The Arab-Israeli War of 1948—A Short History

May 15, 2020

Otherwise known as Israel’s War of Independence, or, “the nakbah” or disaster to the Arab world because a Jewish state was established, the war was fought between the newly established Jewish state of Israel opposed by Palestinian irregulars, and armies from five Arab states. Official beginning of the war is usually given as May 14, 1948, the date Israel declared itself an independent Jewish state, but the war’s first of four phases began in November 1947. Lasting for two years, the war ended with armistice agreements signed in 1949 between Israel and four Arab states.

US Government’s Position on the Future of Palestine

May 5, 2020

In March 1948, two months before Israel’s establishment, the US State Department sought to reverse the US vote in favor of partition for the creation of Arab and Jewish states in Palestine. Zionist diplomats worked feverishly at the UN, London and in Washington to prevent the US policy reversal. Why did the US State Department oppose so vigorously the Jewish state’s creation already from the 1940s forward? Besides the State Department’s well-documented institutional anti-Semitism practiced in preventing Jewish immigration to the states in the 1930s and 1940s, there were enormously strong feelings that a Jewish state would alienate American support from Arab states, especially Saudi Arabia.

Zionism in Israeli Music – Activities, Ideas and Links to Resources

April 25, 2020

HaTikvah, Israel’s national anthem, describes the hope of the Jewish people to be and remain free in the Land of Israel. Its story parallels the Zionist progression from ancient connection to the land to the present. By creatively using the anthem's contents, one touches on Israeli music, self-determination, immigration, state-building, art, and the state's Basic Laws.

A Guide for Streaming Israeli Content

April 20, 2020

In this new world of social distancing and staying at home, life can slip into a monotonous routine, but there are good ways to liven up your time at home. One is by watching captivating television. But even that can become stale. How many times can you watch Love Is Blind, Tiger King or The Office? Instead, try streaming shows that deal with Israel. The past twenty years have seen an onslaught of exciting, mesmerizing and thrilling productions that offer insights into the nuances of Israel’s history and culture.

Dayenu – From Exodus to Contemporary Israel

April 6, 2020

Sung or recited on Passover, the original Dayenu is reflective appreciation of 14 significant events specifically wrapped around the exodus from Egypt. The Dayenu presented here chronicles Jewish history from Exodus to the present day. This history can be read individually or responsively. Different moments and personalities in Jewish history could have been included. Hebrew and Spanish versions of Dayenu are available.

Israeli/Hebrew Music Collections—Easily Accessible

April 2, 2020

Contemporary Israeli music has long and varied roots. It is rich and dynamically innovative. Instrumental and vocal streams reflect Jewish and Israeli history. Engage your senses in diversely eclectic flavors. Listen wherever you are—links to free online sources; stream Israeli music from many genres and eras.

The United States and Israel: The Risk of Growing Apart

April 1, 2020

United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s assertion that “the establishment of Israeli civilian settlements in the West Bank is not per se inconsistent with inter­national law” is merely the latest example of how US and Israeli policies have marched almost in lockstep since Donald Trump’s inauguration as president. However, the United States and Israel have shared an intense and intimate relationship that long predates the Trump Administration and goes beyond the chemistry of individual leaders. In many respects, in fact, that relationship is unique in American foreign rela­tions and uniquely critical to Israeli security.

The Calm before the Storm? Coping with Corona in the Middle East

March 31, 2020

The coronavirus is making its way across the Middle East, forcing states to prepare for the possible collapse of governing systems. The virus struck a region already buckling under the weight of armed conflicts, social upheaval, severe economic distress, and identity-related clashes. The data on corona’s spread is far from precise or reliable, given the lack of testing, lagging policies, and likely efforts at concealment on the part of certain regimes.

Social and Economic Resilience in a Crisis Situation: Strategic Implications

March 30, 2020

The ability of Israeli society to stay resilient at a time of national emergency – specifically in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic – has direct strategic and security implications, insofar as Israel demonstrates that it is capable of facing adversity. in addition, despite the huge budgetary hit engendered by Corona, it is vital to sustain Israeli investment in advanced military capabilities, and retain an untouchable budget reserve for this purpose.

China’s Rise, US Opposition, and The Implications for Israel

March 25, 2020

This article offers assessments of China in a clear-eyed and non-polemical fashion. It offers not an apology but an explanation for why China, having suffered a century of humiliation by external powers in the 19th century, is focused on re-establishing its role in the world – a role it believes its global economic weight entitles it to have. The Chinese response to the coronavirus is a vivid reminder of the fear that constrains honest discussion or reporting or intellectual development in that vast country.

The Corona Epidemic: Systemic Challenges for Israel

March 23, 2020

Israel is in a state of emergency: schools are closed, businesses are shut, and people continue to lose their source of income. Optimal handling of this dramatic challenge demands a combined strategy. The primary thrust, prevention, protection, and containment, must be complemented by a strategy to promote societal resilience as the secondary effort.

The Corona Crisis and Israel’s National Security

March 20, 2020

A seminar at the Institute for National Security Studies (INSS) on political and security implications of the corona crisis underscored the prevalent uncertainty regarding the situation, but also highlighted several instructive points. The biggest threat to the global (and Israeli) economy derives from the slowdown or negative growth in the United States, and at the current stage, the American ability to meet the crisis effectively is not clear. As for Israel, the risks of escalation in the northern arena and the Gaza Strip have decreased in the short term, but toughening the restrictions on the border crossings with the Palestinian Authority could lead to its economic collapse.