previous

Deterrence Is Not Everything

Israel’s decisions a) to contain Hamas’s continuous provocations rather than use them as a casus belli and b) to refrain from an immediate military response to the discovery of Hezbollah tunnels into Israeli sovereign territory in the northern Galilee highlight the issue of deterrence as a core factor affecting the Israeli image in the region. Assuming the current Israeli modus operandi is the product of rational and thoughtful staff work, it can be inferred that deterrence is no longer either a decisive factor or even a strategic goal in the asymmetric conflicts with Hamas and Hezbollah. more

Louis Farrakhan: America’s Foremost Anti-Semite

December 12, 2018,

The best known and most virulent full-time anti-Semite in the US is Louis Farrakhan, the long-time leader of the Nation of Islam. He attacks the Jewish religion and people as well as the State of Israel, using a broad array of classic anti-Semitic motifs, and has called Adolf Hitler a “very great man.” Though Farrakhan has spent decades inciting anti-Semitism, he is legitimized by his many interactions with prominent Americans. The First Amendment of the American Constitution does not allow for this hatemonger to be brought to court, a limitation that not only enables but even strengthens his anti-Semitism.more

The Geopolitics of Ukraine’s Newly Independent Church

December 11, 2018,

The Russian Orthodox Church (ROC) is experiencing troubles in Ukraine. Areas once considered to be the uncontested territory of the Russian Patriarchate are now becoming autocephalous (independent), adding yet another dimension to the geopolitical challenges Russia is facing in the borderlands of the former Soviet space.more

Lebanon’s Strategic Symbiosis

A new strategic symbiosis has evolved over the past decade between Hezbollah and the Lebanese state, enabling the Islamist group to pursue its massive military buildup with impunity. This necessitates that Israel revisit its strategic doctrine vis-à-vis Lebanon and clarify to the Lebanese government the devastating consequences that could result from a new Hezbollah-induced war with Israel.more

US Senate Resolution on Saudi Arabia Could Change Middle East Dynamics

December 9, 2018,

A draft US Senate resolution  portraying Saudi policy as detrimental to US interests and values and Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman as “complicit” in the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi could, if adopted and implemented, change the dynamics of the region's politics and create an exit from almost a decade of mayhem, conflict, and bloodshed. It could accomplish this by causing the prince’s close UAE ally, Crown Prince Muhammad bin Zayed, to reconsider the wisdom of his being so closely associated with Muhammad bin Salman.more

Erdoğan: Ideological but not Suicidal

December 7, 2018,

Turkey’s radical shift in crises, first with Russia and then with America, shows that while President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan can be confrontational along ideological lines, he is not suicidal. He cannot afford to risk a punishing economic crisis that might cost him his power.more

The Iranian Modus Operandi

Time and again in recent decades, Iran has used its Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps to attempt to deprive Israel of calm borders with its neighbors. As this problem is likely to recur in the context of the Gaza Strip, it is essential – and by no means impossible – to root it out from that area.more

The Russian-Israeli Crisis over Syria Lacks an Exit Strategy

December 5, 2018,

Israeli and Russian interests in Syria are colliding. Russia’s new posture is challenging Israel’s defensive campaign against Iran, and Moscow and Jerusalem have so far been unable to defuse the crisis.more

Is War Looming in the Baltic Sea?

December 4, 2018,

Russia and Sweden have fought 12 wars over the course of their histories. In recent years, relations have grown tense once again between the expansionist superpower and the peaceable Scandinavian state. At issue is the Baltic Sea as an energy source.more

Sweden’s Ugly Ultraliberalism and the Jews

December 4, 2018,

For anyone curious to see just how ugly ultraliberalism can get, Sweden is the ideal case study. The deep presence of anti-Semitism in Sweden reveals that the country’s image as a near perfect liberal democracy is false.  So serious is the problem that the country is in dire need of a national anti-Semitism commissioner who can point out the threats coming from neo-Nazis and Muslims, the flaws of the police and the justice system, and other failures of the authorities to deal with anti-Semitism. But Sweden’s purported love of free speech is unlikely to extend so far as to give a mouthpiece to such a person.more

next

New at BESA Center

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.

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?

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.