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]

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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Trump’s Air Strike on al-Tanf: No to the Shiite Crescent

| June 1, 2017

The two recent US air strikes on a Syrian convoy heading to the al-Tanf military base in the southern Syrian Desert a few miles from the Jordanian-Syrian border have major strategic importance. The attack signaled for the first time since the Syrian civil war broke out in 2011 that the US would not countenance the reemergence of the Iranian-controlled Shiite crescent that Iran had created through Teheran, Baghdad, Damascus, and Beirut after the US exited Iraq in 2010.

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Hamas: Another Failed Palestinian Organization

| May 14, 2017

Mounting evidence suggests that Hamas, viewed as either a terrorist movement or as a government, is one more failed Palestinian organization. It is recognized as such by Gaza’s inhabitants, who no longer show up to their rallies. Its lack of popularity is one reason for the small concessions contained in its recently published document. More concessions will come as popular pressure mounts. Israel should be patient, as time is on its side.

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Becoming Part of Jordan and Egypt: A Palestinian Economic Imperative

| March 15, 2017

Reintegrating into the Jordanian state is an economic imperative for the Arab inhabitants of the Palestine Authority. Only by once again becoming citizens of Jordan will they be able to challenge the economic stone wall imposed by domestic Jordanian economic lobby groups barring West Bank exports. A two-state solution would lead, not to an economy of peace, but to an economy of violence as lobby groups in both Israel and Jordan shut out the Palestinian state’s exports. The Palestinian state would inevitably react by threatening and committing violence to extract the international aid to which the PA has become accustomed.

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Myth: American Ties to Israel Harm US Interests in the Muslim Middle East

| March 1, 2017

Many believe that US financial and military support for Israel harms the interests of the US, especially in the Middle East and North Africa. One way to test this assumption is to explore whether US support for Israel has a negative effect on exports of the US to the countries of the region. It doesn’t. US exports to the region have grown. Fluctuations within that overall growth trend are easily explained by oil prices, the chief source of income of many of the consumer states – not by Israel’s “offenses” against Hezbollah and Hamas.

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Myth: Israel Is the Largest Beneficiary of US Military Aid

| February 10, 2017

Many American detractors of Israel begin by citing that Israel receives the lion’s share of US military aid. The very suggestion conjures the demon of an all-powerful Israel lobby that has turned the US Congress into its pawn. But these figures, while reflecting official direct US military aid, are almost meaningless in comparison to the real costs and benefits of US military aid – above all, American boots on the ground. In reality, Israel receives only a small fraction of American military aid, and most of that was spent in the US to the benefit of the American economy.

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