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]

Iran’s Strategic Mistake: Too Many Enemies

| February 7, 2020

A photo showing an Iranian general surrounded by flags of the Islamic Republic’s proxies in Arab states illustrates that it has accumulated too many enemies—a condition that has caused many regimes throughout history to disappear. ISIS is a recent example. If the Islamic Republic persists in accumulating enemies, it might share the same fate.

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Israel’s Strikes in Syria Hurt Iran’s Purse

| January 24, 2020

Israel’s air force has been unrelenting in its determination to prevent the introduction by Iran into Syria of a massive supply of precision-guided missiles to be used against Israel. The IAF is also striking consistently and forcefully at Tehran’s attempts to establish a local Iranian-run weapons armament industry in Syria. With these efforts, Israel is forcing Iran to take these projects underground. That is an expensive proposition—and all the more difficult following the reimposition of US sanctions.

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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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