INSS Leads among Think Tanks in Israel and the Middle East

As in previous years, the Institute for National Security Studies (INSS) has been ranked as the leading think tank in Israel by the most recent Global Go To Think Tank Index Report on think tanks around the world, prepared annually by the Think Tanks and Civil Societies Program at the University of Pennsylvania. In addition, the Institute is named as the leading think tank in the Middle East and North Africa. For INSS, this represents a rise from last year’s ranking, when it was listed as the second leading think tank in the region.

INSS is proud that its efforts to pursue and produce serious, policy-oriented research are recognized in this annual report, and looks forward to a fruitful and stimulating year for influential think tanks in Israel and abroad.

Dr. Emily Landau, 1960-2020

INSS mourns the passing of Dr. Emily B. Landau, a senior research fellow and head of the Arms Control and Regional Security Program at INSS.

Former IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. (ret.) Gadi Eisenkot Joins INSS

Former IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. (ret.) Gadi Eisenkot has joined the research staff at the Institute for National Security Studies (INSS) as a Senior Research Fellow. At INSS Lt. Gen. (ret.) Eisenkot will head strategic research on Israel’s security concept and security policy, civil-military relations, and the IDF budget.
Chairman of the INSS Board Sir Frank Lowy and INSS Director Maj. Gen. (ret.) Amos Yadlin welcomed Lt. Gen. (ret.) Eisenkot’s addition to the Institute’s research staff: “The Institute for National Security Studies (INSS), internationally known as the leading center for strategic thought in Israel on political-security issues, will gain immensely from Lt. Gen. (ret.)Eisenkot’s joining INSS. His rich experience and personal and professional values will make a significant contribution to the Institute as it engages in innovative, relevant, high-quality research that shapes the public debate of the leading issues on Israel’s national security agenda. Lt. Gen. (ret.) Eisenkot will strengthen the Institute’s ability to conduct creative policy-oriented research and formulate sound policy recommendations on the security challenges Israel confronts today.”

INSS and National Security Council Joint Forum

Senior members of the INSS executive team met with National Security Adviser Meir Ben-Shabbat and a senior forum from the National Security Council. The meeting focused on the security-political challenges facing the State of Israel, including the northern front, the Iranian issue, and the Palestinian issue in general and Gaza in particular. It was decided that there would be increased cooperative work between INSS and the National Security Council.

INSS in a Special Knesset Session Marking 25 years since Israel Signed the Peace Agreement with Jordan

INSS took part in a special Knesset session, led by MK Merav Michaeli, marking 25 years since Israel signed the peace agreement with Jordan. Members of INSS attending included Brig. Gen. (res.) Udi Dekel, Managing Director of INSS, and Dr. Oded Eran, former Israeli ambassador to Jordan, who also presented at the session. Joining the session were Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Foreign Minister Yisrael Katz, head of the Labor Party Amir Peretz, and MKs Revital Swid and Omer Bar-Lev. Dekel emphasized that for Israel, peace with Jordan is a strategic asset that must be preserved, and not taken for granted. Eran spoke about the pressures facing the Jordanian government arising from its relations with Israel.

Delegation from CICIR of Beijing

On October 30, the INSS Israel-China program hosted a delegation from CICIR of Beijing. Discussions focused on China’s role in the Middle East and in the world at large.

Distinguished Delegation from Australia at INSS

The INSS recently hosted a distinguished delegation of former senior politicians and party leaders from Australia, led by John Howard  (PM from 1996-2007) for a policy-security briefing. Present at the meeting was INSS Chairman, Sir Frank Lowy AC, who recently made Aliyah from Australia.

Happy New Year from INSS

This year was marked by our ongoing efforts to address issues on Israel’s national security agenda with fresh, creative ideas that support innovative policy recommendations. The Institute’s strong learning environment enables informed, up-to-date, and relevant policy-oriented research. We invite you to look at some of our achievements of the past year. We would also like to take this opportunity to thank the friends and supporters of INSS that have helped the Institute, Israel’s leading think tank on security, reach many important goals.

INSS at the Foreign Ministry

On July 10, INSS held a seminar with the Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem. Within the framework of the seminar, led by Amb. Dr. Oded Eran and INSS Deputy Director Brig, Gen. (res.) Udi Dekel, members of the INSS research staff met with Foreign Ministry representatives in roundtable discussions related to Israel’s strategic situation. The primary topics covered were US policy in the Middle East; energy and diplomatic triangles; and changes in the Arab world – challenges and opportunities. Among the Foreign Ministry participants were Noam Katz, Deputy Director General and Head of Public Diplomacy.

