Lessons for Postwar Gaza from the American Experiences in Iraq and Afghanistan

Khan Yunis, Gaza, July 2024. Photo credit: Abed Rahim Khatib/dpa via Reuters Connect.

“Don’t repeat our mistakes—we can do it ourselves.” This line occurred to me as I listened to discussions of “the day after” in Gaza. Plans and ideas need to address the detailed problems of implementation. I do not pose as an expert on Israel or Palestinian affairs. Rather I draw from the painful lived experiences […]

Israel Debates Its Future Military Force Structure

Israeli soldiers near the Gaza border, June 2024 Photo credit: REUTERS/Amir Cohen.

In the midst of the current war in Gaza, the Israel Defense Forces is evaluating its future force needs. Three Israeli insiders have differing views on the desirable future size and composition of the IDF.  More Strategic Planning Moni Chorev, former division commander and general in the reserves, told me the following: The IDF must […]

Video Interview with Uzi Arad

Uzi Arad

The JST’s Ksenia Svetlova interviews Israel’s former National Security Advisor Uzi Arad, about a strategy to counter Iran and the current war in Gaza. This transcript is lightly edited for clarity and concision.  Ksenia Svetlova: Did Israel ever encounter something similar to Iran’s power, determination and also the number of proxies spread around the Middle East […]

Israel’s Paratrooper Dynasty

IDF Chief of Staff Hertzi Halevi (on left) with his predecessor Aviv Kochavi. Photo credit: REUTERS/Amir Cohen.

The systemic failure of October 7 has no single root nor one explanation. But the predominance for decades of one type of officer – paratroopers – at the top of Israel’s military hierarchy, lately exemplified by Chiefs of Staff Gantz, Kochavi and Halevi, is certainly part of the sad story. Lack of diversity at the […]

A New Era of Long Wars

Ukrainian soldiers (left, photo credit: REUTERS/Marko Djurica), Israeli Soldiers (right, photo credit: REUTERS/Baz Ratner).

The conflicts in Gaza and Ukraine signal a shift in the nature of warfare. The advent of long wars will affect both military strategy and broader national decision-making. Long wars require not just military readiness but also economic planning, especially civilian and military long-term logistical planning. For Israel, this is a particularly challenging development, as […]

Netanyahu’s Speech to Congress Will Be About More Than Bashing Biden

Photo credit: Douliery Olivier/ABACA via Reuters Connect.

Benjamin Netanyahu was scheduled to address a joint session of the United States Congress on June 13. But that day, while an ordinary day in Israel, was the second day of the Jewish holiday of Shavuot in the United States and the rest of the Diaspora. Jews in the Diaspora traditionally celebrate the beginning and […]

Hamas Faces Long-Term Consequences from the International Criminal Court

Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Karim Ahmad Khan. Photo credit: Utrecht Robin/ABACA via Reuters Connect.

On May 20, the chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court Karim Khan issued a public statement requesting arrest warrants for five individuals. They are Hamas military leaders Yahya Sinwar and Mohammed al-Masri (known as Mohammed Deif or “guest” in Arabic because he frequently changes residences), head of the Hamas political bureau Ismail Haniyeh, and […]

The Only Path to Peace is Prosperity, Not Hamas

Photo credit: REUTERS/Evelyn Hockstein.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will address a joint session of Congress on July 24 at what promises to be an historic and controversial moment. Netanyahu’s speech allows him to “share the Israeli government’s vision to defend its democracy, combat terrorism and establish a just and lasting peace in the region,” said House Speaker Mike […]

Why Jerusalem Remains Relatively Quiet during the Gaza War

Muslim worshippers attend Friday prayers in the Arab neighborhood of Silwan in East Jerusalem. Photo credit: Saeed Qaq / SOPA Images/Sipa USA via Reuters Connect.

Recently I called up an Arab friend in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Kufr ‘Aqab. Having just returned from Israeli military reserve duty, I felt out of the loop and wanted to know what’s happening, especially why East Jerusalem’s Arab population seemed to react to this war differently than it had in previous rounds of […]

Spanish Bull: Sanchez and Recognition of a Palestinian State

Prime Minister Sanchez (center) meets the Palestinian prime minister and foreign ministers from Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and Turkey, in Madrid on May 29, 2024. Photo credit: REUTERS/Susana Vera.

During the Middle Ages, Jews were persecuted and expelled, repeatedly at times, from every European country – but the one the world remembers most is the expulsion from Spain in 1492 of what had been the world’s largest Jewish community. This ancient wound was very much in the foreground when on May 28, 2024 Spanish […]