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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Refusing Entry to Foreign Nationals: How Common Is It?

No. 1266
| August 26, 2019

How unusual was Israel’s refusal to allow Congresswomen Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib to enter Israel to engage in hostile political activity? Not very, based on a comparison with the UK.

Netanyahu’s Sound Decision to Bar Congresswomen Omar and Tlaib

No. 1265
| August 26, 2019

Israeli PM Netanyahu was right to bar the entry of Muslim Congresswomen Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar. Both are radical anti-Israelis and supporters of the BDS movement, whose end goal is Israel’s destruction. Their visit to the territories would have been an anti-Israel circus goaded on by the international media. Leaders of the Democratic Party understand that if their party moves toward the radical left, as exemplified by Tlaib and Omar, they will lose their chance to reclaim the White House next year.

Israel’s Budding Relationship with the GCC

No. 1263
| August 25, 2019

Though largely motivated by mutual concerns about surging Iranian imperialism, the strengthening of Israel’s relationship with the GCC monarchies could ultimately help reignite the stalled Israeli-Palestinian peace process.

Revisiting the Principle of the “Legitimate Rights of the Palestinian People”

No. 1262

The US administration is reportedly considering the principle of autonomy for the Palestinians as the political goal of the “Deal of the Century.” This framework was initially introduced by Menachem Begin during the 1978 Camp David summit and appeared in the signed accords. Though the idea was never brought to fruition, it enabled the entrenchment of the mantra known as “the legitimate rights of the Palestinian People” – a formula that owes much to Israeli Chief Justice Aharon Barak, who served as Begin’s legal advisor at Camp David.

“The Occupation” – How the EU Discriminates Against Israel

No. 1261
| August 21, 2019

Why does the EU single out Israeli “occupation” over other “occupations”? Because anti-Israeli, pro-Palestinian positions are one of the few rallying cries that unite Europe.

Contemporary Jewish Academics and the Masochist Tradition

No. 1260
| August 20, 2019

There is a strong trend of masochism in the contemporary Jewish world, the origins of which can be found in the Tanach [the Hebrew Bible]. The tradition of Jewish masochism continues through Talmudic expression and into later Jewish literature, and can also be found in the prayer book. One of many recent examples is a letter by 240 Israeli and Jewish scholars to the German government rejecting the parliamentary motion equating BDS with antisemitism.

A Risky Gamble: Official Turkish Delegation to Inspect Troubled Xinjiang

No. 1259
| August 19, 2019

An official Turkish visit to the troubled northwestern Chinese province of Xinjiang to assess reports of a brutal crackdown on the region’s Turkic Muslims could shape Turkey’s challenge to conservative Gulf states’ leadership of the Islamic world and complicate Muslim silence about the most frontal assault on their faith in recent history.

Netanyahu: More a Jabotinsky than a Begin or a Ben-Gurion

No. 1258
| August 18, 2019

In favoring the political over the military approach, Benjamin Netanyahu is the direct successor of Ze’ev Jabotinsky, who espoused the political Zionism of forging an alliance with a world power. Netanyahu’s outlook is evident in his conflict management strategy vis-à-vis the PLO, Hamas, and Hezbollah while focusing on fighting Israel’s foremost enemy, Iran. Even there Netanyahu has preferred the path of political struggle, in cooperation with the US, and the use of sanctions over war.

The Tlaib-Omar Trainwreck: A First Assessment

No. 1264
| August 16, 2019

The Israeli decision to ban US Representatives Tlaib and Omar on the basis of their support for BDS has elicited a firestorm of comments from Israel’s detractors and supporters. The decision, warranted but unnecessary, illustrates the deep dysfunction that has come to characterize US-Israeli relations. The poisoning of American attitudes initiated by President Obama and the hysteria that accompanies everything associated with President Trump (and Prime Minister Netanyahu) set the stage for Tlaib and Omar to create a lose-lose situation for Israel. Their trip would have resulted in condemnations at the end, or worse. But the manner in which Israeli public diplomacy failed to make its case shows bad situational awareness and crisis management that was unable to overcome the Congresswomen’s bad faith or Trump’s unwanted intervention.

What Should Be Learned from the Gaza Disengagement?

No. 1257

The debate over the interpretation of the clear and present danger from Gaza in the wake of the 2005 unilateral disengagement holds the key to saving Israel from the dangers attending the creation of a Palestinian state in the West Bank.