The co-op bookstore for avid readers
Book Cover for: Israeli National Intelligence Culture: Problem-Solving, Exceptionalism, and Pragmatism, Itai Shapira

Israeli National Intelligence Culture: Problem-Solving, Exceptionalism, and Pragmatism

Itai Shapira

The book offers a novel conceptualization of Israeli national intelligence culture, describing the way in which Israelis perceive and practise intelligence.

Different nations have different national intelligence cultures, relying on different ideas of intelligence, and perceiving and practising intelligence in different ways. Written by a former senior intelligence officer, this is the first study dedicated to Israeli intelligence culture and the way it reflects Israeli strategic culture. Relying on more than 30 elite interviews with acting and former Israeli practitioners, the book highlights the Israeli aversion to intelligence theory and scientific methods, as well as to the structured management of the intelligence system at the national level. It describes the intelligence service's emphasis on contrarian thinking and moral courage as the foundations of intelligence professionalism, and the growing inclination of Israeli intelligence towards action and influence. Intelligence is perceived and practised by Israelis as a tool for problem-solving, addressing unique Israeli challenges. While some traits of the Israeli national intelligence culture have contributed to its high reputation and its 'success story', others might have also contributed to its failure in anticipating the Hamas terrorist attack on October 2023, or have remained aspirational norms rather than realized practice. The October 2023 failure, as that of the Yom Kippur War in 1973, will undoubtfully influence Israeli national intelligence culture for many years to come.

This book will be of much interest to students of intelligence studies, Israeli politics, strategic studies, and International Relations.

Book Details

  • Publisher: Routledge
  • Publish Date: Oct 18th, 2024
  • Pages: 244
  • Language: English
  • Dimensions: 0.00in - 0.00in - 0.00in - 0.00lb
  • EAN: 9781032778112
  • Categories: Intelligence & EspionageMiddle East - Israel & PalestineSecurity (National & International)

About the Author

Itai Shapira has served for more than 25 years in the Israeli Defense Intelligence on the strategic, operational, and tactical levels, retiring as a colonel. He holds a BA in Economics and Philosophy and an MBA from Tel-Aviv University and is a graduate of the Israeli National Defence College. He earned his PhD from the University of Leicester, studying Israeli national intelligence culture.

Praise for this book

'Itai Shapira's study of Israeli intelligence culture is a major contribution to the field of Intelligence Studies, one that advances the subject in terms of conceptual approach and geographical focus. It is set to become an essential reference point for practitioners, academics, and students seeking to understand Israel's intelligence environment.'.

- Mark Phythian, University of Leicester, UK

'Itai Shapira's groundbreaking analysis of the strategic culture of Israel's intelligence community will be the go-to resource for scholars seeking to explain the intelligence failure of October 7th. Shapira's exhaustive research provides stunning evidence of the impact of organizational culture in shaping intelligence and policy outcomes, and is a critical addition to the bookshelves of all national security professionals.'

- Jeannie Johnson, Utah State University, USA

Reading Lists – Current Affairs