Uzi Arad

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Uzi Arad (NATO photos

Uzi Arad is a former Mossad head of research and advisor to Benjamin Netanyahu. He is the Founding Head of the Institute for Policy and Strategy at the Lauder School of Government, Diplomacy and Strategy of the Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya, where he established and chairs the Annual Herzliya Conference Series. He is also an Advisor to the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee.[1]


Arad's father was a leader of the Marxist Hashomer Hatza'ir in prewar and wartime Romania and was imprisoned for left-wing Zionist activity for three years by the fascist Antonescu regime together with Michael Harsegor, the noted historian. Arad was born in Israel on a Kibbutz near Tiberias. He accompanied his parent on missions to Mexico where he attended the American University. He enlisted in the IDF in 1966, serving a three-year tour in the Air Force.[2]


Arad received his bachelor's degree from Tel Aviv University. In 1971 he was awarded a Fulbright scholarship to study at Princeton University, where he received MA and Ph.D degrees in International Relations.[3]He also graduated from advanced executive courses at Harvard University.[4]

Early Career

Arad is a former Professional Staff Member with the Hudson Institute in New York and a Research Fellow at Tel Aviv University’s Center for Strategic Studies.[5]During his time at the Hudson Institute from 1972 to 1975 he was a close colleague of Herman Kahn.[6]


Arad joined Mossad in 1975.[7]Initially employed as an expert on the world energy crisis. He later worked in Mossad's foreign relations department Tevel, and at one point headed the agency's Western European centre.[8]

Arad took a leave of absence in 1977 to engage in research at Tel Aviv University's Jaffee Center for Strategic Studies.[9]

in 1979 he co-authored, with his wife Ruth, an economist, Sharing World Resources, published by New York's Council on Foreign Relations. It argued that there would be no major resource-related conflict in the 1980s.[10]

His Mossad career alternated between analysis and assignments abroad:

It was while he was stationed in Paris that he developed a circle of influential French friends including those who tendered the recent dinner invitation.
According to Ha'aretz's security correspondent Yossi Melman, Arad was sent there in the early 1980s to be responsible for the secret liaison between the Mossad and the comparable French and British services.[11]

Arad served on Israeli delegations to regional peace talks from the 1991 Madrid conference onwards. He became close to Shimon Peres and later to Benjamin Netanyahu.[12]

Ma'arakhot article

In 1979, Arad published an article entitled On strengthening weak links in the intelligence process in Ma'arakhot. The piece criticised the duplication of functions amongst Israel's intelligence agencies. It also called for an intelligence advisor to the Prime Minister to strengthen the consumption of intelligence at the decision-making level.

Arad believes that the senior political level should not just ask for warnings about war, but also for "the information needed to improve the ability to formulate policy, with an emphasis on the international environment" . In the light of the Mega affair, his recommendation to emphasize "intelligence on friends" , as opposed to " intelligence on foes" is noteworthy. "Intelligence on friends may generate operational possibilities, because the ability to conduct an active foreign policy may depend on the availability of comprehensive and extensive intelligence."[13]

Head of research

Arad served in the Mossad for some twenty-five years holding senior positions in Israel and abroad, his last position being Director of Intelligence, i.e. head of research.[14]

According to the Mideast Mirror, the Mossad Research Department has historically tended to support the Prime Minister of the day:

In the days when Uzi Arad was head of research, Shabtai Shavit was chief of the agency, and Yitzhak Shamir was prime minister, the research department functioned as the Right in the intelligence framework. The number of researchers grew and it became a mini-empire, challenging Military Intelligence's approach, which was to block the political process from moving in the dovish direction.[15]

When Netanyahu became Prime Minister in 1996, he requested an assessment of Israel's strategic environment from its intelligence agencies. Gen Amos Gilad presented the Israeli military's case that Iran represented an existential threat. In contrast, Arad argued that Iranian re-armament was primarily directed at Saddam Hussein.

All of this reduced Iran's ability to pose a threat, Arad argued, whereas Iraq - with its existing Scud missiles, of which thirty-four had been fired at Israel during the Persian Gulf War - was a proven danger. In fact, the Arabs' perception of a Iran as a threat could give life to the periphery doctrine again, leading to an Israeli-Iranian alignment to counter the common Arab threat.[16]

Netanyahu adopted Arad's recommendation to reduce tensions with Iran.[17]

Washington visit

According to Akiva Eldar, Arad visited Washington with Netanyahu in 1996.

