ISME: Israel and the Middle East

The border between Israel and Lebanon, 1982
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. Looking forward, 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, and by other regional powers such as Iran, 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.

Program Description
ISME is a programmatic framework and philosophy encompassing nearly all of the MDC's activities. It fosters research and inquiry into critical topics impacting the Israeli agenda, including (but not limited to) the following: implications of political change and reform in the Gulf States, economic opportunities and challenges in the region, the implications of the ongoing Syrian conflict, including expanded Iranian and Russian roles therein, the Kurdish drive for independence and implications for Israel, Turkish-Israel relations and Turkish 'neo-Ottomanism,' and Israel's "peaceful neighbors" Jordan and Egypt. 

Program Activities
The ISME initiative has three primary realms of activities: 

Expertise the Experts Rely On: To provide practitioners, policymakers, and scholars, in Israel and abroad, with the expert analysis necessary to develop Israel’s regional policy in the 21st century.

Public Discourse:  To engage and positively impact the Israeli public discourse on these issues through regular media appearances and publications, public lectures and symposia.

Cultivating the next generation: To serve as an incubator of excellence for future generations of scholars by providing mentorship and scholarships to outstanding M.A and Ph.D candidates working on topics relating to Israel and the Middle East.