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The Jordan Valley Is Waiting for Zionist Action

September 16, 2019,

Beyond its unquestionable vitality for Israel’s security, the Jordan Valley in its full geographical scope can accommodate millions of Israelis and national infrastructure that cannot be compressed into the coastal plain. If PM Netanyahu’s declaration of sovereignty is not immediately borne out by a surge of building and focused governmental support, it will sputter and die.more

Iran’s Radical Axis Is Intensifying Its Efforts to Build a War Machine Against Israel

September 16, 2019,

A shadow war raging between the Iranian-led radical Shiite axis and Israel has become public in recent weeks. This conflict is driven by Israel’s determination to prevent Iran from building attack capabilities in Syria, Lebanon, and Iraq.more

The Khazars: Judaism, Trade, and Strategic Vision on the Eurasian Steppes

September 15, 2019,

Harnessing the Eurasian lands has always been difficult. The Khazars, an obscure people from the steppes that converted to Judaism many centuries ago, stand out as an exceptional example of how geography, economy, and religion can be used to advance geopolitical interests.more

Will There Be a New Russian-Chinese Security Architecture in the Gulf?

September 13, 2019,

Russia, backed by China, is hoping to exploit mounting doubts in the Gulf about the reliability of the US as the region’s sole security guarantor. It is proposing a radical overhaul of the security architecture in the area, which is home to massive oil and gas reserves and some of the world’s most strategic waterways.more

What Happens to Israel If the US and Iran Go to War?

September 12, 2019,

On core matters of peace and security, two closely interrelated questions must be asked: 1. What precisely does Donald Trump have in mind regarding any potential armed conflict with Iran? 2. What might such a possibility portend for Israel, a US ally? Answers to these questions must extend beyond narrowly partisan simplifications. They should be nuanced and subtly overlapping. At a minimum, once a shooting war were underway, the Israeli armed forces (IDF) could become involved, possibly to a substantial degree. In a worst case scenario, clashes would involve unconventional weapons and directly affect Israel's civilian population. The worst of the worst could involve nuclear ordnance.more

Russia Will Likely Collapse from the Inside

September 11, 2019,

Russia is historically prone to internal collapse, as is shown by numerous examples from both the imperial and Soviet periods. The collapse usually takes place as Russia rests on the laurels of recent military victories while internal economic and social troubles grow. History teaches that the best way to deal with Russia is to keep intervention to a minimum and wait for its internal troubles to bring about its collapse.more

The Day After an Iranian Nuclear Strike

September 10, 2019,

There is much discussion around the world about how to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons. But few, if any, international bodies deal with the question of how to prepare for the day Iran achieves such capabilities, if that day has not already arrived.more

Omar, Tlaib, and Israel’s Nonexistent Anti-Propaganda Agency

September 9, 2019,

The clumsy manner in which the Israeli government handled the non-visit to Israel of US Democratic Congresswomen Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar was not a mere mishap. It resulted from a structural problem. The government's refusal to establish an anti-propaganda agency has led to repeated public relations failures against vile verbal aggression.more

Was Israel’s Entry Refusal a Boon or a Bust for Tlaib and Omar?

September 9, 2019,

The dual abilities of Congresswomen Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar to arouse the ire of President Trump and spout antisemitic, anti-Israel messages with impunity has raised their profile well beyond that of other junior representatives and significantly boosted their popularity. Supporters of Israel, as well as those who care about the interests of the US, will have to strive to defeat them in the next congressional elections.more

The Mysterious Explosion of a Russian Nuclear Missile Engine

The fatal explosion that occurred recently during testing of the Russian Burevestnik nuclear cruise missile raises many questions. Could it have been avoided? Was it a fundamental failure of the ambitious armaments plan declared by President Putin in 2018? Whatever the answers to these questions, the renewed trend toward an unconventional armaments race could deteriorate into a second Cold War.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.