Less than a year ago, he writes, Arad joined Netanyahu on a trip to the United States, where he startled the American intelligence agencies with the sensational news that Iraq had enough materials to produce its first nuclear bomb. Another who was startled was Mossad head Danny Yatom. The US administration was furious when it learned the Israeli estimate was inaccurate, to put it mildly, writes Eldar.
"Netanyahu was unfazed. What was important to him was Arad's persuasive skills. The content of what he said was marginal," says Eldar.[18]
The false Israeli report was exposed only when it was challenged by the Americans, who had their own intelligence showing that Iraq's acquisition of nuclear weapons was not as imminent as Mr Netanyahu claimed. He was relying on a briefing given to him by Uzi Arad, a high-ranking Mossad agent who is now his political adviser.
In the Iraqi affair, Mossad had pretended to have hard information from sources in Baghdad that did not exist. Israeli commentators pointed out that, had there not been a sharp counter-assertion by the CIA, the false Mossad report on the Baghdad regime's nuclear capability could have prompted a similar pre-emptive strike to that launched by Israeli warplanes against the Iraqis' Osirak reactor in 1981.[19]

Yehuda Gil affair

During his tenure as head of research at Mossad, Arad supported what turned out to be misleading assessments about Syrian strategic intentions from a false source.

Details of the latest scandal were broadcast just as Israelis were attempting to digest the almost farcical details of the lengthy deception over Syria perpetrated by veteran agent Yehuda Gil, 63, who nearly led the Israeli Army into war against the Syrians last year by misleading his superiors about the motive for Syrian troop deployments.
The Tel Aviv District Court lifted an earlier ban and allowed Israeli papers to report that Mr Gil had continued to fool Mossad even after his retirement and that he is alleged to have pocketed about $ 200,000 in cash to pay off his non-existent sources.[20]

Arad's predecessor as Mossad research chief, Uri Ne'eman had concluded that Gil's key Syrian source, codenamed Redbreast was unreliable, but Arad overturned that assessment.[21]

Ironically, Gil had once taught a special course, The Lie as Art, at the Mossad college near Herzliya. He was also a former leading figure in the far-right Moledet party, leading some to suspect an ideological motive for his deception.[22]

Gil's exposure in 1997 was a vindication for Israeli military intelligence at the expense of Mossad:

Whereas head of military intelligence General [Uri Saguy] held the view that the Syrians had taken a strategic decision in favour of peace, the Mossad, headed by Shabtai Shavit and its then chief of research Uzi Arad were of the opinion that Assad had still not decided to enter wholeheartedly into the peace process and as part of a strategic decision.[23]

Netanyahu advisor

In April 1997, Arad was offered the post of head of Tel Aviv University's Jaffee Center for Strategic Studies. The move was seen as an attempt to give the center a higher profile and a greater policy orientation.[24]However, he ultimately turned down the post when he received the chance to work for Benjamin Netanyahu's new Israeli government.[25]

Arad was appointed Netanyahu's Foreign Policy Advisor a month later, replacing Dore Gold who became UN ambassador.[26]

The Washington Times quoted Israeli political sources which desribed Mr Arad as "a highly experienced pragmatic professional who seeks to work with his Foreign Ministry colleagues rather than ignore them, as Mr. Gold and Mr. Netanyahu did."[27]Ha'aretz suggested that Arad would act as Netanyahu's advisor on intelligence and national security, and not just political matters.[28]

Following his appointment, Arad told Israel Radio that the peace process could be revived:

First of all, by clearly recognizing that situations of slowdown and difficulty are built into the process. There have been many (such situations) in the past, and I expect not a few in the future. Simply because of the complexity and difficulty of the issues we are tackling. And the fact that we are engaged in a tug-of-war, it is not only a joint effort in which everyone's interests are identical.[29]

Arad told Agence France Presse that Israel was considering an Egyptian proposal to restart peace talks, which had been frozen because of Israeli settlement activitiy in the West Bank.[30]

One of Arad's first tasks was to accompany Netanyahu to a May 1997 summit meeting with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.[31]Arad took part in subsequent negotiations with the Palestinians in Cairo aimed at restarting full-scale peace talks.[32]

In June 1997, Arad was reportedly told by EU envoy Miguel Moratinos that Syria was ready to resume peace talks with Israel.[33]In July, Arad had dinner in Jerusalem with Moratinos, who had visited Syria three days earlier.[34]

