The Third Annual Baron Edmond Benjamin de Rothschild “Herzliya Conference” on the Balance of Israel’s National Security took place during Hanukah, December 2002. Against the backdrop of transpiring strategic developments in Israel’s political and security environment, due to, inter alia, the anticipated war against Iraq, the conference discussed Israel’s evolving strategic landscape, the challenges it presents and available policy options. Among the themes the conference debated were the modalities of long-range military campaigns, Israel’s Homefront and the diplomatic campaigns on the international and regional fronts. The demographic problems of the Jewish world were also widely addressed in the conference. Along with these questions, the conference flashed out the domestic issues of government and governance in Israel and the future and competitiveness of its economy in the face of social and technological changes.
As in the past, this year’s conference convened Israel’s senior leadership along with senior diplomatic representatives, who chose the dais to deliver major policy addresses. Notably, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s address was the first detailed exposition of his “Road Map” for the Israeli-Palestinian process.