Perspectives Papers

Perspectives Papers provide analysis from BESA Center research associates and other outside experts on the most important issues pertaining to Israel and the Middle East.

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Why Didn’t Chinese Investment Ease Ethnic Tensions in Xinjiang?

No. 749
| February 23, 2018

The assumption that economic investment aimed at increasing modernization and raising standards of living will weaken ethnic identity and strengthen a minority’s sense of belonging has been disproven in the case of the Xinjiang Autonomous Region (XUAR) in western China. Uyghur nationalism is increasing despite significant economic investment by the Chinese government, raising questions about the effectiveness of economic development programs designed to close gaps and diminish polarization between different groups.

The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: Thinking Outside the Box

No. 748
| February 21, 2018

A creative solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict must start with appreciating the advantages of the hybrid spatial model that has emerged in the West Bank, notably the governmental powers granted to the Palestinian Authority as far back as January 1996 in Areas A and B, and discarding the stillborn paradigm of total separation.

Iran’s New Anti-Israel “Resistance Axis”

No. 747
| February 20, 2018

The recent infiltration of the Israeli airspace by an Iranian drone, and the chain of events that followed, occurred in the context of a process of transition in the Iranian strategic approach: from covert intervention by proxy to direct pursuit of the anti-Israeli “resistance axis.”

How the IDF Is Preparing for Multi-Front War

No. 746
| February 19, 2018

The IDF is implementing a plan to improve its ability to operate on multiple battle fronts simultaneously. While there is no indication that any one of Israel’s enemies is interested in initiating a full-scale war in the near future, the growing explosiveness of the region means that any tactical incident can snowball and turn into an unintended armed conflict very quickly – and one front can ignite others. 

Narendra Modi’s Visit to Ramallah

No. 745
| February 18, 2018

During Indian PM Narendra Modi’s visit to Israel in July 2017, India finally ended its long practice that dignitaries who visit Israel must also travel to the Palestinian-controlled territories. On February 10, 2018, he conducted a landmark visit to Ramallah, the first such visit by an Indian PM – and did not visit Israel. This “de-hyphenation” of Israel-Palestine reflects Modi’s pragmatic and sensible approach to relations with the two entities.

Germany’s Insufficient Battle Against Anti-Semitism

No. 744
| February 16, 2018

Photos of the burning of a homemade Israeli flag by Muslim demonstrators in Berlin in December 2017 drew international attention due to their association with images of Nazi book burnings in 1933. Senior German politicians have exposed widespread anti-Semitism among the country’s Muslims, a situation borne out by various studies. While measures have been announced against Muslim anti-Semitism, the most important action has not been proposed: to screen all those wanting to immigrate for anti-Semitic and anti-Israel attitudes and bar those found to hold such beliefs.

Jewish Organizations and Populist Right-Wing Parties in Europe: Engage or Ostracize?

No. 743
| February 16, 2018

The Jewish world is divided on whether to engage or ostracize populist right-wing parties in Europe. The experience of Jews in the US and Poland suggests that a pragmatic approach would best serve the interests of both European Jews and Israel.

Russia and the Israeli-Syrian-Iranian Confrontation

No. 742
| February 15, 2018

On February 11, 2018, Israel conducted multiple airstrikes on Syrian-Iranian targets in Syria in response to the downing of an Israeli F-16 in Israeli territory following infiltration by an Iranian drone. Moscow’s mild reaction to these events reflects its desire to maintain cooperation with both Tehran and Jerusalem.

How Israel Should Handle Gaza’s “Humanitarian Disaster”

No. 741
| February 14, 2018

In all the years of murderous conflict in Syria and Iraq, neither has experienced a humanitarian disaster in the form of a widespread crisis involving mass hunger and the spread of hunger-related diseases. Yet officials warn that such a crisis could unfold in Gaza. How likely is that prognosis? And if it does occur, what should Israel’s policy be?

Jerusalem, Israel’s Capital, Is a Peaceful City

No. 740
| February 14, 2018

Mention the word “Jerusalem,” which is derived from the word “peace,” and anything but peace comes to mind. Yet the city of Jerusalem is safer by far than San Francisco, thanks to good policing and traditional life among both the Jewish and Arab populations.