israelmapDan Schueftan

Dan Schueftan is the director of the National Security Studies Center at the University of Haifa, the director of the International Graduate Program in National Security at that university, a visiting professor (2012–2014) at Georgetown University in Washington DC, and a lecturer at the IDF National Defense College. For the last four decades he has been a consultant to Israeli decision makers and to the top echelon of Israel's government, military, and intelligence establishments. Dr. Schueftan has published extensively on contemporary Middle Eastern political history. His most recent book (2011) is Palestinians in Israel—The Arab Minority and the Jewish State.

Copyright: Israel Journal of Foreign Affairs (
Publication on RIEAS web site: on 2 March 2015.

Note: RIEAS received the permission from the author, Dr. Dan Schueftan to repost the article from the Israel Journal of Foreign Affairs.

Israel's national security challenges are unique in the sense that no other open society has ever been surrounded by active and potential enemies and subjected to threats with an existential dimension for generations. Open societies, which maintain a democratic regime and a pluralistic way of life, impose strict limitations on their own conduct, even vis-à-vis their worst enemies, and consider upholding their core values and standards of conduct no less important than safeguarding their security and wellbeing. These restrictions on the part of Israel motivate its enemies and adversaries, unburdened as they are by equivalent inhibitions, who hope to use them to secure immunity from Israeli retribution and countermeasures. An effective response to Israel's national security challenges is, thus, more difficult than it is for other nations for three reasons: first, Israel must fight, so to speak, with one hand tied behind its back; second, its enemies are encouraged by this and forge their strategy around it; and third, Israel's partners-in-values, never having confronted a generations-long challenge of this magnitude and ferocity, are often appalled by what it takes to survive this unique challenge... Read more

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