Military Activism


The concept 'Military Activism' refers to an Israeli political-security approach which was developed in the 1950’s by David Ben Gurion and promoted disproportionate military retaliation as the most effective deterrence against Arab violence and viewed international opinion as peripheral to Israel’s vital interests.


Israel’s difficult geo-strategic position in the early years of the state led to the evolution of two divergent schools of thought which revolved around Israel’s first Prime Minister David Ben Gurion, and the country’s second Prime Minister and first Foreign Minister Moshe Sharett.

Military Activism – affiliated with Ben Gurion and IDF Chief of Staff Moshe Dayan and influenced by Ze’ev Jabotinsky’s Iron Wall Doctrine (see below) - is generally thought to have held the upper hand over the ‘competing’ strategy of Political Activism promoted by Sharett (See Concept: Political Activism).

The contrasting policies of the two approaches were heavily influenced by their differing attitudes towards the Arab states, the role of the international community and the correct balance between defense and diplomatic issues.​


["Intersectionality, Anti-Semitism, Bipartisan Support, America, Jewish Peoplehood, Zionism, Emergency Management, Diaspora Relations, Emergency Preparedness, Gulf War, National Security Council, Home-front Command, IDF


Concept Paper

National Security

Regional Security

Ben Gurion believed that the defense establishment should play a decisive role in the life of the nation and that strengthening the IDF took on overriding importance.

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