Key Elements of Israel’s Foreign Policy Paradigms

Policy Papers and Reports / Strengthening Israel's Foreign Policy

Israel lacks a coherent foreign policy paradigm. However, an analysis of Israel’s foreign policy conduct since 1948 highlights seven key elements: the influence of the coalition system on foreign policy; the inability of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to exert control over policy planning; the conflict between realism and idealism in creating policy; the predominance of defense over diplomacy; the misperception of a zero-sum game with the Arab world; the tendency to be reactive instead of proactive; and the special relationship with the United States. For Israel to have a long-term, steady, consistent and effective foreign policy, these elements need to undergo change, and Israel needs to clearly define its goals vis-à-vis the region and the international community.

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