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.

View Archive

Post-Election Turkey: The Birth of an Islamist-Nationalist Alliance

No. 878
| June 29, 2018

Four decades after they emerged as marginal parties in the 1970s, Turkey’s militant Islamists and ultranationalists won a combined 53.6% of the national vote and 57% of parliamentary seats. President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has said in the past that he would make foreign policy “in line with what my nation demands,” highlighting the Islamist sensitivities of his voter base. He will now add nationalist sensitivities to that foreign policy calculus. This will likely mean confrontations with nations both inside and outside Turkey’s region.

The Bible, Secularism, and Anti-Semitism

No. 877
| June 28, 2018

Anti-Semitism is the most insidious hatred in history. Aversion to Jews has flourished under so many circumstances that it is hard to find a common denominator accounting for its manifold manifestations. However, there have been periods when non-Jews showed strong sympathy and solidarity towards Jews. Perhaps the best illustration of this friendship is modern America.

Iran’s Quds Day: Ideology or Interests?

No. 876
| June 27, 2018

On June 8, the Islamic Republic of Iran held its annual “Quds Day” to express the nation’s support for the Palestinian struggle. Iran invests a great deal of effort into commemorating this event and mobilizes its citizens to flood the streets in solidarity. Is the hostility towards Israel on display on Quds Day a reflection of pure ideology, or is it a product of Tehran’s desire to elevate its status as regional hegemon and leader of the Muslim world?

Interest in Past Leaders Reflects the Crisis on the Israeli Left

No. 875
| June 26, 2018

The crisis of the Israeli left is reflected in the sharply declining interest within Israel in Yitzhak Rabin compared to Menachem Begin and Yitzhak Shamir. The opposite trend is visible abroad. The problem of the left is that it is Israelis who vote, not the world community.

Russia in Syria: Caught Between Iran and Israel

No. 874
| June 24, 2018

Intermittent Israeli strikes against Iranian positions in Syria have alarmed Russia, which is trying to solidify its military gains there. Active Israeli interference could bring down the highly unstable security architecture the Russians are working on in Syria. Moscow must balance between its war ally, Iran, and Israel, an important regional player – two states with radically different geopolitical imperatives.

What Morocco’s Break with Iran Means

No. 873
| June 22, 2018

Iran’s recent moves against Morocco’s national sovereignty reflect its intention to continue on its path towards global domination by destabilizing pro-Western countries. Tehran is shifting its attention towards Africa, which is less on the Western radar following the American withdrawal from the JCPOA.

The Moroccan Boycotts: A New Model for Protest?

No. 872
| June 22, 2018

Mounting anger and discontent is simmering across the Arab world much as it did in the run-up to the 2011 popular revolts that toppled four autocratic leaders. But this time around, the anger does not always explode in mass street protest,s as it recently did in Jordan. In Morocco, it is manifesting in the form of widespread boycotts.

Hamas’s Kite Terrorism: A Threat that Requires a Decisive Response

No. 871

Hamas’s kite terrorism may not pose an existential threat, but by turning thousands of hectares of farmland into a wilderness and undermining Israel’s ability to provide peace and security for its frontier residents, it poses a threat that must be removed without delay.

The Three-State Solution

No. 870

Given Gaza’s sharp deterioration over the past 25 years – first under the PA’s rule (1994-2007), then under Hamas’s control – it is time to consider a new paradigm for resolving the Strip’s endemic predicament, and by extension the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. That paradigm could entail a Palestinian state in the Gaza Strip and northern Sinai, from Rafah to El-Arish, with the latter territory leased to the Palestinians on a long-term basis.

The Syrian Intervention: Following the Wingate Model

No. 869
| June 18, 2018

Orde Wingate’s approach to the liberation of Ethiopia from Italian occupation in 1941 provides a useful model for modern-day intervention in Syria. Rather than hand out money and materiel to local forces (à la the British support of the anti-Ottoman “Great Arab Revolt” of WWI), Wingate advocated committing one’s own forces and then allowing local forces to participate of their own accord. In Wingate’s view, loyalty bought with cash and weapons will always prove temporary.