Israel finds itself surrounded by a region in turmoil and transition. The collapse of neighboring states, the emergence of regional powers and the U.S. withdrawal as the security guarantor of the Middle East all present new threats and opportunities for Israel. It was in this context that Mitvim – The Israeli Institute for Regional Foreign Policies, Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, and the Middle East Institute convened a roundtable discussion in Washington, D.C., to address the questions of Israel’s strategic engagement in this rapidly changing region.
Participants debated Israel’s internal political situation and the constraints of a stalled peace process on Israel’s ability to engage the region. Participants also explored the future of Israel’s relations with the United States, Europe and the Arab world as regional dynamics change and power balances shift. The discussion took place on November 20, 2015, bringing together 19 experts, including diplomats, politicians and think tank leaders. This paper summarizes main points from the analysis and recommendations voiced by various participants during the discussion. It does not reflect a consensus of all or even some of the participants or the hosting organizations.