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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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Turkey, the Refugee Crisis and Brexit: Concerns and Opportunities for Greece

No. 359
| August 12, 2016

The unending refugee crisis, the failed Turkish coup and subsequent purge, and Brexit are all causing great apprehension in Athens. But these challenges might present new opportunities. Turkish tensions with the West highlight Greece’s status as the most responsible element in the eastern Mediterranean, which could bolster Greece’s relations with both the EU and the US.

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Islamic State Should be Wiped Out

No. 358
| August 11, 2016

Prof. Efraim Inbar is wrong to argue that the West is better off with Islamic State organization maintaining its caliphate. On the contrary: Defeating IS and the horror it perpetuates requires nothing less than the elimination of its caliphate. Through control of territory, IS is able to inspire and train recruits, to direct terrorist attacks, and to demonstrate the West's inability to eradicate a pressing threat.

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Raqqa Delenda Est: Why Baghdadi’s “Caliphate” Should Be Destroyed

No. 357
| August 10, 2016

While Iran remains the greatest threat to the region, the continued existence of IS fortifies rather than enervates Iran’s quest for hegemony. The destruction of IS should be the first stage in a campaign designed ultimately to isolate and contain Iran.

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The New Threat of Very Accurate Missiles

No. 356
| August 9, 2016

Precision-guided medium-range missiles, a relatively new technology, are beginning to proliferate in the Middle East. When they work as designed, they can deliver half a ton of high explosive to within meters of their targets. This means that for many targets, they are almost as effective as nuclear weapons.

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The Iran Deal One Year Later: The Fuse Is Still Burning

No. 355

One year later, it can clearly be said that the nuclear talks reversed power relations in Iran's favor, with the US forfeiting a historic opportunity to dismantle Iran’s nuclear capability. Instead, the agreement left Iran with its full capability concerning enriched uranium – only at a reduced scale and subject to questionable monitoring. When the deal expires, Iran will have the ability to set up an extremely fast enrichment system, and its ability to reach the quantity of material required for a nuclear weapon will have increased tenfold. Iran also can continue to develop heavy long-distance missiles – without global opposition and without sanctions.

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A Covenant of Shadows

No. 354

The growing ties between Israel and the region's Sunni Arab states are a result of instability fueled by the growing power of Iran and Islamic State, and by US retrenchment. But unhindered public cooperation between Israel and these Arab states will necessitate an agreement between Israel and the Palestinians.

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The Destruction of Islamic State is a Strategic Mistake

No. 353
| August 2, 2016

The West should seek the further weakening of Islamic State, but not its destruction. A weak but functioning IS can undermine the appeal of the caliphate among radical Muslims; keep bad actors focused on one another rather than on Western targets; and hamper Iran’s quest for regional hegemony.

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Regional Implications of the Failed Coup d’État and Purges in Turkey

No. 352
| August 1, 2016

The fallout in terms of the regional balance of power from the failed coup d’état is bound to be significant. There is little to cheer, even if the timely conclusion of Israel's reconciliation with Turkey has so far spared Israel the traditional accusation of being behind the plot (and may even put Israeli diplomacy in a position to be of help in reducing the flames).

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Erdogan’s Turkey Takes a Fork in the Road

No. 351

The failed military coup in Turkey was most likely the swan song of the country's secular endeavor. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan now has a firmer hold on power, despite external and internal conflicts. Israel should remain wary of taking sides.

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A Year After the JCPoA: An Interim Report on the Nuclear Deal with Iran

No. 350
| July 14, 2016

A year after it was finalized, the nuclear deal with Iran has clearly made the region and the world more dangerous, notwithstanding the temporary respite won in Iran's pursuit of a nuclear weapon. The Obama administration's advocacy of warmer relations with Tehran appears totally removed from realities on the ground. Iran is using its new legal position to obscure, rather than clarify, past activities and present inventories; work on ballistic missiles and on the acquisition of materials for Iran's non-conventional weapons arsenal continues apace; repression has worsened; regional subversion is at its peak; and exterminatory positions towards Israel are openly put forward. The JCPoA has in no way moderated Iran's stance, nor made it a legitimate member of the community of nations.

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