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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The Futility of Operation Cast Lead

No. 68
| February 16, 2009

A review of the strategic, operational, societal and diplomatic dimensions of Israel’s operation against Hamas in Gaza produces an overall audit that is far from favorable. “Deterrence” is not a strategic objective and “punishment” is not a tool of realpolitik. The operation threatens to backfire in several ways.

Israel in 2009: A One-Block State of the Right

No. 67
| February 12, 2009

The Israeli election result this week confirms the emergence of a one-block, right-of-center dominant political reality in Israel; a fact that is
likely to dominate for many years to come. Kadima’s electoral achievement is ephemeral.

An Offensive Strategy for Israel on the Second Battlefield: The Global Media

No. 66
| February 5, 2009

Israel requires an offensive strategic information strategy, involving the
establishment of a “second-battlefield” professional hierarchy with clear modes of operation, in order to overcome brutal media delegitimizing of Israel.

The Political Logic of Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan’s Attacks on Israel

No. 65
and | February 4, 2009

The Turkish prime minister’s escalating attacks on Israel during Operation Cast Lead are a calculated gambit on Erdogan’s part aimed at changing the balance of power in Turkey between his ruling religious Islamist party and the opposing military establishment.

Why Time Is on Israel’s Side: A Long-Term Perspective on Israel’s Security Challenges

No. 64
| February 3, 2009

Despite the current Palestinian, Arab and Iranian threats, Israel’s generational prospects for peace and security as a Jewish and democratic country are quite good; assuming that America will act to roll-back the Islamic jihadist threat to Israel and the West over the next decade.

No to the Reconstruction of Gaza

No. 63
| February 2, 2009

The developing international campaign to reconstruct Gaza is strategic folly; is unlikely to be effective; and, under current circumstances, in which Hamas inevitably will benefit from the global largess, is also immoral.

Obama and the Muslim Cold War

No. 62
| January 28, 2009

Throughout the Middle East, deep Muslim political divide could stymie
President Obama’s well-intentioned Mideast efforts. Mainstream Arab
countries, like Israel, seek US resolve in confronting the Iranian-led axis, not an “outstretched American hand” to the radical part of the Muslim world.

The Domestic Dimension of Operation Cast Lead in Israel and in Gaza

No. 61
| January 26, 2009

The impending Israeli elections played a role in the decision to go on the offensive against Hamas; and this partially explains why the Israeli media was supportive of the war. For its part, Hamas completely misread the Israeli political mindset.

Egypt Is Not Going to Stop the Smuggling into Gaza

No. 60

Egypt does not mind if Hamas bleeds Israel a little; it gains domestically by indirectly aiding Hamas; gains internationally by playing a mediating role (in a conflict which it helps maintain on a “low flame”); and is incapable of stopping the Sinai Bedouins who smuggle weapons into Gaza.

Europe May Yet Long For George W. Bush

No. 59
| January 18, 2009

Hatred of, and disdain for, George W. Bush was the European excuse
for refusing American requests for diplomatic and military cooperation.
How will Europe, which is in love with Obama, now justify saying no?