Israel celebrates “Pyrrhic Victory” as it turns 70

Israel benefits from a strong military and even stronger allies, but analysts warn the state faces major challenges

It appears Israelis have every reason to be in festive mood this week as they celebrate the 70th anniversary of their state’s founding.

This “Independence Day”, which Israel marks according to the Hebrew calendar, on April 19, the regional, security and diplomatic environment looks to be the most favourable Israel has faced in its short history.

The Palestinians have been crushed, and Israel faces no international pressure to concede a two-state solution. The Arab states are in disarray, with growing signs that Saudi Arabia and some other Gulf states may be ready to normalise relations.

The Trump administration is little more than a cheerleader for Israel, and has pre-empted Palestinian ambitions for statehood by moving its embassy to Jerusalem next month.

And Israel has one of the few economies that is thriving despite the global recession sparked by the financial meltdown a decade ago.

Nonetheless, analysts warn, the picture over the coming decades may prove to be far less rosey than it appears now. The relatively free hand Israel currently enjoys comes with new costs and dangers, they argue.

“This is more like a pyrrhic victory,” Amal Jamal, a politics professor at Tel Aviv University, told Al Jazeera.

“Israel has won this round of the battle, but at a price it probably can’t afford in the coming rounds.”

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