The Gildenhorn Institute for Israel Studies launched the “Israel 2023” project in an effort to answer the questions of what is expected, or liable, to be Israel’s status when it celebrates 75 years of existence –employing the ‘prospective scenarios’ method. The team of researchers at the Institute identified three primary issues that should be discussed by anyone trying to forecast Israel’s future: the country’s geopolitical situation; the relations between Jews and Arabs within Israel; and the relations between religion and state or, differently put, between the various religious and secular communities in the country. There may well be several possible scenarios for each one of these issues, so that weaving each one of the scenarios into a comprehensive structure can ultimately create four or five possible scenarios for Israel in 2023. This is the first of the three that has been published.
This research project was launched in 2010 and has been headed by Professor Shlomo Hasson, who is the director of Shasha center for strategic studies at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem institute and specialized in the analysis of social systems through the scenarios method. Professor Hasson has published numerous papers of this kind in the last decade through the Floersheimer Institute for Policy Studies in Jerusalem and in other academic, public, and governmental frameworks. After assessing the factors relevant to relations between Israel’s Jewish and Arab citizens he considered three possible directions in which they may go: the Confrontation Scenario, the Liminal Scenario, and the Reconciliation Scenario.
The goal is to present policy-makers with a set of options they may choose, showing the various scenarios that may proceed from their choices. Ultimately, the aim of the project is to enable informed choices by citizens and leaders alike that will strengthen Israel as a Jewish and democratic state in the crucial years to come leading up to the 75th anniversary of the establishment of the state.
A recent review of the second booklet in the series praised Hasson for his “ability to articulate multiple scenarios in a style that is lucid and highly readable” and commended GIIS for an “invaluable contribution to increasing our understanding of the dilemmas facing Israel, and to increasing thereby the possibility of informed and intelligent debate.”
To receive your own copy, in English, of Relations Between Jews and Arabs in Israel: Future Scenarios, please email your mailing address to Avis Koeiman: firstname.lastname@example.org.
From left to right: Professor Yoram Peri, former Director of the Gildenhorn Institute for Israel Studies, University of Maryland – College Park; Professor Boaz Golany, Vice President for External Relations and Resource Development, Technion – Israel Institute of Technology; and Wallace D. Loh, President of University of Maryland – College Park, discuss the Israel 2023 research project.