Special Representative Jason Greenblatt at INSS

INSS was honored to host US Special Representative for International Negotiations Jason Greenblatt at the Institute for a meeting with Executive Director Maj. Gen. (ret.) Amos Yadlin, INSS researchers, and INSS trustees. The main topics discussed were the Peace to Prosperity Workshop in Bahrain, and the efforts to bring peace to the region. During the meeting, Maj. Gen. (ret.) Yadlin presented Mr. Greenblatt with A Strategic Framework for the Israeli-Palestinian Arena, the INSS plan for Israel on the Palestinian issue.

INSS Event in New York

On May 20, INSS held an event in New York for its supporters, which included conversations with U.S. Special Representative for Syria Amb. James Jeffrey and President of the Council on Foreign Relations Dr. Richard Haass. Earlier that same day, INSS donors and trustees participated in a roundtable discussion with Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. Ron Dermer to discuss the future of U.S.-Israel relations.

While in New York, INSS Director Maj. Gen. (ret.) Amos Yadlin met with U.S. Envoy Jason Greenblatt at the U.S. Mission to the UN in order to discuss the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. Earlier that week in Boston, he met with Prof. Larry Bacow and Prof. Rafael Reif, the Presidents of Harvard and MIT, respectively, to discuss an array of issues, including the rise of China.

"The Negotiated Path" at Georgetown

The exhibition “The Negotiated Path” opened on April 21 at Georgetown University in Washington, in a central space of the building housing the Department of Government, the School of Foreign Service, and the History Department. A preview of the exhibition was held on April 17 in the auditorium where the Department of Government held its annual event, which featured a discussion between former Ambassador Dennis Ross and head of the Center for Applied Negotiations Gilead Sher.

Israel, the United States, and the War Against Hamas, July–August 2014: The “Special Relationship” under Scrutiny

A new book by Professor Zaki Shalom, a Senior Research Fellow at the Institute for National Security Studies, a professor emeritus at Ben-Gurion University, and a member of the academic staff at Ashkelon Academic College.

“Operation Protective Edge”, launched on July 8, 2014, saw heavy fighting between the Israel Defense Forces and Hamas in Gaza. Throughout the war US government media spokespersons confirmed Israel’s right to self-defense against rockets and tunnels, and condemned Hamas for initiating the conflict and its use of human shields. But there is an important difference between confirmation and pro-active demonstration at the highest political level.The longstanding alliance between the United States and Israel has always been subject to the administration and president of the day. In this case, the Obama administration’s support for Israel’s right to self-defense was “qualified”, and as a result the Israeli political leadership felt constrained in its ability to defeat Hamas militarily without risking criticism from the United States that would impact negatively on the “special relationship”. In its role as ally, the United States was careful not to apply direct political pressure on Israel. However, US government public criticisms relating to Gazan civilian loss of life damaged Israel on the international stage via harrowing media coverage surrounding the conflict. The Federal Aviation Administration order to airlines to stop flying to Israel enhanced Hamas’ claim that it had inflicted a “strategic defeat” to the “Zionist State”.
For the last 70 years Israel has recognized that the United States is its primary strategic ally – a principle initiated by Israel’s first Prime Minister and Defense Minister, David Ben-Gurion. Political and military policies have to be directed to prevent a rift. But the “Protective Edge” experience has brought to the fore that in times of crisis Israel cannot rely on a “special relationship” to secure its safety and must of necessity possess the political will and military ability to defend itself and to take actions that may result in a strained relationship.

INSS Remains the Leading Think Tank in Israel

The Institute for National Security Studies (INSS) is pleased to announce that the 2017 Global Go To Think Tank Index Report has been released by the University of Pennsylvania and the Institute’s ranking has improved in several key areas:

  • INSS continues to rank 1st among Israeli think tanks.
  • In the field of Defense and National Security, INSS has moved up two spots to 14th in the world.
  • In the Middle East and North Africa rankings, the Institute retains number two spot.
  • Among non-US think tanks worldwide, INSS retains at the same ranking in the top 50 .

