Yehoshafat Harkabi

Chief of Israeli Military Intelligence
Yehoshafat Harkabi

Yehoshafat Harkabi (Hebrew: יהושפט הרכבי, born 1921, Haifa; died 26 August 1994, Jerusalem) was chief of Israeli military intelligence from 1955 until 1959 and afterwards a professor of International Relations and Middle East Studies at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.


The Israeli delegation to the 1949 Armistice Agreements talks. Left to right: Commanders Yehoshafat Harkabi, Aryeh Simon, Yigael Yadin, and Yitzhak Rabin (1949)

Harkabi had a good command of Arabic, a deep knowledge of Arab civilization and history, and a solid understanding of Islam. He developed from an uncompromising hardliner to supporter of a Palestinian state who recognized the PLO as a negotiations partner. In his most well-known work Israel's Fateful Hour, Harkabi described himself as a "Machiavellian dove" intent on searching "for a policy by which Israel can get the best possible settlement of the conflict in the Middle East" (1988, p. xx) - a policy that would include a Zionism "of quality and not of acreage" (p. 225).

Harkabi was forced to resign as chief of Military Intelligence as a consequence of the 1959 Night of the Ducks.[1]

Following his military career, Harkabi served as a visiting professor at Princeton University and guest scholar at the Brookings Institution. He was Maurice Hexter professor and director of the Leonard Davis Institute of International Relations and Middle East Studies at Hebrew University of Jerusalem.


In 1993, Harkabi was awarded the Israel Prize, for political science.[2]

Published works

  • Harkabi, Y. (1974). Arab Attitudes to Israel. Transaction Publishers. ISBN 0-85303-157-6
  • Harkabi, Y. (1975). Palestinians and Israel. Transaction Publishers. ISBN 0-87855-172-7
  • Harkabi, Y. (1977). Arab Strategies and Israel's Response. Free Press. ISBN 0-02-913760-8
  • Harkabi, Y. (1978). Three Concepts of Arab Strategy. Anti-Defamation League of B'nai B'rith. ISBN B0006WY3PU
  • Harkabi, Y. (1979). Palestinian Covenant and Its Meaning. Frank Cass Publishers. ISBN 0-85303-206-8
  • Harkabi, Y. (1981). The Palestinian National Covenant (1968): An Israeli Commentary. ISBN B0007J3GFA
  • Harkabi, Y. (1982). The Bar Kokhba Syndrome: Risk and Realism in International Relations. New York, NY, Rossel Books. ISBN 0-940646-01-3
  • Harkabi, Y. (1985). Al Fatah's Doctrine. In The Israel-Arab Reader: A Documentary History of the Middle East Conflict. T. W. Laqueur and B. Rubin (Eds.). New York, NY, Penguin Books. ISBN 0-87196-873-8
  • Harkabi, Y. (1988). Israel's Fateful Decisions. I.B. Tauris. ISBN 1-85043-094-2
  • Harkabi, Y. (1989). Israel's Fateful Hour. HarperCollins. ISBN 0-06-091613-3 (Chapter 5: Nationalistic Judaism)
  • Harkabi, Y. (1992). The Arab-Israeli Conflict on the Threshold of Negotiations. Center of International Studies, Princeton University. ISBN 99924-0-953-3

See also


  1. ^ Bar-Joseph, Uri (2016). The Angel: The Egyptian Spy Who Saved Israel. New York: HarperCollins. p. 213. ISBN 9780062420138.
  2. ^ "Israel Prize Official Site - Recipients in 1993 (in Hebrew)".

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