Israel’s foreign policy was shaped by the 100 years prior to its establishment when state-seeking and state-making dominated Zionist ideology and diplomacy.

After the state was established, foreign policy was determined by the element of state-keeping. Seven elements emerged in defining and applying Zionist and Israeli foreign policy: (1) creating and sustaining a Jewish territory with a significant Jewish population, 2) developing a viable economy, (3) finding and retraining major power political support, (4) evolving a “never again syndrome,” that is that Jews would never again find themselves unable to defend themselves (military acquisition and developing a nuclear weapon for deterrence), (5) evolving a defense policy to offset the asymmetry of Israel’s demographic inferiority and geographically small size as compared to the surrounding hostile Arab population, (6) assuring access to water and fossil and other fuels sufficient to sustain the well-being of the state, and (7) seeking accommodations with neighbors when available and neutralizing regional existential threats.


1949 Israeli Foreign Minister Moshe Sharett to the Israel Knesset
1967 Israel Ambassador to the UN Gideon Rafael to the UN Security Council Speech
1977 Israeli Minister Menachem Begin Addresses the Israeli Parliament
1995 Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin’s Reasons for Signing the Oslo Accords
2009 Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at Bar-Ilan University
2015  Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Address to the US Congress
2016 Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Speech to the UN General Assembly