The Institute is pleased to see that its continued striving for excellence is recognized by the University of Pennsylvania, and would like to congratulate its think tank colleagues around the world on a successful year of policy research and innovative thinking.

Click here for the full report

Prime Minister and Defense Minister Netanyahu Receives INSS 2019 National Assessment

INSS Director Amos Yadlin presented Strategic Survey for Israel 2018-2019, the newest volume in the INSS annual series, to Prime Minister and Defense Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on January 22, 2019. In their joint meeting, Maj. Gen. (ret.) Yadlin and PM Netanyahu discussed the insights formulated at INSS regarding the objectives and conduct of the campaign in the northern arena against Iran, Syria, and Hezbollah.

Israeli President Reuven Rivlin Receives The American Jewish Community and Israel’s National Security, prepared by INSS, in cooperation with the Ruderman Family Foundation.

On Thursday, December 6, 2018, INSS researchers submitted a study to Israeli President Reuven (Ruvi) Rivlin on the relationship between Israel and American Jewry and its impact on the national security of the State of Israel. The study, conducted in cooperation with the Ruderman Family Foundation, is titled The American Jewish Community and Israel’s National Security.

U.S. Special Representative Brian Hook delivered a statement at the INSS

U.S. Special Representative on Iran, Brian Hook, delivered a statement at the Israeli Institute for National Security Studies (INSS), on November 13, 2018 in Tel Aviv. Appointed in August 2018, this is Mr. Hook’s first visit to the region. It is aimed to advance the U.S. President’s Iran strategy and to increase pressure on the Iranian regime to cease its destructive policies.

The Israeli Board of Trustees of the INSS: The Annual Event

The Israeli Board of Trustees of the Institute for National Security Studies (INSS) met in an evening event on Tuesday, October 23 at the home of Board Chairman Pini Cohen. Special invited guests were Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon and Maj. Gen. Aharon Haliva, head of the IDF Operations Directorate. At the event, INSS Director Maj. Gen. (ret.) Amos Yadlin presented the “INSS Plan: A Strategic Framework for the Israeli-Palestinian Arena.” INSS has worked on this plan over the past two years, and it is now being presented to government figures in Israel, senior figures in the US administration, and the Israeli public. Among those attending the event: Yehudit and Yehuda Bronitzky, founders of Ormat Technologies; Yona Fogel, CEO of Paz; Rony Hizkiyahu, Finance Ministry Accountant General; Dana Azrieli, Chair of the Azrieli Group; Boaz and Varda Dotan, among the founders of Amdocs; Gilad Altshuler, of the owners of Altshuler Shaham Investment House; Yodfat and Pini Buchris; Gabi and Ronit Ashkenazi; Sima Shine; former US ambassador to Israel Daniel Shapiro; Avraham Kosnitzky, Chairman of Minrav Holdings; Dan Harel, Chairman of Israel Railways; Adv. Yehuda Raveh; Yair Hamburger, Chairman of Harel Group; and more.

Happy New Year from INSS

This year was marked by our ongoing efforts to address issues on Israel’s national security agenda with fresh, creative ideas that support innovative policy recommendations. The Institute’s strong learning environment enables informed, up-to-date, and relevant policy-oriented research. We invite you to look at some of our achievements of the past year. We would also like to take this opportunity to thank the friends and supporters of INSS that have helped the Institute, Israel’s leading think tank on security, reach many important goals.

The INSS took part in the annual European Forum Alpbach 2018

On the occasion of 70 years of Israeli independence, and with the support of the Israeli Embassy in Vienna, the Institute for National Security Studies (INSS) took part in the annual European Forum Alpbach 2018 in Austria on the topic of “Diversity and Resilience.” Senior research fellow Dr. Oded Eran and research associate Adi Kantor, both representing the INSS Europe Research Program, organized and participated in a simulation “European Security and the Mediterranean” (together with senior figures from the EU, Israel, and Egypt) and in a panel titled “Israel: Can Democracy Exist Without Peace.” Among the distinguished guests in this year’s conference: Austria’s Federal Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, Former UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon (KOR), and former Federal President Heinz Fischer (AUT).

Israel's National Security Challenges in the Changing Middle East

The 2nd annual INSS summer program for MA and doctoral students from abroad finished on August 17, 2018. Thirty-nine students from fifteen countries participated in the course. The program, spanning three intensive weeks, comprised three mini-courses, which included lectures by leading researchers from INSS, Tel Aviv University, and Haifa University; simulations; and field trips to Jerusalem, the Gaza perimeter communities, and the Golan Heights. Directed by Dr. Kobi Michael, the program afforded the students a unique opportunity to become acquainted with the issues on Israel’s national security agenda, and understand their complexity in a dynamic, volatile Middle East.

