Three European Views of the Gaza War
Public Opinion Swings Against IsraelHugh Pope In a recent broadcast, the presenters of The Rest is Politics – a bipartisan British podcast listened to by five million people a month – demonstrated a trend in Europe away from unconditional support for Israel to more sympathy for the Palestinians. Hosts Alastair Campbell and Rory Stewart noted […]
Postwar Gaza Planning: An Initial Checklist
Postwar planning for Gaza needs to start now. Prior to October 7, nobody in Israel was planning for this war. Thus, planning now for what happens if Hamas is defeated may be way behind. It will take many weeks to marshal the necessary resources, equipment, people, and authorizations to meet the basic requirements of Gaza’s […]
Beyond Gaza, the Confrontation with Iran
Iran seeks to derail the US regional effort based on Saudi-Israeli normalization
A Positive Exit Strategy From Gaza
“The real victory comes not from defeating our enemy but from achieving a better place for Israel and our Palestinian neighbors.”  Yair Lapid, Knesset Speech, October 16, 2023 The ground campaign in Gaza has yet to start as I write on October 16. Much of the world’s focus is rightly on supporting Israel’s stated objectives: […]
Gazan Civilian Casualties: Hamas’ Strategy and Israel’s Achilles Heel
Israel has correctly assessed the October 7 attack as an existential threat to the state. To be sure, Hamas could never overrun Israel. But if Hamas remains capable of such attacks, possibly coordinated next time with the greater military threats of Lebanese Hezbollah, Syria, and Iran, Israel could be pushed to the brink (as nearly […]
Report from the Gaza Front: A New Playbook
I spent the first days of the war on the Gaza border, mostly near Kibbutz Zikim. On the fifth day, October 11, I went to the Gaza border city of Sderot and spent time in the community, speaking with locals and also with the police. From these conversations and also discussions with members of the […]
Letter to my Friends:
Unite Behind the Israeli Government
Life in Jerusalem, as I imagine elsewhere, consists these days of gluing ourselves to the hourly news, updating friends and family and listening to them. One theme I get a lot directs anger at Prime Minister Netanyahu and the Israeli government for responsibility for the mass murders that took place on Saturday. I would like […]
In the Name of God, Go
It was late in the day on Tuesday May 7, 1940, when Leo Amery, a middle-aged former minister and Conservative Party backbencher, rose in his seat to address the House of Common in the aftermath of Britain’s disastrous Norway campaign. His party leader, Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain, had offered a weak defense of the Norway […]
The Israel-Jordan Relationship: Jordan’s Strategic Anxiety Requires More Israeli Attention
My relationship with Jordan began even before the peace treaty was signed. It started in Washington DC where I was posted in the late 1980s as the spokesperson of the Israeli Embassy. This was shortly before the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait in 1990, and shortly after King Hussein of Jordan had decided to disengage from […]
How Israel’s Supreme Court Can Strengthen Democracy Without Overruling the Knesset
On September 12, Israel’s Supreme Court will convene in an atmosphere of heightened political tension to listen to petitions asking it to strike down a recently-passed Knesset law. No decision from the Court is expected imminently as Israel enters a month of High Holy Days. But political compromise proposals by the Prime Minister and others […]
The Druze in Israel: A Silent Minority Begins to Speak Out
Protests in Israel are nothing new, but those on the Golan Heights this June were different.  The government, as part of its clean energy program, had designated the Golan Heights for wind turbine projects. When construction began in June, the Druze on the Golan erupted in mass protests, attracting support from their coreligionists in the […]
Is Israel's Military Fraying?
Worries over the Reservists’ Protest and Its Implications.
