Yoram Ettinger


Yoram Ettinger photo
Ambassador (Retired) Yoram Ettinger is an insider on US-Israel relations, Mideast politics and overseas investments in Israel's high tech. He is a consultant to members of the Israeli Cabinet and Knesset, and regularly briefs US legislators and their staff. His OpEds have been published in Israel and the US he has been interviewed in both Australia and the U.S. A graduate of UCLA and undergraduate at UTEP, he served amongst other things, as Minister for Congressional Affairs at Israel's Embassy in Washington. He is the editor of "Straight from the Jerusalem Cloakroom and Boardroom" newsletters on issues of national security and overseas investments in Israel's high-tech.

Most Recent Articles by Yoram Ettinger:

Israel - a cybersecurity powerhouse

Jul 21, 2017 — Yoram Ettinger

According to the June 15, 2017 Wall Street Journal, six Israeli startups (three in the cybersecurity sector) are among the top 25 tech companies, which may be the global leaders of tomorrow.

According to Forbes Magazine, Israel has become a cybersecurity powerhouse, creating more than 300 cybersecurity startups, exporting in 2016 $6.5BN in cybersecurity products, convincing more than 30 multinationals to establish local research & development centers in Israel and attracting foreign investors. According to Forbes, there are six reasons leading to Israel’s prominence in the world of cybersecurity: the close government-military-business-academia interaction; government support of early-stage cybersecurity startups; Israel’s military as a startup incubator and accelerator, combining research and operation; investing in human capital (e.g., cybersecurity is an elective high school matriculation exam, and operating six university cybersecurity research centers); Israel’s overall inter-disciplined and diverse human factor enhanced through military service and interaction with global giants; Israel’s constant need to defy security and commercial odds.

Obstacles to peace: a politically-incorrect diagnosis

Jul 18, 2017 — Yoram Ettinger

Political-correctness suggests that the resolution of the Palestinian issue is predicated upon a dramatic Israeli land-concession and the establishment of a Palestinian state: the two state solution.

Moreover, political-correctness has subordinated Middle East reality and long term national security to the achievement of the holy grail of peaceful-coexistence between Jews and Arabs west of the Jordan River.  In the process, the “holy grailers” have oversimplified the highly-complex, unpredictable, violent, intolerant, fragmented Middle East.  This is the same school of thought, which applauded the 1993 (Oslo Accord) and 2005 (uprooting all Jews from Gaza) sweeping Israeli concessions—which, in fact, escalated terror, war and hate education—and misperceived the Arab Tsunami, in 2011, as an “Arab Spring,” the “Youth Revolution” and the “transition towards democracy.”

US pressure on Israel? No need to panic!

Jun 26, 2017 — Yoram Ettinger

Can Israel afford to defy US presidential pressure to concede land, which is historically and militarily critical to the future of the Jewish State?

US presidential pressure has been an integral part of the US-Israel saga since 1948. However, in retrospect, US pressure on Israel has been based on erroneous assessments of the Middle East, failing to advance the cause of peace, as evidenced by the only two peace accords (between Israel and Egypt and Jordan), which were the result of direct Israeli initiatives, not US pressure.

In fact, US pressure on Israel has forced Arabs to outflank the US from the maximalist side, causing further setbacks to the peace process.

Israel’s economy - persistent defiance of conventional wisdom

Jun 15, 2017 — Yoram Ettinger

In defiance of the jagged cutting edge of the Middle East, the inherent regional unpredictability, uncertainty, instability, violence, brutal Islamic intolerance of the “infidel” and the lack of formal diplomatic relations with most of its neighbors, Israel has displayed a unique level of resilience, steadfastness, stability and creativity.

The Palestinian-North Korean Connection

Jun 12, 2017 — Yoram Ettinger

A thorough examination of the track record of the Palestinian Authority, the PLO, Fatah (all three headed by Mahmoud Abbas) and Hamas is a prerequisite for a realistic assessment of the nature of the proposed Palestinian state and its potential impact upon vital US interests in the Middle East.

