Israel’s national security environment is volatile, extreme in the breadth and frequency of change in its level of uncertainty. Israel has four Arab neighbor states: Egypt, Syria, Lebanon and Jordan. Israel has signed peace treaties with two of its neighbors, Egypt and Jordan. But permanent hostility defines Israel’s relationships with Syria, Lebanon, Hamas in Gaza and the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank. In recent years, Israel has witnessed new non-state actors in Syria with the potential to interfere with the integrity of the State of Israel and pose threats. Israel differs from its neighbors in many crucial respects: religion, culture, language and regime. Over time its neighbors have refused to accept it, perceiving Israel as a bone in their throats. Many Palestinians and Arabs in the neighboring states still consider Israel a foreign element that needs to be removed. As the Arab states are collectively many times stronger and larger than Israel in means, size and population, Israel takes every threat most seriously. Israel’s history is thus the history of survival.
Cohen-Almagor, R., & Guiora, A. N. (2020). Israel’s Democracy and Security. In L. Weinberg, E. Francis, & E. Assoudeh (Eds.), Routledge Handbook of Democracy and Security. London: Routledge. https://doi.org/10.4324/9781315755724