Four Decades of Talks with Arab Diplomats
Three months after I came to live in Jerusalem, in November 1977, I joined my fellow Israelis standing on the side of the road to welcome President Anwar Sadat of Egypt. I had decided to immigrate to Israel from Britain in the aftermath of the Yom Kippur War of 1973. Four years later, watching the […]
The Four Tribes of Modern Israel
A high school teacher has a rebellious student in his civics class and asks her to write an essay about some issue that concerns her. She writes about the harassment that she and some other Jewish girls face at the neighborhood public swimming pool by youth from a nearby Israeli Arab village, concluding that they […]
The Lessons We Should Have Learned from the First Lebanon War
Three former US military officers recently reflected in these pages on the “The Lessons We Should have Learned from Vietnam,” based on their experiences in that war. Here are three former Israeli officers who similarly reflect on the formative war of their careers – the 1982 invasion of Lebanon.   Doron Almog on a Misguided Strategy […]
Why is the World Obsessed With Israeli Judicial Reform
A strident debate is occurring in Israel about the role of the judiciary and democratic governance. Virtually every democracy debates this issue periodically, because there is an inherent conflict between majority power and minority rights. The traditional role of non-elected courts is to impose a check on politicians who are elected by the majority. Whenever […]
Security Challenges Facing the New Israeli Government
The State of Israel is not required by law to adopt a national security strategy. But the need for such a document has been often raised, and several efforts have been made to write one. In October 1953, Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion presented a long disquisition on Israel’s security needs to the Cabinet, which he […]
The November Election Results and Israel’s Next Government
The Knesset elections in November ended in a virtual tie between the left and right in terms of votes cast. But Netanyahu proved far more skillful in organizing the parties of the right than Yair Lapid did on the left, resulting in a decisive parliamentary majority for Netanyahu. The question now is whether he can […]
The Netanyahu Doctrine
A New Doctrine for Israel The notion of a national security doctrine is usually associated with the foreign policy of hegemonic powers, particularly the United States. Several American presidents have either promulgated a doctrine or had one named after them. A doctrine is usually understood as encompassing economic, geopolitical, and even social objectives, as well […]
Israel’s Innovative Spirit Expands to New Fields
Israel has been known for years as a center for innovation in several high-tech fields from medical devices to information security. Today, Israeli entrepreneurs are expanding to new fields, such as climate tech and food security, while its government has become a leader in public health policy through its pandemic response. Preparing for Pandemics Israel, […]
The Abraham Accords: Anchoring Peace in Contested Waters
This summer, Israel and Lebanon have come closer than ever to settling a decades-long maritime border dispute. A resolution of this dispute would not only give an economic boost to the region but also would help meet Europe’s energy needs.
Israel’s November Elections: What’s It All About?
In June 2022, the Knesset—Israel’s parliament—voted in favor of disbanding in preparation for new elections scheduled for November 1, 2022. These will be Israel’s fifth round of Knesset elections in three years, and the public is reluctant to head to the polls again. Even the opposition tried at first to see if it could knock […]
Restoring Public Trust: A Challenge for the Next Israeli Chief of Staff
This coming January, Israel’s Chief of Staff will end his four-year term of duty. One of the main challenges facing the new chief of staff will be restoring the public trust in Israel’s military.
The True and Sad Story of Israel’s Economy and How to Change It
The narrative of Israel being a “Startup Nation” ignores troubling and persistent macro-economic trends that place it at the bottom of the rankings among Western peers.
Going on the Attack
The theoretical framework of the IDF’s “Operational Concept for Victory” defines Israel’s new reality.
The Illusion of Deterrence, Early Warning, and Decisive Outcome
Israel’s defense doctrine should be reassessed, if deterrence is irrelevant to anti-guerilla and anti-terror warfare
The Role of the IDF in Israel’s COVID-19 Crisis
Do the advantages of utilizing the IDF in responding to a the Covid-19 crisis outweigh the disadvantages?
American Jewry and Israel
The underlying basis for a more positive view of Israel among the American Jewish public already exists, and the question is whether Israelis will succeed in tapping into it.
Israel and Palestine—What Can the US Do?
