Israel Cannot Accept the Emerging Accord between the US and Iran

An agreement that would allow Iran to maintain a full nuclear fuel cycle would be far worse than no agreement, and could force Israel to respond independentlymore


The Jordan Valley is Israel’s Only Defensible Eastern Border

April 14, 2014,

Israel has a natural right to, and an internationally recognized need for, defensible borders. The Jordan Valley is the only truly defensible eastern border for Israel, says a former IDF deputy chief of staff and national security adviser.more

Old City from the Mount of the Olives

Jerusalem is not up for grabs

April 10, 2014,

Palestinian demands to divide Jerusalem are unreasonable and it is time for U.S. and the international community to recognise thismore

Secretary Kerry, Minister Livni and and Palestinian Chief Negotiator Erekat

Respond Firmly to Palestinian Blackmail

April 6, 2014,

Israel's government should kick the habit of paying the Palestinians for their participation in peace talksmore


New at the BESA Center

Major General (res.) Yaacov Amidror Joins the BESA Center

March 23, 2014,

Maj. Gen. (res.) Amidror, who recently retired as National Security Advisor to the Prime Minister and the Head of the National Security Council, has joined BESA as the Anne and Greg Rosshandler Senior Fellow.

Israel Palestinian Negotiations: Whereto?

March 30, 2014,

On Thursday, March 27,the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies and the Security Council for Israel co-hosted a conference on “Israeli-Palestinian Negotiations: Whereto?”

Newest Publications

Israel Cannot Accept the Emerging Accord between the US and Iran

An agreement that would allow Iran to maintain a full nuclear fuel cycle would be far worse than no agreement, and could force Israel to respond independently

Jerusalem is not up for grabs

April 10, 2014

Palestinian demands to divide Jerusalem are unreasonable and it is time for U.S. and the international community to recognise this

The Jordan Valley is Israel’s Only Defensible Eastern Border


Israel has a natural right to, and an internationally recognized need for, defensible borders. The Jordan Valley is the only truly defensible eastern border for Israel, says a former IDF deputy chief of staff and national security adviser.

Confronting Iran

Israel Cannot Accept the Emerging Accord between the US and Iran

An agreement that would allow Iran to maintain a full nuclear fuel cycle would be far worse than no agreement, and could force Israel to respond independently

The Geneva Interim Accord: A Bad Deal

December 2, 2013

The interim accord reached in Geneva regarding Iran’s nuclear program is a bad deal that enshrines Iran’s status as a nuclear threshold state and paves Tehran’s path towards a nuclear bomb.

A Strike on Iran: Complex, But Possible

November 21, 2013

An Israeli strike on Iran’s nuclear infrastructure is a risky and militarily-complicated endeavor, but within reach. Israeli ingenuity and determination could lead to a great operational and political success.

France and the Iranian Nuclear Program

November 14, 2013

France’s bold move to hold up a nuclear deal between the P5+1 and Iran reflects its broader policy and genuine concern about a nuclear Iran.

Israel vs. the Iran-Hizballah Axis

November 14, 2013

The IDF and the Iran-Hizballah axis are in the midst of a long-term military build-up, preparing for the possibility of a full-scale eruption of the ongoing covert struggle between them.

Armed and Dangerous: Why a Rational, Nuclear Iran Is an Unacceptable Risk to Israel

November 1, 2013

The Iranian regime can be considered rational, but it cannot be trusted with nuclear weapons. History has proven that radical regimes can seek the destruction of others if faced with an immense threat. Israel cannot rely on deterrence and must be prepared to confront Iran militarily or invest in ballistic missile defense.

Washington Must Strike Iran, Not Bargain With It

October 31, 2013

Iran is just buying time until it has a nuclear break-out capability and the ability to threaten world security. The US must act militarily to stop Iran and restore its international credibility.

Syrian Civil War

Will Syria’s Chemical Weapons Arsenal Be Eliminated?

Efforts to dismantle Syria’s chemical weapons are running months behind schedule. Even if Assad abides by his commitment, Syria’s equally dangerous biological weapon stocks will remain.

Syria’s Chemical Weapons: Is Disarmament Possible?

September 24, 2013

Disarming Syria’s chemical arsenal will be a big challenge. The US-Russia timetable seems too condensed, even if good will is assumed. Syria possesses a huge chemical weapons arsenal, and is likely to further develop biological weapons, which the US-Russia accord does not discuss.

France and the Syrian Civil War: From Diplomacy to Military Intervention?

September 8, 2013

France has changed its view that conflicts can be resolved only through diplomacy, which explains the country’s recent military activism in Libya, Mali, and perhaps soon in Syria, as well.

The End of Syria?

