Arab Politics in Israel: Where are they Headed?

July 24, 2019

The elections of April 2019 were marked by a historic low in the participation rate of Arab citizens. According to the CEC, only 49.2% of eligible voters in Arab and Druze communities voted. For 20 years, Arab society’s voting rate in Israel has dropped by more than 25 percent. The national voter turnout also declined during this period, but only by 10%. The increase in voter turnout among the Arab population in the 2015 elections is therefore the exception to the general rule.

A New, Pro-Israel Government in Athens

July 22, 2019

The right-wing conservative New Democracy party’s accession to office in Greece will not weaken the country’s close ties with Israel and could even strengthen them, despite the presence in the government of a minister with an allegedly antisemitic past.

Why are the Ethiopian Israelis Angry?

July 19, 2019

The integration process of Ethiopian immigrants in Israel has been especially difficult, given the complexity of their interaction with the host society. A number of factors are at the root of these challenges, even before we bring up the color of their skin and the racism it feeds or inspires. First of all, Israelis of Ethiopian descent, first and second generations are a relatively small group (around 150,000 people, 1.7% of the entire Israeli population). Hence their ability to exert political pressure via the institutionalized channels, mainly political parties and on Election Day is quite limited.

Do Limited Resources Threaten the IDF’s New Multiyear Plan?

July 17, 2019

The multiyear Tnufa (“momentum”) plan drawn up by IDF Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi is meant to provide a response to changes affecting the IDF – those underway and those that are expected in the next five years – and to improve operational effectiveness. However, recently the situation assessment has been flooded with factors related to economic and political conditions that may delay and limit the plan’s launch.

For These Do-Over Elections, We are all Smarter

July 15, 2019

Another Election? It Has its Pluses for the Public and for Democracy. Voters got to see how parties behaved after elections, and parties now know the real risk of a hardline negotiation stance.

How Fault Lines in the PA and the Arab World Affect Jerusalem

July 8, 2019

In a general sense, east Jerusalem is disengaging from Ramallah and the West Bank and connecting with Israel. However, tensions over the Temple Mount are hard to control and may change this situation completely. The process of connecting to Israel shapes the city, but undermining the order on the Temple Mount may affect the whole of Jerusalem.

Southern Lebanon: The Land of Three Armies

July 3, 2019

July 12, 2019 will mark the thirteenth anniversary of the outbreak of the Second Lebanon War; August 14 will mark the anniversary of its end under Security Council Resolution 1701; and discussions will be held at the United Nations headquarters regarding a renewal of UNIFIL’s mandate for another year. The bottom line: another war between Israel and Lebanon did not erupt, mainly due to both sides’ desire to avoid it and, to some extent, also due to UNIFIL’s help in preventing escalation resulting from tactical incidents.

Economic Prosperity is Not a Recipe for Resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

July 1, 2019

The economic workshop in Bahrain is the first part of the “deal of the century”; the political portion will apparently be presented only after the Israeli elections in September. The workshop in Bahrain leans heavily on Donald Trump’s political doctrine, whereby the economic power of the United States is the key to resolve economic, political, and social issues. However, a review of peace treaties that Israel has signed shows that the economy has consistently played only a secondary role, behind significant political solutions. The economic incentives were not the main channel of Israel’s peace treaties, but rather, a complement to the political channel. Therefore, despite the American desire to present a chiefly economic agenda for the Middle East, the success of the plans presented at the conference are tightly tied to the forthcoming political portion of the “deal of the century.”

The Jordan-Israel Peace Treaty at 25: A Slightly Tarnished, but Still Important, Silver Anniversary

June 23, 2019

Twenty-five years after the signing of the Jordan-Israel peace treaty, the bilateral relationship is in a challenging phase, but nothing should obscure the crucial benefits strategic and security cooperation affords to both sides, and the centrality of the relations to each side’s national security.

The Greatest Necessity: National Cohesion

June 21, 2019

Israel’s government must nurture a spirit of unity and national purpose by building a policy consensus as broad as possible. This is necessary both in preparation for likely combat operations against Iran and its proxies, and in order to respond wisely to the American peace plan and to intelligently manage conflict with the Palestinians.

Russian-Iranian Strains Raise Possibility of US-Israel-Russia Deal on Syria

June 19, 2019

With Israel set to host an unprecedented meeting of the national security advisors of the US, Russia, and Israel, this week’s efforts by German FM Heiko Maas and Japanese PM Shinzo Abe to mediate between the US and Iran could prove to be but a sideshow. The meeting of the national security advisors, against the backdrop of Syrian and Russian forces pummeling Idlib, the last major stronghold of Syrian rebels, takes on added significance with strains emerging in relations between Moscow and Tehran.

The Role of the Court in Reaching Judicial Decisions that Concern the State of Israel’s National Security

June 17, 2019

Since its establishment, the State of Israel has committed itself to the principles of the rule of law and the protection of human rights, both in times of combat and in times of calm. Israel’s battle against threats to its national security must be waged within the framework of the law, and in accordance with the legal norms practiced among the family of democratic nations. One of the supervisory and control mechanisms to ensure that these legal norms are indeed followed is judicial review conducted by the Israeli Supreme Court in relation to matters of national security. The judicial review, which is not intended to replace, and cannot replace, the operational decision making process of IDF commanders, is not only a key element of national security; in many respects it is the source of Israel’s strength and reflects the State’s commitment to the rule of law.