A hawkish Bennett and a weak Abbas are unlikely to bring about a solution. A third party—and new paradigms—are needed
The Indian Jewish Community in Israel
On the 30th anniversary of Israel–India relations, a look at a community that lives between the East and the Middle East
Power over Force: A New Policy for Israel
Israel is a regional power. The time has come for it to act accordingly
Israel–US Jewry Ties and the Abraham Accords
The Abraham Accords can remind US Jews that Israelis truly desire peace, so much so that their Arab neighbors recognize it
Time for AI Assessment
War is a human endeavor, and the assessment of warlike trends is too important to be left to machines
Healing Israel’s Relations With Diaspora Jewry
Israel desperately needs a stronger connection with diaspora Jews. Can the rift be healed?
Israel and the New American Landscape
Israel is far less of a bipartisan issue than it used to be. But there's something deeper going on in the US
A Reader’s Response: Reject Erdoğan’s Courtship
Erdoğan knows he has no choice. The Bennett-Lapid government should not offer him a diplomatic lifeline
The Race for Advantage in Psychological Warfare
Does the growing importance of the psychological dimension in modern conflicts put the US and its allies at a disadvantage?
Israel—a Cyber Nation?
Israel has positioned itself as a global cyber power. But how does its defense fare?
Bad News—in Time: Secret Talks with Amos Gilead
Literature review: Shimon Shiffer's "Warning Lights, Secret Talks with Amos Gilead"
The Case for Military Diplomacy
Military diplomacy is totally unnoticed in Israel, but in fact plays a significant role in shaping reality
Same Mistakes for Israel in Lebanon, US in Afghanistan
Israel’s Lebanon Syndrome, the US’ Afghanistan Syndrome: Different military stories, similar conclusions
The Lost Battle of Ahmad Jibril
This man had dedicated his life to Israel’s extermination. What remains of his legacy of violence?
The Perennial Need for the Use of Force
Force as a policy choice, necessary for liberal political leaders as it is for more conservative ones
Know Thy Partner
Why “knowing the enemy” and “knowing thyself” is not enough
What Makes Israel “Iran’s Arch-Enemy”
How the Sunni–Shiite divide became a revolutionary mission, affecting the entire Middle East
The Sinai Multinational Force, 40 Years On
A closer look at a critically important, but little known, example of US engagement in the Middle East
Personal Perspectives on Middle East Peace
Two personal perspectives on Middle East peace, offering insights into the dynamics of building bridges
Israel’s African Comeback
A dynamic new chapter is being written in the old story of Israeli–African ties. Where will it lead next?
The Abraham Accords and the Talking Stick
A personal perspective on Middle East peace, offering an insight into the dynamics of dialogues that can build bridges
Diplomatic Innovation and Civil Society
A personal perspective on Middle East peace, offering an insight into the dynamics of dialogues that can build bridges
New Energy Dynamics: OPEC, the US—and the EastMed
America has returned to its role as a major energy producer and exporter, affecting much more than the global market
President Biden and Israel
Biden is the last of his generation of Democrats. What does it say for the present—and future—of US–Israel ties?
The Two-State Solution Imperative
JST Debate: Action is needed to break the ongoing impasse in the Israeli–Palestinian peace process
No, You Can’t: The Prospects of a Two-State Solution
JST Debate: A breakthrough in the Israeli–Palestinian peace process is unlikely
Prospects of a Breakthrough in the Middle East
JST Debate: Voices from both sides of some of the most heated discussions of our time
The Surfacing Submarine Submerging (Again)
The Mossad used to be a stealthy submarine. Under its new chief, it will revert to being a silent service
The IDF’s Concept of Information Campaigns
The IDF should draw some conclusions from recent conflicts on how to revise its information campaigns
Israel’s Place in the New Order
A practitioner’s perspective: Only a militarily strong Israel can sustain its regional position
Ideology, Asymmetric Warfare, and Deterrence
For some, the higher the cost, the stronger the claim to be the true representatives of values worth dying for
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