A planned visit to Washington by Arad that month was delayed but went ahead after it was cleared by Israeli Foreign Minister David Levy, a political rival of Netanyahu.[35]Arad submitted a formal request for the US to pressure Russia against supplying Iran with missile technology.[36]During the trip, he met with Dennis Ross, AIPAC and the Washington Post editorial board.[37]

The Independent's Robert Fisk linked the AIPAC meeting to a possible reinvasion of Palestinian territory:

In June, Uzi Arad, Netanyahu's foreign policy adviser, was telling the leaders of the powerful American-Israeli lobby group AIPAC that they should do everything possible to resist congressional calls for a cut in US financial assistance to Israel, because Israel was likely to take "decisive and fateful decisions" that would "place Israel in a delicate security situation". No explanation was given as to what these "fateful" decisions would be, nor why they would place Israel in so "delicate" a state of security. [38]

In July 1997, Arad said that the Palestinians should accept a Netanyahu plan under which Israel would retain control of Jerusalem, the Jordan Valley, and other parts of the West Bank."If they won't, we'll hold on to everything," he told UPI.[39] This was the first public proposal of the 'Allon-Plus' plan. It was immediately rejected by Palestinian Minister Hanan Ashrawi, who was speaking at the same Tel Aviv University symposium as Arad.[40]

Following the arrest of four Palestinian policemen in July 1997, Arad accused the head of the Palestinian police, Ghazi Jabali, of planning attacks against Israel.[41]

In August 1997, Arad was present at a meeting between Netanyahu and US envoy Dennis Ross.[42]

Also that month, Arad reportedly passed on a message from Netanyahu to an Israeli Arab delegation visiting Syria.[43]On 18 August, Arad was part of a delegation from the Prime Minister's Office which visited the Jewish settlement at Hebron.[44]Shortly before this visit he had travelled to Jordan where he met the head of military intelligence, Gen Tahsin Shurdum, and Gen Ali Shukri, military adviser to King Hussein.[45]On 21 August Arad delivered a letter from Netanyahu to the Russian ambassador protesting Moscow's missile co-operation with Iran.[46]On 26 August, the Jerusalem Post reported claims that Arad was the source of allegations that Israeli President Ezer Weizman was briefing against Netanyahu.[47]

In early September 1997, Arad took part in talks with Dennis Ross in Washington ahead of a visit to the Middle East by Madeleine Albright.[48]Some days later, he reportedly travelled to London and then Lebanon for secret talks about a peace deal with Syria.[49]The trip also included a visit to Paris, which Arad said "was simply an encounter with old French acquaintances."[50]This may be identical with the visit later reported by AFP in which Arad transmitted a message to Syria via Dominique de Villepin.[51]The Israeli Foreign Minister David Levi was not told of this visit.[52]Arad also planned to meet the Foreign Minister of Oman while in Paris, but was forced to cancel because of unwanted publicity.[53]

On 17 September 1997, Arad visited Jewish settlers in an Irving Moskowitz-owned building in the Ra's al-Amud district of East Jerusalem.[54]

Arad returned to Washington in late September for further meetings with Ross.[55]Akiva Eldar reported at this time that Arad's lobbying against Russian missile co-operation with Iran angered US Assistant Secretary of State Strobe Talbot:

A secret report on the meeting that reached Jerusalem late last week emphasized the Clinton administration's anger with Israel's efforts to block U.S. aid to Russia until it halted the sale of nuclear missiles to Iran.
The campaign, coordinated with AIPAC, the pro-Israel lobby, has included direct appeals to Netanyahu to select congressmen, and two visits by his foreign affairs adviser, Uzi Arad, to Washington.[56]The campaign would later be credited with decisively altering CIA estimates of US vulnerability to foreign missiles.[57]

In October 1997, Arad and Amos Gilad visited Washington to discuss Russian-Iranian missile co-operation with US official Frank Weisner but failed to change the American stance on the issue.[58]

Later that month, Arad told the Shimon Peres Center for Peace that measures to ensure Israel's security and the "democratization" of Arab states were the key to a lasting peace.[59]In late October, Arad travelled to Paris, Bonn and the US to brief officials on the Iranian missile threat.[60]He also visited UK Foreign Office Minister Derek Fatchett on 27 October.[61]

At this time, Netanhayu created a task force focused on Iranian arms procurement, consisting of a team focused on Russia, headed by Avigdor Lieberman and a team focused on the US, headed by Arad and including "representatives from the Defence Ministry, the Mossad, the IDF Intelligence Branch and Natan Miron, a deputy director at the Foreign Ministry.[62]It was reported some years later that Arad maintained close consultations with two U.S. case officers on a "leakage committee."[63]

