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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A Memo to Jared

No. 1170
and | May 12, 2019

A recent report indicates that President Trump’s son-in-law and advisor Jared Kushner suggested that then Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and other policy makers read a January 2018 Wall Street Journal piece regarding the cutoff of American funding for UNRWA, the international agency for Palestinian ‘refugees.’ As authors of the piece referenced in the leak, we are flattered. With the administration’s much discussed peace plan to be announced in June, let us offer some last minute suggestions.

Arab Power Struggles Are Alive and Well

No. 1169
| May 10, 2019

Libya’s battle for Tripoli alongside ongoing mass anti-government demonstrations that toppled autocratic leaders of Algeria and Sudan demonstrate that the popular Arab protests that in 2011 forced four presidents out of office – as well as the counterrevolution it provoked – are alive and kicking.

The Cleverest Kind of Lie: Accusing Israel of Future Crimes

No. 1168
| May 9, 2019

One tool of verbal demonization that is extremely difficult for Israel to combat is accusations of crimes it supposedly will commit in the future. These are far more difficult to contest than outright lies about current events. An example of this kind of manipulative lie is a remark in an interview by the outgoing French ambassador to the US, Gérard Araud, in which he said that Israel will officially be an apartheid state in the future.

India Needs Effective Surgical Strikes Against Pakistan-Based Terror

No. 1167
| May 8, 2019

The Modi government claims, as have other Indian governments before it, that it has conducted surgical strikes against terror organizations in Pakistan. Whether or not these claims are true, terror activities have continued. If surgical strikes are to be effective, they must be properly targeted.

Egypt and Iran Vie for Influence in Gaza

No. 1166
| May 7, 2019

While Cairo is exerting its influence in Gaza to avoid a new conflict and mediate a period of calm, Iran sees Gaza as one more base from which to grow and control a proxy terrorist army.

Battling for the Future: Arab Protests 2.0

No. 1165
| May 6, 2019

Developments across northern Africa and the Middle East demonstrate that the drivers of the 2011 popular revolts that swept the region and forced the leaders of Egypt, Tunisia, Libya, and Yemen to resign not only continue to exist, but can still upset the apple cart at any moment. They suggest that the regional struggle between forces of change and ancien regimes and militaries backed by the UAE and Saudi Arabia is far from decided.

Russians Should Question Moscow’s Foreign Policy

No. 1163
| May 5, 2019

Hints from the Russian media show that more and more Russians are starting to question Moscow’s foreign policy during Putin’s 19 years of rule. Russia needs to reevaluate its position in the world: Should it focus only on the former Soviet space, or should it expand its vision of itself in a world where it might play a much grander role?

The Eastern Mediterranean and the EU Parliamentary Election

No. 1161
| May 3, 2019

The states of the Eastern Mediterranean should pay close attention to the upcoming European parliamentary election, as its outcome will influence geostrategic and economic developments in that region. Israel, Cyprus, and Greece will have a major role to play in strengthening Western relationships in the region for decades to come.

China and the Sudan Coup

No. 1160
| May 2, 2019

On April 11, 2019, Sudan’s long reigning president Omar Bashir was overthrown in a military coup after 30 years at the helm. China, one of his staunchest supporters, must now assess how to maintain its relationship with the African nation, which lies on a critical spot on the prospective Belt and Road route.

The Low Birth Rate Is South Korea’s Greatest Strategic Threat

No. 1159
| May 1, 2019

South Korea faces security threats and economic challenges from competitors in Asia and around the world, but the greatest long-term threat to its national interest is the demographic challenge posed by the low birth rate. The failure of the South Korean government to increase the birth rate poses a serious long-term danger to Korea’s economy and security. The Israeli social and economic environment could offer a constructive example for policy reevaluation on this issue.