Book Chapter - Oxford University Press

Israel's National Security Policy

| 2019


Israel has responded to the uniquely harsh strategic environment it has faced ever since its establishment by developing defensive capabilities totally disproportionate to its size and has become a regional power, its existence no longer truly in doubt. Nevertheless, Israel continues to face the severe threats of weapons of mass destruction, terrorism, rockets, and cyberattacks, primarily from Iran, Hezbollah, and Hamas; the ongoing conflict with the Palestinians; and demographic challenges. This chapter presents both the fundamental changes that have taken place in Israel's strategic environment, from conventional, state-based threats to primarily asymmetrical ones, and the responses it has developed to date. It also addresses Israel's relations with the United States and other primary international actors, as well as Israel's nuclear and regional arms control policy.

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For Academic Citation:

Freilich, Chuck. "Israel's National Security Policy." In The Oxford Handbook of Israeli Politics and Society,  Hazan,  Reuven Y., Alan Dowty, Menachem Hofnung, and Gideon Rahat, eds. New York: Oxford University Press, 2019.