According to Ma'ariv, Arad made an unofficial visit to Washington on 29 October linked to clandestine US-mediated negotiations with Syria.[64]

In November 1997, Arad accompanied Netanyahu to a meeting with King Hussein of Jordan at the latter's British residence.[65]At the end of the month, he visited Cairo twice as part of attempts to launch final status talks with the Palestinians.[66][67]He also reportedly asked the Egyptians to pass a message to Syria.[68]

At around the same time, the Israeli press reported Arad was on a 'mystery trip':

Arad's main area of concern since assuming his post in May has been Syria, particularly the resumption of the truncated dialogue with President Hafez Assad's regime.
Therefore, he may be conferring with a Syrian emissary or a foreign go-between on this issue. Other guesses are that he may be trying to close a deal with Egypt on the release of Azzam Azzam, the Israeli engineer imprisoned in a controversial spy case, or working on a formula to free Capt. Ron Arad, the IAF navigator captured by Shi'ite guerrillas in Lebanon 11 years ago.[69]

Ma'ariv subsequently reported that Arad was in China.

'Ma'ariv' has learned that Arad's mission is related to the Israeli activities against Iran's armament efforts. Arad is scheduled to hold several secret meetings in China and other countries, including some that do not have relations with Israel.[70]

In late December during a trip to Europe, Arad told EU envoy Miguel Moratinos that his credibility with Israel had deteriorated. He then travelled on to London where he met Tony Blair's political advisor and Foreign Office officials.[71]

When Netanyahu took over the Foreign Ministry portfolio in January 1998, after David Levi's resignation, Arad was appointed as his liaison with the department.[72]

In February, the Israeli press reported that Arad had been involved in secret talks with Iranian officials reporting to Minister Ali Fallahian -Khuzestani a few weeks earlier:

In the talks, which have been proceeding mainly in Switzerland and Germany for the last four weeks, Israel proposed to repay to Iran debts from the days of the Shah. In exchange, Iran would guarantee to use its influence to restore calm in south Lebanon and not support attacks against Israel.

In addition, it was proposed that in exchange for the "release" of debts by Israel, as well as for removing Iran from the list of drug -trafficking countries, Iran would agree to supply Israel with natural gas and oil.[73]

Later that month, Arad travelled to Washington, where he joined Natan Sharansky for talks with Vice-President Al Gore about Russian-Iranian missile co-operation. The Israelis agreed not to lobby Congress on the issue.[74]

At around the same time, a Jordanian paper citing high-level Palestinian sources claimed that a US troop build-up on the gulf was aimed at toppling Saddam Hussein:

The sources noted that closing the Iraqi file will enable the United States to open the Syrian and afterward the Iranian file, under pressure from right-wing circles at the US administration. The sources linked these reports to the makeup of the Israeli delegation, which flew to Washington on Tuesday for talks with the US administration on the means of resuming the peace process on the Palestinian track, which has been stalled for about one year.
The sources said that Uzi Arad, political adviser to Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, joined the delegation in order to expand the scope of discussions with the US teams to include chemical and nuclear weapons in Syria and Iran.[75]

On 1 March 1998, Arad and Cabinet Secretary Danny Naveh travelled to France to seek French help in negotiating an Israeli withdrawal from southern Lebanon.[76]Later reports said they met secretly with an aide to Lebanese President Elias Hrawi.[77]The Lebanese Government denied this.[78]

On 4 March, he held talks with US epecial envoy Robert Galluci on Russian-Iranian missile co-operation.[79]On the same trip he met with NSC Middle East expert Bruce Riedel, and Vice President Al Gore's national security adviser Leon Fuerth.[80]

AFP reported on 10 March that Arad was one of a number of people questioned by Shin Beth agents about press leaks on matters including the talks with Lebanon and the arrest of a Mossad agent in Switzerland. The latter revelation had led to the resignation of Mossad chief Danny Yatom.[81]Arad later revealed he underwent a lie detector test as part of the investigation.[82]

On a visit to Washington later that month, Arad asked the Americans not to publish their blueprint for the peace process, but was rebuffed by Assistant Secretary of State Martin Indyk.[83]

In May 1998, Israeli-Arab parliamentarian Azmi Beshara denied reports that he had been involved in secret contacts with Syria. He said he was being investigated by Israeli police as punishment for refusing to talk to Arad before visiting Damascus.[84]

