Online Debates

DEBATE: Putin in Power until 2024: What Does it Mean?

No. 12
| June 14, 2018

Vladimir Putin easily won the recent election in Russia and secured another presidential term. The result cements him as one of the most powerful leaders in modern Russian history, but also poses questions for the day after on both the domestic and the international level. While the US administration has not yet clarified its approach vis-à-vis Russia and the EU remains largely divided, Putin is gaining ground – for example in the Syrian arena– and his popularity remains high at home. BESA joins the debate by posing the question: Putin in power until 2024: What does it mean?

DEBATE: The US Withdrawal from the JCPOA: Where Do We Go from Here?

No. 11
| May 25, 2018

Q:   On May 8, 2018, President Donald Trump announced the withdrawal of the US from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA. His intention is to impose the highest possible level of economic sanctions on Iran and perhaps sanction other nations that assist Tehran in its quest for nuclear weapons. The “nixing” of the deal might be followed by a “fixing” of the deal. BESA joins the debate by posing the question: After the US withdrawal from the JCPOA, where do we go from here?

DEBATE: Would a Change in Palestinian Authority Leadership Affect the Peace Process?

No. 10

Q:   In 2005, Mahmoud Abbas was elected to a four-year term as president of the Palestinian Authority (PA). Thirteen years later he remains in the position without having held any further elections. While the date of his departure cannot be predicted, scenarios for the new leadership of the PA are already being examined. BESA joins the debate by posing the question: Would a change in the PA’s leadership affect the peace process?

DEBATE: How Might the Israeli-Iranian Face-Off in Syria Evolve?

No. 9
| April 1, 2018

Q:      The recent infiltration of Israeli airspace by an Iranian drone launched from Syria was considered by Jerusalem a severe violation of its sovereignty. In response, Israel conducted a mission to strike the Iranian drone installation in Syria. During that mission, an Israeli F-16 jet crashed. In the aftermath of this incident, Israel – while not wishing to escalate – made clear that it is prepared to act with determination and exact a heavy price from anyone who attacks it. BESA joins the debate by posing the question: How might the Israeli-Iranian face-off in Syria evolve?

DEBATE: Can Mahmoud Abbas Achieve Anything in Europe?

No. 8
| March 22, 2018

Following the recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital by US President Donald Trump, President of the Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas is counting on the EU to support his cause. In his January 2018 meeting with EU High Representative Federica Mogherini, he was assured “of the firm commitment of the EU to the two-state solution, with Jerusalem as shared capital of the two states – the State of Israel and the State of Palestine”. However, it remains questionable whether the EU has the necessary gravitas to play a catalytic political role in the peace process. BESA joins the debate by posing the question: Can Mahmoud Abbas achieve anything in Europe?

DEBATE: What Is the Best Way to Transport Levantine Gas to Europe?

No. 7
| February 22, 2018

Q:  Energy discoveries in the Eastern Mediterranean are changing regional dynamics in the Basin. Key players – principally Cyprus, Egypt, and Israel – are taking steps to achieve energy independence and are exploring opportunities for exports. The EU, which is interested in reducing its energy dependency on Russia, could be a client in the future. BESA joins the debate by asking: How can natural gas from the Eastern Mediterranean be better transported to Europe?

DEBATE: Should US Aid to the Palestinians Be Suspended?

No. 6
| February 8, 2018

Q: On January 2, 2018, US President Donald Trump threatened to pull funding from the Palestinians with the tweet: “But with the Palestinians no longer willing to talk peace, why should we make any of these massive future payments to them?” Two weeks later, the US said that it while it remains committed to a voluntary contribution of $60 million to sustain Palestinian schools and health services, it is holding back a further $65 million for reconsideration. BESA joins the debate by posing the question: Should US aid to the Palestinians be suspended?

DEBATE: What Are the Implications of the Russian-Turkish Rapprochement?

No. 5
| January 21, 2018

Q: In the aftermath of the failed coup d’état of July 2016, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is embarking on an attempt to improve Ankara’s relations with non-Western countries to avoid international isolation. The Russian-Turkish rapprochement is a characteristic example. As the EU and the US criticize Erdoğan for his domestic and foreign policy choices, he regularly meets with his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, to discuss new patterns of cooperation. BESA join the debate by asking the experts: What are the implications of the Russian-Turkish rapprochement?

DEBATE: What Could the Iran Uprising Portend?

No. 4
| January 9, 2018

Q: Anti-government protests in Iran – occurring for the first time since 2009 – are attracting international attention. The scale and ferocity of the uprising have left many people dead, injured, or arrested. The reasons for this new internal instability, and the potential repercussions for the country and the regime, have generated a lively debate. BESA asks the experts: What could the uprising in Iran portend?

DEBATE: What Is the Best Way to Deal with North Korea?

No. 3
| December 31, 2017

Q: A few weeks after the visit of US President Donald Trump to Asia, North Korea is continuing with its missile launches. While the military option is openly on Washington’s agenda, a potential diplomatic solution cannot be excluded. BESA is joining the debate by asking experts: What is the best way to deal with North Korea?