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Gaza Conflagration Highlights the Differences between Hamas and Islamic Jihad

November 13, 2019,

Unlike Islamic Jihad, both Hamas and Israel have an interest in keeping the present round of hostilities short. The question is whether in the fog of battle, the two sides will succeed in achieving their mutual goal.more

Lebanese and Iraqi Protesters Transcend Sectarianism

November 12, 2019,

The protests in Lebanon have evolved into more than a fight against a failed and corrupt government. They constitute a rare demand for political and social structures that emphasize national rather than ethnic or sectarian religious identities in a world in which civilizational leaders who advocate some form of racial, ethnic, or religious supremacy govern the world’s major as well as key regional powers.more

Israel Agrees to Monitor Foreign Investment

November 11, 2019,

Jerusalem and Beijing have cultivated a flourishing economic relationship in recent years, but that bond is limited by the tension it has engendered with a Washington wary of China’s growing footprint in Israeli strategic assets. In an effort to mitigate this tension, Israel’s security cabinet has decided to establish a mechanism to monitor foreign investment.more

China in the Middle East: From Observer to Security Player

November 10, 2019,

There is much debate both within and without China over whether or not its economic interests in the region will force it to play a more active security/military role in the Middle East. In fact, recent political and economic trends in the region indicate that a shift in China’s approach to the Middle East along these lines has already started.  more

Trump’s Trade Wars: A New World Order?

November 8, 2019,

President Donald Trump’s declared economic protectionism has taken the US’s international relations with several foes and allies into uncharted territory. His open-ended trade wars with several nations have triggered criticism among conservatives and liberals alike in the US. He has justified his actions by arguing for a downturn of America’s trade deficit, but the American people don’t seem to be on board with his logic. This paper examines the ramifications of President Trump’s policy of economic sanctions and tariffs vis-à-vis several nations and international groupings. It also looks at China’s counter-strategy and considers whether Middle Eastern countries like Saudi Arabia will be caught in the web of the current trade wars.more

The Failed Halle Synagogue Massacre Reveals the Dysfunction of German Law

November 7, 2019,

The failed attack on the synagogue in the German town of Halle on the holiest day of the Jewish year, Yom Kippur, once again exposed the dysfunction of the law in the German liberal democracy. Efforts were made to draw attention away from the shortcomings of the police and authorities by blaming the German right-wing party, AfD. This backfired when an AfD parliamentarian exposed huge government shortcomings in the battle against extremists as well as anti-Israelism in mainstream German society.more

Palestinian Islamic Jihad Agitates for Violence in the Gaza Strip

November 6, 2019,

Israel seeks to prevent a powder keg from detonating on the southern border as it prioritizes the more threatening front up north.more

It’s Time to Close Down UNRWA

November 5, 2019,

UNRWA, the UN agency for Palestinian refugees, was created in 1949 via UN Resolution 302 (IV) with a short-term mandate. It flouted its original mission and perpetuated rather than alleviated the Palestinians’ status as refugees. It has long since become corrupt and functions essentially as a front group. The UN should close it down, and Palestinian refugees should be integrated into the economic systems of the countries that sheltered them. more

The Upheaval in Syria Opens the Door for Iranian Attack

November 4, 2019,

The latest upheaval in northeastern Syria caused by Turkey’s invasion, and the division of the Syrian plunder among Turkey, the Assad regime, and Russia, presents Iran with new avenues for building up attack capabilities and further destabilizing the region.more

Security Tasks Awaiting the Next Israeli PM

November 3, 2019,

The next Israeli government will have to make critical decisions on urgent security challenges stemming from multiple arenas simultaneously. It will also have to waste no time in securing the next defense budget.more

Turkey and China Tie Themselves in Knots Over Syria and Xinjiang

November 1, 2019,

Turkey expects Chinese support for its incursion into Syria against the Kurds, but in return, China expects Turkey to turn a blind eye to its persecution of Turkic Muslims in Xinjiang. Turkey’s refusal to fully recognize Kurdish rights is thus intertwined with China’s brutal crackdown in its troubled northwestern province. Both parties justify their actions as efforts in the fight against terrorism.more

Democratic Presidential Candidates and US Military Aid to Israel

October 31, 2019,

Three leading Democratic presidential candidates recently threatened to use US military aid to Israel as leverage to force changes in Israeli relations with the Palestinians. Their statements were hypocritical and ignored both the value of military aid to the US military and defense industries and the realities of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. The threats should be seen in the wider context of growing antagonism within the Democratic party toward Israel. The next Israeli government will have to address this challenge.     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.