What Will the 23rd Knesset Look Like?

January 20, 2020

New record low of number of lists; Left-Center shrinks from eight lists in 2013 to three today; women’s’ representation continues to dither – less than 30 women MKs are expected.

East Jerusalem and the Palestinian Legislative Council Elections

January 17, 2020

The participation of East Jerusalem residents in the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) elections has become a matter of contention between Hamas and Fatah. While the Fatah-controlled Palestinian Authority has conditioned this participation on Israeli consent, Hamas has insisted that there is no such requirement and that the two sides should wage a joint struggle to force Israel to let this population participate. Neither party is enthused by the idea of elections and both would prefer that they be deferred, but each has painted itself into a corner and is trying to foist responsibility for a postponement on the other.

Top reasons 2019 was a record-breaking year for Israel’s economy

In technology, digital health, tourism, exports and other verticals, Israel has seen steady growth through the past decade. The year 2019 broke records across Israel’s economy. From tourism to tech, exports to the illusive “unicorn (a privately held company with a valuation of over $1 billion),” Israel scored higher in many categories than it ever had.

Is Prime Minister Netanyahu Setting a Global Precedent?

January 15, 2020

A comparative survey of the statutory provisions in various countries that apply when the head of the executive branch is suspected or convicted of a criminal offense: It turns out that in most democracies the legal situation is ambiguous. Cases in which the head of the executive branch is suspected or convicted of criminal activity, although no longer so rare today, continue to pose a new challenge to the judicial, political, and public systems, as well as, of course, to the individual in question.

Eight Reasons Why the United States and Iraq Still Need Each Other

January 13, 2020

Unlike Iraq’s immediate neighbors, Israel is not directly tied to recent events in that country. Nevertheless, U.S. withdrawal would create additional threats to Israeli security. Both Iran and the Islamic State would have a freer hand to operate inside Iraq, likely spreading across the porous border into Syria and ultimately to Israel’s own frontiers. American credibility would also suffer a new setback.

Israel Democracy Institute: 2019 Democracy Index

January 10, 2020

The Democracy Index project, now in its 17th year, is based on an annual survey of public opinion, taking the public pulse of the country on issues such as the state and resilience of Israeli democracy, the trust in government institutions, feelings about the Jewish and democratic character of the state, and Israel’s standing in comparison to other democracies. This year the survey includes two expanded sections focusing on Israelis attitudes towards the IDF and their attitudes towards Diaspora Jewry.

The Iranian Empire Cracks, at Home and Abroad

January 8, 2020

Iran is under severe internal and external pressure. Economic pressures have pushed the government to increase petrol prices and this resulted in riots and many deaths. During the last decade, the economy has barely grown and income per capita has fallen by an annual average of one percent. In 2019, per capita income is estimated to have fallen by 10 percent. The problems facing the Iranian economy are linked to sanctions and to underlying or structural factors.

The Soleimani Killing: An Initial Assessment

The targeting of Qassem Soleimani, commander of the Quds Force and arguably the second most powerful man in Iran after Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, is a major blow to the Islamic Republic of Iran. His death will likely result in a devastating chain of suspicion and insecurity in Iran’s nodes of power. The BESA center has assembled initial takes on this event by five BESA researchers.

The Obstacles Still Facing Israel’s Leviathan Gas Field

The Leviathan natural gas field has finally begun production, after long delays that pushed its start date to the last day of 2019. Flowing from undersea deposits located eighty miles off Israel’s coast, supplies will henceforth pass through processing facilities on the Leviathan rig constructed six miles offshore, then reach the mainland at the village of Dor and enter a gas grid that runs the length and breadth of the country.

Escalation in Iraq Raises Questions About Tensions Between Saudi Arabia and Iran

January 6, 2020

The escalation of attacks by Kat’aib Hezbollah and the subsequent U.S. response—which has culminated in the killing of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps Quds Force leader Qassem Soleimani suggests that the United States may be willing to re-enter the Middle East theater, but the potential steps Iran is likely to take in retaliation are unclear. The apparent willingness of Iranian-backed proxies to target areas with an American presence in Iraq should also be seen as a warning sign for potential future attacks on Iraq’s neighbor: Saudi Arabia.

Immunity for the Prime Minister: Explainer

January 3, 2020

Everything You Always Wanted to Know about Immunity for the Prime Minister—IDI experts explain Israel’s immunity law, what happens when it’s requested and what the implications may be for the political system.

Autism-related gene mutations occur in Alzheimer patients

January 2, 2020

Israeli researchers find significant overlap between Alzheimer’s-related mutations and those producing certain intellectual disabilities. Researchers believe that autism is caused by mutations in the egg or sperm or during pregnancy, particularly in the activity-dependent neuroprotective protein (ADNP) gene. A new Tel Aviv University study published in Molecular Psychiatry found that ADNP mutations continue to occur in old age and accumulate in the brains of Alzheimer’s disease patients.