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Israel National Security Project Debuts

Ben Bestor, SIS/MA '14, Professor Guy Ziv and Daniel Brainich, SIS/MA '14, the staff of the Israel National Security Project.

Ben Bestor, SIS/MA '14, Professor Guy Ziv and Daniel Brainich, SIS/MA '14, the staff of the Israel National Security Project.

Professor Guy Ziv recently created the Israel National Security Project (INSP), which highlights Israel's urgent need for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The newly formed project launched its website, Twitter feed and Facebook group to coincide with President Obama's first presidential visit to Israel in March, which could see a renewal of Mideast peace diplomacy.

"His visit presents an important opportunity for the governments of the United States, Israel and the Palestinian Authority to reaffirm their commitment to the two-state solution and take bold steps to revive the peace process," said Ziv.

The nucleus of INSP is its website, which provides a repository of arguments made by security experts in support of the two-state solution. Beyond providing scholars, policy analysts, government officials and the general public with a useful resource, INSP aims to persuade the pro-Israel community in the United States that true support for Israel means supporting the two-state solution to the conflict - a Jewish state living side-by-side with a Palestinian state in peace and security.

"What many supporters of Israel don't realize is that the vast majority of Israeli ex-security officials view the status quo as detrimental and the two-state solution as a strategic priority for Israel," Ziv said.

Ben Bestor, SIS/MA '14, and Daniel Brainich, SIS/MA '14, the program's research assistants, agree with Ziv's analysis.

"When national security hardliners and the pro-peace constituency realize that their goals aren't incompatible, peace in the Middle East will be much less elusive," said Brainich. "As someone who has lived in the region and studied the conflict for years, I was excited to help with this important work."

Bestor said, "What makes this project so unique, and ultimately so persuasive, is that it draws from the statements of former high-ranking members of the Israeli security establishment - the military and the intelligence community - to argue the necessity of a two-state solution from a strictly strategic perspective. These men and women have committed decades of their lives to ensuring the security of Israel, and have an intimate knowledge of the ins and outs of Israeli security and how to best defend Israel."

Ziv's background includes policy work at the U.S. Department of State, on Capitol Hill and for Israel Policy Forum (IPF), a non-profit organization that advocates for a strong Jewish and democratic state at peace with its neighbors.