Prof. Eytan Gilboa

Prof. Eytan Gilboa

Prof. Eytan Gilboa

(Ph.D. Harvard) Expert on American-Israeli relations, U.S. policy in the Middle East, American and Israeli politics, public opinion, international communication, and public diplomacy. Email: [email protected]

The Road to an Iranian Attack on Israel

| November 15, 2019

Israeli political and military leaders have warned against the possibility of a major military confrontation with Iran, which wants to deter Israel from disrupting its attempts to build military bases in Syria and Iraq and to construct factories in which Hezbollah can convert its huge arsenal of rockets into accurate missiles. This threat is more acute in light of the American failure to respond to recent Iranian provocations in the Gulf. Israel should adopt an aggressive new strategic approach to meet this threat, in coordination with the US and in consultation with Russia.     

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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.     

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Sometimes Might Makes Right: Saving International Organizations from Themselves

| April 26, 2019

Concerned over repercussions threatened by the US, judges of the International Criminal Court (ICC) in the Hague denied the request of the court’s chief prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, to investigate war crimes allegedly committed by the US and its allies in Afghanistan. This decision has significant implications for lawfare battles the Palestinians are conducting against Israel and the information wars Israel is conducting against hostile organizations and movements such as the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanction movement (BDS).   

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Trump Stands Firm Against Bias and Abuses at International Organizations

| October 11, 2018

President Donald Trump believes his controversial standing at home and assertive policies abroad lie behind the pattern of countries daring to challenge American interests in international organizations. He has responded with an aggressive new strategy against widespread abuses and anti-Americanism at the UN and a host of other international fora. Trump’s strategy serves Jerusalem’s interests because Israel has been a consistent victim of obsession, hostility, hypocrisy, and double standards on the floors of many of these organizations.

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Moving the US Embassy to Jerusalem: Righting a Diplomatic Wrong

| May 14, 2018

Jerusalem has been the capital of the state of Israel since 1949. Most states, however – including the US – chose not to recognize Israel’s capital and located their embassies in the Tel Aviv area. There has never been any reason to deny recognition of West Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, either before or after the 1967 Six-Day War. The failure to recognize Israel’s capital is thus a unique diplomatic anomaly. In election campaigns, successive American presidents have promised to transfer the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, but failed to live up to that commitment. Congress demanded recognition and transfer but to no avail. President Donald Trump dramatically changed this pattern by recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and ordering that the US embassy be moved there.

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“Sharp Power”: Hamas’s Dirty War Against Israel

| April 17, 2018

In the so-called “March of Return,” Hamas is utilizing a new kind of power in international relations called “sharp power.” This term originally referred to the subversion, manipulation, distraction, and lies authoritarian governments employ to undermine liberal democracies. The concept can now be applied to terrorist organizations like Hamas.

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The American Public and Israel: A Record of Support, but Clouds on the Horizon

| April 2, 2018

The American public has historically strongly supported Israel, especially since the 1967 Six Day War. This support substantially contributed to the establishment and development of a “special relationship” between the two countries. The Gallup Poll, the first and the most reputable polling organization in the US, has been measuring American attitudes towards Israel and the Arab-Israeli conflict since before the establishment of Israel. The long-term trends on several issues show constant growth in public support. The 2018 survey reveals record scores in favor of Israel, but also a few weaknesses.   

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The Trump-Kim Jong-un Summit: Nuclear Disarmament for Regime Survival?

| March 19, 2018

Kim Jong-un’s invitation to US President Donald Trump to hold a summit was a big surprise, as was Trump’s immediate acceptance. While the road to a nuclear agreement will be difficult because of two decades of North Korean violations of understandings and agreements, the summit could nevertheless have dramatic ramifications for world and regional politics.

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Trump’s Business Approach to Foreign Aid Diplomacy

| February 7, 2018

Until now, two approaches have dominated American foreign aid: the strategic and the humanitarian. Trump has added a third: the “business approach.” The strategic is based on interests, the humanitarian on compassion, and the business on yield. The great powers use the strategic approach and the Europeans the humanitarian. The business approach now guides US aid to the Palestinians. Trump has threatened to cut off US aid to the Palestinians if they refuse to negotiate with Israel, and cut US allocations to UNRWA. This new approach influences the attitudes of Egypt and Jordan, both large recipients of American aid. This can be seen in their low-key responses to Trump’s Jerusalem decision. It can also have ramifications for Israel’s relations with the Palestinians and the US.

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Trump, One Year After the Election: Achievements and Failures

| November 20, 2017

No president, particularly one lacking experience in politics, can achieve his goals without the cooperation of government authorities, the media, and the public. Thus far, Trump has not demonstrated the ability to learn lessons that will bring him to this place, and his public approval ratings have accordingly plummeted. Should he sustain his erratic conduct, Republicans may well distance themselves from his policies in next year’s midterm congressional elections. This will make it even harder for him to pass laws, budgets, and programs.

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