After the Truce: Israel’s Security in a Volatile Middle East
After nearly two months of intense fighting at great human cost, Israel and Hamas agreed to a cease-fire. But Israelis and Palestinians now face the even bigger questions of what comes next and how to prevent another round of violence. Can the current truce provide a path towards a more permanent peace and a two-state solution? How will Israel’s internal political dynamics shape its national security policy in the aftermath of the war?
On September 9, the Center for Middle East Policy at Brookings hosted His Excellency Isaac Herzog, member of Knesset (MK), Israeli chairman of the Labor Party and leader of the opposition, for an address on the future of Israeli security. Tamara Cofman Wittes, director of the Center for Middle East Policy at Brookings, provided welcoming remarks and moderated a question and answer session with MK Herzog.
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At the end of the day, as we all know thorny national security issues don’t just involve the military; political-military considerations invariably bleed into them. If the senior military’s leadership views are going to be just constrained to military advice … who is thinking about issues from that broader perspective?
President-elect Bolsonaro has embraced tough-on-crime measures that egregiously violate basic human rights and eviscerate the rule of law. Responding to Brazil’s 63,880 homicides in 2017, Bolsonaro calls for increasing protection for police officers who kill alleged criminals and arming citizens. He calls for further militarizing urban policing, reducing the age of criminal liability from 18 to 16, reinstating the death penalty, authorizing torture in interrogations and imprisoning more people... Brazil’s police are already notorious for being one of the world’s deadliest in the use of force. In many favelas, Brazil’s retired and current police officers operate illegal militias that extort and control local communities, murdering those who oppose them and engaging in warfare with Brazil’s highly-violent gangs and in social cleansing. Bolsonaro is simply threatening to turn the rest of the police into state-sanctioned thugs.