Marcus, Raphael D. “The Israeli Revolution in Military Affairs and the Road to the 2006 Lebanon War.” In Reassessing the Revolution in Military Affairs: Transformation, Evolution and Lessons Learnt (ed.Jeffrey Collins and Andrew Futter; New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2015): 92-111.
In the aftermath of the 2006 Lebanon War, Israel launched an investigative committee known as the Winograd Commission to analyze the factors that contributed to the relatively lackluster performance of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). The Commission identified three dominant trends that affected the IDF’s operational concept and modus operandi in 2006 and that may have contributed to the IDF’s shortcomings.1 (1) The influence of the “Revolution in Military Affairs” (RMA), the American-formulated military concept that emerged in the 1990s that espoused the perceived benefits of advances in military technology, intelligence, and precision targeting for military operations. The RMA was viewed in Israel as having unique attributes that correlated with the IDF’s distinct operational and social circumstances, and would improve its overall warfighting capabilities. (2) The prevalence of “asymmetric” opponents with access to technologically-sophisticated weaponry, embedded in dense urban environments, and focused on waging attritional warfare brought new operational challenges that made the achievement of traditional “battlefield decision” more difficult. (3) Deep societal shifts were affecting the IDF’s role in Israeli society as the “people’s army” — made up of conscripts and a large reservist force. Increased risk aversion in society and a lower tolerance for large-scale military operations due to fear of incurring casualties had a subtle but significant effect on the role of the army in society, the IDF’s fighting spirit, and willingness to utilize reservist units.
So long as a fully-nuclear Islamic Republic of Iran is not regarded in Jerusalem as incapable of coexistence with a Jewish State, Israel’s optimal doctrinal emphases should now be placed on more suitable configurations of diplomacy, nuclear deterrence, and ballistic-missile defense. Reevaluating the longstanding Israeli policy of deliberate nuclear ambiguity will be very important, including also the precise ways in which the country’s nuclear capacities and inclinations are newly communicated to potential aggressors. In all associated responsibilities for “bomb in the basement” policy assessment and disclosure, the Israel Intelligence Community must play a prominent and promising role. By such “wise counsel,” Israel could do much better than prepare for any future war. It could best avoid such a war altogether, thus providing its people the most meaningful “victory” of all.
Existing research on the relationship between Israeli intelligence services and the media is limited and fragmented. This work attempts to fill in the gaps by shedding light on four main strategies that have been commonly implemented by the Israeli intelligence community: ambiguity and concealment of media relations, the “if you would only know” strategy, exploiting patriotism and cooptation, and information manipulations and psychological warfare. These strategies were utilized frequently by Israel’s intelligence services, and thus have had an impact on the intelligence services’ accountability. However, significant changes in Israel’s society and media have created new challenges to the intelligence services in the public sphere. This study examines these changes and differentiates between the organizations within the intelligence community, domestic and foreign, which, facing differing challenges, tailor different methods for addressing the media as a result. This paper is based on several years of research and a large database of literature, media coverage, and in-depth interviews with key figures in Israel’s intelligence community (former Mossad and Israeli Security Authority directors), senior journalists, and politicians.
The conference is free and open to the public, but registration is required. Please email ISCP@yu.eduwith your name, affiliation, and contact information.
Constitutional Conflicts and the Judicial Role in Comparative Perspective
This conference will explore the Israeli Supreme Court’s jurisprudence on complex and challenging questions facing open and multi-cultural societies everywhere. Because these issues are salient in, but by no means peculiar to, Israel, a comparative perspective will enrich our understanding of how such issues are, and might be, dealt with in other democratic societies.
Panels will address the general question of the value and challenges of comparative legal study, differing conceptions of the role of the judiciary and doctrines of justiciability, and substantive areas of current controversy, including the role of the courts in overseeing national security and intelligence gathering; immigration, asylum, and treatment and status of refugees; and religion in the modern nation-state.
The Israeli Supreme Court Project at Cardozo
This conference marks the launch of the Israeli Supreme Court Project at Cardozo Law (ISCP). Intended to both inform and engage constitutional scholars, lawyers, and judges in democracies around the world, the ISCP is a center of study and discussion of the decisions of the Israeli Supreme Court, one of the great judicial bodies of the world and a court at the forefront of dealing with issues at the core of what it means to be a democratic society.
The central undertaking of the ISCP is the translation into English and dissemination of key opinions of the Israeli Supreme Court. In this, the Project is continuing, and will expand on, two decades of work and over 200 translations by the Friends of the Library of the Supreme Court of Israel. Translated opinions, other relevant material about the Court, and more information about the ISCP can all be found on the Project’s website, VERSA, at versa.cardozo.yu.edu.
This conference, as well as the other work of the ISCP, are made possible by essential support from the David Berg Foundation, which is gratefully acknowledged.
2:30-3 p.m. Registration and Coffee3-3:15 p.m. Welcoming Remarks
This panel will consider the value and challenges of comparative legal study. Why should scholars and judges in one country care what their counterparts elsewhere are up to? Is it ever possible for outsiders to understand the details, cultural meanings, and historical underpinnings of a foreign legal system? What are the settings, issues, or circumstances that make for a successful comparative work?
