Fourth Herzliya Conference

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The Fourth Herzliya Conference took place on 16-18 December 2003.[1]

Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon announced his unilateral disengagement plan during his speech to the conference.[2]


Tuesday, December 16, 2003

08:00 Opening

The National Scoreboard International and time-series comparison of Israel’s standing in the economic, social, and political spheres; Comparative in-depth surveys of Israeli society; Overall strategic assessment of Israel's situation.

“The Herzliya Indices”, Task Force Report

“The Haifa Indices”, Task Force Report

  • Prof. Gabriel Ben-Dor, Director, National Security Studies Center, University of Haifa

“The National Security Council Indices”, Task Force Report

  • Col.(res.) Dr. Reuven Gal, Deputy Head, National Security Council, Prime Minister’s Office

“The Changing Strategic Landscape”

  • Maj. Gen. Giora Eiland, Head-Designate of the National Security Council, Prime Minister’s Office

DEFENSE CHALLENGES The Palestinian-Israeli Impasse: Alternative Options and Approaching Decisions Review and assessment of the state of warfare against terror; Regional processes and their impact on the Palestinian-Israeli issue; Alternative diplomatic and political options; The future of Palestinian leadership.

  • Chair: Mr. Ehud Olmert, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Industry, Trade, Labor and Communication.

“There is Life After Terror”

“Alternative Options for Resolving the Israeli-Palestinian Dispute” (English)

  • Prof. Steven L. Spiegel, Burkle Institute for International Relations, UCLA
  • Discussant: Dr. Shmuel Bar, Institute for Policy and Strategy, The Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya.

“IDF: The Military Posture and the New Defense Doctrine”

The Iranian Challenge Iran’s nuclear program and its effort to acquire military nuclear capability; International and US approaches to the Iranian nuclear program; Regime stability and political undercurrents in Iran.

  • Chair: MK Brig. Gen. (res.) Dr. Ephraim Sneh, Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee and Chair, Subcommittee for Defense and Security Doctrine.

“Heading Off an Iranian Nuclear Weapons Capability”

“Putting More Muscle into the International Effort to Stop an Iranian Nuclear Bomb”,

“How to Liberate Iran”


13:30 Lunch “Main Issues in Israel's Defense Doctrine”

Force Structure and the New Defense Posture v New look into force structure planning; v Budgetary constraints and IDF’s missions in the evolving strategic landscape; v Possibilities and trends in Israel’s military force structure in face of technological innovation and the lessons of the War in Iraq.

  • Chair: MK Dr. Yuval Steinitz, Chair, Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee. Transcript

“Joint Force Building” (English)

“The Defense Budget and Force Structure”, Task Force Report

“Approaches to Force Structure Planning”



A Reserve System for the Future IDF v Alternative options for the future structure of IDF reserves; v Military, economic, and social implications.

  • Chair: MK Haim Ramon, Knesset Foreign Affairs & Defense Committee and Chair, Subcommittee for Manpower

“Positioning the Reserve Service in an Up-to-Date Defense Doctrine” (Hebrew)

“IDF Reserve Corps – Enduring Realities”

“IDF Reserve System and Israeli Society – Trends, Reforms, and Necessary Measures”

  • Brig. Gen. Dr. Ariel Heiman, Chief Reserve Officer, IDF and Ministry of Defense

“Structural and Societal Implications of the IDF Reserve Corps Reform”

“The IDF Reserve Corps and the Israeli Society: Will New Reforms Exacerbate the Problem ?”

  • Dr. Yagil Levi, Department of Sociology, Political Science, and Communication, The Open University of Israel

The Prospects for Israel’s Defense Industries v The role of the defense industries as a component of force structure and as a building bloc for economic, technological, and educational growth; v The defense industries’ ratio between investment and exports; v Preserving the qualitative edge of the defense industries at a time of budgetary cutbacks.

  • Chair: Maj. Gen. (res.) Amos Yaron, Director-General, Ministry of Defense

“The National Role of the Defense Industries”, Task Force Report

“The National Contribution of Israel’s Defense Industries”



20:00 Dinner session

  • Chair: Mr. Shabtai Shavit

“Ben-Gurion and His Legacy” (

The Mood in the US Toward Israel

External resources


  1. The Fourth Annual Herzliya Conference,, accessed 7 December 2012.
  2. Address by PM Ariel Sharon at the Fourth Herzliya Conference - Dec 18- 2003, Israel Foreign Ministry, 18 December 2003.
  3. Program, The 4th Conference, 2003, accessed 7 June 2012.