November 15, 2012

In this roundtable discussion, ten experts at the BESA Center the implications for Israel and the West of the civil war raging in Syria, just across Israel’s northern border. The bottom line: Israel should stay out of the conflict but prepare for continued instability as Syria breaks up.

The Fate of Syria’s Chemical and Biological Weapons

Bombing Syrian CBW stockpiles could result in significant environmental pollution. If Assad falls, the West needs to ensure secure transposition of these arms to a stable, sane central authority.

Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

Recognition of Jewish Israel is Critical for Palestinians

An agreement between Israel and the Palestinians must include Palestinian recognition of Israel as the nation state of the Jews, or it is not worth the paper it is written on.

Respond Firmly to Palestinian Blackmail

April 6, 2014

Israel’s government should kick the habit of paying the Palestinians for their participation in peace talks

The Truth Behind the Palestinian Water Libels

February 24, 2014

Palestinian water shortages are the result of Palestinian policies that deliberately waste water and destroy the regional water ecology. The PA is using water as a weapon against the State of Israel.

The Boycott Mirage

February 9, 2014

A collapse in Israeli-Palestinian peace talks will not lead to an international boycott of Israel. Jerusalem’s robust trade relations with many countries will not freeze over an impasse in negotiations.

The Jordan Valley: Israel’s Security Belt

January 6, 2014

Israel must resist pressure and retain the Jordan Valley, its only available defensible border to the east, in a future peace deal. Israel must also build in Area E-1, which would link the valley to an undivided Jerusalem.

New Paradigms in Peace Diplomacy

Regional Alternatives to the Two-State Solution


Within the currently-defined, narrow confines of the conventional two-state parameters, no Israeli-Palestinian agreement is likely. Regional alternatives that widen the scope of actors taking responsibility for a settlement can creatively help break the impasse.

The Rise and Demise of the Two-State Paradigm

January 1, 2009

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict over the Land of Israel has evolved over the past hundred years. Nowadays, most attempts to solve this conflict revolve around the two-state paradigm. However, a solution based on this paradigm is unlikely to emerge in the near future.

A Strategy for Peace with the Palestinians

November 1, 2012

The Palestinians refuse to accept Israel as a Jewish state and are reluctant to drop their armed and ideological opposition to Israel’s existence. The global community can oppose Palestinian denial of Israel’s connection to the land; support Israel’s legitimacy; resettle Palestinian refugees outside of Israel; modify aid programs to reduce Palestinian use of foreign money to support terror; and encourage free speech in Palestinian society.

US-Israel Relations

Kerry: Stay Home

November 10, 2013,

John Kerry warned of a return to Palestinian violence and Israel’s isolation should peace talks fail, yet another reflection of the Obama administration’s inability to properly understand the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Kerry’s Antagonism Unmasked

November 10, 2013

John Kerry has abandoned America’s honest broker stance in Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, laying out the consequences for Israel of disobeying America, but doing no such thing for the Palestinians if they remain intransigent.

A Second Term Obama Administration and the Middle East

December 16, 2012

The changes in the region will force the Obama administration to make some difficult decisions on how to act regarding Egypt, Syria, the Palestinians, and Iran. Alarmist scenarios that a second term Obama administration will abandon Israel are unwarranted.

US-Israel Mixed Messages on Iran

September 10, 2012

Israel and the US must improve their lines of communication. The US also ought to consider equipping Israel with enhanced military resources that would allow Israel to confront Iran at a later date – giving the West more time to pressure the Iranian regime.

Turkish-Israeli Relations

Erdogan Is in Trouble

December 29, 2013,

The Turkish Prime Minister is facing unprecedented political pressure that might precipitate the end of his rule.

The Deterioration in Israeli-Turkish Relations

February 1, 2011

Tensions between Ankara and Jerusalem have escalated since Turkey harshly criticized Israel following its invasion of the Gaza Strip in December 2008 (Operation Cast Lead). This is due to a reorientation in Turkish foreign policy, characterized by moving away from the West and by a desire for better relations with Muslim states.

The Cold War Between Turkey and Iran

June 11, 2012

Syria and Iraq have become battlefields on influence between Turkey and Iran. In Syria, a proxy war is underway, with Iran supplying weapons to its Alawite client and Turkey actively arming the opposition. In Iraq, Turkey and Iran vie for political influence along Sunni-Shiite fault lines.

Get Tough With Turkey

July 14, 2011

Turkish demands are unreasonable and an apology will not change the anti-Israeli policy of an increasingly authoritarian and Islamist Turkey. Israel’s reluctance to criticize Erdogan’s government is construed as weakness and Jerusalem should take off its gloves in dealing with Ankara.

The Future of Egypt

Egypt and the Threat of Islamic Terror

January 1, 2014,

Egypt’s new rulers are faced with a terror problem emanating from the Sinai, led by radical jihad groups. The US and international community must support the Egyptian regime to prevent Egypt from turning into the next Syria.

