Challenge 44 - In This Issue

The interim talks between Israel and the Palestinians have sunk into a deep crisis. But Israel is cleverly using this period of limbo to prepare for the final status talks. Yacov Ben Efrat analyzes the import of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's 'Allon-plus' map. The new Labor leader, Ehud Barak, is an unknown quantity, writes Roni Ben Efrat. But one thing is clear: his victory heralds the "Bibification" of Labor. Israel is literally laying the "ground" for the final talks by establishinThe central interest is to maintain the functioning of the multinational companies and their profits. Another is to maintain the industrial- and free-trade system. Both are the foundation for profit-oriented investments. The US also makes sure that the rest of the world plays the role assigned to it. Generally speaking: to guarantee free access to raw materials, cheap labor and unlimited possibilities for investment.

Q: What role does Israel play in the US view?

Exactly the role the US National Security Council assigned it in 1958, namely, to be a bulwark against Arab nationalism. Israel was chosen because it is a dependable base for Western dominance in this region. In the 60s this became reality. The Americans feared the effects of Egyptian nationalism on Saudi Arabia's stability, with a consequent threat to American oil interests. The war of June 1967 dealt a severe blow to this struggle for independence. The event proved pivotal for Israeli-American