Israel’s Multifaceted Power

 It is far more difficult to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of Israel than it is to do the same for a Western European country. Israel has a great deal of hard and soft power, but it also seriously underperforms in terms of diplomatic power and the combating of anti-Israel propaganda.


Israel is an unusually difficult and confusing country to assess in terms of strengths and weaknesses. This becomes clear when one compares it to a Western European country with a more or less similar size population, such as Belgium. The latter is a member of the NATO military alliance: its military power is integrated within NATO and the country’s strength in this area depends on it. Belgium’s political power derives largely from its membership in the EU. To a great extent the same is true of its soft power.

No similar concise analysis is possible for Israel. The country’s military power rarely expresses itself in full-fledged wars. Its armed conflicts with Palestinian and Arab terror organizations in Lebanon and Gaza are best described as campaigns. Israel undertakes military actions in Syria from time to time, partly aimed against Iranian forces stationed there. It reacts to rocket and other fire from Gaza as well. Only a small part of Israel’s military capability is used in the latter conflict.

Israel is, however, repeatedly threatened with genocide and extermination by the Iranian government. This is a big-league menace. Israel has to be fully prepared to prevent such an effort if it were to be attempted.

Cyber technology, used for both offense and defense, is a new form of what one might call semi-military power. The 2009-2010 Stuxnet computer worm attack on several of Iran’s atomic sites is an example. This action is believed by many to have been conducted by the US and Israel. Another cyber strike that experts believe was conducted by Israel was the attack on Iran that brought the Shahid Rajaee port terminal to an abrupt and inexplicable halt on May 9, 2020.

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