In late May, Arad spoke at a conference at the James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy at Rice University in Houston, which was also addressed by the Syrian Ambassador. Both sides played down the significance of the meeting.[85]However, an Israeli television reprot claimed there were face-to face talks about resuming negotiations.[86]

In June 1998, Arad warned the EU against imposing sanctions on exports from Jewish settlements in the Occupied Territories:

"There is no law," Arad said, "that obliges us to let 100,000 Palestinians enter Israel to work. We can leave all of them in the territories, without jobs."[87]

In July 1998, Arad denied a report in London-based journal Foreign Report that he was involved in secret negotiations with Syria:

However, the newsletter quoted an intelligence source as saying Netanyahu, who recently denied he was negotiating with Syria, has "bluffed Arad into thinking he is serious about a deal with Syria."
Rather, it said, the exercise was designed to "scare the Palestinians into giving in to Israeli demands or risk being the only protagonist without an agreement with Israel. In any event, added the newsletter, Assad is "unlikely to believe any statement or message from Netanyahu."[88]

In August 1998, Israeli Defence Minister Yitzhak Mordechai sparked tensions within the governing coalition by suggesting that Israel could withdraw from part of the Golan Heights in return for security guarantees from Syria. Arad revealed that he had mentioned a similar formula at the Houston conference in May.[89]

In September 1998, Arad interrupted a planned trip to Cairo to travel to New York. The initial explanation, that he was preparing for Netanyahu's address to the United Nations, baffled Israeli diplomats who had been working on the visit for months. Netanyahu spokesman Aviv Bushinsky later said the Arad was dealing with issues around Iraq, but would not give details. There was speculation that he was meeting former UN weapons inspector Scott Ritter.[90]

In November, Israel's channel 2 reported that Arad had visited Texas Governor George W. Bush at some stage during the year.[91]Arad's May visit to Houston is one obvious possibility.

In December 1998, Foreign Report claimed that Israel and Syria had made substantial progress in back-channel contacts involving Arad and US businessman Ronald S. Lauder.[92]

Later that month, Israeli Foreign Minister Ariel Sharon sent a private letter to Netanyahu complaining that Arad had set up a top-level meeting with British officials in London, without notifying the Foreign Ministry. The issue was settled at a meeting between Sharon and Netanyahu- but not before creating a new problem, about the leaking of the Sharon letter to the press.

A new dispute then arose after the Prime Minister's office reportedly named Arad to head the committee overseeing negotiations with the Palestinians, without Sharon's approval.[93]

The Jerusalem Post reportedly a few days later that Arad had co-ordinated his London meeting with the Foreign Office, and had actually been appointed to oversee the negotiating committee, but to a co-ordinating role within the Prime Minister's office itself.

"There is obviously someone in the Foreign Ministry that is not interested in the facts but rather in heating up the atmosphere between the offices," said a senior source at the Prime Minister's Office. "Someone is interested in creating the impression that there are problems with Arad's mandate and behavior." Sharon's office, in response, said that the foreign ministry has no interest whatsoever in a conflict with Arad.[94]

In January 1999, Arad spoke to the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at the Kennedy School of Government about the strategic agreement signed between the US and Israel the previous October. Arad said the agreement was necessary to stop the proliferation of biological weapons, and Russian sales to Iran of materials and expertise to make nuclear weapons, which he characterized as an even greater threat to Middle East security than Iraq.[95]

In February 1999, Israel's Civil Service Commission launched an investigation into allegations Arad had used benefits accruing to him from his travels in an official capacity.[96]

In May 1999, Zeev Schiff of Haaretz reported that Arad had taken part in extensive contacts with Syria in 1997 and 1998 along with former Mossad chief Danny Yatom. A variety of drafts were drawn up, according to Schiff, but none were implemented because Natanyahu failed to commit himself. Among those named as interlocutors were Omani Foreign Minister Yousef bin-Alawi bin-Abdallah, Miguel Moratinos and Ronald Lauder.[97]

At the end of May, the incoming administration of Ehud Barak announced that Arad would be relaced as political advisor by Zvi Stauber. [98]

Israel Radio reported in June 2000, that during his time in government, Arad had been involved in contacts with Rif'at al-Assad, the exiled brother of the late Syrian President Hafiz al-Assad.[99]

When Netanyahu became Foreign Minister under Ariel Sharon in November 2002, he once again named Arad as his political advisor.[100]

Herzliya Center

Arad is the Founding Head of the Institute for Policy and Strategy at the Lauder School of Government, Diplomacy and Strategy of the Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya, where he established and chairs the Annual Herzliya Conference Series on Israel’s Balance of National Security. He is also an Advisor to the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee.[101]

