that may determine the future borders in the Middle East.