Was the 1982 Lebanon War a Deviation from Israeli Security Doctrine?

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On June 6, 1982, Israel invaded Lebanon with the aim of destroying the military infrastructure of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), which was serving as a launching pad for terrorist infiltrations and Katyusha attacks into northern Israel. From its outset, the Israeli public considered the war an exceptional case and a deviation from the “proper” course of Israeli history. Allegedly, unlike other Israeli wars, the 1982 War did not relate to Israeli security concerns but instead to the political aims and whims of Menachem Begin and Ariel Sharon. Also, it is often described as an unjust war of choice, which Israel initiated while it was not facing an existential threat. The claim that the 1982 Lebanon War was exceptional and a deviation from original Israeli principles is the main interest of this article. To determine whether the Lebanon War was a breach of Israeli history or a deviation from Israeli foundational political-moral principles, one must analyze the core tenets of Israel’s security strategy to which it adhered in most of its battles. Using the security doctrine as a guide map reveals that the conflict was neither unique nor a deviation but rather a fulfillment of long-standing Israeli security principles.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)219-244
Number of pages26
JournalJournal of the Middle East and Africa
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2023


  • 1982 Lebanon War
  • Ariel Sharon
  • Israeli security doctrine
  • Menachem Begin
  • guerrilla warfare
  • terrorism


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