Dr. George N. Tzogopoulos

Dr. George N. Tzogopoulos

Dr. George N. Tzogopoulos

Dr. George N. Tzogopoulos (Ph.D. Loughborough University) specializes in media and international relations as well as Chinese affairs. Email: [email protected]

DEBATE: What Happened to Arab Support for the Palestinians?

| November 16, 2018

While the continuing influence of the Palestinians on the Arab world should not be underestimated, the current landscape in the Middle East is bringing new policy priorities to the fore. As Israel’s ambassador to Washington, Ron Dermer, recently observed, “The Arab states are no longer dancing to the Palestinians’ tune.” BESA joins the debate by posing the question: What has happened to Arab support for the Palestinians?

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Pragmatism Drives the Sino-Israeli Partnership

| November 5, 2018

The relationship between China and Israel is based largely on harmonious economic cooperation, although security implications cannot be ignored as the Belt and Road Initiative is implemented. It can be argued that China is interested in playing a risky game in the region that goes beyond economics. Still, the two countries can look for new, original fields in which to collaborate. Jerusalem’s experience of remembering the Holocaust and combating deniers might be useful with respect to Beijing’s remembrance of the Nanjing Massacre.

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Merkel’s Approach to Israel Has Not Progressed

| October 15, 2018

German-Israeli relations are difficult in view of Germany’s Nazi past. Angela Merkel does not ignore her country’s history, and has played a significant role in strengthening the bilateral relationship. However, new security challenges and problems require solutions. Merkel’s recent visit to Jerusalem showed that her approach to Israel needs readjustment to address urgent issues on a practical, not only a theoretical, level.

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Light at the End of the Tunnel for Greece?

| September 16, 2018

Maladministration, overspending, cronyism, and statism over a period of decades made Greece the weakest link in the Eurozone when the world financial crisis hit Europe in 2009. To avoid a chaotic default and an exit from the European system, Greece had no alternative but to accept bailouts offered by the EU and the IMF in exchange for austerity measures and structural reforms. The third and final one expired on August 20, 2018. The day after finds Greece with relatively stable public finances but unable to immediately regain market confidence. Above all, the tendency of politicians to put their political interest above the national one remains even as the society is suffocating from social problems and is pessimistic about the future.

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DEBATE: Is Trump Right to Demand that NATO Partners Pay More?

| September 9, 2018

Transatlantic relations have suffered since the advent of Donald Trump’s presidency. While collaboration and mutual understanding were taken for granted on a plethora of issues of joint interest during the administration of Barack Obama, Trump approaches Europe with undisguised skepticism. Although he has softened his rhetoric since his 2016 campaign, the US and the EU have not yet worked through their mutual antagonism. One significant issue on the agenda is NATO defense expenditure per member state. BESA joins the debate by posing the question: Is Trump right to push NATO partners to pay more for their participation in NATO?

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DEBATE: What’s Next for Turkey?

Turkey’s fate has been associated with that of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan ever since 2002. After having won multiple elections and referenda and surviving an attempted coup d’état in July 2016, he is consolidating power in an unprecedented manner. The elections of June 24, 2018 were his most recent test, and he passed it successfully. Despite divisions within Turkish society and criticism in the West, Erdoğan continues to steer Turkey by holding greater power than any other Turkish leader in decades. The full impact of this development on Turkey’s domestic and foreign policy remains to be seen. BESA joins the debate by asking: Now that Erdoğan has passed his most recent electoral test, what is next for Turkey?

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DEBATE: Putin in Power until 2024: What Does it Mean?

Vladimir Putin easily won the recent election in Russia and secured another presidential term. The result cements him as one of the most powerful leaders in modern Russian history, but also poses questions for the day after on both the domestic and the international level. While the US administration has not yet clarified its approach vis-à-vis Russia and the EU remains largely divided, Putin is gaining ground – for example in the Syrian arena– and his popularity remains high at home. BESA joins the debate by posing the question: Putin in power until 2024: What does it mean?

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Cyprus, Greece, and Israel Chart a Common Path

Cyprus, Greece, and Israel are steadily building a democratic geopolitical bloc in the Eastern Mediterranean. They are exploring ways to collaborate in fields ranging from energy to communication technology and defense. Greek-American and American-Jewish communities are exploiting the momentum to further boost the developing “triangle” and encourage US support. However, despite progress among the governments and the generally positive climate, warning signs of anti-Semitism in Greece underline the need for grassroots action to combine political achievements with wide public support.

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Trump, Europe, and Iran

US President Donald Trump’s staunch opposition to the nuclear agreement with Iran (the JCPOA) has sparked a serious transatlantic rift. The EU is, however, attempting to balance its appetite for business with an examination of security risks. In so doing, it is slowly awakening to Israeli and Sunni Arab sensitivities regarding Tehran’s hegemonic aspirations in the Middle East.

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DEBATE: The US Withdrawal from the JCPOA: Where Do We Go from Here?

Q:   On May 8, 2018, President Donald Trump announced the withdrawal of the US from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA. His intention is to impose the highest possible level of economic sanctions on Iran and perhaps sanction other nations that assist Tehran in its quest for nuclear weapons. The “nixing” of the deal might be followed by a “fixing” of the deal. BESA joins the debate by posing the question: After the US withdrawal from the JCPOA, where do we go from here?

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