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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Antisemitic Cartoons in the Anti-Israel Media

No. 1182
| May 24, 2019

Media that frequently incite against Israel often slip into publishing antisemitic cartoons.  A case in point is a recent cartoon in The New York Times that dehumanized Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu by depicting him as a dog. Antisemitic cartoons have appeared in the British Independent and Guardian, the German Süddeutsche Zeitung, the Italian Il Manifesto, the Swedish Dagens Nyheter, the Dutch Volkskrant, and all three leading Norwegian dailies.

Russian Elites and Why They Matter

No. 1181
| May 23, 2019

Mainstream analysis of Russian foreign policy decision-making often neglects to factor in the influence of the Russian elites. Despite the inclination of the current Russian government to centralize, elite groups continue to exert considerable influence. Their support for the government is crucial for Vladimir Putin, and their disenchantment with him would be fatal to his rule.

France and the Urban Guerrilla Warfare of the Black Blocs

No. 1180
| May 22, 2019

France has been contending for years with violent anarchist gangs known as the Black Blocs, who have been piggybacking on the mass demonstrations of the Yellow Vests to commit acts of vandalism and wreak considerable economic damage. The Black Blocs’ destructive riots on the Champs-Élysées prompted the French government to take tougher preventive measures against the gangs, sparking criticism from both right and left. The government will have to keep fighting the Black Blocs and the radicals among the Yellow Vests, who are trying to achieve their economic and political goals through violence.

The US’s Middle East Strategy Might Be Fraying

No. 1178
| May 21, 2019

Egypt’s withdrawal from the formation of an “Arab NATO” against Iran is a warning that both Israel and the US need to urgently rethink their strategy regarding the Middle East. Putting all its Arab World eggs in the Saudi basket could prove to be one of the more unsound decisions in the annals of American diplomatic history, and one that could profoundly affect Israel if it backfires.

Pakistan on a Tightrope

No. 1176
| May 19, 2019

Pakistan risks falling off a tightrope as it attempts to balance its relations with rivals Saudi Arabia and Iran.

The Diplomacy of Violence in Gaza

No. 1175
| May 17, 2019

Ever since the unilateral disengagement from Gaza in the summer of 2005, Israel has engaged in “bargaining by the threat of violence” with Hamas. Within that framework, the IDF has conducted three large-scale operations in Gaza in addition to smaller rounds of hostilities. With no possibility in the offing of either serious political negotiations or a decisive war, the only alternative is to continue the “diplomacy of violence.”

Applying the Monroe Doctrine to Venezuela

No. 1174
| May 16, 2019

The Monroe Doctrine, first articulated in 1823 by President James Monroe, was designed to protect the Americas from foreign threat and intervention. The Doctrine has a renewed relevance in today’s Venezuela.

Why Rapprochement with Russia Is Unlikely Under Zelensky

No. 1173
| May 15, 2019

Ukraine has a new president, 41-year-old Volodymyr Zelensky. While some argue that Kiev’s policy toward Russia is now likely to undergo a significant positive change, geopolitical realities suggest the opposite. Ukraine-Russia relations might in fact worsen now that Moscow has eased the citizenship process for Donbas residents.

The Barring of Eurovision from Jerusalem Is a Win for the BDS Movement

No. 1172
| May 14, 2019

The €28.5 million Eurovision song contest, which draws 200 million viewers from 42 countries, might seem to be just a huge pop spectacle, but it is a good deal more. In addition to serving as an entertainment vehicle, it is a powerful mechanism of soft power – a tool that is critically important to the modern State of Israel and particularly to the city of Jerusalem. Europe’s refusal to allow the contest to be held in Jerusalem, in contravention of Eurovision’s own rules, constitutes a victory for the BDS movement.

The Second Belt and Road Summit

No. 1171
| May 13, 2019

On April 25-27, 2019, Chinese President Xi Jinping convened a second summit of leaders and representatives from around the world to discuss his signature program, the Belt and Road Initiative. Xi’s keynote address revealed his take on Beijing’s trade struggle with the US as well as his approach to the concerns of poorer countries that lie along the initiative’s route.