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Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
Strategic Alliances for a Secure, Connected, and Prosperous Region

Defensible Borders for Israel

A jetliner at Ben-Gurion Airport
A jetliner at Ben-Gurion Airport near Tel Aviv as seen from a nearby Palestinian village in the West Bank.

Defensible Borders for Israel is a major security and public diplomacy initiative that analyzes current terror threats and Israel’s corresponding territorial requirements, particularly in the strategically vital West Bank that Israel must maintain to fulfill its existential security and defense needs.

The program began with a joint conference with the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee in 2004; a presentation at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington in 2005; a special session at the annual Herzliya Conference in 2006, and publication of a study of Defensible Borders for a Lasting Peace in English, Hebrew, French and German. By 2006, leaders of every major political stream in Israel and abroad were discussing Israel’s insistence on “defensible borders.”

The core study, which was last revised and updated in 2014 and titled Israel’s Critical Security Requirements for Defensible Borders, presents a comprehensive assessment of Israel’s critical security requirements, particularly the need for defensible borders that was enshrined in UN Security Council Resolution 242 and endorsed by past U.S. administrations. Authors include Lt.-Gen. (ret.) Moshe Yaalon, Maj.-Gen. (res.) Uzi Dayan, Maj.-Gen. (res.) Yaakov Amidror, Maj.-Gen. (res.) Aharon Ze’evi Farkash, Brig.-Gen. (res.) Udi Dekel, Dr. Dore Gold and Dan Diker. The study also details the key elements of a demilitarized Palestinian state, as was proposed by Prime Minister Netanyahu in 2009. The vital importance for the defense of Israel of control of the airspace over the West Bank and the risks to Israel of deploying international forces there are also carefully considered.

The study has been presented at the U.S. Congress, the British Parliament, in European capitals, and to leading security officials in China and India. A video version has been seen by two million viewers and has been translated into Hebrew, Chinese, French, Portuguese, Hungarian, German and Russian.

Read the study:

Israel’s Critical Requirements for Defensible Borders: The Foundation for a Secure Peace


Israel’s Critical Security Needs for a Viable Peace