A small nation-state, surrounded by military and ideological enemies since its founding: How do we make sense of Israel’s survival? Since its inception in 1948, the modern State of Israel has repeatedly emerged victorious in its major military engagements with larger, more powerful adversaries. In this course, we will examine Israel’s military strategy during three key conflicts—the 1948 War of Independence, the Six Day War in 1967, and the 1973 Yom Kippur War. We will assess the political and military choices that contributed to Israel’s success in each case, while studying basic concepts in strategic theory. Throughout the course, we will consider whether and how lessons from these moments ought to guide Israel’s leaders today.
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Meet the Instructors
Seminars are taught by Tikvah faculty and experts in the subject matter. Please note that course faculty are subject to change depending on availability.
Harry Halem is an MSc (Political Theory) candidate at the London School of Economics and Political Science. He holds an MA (Hons) in Philosophy and International Relations from the University of St Andrews, and is a research assistant at the Hudson Institute’s Center for American Seapower. He is primarily interested in maritime strategy, international security, and the history of political thought.
The Alexander Hamilton Society
Dr. Gabriel Scheinmann is the Executive Director of the Alexander Hamilton Society, an independent, non-partisan, not-for-profit, membership organization dedicated to promoting constructive debate on basic principles and contemporary issues in foreign, economic, and national security policy. Before joining AHS, Dr. Scheinmann worked at the Center for Strategic and International Studies as a research analyst and then served as the policy director at the Jewish Policy Center where he co-edited a journal of international affairs. He is a widely published author on U.S. national security and foreign policy, including in the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, and Foreign Affairs. He received his Ph.D and M.A. from Georgetown University and his B.A. from Harvard College.
Daniel Polisar is co-founder and executive vice president of Shalem College. He previously served as president of the Shalem Center from 2002-2013 and also served as its Director of Research, Academic Director, and Editor-In-Chief of the center’s journal Azure. Before joining Shalem, he was founder and director of Peace Watch, a non-partisan organization monitoring Israeli and Palestinian compliance with the Oslo Accords, and head of the Peace Watch observer team during the January 1996 Palestinian elections. Dr. Polisar received his B.A. in politics from Princeton University and his Ph.D. in government from Harvard University, where he was the recipient of Truman and Fulbright scholarships, as well as of a Mellon Fellowship. His research interests include the history and philosophy of higher education, education in Israel, and Israeli constitutional development.