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 Delusion of Peace Initiatives

No. 136
| April 14, 2011

The wisdom of a new Israeli peace initiative is not self-evident. While it may deflect some international criticism, it is unlikely to bring about conflict resolution, and it will propagate the fallacy of a two-state solution.

Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and the “Day of Rage” That Wasn’t

No. 135
| April 4, 2011

While unrest has rattled the Middle East in recent months, oil wealth and tradition have kept things quiet in Saudi Arabia.

Covert Action for Toppling the Gaddafi Regime

No. 134
| March 23, 2011

Covert action by the West, clandestinely providing Libyan rebels with funds, arms, communication equipment and intelligence information, will be crucial for the defeat of Gaddafi.

Egypt’s Classic Strategic Triangle

No. 133
| March 16, 2011

Three forces are competing for control of Egypt: the army, the Muslim Brotherhood, and various civilian opposition groups. The military and civilian opposition must understand that the Brotherhood is their common and most dangerous enemy.

Turkey’s Changing Foreign Policy and Its International Ramifications

No. 132
| February 27, 2011

Turkey’s foreign policy reorientation – away from the West and toward Islamist countries like Iran and Syria – changes the balance of power in the Middle East, negatively affects the pro-Western orientation of the Central Asian republics, weakens NATO, and threatens the East-West energy corridor.

The Plagues of Egypt

No. 131

It seems likely that in the near term Egypt will be a society plagued by political intrigue and instability. The governments of the world must be vigilant for developments that could threaten the Suez Canal, the peace with Israel, and regional stability.

It’s Iran, Not Israel, Stupid

No. 130
| February 20, 2011

An insidious new mythology is being advanced that replaces the Iranian threat with the “Israeli threat” to Middle East stability. This has the scent of incitement against, and demonization of, Israel. Political
attention must be redirected where it most urgently belongs: to the Iranian threat.

Lt. Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi: A Balance Sheet

No. 129
| February 13, 2011

Outgoing IDF Chief of Staff Ashkenazi’s greatest achievement is the restoration of Israeli public faith in the IDF as an effective fighting force after the failures of the Second Lebanon War. An overall assessment of his tenure, however, also points to shortcomings in areas such as IDF battle doctrine and commanders’ education.

US Policy Regarding the Upheaval in Egypt: Endangering the Strategic Foundations of Regional Stability

No. 128
| February 7, 2011

The dream of turning Cairo 2011 into “Berlin 1989” is a chimera; the challenge is to prevent “Tehran 1979.” Obama Administration policy, however, threatens to widen the crack in the strategic foundations of regional stability that has served as the indispensable basis of peacemaking since the mid 1970s.

Regional Ramifications of Unrest in Egypt

No. 127
| February 6, 2011

The current unrest in Egypt is unlikely to result in a newly democratized nation. Rather, the ongoing political turmoil will likely strengthen the radical forces in the region, such as Iran and its proxies, the Turkish AKP and the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood.