top of page


Israeli decision-makers in military and civilian life, diplomats, journalists and academics worldwide – all have come to rely on the Begin-Sadat Center’s work when considering the opportunities for peace and the problems of war in the Middle East.  A non-partisan and independent institute, The Center was founded in 1993 by Thomas O. Hecht, a Canadian Jewish community leader, and receives generous support from Mira & Saul Koschitzky. The Center is named in memory of Menachem Begin and Anwar Sadat, whose groundbreaking Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty laid the cornerstone for future conflict resolution in the Middle East.


The Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies seeks to expand its activities and extend its reach through a series of significant public policy projects which are critical to Israel’s security agenda.


Over the past 24 years, the Center has produced some 750 original research and policy papers as well as 25 books. It has conducted more than 600 symposia and international conferences — for defense, military industry, and intelligence and foreign policy specialists, as well as diplomats, business people, academics and politicians.


The Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies has been ranked one of the three top think tanks in the Middle East and Africa, along with Carnegie Middle East Center in Lebanon and the Gulf Research Center of Saudi Arabia, and as the leading strategic think tank in Israel.

Screen Shot 2022-05-06 at 10.12.10 AM.png
Screen Shot 2022-08-22 at 3.12.50 PM.png



Former head of the National Security Doctrine Department at the Israel Ministry of Strategic Affairs and an expert on insurgencies and combat doctrine, Dr. Eitan Shamir, of BIU’s Department of Political Studies, is a sought-after speaker at leading military academies and research institutes throughout the world. 


Dr. Shamir is the director of BIU’s Security and Military Intelligence Studies Graduate Program and is a senior researcher at the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies (BESA).  He explores military culture and organization, military command and strategy and national security. 


Comparing armies and tracing the traditions of military culture and its impact on conflicts, his research has particular relevance to Israeli security and Israel Defense Forces strategy.


Among Dr. Shamir's most prominent publications is his book “Transforming Command: The Pursuit of Mission Command in the US, UK and Israeli Armies” (Stanford UP, 2011), which includes an introduction by the US National Security Advisor, General H.R. McMaster. The book, which was awarded the Moldovan Prize for Military Literature, was endorsed by General Martin Dempsey, the 18th Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff. It has become required reading in major command courses in Israel and around the world, including the US Army, Marines, Navy and Air Force Staff & Command Colleges and Military Academies as well as the British, Swede and UK Military Colleges. 


Another of Dr. Shamir’s respected works is “Insurgencies and Counterinsurgencies: National Styles and Strategic Cultures” (Cambridge UP, 2016), which he co-edited with Prof. Beatrice Heuser. 


Dr. Shamir, who obtained his PhD from King’s College London (Department of War Studies), has published numerous articles in leading academic journals. He has also served as a senior researcher at the Dado Center for Interdisciplinary Military Studies in the Operations Directorate of the IDF General Staff. 

Dr. Eitan Shamir-The New Head of BESA Center 

bottom of page