From Spring to Winter: the Unravelling of the Post-Ottoman Order
This talk provides a “tour d’horizon” of the geopolitical condition of the Middle East and the powers at play and is constantly updated to include all major developments.
For nearly a century, the contours of the Middle East were put into place by World War I’s victorious British and French empires. Their award: sharing the spoils of the dissolved Ottoman Empire. The lines drawn by Sykes and Picot in 1916 have become the borders of Turkey, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, and Jordan. This Middle East, as we’ve known it for the past one hundred years, is unraveling right before our eyes. In its place, new and the old loyalties are raging a battle to shape the new Middle East. Any expectation that the battle between the old and new loyalties will be short, decisive and peaceful has nothing to rest upon. Any policy that ignores that is bound to fail.
A Neutral Bunker: Israel’s National Security in a Changing Middle East
This talk discusses Israel’s security situation and the appropriate response given external challenges. It is always updated to include all major developments.
For more than two years, Israel has found itself in the eye of a storm. This is not to say that Israel has been at the center of events. Quite the contrary — the eye of the storm is a very quiet place. Israel has been eerily quiet. As Israelis look left and right, north and south, east and west, all they see is a tornado of chaos, massacres, instability, political and economic collapse, sectarian violence, gang rapes, religious fanaticism and civil wars. Faced with events of such historic proportions and intense violence, the best prescription for Israel is to stay out — or more precisely, to be a "neutral bunker." Neutral in the sense that Israel should have nothing to say regarding the events unfolding in the Arab world, and bunker in the sense that Israel's foreign and defense policy should operate with one goal: prevent the insanity gripping the Arab world from invading its borders.
Dangerous Ideas: Israel and the Battle Against Delegitimization
This talk reviews the new nature of the "war of ideas" waged against Israel and the tools needed to be victorious
“The real war for Israel today is one of words, images and ideas. We are less likely to engage in wars with tanks and airplanes, and we are failing in this new war, relinquishing the arena. The war against Israel is taking new shape. We have become defeatist in this war. We no longer claim victory as our goal, but merely hope for a draw. I argue that Israel can win. It is a war for two or three decades, not an easy victory for tomorrow morning, but just as we were able to overcome the Arab armies and the Arab boycott, we can overcome here, too. I have no doubt of that.”
Zionism in the 21st Century: Rethinking Israel and the Jewish People
The Israeli elections are no longer about peace, and Israelis now have very little to say on the matter. When the world was asking whether Israelis have swung to the right or the left or even the center, Israelis were thinking in very different terms. No longer right or left, but rather inward or outward — and their response was a resounding “inward.” To borrow the American term, Israelis have chosen to focus on “nation building at home.”
Having it All and then Some: Women’s Leadership, Family Life and Social Structures
There are many that believe that women must choose between work and home. But, women can have it all. A mother of three kids under the age of four, I had my first child while a member of the Knesset. As a prominent feminist in Israel, while serving in the Knesset, I pushed more legislature for women's rights and for greater representation in politics and positions in power. Now that I have twin daughters, these issues are of even greater importance for me. As a women who is both a professional and a mother, I can weigh in on the Sheryl Sandberg/Ann Marrie Slaughter debate.
The Red Carpet Syndrome: A Personal Account of the Path to Politics
This talk is an inspirational talk, mostly appropriate for college students and those in their twenties and thirties thinking about their future and life choices.
The world doesn’t make way for us and does not roll out the red carpet, no matter how great we are and how big our dreams. To fulfill our dreams, we must overcome the Red Carpet Syndrome.The sooner we do so, the sooner we can embark on the path less traveled. As long as we have the "syndrome", we will be limited to the safer paths. When we work for companies that do roll out the red carpet for us, we don't take the necessary risk for the things we really want.
A Condition for Peace: What Do We Mean When We Speak of the Jewish State?
This talk discusses one of the most contentious and least understood issues in the Israeli - Palestinian peace negotiations: The Israeli Prime Minister’s demand that the Palestinians recognize Israel as the Jewish State as part of any peace deal.
While this idea is supported by the vast majority of Israelis, some do not understood what it means and why it is necessary. Others, have argued that it is merely a hawkish ploy to avoid reaching any agreement with the Palestinians or that it is a sad mark of Israel’s low self-confidence that it needs the Palestinians to tell it what it is. The Prime Minister’s request is none of the above. It is the one core demand that, once met, will mean that peace is possible. Palestinian recognition of Israel as the homeland of the Jewish people is not a condition for peace – it is the very essence of peace.
Dr. Einat Wilf, a Senior Fellow with the Jewish People Policy Institute and an Adjunct Fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, was Chair of the Education, Sports and Culture Committee, Chair of the Knesset Sub-Committee for Israel and the Jewish People, and Member of the influential Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee in the 18th Knesset.
Previously, Dr. Wilf served as Foreign Policy Advisor to Vice Prime Minister Shimon Peres and a strategic consultant with McKinsey & Company.
Born and raised in Israel, Dr. Wilf served as an Intelligence Officer in the Israel Defense Forces.
Dr. Wilf is the author of three books that explore key issues in Israeli society. Her first book, My Israel, Our Generation, is about Israel’s past and future from the perspective of the younger generation. Her second book, Back to Basics: How to Save Israeli Education (at no additional cost), offers a detailed and feasible policy proposal for improving Israel’s education system. Her third and recent book, It’s NOT the Electoral System, Stupid demonstrates through comparative analysis why Israel’s electoral system is no worse than those of other democracies and therefore should not be changed.
Dr. Wilf has a BA in Government and Fine Arts from Harvard University, an MBA from INSEAD in France, and a PhD in Political Science from the University of Cambridge.