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Arabs and Muslims Will Not Accept Israel as the Jewish State

The existence of a living Jewish people in a functioning Jewish state threatens the very raison d’être of Islam, which came into being to render Judaism obsolete. For that reason, Arabs and Muslims will never accept Israel as the Jewish State.more

Russia and Iran: Friends and Foes

January 17, 2018,

Russia and Iran have been geopolitical rivals for centuries – but over the past couple of years, the Moscow-Tehran axis has grown exponentially. This creates major headaches for the US and other western powers that are concerned about how far this cooperation could go. The two powers share common interests in the South Caucasus and the Middle East, but are wary of one another’s growing influence in their own backyards.more

BESA’s Top Ten of 2017

January 16, 2018,

These are the ten most widely read articles published by the BESA Center in 2017. The selections reflect strong reader interest in Iran, Saudi Arabia, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and Israeli national security. more

Iranian Protests Reveal Leadership Fault Lines in the Muslim World

January 16, 2018,

If week-long anti-government protests in Iran exposed the Islamic Republic’s deep-seated economic and political problems, they also laid bare Saudi Arabia’s structural inability to establish itself as the leader of the Sunni Muslim world.more

Israel and Jews: Facing Europe’s Challenges

January 15, 2018,

A number of major problem issues in Western European countries and the EU face Israel and the Jews. The widespread demonization of Israel remains a critical problem. So do anti-Semitism, the continuous influx of Muslims without any selection, the major manifestation of anti-Semitism within the UK Labor Party, the growth of the extreme right and left in France, and other important issues. Establishing such an inventory may provide a useful tool for Israel and international Jewish organizations in defining their 2018 agenda.more

The Trump Peace Plan

US President Donald Trump has referred to his peace plan as “a good deal,” but unlike in the business world, agreements between peoples are only valid for the moment. Agreements are always temporary, awaiting a strategic shift in which everything is reconsidered.more

Securing a Jewish Future in the West Bank Following Trump’s Jerusalem Declaration

January 12, 2018,

The domestic and international outcry at President Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital suggests that Israel's position in the West Bank is far from secure. If Israel wishes to secure a future for Jews in the West Bank, ordinary Palestinians there must also benefit from – and express their support for – coexistence with Jews.more

Breaking the Syrian Stalemate

January 11, 2018,

As the civil war in Syria winds down, ISIS is eliminated, and the chips begin to fall where they may, the aftermath appears profoundly tangled, with every imaginable interest pitted against all the others. But the situation is not unnavigable. Winners and losers are emerging, and a few wild card players are entering the fray that might disrupt the developing status quo. more

US-Saudi Nuclear Talks: A Middle East Barometer?

January 10, 2018,

Talks aimed at transferring US nuclear technology to Saudi Arabia serve as an indicator of where the Saudi-Iranian rivalry is heading as well as the strength of the informal Saudi-Israeli alliance against Iran. The possible transfer could spark a new arms race in the Middle East and constitutes one explanation why Saudi responses to President Donald J. Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel were muted and limited to rhetorical statements.more

DEBATE: What Could the Iran Uprising Portend?

January 9, 2018,

Q: Anti-government protests in Iran – occurring for the first time since 2009 – are attracting international attention. The scale and ferocity of the uprising have left many people dead, injured, or arrested. The reasons for this new internal instability, and the potential repercussions for the country and the regime, have generated a lively debate. BESA asks the experts: What could the uprising in Iran portend?more

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DEBATE: What Is the Best Way to Deal with North Korea?

December 31, 2017

Q: A few weeks after the visit of US President Donald Trump to Asia, North Korea is continuing with its missile launches. While the military option is openly on Washington’s agenda, a potential diplomatic solution cannot be excluded. BESA is joining the debate by asking experts: What is the best way to deal with North Korea?

