Israel Experiments With Non-Identification:
Will the “Global” Policy Supplant the “Citadel”?
Two different concepts struggle today for ascendancy in Israeli foreign policy: the “citadel” and the “global.” The first looks towards close cooperation with the Western democracies, through the United States. The second would avoid any choice between “the two giants,” the USSR and the USA, and would seek to find allies and friends wherever they could be found in the world, and chiefly in Asia. An understanding of these two concepts will tell us more about the motives underlying Israel’s foreign relations than any perusal, no matter how exhaustive, of official statements.
There is no question that the “citadel” concept—in at least some of its presuppositions—was implicitly, and often overtly, part of the traditional thinking and propaganda of Zionism in the pre-state period of settlement, especially under Weizmann; and since the establishment of the state it has, so far, generally had the upper hand. But at no time has it gone uncontested. In fact, Israel’s foreign relations in their first phase, sometimes described as the “age of innocence,” were dominated by the wish to avoid taking any side in the Cold War. The United States and the Soviet Union had acted as midwife and godfather to the new state; there was the tradition of Zionism as a world movement whose congresses were held by preference in neutral Switzerland; above all, there was the history of world Jewry, parts of which had so often been hostages to warring powers—as the two million Jews behind the Iron Curtain would be in case of another war.
About the Author