New Books

By: Guy Ziv

Cambridge University Press, January 2024.

Netanyahu vs The Generals: The Battle for Israel’s Future

Benjamin Netanyahu has carefully cultivated a self-image as Israel’s ‘Mr. Security’ during his decades of political activity. His reputation as a security-minded leader has resonated with large swathes of the Israeli public, enabling him to become Israel’s longest-serving prime minister. Yet the Israeli security community has long questioned Netanyahu’s approach to national security. The Netanyahu era has seen unprecedented civil-military tensions, while retired generals and former heads of the Mossad and Shin Bet intelligence agencies, some of whom were appointed by Netanyahu, have publicly rejected both his leadership and his policies. Drawing on interviews with dozens of senior veterans of the Israeli security establishment, this book addresses this intriguing paradox. It sets out to explain the mutual distrust and intense disagreements between Netanyahu and the security community, as well as the underlying reasons behind the Israeli public’s inattention to the collective judgment of hundreds of ex-generals and former spymasters.