It’s hard to overstate the goodwill that President Biden earned from the Israeli public in his first speech, and in the very clear moves, both of the carrier groups and the shooting down into missiles from Yemen … And, as a result, [Biden] is able to use that political capital. I think it’s quite clear to everyone that America is part of the reason that Israel is taking more time.
He has taught as an adjunct professor at Georgetown University’s Department of Government and its Security Studies Program. Prior to joining Brookings, Sachs was a Fulbright fellow in Indonesia, a visiting fellow at Tel Aviv University’s Dayan Center for Middle East and African Studies, and a Hewlett fellow at Stanford’s Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law.
Sachs is an expert on Israeli foreign policy, its domestic politics, and on U.S. policy toward the Middle East. His writing has appeared in such publications as Foreign Affairs, The Washington Post, The Atlantic, Foreign Policy, The New York Times Global, Yediot Ahronot, and Haaretz. His forthcoming book describes the aftermath of the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, the dangers of both a one-state agenda and “anti-solutionism,” and recommends policy for promoting a more peaceful and just relationship among Israelis and Palestinians.
Sachs has provided testimony before Congress and has offered expert commentary to the New York Times, The Washington Post, The Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal, The New Yorker, Bloomberg, and many other publications. He has appeared on TV and radio with CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, the BBC, Bloomberg, Israel Channel 12, Haaretz, and Galei Tzahal, among others.
Sachs is a graduate of the Amirim Excellence program at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. He received his master’s and doctorate in political science from Stanford University.
Areas of Expertise
- Israeli politics and society
- Arab-Israeli conflict
- Politics of religion and identity
- Hewlett Pre-doctoral Fellow, Stanford Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law
- Fulbright Fellow, Indonesia
- Ph.D. and M.A., Stanford University
- B.A., Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Mentions and Appearances
It does not yet promise any broader unity beyond [the war] . . . Logic would suggest [Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu] is a new Golda Meir from 1973, an ex-prime minister walking. Of course, Netanyahu . . . may try to cling on to power for a while, but it can’t last.
The Israeli willingness to bear—and exact—costs is much higher than in the past … Just as the US would do things on 9/12 it wouldn’t have dreamed of doing on 9/10 … so Israel is very different than the Israel of 10/6.
This for Israel was a 9/11 moment, and what seemed for Israel prohibitively costly on Friday now seems very likely.
[For Israelis], Gaza is a one-word argument for the danger of unilateral withdrawal and trusting in Palestinian rule.
But the psychological impact of this [Hamas attack] for Israel is similar to 9/11 … So the calculus about cost could be quite different this time.
In many ways, this is a true doomsday scenario for Israeli intelligence. And many in Israel, although it’s very early, are talking about this as a second 1973, when Israel was surprised. Of course, then the stakes were much, much higher and bigger with Egypt and Syria attacking.
[The Israel Defense Forces’ readiness could be affected due to the thousands of military reservists who have sworn to stop volunteering if Netanyahu advances his overhaul of the courts.] In the short term, there could be operational issues, especially if particular units are not up to Israeli standards, which are pretty high standards. The numbers are considerable, especially in some of the squadrons.
The Netanyahus — who travel together even on diplomatic trips — are notorious in Israel for their reportedly extravagant habits … The contrast of the historic achievement and the petty acts is remarkable, even tragic.