Conflicting Interests: Tehran and the National Aspirations of the Iraqi Kurds

December 14, 2017

The national aspirations of the Kurdish minority in Iraq pose a challenge to the four countries that have a large Kurdish population. It is not by chance that the decision to hold a referendum provoked furious reactions among the leaders of Iraq, Iran, Turkey and Syria. According to the received wisdom, the success of Iraq’s Kurdish minority in realizing its national self-determination will serve as a catalyst for separatist tendencies among the Iranian Kurds. However, Tehran’s firm opposition to the move stems not only from the fear of a “chain reaction” but also from strategic and geopolitical consideration. In other words, the controversy between Shiite Iran and the Kurdish minority in Iraq is not the result of an historical memory of an uprising that led to the establishment of the “Republic of Mahabad” in the 1940s, but consists of other levels that express opposing aspirations in a changing geopolitical space.

DEBATE: Trump’s Recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s Capital – What Does It Mean?

December 11, 2017

Q: On December 6, 2017, US President Donald Trump made a statement recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and declaring that his administration will immediately begin the process of building an embassy in Jerusalem. What does Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital mean?

Respondents: Elliott Abrams, Daniel Pipes, Max Singer, Eytan Gilboa, Jonathan Rynhold, Hillel Frisch

DEBATE: Decertification of the Iran Deal – What Happens Next?

November 24, 2017

Q: Will the decertification of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) Iran nuclear agreement by US President Donald Trump pave the way to fixing it?

Respondents: Michael Rubin, Emily B. Landau, Barbara Slavin, Behnam Ben Taleblu, Paulina Izewicz, Raphael Ofek

Arabs and Turks Welcomed the Balfour Declaration

November 8, 2017

It was not the Balfour Declaration that paved the road to the “Nakba” but its rejection by the extremist Palestinian Arab leadership headed by the Jerusalem Mufti Hajj Amin Husseini – against the wishes of ordinary Palestinian Arabs who would rather coexist with their Jewish neighbors and take advantage of opportunities created by the evolving Jewish national enterprise. Had this leadership not ignored the wishes of its subjects, and the will of the international community for that matter, there would have been no Nakba.

Greece, Israel, and China’s “Belt and Road” Initiative

October 31, 2017

China’s “Belt and Road” initiative signals the continuation and expansion of a pre-existing incremental policy that aims to strengthen China’s economic and geopolitical roles, though Beijing’s long-term approach remains unclear. The initiative does not immediately bring Greece and Israel closer. But it gives the two countries an opportunity to discuss China’s new role in the Mediterranean and to maximize bilateral relationships with Beijing without challenging their pro-West orientation.

The Low-Profile War Between Israel and Hezbollah

August 31, 2017

In defiance of UN Security Council Resolution 1701 that ended the 2006 Second Lebanon war, Hezbollah and its Iranian patron, with the assistance of the Bashar Assad regime, are filling Lebanon with surface-to-surface projectiles, and aiming them at population centers and strategic sites in Israel. To forestall this threat, the Israeli defense establishment has, according to media reports, been waging a low-profile military and intelligence campaign, dubbed “The War Between Wars,” which monitors and occasionally disrupts the transfer of advanced weapons to Hezbollah.

Foreign Investment in Israel’s Strategic Industries

July 27, 2017

The changing map of foreign investment in Israel demands a new balance between market access and investment review. The Israeli government has not yet communicated to the global investment community its vision for foreign investment in Israel, especially in the banking, insurance, commodities and defense markets. This vision is crucial so that multinational companies can make informed investment decisions. Current ambiguities in this regard leads to policy inconsistency, resulting in the fact that many potential foreign buyers avoid penetrating the Israeli market altogether.

The BESA Center Bulletin, July 2017

July 1, 2017

BESA Center associates participated in numerous public forums and international media discussions surrounding the fiftieth anniversary in June of the Six Day War. They also penned a dozen critical examinations of the war and its legacy. They see the jubilee as an opportunity for strategic retrospection and truth-telling, not hand-wringing and self-flagellation.

Israel’s Inelegant Options in Judea and Samaria: Withdrawal, Annexation, and Conflict Management

In advance of the fiftieth anniversary of the Six Day War, Maj. Gen. (res.) Yaakov Amidror examines the two basic approaches to resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict: Establishment of a Palestinian state alongside Israel, and application of Israeli sovereignty over Judea and Samaria (the West Bank) and the creation of a bi-national state (in practice).

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.