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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Israel’s Strikes in Syria Hurt Iran’s Purse

No. 1420
| January 24, 2020

Israel’s air force has been unrelenting in its determination to prevent the introduction by Iran into Syria of a massive supply of precision-guided missiles to be used against Israel. The IAF is also striking consistently and forcefully at Tehran’s attempts to establish a local Iranian-run weapons armament industry in Syria. With these efforts, Israel is forcing Iran to take these projects underground. That is an expensive proposition—and all the more difficult following the reimposition of US sanctions.

Hebzollah Chief: “Kill Every American Soldier in the Middle East”

No. 1419
| January 23, 2020

Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah, chief of Tehran’s Lebanese proxy terror group Hezbollah, made a speech earlier this month encouraging the killing of every American soldier and officer in the Middle East. It is not every day that a terrorist leader expressly calls for the mass killing of Americans. Will Trump respond?

Denial of Citizenship as a Weapon of Repression in the Arab World

No. 1418
| January 23, 2020

Kuwait and Saudi Arabia recently announced that they were revoking the citizenship of individuals whose “sin” was a connection to Judaism and a pro-Israeli attitude. Apart from the institutional antisemitism these measures reflect, they are a blunt reminder that these are tyrannical states and regimes in which the legal system is little more than a fig leaf.

Arab Countries Say “We Miss the Jews”

No. 1417
| January 22, 2020

Having persecuted and purged their Jews as punishment for the rebirth of Israel, many Arabs now realize they shot themselves in the foot.

Israel: A Thriving First-World Economy in a Third-World Sea

No. 1416
| January 22, 2020

Israel possesses assets and innovations that can solve many of the problems that plague its Arab neighbors. If peace can possibly be achieved between Israel and the Arab world, the potential for mutually beneficial practical and economic relationships is astronomical.

The Killing of Soleimani Will Not Stop Iranian Aggression

No. 1415

The killing by the US of Quds Force commander Qassem Soleimani will not temper Tehran’s intention to continue its aggressive regional policy, either directly or through its proxy organizations. Israel would do well to continue the cautious policy that has characterized its surgical military strikes against Iran’s entrenchment in Syria.

International Law and the Downing of Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752

No. 1414
and | January 21, 2020

Iran’s prevarications about its responsibility for the shooting down of Ukrainian International Airlines Flight 752 during the recent escalation of tensions with the US magnify its culpability and could lay it open to reparations claims by Canada, Ukraine, Sweden, and the UK, all of which lost citizens in the disaster.

The “Democratic Bloc” of the Eastern Med Cements Its Friendship

No. 1413
| January 20, 2020

2020 is expected to be another year of fruitful cooperation for Israel, Greece, and Cyprus, which are working together to counter rising instability caused by Turkey. Their recent agreement to commit to the construction of the EastMed pipeline opens a new chapter in a friendship they have worked on for over a decade. They are taking steps to obtain American support for the trilateral scheme despite Washington’s concerns about its potential impact on the US’s long-term partnership with Ankara. Notably, the recent killing by the US of Quds commander Qassem Soleimani found Greece standing by its allies, the US and Israel, though that position risks undermining its relations with Iran.   

The Battle for Libya: The UAE Calls the Shots

No. 1412
| January 20, 2020

Last week’s inauguration of a new Egyptian military base on the Red Sea was heavy with the symbolism of the rivalries shaping the future of the Middle East as well as north and east Africa.

The Leviathan Natural Gas Field Could Be a Game-Changer for Israel-EU Relations

No. 1411
| January 19, 2020

The vast Leviathan natural gas field off the Haifa coast could be a game-changer for Israel’s relations with the EU. Europe is currently dependent on Russian natural gas. A reliable and price-competitive natural gas alternative in the Mediterranean could diminish Moscow’s ability to use energy supplies as a political weapon against Europe.