Prof. Shmuel Sandler

Prof. Shmuel Sandler

Prof. Shmuel Sandler

(Ph.D. Johns Hopkins University) Expert on Israeli electoral politics, Israeli foreign policy and national security, U.S.-Israel relations, U.S. foreign policy, and Palestinian-Israeli diplomacy. Email: [email protected]

Comparing Netanyahu and Ben-Gurion

| August 30, 2019

In a recent landmark, Benjamin Netanyahu became Israel’s longest-serving prime minister, surpassing the tenure of David Ben-Gurion. A comparison of the two PMs’ leadership reveals points of both similarity and difference. Both leaders, even in the views of their opponents, left a major impact on the country and the society. 


The Diplomacy of Violence in Gaza

| May 17, 2019

Ever since the unilateral disengagement from Gaza in the summer of 2005, Israel has engaged in “bargaining by the threat of violence” with Hamas. Within that framework, the IDF has conducted three large-scale operations in Gaza in addition to smaller rounds of hostilities. With no possibility in the offing of either serious political negotiations or a decisive war, the only alternative is to continue the “diplomacy of violence.”


Israel’s Nationality Law Is Not Discriminatory

| August 10, 2018

The newly passed “Basic Law: Israel as the Nation-State of the Jewish People,” known as the Nationality Bill, does nothing to damage the equality of Israel’s non-Jewish citizens. That is because it addresses the state’s national identity, not the civil rights of its citizens. Introducing the issue of civil liberties to the nationality law, where it does not belong, would effectively imply recognition of Israel as a binational state.


The Israeli Labor Party and Its Palestinian “Partner”

| July 11, 2018

The low standings of the Zionist Camp list in public opinion polls floated a new demand for change at the top. As a result, the Labor party, the Zionist Camp’s senior partner, is again challenging its newly elected chairman, Avi Gabai. Despite replacing its leaders with each election campaign, Labor has never made a comeback to govern Israel. Because it is identified with Ramallah’s demands in any future settlement, Labor has suffered electoral punishment. An analysis of Labor’s performance over the past two decades reveals that its leadership has not yet internalized that instead of replacing its frontrunner, it should replace its alleged partner for a durable peace in the Arab-Israeli conflict.


Middle East Peace Will Come Through Containment of the Iranian Threat

| May 10, 2018

There are many implications to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s impressive presentation in which he revealed the Iranian plan to turn itself into a nuclear superpower. One of them is the message to the Arab world that Israel is determined to stop this process, which it views as disastrous. There is no doubt that one of the presentation’s main target audiences was the leaders of the Sunni Arab countries.


Where are You Going, President Obama?

| August 6, 2014

The Obama administration seems not to understand the current power configuration in the Middle-East and the dangers of the growing Islamist movement.


Strategic Implications of Operation Protective Edge

| July 22, 2014

The current Israel-Hamas war will have broad strategic implications that go far beyond the immediate results on the battlefield.


Israeli Coalition Politics and Foreign Policy

| August 19, 2013

Binyamin Netanyahu supported upgrading the referendum law to placate his coalition members on the Right, but he has shown that he will welcome back the ultra-Orthodox parties under certain circumstances.


Israel’s Dilemma in Gaza

| December 6, 2012

Israel’s reluctance to inflict a decisive defeat of Hamas in Operation Pillar of Defense indicates its desire for a new arrangement for the Gaza Strip. A preferred outcome would be an Egyptian role in Gaza, providing Israel with a real government with whom it could negotiate.


The Fading Left and Israel’s Flourishing Democracy

Many of Israel’s detractors on the left argue that Israel’s democracy is in a state of decline. A closer look shows that it is thriving, with decentralization of political power, a strong judicial system, the end of party-affiliated journalism, more minorities in public positions, and a more professional and less-politicized army.