Israel and the Iran Nuclear Deal: The Best of Bad Options
US and Israeli intelligence assessments are in fundamental accord regarding the factual status of Iran’s nuclear program, but the two countries derive significantly different policy positions from them. The US maintains that as long as Iran has not decided to weaponize, its nuclear activities do not constitute an active military program. Israel, however, believes that Iran is conducting clandestine weaponization efforts…
Survival, v64 #3, June-July 2022, pp. 117-132
Israel’s National Security Staff at Twenty
In 1999, some fifty years after Ben-Gurion first proposed the idea, Israel’s national security council was finally established. Much like the American NSC, on which it was modelled, Israel’s NSC was the outcome both of domestic politics and strategic developments. Israeli national security thinking had long been predicated on a fundamental perception, that Arab hostility was so extreme as to pose an existential threat of genocide…
Royal United Services Institute, chapter in forthcoming book, spring 2021
Can Israel Survive Without America?
Washington is usually the first, and often the sole, port of call for strategic consultation – almost always the foremost one, and inevitably the primary means of addressing the challenges Israel faces. America is the be-all and end-all of most policy deliberations in Israeli national-security decision-making forums. Those blithely advocating Israeli independence from the United States should be careful what they wish for.
Survival, v59 #4, August–September 2017, pp. 135–150
War by Other Means: The Delegitimization Campaign against Israel
Efforts to delegitimise nations pose a growing danger to state security. This article expands upon existing research by proposing that there are seven areas in which states can face isolation efforts: political, economic, military, sociocultural, media, lawfare, and religious. Moreover, it proposes the idea of ‘destruction-oriented’ isolation, which aims to destroy a state, not merely create change. The campaign against Israel serves as the case study.
Israel Affairs, co-authored with Matthew Cohen, v24 #1, 2017, pp. 1-25
International Studies Perspectives
Israel and the Cyber Threat
Israel faces a constant barrage of cyber attacks. This has forced Israel to develop highly advanced capabilities. Although the threats to Israel are severe, they are not unique; thus, Israel can serve as a model for what other states can do to effectively use cyberspace both defensively and offensively. This article offers policy recommendations as to how states can improve their cyber defenses.
International Studies Perspectives, co-authored with Matthew Cohen and Gabi Siboni, v17#3, 1 August 2016, pp. 307–321
Terrorism and Political Violence
Israel’s Counter-Terrorism Policy: How Effective?
Terrorism has had a decisive effect on Israeli elections and national security decisions, but not the economy. Israeli counter-terrorism has often been conducted without a coherent overall policy, but has enabled Israel to live in relative security and thrive, and provided its leaders with the latitude to pursue various policies, including peace, should they wish to do so.
Terrorism and Political Violence, v29 #2, 2017, pp. 359-376
Cyber, Intelligence, and Security
Four Big D’s and a Little r: A New Model for Cyber Defense
This article argues that cyberthreats are not fundamentally different from other asymmetric threats, and it provides a conceptual model for developing a response by drawing on classic principles of military strategy, the “four Ds”— Detection, Deterrence, Defense, and Defeat—as well as resilience. The proposed framework will allow for the development of detailed strategies and plans to address the specific demands posed by cyberthreats.
Cyber, Intelligence, and Security, v1 # 2, June 2017, pp. 21-36
Military Decision: Why Can’t Israel Win Anymore?
Deterring non-state actors is much harder than deterring states, as repeated rounds of violence with Hizbullah and Hamas have shown. Detection of terrorist acts, especially of rocket attacks, is particularly difficult. With its basic security against non-nuclear threats now essentially ensured, Israel should develop a greater ability to live with the pain inflicted by Hizbullah, Hamas and others like them.
Survival, v57 #2, April–May 2015, pp. 79–92.
Israel: National Security Decision-Making in a Leaky Political Fishbowl
Israeli decision-making has become increasingly proactive in recent decades. At the same time, many of the diplomatic and military initiatives Israel has undertaken have gone awry, and the number of policy failures has become untenable. Indeed, Israel has suffered from a decadeslong domestic political stalemate — arguably a crisis — on matters of its fundamental existence.
Israel Journal of Foreign Affairs
Israel and the Campaign of Defamation and Delegitimization; Diplomatic Warfare, Sanctions and Lawfare
Delegitimization and diplomatic warfare campaigns attempt to decrease the target nation's ability to wield diplomatic and military power successfully, limit the nation's ability to have its voice heard, and even make the nation's right to exist appear illegitimate. The end goal is to compel the nation to change policies or make it a pariah, thus undermining its ability to prosper or even survive.
