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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Operation Pillar of Defense: In Support of a Ground Offensive

No. 186
and | November 19, 2012

A strong Israeli response to Hamas rocket attacks is necessary to ensure Israel’s ability to stand against the rising tide of Islamist militancy.

Brothers in Arms: Would Hizballah and Hamas Join Iran in a War Against Israel?

No. 185
| October 23, 2012

There is a prevalent view that in the event of an Israeli strike on Iran, Tehran’s proxies in Lebanon and Gaza – Hizballah and Hamas – would join in retaliation against Israel. A more likely scenario, however, is that those groups’ participation will be limited at best.

Sunni Sectarianism and the Re-emergence of Jihadism in Indonesia

No. 184
| October 16, 2012

Recent events in Indonesia raise concern that the world’s largest Muslim-majority nation may be taking a turn toward hardline Islamism. The future of Indonesia’s tolerant Islam is being reassessed.

The Ostrich Syndrome: The World’s Reluctance to Take Action Against Iran

No. 183
| October 11, 2012

The international community appears unlikely to take military action against the Iranian nuclear weapons program because of the “Ostrich Syndrome” – a reluctance to deal with difficult problems and a preference to ignore them.

Will Egypt Go Nuclear?

No. 182
| September 13, 2012

President Morsi says that Egypt wishes to create a civilian nuclear
energy program. Leaders of Morsi’s party, the Muslim Brotherhood, have called for Egypt to pursue a nuclear weapons program.

US-Israel Mixed Messages on Iran

No. 181
| September 10, 2012

Israel and the US must improve their lines of communication. The US also ought to consider equipping Israel with enhanced military resources that would allow Israel to confront Iran at a later date – giving the West more time to pressure the Iranian regime.

Is There a Future for Israel’s National Security Council?

No. 180
and | September 5, 2012

The NSC’s main achievement is the quiet integration of foreign affairs, defense, and intelligence inputs for the prime minister and the other top decision-makers in the government. But its effectiveness remains hampered by turf battles with other defense and intelligence bodies.

A Strategy for Making Peace With the Palestinians

No. 179
| September 4, 2012

The most important ways to work towards peace are: resettling the Palestinian refugees outside of Israel; speaking the truth to the Palestinians regarding the Jews’ ancient roots in the land; reducing the ability of Palestinian leaders to personally benefit from the conflict; and encouraging free debate in Palestinian society.

The Fading Left and Israel’s Flourishing Democracy

No. 178

Many of Israel’s detractors on the left argue that Israel’s democracy is in a state of decline. A closer look shows that it is thriving, with decentralization of political power, a strong judicial system, the end of party-affiliated journalism, more minorities in public positions, and a more professional and less-politicized army.

The Fate of Syria’s Chemical and Biological Weapons

No. 177

Bombing Syrian CBW stockpiles could result in significant environmental pollution. If Assad falls, the West needs to ensure secure transposition of these arms to a stable, sane central authority.