2020 Annual Assessment

The light and shadows of the strategic picture show that Israel’s strength does not guarantee the resolution of its fundamental strategic problems it faces. Chronic Mideast instability makes it necessary to prepare for violent flare-ups even when the involved parties would seem to have no interest in escalation. Israel must navigate its way in the face of significant security threats, chief among them Iran’s regional subversion and its desire to acquire nuclear weapons. The normalization agreement with the United Arab Emirates marks a significant breakthrough in Israel’s relations with the Arab world and has the potential to encourage other Arab countries to join the circle of peace. However, this welcome achievement does not free Israel from the political, security, demographic, and moral challenges posed by the lack of a solution to the Palestinian issue.

Due to the damage wrought by the novel coronavirus, and the burden of economic and social recovery, Israel will now be forced to address these challenges with fewer resources than in the past. Under these demanding circumstances, it will become more necessary than ever to set priorities with care. The decision-makers of Israel and world Jewry will need to proceed with greater caution, especially regarding decisions with the potential to erode solidarity, which, in the pandemic’s wake, has become so much more important.

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