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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Two Steps Forward, One Step Back: Women’s Suffrage in Saudi Arabia

No. 150
| October 9, 2011

King Abdullah says that women will be appointed to the Consultative Council and be allowed to vote and run for municipal councils. Is this a significant advancement for Saudi women’s rights, or just another instance of the kingdom’s “two steps forward, one step back” reform policy?

Needed: A Leader in the White House

No. 149
| September 13, 2011

The lack of leadership and clear policy principles evinced by the Obama White House have severely weakened America’s position in the Middle East, leaving a void to be filled by hostile regional powers such as Iran.

After September Comes October

No. 148
| August 23, 2011

The UN is not going to bring the Palestinians closer to the establishment of a state. It is a morally bankrupt institution, totally ineffective in curing the dysfunctional Palestinian national movement.

Empty Words: Saudi Blustering

No. 147
| July 17, 2011

The Saudis are all bark and no bite. Despite occasional public “outrage” from Saudi officials about US policy regarding the Arab unrest, Israel, Iraq, Iran, or Afghanistan, Riyadh and Washington are still very distant from the parting of ways threatened by some Saudi officials.

Get Tough With Turkey

No. 146
| July 14, 2011

Turkish demands are unreasonable and an apology will not change the anti-Israeli policy of an increasingly authoritarian and Islamist Turkey. Israel’s reluctance to criticize Erdogan’s government is construed as weakness and Jerusalem should take off its gloves in dealing with Ankara.

Halting the Egyptian Drift

No. 145
| June 19, 2011

Developments in post-Mubarak Egypt are beginning to mirror the process of Islamization that took place in Iran following the 1979 revolution. The Muslim Brotherhood is gaining support, while progressive forces – those that hoped to bring democracy to Egypt – have fallen silent.

Gulf Monarchies Confront the “Arab Spring”

No. 144
| June 12, 2011

The threat emanating from Iran as well as the lack of confidence in US support gives the Gulf states much to fear and has imbued the GCC with new-found unity and purpose.

Netanyahu Turns Centrist and Triumphs

No. 143
| May 30, 2011

Netanyahu went to Washington with a centrist message, parried the attempts of Obama to extract additional concessions, and signaled to the world that its expectations about the shape of a future agreement must be calibrated in accordance with the wishes of the Israeli electorate.

Towards Responsible Sovereignty

No. 142
| May 29, 2011

Armed non-state actors who fight from within the territory of weak or failed states are undermining the concept of sovereignty. A new standard should be set for states requiring them to adhere to “responsible” sovereignty, and this should preclude the establishment of a new failed state in the West Bank and Gaza.

The Obama Doctrine for the Middle East

No. 141
| May 23, 2011

Obama maintains a grossly overoptimistic assessment of regional realities, which could have dangerous unintended consequences for the US and Israel.