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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The Machiavellian Opponents of the Nation State Law

No. 924

The public debate attending the Nation State Law is a clear indicator of Israel’s vibrant democracy and an illustration of the freedom of expression that characterizes the Israeli state of mind. Arabs, Druze, and Jews expressed their views on this matter, both pro and con, notwithstanding the fact that the core argument is essentially political rather than substantive. With that said, the protests in Israel against the new law are a red alert. They reflect an emerging tendency among liberal streams in Israeli Jewish society to undermine the long-accepted principle that Israel is the national home of the Jewish people.

Corbyn’s Misdemeanors Against Israel and the Jews

No. 923
| August 16, 2018

British Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has defined himself as a “friend” and “brother” of genocidal terrorists, and he supports and mixes with Holocaust distorters. Corbyn is an extreme anti-Israel inciter and anti-Semite who has used Iranian media for that purpose.

The Assad Regime Returns to the Golan

No. 922
| August 15, 2018

The Assad regime’s recapture of the Syrian Golan Heights is advantageous to Israel, in light of the Israeli-Russian understanding to predicate the situation there on the May 1974 disengagement. Even if the new arrangement does not lead to a forty-year-long de facto peace like the one that prevailed prior to the eruption of the Syrian civil war, Assad will need to focus on rebuilding his regime, reconstituting Syria, and ensuring the continuation of Alawite rule. In these circumstances, not only does military confrontation with Israel not entail any conceivable gains but it would likely wreck the regime’s fragile recovery.

Vietnam and Israel: The First 25 Years

No. 921
| August 14, 2018

Israel and Vietnam just marked their first 25 years of diplomatic relations. There is strong potential for further economic and diplomatic improvement that could provide significant benefits to both sides.

The Gulf States: The Weak Link in Sanctions on Iran

No. 920
| August 13, 2018

The US administration and Congress should address a major loophole in the sanctions regime: the robust financial and economic ties between Gulf States and their Iranian nemesis. This would contribute to Iran’s economic distress as well as its sense of isolation.

The Aftermath of the Helsinki Summit

No. 919
| August 12, 2018

Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin held a historic summit in Helsinki, Finland on July 15 that was assessed by many as a defeat for US prestige and interests. The summit should not, however, be construed as a Russian victory. US foreign policy moves after the summit indicate that there is little chance for meaningful improvement in bilateral relations. The complexity of issues surrounding Syria, Ukraine, Georgia, and Iran will continue to weigh heavily on US-Russian diplomatic efforts.

Israel’s Nationality Law Is Not Discriminatory

No. 918
| August 10, 2018

The newly passed “Basic Law: Israel as the Nation-State of the Jewish People,” known as the Nationality Bill, does nothing to damage the equality of Israel’s non-Jewish citizens. That is because it addresses the state’s national identity, not the civil rights of its citizens. Introducing the issue of civil liberties to the nationality law, where it does not belong, would effectively imply recognition of Israel as a binational state.

Hamas-Israel Truce Would Be “Painkiller, not Antibiotic”

No. 917
| August 9, 2018

All the economic benefits being offered to Gaza as part of a package deal – an improvement in water and electricity supplies, the construction of a seaport, the cancellation of debts owed by the Hamas government, a relaxation of the Israeli security blockade – hinge on Hamas accepting conditions it is categorically unwilling to countenance.

Germany’s First Anti-Semitism Commissioner

No. 916
| August 9, 2018

In April, diplomat Felix Klein was appointed Germany’s first Anti-Semitism Commissioner. The need for such an appointment is an indirect admission of the severity of expressions of Jew-hatred in Germany more than seventy years after the Holocaust. In interviews and statements, Klein has addressed a wide array of the components of anti-Semitism in Germany. For the first time, there is now a German official with the responsibility of exposing Jew hatred in the country in all its varieties.

Israel’s Nationality Law – The Prequel

No. 915
and | August 8, 2018

In April 1938, the British parliament was asked to approve a Jewish Citizenship Bill that would enable Jews worldwide to become nationals of Mandatory Palestine, where the Jewish national home had yet to be established in accordance with the 1922 League of Nations mandate. Though the bill failed to pass, with Parliament split right down the middle with 144 supporters and 144 naysayers, opposition stemmed not from rejection of Palestine as the national home of the Jewish People but from fear of Arab retribution. It is saddening that what was taken for granted decades before Israel’s establishment has come to be widely questioned seventy years after the Jewish state has been in existence.