Prof. Efraim Inbar

Prof. Efraim Inbar

Prof. Efraim Inbar

(Ph.D. University of Chicago) Director of the BESA Center 1993-2016. Professor emeritus of political science at Bar-Ilan U. A veteran authority on the Arab-Israeli conflict and strategic developments in the Mideast. Expert on Israeli strategic doctrine, public opinion on national security issues, nuclear matters, U.S. Middle East policy, U.S.-Israel relations, Israeli-Palestinian diplomacy, and Israel-Turkey relations.
Phone:972-3-531-8959 / 972-2-587-0169
Mobile: 972-54-660-3409

Gaza in the Dark Is Not So Terrible

| June 18, 2017

Hamas wants Israel to supply it with electricity “or else”, but there is no reason why Israel should submit to Hamas extortion. It is not Israel’s obligation to satisfy the needs of a population that continues, through its ongoing support of Hamas, to pursue Israel’s destruction.

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Rethinking the Six-Day War

It has long been conventional wisdom to view the June 1967 war as an accidental conflagration that neither Arabs nor Israelis desired, yet none were able to prevent. This could not be further from the truth. Its specific timing resulted of course from the convergence of a number of particular causes at a particular juncture. But its general cause—the total Arab rejection of Jewish statehood—made another all-out Arab-Israeli war a foregone conclusion.

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Assad Is Bad News

| June 3, 2017

Arguing that the continuation of Assad’s brutal regime is a vital Israeli interest does not make strategic sense. A Syria embroiled in a civil war has much less energy and means for hurting Israel than a strong Syria. Nor is the Syria of today able to wage an effective diplomatic and/or military campaign aimed at the return of the Golan. Above all, the survival of the Assad regime is a victory for Iran – the main source of trouble in the Middle East and Israel’s arch-enemy. Expressing support for the Assad regime, which is responsible for hundreds of thousands of casualties, for using chemical weapons, for ethnic cleansing, for massive destruction, and for creating waves of millions of refugees, is also morally reprehensible.

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Israel Is Still at War

| May 4, 2017

Israel just celebrated its sixty-ninth anniversary. Its citizens can be proud of its many impressive achievements, and particularly the building of a very strong military that has withstood many tests. Yet acceptance by all its neighbors has not, unfortunately, been attained. Israel is still at war.

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The Turkish Referendum: A Turning Point?

| April 20, 2017

The legitimacy of the recent Turkish referendum is under dispute, further polarizing an already divided Turkish society. With no effective mechanisms for conflict resolution, and headed by an authoritarian Erdoğan, Turkey is heading towards a socio-political crisis. This might include a deteriorating economy, a flight of elites, and possibly even violence. Turkish nationalism remains very strong, however, and can be enlisted to divert attention from Turkey’s domestic problems. Erdoğan might decide to use his increased power to pursue an adventurist foreign policy rooted in his Islamist and neo-Ottoman impulses.

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The Burden of the 1967 Victory

| April 5, 2017

Considering the ways Israel’s opponents have changed over the decades, the collective yearning among Israelis for a decisive, 1967-style victory is unrealistic. The false hope for such success impedes clarity of thinking and causes the Israeli public to lose confidence in both the military and the political leadership. The only approach that can succeed in Israel’s current conflicts is a patient, attritional, repetitive use of force. Israelis should take comfort that time is on Israel’s side.

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President Trump Wants a Peace Process Too

| March 21, 2017

Since the 1970s, every American president has attempted to achieve peace between Israel and the Palestinians. Senior American diplomats and envoys have spent a great deal of time on this Sisyphean endeavor. For all his iconoclasm, President Trump has this goal in mind as well – but his eagerness might prove self-defeating.

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Israel’s Regional Objectives

| February 21, 2017

At the “Strategic Challenges in the Eastern Mediterranean” conference, Prof. Efraim Inbar of the BESA Center reviewed the strategic landscape in the Eastern Mediterranean. The US has become absent, he said; Turkey is increasingly becoming a revisionist power; and Iran’s presence is increasing along the shores of the Mediterranean Sea. It is not clear whether

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Trump Has Fans in Israel

| February 13, 2017

Israel is a very pro-American country, possibly more so than any other country in the world. As in the past, Israelis followed the US presidential election with great interest, amazed that the American political system had not produced more palatable presidential candidates. After eight years of a frosty relationship with the US Commander in Chief, many Israelis cautiously welcome the advent of Donald Trump.

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Jerusalem is the Center of Gravity

| January 19, 2017

Making strategic choices requires distinguishing which issues are urgent and which are important. Right now, the securing of Jewish control over Jerusalem is both urgent and important. Jerusalem carries great symbolic and strategic value for Israel, and Israeli control of the city must be protected.

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