Wars in the Middle East

Date of event: 22.2.2018

The Prague Centre for Transatlantic Relations of the CEVRO Institute (PCTR) in cooperation with the International Institute for Counter-Terrorism (ICT) held a public debate called Wars in the Middle East.

Our guest was Maj.Gen. (ret.) Amos Gilead, who served as the Director of Policy and Political-Military Affairs at the Ministry of Defence. During his thirty years of service at the IDF, Amos Gilead had been, among other positions, the Head of the Military Intelligence Research Division; IDF Spokesperson; Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories; and Military Secretary of Prime Minister and Defence Minister Yitzhak Rabin. Today Amos Gilead is a lecturer and a researcher at the Lauder School of Government, and the Executive Director of the Institute for Policy and Strategy at Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya (IDC).

Alexandr Vondra, the president of the PCTR, introduced the audience to the topic and Tomáš Pojar, a professor of Security Studies and the head of International Relations at the CEVRO Institute, moderated the debate.

Amos Gilead´s speech included a summary of the many conflicts in, which Israel is involved in. He gave the audience a very complex overview of today´s problems in Israel as well as in the region. On the complex issue of peace in the Middle East, Amos Gilead mentions above all the economic stability and wealth of the people.

Mr Gilead compared the history of the Czech Republic to that of Israel and other countries in the Middle East. In his comparison, he assessed that based on the European standards, Israel cannot be a democracy. This is because of the histories of each country and the region that they are in. He also included in his speech the differences between Israel’s friends and foes in the region as well as in the world. He finished his lecture by stressing the ongoing problems that Israel is facing on daily basis. The most threatening issues include terrorism and the usage of chemical and other weapons of mass destruction. When talking directly about the Islamic State (ISIS) he offered a thought-provoking statement that “You cannot fight the world all the time.“

During the Q&A part of the event members of the audience wanted to know more about Israel´s relationship with the USA, Russia, Turkey, Kurds, Saudi Arabia, Israel’s Arab minority. When answering the question about American president Donald Trump, Amos Gilead mentioned that it is good that the US president does not support ´the illusion´ of democracy. Furthermore, he thinks that in the future it will be dangerous and difficult for the United States to conduct any operation without Russia because the government of Russia supports for example Syria and is a party that cannot be ignored.

He ended with the remarks: „ Talk less and do better.“ which resonated well with the audience.

For the support of this event we would like to thank our honor Petr Mothejl.