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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Judicial Challenges to the Dominance of Pakistan’s Army

No. 1451
| February 18, 2020

The government of Pakistan, led by the PTI party, has filed a review petition before the Pakistani Supreme Court against the Court’s decision that the term of Army Chief Gen. Qamar Javed Bajwa continue for another six months, during which time the parliament should legislate on the position’s extension or reappointment. The government argues that Bajwa’s term should be extended not for six months but for three years, and that the position’s term is none of the parliament’s business. This leaves no doubt that a civilian politician wishing to enjoy his stay at the prime minister’s residence has essentially no option but to bend to the will of the Army Chief, who is the most powerful person in Pakistan.

The Triangle Area in the “Deal of the Century”

No. 1450

The “Deal of the Century” suggests that a triangle of Israeli Arab communities that were disputed by Israel and Transjordan during the 1949 armistice negotiations can become part of the state of Palestine at such time as the state is established. This suggestion has raised the ire of Israeli Arabs and Jews who view it as an attempt at population “transfer”, though no residents due to come under Palestinian jurisdiction will be required to leave their homes. It is also historically suspect, as it depends on a faulty reading of the history of the armistice negotiations.

A Short History of Palestinian Rejectionism

No. 1449
| February 16, 2020

The consistent and enduring Palestinian rejection of any and all peace initiatives with Israel, most recently the “Deal of the Century,” calls into question the commitment of the Palestinian leadership not only to peace but to the very welfare and safety of the Palestinian people.

Turkey’s “Defense Line”: An Ideological Front

No. 1448
| February 14, 2020

Turkey’s latest moves in Libya and the eastern Mediterranean should be viewed in the context of the recent Kuala Lumpur Summit, which announced the emergence of a new ideological bloc to counter Saudi Arabia consisting of Iran, Turkey, Qatar, and Malaysia. Turkey’s new geopolitical strategy is as much ideological as it is “defensive.”

China’s Response to the Killing of Soleimani

No. 1447
| February 12, 2020

China and Iran have a close relationship, but Beijing’s influence over Tehran is questionable. Its response to the killing of Iranian Quds Force commander Qassem Soleimani  offers clues to its view of its own role in the Middle East.

The “Deal of the Century” Is a Stimulus, Not a Blueprint

No. 1446
| February 11, 2020

President Trump’s peace plan must be understood as a systemic impetus toward a new breakthrough rather than as a practical blueprint for resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

If You Will It, It Is No Dream…But Only On Our Terms

No. 1445
| February 10, 2020

The necessity of a Jewish nation state was a foundational premise for the founding fathers of Zionism, no matter what their political persuasion. That understanding was once shared by most American Jews, particularly in the aftermath of the Holocaust. Today, however, the idea of Jewish statehood is no longer a unifying principle but a wedge issue for American Jews.

Constructive Diplomacy vs. Self-Deceptive Diplomacy

No. 1444
| February 10, 2020

When does diplomacy serve to build bridges and when does it just promote self-deception?

Confirmation Bias and Antisemitism

No. 1443
| February 9, 2020

Antisemitism has fragmented into many subcategories in the postmodern era, which has made it ever more confusing and opaque. One concept that can shed new light on contemporary antisemitism is confirmation bias: the idea that people are often receptive to information, even if dubious, that confirms their existing opinions.

The Mountain Ridge Will Save Tel Aviv from Ecological Disaster

No. 1442

Most of the talk about the ravages of last month’s floods in Israel’s coastal cities concerns the responsibility of state authorities that failed to invest sufficiently in infrastructure development. But that is only part of the story. The main problem, which is repressed to the point of denial, stems from a planning failure at the macro level. This is not just a matter of flawed local planning for local drainage systems. This is a greater conceptual failure that results from ignoring the basic geographic conditions of the Land of Israel.