Israel Journal of Foreign Affairs, v9 #1, 2015, co-authored with Matthew Cohen
Israel Journal of Foreign Affairs
Breakdown and Possible Restart: Turkish-Israeli Relations under the AKP
Israel Journal of Foreign Affairs, v 8 #1, January 2014, pp. 39-55, co-authored with Matthew Cohen
Middle East Journal
National Security Decision-Making in Israel: Improving the Process
Israeli decision-making has become increasingly proactive in recent decades. At the same time, many of the diplomatic and military initiatives Israel has undertaken have gone awry, and the number of policy failures has become untenable. Indeed, Israel has suffered from a decades long domestic political stalemate on matters of its fundamental existence, with the political system unable to resolve the contending currents of opinion.
Middle East Journal, v 67 #2, Spring 2013, pp. 257-266
Striking Iran: the Debate in Israel
Israel’s leaders have engaged in an unprecedented public debate about Iran’s nuclear programme, and about the advisability of an Israeli strike to destroy or delay it. Meir Dagan, the former head of the Mossad, called an Israeli attack, at this time, ‘the stupidest thing I have ever heard of’, warned that it might ignite a regional war and stated that there was still a window of some three years.
Survival, v 54 #6, December 2012-January 2013, pp. 93-106
Israel Journal of Foreign Affairs
Getting it Wrong in Lebanon: Invasion 1982, Withdrawal 2000, War 2006
Lebanon has played a central role in the Arab-Israeli conflict, as the focus of ongoing low-level hostilities, three major Israeli military operations, two wars and a unilateral withdrawal. The outcomes of all of these events were far from what Israel's decision-makers intended. The present study assesses the reasons for Israel's repeated policy failures.
Israel Journal of Foreign Affairs, v6 #3, September 2012, pp. 41-75
Journal of International Security Affairs
Decision Time in Jerusalem
In Israel, it has become commonplace to speak of the Iranian nuclear program as an existential threat. Senior decision-makers and defense officials have repeated this warning so often that the words “existential” and “Iran” have become almost synonymous in Israeli discourse. Foreign media, meanwhile, repeatedly speculate on the prospects of an Israeli attack on Iran, and some have speculated that 2010 may be the “year of decision.”
Journal of International Security Affairs, v 18, Spring 2010, pp. 55-63
Begin Sadat Center
The Armageddon Scenario: Israel and the Threat of Nuclear Terrorism
The Iranian nuclear threat has obscured the possibility of waging nuclear terrorism against Israel. There is a clear rationale for employing nuclear terrorism and countering it needs calibrated policies of prevention and possibly US-Israeli cooperation. The time to prepare for the Armageddon scenario is now.
Begin Sadat Center (BESA), April 2010, Mideast and Policy Studies #85
Arms Control Today
The US, Israel and Iran: Defusing an Existential" Threat
Iran is an existential threat to Israel. This apocalyptic warning call has become a mantra continually repeated by virtually all Israeli leaders and has been adopted by much of the U.S. national security establishment. There is no doubt that Iran poses a severe threat to Israel, not only in the nuclear field, but what kind of danger does its nuclear program constitute? Is Israel’s future in imminent danger if Iran goes nuclear? The answer is probably not.
Arms Control Today, November 2008
The American Interest
The Right Return: A Proposal To Begin Resettling Palestinian Refugees
The Israeli-Palestinian “peace process” is in deep trouble, and unless we pursue bold new approaches, it may soon be dead. If that happens, the situation could deteriorate further into violence and terror, with severe consequences not just for the sides themselves, but for the entire region . One bold approach would be to turn upside-down the assumption that the refugee issue can only be settled after a final status agreement is achieved.
The American Interest, v.4# 1, September/ October 2008
Washington Institute for Near East Policy
Speaking about the Unspeakable: The US-Israeli Dialogue on the Iranian Nuclear Program
A bilateral exchange does not appear to have taken place on the two paramount issues related to the Iranian nuclear threat: the possibility of military action and conversely, possible means of “living with” a nuclear Iran, should both the United States and Israel decide to refrain from military action. This study argues that significant obstacles may indeed exist to a substantive dialogue and proposes possible means of surmounting them.
Washington Institute for Near East Policy, December, 2007
Middle East Journal
National Security Decision Making in Israel: Processes and Pathologies
This article presents a first of its kind typology of Israeli national security decision-making processes, focusing on five primary pathologies. It will demonstrate that these pathologies are the product of an extraordinarily compelling external environment; the extreme politicization of the decision-making process; and the absence of effective cabinet-level decision-making support capabilities.
Middle East Journal, v60#4, Autumn 2006, pp. 635-663
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