Col (Res.) Dr. Raphael G. Bouchnik-Chen

Col (Res.) Dr. Raphael G. Bouchnik-Chen

Col (Res.) Dr. Raphael G. Bouchnik-Chen

(Ph.D. Jinan University, China). Specializes in Middle Eastern and international affairs. Served for 26 years in IDF military intelligence in several senior assignments, including Head of the Review Department. Served for 3 years in the Prime Minister’s office and Ministry of Defense, and fulfilled a diplomatic mission in the Far East.

Revisiting Walter Eytan’s “The First Ten Years”

The diplomatic history of Israel as related by Dr. Walter Eytan, the first director general of the Israeli Foreign Ministry and the founding father of the Israeli diplomatic service, provides an intimate insight into Israel’s political and international struggle for survival. Sixty years after publication of Eytan’s book, his vision and legacy remain valid and warrant renewed attention.

0

Can Hamas Disrupt Commercial Flights to Israel?

Hamas has repeatedly threatened to disrupt commercial flights to Israel, a threat intended to deter Israel whenever a violent round of hostilities erupts. This threat hearkens back to the flight ban that was imposed on Israel during 2014’s Operation Protective Edge following a Hamas rocket attack on Yahud. While the flight ban was more a reflection of the Obama administration’s desire to put political pressure on Israel than a reflection of genuine safety concerns, Israeli decision makers do seem to consider the Hamas threat to Ben-Gurion Airport to be viable. In fact, it is more a propaganda message than a concrete threat.

0

Deterrence Is Not Everything

Israel’s decisions a) to contain Hamas’s continuous provocations rather than use them as a casus belli and b) to refrain from an immediate military response to the discovery of Hezbollah tunnels into Israeli sovereign territory in the northern Galilee highlight the issue of deterrence as a core factor affecting the Israeli image in the region. Assuming the current Israeli modus operandi is the product of rational and thoughtful staff work, it can be inferred that deterrence is no longer either a decisive factor or even a strategic goal in the asymmetric conflicts with Hamas and Hezbollah.

0

The EU’s Utopian Approach to Iran

Europe’s attitude towards Iran, particularly with respect to the 2015 nuclear deal (the JCPOA) and related ballistic issues, is hard to understand. A collective desire to defy the US, which pulled out of the JCPOA in May and re-imposed tough sanctions on Tehran, can’t be the cardinal reason. It is more likely that the EU states are succumbing to a sophisticated blackmail campaign directed by the Iranian regime aimed at preserving the JCPOA and deepening existing cleavages among the transatlantic partners.

0

Myanmar: The Dark Side of the Rohingya Muslim Minority

A UNHRC report has found Myanmar’s authorities responsible for “the gravest crimes under international law” against the Rohingya Muslim minority – crimes that led to a massive exodus to Bangladesh. The report concludes that the army must be investigated for genocide against the Rohingya. This blunt condemnation of the Myanmar authorities does not correspond to solid intelligence data proving terror attacks by Rohingya’s ARSA militants against government assets and the killing of military and police personnel, as well as Buddhist citizens. Several conclusions of the UNHRC Mission ought to be revisited.

0

The Passing of Uri Avnery

Most of the articles and statements following the passing of veteran Israeli journalist and far-left political activist Uri Avnery were of a glorifying nature, praising his persistent support for a Palestinian state and the end of the Israeli “occupation.” However, his misconceived predictions and deeds undermining Israeli sovereign interests, including during wartime, were intentionally ignored.

0

The Machiavellian Opponents of the Nation State Law

The public debate attending the Nation State Law is a clear indicator of Israel’s vibrant democracy and an illustration of the freedom of expression that characterizes the Israeli state of mind. Arabs, Druze, and Jews expressed their views on this matter, both pro and con, notwithstanding the fact that the core argument is essentially political rather than substantive. With that said, the protests in Israel against the new law are a red alert. They reflect an emerging tendency among liberal streams in Israeli Jewish society to undermine the long-accepted principle that Israel is the national home of the Jewish people.

0

The Absence of an Israeli Voice in Arabic

An Israeli voice in Arabic was entirely missing during the recent confrontations along the Gaza Strip-Israel border. The media spectrum visible to Palestinians is controlled by Aljazeera as well as Palestinian radio and TV propaganda and indoctrination broadcasts. The Israeli State Comptroller has severely criticized this shortcoming and urged the government to fill the gap, noting that Israel consistently fails to produce an Israeli official broadcast to targeted audiences in Arabic – not even during crises like Operation Cast Lead. Israel must correct this failing in order to deliver direct messages to Palestinian audiences, as well as to function as a psy-op tool.

0