Prof. Hillel Frisch

Prof. Hillel Frisch

Prof. Hillel Frisch

(Ph.D. Hebrew University) Expert on Palestinian and Islamic politics, institutions and military strategies; Israeli Arabs; Islamic fundamentalism in the Middle East; Palestinian-Jordanian relations; and the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and Jordan. Email: [email protected]

Photo-Ops Notwithstanding, Iran Faces the US Alone

| January 15, 2020

Iran is now assessing whether it should retaliate further against the US for the targeting of Qassem Soleimani, and if so, how. Its relationships with Russia and Turkey might look warm, but they are troubled. Neither is likely to leap to Tehran’s side in its clash with the US. Israel should exploit Iran’s fissures with Russia and Turkey to its advantage.

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The Soleimani Killing: An Initial Assessment

The targeted killing by the US of Qassem Soleimani, commander of the Quds Force and close confidant of Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, has unsettled the region and the world. We have assembled initial takes on this event by five BESA researchers: Prof. Hillel Frisch, Prof. Eytan Gilboa, Maj. Gen. (res.) Gershon Hacohen, Dr. Doron Itzchakov, and Alex Joffe. 

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Iran Should Expect More Social Unrest

| December 11, 2019

Iran has made impressive human development gains (even as it has suppressed human rights) in the last two decades under the ayatollahs. Just as expectations rose after the signing of the nuclear deal, those achievements tapered off and might even be in reverse. This could explain the social unrest roiling the country.

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Iran and Its Proxies Face the Costs of Imperialism

| November 25, 2019

In both Iraq and Lebanon, Shiites are participating in protests against Iranian-backed, Shiite-led governments. As protests and violence in Iraq and Lebanon continue, Iran is beginning to learn that imperialism in a world of mass politics and protest has unintended costs.

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Is Hamas Being Tamed?

| November 21, 2019

The wedge between Hamas and Islamic Jihad in the recent Gaza conflagration is a clear sign that Israel is deepening divisions between the two terror groups. Nevertheless, the payoffs to Hamas enhance its firepower in possible future rounds, meaning that Israel has to reduce the payoffs as much as possible rather than as the center-left suggests, show largess towards Gaza.

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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.

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Political Islam Is Declining in the Middle East

| October 18, 2019

The lack of a reaction to the death of former Egyptian president Muhammad Morsi and the absence of religious demands by protesters in Algeria, Sudan, and Iraq suggest that political Islam is waning after the defeat of ISIS three years ago.

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Why Israel Must Tolerate Hamas for the Time Being

| September 17, 2019

Israel’s inability to thwart Hamas on the Gaza front, even as it persistently worsens the lives of the 20,000 Israeli citizens who live in the “Gaza envelope,” is a national shame. Yet PM Benjamin Netanyahu is correct that this pain must be borne as Israel focuses on the Iranian threat and Israel’s northern front.

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Was Israel’s Entry Refusal a Boon or a Bust for Tlaib and Omar?

| September 9, 2019

The dual abilities of Congresswomen Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar to arouse the ire of President Trump and spout antisemitic, anti-Israel messages with impunity has raised their profile well beyond that of other junior representatives and significantly boosted their popularity. Supporters of Israel, as well as those who care about the interests of the US, will have to strive to defeat them in the next congressional elections.

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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.

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