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The Rise of Chinese Eurasianism

August 19, 2018,

Chinese Eurasianism, which – if the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is successful – will give Beijing new foreign policy tools to use against Washington, could prove more threatening to the US in the long run than the USSR was during the Cold War.more

The Machiavellian Opponents of the Nation State Law

The public debate attending the Nation State Law is a clear indicator of Israel’s vibrant democracy and an illustration of the freedom of expression that characterizes the Israeli state of mind. Arabs, Druze, and Jews expressed their views on this matter, both pro and con, notwithstanding the fact that the core argument is essentially political rather than substantive. With that said, the protests in Israel against the new law are a red alert. They reflect an emerging tendency among liberal streams in Israeli Jewish society to undermine the long-accepted principle that Israel is the national home of the Jewish people.more

Corbyn’s Misdemeanors Against Israel and the Jews

August 16, 2018,

British Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has defined himself as a “friend” and “brother” of genocidal terrorists, and he supports and mixes with Holocaust distorters. Corbyn is an extreme anti-Israel inciter and anti-Semite who has used Iranian media for that purpose.more

The Assad Regime Returns to the Golan

August 15, 2018,

The Assad regime's recapture of the Syrian Golan Heights is advantageous to Israel, in light of the Israeli-Russian understanding to predicate the situation there on the May 1974 disengagement. Even if the new arrangement does not lead to a forty-year-long de facto peace like the one that prevailed prior to the eruption of the Syrian civil war, Assad will need to focus on rebuilding his regime, reconstituting Syria, and ensuring the continuation of Alawite rule. In these circumstances, not only does military confrontation with Israel not entail any conceivable gains but it would likely wreck the regime’s fragile recovery.more

Vietnam and Israel: The First 25 Years

August 14, 2018,

Israel and Vietnam just marked their first 25 years of diplomatic relations. There is strong potential for further economic and diplomatic improvement that could provide significant benefits to both sides.more

The Gulf States: The Weak Link in Sanctions on Iran

August 13, 2018,

The US administration and Congress should address a major loophole in the sanctions regime: the robust financial and economic ties between Gulf States and their Iranian nemesis. This would contribute to Iran’s economic distress as well as its sense of isolation.more

The Aftermath of the Helsinki Summit

August 12, 2018,

Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin held a historic summit in Helsinki, Finland on July 15 that was assessed by many as a defeat for US prestige and interests. The summit should not, however, be construed as a Russian victory. US foreign policy moves after the summit indicate that there is little chance for meaningful improvement in bilateral relations. The complexity of issues surrounding Syria, Ukraine, Georgia, and Iran will continue to weigh heavily on US-Russian diplomatic efforts.more

Israel’s Nationality Law Is Not Discriminatory

August 10, 2018,

The newly passed “Basic Law: Israel as the Nation-State of the Jewish People,” known as the Nationality Bill, does nothing to damage the equality of Israel’s non-Jewish citizens. That is because it addresses the state’s national identity, not the civil rights of its citizens. Introducing the issue of civil liberties to the nationality law, where it does not belong, would effectively imply recognition of Israel as a binational state.more

Hamas-Israel Truce Would Be “Painkiller, not Antibiotic”

August 9, 2018,

All the economic benefits being offered to Gaza as part of a package deal – an improvement in water and electricity supplies, the construction of a seaport, the cancellation of debts owed by the Hamas government, a relaxation of the Israeli security blockade – hinge on Hamas accepting conditions it is categorically unwilling to countenance.more

Germany’s First Anti-Semitism Commissioner

August 9, 2018,

In April, diplomat Felix Klein was appointed Germany’s first Anti-Semitism Commissioner. The need for such an appointment is an indirect admission of the severity of expressions of Jew-hatred in Germany more than seventy years after the Holocaust. In interviews and statements, Klein has addressed a wide array of the components of anti-Semitism in Germany. For the first time, there is now a German official with the responsibility of exposing Jew hatred in the country in all its varieties.more

Israel’s Nationality Law – The Prequel

August 8, 2018, and

In April 1938, the British parliament was asked to approve a Jewish Citizenship Bill that would enable Jews worldwide to become nationals of Mandatory Palestine, where the Jewish national home had yet to be established in accordance with the 1922 League of Nations mandate. Though the bill failed to pass, with Parliament split right down the middle with 144 supporters and 144 naysayers, opposition stemmed not from rejection of Palestine as the national home of the Jewish People but from fear of Arab retribution. It is saddening that what was taken for granted decades before Israel’s establishment has come to be widely questioned seventy years after the Jewish state has been in existence.more

The Absence of an Israeli Voice in Arabic

An Israeli voice in Arabic was entirely missing during the recent confrontations along the Gaza Strip-Israel border. The media spectrum visible to Palestinians is controlled by Aljazeera as well as Palestinian radio and TV propaganda and indoctrination broadcasts. The Israeli State Comptroller has severely criticized this shortcoming and urged the government to fill the gap, noting that Israel consistently fails to produce an Israeli official broadcast to targeted audiences in Arabic – not even during crises like Operation Cast Lead. Israel must correct this failing in order to deliver direct messages to Palestinian audiences, as well as to function as a psy-op tool.more

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New at BESA Center

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?

DEBATE: Trump’s Recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s Capital – What Does It Mean?

December 11, 2017

Q: On December 6, 2017, US President Donald Trump made a statement recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and declaring that his administration will immediately begin the process of building an embassy in Jerusalem. What does Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital mean?

Respondents: Elliott Abrams, Daniel Pipes, Max Singer, Eytan Gilboa, Jonathan Rynhold, Hillel Frisch

DEBATE: Decertification of the Iran Deal – What Happens Next?

November 24, 2017

Q: Will the decertification of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) Iran nuclear agreement by US President Donald Trump pave the way to fixing it?

Respondents: Michael Rubin, Emily B. Landau, Barbara Slavin, Behnam Ben Taleblu, Paulina Izewicz, Raphael Ofek

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.