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DEBATE: Is an EU Army Possible?

DEBATE: In recent public comments, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron talked about the possibility of a collective European army. This subject had been raised within Europe even prior to the presidency of Donald Trump, who is skeptical about NATO. In 2015, President of the European Commission Jean Claude Juncker discussed his intention to work toward this end. Despite the establishment of so-called permanent structured cooperation (PESCO), obstacles and difficulties remain. BESA joins the debate by posing the question: Is an EU army possible?more

Pakistan on a Tightrope

May 19, 2019,

Pakistan risks falling off a tightrope as it attempts to balance its relations with rivals Saudi Arabia and Iran.more

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.”more

Applying the Monroe Doctrine to Venezuela

May 16, 2019,

The Monroe Doctrine, first articulated in 1823 by President James Monroe, was designed to protect the Americas from foreign threat and intervention. The Doctrine has a renewed relevance in today’s Venezuela.more

Why Rapprochement with Russia Is Unlikely Under Zelensky

May 15, 2019,

Ukraine has a new president, 41-year-old Volodymyr Zelensky. While some argue that Kiev’s policy toward Russia is now likely to undergo a significant positive change, geopolitical realities suggest the opposite. Ukraine-Russia relations might in fact worsen now that Moscow has eased the citizenship process for Donbas residents.more

The Barring of Eurovision from Jerusalem Is a Win for the BDS Movement

May 14, 2019,

The €28.5 million Eurovision song contest, which draws 200 million viewers from 42 countries, might seem to be just a huge pop spectacle, but it is a good deal more. In addition to serving as an entertainment vehicle, it is a powerful mechanism of soft power – a tool that is critically important to the modern State of Israel and particularly to the city of Jerusalem. Europe’s refusal to allow the contest to be held in Jerusalem, in contravention of Eurovision’s own rules, constitutes a victory for the BDS movement.more

The Second Belt and Road Summit

May 13, 2019,

On April 25-27, 2019, Chinese President Xi Jinping convened a second summit of leaders and representatives from around the world to discuss his signature program, the Belt and Road Initiative. Xi’s keynote address revealed his take on Beijing’s trade struggle with the US as well as his approach to the concerns of poorer countries that lie along the initiative’s route.more

A Memo to Jared

A recent report indicates that President Trump’s son-in-law and advisor Jared Kushner suggested that then Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and other policy makers read a January 2018 Wall Street Journal piece regarding the cutoff of American funding for UNRWA, the international agency for Palestinian ‘refugees.’ As authors of the piece referenced in the leak, we are flattered. With the administration’s much discussed peace plan to be announced in June, let us offer some last minute suggestions.more

Arab Power Struggles Are Alive and Well

May 10, 2019,

Libya’s battle for Tripoli alongside ongoing mass anti-government demonstrations that toppled autocratic leaders of Algeria and Sudan demonstrate that the popular Arab protests that in 2011 forced four presidents out of office – as well as the counterrevolution it provoked – are alive and kicking.more

The Cleverest Kind of Lie: Accusing Israel of Future Crimes

One tool of verbal demonization that is extremely difficult for Israel to combat is accusations of crimes it supposedly will commit in the future. These are far more difficult to contest than outright lies about current events. An example of this kind of manipulative lie is a remark in an interview by the outgoing French ambassador to the US, Gérard Araud, in which he said that Israel will officially be an apartheid state in the future.more

India Needs Effective Surgical Strikes Against Pakistan-Based Terror

May 8, 2019,

The Modi government claims, as have other Indian governments before it, that it has conducted surgical strikes against terror organizations in Pakistan. Whether or not these claims are true, terror activities have continued. If surgical strikes are to be effective, they must be properly targeted.more

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New at BESA Center

In Memoriam: Moshe Arens

January 8, 2019

The Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies mourns the passing this week of Moshe Arens — professor, ambassador, politician, and devoted servant of Israel. Prof. Arens was a member of the International Board of the BESA Center from its first inception, and was an active participant in our conferences and events for many years. He will be missed.

There Is No Political Solution for Gaza

November 7, 2018

The claim that an agreement among the US administration, the Palestinian Authority, and the Egyptians to allow the PA to turn the financial screws on Hamas would culminate in the PA’s reassertion of control over the Gaza Strip could not be further from reality. In the Middle East, only armed force prevails.

Conference: The Oslo Process 25 Years On

September 3, 2018

On September 3, 2018, the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies convened a conference on “The Oslo Process 25 Years On”.

The Privileged Palestinian “Refugees”

May 15, 2018

The “Palestine refugees” have been exceptionally indulged by the international community for seventy long years. This ranged from their very recognition as refugees though most of them fail to satisfy the basic criteria for such status, to the unprecedented benefit of a relief agency created exclusively for their welfare (the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East, or UNRWA), to the unique privilege of passing on “refugee” status to future generations.

Conference: Reforming UNRWA

March 18, 2018

“Palestine refugees” have been exceptionally indulged by the international community for 70 long years. Consider the ways: They should not even have been classified as refugees, they had the unprecedented benefit of a relief agency created exclusively for their welfare (the United Nations Relief and Works Agency, or UNRWA), and they uniquely can pass on the “refugee” status to future generations.

Reframing the Middle Eastern and Palestinian Refugee Crises

March 13, 2018 and

There are two Middle Eastern refugee crises currently vying for resources and attention. One is nominally focused on Syria but in fact extends from Libya to Afghanistan. The other crisis is Palestinian and has supposedly been going on since 1948. A closer look at the causes of these crises shows the former to be primarily the result of the collapsing Arab state system and the rise of militant Islam, while the latter cannot be considered a crisis at all.

Conference: Strategic Challenges in Saudi Arabia, Iran, and the Gulf

February 22, 2018

Videos from the February 22 international conference on Strategic Challenges in Saudi Arabia, Iran, and the Gulf, convened by the BESA Center and B’nai B’rith International.

Surviving Donald Trump: Israel’s Strategic Options

February 2, 2018

While Israel has always been determinedly self-reliant on core matters of national security, this posture needs to become even more explicit in the disjointed “Trump Era.” In correctly acknowledging the unpredictability and possible incoherence of Trump’s developing policies towards the Middle East, Jerusalem will need to direct special attention towards growing prospects for “Cold War II,” and certain incrementally needed revisions of Israeli nuclear strategy.

Recent Conferences

Australia-Israel Dialogue

November 1, 2017

On November 1, 2017, the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies, the Australian Strategic Policy Institute and Bar-Ilan Univeristy co-hosted the “Be’er Sheva Dialogue” at the Renaissance Tel Aviv Hotel. The Hon Malcolm Turnbull MP, Prime Minister of Australia, was in attendance.

Strategic Challenges in the Eastern Mediterranean

February 21, 2017

On February 21, 2017, for the second consecutive year, the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies and B’nai B’rith International jointly held an international conference on Strategic Challenges in the Eastern Mediterranean. The event, which took place at the Begin-Sadat Center, involved the participation of experts from Greece, Russia, Britain, Turkey, Albania, the US, and Israel.