Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman’s vision for the kingdom’s future will have to toe a fine line between redefining the Saudi social contract and the danger of creating new grievances.
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.
The attack by ISIS on Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul at the end of August targeted both the American “crusaders” and the Taliban, demonstrating the group’s unwillingness to cooperate with potential Islamist partners as well as its determination to advance toward its global goals (“Caliphate Now”) all by itself.
The Iranian regime has been a considerable threat to global cybersecurity ever since 2012, when it committed cyberattacks on US financial institutions in retaliation for the high-profile Stuxnet attack on its nuclear program. In the wake of the Stuxnet attack, the Tehran regime vastly ramped up its cyber capabilities, transforming itself from a third-tier cyber power into one that poses a serious threat.
Much like the Oslo illusion, which posited that territorial concessions to the PLO would bring about peace with the Palestinians, the hope that economic easing in the Gaza Strip will moderate Hamas terrorism is a mistaken attempt to apply a Western logic of conflict management to a Palestinian enemy whose definition of the end of the conflict with Israel is not in the West’s political-cultural lexicon.
The American decision to leave Afghanistan to lessen the burden on the domestic economy, protect US troops, boost the nation’s security, and put an end to the “Forever War” in the Middle East has delivered the opposite of all those objectives and made the world a more dangerous place.
Greece is not generally considered a country with a burgeoning defense industry, but 2020-21 saw it execute a remarkable turnaround.
The Gulf states will closely monitor the way Russia and China handle the perceived security vacuum in the wake of the US withdrawal and abandonment, for all practical purposes, of Central Asia. They wish to determine to what degree those countries might be viable alternatives for a no longer reliable US security umbrella in the Middle East. They are also likely to push to strengthen regional alliances, especially with Israel.
The Palestinian cheers over the “Afghan mujahedeen victory over the American Crusaders” create the impression that in their view, the Taliban are a worthy model to follow to eliminate the “Zionist occupation.” However, a crumbling Lebanon, a Gaza Strip plagued by poverty and unemployment, and Afghanistan itself, now under Taliban rule, do not indicate the success of the Islamic model. What the Palestinians need is not a new model of “armed struggle” but a reconciliation with the existence of Israel while striving for a sustainable peace settlement that will ensure security, prosperity, and respect for mutual rights.
The new president of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Ebrahim Raisi, has selected cleric Esmail Khatib as Minister of Intelligence. Khatib is a radical Islamist with close ties to both Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. During his tenure, we can expect a more aggressive approach by the Ministry of Intelligence, meaning more terrorism and violence at the hands of the Islamic regime.
The violent Arab-Israeli riots that took place in Israel’s cities during the last Gaza war are a corollary of the widespread lawlessness and rebelliousness that has been taking root in parts of Israel’s Arab society for some time, and which can cause vast damage to the fabric of Israeli life if left unattended.