ISMI: Israel and the Middle East

The border between Israel and Lebanon, 1982. Illustrative.

The border between Israel and Lebanon, 1982. Credit:  ארכיון הצילומים קק"ל, יצחק אלהרר [CC BY 2.5 ] via Wikimedia Commons.

From 1948 to the present time, Israel has overcome tremendous obstacles and registered impressive achievements.  Israel must re-imagine itself and its place in the Middle East in light of new challenges now presenting themselves, and in anticipation of those waiting just over the horizon. 

The Middle East has been changed irrevocably as a result of devastating conflicts. It will likely change further in the years to come. While Israel's military and strategic postures have historically been designed to cope with existential threats posed by its neighbors, these threats have shifted as a result of the above changes.

Israel must view itself as an integral part of the Middle East region and cannot develop policies in a vacuum. Israel's primary sub-state adversaries, Hamas and Hezbollah, are both increasingly involved in the regional milieu even as they increasingly resemble conventional armies and political entities in every respect. Iran remains a threat not only for its nuclear ambitions, but for the way that it seeks to expand its influence through a widening network of proxies. Domestically, Israel has a significant Arab minority which must somehow be integrated into the Israeli state and society. If somehow this minority is able to become "stakeholders" in the country, it is conceivable that they might be able to serve as bridge-builders to the larger region. 

ISME is a research framework encompassing all of the MDC's programmatic activities. It will foster research and inquiry into topics that touch upon a range of relevant topics dealing with the most pressing regional developments and how they impact the Israeli agenda, and will support the research and creation of books, monographs, academic articles, and white papers, which will be published through the MDC and by leading academic publishers. The fruits of these studies will be showcased in symposia and scholarly forums open to the public at large as well as the academic community.