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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Declining US Naval Power Does Not Augur Well for Eurasia

No. 1240
| July 29, 2019

As US naval power declines, other powers – such as China, Russia, and, to a lesser extent, India and Iran – are set to increase their presence in the world’s naval lanes. Because American power depends on its dominance at sea, Washington’s ability to control Eurasia is coming under increasing pressure.

Barreling Toward a Nuclear and Ballistic Missile Arms Race in the Middle East

No. 1239
| July 28, 2019

The Middle East is barreling toward a nuclear and ballistic missile arms race. That race is being aided and abetted by a US policy that views the region through the dual prism of the need to stop an aggressive, expansionary, and destabilizing Islamic Republic that seeks to dominate it, and the view of the region as a lucrative market for the US defense and nuclear industry.

Russian Soft Power in the Middle East

No. 1238
| July 26, 2019

Russian soft power efforts in the Middle East are bearing fruit, as many young Arabs now view Moscow as an ally and the US as unreliable. Russia wants to build more ties with the Muslim world and views Trump’s presidency as an opportunity in that regard. This ambition is tempered somewhat by the Muslim jihadist threat in Russian areas and, of course, the painful legacy of the war in Afghanistan.

Jordan’s Double Game with Israel

No. 1237
| July 25, 2019

Despite 25 years of formal peace, many in Jordan regard Israel as an illicit enemy state. The Jordanian government plays a double game: its public hostility toward Israel enables it to preserve its popularity while, behind the scenes, it maintains close ties with Israel.

The BBC Revelations: Holocaust Promoters Inside the Labour Party

No. 1236
| July 24, 2019

One of the most sensational revelations of the recently screened BBC Panorama documentary on antisemitism within the British Labour Party is the presence there of actual Holocaust promoters. The documentary did not address every element of Labour antisemitism, but did provide much new information on “smokescreening” by the leadership: the practice of falsely claiming that it took determined action against antisemitism when in fact it took only partial, lukewarm action.

Trump’s Economic Plan Is Necessary Because Peace Is Not Possible

No. 1234
| July 23, 2019

None of the three actors in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict – Hamas, the PA, and Israel – envisions peace in the foreseeable future. It is this very absence of the prospect of peace that makes the Trump economic plan so timely. Engendering economic wellbeing does not solve deep-seated political conflict, but it does contain the prospect that differences can be expressed in less violent ways. 

What the Smuggled Archive Tells Us About Iran’s Nuclear Weapons Project

No. 1233

As an apparent act of defiance against Western countries’ reluctance to support it against US sanctions, Iran has begun to enrich uranium beyond the level permitted by the nuclear deal. This fact, together with the information revealed by the smuggling out by the Israelis of Iran’s nuclear weapons program archive, belies Tehran’s oft-expressed claim that its nuclear program was always for peaceful use and shows the hollowness of the nuclear agreement.

The 20th Century Pogroms Against the Jews of the Middle East: Will Christians Suffer the Same Fate?

No. 1232
| July 21, 2019

Against the backdrop of the persecution of Christians in the Middle East in general and in the Palestinian Authority-controlled territories in particular, it is worth recalling a saying that many Muslims have voiced down through the generations: “First we’ll take care of the Saturday people, then the Sunday people.”

A New, Pro-Israel Government in Athens

No. 1231
| July 19, 2019

The right-wing conservative New Democracy party’s accession to office in Greece will not weaken the country’s close ties with Israel and could even strengthen them, despite the presence in the government of a minister with an allegedly antisemitic past.

Expect a War Between Russia and China in the 2020s

No. 1230
| July 18, 2019

Notwithstanding the seeming friendship between Chinese president Xi Jinping and Russian president Vladimir Putin, and the growing congruence of both countries’ interests in undermining the US-led international order, relations between Russia and China remain at their core as brittle and prone to mutual suspicion and distrust as they have in the past. It is not unreasonable to expect that that underlying animosity will erupt into violence in the relatively near future.