In June 2002, Arad told Ranan Lurie of the Washington Times that Israel was better protected against biological and chemical attack than the US:

"If Israel were attacked [with unconventional weaponry]," said that former high official, "I can guarantee that Islam as we know it now will be wiped out: Baghdad, Mecca, Medina, Tehran, Damascus - you name it - will disappear.[102]

First Herzliya Conference

In December 2000, the Interdisciplinary Center hosted the First Herzliya Conference.[103]

Arad said of the conference, which he chaired, that "If you weren't there, it showed you weren't in the major league." An abstract of the conference, entitled The Balance of National Strength and Security in Israel: Policy Directions was published in March 2001 and presented to Israeli President Moshe Katzav. Ha'aretz described the document as "quite astounding":

The core of Israel's political and defense establishment has come out with a document that corresponds, in some of its recommendations and in general tone, with the views of the far right. This is mainly true with respect to the importance attached to the demographic threat to Jewish Israel posed by the Palestinians and Israeli Arabs.[104]

9/11 reaction

A few days after the 9//11 attacks in the US, Arad wrote in Yediot Ahronot that "America's victory in the long and arduous war it has taken upon itself without illusion about the dangers and difficulties involved will, in the long run, be Israel's victory as well."[105]

In October 2001 Arad suggested that targeted killings could become a tool of US policy, stating that "It is indeed effective _ if you hit the right targets":

"The analogy is very much with (prime minister) Golda Meir in the wake of the Munich massacre," said Arad. "Golda Meir issued an order to exact justice. In the years that followed, it was done. Sometimes sooner, sometimes later. Sometimes with more success, sometimes with less."[106]

Second Herzliya Conference

At the Second Herzliya Conference, Arad spoke over a video link with US National Security Advisor Condoleeza Rice. Asked whether it was time for a formal US-Israeli strategic alliance, Rice agreed that there was scope for co-operation on counter-proliferation and missile defence. On Iraq, Rice stated: "Iraq is on our radar screen, its on the presidents radar screen, but there are certainly no recommendations to him at this point as to what to do about Iraq."[107]

Third Herzliya Conference

Ahead of Third Herzliya Conference in 2002, Arad released a study arguing that Israel was losing its military edge over the Arab world.[108]Prominent participants included William Kristol, Martin Indyk and Judith Miller.[109]Vermont governor Howard Dean also attended as part of an AIPAC-sponsored visit to Israel.[110]

Iraq War 2003

In March 2003, as the Iraq War got underway, the Wall Street Journal linked Arad to a line of thought associated with the Clean Break strategy and Project for a New American Century.

Through this same period, some Israeli thinkers had begun examining what drove countries to war, and moved toward similar conclusions about basic changes in the Arab world. Uzi Arad, director of Israel's Institute of Policy and Strategy and former adviser to Mr. Netanyahu, followed the research closely. The result was what he now refers to as the "Theory of Democratic Peace," where the checks and balances built into democratic systems prevent a single individual from pursuing a militaristic course that leads to war.[111]

Larry Franklin affair

In August 2004 it emerged that Pentagon analyst Larry Franklin was under investigation over alleged espionage for Israel. Arad suggested that the allegations were leaked to hurt the Israel lobby in Washington.

"They way it was reported, they pointed out in which office (Franklin) worked," Arad told Israel Radio. "They pointed at people like Doug Feith or other defense officials who have long been under attack within the American bureaucracy."[112]

Arad revealed that he had met with Franklin along with other Pentagon officials as part of his ongoing contacts in the US:

"Our two countries have open relations," he said. "Collegial relations. It's clear that when we get together we don't talk about the Olympics."[113]

In May 2005, Arad revealed that he had been questioned about the case by the FBI during a trip to the United States. Arad said that he had first met Franklin at the Herzliya conference some 18 months previously.

