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]

“The Occupation” – How the EU Discriminates Against Israel

| August 21, 2019

Why does the EU single out Israeli “occupation” over other “occupations”? Because anti-Israeli, pro-Palestinian positions are one of the few rallying cries that unite Europe.

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The Palestinians, Happiness, and the “Occupation”

| August 15, 2019

In an academic ranking of countries according to happiness level, the “Palestinian Territories” are far from the bottom of the list – something of a surprise, as the never-ending lamentations about the “Israeli occupation” would suggest a different outcome. The real tragedy is Tunisia, which achieved democracy but has not registered expected economic dividends. Its citizens are more discontented than the Palestinians.

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Is the BDS Movement on the Rise?

| August 2, 2019

According to the BDS movement’s Palestinian branch, the impact of the movement “is increasing substantially.” Many pro-Israel sites and organizations agree with that assessment. But how accurate is this prognosis?

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Trump’s Economic Plan Is Necessary Because Peace Is Not Possible

| July 23, 2019

None of the three actors in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict – Hamas, the PA, and Israel – envisions peace in the foreseeable future. It is this very absence of the prospect of peace that makes the Trump economic plan so timely. Engendering economic wellbeing does not solve deep-seated political conflict, but it does contain the prospect that differences can be expressed in less violent ways. 

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A Flight Guide to Middle East Politics

| July 8, 2019

The flight schedules of the major airports in the states of the Middle East provide an excellent window into regional politics. The absence of air traffic between Israel, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt to Iran reflects the tacit alliance of the three, while the abundance of connections between Istanbul and Qatar and Iranian destinations reflects the counter-Sunni alliance. Flight data also help us to gauge the extent to which Assad’s Syria has been restored.

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Ahead of the Bahrain Conference, Hamas Casts Its Lot with Iran

| June 18, 2019

A week and a half ago, Hamas organized its weekly confrontation on the Gaza fence in honor of World Jerusalem Day, an event inaugurated by Ayatollah Khomeini in 1979 and celebrated since then primarily by Iran and its Hezbollah proxy. This move reflects the organization’s defiance of the Sunni Arab states, especially those who plan to attend the Trump-sponsored conference in Bahrain.

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Iran Is Too Smart to Go to War

| June 5, 2019

If the Iranians have their way and are able to control the level of the flames, they will make sure that tensions with the US fall short of war due to the massive disparity in military capability and lack of mutual vulnerability. A Hezbollah attack on Israel in such a scenario would lead to Hezbollah’s destruction, a result Tehran would prefer to avoid.

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Finally, from Gaza, a Ray of Light

| May 31, 2019

Notwithstanding Hamas’s recent success at partially overwhelming Iron Dome, it has failed to accomplish one of its signal goals: nothing it has done has succeeded in galvanizing the Arab population in Ramallah and Hebron to rise up against either Israel or the PA.

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Peace with the Arab States and the Palestinians Must be Delinked

| March 13, 2019

US officials and envoys dangle the prospect of peace with Arab states in front of Israel as bait to encourage it to make painful concessions on the Palestinian issue. It would be a grave strategic mistake for Israel to fall for this gambit. As the Oslo Accords proved, peace is not made on the White House lawn but in Ramallah, Jerusalem, and Gaza.  

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Arab Religiosity and Support for the Palestinians

| March 1, 2019

There are more webpages in Arabic for the al-Aqsa mosque than webpages on Palestinian resistance. In English, there are triple the number of webpages on Palestinian resistance than on the al-Asa mosque, reflecting a more secular public than in the Arab world. To understand the Middle East, you have to think in Arabic and take religion much more seriously.

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