previous

Getting Iran Out of Syria: The Dayan Formula

In a recent press conference, Defense Minister Naftali Bennett presented a goal for IDF activity in Syria: “To cause Iran to give up its attempt to entrench itself in Syria.” Unlike the common tendency toward ambiguity in defining strategic objectives, Bennett dared pronounce a clear and measurable goal. But is the goal he presented achievable? And is it right to declare a strategic goal in that way?more

Palestinian Arab Volunteers in the British Army in WWII: A Reality Check

A recent study recounts the purportedly unknown story of Palestinian Arab volunteers fighting the Nazis during WWII. Haaretz used this finding as an opportunity to mock PM Benjamin Netanyahu, who has pointed out that the Mufti of Jerusalem was a close ally of Hitler. Yet the Mufti’s position as “the most important Arab Quisling” is indisputable, while most of the study’s conclusions are dubious and inconsistent with historical facts.more

The WhatsApp Crisis Reveals Cracks in Iran’s Soft Power Strategy

December 8, 2019,

The “WhatsApp crisis” in Lebanon revealed a crack in Iran’s grand diplomatic strategy of using its proxies to push ideological soft power concurrently with hard power. Since 1979, Tehran has been trying to brand itself as the epicenter of the Islamic Revolution. That notion is being challenged—not by Lebanese tanks and Iraqi bullets but by citizens armed with smartphones.more

Turkey: Jihadist Highway Revisited

December 6, 2019,

Shortly before the visit of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to Washington, Turkey captured one of the wives of Abu Bakr Baghdadi, the slain leader of ISIS, in addition to several other family members. A week earlier, Turkish police detained 43 suspected ISIS terrorists allegedly preparing for a major attack on Turkish soil. This is all good news, but it’s hardly the only news.    more

Iranian Port City Bears Brunt of Crackdown

December 5, 2019,

The Iranian port city of Bandar-e-Mahshahr, which is experiencing great violence during the crackdown on the anti-regime protests, is a microcosm of Iran’s broader domestic problems.more

Tehran Might Be Preparing to Withdraw from the 2015 Nuclear Agreement

Iranian president Hassan Rouhani’s recent announcement of the renewal of uranium enrichment at the Fordow fuel enrichment plant, as well as high-level Iranian gloating about recent progress in the development and operation of uranium enrichment centrifuges, may indicate that Tehran intends to withdraw from the 2015 nuclear agreement and effect a breakout toward nuclear weapons production in 2020. more

Tehran and the Restive Iraqis

December 3, 2019,

With many Iraqis (including Shiites) blaming Tehran for the social restiveness engulfing their country, Iranian policymakers fear the weakening of Tehran’s grip on its neighbor.more

Climate Change Fears and Polarization

November 29, 2019,

The surging interest in climate change intermingles science, ideology, politics, and religion and is likely to lead to increased polarization in Western societies. By analyzing the key characteristics of environmentalism and trying to assess societal developments, we can monitor the impact of climate change awareness and the inciting of fear.more

The Phenomenon of “Global Russia”

December 1, 2019,

As Russia increases its geopolitical involvement across the globe, the concept of “Global Russia” has been gradually taking hold. Though Russia is inherently weak, it is likely that Moscow will continue its global initiatives throughout the 2020s. Only by the end of that decade and into the next is there likely to be a gradual decline in Russia's adventurism abroad.more

You Can’t Make Peace with Antisemites

December 2, 2019,

The time has come for Israel to stop willfully ignoring the phenomenon of Holocaust denial in the Arab world and start fighting it. Dialogue and rapprochement cannot possibly start from a position of antisemitism and Holocaust denial.more

Implications of Afghan-Pakistani Clashes Along the Durand Line

November 26, 2019,

Frequent violent clashes between Afghan and Pakistani security forces along their disputed border, the colonial-era Durand Line drawn in 1893, have strained ties between Islamabad and Kabul. Afghanistan does not accept the legitimacy of the Durand Line, claiming it is a violation of its sovereignty, while Pakistan believes it is an accepted international border. These tensions will likely worsen following the pending departure of the Americans from Afghanistan.more

next

What’s New

Hezbollah’s Demographic Problem Explains Its Restraint

September 8, 2019

Hezbollah responded with restraint to Israel’s three-pronged attacks over the past two weeks in Syria, Iraq, and, above all, a neighborhood in Dahiya, the vast Shiite area in Beirut where Hezbollah is headquartered. The organization’s effort to avoid escalation reflects its demographic problem in Lebanon.

The EU Is Battling Israel in Area C

September 2, 2019

Ever since a decision in January 2012, the EU has been expressly committed to the expansion of illegal Palestinian settlement in Area C in conjunction with the PA. This is in blatant disregard of the Oslo accords, which the EU purports to uphold. The object is to create continuous Palestinian settlement throughout the West Bank and thereby isolate and strangle Israeli communities.

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.

Israel’s Possible Paths to Nuclear War

July 22, 2017

North Korea’s nuclearization has implications for Israel’s nuclear deterrence posture. There are several plausible means by which a nuclear conflict could arise in the Middle East. It may be time to consider a phase-out of Israel’s “deliberate nuclear ambiguity” and to focus Israeli planning around evaluations of enemy rationality.

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.