© Judah Passow 1982
© Judah Passow 1988
© Judah Passow 1982

Israeli Strategic Forum

"...we hand our fate over to the security people, we allow the army to run the country, because we lack a political class with a vision beyond the military. Survival becomes our only aim. We are living in order to survive, not in order to live." David Grossman, Israeli novelist 

Israeli policy-making is often criticised for its focus on short-term decision-making and crisis management.  Decisions often seem to be reactive, rather than creating any long-term stability in the region. Oxford Research Group is working with senior advisors to the current Israeli government and other influential Israeli figures to explore a model of long-term strategic thinking.   to provide a forum for in-depth strategic and systemic thinking by creating an environment to explore what a model of more long-term strategic thinking would look like. to provide a forum for in-depth strategic and systemic thinking by creating an environment to explore what a model of more long-term strategic thinking would look like. 

Israeli policy-making is often criticised for a focus on short-term decision-making and crisis management. Decisions often seem to be reactive, motivated more by retribution than by the goal to create any long-term stability in the region. Oxford Research Group is working with leading Israeli facilitators and thinkers to co-organise a series of meetings with senior advisors to the current Israeli government, and other influential Israeli figures. Four meetings have been held in 2010 exploring alternative scenarios for Israel’s security. The aim is to provide a forum for in-depth strategic and systemic thinking by creating an environment to explore what a model of more long-term strategic thinking would look like. Key to the success of the workshops has been a commitment to look beyond military options and what alternative decisions could be taken that could increase the security of Israel and its neighbours in the region. The methodology that has been used – complexity theory - has been helped create the opportunity for disciplined analysis of current problems and challenges facing Israel. The strength of the systemic complexity analysis is that it goes beyond left and right political division and takes the emotional content out of the analysis. It provides a frame for thinking the “bigger picture.” Issues that have been carefully analysed in the workshops include:

  • Scenario planning around relationships with Palestinian citizens of Israel and Jewish Israel
  • Strategic analysis of engaging with Hamas for the US and the Israeli government.
  • Following the positive reaction of the participants in the workshops proposals are currently being prepared with our Israeli partners for a further series of workshops in 2011/12 with other senior Israeli officials close to the heart of government. This project builds on the outcomes of a previous initiative funded by the EU Partnership for Peace in 2007/8, linked to Israel’s 60th anniversary. The report for that project - 'The Time is Ripe' - recounts the results of a series of workshops that encouraged in-depth collective thinking on the nature of the Israeli state how it should develop a fruitful and peaceful relationship with Israeli Arabs, the Palestinian people and its wider neighbourhood.

Staff

Gabrielle Rifkind

Gabrielle Rifkind is the Director of the Middle East programme at Oxford Research Group (ORG). She is a group analyst and specialist in conflict resolution. Gabrielle combines in-depth political...

Read more

Sharri Plonski

Sharri Plonski is the Coordinator of the the Israeli Strategic Forum (ISF). Sharri is a specialist in Israeli and Palestinian issues and has been a key contributor to our Middle East Programme....

Read more

Professor Oliver Ramsbotham

Oliver Ramsbotham is a Consultant on Oxford Research Group's (ORG) Middle East Programme. He was Chair of the Board from April 2007 until July 2013.

Oliver is a specialist on...

Read more

Advisors

Brig. Gen. Amira Dotan

From 1965 to 1988, Amira Dotan served in the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) finishing as the Head of the Women’s Corps with the rank of Brigadier General, the first woman in the Israeli history...

Read more

Dr Orit Gal

Dr Orit Gal specialises in complexity-based strategy development. Over the past eight years she has concentrated her work on issues of complexity in conflict environments and the intersection...

Read more

Professor Oliver Ramsbotham

Oliver Ramsbotham is a Consultant on Oxford Research Group's (ORG) Middle East Programme. He was Chair of the Board from April 2007 until July 2013. Oliver is a specialist on conflict...

Read more