Ideas. Action. Impact. The Washington Institute for Near East Policy The Washington Institute: Improving the Quality of U.S. Middle East Policy

Other Pages

Policy Analysis

Policy Forum

New Thinking About Israeli National Security in a Changing Regional Environment

Maj. Gen. Yair Golan, IDF

Also available in


September 7, 2017

Watch a wide-ranging address by the former deputy chief of the Israel Defense Forces' general staff as he explores the new and more complex security challenges facing Israel.

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

In today's Middle East, Israeli strategists face a world like none they have seen before: Russia struts the stage as a rising actor in the Levant, Iran flexes its muscles just kilometers from Israel's border, and the United States debates whether to even push back against Tehran's insidious opportunism. Still, along with these new problems arises a wave of new possibilities, foremost of which is the potential for strategic alignment with key Sunni Arab states. But to navigate these seas successfully, Israel will have to jettison old ideas and old thinking. To discuss Israel's strategy for addressing these issues, The Washington Institute hosted Maj. Gen. Yair Golan, IDF, for its annual Zeev Schiff Lecture on Middle East security.

Yair Golan, a 2017 military fellow at the Institute, is a major general in the Israel Defense Forces who served for the past two years as deputy chief of the general staff. In an IDF career spanning nearly 37 years, his assignments have included commander of Northern Command, head of the IDF Operations Directorate, commander of the Judea and Samaria Division, and commander of the Home Front Command. He received a bachelor of arts in political science from Tel Aviv University and a master of public administration from Harvard University. Additionally, he is a graduate of both the IDF's Command and Staff College and the U.S. Army War College.

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; this year's event marks the tenth anniversary of his passing. Previous lecturers have included Ehud Barak, Moshe Yaalon, Amnon Lipkin-Shahak, Amos Yadlin, Yoav Galant, Shimon Shamir, and most recently, Lt. Gen. (res.) "Benny" Gantz, IDF.