"About two months later I also met him (Franklin) in the Pentagon and we had coffee in the cafeteria," Arad said.
Arad said "his feeling was that" the two discussed Iran-Iraq related issues during that meeting, but did not recall the details of the discussion. "Who knows what (was discussed) a year and a half ago over coffee," he said.
Their names were connected a third time when Arad sent Franklin an academic paper. Arad said all participants in the academic conference were sent the paper.[114]

The research paper, on ways to re-energize America's relationship with Israel, was commissioned by Arad's Institute for Policy and Strategy and was written by Eran Lerman, an official of the American Jewish Committee, and previously a senior Israeli military intelligence officer. Arad said Franklin had received a mass-mailed copy because he had attended the 2003 Herzliya conference.[115]

In March 2009, it was reported that Arad had been named in Franklin's indictment and that he had been barred from visiting the United States since June 2007.[116]

Fifth Herzliya Conference

Arad was chair and director of the Fifth Herzliya conference in December 2004. Among those who addressed the conference were Ariel Sharon, President Moshe Katsav, Defence Minister Shaul Mofaz, Finance Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom, Minister for Diaspora Affairs Natan Sharansky, Labour Party leader Shimon Peres and Chief of Staff Moshe Ya'alon. Foreign speakers included Nicolas Sarkozy, president of the Union pour le Mouvement Populaire in France; Peter Ricketts, the UK's permanent representative to NATO; Marc Otte, the EU's special representative to the Mideast peace process; and Prof. Philip Zelikow, executive director of the 9/11 Commission.[117]

2006 Lebanon War

Arad told the New Yorker's Seymour Hersh that Israel had not co-ordinated its attack on Lebanon with the United States.[118]

21st Century Hasbara conference

The Institute for Policy and Strategy held a conference entitled Media as 21st Century Hasbara:Israel, Media and Jihad in a era of Globalization on 17-18 December 2006.[119]According to the Jerusalem Post, Arad told the conference, "We must learn to recognize the players in this theater, including the increasing numbers of NGOs Arab money the diplomatic arena and the 'judicialization' of the diplomatic arena with institutions such as the International Criminal Court in the Hague."[120]

Seventh Herzliya Conference

The Seventh Herzliya Conference was criticised by Ha'aretz for it's hawkish stance on Israel's security situation. "At the least, one can say Arad is part of the Israeli political discourse's right wing," correspondent Uzi Benziman said.

The Herzliya Conference - this year at least - is not, therefore, an impartial academic summit. It is an event with a clear ideological agenda.
The subject of this year's conference is the balance of power and national security, and words like "patriotism," "national strength," "renewal" and "strengthening" appear time after time in the titles of the sessions. A significant portion of the speakers (at least on political-security matters) are known right-wingers like Richard Perle, James Woolsey, Dore Gold, Zalman Shoval and researchers from the Shalem Center.[121]

National Security Advisor

Arad served as National Security Adviser to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu from 2009 to 2011.[122] US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton was reportedly uncomfortable with Arad's presence when she met with Netanyahu in Jerusalem, because he posed a potential counterintelligence problem.[123][124]

On 18 March, Arad met the Egyptian ambassador to Israel to reassure him about the appointment of Avigdor Lieberman as Israeli Foreign Minister.[125] On 20 March Arad spoke at the German Marshall Fund of the United States's Brussels Forum 2009.[126]

Other posts

Arad is the founder and chair of the Atlantic Forum of Israel. He was appointed by the Council of the European Union to establish and direct the EU-Israel Forum. He was also nominated to chair the Presidential World Jewish Forum. [127]

In March 2013, the Jerusalem Post reported that Arad would replace Shlomo Gazit as chairman of the Institute for Defence Studies and succeed Uzi Dayan as head of Israel's Security Council.[122]

Eu-Israel Forum

The EU-Israel Forum was founded by Arad's former interlocutor Miguel Moratinos. Its first meeting in July 2000 was funded by the European Jewish Congress.[128]

Jewish People Policy Institute

In September 2003, it was reported that Arad had joined the board of the newly-created Jewish People Policy Institute (orginally named the Jewish People Policy Planning Institute).[129]

Atlantic Forum of Israel

In September 2004, Arad met with NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer to discuss a '26 plus 1' proposal to strengthen NATO's links with Israel. The meeting came after two years oof discreet contacts with officials from NATO countries. As part of this effort, the Atlantic Forum of Israel worked with similar semi-official bodies in Europe and America.[130]

The proposal for closer links drew favourable comment from Ronald Asmus of the German Marshall Fund:

"Israel is already a Western democracy that shares our values and interests in a part of the world that is becoming central to NATO," he said. "So why is Israel off limits?"[131]

In August 2005, Arad agreed that the President of Russia's Congress of Jewish Religious Organizations and Associations (KEROOR) Arkady Gaidamak would become President of the Atlantic Forum of Israel and chief sponsor of the Hertzliya conference.[132]

In early 2006, Arad welcomed a call by the Italian Foreign Minister for Israel to be admitted to NATO.[133]

World Jewish Forum

On 7 November 2006, Arad co-chaired a planning meeting for the World Jewish Forum with Michael Steinhardt.[134]


On Iran

Arad has claimed that Israeli officials told the Bush Administration prior to the invasion of Iraq that Iran was a greater threat.

