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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Why Israel Needs the Nation-State Law

No. 928

Much has been published against the new Israeli Basic Law: Israel as the Nation-State of the Jewish People. Many, both in Israel and abroad, ask: Why is it necessary? How can it comport with democracy? Where does it leave minorities, particularly Muslim-Arabs, who make up some 20% of the Israeli population?

Ibn Khaldun and the Nation-State Law

No. 927
| August 21, 2018

Israeli Jewish leftists and Israel’s Arab politicians have been the major detractors of the newly passed “Basic Law: Israel as the Nation-State of the Jewish People.” Ibn Khaldun’s concept of “asabiyya” (collective esprit de corps) must be marshalled to protect Israel from its enemies and to rein in Israel’s unrealistic “liberals.”

The US 2018 Midterms and 2020 Presidential Election: Implications for Israel

No. 926
| August 20, 2018

Last month, 28-year-old Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez upset highly regarded Democrat Joe Crowley – considered number 4 in the Democratic Party and a staunch supporter of Israel – to win the Democratic primary for US Congress in New York’s Queens district. This surprising victory shows the growing strength of the leftist-socialist-progressive wing of the Democratic Party – a wing that supports anti-Israeli positions and advocates the removal of members of the party’s moderate liberal wing. Israel must prepare for the day when the leftist-socialist-progressive wing gains hegemony, first in the Democratic Party (which now seems almost certain) and then perhaps in the US Congress and the presidency.

The Rise of Chinese Eurasianism

No. 925
| August 19, 2018

Chinese Eurasianism, which – if the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is successful – will give Beijing new foreign policy tools to use against Washington, could prove more threatening to the US in the long run than the USSR was during the Cold War.

The Machiavellian Opponents of the Nation State Law

No. 924

The public debate attending the Nation State Law is a clear indicator of Israel’s vibrant democracy and an illustration of the freedom of expression that characterizes the Israeli state of mind. Arabs, Druze, and Jews expressed their views on this matter, both pro and con, notwithstanding the fact that the core argument is essentially political rather than substantive. With that said, the protests in Israel against the new law are a red alert. They reflect an emerging tendency among liberal streams in Israeli Jewish society to undermine the long-accepted principle that Israel is the national home of the Jewish people.

Corbyn’s Misdemeanors Against Israel and the Jews

No. 923
| August 16, 2018

British Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has defined himself as a “friend” and “brother” of genocidal terrorists, and he supports and mixes with Holocaust distorters. Corbyn is an extreme anti-Israel inciter and anti-Semite who has used Iranian media for that purpose.

The Assad Regime Returns to the Golan

No. 922
| August 15, 2018

The Assad regime’s recapture of the Syrian Golan Heights is advantageous to Israel, in light of the Israeli-Russian understanding to predicate the situation there on the May 1974 disengagement. Even if the new arrangement does not lead to a forty-year-long de facto peace like the one that prevailed prior to the eruption of the Syrian civil war, Assad will need to focus on rebuilding his regime, reconstituting Syria, and ensuring the continuation of Alawite rule. In these circumstances, not only does military confrontation with Israel not entail any conceivable gains but it would likely wreck the regime’s fragile recovery.

Vietnam and Israel: The First 25 Years

No. 921
| August 14, 2018

Israel and Vietnam just marked their first 25 years of diplomatic relations. There is strong potential for further economic and diplomatic improvement that could provide significant benefits to both sides.

The Gulf States: The Weak Link in Sanctions on Iran

No. 920
| August 13, 2018

The US administration and Congress should address a major loophole in the sanctions regime: the robust financial and economic ties between Gulf States and their Iranian nemesis. This would contribute to Iran’s economic distress as well as its sense of isolation.

The Aftermath of the Helsinki Summit

No. 919
| August 12, 2018

Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin held a historic summit in Helsinki, Finland on July 15 that was assessed by many as a defeat for US prestige and interests. The summit should not, however, be construed as a Russian victory. US foreign policy moves after the summit indicate that there is little chance for meaningful improvement in bilateral relations. The complexity of issues surrounding Syria, Ukraine, Georgia, and Iran will continue to weigh heavily on US-Russian diplomatic efforts.