The Herzliya Conference on the Balance of National Strength and Security in Israel

VOL. 31


No. 1
P. 50
Special Documents
The Herzliya Conference on the Balance of National Strength and Security in Israel

On 19-21 December 2000, the Institute of Policy and Strategy at the Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya held the first of what is to be a series of annual conferences dealing with the strength and security of the Israeli state. With welcoming remarks by Israeli president Moshe Katsav, the conference was sponsored by eight institutions, including the American Jewish Committee, the Israel Center for Social and Economic Progress, the Israeli Defense Ministry, the Israeli National Security Council of the Prime Minister's Office, the Jewish Agency, the National Security Center of Haifa University, and the World Zionist Organization. Among the some fifty speakers were Moshe Arens, Uzi Dayan, Galia Golan, Ronald Lauder, Dan Meridor, Shaul Mofaz, Benjamin Netanyahu, Robert Satloff, Uri Savir, Shimon Peres, and Ariel Sharon (see conference program below). The 300 participants were said to constitute a veritable who's who of the Israeli establishment (government, security, academic, business, and media) as well as Jewish leaders from the United States and elsewhere in the Diaspora.

The significance of the conference, as it emerged when its report was published in March 2001, was the extent to which the ideas and findings of an Israeli mainstream elite appeared to coincide with views traditionally associated with the country's far Right. Most noteworthy were the recommendations concerning ways to address the "demographic threat" posed by the Arab citizens of Israel, which involved the principle of population transfer.

The fifty-two-page conference report, Policy Directions, was written by Conference chairman Uzi Arad, with the assistance of Ilan Amit, Brig. Gen. (Res.) Amos Gilboa, and Maj. Gen. (Res.) Aviezer Ya'ari. Issued in English in April, it is divided into seven sections: the geodemographic aspect, the political aspect, the military aspect, the economic aspect, the technological aspect, and the social aspect. Reproduced below are the "Main Points" of the conference, the entire geodemographic section, as well as the conference program and list of task forces charged with the preparation of the conference.