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Israeli National Security in a Changing Regional Environment

Lt. Gen. (res.) Benjamin Gantz

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September 25, 2015

Israel's former military chief of staff delivered the 8th annual Zeev Schiff Memorial Lecture on Israeli national security.

Download a PDF transcript of the general's speech and the subsequent Q&A session.

Israel in 2015 confronts a region of uncertainty, instability, and unprecedented risk. From the rise of ISIS to the growing reach of Iran to the emerging terrorist campaign in the Sinai, Israel faces evolving threats on virtually every border. Add to this one of the most painful episodes in the history of its alliance with America -- the fight over the Iran nuclear agreement -- and the challenges confronting Israel become truly daunting. To discuss Israel's strategy for addressing its new security environment, The Washington Institute hosted Lt. Gen. (res.) Benjamin Gantz, IDF, for its annual Zeev Schiff Lecture on Israeli national security.

Lt. Gen. (res.) Benjamin "Benny" Gantz completed four years' service as chief of the general staff of the Israel Defense Forces in February 2015. After joining the Paratroopers Brigade in 1977, he rose through the ranks to serve as commander of Ground Forces command, commander of Northern Command, defense attache in Washington, and deputy chief of staff. General Gantz received his undergraduate degree from Tel Aviv University and two master's degrees -- one in political science from University of Haifa and a second in national resource management from National Defense University in Washington DC.

The Schiff Memorial Lecture Series

Each year, the Schiff Memorial Lecture Series brings to Washington a distinguished leader from Israel's national security establishment. The series was established by a group of Washington Institute trustees to honor the memory of Zeev Schiff, dean of Israeli security experts, former Haaretz defense editor, and longtime associate of the Institute. Previous lecturers have included Ehud Barak, Moshe Yaalon, Amnon Lipkin-Shahak, Amos Yadlin, Yoav Galant, and most recently, Shimon Shamir.