The Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs on Thursday presented President Isaac Herzog with a treatise on threats posed to Israel.

“The latest Israeli clashes in the Gaza Strip with Palestinian terror organizations have created an impression that with changes in the nature of warfare, the military threat to Israel has entirely changed,” President of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs Dore Gold said at the event. “There has been a school of thought that has arisen which has downgraded the importance of land warfare and instead stressed the centrality of airpower in deciding the outcome of wars. Along with their focus on airpower, some analysts have ceased to look at how topography, terrain, and strategic depth can influence how wars are terminated.”

The treatise – Preserving Israel’s Doctrine of Defensible Borders – is a major security and public diplomacy initiative that analyzes the threats posed to Israel by terrorism, as well as Israel’s current territorial requirements, with special emphasis on the West Bank, which is strategically vital for Israel to retain if it is to fulfill its existing security and defense needs.
The work on the book began in a joint conference with the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee in 2004 and was presented to the US Congress and published in the framework of a special 2006 session of the Herzliya Conference.

The core research – first updated in 2014 – offered a comprehensive assessment of Israel’s critical security requirements, particularly the need for defensible borders based on UN Security Council Resolution 242 (1967) and confirmed by past US governments.

The latest update – carried out in 2020 by Gold and Brig.-Gen. (res.) Yossi Kuperwasser in the wake of military operations and new threats from Gaza, Lebanon, Syria, and Iran – highlights the vital importance of Israeli control of the aerial and ground dimensions of the West Bank, and the risks entailed for Israel by the stationing of an international force as a lesson from recent history.

“It was important to define defensible borders in the Israeli context as such borders that allow Israel to effectively defend itself by itself, at any time, against all potential military threats from near and far, including those emanating from within the territory Israel controls. It means that all the resources necessary to achieve Israel’s defense requirements are within its borders and under its security responsibility, especially since the Palestinians refuse to accept Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people,” Kuperwasser said.