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 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.

Russia’s Deadly Embrace of Pakistan

No. 936
| August 31, 2018

In a far-reaching development for India’s strategic interests, on July 31 Russia signed an agreement with Pakistan for naval cooperation. The agreement comes on the heels of an accord between Moscow and Islamabad in April of this year to increase cooperation in the training of armed forces personnel in the naval field and the conduct of a wide range of joint military exercises.

The Indian and Pakistani Elections

No. 935
and | August 30, 2018

The Indian general election of 2019 will be a decisive moment for South Asia’s overall security. As India is a major power player in the region, the 2019 elections will pose challenges as well as opportunities for both India and its neighbors. Also, it remains to be seen whether India will be able to maintain its power position in the region in the wake of the recent election of Pakistani PM Imran Khan.

Is a Historic Decision on UNRWA Imminent?

No. 934
| August 29, 2018

The next few weeks could be remembered in the annals of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as historic. The US administration is due to decide at the beginning of September whether to stop its funding for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). Such a decision could be as significant as Harry Truman’s decision to recognize the State of Israel just 11 minutes after the Jewish State declared its independence in May 1948.

The Israel-Hamas Deal: Escape from Oslo

No. 933

Extricating itself from President Clinton’s December 2000 “peace” parameters is a supreme Israeli interest. Ironically, this goal is being made feasible by the crystallizing deal with Hamas over the Gaza Strip.

The Lesson of the 1968 Soviet Invasion of Czechoslovakia: Never Surrender

No. 932
| August 27, 2018

The 50th anniversary of the 1968 Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia is upon us. Before the invasion, Czech leader Alexander Dubcek received suggestions on how to respond to the Soviet threat. The best advice – though Dubcek did not heed it – came from a dissident Ukrainian general who had fought in Czechoslovakia during WWII. 

Amid Ethnic Protests, Iran Warns of Foreign Meddling

No. 931
| August 26, 2018

Iran has raised the specter of a US-Saudi effort to destabilize the country by exploiting economic grievances against the backdrop of circumstantial evidence that Washington and Riyadh are playing with scenarios for stirring unrest among the Islamic Republic’s ethnic minorities.

When Palestinian Blood Isn’t Equal

No. 930
| August 24, 2018

Recently, the human rights organization AGPS published a report documenting 3,840 cases of Palestinians killed since the beginning of the Syrian war in 2011 – nearly four times the number of those killed during the six years of the first intifada (December 1987-September 1993). The circumstances of the deaths were shelling, shooting, or torture in the interrogation rooms of prisons throughout Syria. Mahmoud Abbas remained silent and did not condemn Bashar Assad or Iran. Palestinian blood in the West Bank and Gaza appears to be worth far more than the blood of Palestinians elsewhere in the world. This is because Palestinians who are killed by IDF fire serve as a bulwark against Israel, whether by the Arab states or by the Western world.

Can the US Make Iran Sanctions Stick?

No. 929
| August 22, 2018

Iranian leaders have said the future of the nuclear agreement (the JCPOA) in the wake of the US withdrawal will depend on the ability of Europe, China, and Russia to ensure that the impact of US sanctions is substantially blunted. While Europe’s resolve to do so is questionable, Russia, China, the UAE, and Oman appear willing to step in.