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Chuck Freilich

Mailing address

One Brattle Square 505
79 John F. Kennedy Street
Mailbox 134
Cambridge, MA, 02138

Chuck Freilich

Senior Fellow, International Security Program

Telephone: 617-495-8898
Fax: 617-496-0606



Contact Information in Israel:
telefax: (972) 778-140-042
cell: (972) 544-880-677

U.S. cell number:
917 575-0273

Chuck Freilich was a Deputy National Security Adviser in Israel. He is now an International Security Program Senior Fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School's Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, where he has recently completed a first of its kind book on Israeli national security decision-making processes, Zion's Dilemmas: How Israel Makes National Security Policy, Cornell University Press, November 2012. He is now working on a new book on Israeli national security strategy, to be submitted for publication by early 2014.

Chuck's primary areas of expertise are the Middle East, U.S.-Middle East policy, and Israeli national security policy. He is an Adjunct Professor of political science at Harvard, New York, Columbia, and Tel Aviv Universities.

Chuck has appeared as a commentator for ABC, CNN, NPR, Al Jazeera and various U.S. and Israeli radio and TV stations. He has been quoted in the New York Times and other media and has published numerous articles and op-eds.

Chuck was a Senior Analyst at the Israel Ministry of Defense, focusing on strategic affairs, Policy Adviser to a cabinet minister and a Delegate at the Israeli Mission to the United Nations. He was the Executive Director of two nonprofit organizations and served in the Israel Defense Forces for five years (reserve major). Chuck earned his Ph.D. from Columbia University. Born in New York, he immigrated to Israel in his teens.



By Date




"Israel's Counter-Terrorism Policy: How Effective?"

Journal Article, Terrorism and Political Violence

By Chuck Freilich, Senior Fellow, International Security Program

The percentage of Israelis killed by terrorism is higher than in any other democracy. The article analyzes the threats Israel has faced, the impact terrorism has had on Israel, and the counter-terrorism policies Israel has adopted.



U.S. Gov Photo

July 21, 2015

"It's Actually Good for Israel"


By Chuck Freilich, Senior Fellow, International Security Program

"Benjamin Netanyahu should have accepted U.S. policy long ago, rather than positioning himself as the primary and maybe sole opponent among U.S. allies. The defamation campaign now expected against the agreement in the Congress is destined to fail, and even if the totally unexpected occurs, it will be the Israeli Prime Minister who will have personally blocked the primary foreign policy initiative of the Obama presidency."



Wikimedia CC 3.0

July 21, 2015

"Iran Deal Is the Least Bad Option for Israel"

Op-Ed, The Huffington Post

By Chuck Freilich, Senior Fellow, International Security Program

"For 10–15 years Israel will not have to live under the specter of a nuclear Iran and of an existential threat. For a country whose security situation is as precarious as Israel's, that is a mouthful. Moreover, it will enable Israel to focus on the threats posed by Hezbollah's mammoth rocket arsenal, now estimated at over 130,000 strong, and on Hamas and ISIS, as well as long needed educational, health and other domestic reforms."




July 20, 2015

"A Good Deal for Israel"

Op-Ed, The New York Times

By Chuck Freilich, Senior Fellow, International Security Program

"The agreement's detractors have been long on invective, short on suggestions. A collapse of the talks would have freed Iran to go forward and left America struggling to maintain a sanctions regime weakened by international disunity. Israel would have remained isolated, left only with the military option. These are hardly desirable outcomes."



White House Photo

July 20, 2015

"Endangering Israel's Security"

Op-Ed, The Jerusalem Post

By Chuck Freilich, Senior Fellow, International Security Program

"...[T]here is virtually no chance Netanyahu can defeat Obama in Congress. It comes down to 13 Democratic Senators. Who, in the final analysis, is likely to have greater sway over them, the Israeli premier, or the president of the USA? I remember well the dramatic vote on the sale of AWACS to the Saudis in 1981, the last time we directly took on a president (and lost). One of the modern senatorial greats was ardently against the deal until the last, at which time he was convinced by the president's eloquent strategic arguments."



July 17, 2015

"The Experts Assess the Iran Agreement of 2015: Chuck Freilich"

Op-Ed, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

By Chuck Freilich, Senior Fellow, International Security Program

"It is time for the prime minister to accept that this is the deal and to do what he should have done from the beginning: engage with the administration on the means of minimizing the threat to Israel and maximizing Israel's contribution to the agreement's successful implementation. Israel has intelligence capabilities and experience that can be invaluable in the years to come."




"Israel: National Security Decision-Making in a Leaky Political Fishbowl"

Journal Article, Comparative Strategy, issue 2, volume 34

By Chuck Freilich, Senior Fellow, International Security Program

The article is a first attempt to systematically assess the impact of leaks on Israeli decision-making. Five major cases were studied on three levels: whether leaks affected the process, policies adopted, and outcomes.



April 14, 2015

"Netanyahu Prepares for a Gunfight"


By Chuck Freilich, Senior Fellow, International Security Program

"Netanyahu's actions are unprecedented in U.S. history. A foreign leader — from a country considered to be a close U.S. ally — has placed himself, frontally, between a U.S. president and a major presidential foreign policy initiative. Not diplomatic reservations, along with discrete behind the scenes efforts to improve the agreement. Not a polite request to amend the agreement, but total public opposition, designed to torpedo the agreement, along with unrealistic demands...."



April-May 2015

"Why Can't Israel Win Wars Any More?"

Journal Article, Survival, issue 2, volume 57

By Chuck Freilich, Senior Fellow, International Security Program

With its basic security against non-nuclear threats now essentially ensured, Israel should develop a greater ability to live with the pain inflicted by Hizbullah, Hamas and others like them.




"The Delegitimization of Israel: Diplomatic Warfare, Sanctions, and Lawfare"

Journal Article, Israel Journal of Foreign Affairs, issue 1, volume 9

By Chuck Freilich, Senior Fellow, International Security Program and Matthew S. Cohen

Delegitimization and diplomatic warfare campaigns are organized efforts to sway public opinion and national policy, and are aimed at making it difficult for nations to pursue their interests....The tools used to accomplish this include condemnation in international fora, attempts to undermine the nation's bilateral relations with other nations, and the use of the media and public events to spread negative impressions of the nation. The end goal is to compel the nation to change policies or make it a pariah, thus undermining its ability to prosper or even survive.



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