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 Jordan Valley Is Waiting for Zionist Action

No. 1291
| September 16, 2019

Beyond its unquestionable vitality for Israel’s security, the Jordan Valley in its full geographical scope can accommodate millions of Israelis and national infrastructure that cannot be compressed into the coastal plain. If PM Netanyahu’s declaration of sovereignty is not immediately borne out by a surge of building and focused governmental support, it will sputter and die.

Iran’s Radical Axis Is Intensifying Its Efforts to Build a War Machine Against Israel

No. 1290
| September 16, 2019

A shadow war raging between the Iranian-led radical Shiite axis and Israel has become public in recent weeks. This conflict is driven by Israel’s determination to prevent Iran from building attack capabilities in Syria, Lebanon, and Iraq.

The Khazars: Judaism, Trade, and Strategic Vision on the Eurasian Steppes

No. 1288
| September 15, 2019

Harnessing the Eurasian lands has always been difficult. The Khazars, an obscure people from the steppes that converted to Judaism many centuries ago, stand out as an exceptional example of how geography, economy, and religion can be used to advance geopolitical interests.

Will There Be a New Russian-Chinese Security Architecture in the Gulf?

No. 1287
| September 13, 2019

Russia, backed by China, is hoping to exploit mounting doubts in the Gulf about the reliability of the US as the region’s sole security guarantor. It is proposing a radical overhaul of the security architecture in the area, which is home to massive oil and gas reserves and some of the world’s most strategic waterways.

Russia Will Likely Collapse from the Inside

No. 1286
| September 11, 2019

Russia is historically prone to internal collapse, as is shown by numerous examples from both the imperial and Soviet periods. The collapse usually takes place as Russia rests on the laurels of recent military victories while internal economic and social troubles grow. History teaches that the best way to deal with Russia is to keep intervention to a minimum and wait for its internal troubles to bring about its collapse.

The Day After an Iranian Nuclear Strike

No. 1285
| September 10, 2019

There is much discussion around the world about how to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons. But few, if any, international bodies deal with the question of how to prepare for the day Iran achieves such capabilities, if that day has not already arrived.

Omar, Tlaib, and Israel’s Nonexistent Anti-Propaganda Agency

No. 1284
| September 9, 2019

The clumsy manner in which the Israeli government handled the non-visit to Israel of US Democratic Congresswomen Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar was not a mere mishap. It resulted from a structural problem. The government’s refusal to establish an anti-propaganda agency has led to repeated public relations failures against vile verbal aggression.

Was Israel’s Entry Refusal a Boon or a Bust for Tlaib and Omar?

No. 1283
| September 9, 2019

The dual abilities of Congresswomen Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar to arouse the ire of President Trump and spout antisemitic, anti-Israel messages with impunity has raised their profile well beyond that of other junior representatives and significantly boosted their popularity. Supporters of Israel, as well as those who care about the interests of the US, will have to strive to defeat them in the next congressional elections.

Hezbollah’s Demographic Problem Explains Its Restraint

No. 1281
| September 8, 2019

Hezbollah responded with restraint to Israel’s three-pronged attacks over the past two weeks in Syria, Iraq, and, above all, a neighborhood in Dahiya, the vast Shiite area in Beirut where Hezbollah is headquartered. The organization’s effort to avoid escalation reflects its demographic problem in Lebanon.

The Mysterious Explosion of a Russian Nuclear Missile Engine

No. 1280
| September 6, 2019

The fatal explosion that occurred recently during testing of the Russian Burevestnik nuclear cruise missile raises many questions. Could it have been avoided? Was it a fundamental failure of the ambitious armaments plan declared by President Putin in 2018? Whatever the answers to these questions, the renewed trend toward an unconventional armaments race could deteriorate into a second Cold War.