8:30-9 a.m. Registration and Coffee 9-10:30 a.m. The Role of the Judiciary in Comparative Perspective
The Israeli Supreme Court hears over 10,000 cases a year, has a large mandatory docket, for many of its most important cases is the court of first instance rather than a court of appeal, and has only limited threshold “justiciability” doctrines (such as standing requirements or the bar on political questions). In these features it is utterly different from its U.S. counterpart. This panel will consider such structural characteristics, then turn to their broader implications regarding the role of the judiciary in governance and in society, including the question of whether a Supreme Court leads or follows civil society, whether it is an educational institution, and the sources of its legitimacy.
10:45 a.m.-12:15 p.m. Judicial Oversight of National Security and Intelligence Gathering
Effective national security and intelligence gathering are generally understood to depend on secrecy, dispatch, and subterfuge. These characteristics would seem to leave little room for judicial oversight, which assumes transparency, forthrightness, and deliberate pacing. On the other hand, there is a very real danger of abuse without some sort of oversight and legal restraint. This panel will consider how national security issues differ (if at all) from other issues that come before the courts and what exactly the judicial role should be in overseeing national security agencies.
12:30-1:30 p.m. Lunch (Lunch will be provided for all attendees.)
1:30-3 p.m. Immigration, Asylum, and the Treatment and Status of Refugees
Of the Israeli Supreme Court’s recent decisions, one of the most important, divided, and divisive have concerned the detention of asylum seekers. Issues surrounding immigration and citizenship are hugely important, and hugely contested, in Israel and elsewhere. This panel will examine the ISC’s decisions in this area and consider what lessons can be drawn, positive or negative, for Israel and for the rest of the world.
3:15-4:45 p.m. Religion in the Modern Nation-State
Israel’s Basic Laws designate it as “both Jewish and democratic.” The Supreme Court, and many commentators, have struggled to reconcile these two fundamental commitments. Is it possible to construct a constitutional identity that privileges Jewish culture, history, and religion while remaining essentially democratic? The answer to that question has ramifications for religious liberties in many settings as well as minority rights in general.
The Yom Kippur War was a watershed moment in the history of the Arab-Israeli conflict and the modern Middle East more broadly. It marked the beginning of a US-led peace process between Israel and her Arab neighbours; it introduced oil diplomacy as a new means of leverage in international politics; and it affected irreversibly the development of the European Community and the Palestinian struggle for independence. Moreover, the regional order which emerged at the end of the war remained largely unchallenged for nearly four decades, until the recent wave of democratic revolutions in the Arab world. The fortieth anniversary of the Yom Kippur War provides a timely opportunity to reassess the major themes that emerged during the war and in its aftermath, and the contributors to this book provide the first comprehensive account of the domestic and international factors which informed the policies of Israel, Egypt, Syria and Jordan, as well as external actors before, during and after the war. In addition to chapters on the superpowers, the EU and the Palestinians, the book also deals with the strategic themes of intelligence and political of the war on Israeli and Arab societies.
Table of Contents
List of Contributors
2. Dominant Themes in the October War Historiography: Blame and Historical Analogy
3. Israel and the October War
4. The October War and Egypt’s Multiple Crossings
5. Syria and the October War: The Missed Opportunity
6. US Foreign Policy and the Kissinger Stratagem
7. The Soviet Union and the October War
8. Jordan’s War that Never Was
9. Palestinian Politics in Transition: The Case of the October War
Philipp O. Amour
10. Faraway Causes, Immediate Effects: The War and European Consequences
11. Oil and the October War
12. Ashraf Marwan and Israel’s Intelligence Failure
13. Evolving a Diplomatic Legacy from the War: The US, Egyptian and Israeli Triangle
Kenneth W. Stein
14. Clashing Narratives of the October War: Collective Memory and Group Perspective
Claudia De Martino
15. Gone But Not Forgotten? The Occasional Lessons of the October War
This article analyzes the quality of the Egyptian and Israeli intelligence advice and decision-making process in the October 1973 War as key factors that determined its course. Following a background to the subject, we focus on the 9–13 October standstill stage, in which Sadat decided, despite his generals’ advice, to renew the Egyptian offensive. Effective Israeli intelligence collection about the coming attack, which was well used by the decision-makers, saved Israel from accepting an undesired ceasefire. The result was the 14 October failed Egyptian offensive that turned the tide of the war and led to Israeli military achievements at the war’s final stage.
This article discusses the bilateral ties that have been forming between Israel and its periphery – that is, Greece, Cyprus, Azerbaijan and South Sudan – and draws a comparison to Israel’s previous relations with Iran, Turkey and Ethiopia. It considers the contribution of those partnerships at the security-intelligence and economic level and suggests its potential impact in the political arena. This research concludes that, despite the dividends that can be gained from security, economic and energy cooperation, its value compared to that of its predecessor is lower based on their instability, domestic issues and lower levels of regional or international influence.
Israeli narratives of the 1973 Arab-Israeli War highlight the army’s lack of preparedness in the wake of a successful surprise attack by Egypt and Syria on the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur, despite assumptions of Israel’s intelligence gathering capabilities. Using recently declassified government documents, this article reveals a communication breakdown among Israel’s leadership over the operational status of a top secret means of surveillance. This intelligence failure provides the missing link between Israel’s wealth of information and the decision to avoid mobilizing the country’s reserve army until it was too late.