North Korea has scrutinized these terror organizations since their inception, in 1959 (Fatah), and has identified the significant, long-term, geo-political synergies between them and Pyongyang. Hence, the systematic and elaborate geo-strategic cooperation, since 1966, between one of the most repressive, terroristic and anti-US regimes in the world and the Palestinian terror organizations, which have been systematically anti-American, role-models of international and intra-Arab terrorism, subversion and treachery. Similarly to North Korea, they forged alliances with the USSR and the ruthless East European communist regimes, collaborated with Iran’s Ayatollahs, fomenting egregious systems of hate-education, incitement and repression.

The 1967 Six Day War mega-bonus to the USA

May 25, 2017 — Yoram Ettinger

The expanded strategic cooperation between Israel, Saudi Arabia and other pro-US Arab Gulf States in 2017 – in the face of clear, present and lethal threats posed by Iran’s Ayatollahs and Islamic terrorism - has its roots in the June, 1967 Six Day War and the civil war in Yemen during the early 1960s.

The impact of the June, 1967 Six Day War transcended the Arab-Israeli conflict.  It highlighted Israel as a unique national security producer for the US, extending the strategic hand of the US and upgrading the US posture of deterrence, without requiring US personnel and bases.

Secretary Tillerson’s political correctness

May 19, 2017 — Yoram Ettinger

While the election of President Trump represented a setback to political-correctness, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s interview on May 14, 2017 NBC’s Meet the Pressreflected the State Department’s political correctness on US-Israel and US-Arab relations, the Palestinian issue and the relocation of the US Embassy to Jerusalem.

The interview may have sent a message of US procrastination on the relocation of the US Embassy to Jerusalem, the ancient core of Judaism and Jewish history, which inspired the early US Pilgrims and Founding Fathers. Procrastination would be interpreted by Arabs as US retreat in the face of Arab pressure and threats, eroding the US posture of deterrence, triggering further pressure and emboldening anti-US Islamic terrorism.

Israel’s economy surges against all odds

May 4, 2017 — Yoram Ettinger

Intel acquired Mobileye, Israel’s auto-tech giant, for $15.3BN (Globes, March 13, 2017) The British equity firm, APAX, acquired Israel’s medical equipment Syneron for $397MN (Globes, April 30). The New Jersey-based Becton-Dickinson, the medical equipment giant, acquired Israel’s CME for $250mn (Globes, April 5). Palo Alto acquired Israel’s LightCyber for $130mn. In 2014,, Palo Alto acquired Israel’s Cyvera for $112mn (Globes, March 1) The Washington, DC-based Danaher acquired Israel’s printing quality inspection AVT for $107mn (Globes, March 6). The New York-based event-ticketing giant, SeatGeek, acquired Israel’s TopTix for $56mn (Globes, April 20).  

Convergence of US-Israel national security interests

Apr 30, 2017 — Yoram Ettinger

In 2017, the national security interests of the US and Israel have converged, in an unprecedented manner, in response to the anti-US Arab Tsunami; anti-US Islamic terrorism; the declining European posture of deterrence; drastic cuts in the US defense budget; an increasingly unpredictable, dangerous globe; Israel’s surge of military and commercial capabilities and US-Israel shared values.

Contrary to conventional wisdom—and traditional State Department policy - US-Israel and US-Arab relations are not a case of zero-sum-game. This is currently demonstrated by enhanced US-Israel strategic cooperation, concurrently with expanded security cooperation between Israel and Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and other pro-US Arab countries, as well as stronger cooperation between the US and those same Arab countries. Unlike the simplistic view of the Middle East, Arab policy-makers are well aware of their priorities, especially when the radical Islamic machete is at their throats. They are consumed by internal and external intra-Muslim, intra-Arab violence, which have bled and dominated the Arab agenda, prior to - and irrespective of - the Palestinian issue, which has never been a core cause of regional turbulence, a crown-jewel of Arab policy-making, nor the crux of the Arab-Israeli conflict.

Israel - US Relations: a mutually beneficial bilateral bond

Apr 23, 2017 — Yoram Ettinger

The ten-minute video highlights:

  • US policy toward Israel is driven by prime US national security interests and priorities, militarily and commercially.
  • US-Israel relations have evolved into a productive two-way-street, mutually-beneficial ties, militarily and commercially.
  • Israel is a unique national-security producer for the US, in face of the imminent threats of Iran’s Ayatollahs and Islamic terrorism, and in the attempt to bolster the pro-US Arab regimes.
  • US policy toward the proposed Palestinian state should be based on US national security interests, realizing that a Palestinian state west of the Jordan River would doom the pro-US Hashemite Jordanian regime east of the Jordan River, and consequently threaten the pro-US Arab regimes in the Arabian Peninsula.
  • The Jewish community in the US has provided a robust tailwind to the deeply-rooted affinity (since the 1620 “Mayflower”), by the American people, toward the Jewish state. Congressional legislation, enhancing US-Israel cooperation have been introduced, almost exclusively, by Christian legislators.