Possible Scenarios in the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict Arena

On May 21, 2018 the Institute for National Security Studies presented to the Knesset the results of its research project identifying the strategic challenges, security threats, and potential policy responses in a range of scenarios on the Palestinian front. Click here for highlights from the presentation.

INSS Hosts NYC Symposium with Leading US National Security Figures and White House Representative

The Institute for National Security Studies (INSS) hosted a major policy program at the Harvard Club in New York on May 7, 2018, co-chaired by Chairman of the INSS Board of Directors Sir Frank Lowy and INSS Director Maj. Gen. (ret.) Amos Yadlin. In his opening remarks, Sir Frank spoke of the challenges faced by research institutes, including the need “to observe well, identify early, analyze deeply, recommend wisely, and deliver effectively, always seeking impact and relevance.” He continued, “Tonight we have a rare opportunity to learn together about the main crises facing Israel and the US: Israel and Iran on the verge of conflict in Syria; JCPOA, the quest for Israeli-Palestinian peace; and the ongoing Korean challenge.”

INSS is the Leading Think Tank in Israel

The Institute for National Security Studies (INSS) is pleased to announce that the 2017 Global Go To Think Tank Index Report has been released by the University of Pennsylvania and the Institute’s ranking improve in several key areas:

  • INSS ranked 1st among Israeli think tanks.
  • In the field of Defense and National Security, INSS has moved up four spots to 16th in the world.
  • In the Middle East and North Africa rankings, the Institute jumped up to the number two spot in the region.
  • Among non-US think tanks worldwide, INSS moved up 11 spots and was ranked 49th .

The Institute is pleased to see that its continued striving for excellence is being recognized by the University of Pennsylvania, and would like to congratulate its think tank colleagues around the world on a successful year of policy research and innovative thinking.

Opening night, INSS 11th Annual International Conference

The 11th annual INSS conference opened with a keynote address by the Hon. Jason D. Greenblatt, Assistant to U.S. President Donald Trump and Special Representative for International Negotiations. Mr. Greenblatt’s address was followed by a keynote speech by the Chief of General Staff of the Israel Defense Forces, Gen. Gadi Eizenkot. The evening concluded with a panel discussion, moderated by INSS Executive Director, Gen. (ret.) Amos Yadlin, and featuring the Hon. Michèle Flournoy, Prof. François Heisbourg, Gen. David Petraeus, and Mr. Thomas Friedman.

Ruderman Project's Team Met President Rivlin

Since 2017 the INSS has been engaged in a joint research project with the Ruderman Family Foundation, focusing on American Jewry’s importance and contribution to Israel’s national security. On Thursday, January 4th 2018, some of the project’s team members interviewed H.E. President Reuven (Ruvi) Rivlin on the issue. The President emphasized the importance of enhancing Israel’s relations with Jewish communities in the Diaspora and especially with American Jewry. The President also conveyed his appreciation of the INSS’s research on the subject. A session dealing with “American Jewry and Israel’s national security” will be featured as part of the INSS 11th annual conference at the end of January.

Itamar Rabinovich’s Biography of Yitzhak Rabin Wins Top Prize in Institute Book Competition

The Institute for National Security Studies (INSS) congratulates Prof. Itamar Rabinovich, Deputy Chairman of the INSS Board of Directors, for winning the Washington Institute’s 2017 Book Prize for his new book, Yitzhak Rabin: Soldier, Leader, Statesman, published by Yale University Press. In announcing the award, Washington Institute Executive Director Robert Satloff said, “The Washington Institute Book Prize has always highlighted books that both illuminate the Middle East for an American audience and provide practical insights for policymakers. It is fitting that Ambassador Rabinovich, a man who is both a scholar and a diplomat, receives the gold prize for this outstanding work.” Click here for the full announcement of the prize.

US-Israel Tack II Dialogue

The INSS and Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs annual US-Israel Tack II Dialogue took place on November 10-11, 2017, at Harvard University.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi Met Amos Yadlin

On July 5, 2017, Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India met with the heads of Israel’s leading think tanks.