A New Vision For Israel's National Security Conception

מתוך סמינר 2.0 לעדכון תפיסת הביטחון הלאומית | Seminar 2.0
קפיצה אל: ניווט, חיפוש

This page is the Reut Institute's main initiative to develop the necessary conditions in order to create a new vision for Israel's national security conception. This document is can be read by chapters or as one document through these links:

English copy 

עותק בעברית 
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This document is the keystone and the initial product within a series that puts forth a new vision for the State of Israel's national security toward the seventy-fifth year of its existence and calls for a revolution in the current conception. The document details: The foundations of the existing conception, the need for change, the opportunity that stands before Israel, the vision required for Israel's national security and principles of action proposed for its fulfillment. The publication of this document marks the beginning of an undertaking that is aimed at generating a professional and public dialogue on these issues.


"Israel's national security concept" refers to a system of values and principles that have shaped Israel's national security institutions. It also refers to the manner in which the state has exercised its strength and capabilities in the fields of security and foreign affairs in order to protect its existence and security.

This concept was designed under the leadership of David Ben Gurion in the early years of the state, and has been modified over the years in light of various developments in Israel’s political and security environment, though it was never formalized in official government decisions.

Part A - Foundations of Israel's National Security Concept

This section of the document described the central foundations for Israel's current national security conception.

Part B - Key Elements of the Security Conception Undermined

This section of the document describes the leading trends which conflict with different aspects of the current conception, and includes a chart summarizing the gap

Part C - The Window of Opportunity to Upgrade Israel's National Security

This section of the document introduces the opportunity standing before Israel to leap its national security through a new national security concept that is adapted to a world of radical changes. The opportunity stems from the combination between, on the one hand, the capacity of the Israeli government to govern, make decisions, and implement them, and, on the other hand, emerging political, military, and domestic conditions. Clearly, a change in the national security concept will necessitate resource reallocation, structural and institutional adaptations, and new operational concepts.

Part D - The Vision: Israel as the Middle of the East

This section of the document lays out the foundations of the vision for Israel's national security toward its seventy-fifth year that will seize the existing window of opportunity.

Part E - The Organizing Principles of the Israeli Revolution in National Security Affairs

This section of the document details the proposed organizing principles for changing the national security concept in order to fulfill the national objectives discussed. At their core stands the insight that Israel's national security in the twenty-first century will require harnessing Israeli society broadly, and that the government alone cannot carry the burden.

Part F - Strategic Efforts For Generating The Required Change

This section of the document details the different campaigns which, if successfully implemented, will stimulate the crucial revolution in Israel's national security and advance the overall vision.

 Conclusion - Call for a New and Continuous 'Ben-Gurion style' Seminar

  • The 'seminars' that Ben Gurion conducted in advance of the founding of the State of Israel and in its first years shaped Israel's national security paradigm. The seminar was an ongoing learning workshop. In its course, Ben Gurion tested the assumptions standing at the basis of the national security concept of the state-in-the-making until 1947 in contrast to the emerging reality, and defined a new vision and strategy. At the time, these changes were difficult for those who made up Israel's national security community to accept.
  •  Revolution in Military Affairs of the 1990s require a reassessment – In the beginning of the '90s an operational revolution took place within Western armies based on technological developments and political-strategic changes such as the collapse of the Soviet Union. This revolution, which was based on a combination of guided weaponry, communications systems, and command and control, was called the Revolution in Military Affairs (RMA). With time, opponents of Western states developed an operational response to the various technologies and concepts found within the RMA which undermined the very superiority of the model. 
  • There is a need today for a revolution in the national security affairs (RNSA) of Israel – As stated in this document, the radical changes in Israel's strategic environment challenge the fundamental assumptions of its national security concept, and among them the 'Iron Wall' approach and confidence in technological superiority (RMA) as the central component in Israel's security response.  In light of these changes, and moving toward the seventy-fifth year of Israel's existence, there is a need for another revolution in the national security paradigm – a Revolution in National Security Affairs – in the spirit of Ben Gurion's seminar


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