INSS researchers at President's house
INSS researchers at President's houseMark Neiman/GPO

President Reuven Rivlin today received the 2019 Strategic Assessment of the Institute for National Security Studies (INSS) from the head of the institute, Maj-Gen (res.) Amos Yadlin. The institute's researchers presented the major political and diplomatic issues facing Israel at the beginning of 2019.

"The public discourse in Israel revolves around the 'now'. We are no worse than other developed countries in that regard. It's not only in Israel that the here and now demands public attention, and not only in Israel that it gets it," said the President at the beginning of his remarks.

"Needless to say, during elections the competition for public attention, for the here and now, becomes an arms race. In this context, the INSS's annual Strategic Assessment casts a unique light. The document before us is the result of the analysis of underlying trends and the creation of a comprehensive picture of our current reality.

"But there are also aspects that look to the future, and that try to derive an understanding from the future how we should act now. Our military and diplomatic power is at unprecedented level. We must use it to secure our interests in the future. The annual assessment and the policy recommendations it includes are, together, a clear-sighted document that does not balk at leveling criticism at our decisions, deeds, and deficiencies. At the same time, it is clear that the assessment does not point to genuine concerns for the future and security of Israel. Because of that, the Strategic Assessment is a shining light of patriotism and civil courage of the first order."

President Rivlin at INSS Strategic Assessment launch
President Rivlin at INSS Strategic Assessment launchMark Neiman/GPO

Maj-Gen (res.) Amos Yadlin, head of the INSS said: "The gravest threat we face is not the third Lebanon war, but the first northern war – simultaneous conflict with Hezbollah in Lebanon, Syria, and Iran, which Hamas in the south is likely to join. Israel of 2019 is a strong country, the IDF is extremely powerful and deters our enemies. The challenge is to take this strength and use it to reinforce correct policy."

On the list of leading threats by severity, the INSS's 2019 Strategic Assessment includes war with all the forces in the north: Iran, Hezbollah, and the Syrian regime, military conflict in the south, and a deterioration of the situation in Judea and Samaria.