Israel | Wilson Center


Israel in a Dynamic and Changing Region: A Conversation with Ambassador Michael Oren


Ambassador Michael Oren, former Israeli Ambassador to the United States and current member of the Knesset, shared his analysis of Israel’s role in the Middle East.

The Iran Nuke Deal Could End Any Hope of Israeli-Palestinian Peace

Whether you’re for the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), against it, or somewhere in between, the Iran nuclear agreement will have profound consequences for a Middle East already in the throes of turbulent change.

No, the Iran Nuclear Deal Will Not Be Good for the U.S.

Iran will get too much.

Once Iran learned how to make a nuke, there wasn’t much chance for a really good and reassuring deal on the nuclear issue. The agreement being negotiated now may well be the least bad of the terrible options available to slow Iran’s nuclear program. But we should be clear-eyed about what else we may be getting from this deal: a richer and stronger Iran, one pushing for a Middle East more hostile to the U.S.–and one that will still retain the capacity to build nuclear weapons.

Calculating the Costs of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

A new report by the RAND Corporation, The Costs of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, estimates the net costs and benefits over the next ten years of five alternative trajectories -- (1) a two-state solution, (2) coordinated unilateral withdrawal, (3) uncoordinated unilateral withdrawal, (4) nonviolent resistance, and (5) violent uprising -- compared with the costs and benefits of a continuing impasse.

The Regional Cold Wars in Europe, East Asia, and the Middle East: Crucial Periods and Turning Points

This book systematically explores the mutual interconnections of events in diverse regional Cold War theaters—both the horizontal connections between regions and the vertical connections of each regional conflict to the global Cold War. “How do we understand the Cold War,” writes the editor, Lorenz Lüthi, “if from one direction, we narrow the focus of inquiry from the superpower conflict to the level of regional struggles, and widen the focus from individual country case studies to the subsystemic level of the Cold War?”

Benjamin Netanyahu's Surprising Staying Power

Rarely have so many Israelis, Americans, Arabs, Europeans, and just about everyone else on the planet been more annoyed, exasperated, and angry with an Israeli Prime Minister. His utter self confident image on one hand and his preternatural risk aversion on the other, leads many to conclude that he’s an empty suit, all talk, without any serious strategy to free Israel from the threats and challenges that surround it. And if there is action, it’s all pointed in the wrong direction (see settlements; intrusion into U.S. politics; Palestinian statehood, etc).

Israel’s New Government: Policies and Prospects

The formation of the new Netanyahu Government raises a great many questions about its policies and prospects. How will a government considerably narrower  than its predecessor deal with any number of foreign policy and domestic challenges facing the State of Israel, including a possible nuclear agreement between the US and Iran, the Palestinian issue, and relations with Washington? Will the new coalition endure  and what are the prospects for broadening the government?

Why U.S. Allies Saudi Arabia and Israel Are Looking Beyond Obama

As changes unfold in Saudi Arabia and Israel, it increasingly appears that Jerusalem and Riyadh may be looking beyond this administration. (We don’t care about Obama; we care about Washington, former Saudi diplomat Abdullah al-Shammari was recently quoted as saying.) It’s ironic that as the Middle East devolves and the U.S. needs friends in the region–regardless of their imperfections–relations between Washington and its two oldest allies are so strained.

The US Discovery of Israel's Secret Nuclear Project

  • Israeli Cover Stories about the Dimona Reactor Dismayed Top Level Officials Who Saw a "Clearly Apparent Lack of Candor"

  • U.S. Embassy Telegram Quotes Ben-Gurion Aide That It Was a "Stupid Mistake" by Israel to Cloak the Nuclear Project in Secrecy

  • To Prevent Military Uses of the Facility, U.S. Officials Believed the International Atomic Energy Agency Should Monitor Dimona (It Never Has)

Hypothetical Herzog

Barely a month ago, it would have been impossible for most Israelis to imagine a political landscape without Benjamin Netanyahu, the smart, savvy pol who has dominated the Israeli political stage for more than a decade.

Now, 72 percent of Israelis in a recent poll said they believe Israel needs a change in leadership. And those final polls (if they hold — a big if) suggest a lead big enough that it could give Bibi’s rival — the 54-year-old head of the Labor party, Isaac “Bougie” Herzog, son of Chaim Herzog, Israel’s sixth president — a chance to form the next government.