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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Religious Zionism Revisits the State of Israel

No. 10
| October 6, 2005

The Religious Zionist community in Israel has been significantly affected by Israel’’s disengagement from Gaza, with some expressing a feeling of betrayal by the government. There are three alternative political approaches: secularization, fundamentalism, and an alternative political approach calling for the establishment of a new ruling Israeli elite.

Egypt and Its Involvement in the Disengagement Process: Strategic, Regional, and International Aspects

No. 9
| September 1, 2005

The peace agreement between Egypt and Israel is stronger than is sometimes thought. In the current global reality – a unipolar world under American hegemony – no dramatic changes are expected to take place in the region in the foreseeable future. Meanwhile, the mutual interests of Israel and Egypt, – together with the Israeli disengagement from the Gaza Strip, further strengthen the relations between the two countries.

The Perils and Promise of Pax Americana in the Muslim Middle East

No. 8
| July 26, 2005

The Muslim Middle East has two basic problems with the US in the role of democratic reformer: what America is, and what America is not. The perils and promise of America’s difficult mission civilisatrice, and the Bush Administration’s faith-based approach to exporting freedom, may ultimately help America win friends and influence people in the Middle East.

Europe, America, and Israel: The Need to Promote Democracy and Freedom

No. 7
| June 15, 2005

It is imperative that America lead a drive to promote democracy and freedom around the world. The successful implementation of these values can be realized even in hostile places such as Iraq, Iran, and the Palestinian Territories.

French Perceptions of the Middle East

No. 6
| May 31, 2005

French-Israeli relations have significantly deteriorated since September 2000. However, it seems that some recent developments may change this pattern. France’s main Middle Eastern perceptions, their application to the Iraqi and the Israeli-Palestinian conflicts and the contradictions between the perceptions and their application all affect the situation.

The Next Move in the Iraqi War of Reconstruction

No. 5
and | April 10, 2005

While the insurgency continues, Iraqi families continue to suffer financially. As long as there is violence in Iraq there will be no large-scale foreign direct investment, but this is all the more reason to focus on institutional and structural changes with the help of moderate Arab regimes, such as Jordan.

Defeating Arafat’’s War: The IDF’’s Success Against Asymmetric Warfare

No. 4
| March 22, 2005

A recent assessment of the IDF’s response to the Palestinian terror campaign was mixed at best, but this assessment was not backed up by a presentation of the evidence. A closer look shows that the IDF and security forces did extremely well in fighting what is known as Arafat’s War.

The IDF’’s Record in the Current Intifada: An Interim Scorecard

No. 3
| February 27, 2005

At their recent meeting in Sharm-el-Sheik, Ariel Sharon and Abu Mazen announced the cessation of the hostilities that erupted in September 2000. Whether or not the ceasefire will hold remains, of course, to be seen. But its announcement certainly offers an opportunity for a retrospective, interim assessment of the IDF’s operational performance during the past four-and-a-half years of violence. Its record, however, is no better than mixed.

American-Israeli Relations in Bush’s Second Term

No. 2
| January 25, 2005

The global war on terrorism will continue to dominate American foreign policy and the attitudes toward Israel and the Arab-Israeli conflict. Bush is likely to focus on the situation in Iraq and the determination of Iran to acquire nuclear weapons. However, changes in the Palestinian and the Israeli governments have created opportunities for achieving two principal goals of the global war against terrorism.

Abu-Mazen’s Succession Strategy

No. 1
| January 15, 2005

Abu Mazen is seeking to amass power as quickly as possible, and his election as President of the Palestinian Authority is the easy part of his task. Sharing power with an elected legislature will prove much more difficult and dangerous, which is the reason why Abu Mazen will probably postpone such elections indefinitely. An Abu Mazen government, however, will be hard pressed to gain an overall monopoly of power.