Reassessment of Israel's Security and Foreign Policy Approach: Update on Team Progress, July 2011

This update covers the progress of the Reut Institute's National Security Team effort that aims to reassess Israel's security and foreign policy approach.

Reut's organizational seminar

This month we conducted our yearly organizational seminar in which we discuss the existing mindsets and structures in Reut and their relevancy to the changing reality.

Our team presented its main effort, in the context of Reut's efforts in the international field, i.e. the relations between three knowledge creation efforts that are taking place simultaneously in the institute: The Tikkun Olam project; Israel and the Jewish world relationship; and the Reassessment of Israel security and foreign policy approach.

The reassessment effort

Main concepts - In the past month, we progressed in our research on three new concepts the team has been developing:

1) Ecosystem - A concept that describes the sphere in which countries and international organizations exist and operate. The ecosystem's three main characteristics are: diversity, interconnectedness, and the autonomous agency (the individual or the community).

Two additional sub-concepts that are under development are:

2) Leadership in an ecosystem.

3) Israel's national security ecosystem.

Another main aspect we are currently exploring is the connection between security and economic trends, specifically in the context of the latest Arab uprisings and the current Israeli socio-economic protests.

Comparative research - We finalized our research efforts in evaluating other countries' national security strategies. We examined three main case studies: Singapore, Britain and Turkey.

The Turkish case study evolved as the most relevant to the Israeli model. Turkey's current model is a result of a 20-year evolution into a modern democratic Islamic mid-size super power. In our context, the Turkish model is an example of leadership in the ecosystem.

Meetings, conferences and text elicitations

This month, we chose to meet with leading figures in their respective fields in order to enrich the discourse of Israel's national security vision. In this regard, we met with Mr. Ohad Naharin, the leading choreographer of the Bat-Sheva dance group.

In the context of our comparative research, we met with Alon Liel, former Israeli ambassador to Turkey and South Africa. In addition, we attended three conferences held in Israel on topic related to changes in Turkey's policies.