"If you look at President Bush's 'axis of evil' list, all of us said North Korea and Iran are more urgent," says former Mossad director of intelligence Uzi Arad, who served as Netanyahu's foreign-policy adviser. "Iraq was already semi-controlled because there were sanctions. It was outlawed. Sometimes the answer [from the neocons] was 'Let's do first things first. Once we do Iraq, we'll have a military presence in Iraq, which would enable us to handle the Iranians from closer quarters, would give us more leverage.'"[135]

However, Laura Rozen has suggested that Arad himself shared the neocon's priorities, in contrast to other Israeli strategists, such as Uri Lubrani.

(The Lubrani staffer also said that they had warned Bush-era Pentagon civilians in advance that the Iraq war was a mistake that would leave the region vulnerable to a predominant Iran, but said that the Pentagon civilians were "so arrogant" and dismissed such warnings. Such concerns were also not shared by Uzi Arad, who has become Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu's national security advisor.)[136]

In 2006, Arad suggested Israel was partly at fault for mistaken US priorities.

While America originally thought the war in Iraq would empower it to deal with Iran it in fact had the opposite effect Arad said. Israel he added also had high hopes for the war in Iraq but all of those had similarly disappeared.
Israel hoped Iraq would turn pro-Western would prosper and would become another country that supported peace with Israel said Arad who also served as foreign policy adviser to former prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu.[137]

In March 2007, Arad told Vanity Fair that conflict with Iran was inevitable.

"Attacking Iraq when it had no W.M.D. may have been the wrong step," says Uzi Arad, the former Mossad intelligence chief. "But then to ignore Iran would compound the disaster. Israel will be left alone, and American interests will be affected catastrophically."[138]

After Benjamin Netanyahu blamed Iran for a bus bombing which killed 8 Israelis in Bulgaria, Arad said:

"We're, to a large extent, the initiators, we hit Imad Mughniye, and, mainly, we're leading a struggle against Iran. We're not a passive side. And the other side is the defending, deterring, and attacking one".[139]

On Israel-US Alliance

In 2006 after Israel suffered what many considered a defeat in its war with Lebanon, Arad was invited to speak at the Hudson Institute in a session hosted by Meyrav Wurmser. Wurmser asked Arad to comment on Israel's strategic worth to the United States. Arad's response:

But as to the question what is Israel’s usefulness to our allies, principally to the United States, that will be a question that varies with the type of missions and the conditions in which the United States decides to find itself in. I think historically we have been extremely useful. I hear that someone at RAND, that’s another institute your familiar with, did try to calculate the monetary value of what Israel has provided the United States over the years. Did any of you hear about that project? I don’t know how it could be done. I don’t know who even did it. I don’t know maybe Charlie Wolf or something? I don’t know. But it came out into scores of trillions of dollars. So how can you quantify…..LAUGHTER I don’t know billions - very impressive. How can you quantify things which are not measurable, but the fact of the matters is that in the course of past and present, this relationship has been beneficial to both sides.[140]

On Covert Action

Didn't he think the assassination of leaders in the war on terror and the enemy was bankrupt? Did they contribute to Israeli security in the mid and long term?
"Israel must use all the means and tools human history recognizes, and which enlightened countries employed in the past. We act just as Britain did in certain periods, and the British yardstick is an example for us, as well as how France -- which invented human and civil rights -- acted, and the United States. These countries knew how to use force in the correct doses when security was in the balance, and so do we."[141]

On the Christian Right

In late 2005, Arad told Vanity Fair's Craig Unger: "When Israel enjoys support because it is the land of the Bible, why should we reject that?"

"Whether it is because of expediency or because on some level we may be soulmates, each side offers the other something they want. And the Christian right is a political force to be reckoned with in America."[142]

On Walt and Mearsheimer

In April 2006, Arad criticised Stephen Walt and John Mearsheimer for their analysis of the Israel lobby in the US, which he described as "totally baseless."

Their analysis makes no mention of the work Eshkol, Golda Meir, Rabin, Netanyahu and Sharon did to promote the relationship between the two countries. The truth is that the weave of relations between Israel and America is based on common interests and values and was built - as happens between countries - by their respective governments. The architects of the relationship, as happened to every country with ties with the U.S., are the leaders: the president on behalf of the U.S., prime ministers on behalf of Israel.[143]

External Resources


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