Maj. Gen. (res.) Gershon Hacohen

Maj. Gen. (res.) Gershon Hacohen

Maj. Gen. (res.) Gershon Hacohen

Served in the IDF for 42 years, commanding troops in battle on the Egyptian and Syrian fronts. Was a Corps commander, and commander of the IDF Military Colleges. Email: [email protected]

Mahmoud Abbas As a Strategic Threat

The diplomatic campaign Mahmoud Abbas has been waging for a decade and a half is no less dangerous to Israel than the “armed struggle” led by Hamas and Islamic Jihad in the Gaza Strip. With the growing influence of Iran and the advent of a new array of threats on Israel’s borders to the north and south, renewing negotiations with Abbas on the basis of the Barak-Olmert framework would entail an existential threat to Israel.

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The Soleimani Killing: An Initial Assessment

The targeted killing by the US of Qassem Soleimani, commander of the Quds Force and close confidant of Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, has unsettled the region and the world. We have assembled initial takes on this event by five BESA researchers: Prof. Hillel Frisch, Prof. Eytan Gilboa, Maj. Gen. (res.) Gershon Hacohen, Dr. Doron Itzchakov, and Alex Joffe. 

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The Law Is Only a Scaffolding

David Ben-Gurion understood that a state is much more than a legal entity and that the uniqueness of Israel fosters an inherent tension between the state as an organized institutional mechanism and the state as an instrument in a national process of redemption. Hence he believed that, even after its establishment, Israel would continue to be a “state in the making,” a means toward the fulfillment of an endless vision.

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The Decision to Go to War Is More and More Difficult

The phenomenon of a growing reluctance to go to war and commit ground troops to combat can be seen around the world, not only in Israel. Citizens are increasingly demanding clarity on the purpose of the wars their armies are expected to fight.

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Getting Iran Out of Syria: The Dayan Formula

In a recent press conference, Defense Minister Naftali Bennett presented a goal for IDF activity in Syria: “To cause Iran to give up its attempt to entrench itself in Syria.” Unlike the common tendency toward ambiguity in defining strategic objectives, Bennett dared pronounce a clear and measurable goal. But is the goal he presented achievable? And is it right to declare a strategic goal in that way?

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Israel Faces Unprecedented Security Threats

The unprecedented convergence of strategic threats now taking shape under Iran’s inspiration and guidance requires the IDF to adopt a new operational approach without delay (including a reorganization and a suitable buildup) and the Israeli public to prepare for the emergency situations attending these new emergent threats.

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Lessons of the Gaza Conflagration

The latest flare-up in Gaza – a direct corollary of the Oslo Accords and the 2005 unilateral withdrawal from the Strip – is a sad testament to the limits of Israeli power and a forewarning against repeating the same mistakes in the West Bank.

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A Strategic View of the Turkish Campaign Against the Kurds

In light of recent regional events in general and the Turkish invasion of Syria in particular, Israel needs to reconsider the underlying strategic rationale not only of its covert activities in the neighboring countries but also its more overt conduct. Otherwise it could find itself, in case of war with the northern axis (Hezbollah, Iran, and Syria), winning battles but having trouble ending the campaign with a strategic achievement.

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Repentance at Election Time

After two highly charged election campaigns, Israeli society – in all its various sectors – is in need of soul-searching and repentance. From a Jewish standpoint, everyone, even the morally virtuous, needs to repent, and each in his/her own way. Regrettably, the notion of repentance has been trapped over the years in a narrow and incorrect interpretation, when it is in fact a miraculous opportunity for renewal.

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The Jordan Valley Is Waiting for Zionist Action

Beyond its unquestionable vitality for Israel’s security, the Jordan Valley in its full geographical scope can accommodate millions of Israelis and national infrastructure that cannot be compressed into the coastal plain. If PM Netanyahu’s declaration of sovereignty is not immediately borne out by a surge of building and focused governmental support, it will sputter and die.

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