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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Jerusalem is the Center of Gravity

No. 398
| January 19, 2017

Making strategic choices requires distinguishing which issues are urgent and which are important. Right now, the securing of Jewish control over Jerusalem is both urgent and important. Jerusalem carries great symbolic and strategic value for Israel, and Israeli control of the city must be protected.

How Moving the US Embassy to Jerusalem Can Improve Prospects for Peace

No. 397
| January 18, 2017

In contrast to the recent "Stop Trump" conference in Paris, a decision by the next US administration to move the US embassy to Jerusalem might be conducive to the cause of peace. It will remove the air of delusional unreality surrounding all aspects of the Jerusalem question, and modify what the Palestinians should legitimately expect to achieve at the negotiating table. It will send a message of credibility and of stern refusal to bow to threats of violence. It would still need to be packaged carefully, above all in terms of policies the key Arab players now hope to see instituted; such as the restoration of US support for traditional allies and the willingness to back them against the Iranian and Islamist threats.

The Two-State Solution: A Greater Threat to Palestinians than to Israel

No. 396
| January 17, 2017

Most observers, when debating the pros and cons of a two-state solution, focus exclusively on its potential impact on Israel and its Jewish citizens. Much less attention is paid to the solution’s potential impact on the Palestinians. Leftists, right-wingers, conservatives and liberals all tend to assume that two states would naturally be in the Palestinians’ interest. Think again.

Out with the Old, In with the New

No. 395
| January 16, 2017

President Barack Obama has eroded the US's superpower status and is leaving behind a far more dangerous world than the one he inherited. A Trump administration gives Israel reason to be optimistic, although it must bear in mind that he is a very shrewd businessman.

France's Counterproductive "Peace Initiative"

No. 394
| January 13, 2017

Francois Hollande's desire to leave office with a foreign policy accomplishment under his belt notwithstanding, the French "peace initiative" will not achieve a rapprochement between the Israelis and the Palestinians. On the contrary: it is dangerous to both Israeli and Palestinian security, and conveys the harmful message that obstructionism, violence and incitement are effective policy tools.

A Soldier, Not a “Child”

No. 393

When we ask young men and women to give everything they have and more for the sake of their country and their people, we cannot at the same time see them as kids. This is by no means a denial that every soldier is in fact a son or daughter to their parents.

Kerry’s Misreading of Reality

No. 392

In his speech bidding farewell to active diplomatic activity in the Middle East, US Secretary of State John Kerry addressed only one topic: the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and specifically settlements. In so doing, he displayed his inability to assess the region correctly and to put the Palestinian issue into perspective.

Kerry’s Attack on Israel: A Failed Attempt to Divert Attention from Obama’s Disastrous Foreign Policy

No. 391
| January 2, 2017

Secretary of State John Kerry’s attack on Israel last week represents a vain attempt to deflect attention from the Obama administration’s failed foreign policy.

UNSCR 2334: A Disservice to the Cause of Peace

No. 389
| December 26, 2016

In four respects, UNSCR 2334 undermines the prospects of Israeli-Palestinian peace and threatens what little regional stability is left.

After Aleppo: Iran’s Ascendancy and Its Implications

No. 388
| December 22, 2016

Widespread moral revulsion at the horrors of the battle for Aleppo, and the aftershocks of the assassination of the Russian ambassador in Turkey, should not blind us to the dark strategic implications of the recent turn of events in Syria.