Welcome Back to Mubarak’s Egypt

July 4, 2013

The latest chapter in the Egyptian Revolution is nothing more than a return to the military dictatorship of Hosni Mubarak. Egypt’s troubles may only be beginning.

Egypt’s Army Will Not Intervene

March 12, 2013

Hopes or expectations that the Egyptian military will intervene in the deteriorating political and security crisis are probably misguided.

Morsi’s Egypt and Ahmadinejad’s Iran: Much Ado Over Next to Nothing

February 10, 2013

Morsi’s hosting Ahmadinejad signals a potential improvement in ties between Egypt and Iran. This move will backfire, as ultimately Morsi needs the US and Gulf countries more than they need him.

The Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and Its True Intentions Towards Israel

December 10, 2012

The Brotherhood sees Israel as a strategic threat and has aggressively lobbied Morsi to strengthen Egyptian military presence in Sinai. The anti-Israel rhetoric emanating from senior Brotherhood leaders must be taken seriously.

Arab Spring-Islamist Winter

An Arab Spring?

March 3, 2013,

In this new book, eight experts from the BESA Center and other institutes evaluate the Arab earthquakes rocking the Middle East. They consider their implications of the regional volatility for Israel and its chances to live peacefully in the region, as well as the implications for regional and global security.

2011 Arab Uprisings and Israel’’s Security

February 1, 2012

Dramatic events have unfolded in the Middle East since the beginning of 2011. This unstable environment indicates trouble for Israel. What follows is an assessment of the implications of the changing regional environment for Israel’s national security.

Confrontation Along Israel’s Borders

“Nakba Day” confrontations along Israel’s borders reflect new regional realities and a long-term weakening of Israel’s deterrence posture.

Missile Defense

The Missile Threat from Gaza: From Nuisance to Strategic Threat

December 1, 2011,

When the first Qassam rocket landed in the town of Sderot in October 2001, few observers, if any, perceived it as the harbinger of a protracted and increasingly furious campaign by the radical Palestinian groups in Gaza against Israel’s population centers adjacent to the Gaza Strip (the so called “Gaza envelope” communities) by ballistic weapons.

Iron Dome: Has the Euphoria Been Justified?

February 25, 2013

Praise for Iron Dome may be deserved, yet Israel’s deterrence capability has not been enhanced, and Israel’s enemies may initiate an arms race to try and defeat it.

Operation Pillar of Defense: An Initial Assessment

December 4, 2012

The operation also proved Israel’s determination to act forcefully in the post “Arab Spring” environment. However, the lack of a ground offensive allowed Hamas to craft a victory narrative and gave it the potential to re-arm.

Iron Dome: A Dress Rehearsal for War?

July 3, 2012

If the appearance of Iron Dome on the battlefields of southern Israel was what compelled Palestinians to scale down the scope of their rocket fire, this would be a major strategic achievement of Israel’s newly deployed missile shield, and a resounding exoneration for the resources invested in it.

Missile Warfare: A Realistic Assessment

January 25, 2012

The threat to Israel of missile warfare is somewhat exaggerated and public discourse on this issue should reflect realistic assessments. Missile attacks would be able to inflict only limited physical damage on Israel.

The Lessons of Operation Cast Lead and 2006 Lebanon War

February 19, 2009

Almost the entire Israeli home front has come under rocket and missile assault. This article surveys the Israeli response to rocket attacks, including the targeting of missile launchers and improved civil defense; and discusses the need for a comprehensive active missile defense.

Security in the Gulf

Is the GCC in Peril?

March 12, 2014,

Tension over Qatar’s support for the Muslim Brotherhood has damaged relations between Doha and its Gulf neighbors. The days of the GCC may be numbered.

Saudi-Israeli Relations: Balancing Legitimacy and Security

December 17, 2013

There is speculation on collaboration between Saudi Arabia and Israel against Iran. However, given its history and concern for the legitimacy of its rule, the Saudis are more likely to draw closer to Iran.

Yemen Under Attack

December 12, 2013

Yemen is on the verge of becoming a failed state, as the interim government struggles to fight terrorist groups, such as al-Qaeda, that have made Yemen a base of operations.

Saudi Succession and Stability

November 1, 2011

The process of balancing and satisfying Saudi royal factions depends on patience and conservatism within royal circles. It also requires quiet in the streets of Riyadh and Jedda. Thus far, there are no signs of the so-called “Arab Spring” spreading to Saudi Arabia.

Empty Words: Saudi Blustering

July 17, 2011

The Saudis are all bark and no bite. Despite occasional public “outrage” from Saudi officials about US policy regarding the Arab unrest, Israel, Iraq, Iran, or Afghanistan, Riyadh and Washington are still very distant from the parting of ways threatened by some Saudi officials.