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]

Reading Palestinian Responses to Trump’s Jerusalem Declaration

| December 8, 2017

The PA and Hamas are hopeful that unorganized Palestinian youth will mobilize against President Trump’s declaration acknowledging that Jerusalem is Israel’s capital. A groundswell from the streets would preclude the necessity for the two organizations to actively take the lead. However, the readers of al-Quds, the Palestinian silent majority, are loath to sacrifice their sons on behalf of the warring factions.

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Free-Riding Allies are Painful. Free-Riding Enemies are Sheer Folly

| December 3, 2017

The victors in Syria and Iraq – Russia, Iran, Syria, and Turkey – are to meet in Sochi for a conference to discuss a peaceful conclusion to the Syrian civil war. The loser in Syria and Iraq – the US – will be conspicuously absent. The Americans’ adversaries were the beneficiaries of their own campaign against ISIS. Instead of the sheer folly of watching enemies free-ride on US might, the US should have exhausted Iran and Russia in the process of defeating ISIS.

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The Desperate Saudi Bid to Prepare the State for All-Out War

| November 17, 2017

Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman knows he has to transform the state into a war machine if the kingdom is to survive the Iranian onslaught. To do that, he has to amass power by removing the system of checks and balances of rival princely factions and tribal affiliations as well as a security system that is weakened by both. The question is whether he will be able to avoid the fate of the Shah, who transformed Iran into a regional power but fell victim to wall-to-wall opposition bred by his concentration of power.

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An Eye for an Eye: Iran Promises to Partition Saudi Arabia If Iraq Is Partitioned

| October 6, 2017

Iran is now openly threatening to dismember Saudi Arabia for its support for Kurdish independence and secession from Iraq. This ratcheting up of tensions has implications not only for those two countries but for the region and the world at large. Israel would do well to remember that the Middle East is growing ever more volatile, and the US should sharpen its resolve to contain Iran.

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The Strategic Answer to the Temple Mount Crisis: Settlement

| August 5, 2017

Conflict management, when applied to the Israeli-Palestinian problem, is insufficient to achieve Israel’s interests. What is needed is a strategy of renewed settlement that will educate the Palestinians about the costs of their actions, divide their ranks instead of tactically unifying them, and keep it a conflict over land – which can eventually be resolved – rather than over religion, which is probably unsolvable.

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Israeli Sovereignty Over the Temple Mount Is Crucial for Peace

| July 24, 2017

Regardless of its direct security merits, Israel’s decision to place metal detectors at the entrances to the Temple Mount has been transformed by adversaries and Israel alike into an issue of sovereignty over the Temple Mount. Power-sharing there has always constituted a slippery slope to disaster. The murder of two Israeli policemen at the Temple Mount is an appropriate moment to rectify the situation by reasserting Israeli sovereignty over the holy site.

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Abbas Will Never Walk the Walk of Peace

| July 15, 2017

Thanks to his struggle against Israel, Mahmoud Abbas is a political superstar. Many heads of NATO states can only dream of his access to great leaders. As long as Abbas does not make peace with Israel, he meets US presidents with almost the same frequency as the prime minister of Great Britain. If he does make peace, he might suffer the fate of Jordan’s kings, who meet the US president far less after having signed the Israel-Jordan peace treaty than they did before.

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Gaza’s Inhabitants Share the Blame with Hamas

| July 5, 2017

The claim that Gaza’s inhabitants are hapless victims of Hamas is highly questionable. Gazans are either silent about or openly supportive of the trading of corpses of Israeli soldiers in return for Hamas terrorists, a practice expressly forbidden by Islamic law. They accept with equanimity and even satisfaction the Hamas practice of releasing videos of Israeli soldiers for the express purpose of psychologically torturing their families and thereby extracting greater concessions from Israel. Gazans may well be unhappy with Hamas for bringing on electricity cuts, but they are hardly mere victims. Their support for Hamas indicates that they share responsibility for its practices.

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Gaza’s Humanitarian Crisis Is Fake News

| June 20, 2017

One of the most widespread myths about Gaza is that it is wallowing in poverty and forever on the verge of a humanitarian crisis as a result of the Israeli and Egyptian blockade. But indicators such as life expectancy, growth in imports, and electricity demand suggest that the Gazan standard of living is growing, not declining. If a genuine humanitarian crisis were to loom, the solution would be simple: disarm Hamas and divert its considerable expenditures on terrorism to the improvement of the welfare of Gaza’s inhabitants.

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When Palestinians are Hopeless, Terror Declines; When Hopeful, Terrorism Increases

| June 15, 2017

It is a widespread belief that Palestinian hopelessness feeds terrorism and the prospects for peace decrease it. This has always been false. In fact, the opposite is true: when Palestinians feel hopeless, Palestinian terrorism declines; when they are hopeful of gaining the upper hand, Palestinian terrorism increases. An Israeli iron fist is necessary to save both Israeli and Palestinian lives.

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