Israeli Politics Amid Regional Turmoil

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The Center for the National Interest is pleased to host a virtual discussion featuring two leading Israeli experts: Dan Arbell and Chuck Freilich. The event will take place on Thursday, July 18 at 10:00 a.m. EDT.

As the Biden administration pushes for a lasting ceasefire in Gaza and prepares for Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s visit to Washington next week, several factors threaten to undermine Israel’s right-leaning coalition. These include nationalist parties opposing a ceasefire absent the total defeat of Hamas, a recent judicial decision on compulsory military service for the ultra-orthodox, and growing calls from left and centrist parties for early elections. What do these developments portend for Israeli politics, and how likely can Netanyahu hold on to power until the next regular elections in October 2026? What are the prospects for maintaining a Gaza ceasefire and establishing a “day after” governing arrangement for its inhabitants, as well as the longer-term U.S. goal of renewing negotiations with the Palestinians? How will Israel’s policies evolve toward regional threats from Hezbollah and Iran, as well as toward Israel’s close-but-strained relationship with the United States?

—Dan Arbell is a scholar-in-residence at the Center for Israeli Studies at American University. He is a 25-year veteran of the Israeli Foreign Service, serving in senior posts overseas in the UN, the U.S. and Japan, and holding senior positions at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Headquarters in Jerusalem. Arbell holds a Master’s degree from Hebrew University in Jerusalem in Political Science and a Bachelor’s degree from Hebrew University in World History and Political Science. He’s a frequent guest speaker and public lecturer nationwide focusing on his areas of expertise, including U.S.-Israel relations, Israel’s strategic environment and challenges, and Israel’s place in the changing Middle East.

—Chuck Freilich is a senior researcher at the Institute for National Security Studies (INSS). He served for over 20 years in Israel’s national security establishment as a senior analyst and as a deputy national security adviser. After leaving government, he was a long-time senior fellow at Harvard’s Belfer Center and taught political science at Harvard College. He continues to teach political science at Tel Aviv University, Columbia and NYU and is the senior editor of the Israel Journal for Foreign Affairs. Freilich specializes in Israel’s national security strategy and policymaking processes, U.S. Middle East policy and U.S.-Israeli relations.

Greg Priddy, Senior Fellow at the Center for the National Interest, will moderate.

If you have any questions about the webinar or how to register, please contact Jordan Henry at jhenry@cftni.org.