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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Is Hamas Being Tamed?

No. 1351
| 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.

Washington and Ankara: Sweet Words, Sour Deeds

No. 1350
| November 20, 2019

President Trump’s “businessman’s realism/optimism” over his newly found ally notwithstanding, acute policy differences and an eroding confidence threaten the future of U.S.-Turkish relations.

Trump’s Retreat: Implications for Israel

No. 1349
| November 19, 2019

President Trump’s ill-advised decision to withdraw from Syria should be viewed in the context of two broader developments. In terms of foreign policy, both the Republicans and the Democrats are moving from international engagement to neo-isolationism; and strategically, the Pentagon is shifting from the war on terror to a renewed focus on Russia and China.

Lebanon Is On the Verge of Collapse

No. 1348
| November 18, 2019

Israel’s neighbor to the north is gripped by a popular uprising that many fear could lead to civil war.

Global Protests: Russia and China Risk Ending Up on the Wrong Side of History

No. 1346
| November 17, 2019

Russia and China are widely perceived as the rising powers in the Middle East as a result of America’s flip-flops in Syria and President Donald Trump’s transactional approach to foreign policy. This perception also reflects an acknowledgement of Russian and Chinese support for regimes irrespective of how non-performing and/or repressive they may be. But they could both ultimately find themselves on the wrong side of history in an era of global breakdown of popular confidence in political systems and incumbent leadership and increasingly determined and resourceful protests.

The Road to an Iranian Attack on Israel

No. 1345
| November 15, 2019

Israeli political and military leaders have warned against the possibility of a major military confrontation with Iran, which wants to deter Israel from disrupting its attempts to build military bases in Syria and Iraq and to construct factories in which Hezbollah can convert its huge arsenal of rockets into accurate missiles. This threat is more acute in light of the American failure to respond to recent Iranian provocations in the Gulf. Israel should adopt an aggressive new strategic approach to meet this threat, in coordination with the US and in consultation with Russia.     

Israel Faces Unprecedented Security Threats

No. 1343
| November 14, 2019

The unprecedented convergence of strategic threats now taking shape under Iran’s inspiration and guidance requires the IDF to adopt a new operational approach without delay (including a reorganization and a suitable buildup) and the Israeli public to prepare for the emergency situations attending these new emergent threats.

Lessons of the Gaza Conflagration

No. 1344
| November 14, 2019

The latest flare-up in Gaza – a direct corollary of the Oslo Accords and the 2005 unilateral withdrawal from the Strip – is a sad testament to the limits of Israeli power and a forewarning against repeating the same mistakes in the West Bank.

Gaza Conflagration Highlights the Differences between Hamas and Islamic Jihad

No. 1342
| 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.

Lebanese and Iraqi Protesters Transcend Sectarianism

No. 1341
| November 12, 2019

The protests in Lebanon have evolved into more than a fight against a failed and corrupt government. They constitute a rare demand for political and social structures that emphasize national rather than ethnic or sectarian religious identities in a world in which civilizational leaders who advocate some form of racial, ethnic, or religious supremacy govern the world’s major as well as key regional powers.