Israel and the Great Powers

By Meir Pa'il

World Zionist Organization (WZO), Summer 1978

Throughout the course of history, small nations have generally gained their liberation and independence, so long as the process of liberation and attainment of independence included two mutually interacting elements. These elements are: a) inner-social strength and economic, cultural, spiritual and military viability; and b) international support from powerful interested parties. It is difficult to determine which of these two elements is the more decisive. There appears to be no case, however, of a people who succeeded in gaining and maintaining their independence in the face of clear confrontation with the overall balance of interests among the powers in a given geographical area. On the other hand, examples abound of small nations which achieved independence owing almost exclusively to the positive balance of interests of the powers, even in the absence of reasonable inner strength; e.g., a considerable part of the "Third World" states of Africa and Southern Asia since the end of the Second World War. In our own War of Independence, we achieved considerable gains. Above all, we established the independence of the State of Israel, as the result of a fortuitous combination of inner strength and support from the powers. It can be attested to that Israel was accorded independence not only because of the good graces of the nations and the interests of the powers, but also because of our inner strength and vitality. However, since support from the powers did and does constitute an essential element of our existence, it is appropriate that we examine this component, both during the period of the War of Independence, and also in the first generation of the existence of the independent State of Israel. Let us take an enlightened look at that most vital aspect of Israel's existence: the Arab-Israel conflict.

Topic: Diaspora Relations, Israel-Diaspora Relations, Statehood, War, Power

Name of Publication: Forum: on the Jewish People, Zionism, and Israel

Page Number(s): 81-88

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Genre: Article

Coverage: Israel

Language: English

Copyright Holder: Publisher

Copyright Information: Download for personal use, freely distribute link

Bibliographic Information:
Pa'il, Meir. Israel and the Great Powers. Forum: on the Jewish People, Zionism, and Israel. World Zionist Organization (WZO). Summer 1978: 81-88.


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