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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: 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.



February 17, 2015

"Netanyahu Undermines Battle Against Nuclear Iran"


By Chuck Freilich, Senior Fellow, International Security Program

"It is clear...that the true motivation for the visit was an attempt by the Prime Minister to use the Congressional stage for his own political purposes and by the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Boehner, to drive an historic wedge between the Democrats and Republicans on Israel."



February 2, 2015

Bibi's Gamble

Media Feature

By Charles G. Cogan, Associate, International Security Program, Chuck Freilich, Senior Fellow, International Security Program and Jim Lobe

The closer the Western powers and Iran come to a negotiated settlement, the more we hear the West and Iran are destined to be enemies. Can the political establishment in the West and Israel ever say 'yes' to peaceful co-existence with the Islamic Republic? CrossTalking with Charles Cogan, Chuck Freilich, and Jim Lobe.



משתמש:בית השלום CC

Janaury 22, 2015

"A 'Big Bang' in Israeli Politics?"

Op-Ed, American Interest

By Chuck Freilich, Senior Fellow, International Security Program

"The need for major reforms in the areas of health, education, housing, and even national security strategy are common to many countries, but the ability of Israel's governmental system to deliver these public goods is increasingly in question."




December 31, 2014

"From Decisive Defeat to Restraint"


By Chuck Freilich, Senior Fellow, International Security Program

"In these circumstances, in which Israel's ability to achieve decisive defeats in future conflicts has diminished, it should be more selective in its uses of force and do so primarily when the prospects of achieving decisive defeat are high, not just out of a desire to preserve some vague concept of deterrence."



Getty Images

November 26, 2014

"'But is it Good for the Jews?'"

Op-Ed, The Jerusalem Post

By Chuck Freilich, Senior Fellow, International Security Program

"After an admirable campaign to place the Iranian issue on the international agenda, Netanyahu overplayed his hand and turned himself into an annoyance, largely ignored by the international community, even the US. Moreover, his West Bank policies have dramatically exacerbated Israel's international isolation, including the worst downturn in relations with the US in decades. If a nuclear Iran truly is an existential threat, as Netanyahu avers, it warrants a commensurate effort to regain the high ground on the Palestinian issue as well. In fact, doing so is essential in its own right."



November 26, 2014

"A Hard Truth: Iran Will Remain a Nuclear Threshold State"

Op-Ed, The National Interest

By Chuck Freilich, Senior Fellow, International Security Program

"Based on what we know of the negotiations, the hard truth is that Iran will have succeeded in becoming a de facto nuclear threshold state, i.e. one that will remain just months from an operational capability; the threat of a nuclear Iran will be with us for years to come, and, in effect, we will be talking about ongoing conflict management, not resolution."



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