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A Russian-Western Rapprochement?

October 20, 2019,

There have been hints over recent months of improvement in Russian-Western relations that could have major implications for the balance of power in the Eurasian landmass.more

Political Islam Is Declining in the Middle East

October 18, 2019,

The lack of a reaction to the death of former Egyptian president Muhammad Morsi and the absence of religious demands by protesters in Algeria, Sudan, and Iraq suggest that political Islam is waning after the defeat of ISIS three years ago.more

Lithuania’s Past, Antisemitism, and Israel

October 17, 2019,

Lithuanians generally prefer to approach their own history by honoring their fighters for resisting Soviet rule – and ignoring their active collaboration with the Nazis. The “victimization” approach largely precludes discussion about Lithuanian participation in Holocaust crimes and sparks chauvinistic sentiments. Recent threats to the Lithuanian Jewish community and signs of antisemitism highlight the problem. Lithuania accuses Russia of sowing domestic discord via fake news on this issue, but the problem is real and needs to be addressed.more

Hints of Gulf Rapprochement: Iranian Tactics Might Be Paying Off

October 16, 2019,

Fears of a potential military conflict with Iran may have opened the door to a Saudi-Iranian dialogue against the backdrop of a rethink of US military logistics, involving at least a gradual partial relocation to the US of command and control operations based in the Gulf for almost four decades.more

BDS, Antisemitism, and Class

October 15, 2019,

Contemporary antisemitism has the ability to graft itself onto a variety of causes and movements. But the social and information environment in the US and Europe is strongly conditioned by virtue-signaling among elites and increasingly among portions of the middle class. Antisemitism, in part through BDS-fueled antipathy toward Israel, is becoming a signal of middle class respectability. At the same time, though left-wing Western elites remain strongly anti-national, the working classes and other parts of the middle class are becoming renationalized. These and other class conflicts will shape antisemitism in the next decades.more

Israeli Arabs Welcomed in Saudi Arabia: Diplomatic Breakthrough or Cynical Ploy?

October 13, 2019,

Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman’s calls to invite Israeli Arabs to live and work in Saudi Arabia could be either a diplomatic breakthrough or a cynical ploy. If the former, it could indicate that at long last, the Arab world is awakening to the possibility that to fully enter the modern world, it must normalize relations with Israel.more

Eurasia’s Great Game: India, Japan, and Europe Play to Putin’s Needs

October 11, 2019,

Eurasia’s Great Game is anything but simple and straightforward. A burgeoning alliance between China and Russia that at least for now is relegating potential differences between the two powers to the sidelines has sparked a complex geopolitical dance of its own.more

Distorting Ben-Gurion

October 10, 2019,

By ignoring millions of declassified documents from the period of the British Mandate (1920-48) and Israel’s early days that show the claim of premeditated dispossession of the Palestinian Arabs to be completely unfounded, “revisionist” journalist Tom Segev’s rewrites David Ben-Gurion’s personal story, and, by extension, the story of Israel’s creation, in an image of his own making in which aggressors are transformed into hapless victims and vice versa.more

Russian-Chinese Cooperation Is Not As Temporary As You Think

October 8, 2019,

Many believe the Russian-Chinese partnership, which functions across a variety of economic and political spheres, is only temporary. But Moscow’s disenchantment with the West, and the redirection of its foreign policy toward Beijing and beyond, is rooted in Russian historical thinking. The disagreement between Russia and the West is a full-scale geopolitical separation.more

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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.