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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Oslo at 25: A Personal View

No. 946
| September 13, 2018

Perhaps the most important misperception about Oslo is that it is – or was – a peace process, a two-sided affair, a matter of give-and-take in which each side’s promises depended on fulfillment of the other’s promises. My view, as a witness to some of the relevant history, is that it was a kind of unilateral Israeli withdrawal.

The North Korean Foreign Minister Visits Tehran

No. 945
| September 12, 2018

Iran and North Korea are faced with similar challenges posed by the US, particularly since the summit between North Korean leader Kim Jung-un and President Trump. The recent visit of the North Korean foreign minister to Tehran might presage an attempt to covertly retain and transfer cardinal North Korean nuclear and ballistic assets to Iran.

The Anti-Israel Effort Intensifies in Politics and On Campus

No. 944
| September 11, 2018

Anti-Semitism continues to be aggressively promoted in the guise of anti-Israelism in two highly influential arenas: politics, particularly in Britain; and on campus. In the US, the BDS movement is doing all it can to ostracize Jewish students.

Insights from the UK Labour Anti-Semitism Debate

No. 943
| September 11, 2018

Over the past two and a half years a major debate has developed about anti-Semitism in the British Labour party. Jeremy Corbyn, the party leader, is a supporter of murderous and even genocidal terrorists and is a supporter of Holocaust deniers and distorters. He is furthermore an anti-Israel inciter and part-time anti-Semite. Many insights can be gleaned from the Labour anti-Semitism debate, and several are crucially important to the UK and the Western world at large.

Trump Is Showing Acumen in Iraq

No. 942
| September 7, 2018

President Trump is described, even by the few commentators who are relatively friendly towards him, as having no clear strategy in international affairs. This assessment does not hold true across the board. In the Middle East at least, his strategy is very clear.

Cutting UNRWA’s Support Is a Necessary Step

No. 941
| September 6, 2018

With the sole exception of Palestinians, international law does not grant refugee status to generation after generation of any group until the end of time. The American decision to cut funding to UNRWA is therefore a correction of a false reality that was established with the aim of perpetuating, rather than solving, the Palestinian refugee problem.

Why Hamas Escalated – and Why It Is Winning the Present Round

No. 940
| September 5, 2018

The accumulated deterrence achieved in the three previous rounds of wide-scale fighting between Israel and Hamas in 2008-9, 2012, and 2014 has come to a temporary halt. Israel must start preparing for a massive fourth round – a round in which Israel will, one hopes, replicate the cumulative deterrence it scored against the Arab States in 1973. This would mean subjecting Hamas to a threshold of pain sufficiently unbearable to induce it to stop fighting Israel altogether. 

It Is Time to Reunite Separated Korean Families

No. 939
| September 4, 2018

Ever since the end of the Korean War in 1953, the issue of separated Korean families – while very painful for the affected people – has received only scant attention from the leaders of both Koreas. The time has come to solve this humanitarian problem and heal the suffering of these families before they pass away. 

The US-Turkey Diplomatic Crisis

No. 938
| September 3, 2018

The present Turkish-American diplomatic crisis is fundamentally different from other such crises in 1964 or 1975. Turkish public sentiment in the 1960s and 1970s was largely pro-American (and anti-Soviet). Today, 79% of Turks have an unfavorable opinion of the US. Also, the earlier Turkish-American crises were largely single-case issues whereas the current one is multi-dimensional – and more difficult to resolve.

Regional Players Maneuver to Reengineer the Israeli-Palestinian Landscape

No. 937
| September 2, 2018

A possible ceasefire between Israel and Hamas, the Islamist group that controls the Gaza Strip, may be about more than ending the ongoing, escalating violence that threatens to spark yet another Gaza war. It could also be an attempt to pave the way for the return of Muhammad Dahlan as successor to PA President Mahmoud Abbas.