Israeli Grand Strategy

Stipend: $3,000 ($1,000 for NYC-area residents)
Application Deadline: August 1, 2013
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The Middle East is witnessing dramatic change—the rise of Islamism, the ever-shifting balance of autocracy and democracy, the production and procurement of weapons of mass destruction. All this is happening alongside major changes in the broader global landscape when it comes to energy, information technology, commerce, and values. How can Israel maintain her strategic edge in this volatile environment? What does it mean for this small but unique nation to have a grand strategy—one that reckons with its great, painful, near-miraculous past as a people, with its complex web of allies and enemies, and with the social and political structure that has taken shape over the past 65 years of modern nationhood?

Uzi Arad, former Israeli National Security Advisor, will spend a week on Israeli grand strategy, exploring a wide range of topics including: the history of Israel’s geopolitical position and evolving military doctrine; the place of national memory, Zionist ideology, geography, and demography in defining Israel’s strategic doctrine and options; the asymmetries that exist between Israel and the Arab-Islamic countries that surround her; the culture of Israel’s national security institutions; the role of intelligence and the accumulating burdens of deterrence; the quest for international legitimacy and the place of great power patronage. We will explore Israel as both a case study in grand strategy but, first and foremost, as a nation unlike any other—with unique challenges, distinct options, and an outsized place in world history and politics.

Key Texts & Topics

  • Zeev Maoz, Defending the Holy Land: A Critical Analysis of Israel’s Security and Foreign Policy, 2009
  • Dima Adamski, The Culture of Military Innovation, 2010
  • Yehezkel Dror, Israeli Statecraft, 2011
  • David Rodman, Defense and Diplomacy in Israel’s National Security Experience, 2005

Seminar Schedule

The planned class schedule for this seminar is the following:


  • September 22, 2013, Fourth Day of Sukkot: 3:00 pm-6:00 pm
  • September 23, 2013, Fifth Day of Sukkot: 9:00-11:30 am
  • September 24, 2013, Sixth Day of Sukkot: 9:00-11:30 am
  • September 25, 2013, Eve of Shemini Atzeret: 8:00-10:30 am. Note that classes end at an earlier hour to accommodate the religious observance of any Institute participants.


In addition, participants are expected to prepare carefully the daily readings—usually around 30 to 50 pages per day—which are distributed well in advance. We encourage—but we do not require—institute participants to be in residence with us full-time for the complete length of their respective seminar. For more information on seminar schedules and expectations of participants, please see our Overview page.

Who Should Apply?

Any men and women of achievement in professional life who want to expand their intellectual range and influence. This course may be especially appropriate for:

  • Individuals in the legal profession;
  • Members of the US or Israeli security establishments;
  • Think tank researchers and analysts of foreign policy or security affairs; and
  • Members of the media or academic communities.