Perspectives Papers

Perspectives Papers provide analysis from BESA Center research associates and other outside experts on the most important issues pertaining to Israel and the Middle East.

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Jerusalem is More Important than Amona

No. 373
| October 27, 2016

Israel must at long last acknowledge Jerusalem’s unique strategic significance as well as address the city’s demographic challenges in a way that manifests determination to keep it united under Israeli sovereignty. Jerusalem is the place where the future of the Jewish state will be determined.


Abbas at Mount Herzl: A Complex Man at a Complex Moment

No. 372
| October 10, 2016

Mahmoud Abbas’s decision to attend Shimon Peres's funeral on Mount Herzl – a highly meaningful Zionist site, and extolled as such by President Obama – should not be taken lightly. It required atypical courage from a man in fragile health, much reviled by many Palestinians, at a time of myriad conspiracies against him.


Tip of the Iceberg: Russian Use of Power in Syria

No. 371

The Russians are determined to reacquire some of the status once enjoyed by the Soviet Union of yore. They believe Western carelessness is to blame for the rise of Islamic State, and are using the Syrian theater to demonstrate their strategic capability.


Israel Should Avoid Turkey, Include Cyprus in Gas Export Projects

No. 370
| October 7, 2016

Israel should rule out building a natural gas pipeline to Islamist Turkey because of the political risk involved. It should instead consider using LNG technology for export through Cyprus. Although this would be expensive, it would be a less risky and more durable option over the long term. This should be in addition to exporting to Jordan and possibly to Egypt.


The Gaza Tunnels Get Too Much Attention

No. 369
| October 6, 2016

The threat to Israel of terror attack tunnels from Gaza is exaggerated. Thus the Israel Ministry of Defense’s plan to build a very expensive subterranean wall around the Gaza Strip, reaching a depth of dozens of meters, makes no strategic sense. It is a waste of money and effort, and hands Hamas a public relations victory.


Separation is not the Answer

No. 368
| September 29, 2016

Contrary to the accepted wisdom regarding the effectiveness of barriers, there is no substitute for troops on the ground and for civilian settlements that anchor a dominant presence. Israel needs a flexible, dynamic form of security in full friction with the resident populations.


Khamenei’s Slant on WWII: Iran Must Not Go the Way of Germany and Japan

No. 367
| September 28, 2016

Iran is in open conflict with the West and with Saudi Arabia too. Ayatollah Khamenei has adopted a totalitarian interpretation of Islam.This raises questions about the facile assumptions of change


US-Israel Relations: Beyond the $38 Billion

No. 366
| September 27, 2016

The MOU demonstrates the robust nature of the US-Israel special relationship. Now the two countries must jointly address the most significant strategic challenge: The continuing threat of a nuclear-armed Iran.


A Wealth of Friendship

No. 365
| September 20, 2016

The landmark US defense aid package signed on September 14 is an important event for Israel, for three reasons. First, it indicates the depth of the American leadership's commitment to Israel's security, despite differences of opinion between the two countries. Second, it allows the IDF to sustain its multiyear plans to bolster capabilities in every field. And third, it signals to all those plotting against Israel in the region and the world that Israel's friendship with the US remains strong.


The Turks in Syria and the Kurds in “Rojava”: Prelude to Tragedy or Reasonable Compromise?

No. 364
| September 12, 2016

As Turkish forces pursue their long-overdue campaign in northern Syria, it is increasingly clear that their main goal is to reduce or destroy the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces, largely Kurdish in composition, rather than fight IS.