Is the Palestinian issue a core cause of Mideast turbulence?

Mar 24, 2017 — Yoram Ettinger

Irrespective of -  and unrelated to - the Palestinian issue, the Middle East is boiling, firing the 14-century-old Sunni-Shia intra-Muslim confrontation, exacerbating intra-Arab violence in Syria, Iraq, Libya, Yemen, Egypt, Tunisia, Bahrain and threatening to explode in every Arab country. The Arab Tsunami, which has erupted independent of the Palestinian issue, has been leveraged by Iran’s Ayatollahs, in order to advance their supremacist, megalomaniacal goal of dominating the Persian Gulf, the Middle East and beyond, notwithstanding the Palestinian issue, which has never played a substantial role in shaping the stormy intra-Arab and intra-Muslim relations and the Middle East agenda.

The State Department – a systematic blunderer

Mar 17, 2017 — Yoram Ettinger

In 2011, the Department of State welcomed the Arab Tsunami, which has displaced millions of people and murdered hundreds of thousands – and keeps raging - as an Arab Spring, youth revolution, Facebook revolution and a transition towards democracy.

In 2011, the State Department recommended the toppling of Gaddafi in Libya, in spite of Gaddafi’s transfer of Libya’s nuclear infrastructure to the US in 2003, and irrespective of his fierce battle against Islamic terrorism. The toppling of the ruthless Gaddafi transformed Libya into the largest, lawless platform of Islamic terrorism in the Middle East, spilling over into Africa, Europe and the rest of the world, severely undermining the US national and homeland security.

Israel’s economic surge in defiance of adversity

Feb 26, 2017 — Yoram Ettinger

Notwithstanding Israel’s unique challenges of the chaotically unpredictable state of the Middle East, the Islamic and Arab onslaught, the scarcity of natural resources (other than brain power), the UN enmity, the European appeasement of rogue regimes, systematic criticism by the “elite” media and the attempt to boycott, divest and sanction, the independent, non-partisan quarterly, The American Interest, stated on January 24: “This is there is a new name on our list of The Eight Greats, Israel….

A Palestinian state: is it good/bad for the USA?

Feb 15, 2017 — Yoram Ettinger

In 1948, the US State Department’s conventional “wisdom” contended that the reestablishment of a Jewish state would damage US interests, since the Jewish state would be aligned with the USSR, undermine US-Arab relations, intensify regional instability, and would be militarily devastated by its Arab neighbors, thus causing a second Jewish Holocaust in less than ten years.

However, conventional “wisdom” was trounced on the rocks of Middle East reality, as it was when: the State Department appeased Egyptian President Nasser (1950s); facilitated the toppling of the Shah of Iran by the Ayatollas (1977-78); embraced Saddam Hussein, and inadvertently encouraged his August 1989 invasion of Kuwait; proclaimed Arafat as a messenger of peace (1993); welcomed the Arab Tsunami as the Arab Spring, a transition toward democracy (2011); supported the anti-US Muslim Brotherhood offensive against the pro-US Egyptian President Mubarak, and turned a cold shoulder toward the pro-US President al-Sisi (2011-2017); toppled the Kaddafi regime, thus transforming Libya into a major platform of Islamic terrorism (2011), etc.

Can Israel rely on foreign peacekeepers and security guarantees?

Feb 12, 2017 — Yoram Ettinger

Israel is urged to concede the historically and militarily most critical mountain ridges of Judea and Samaria, in return for a US, or a multinational, peacekeeping force, as well as US security guarantees or defense pact.

In order to be effective, defense pacts, and security guarantees – including peacekeeping monitoring or combat forces - must be reliable, durable, specific and politically/militarily sustainable. It must serve the interests of the foreign entity, which dispatches the force, lest it be ignored or summarily withdrawn.