Security Tasks Awaiting the Next Israeli PM

November 11, 2019

Whichever Israeli government ends up coming to power will be faced with a set of urgent security challenges that are coming from a range of arenas, all at the same time. Critical decisions on these challenges and establishing a defense budget will be the order of the day for the PM and his security and diplomatic ministers.

Russia in the Middle East and Africa: A Higher Gear or Media Buzz?

November 8, 2019

Following President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw United States forces from the Kurdish zone in northern Syria, the international media and many political and military commentators hurried to crown Russia as the big winner in Syria and present it as the entity enjoying free rein there. However, regional actors are in fact in no hurry to cut their ties with Washington; they recognize the limits of Moscow’s power and are leveraging their developing relations with Russia to improve their bargaining position vis-à-vis the United States.

Why Turkey Is Raising the Stakes in the East Mediterranean

November 6, 2019

Ankara’s provocative policy stems from its worries about being boxed in by rivals in the East Mediterranean, some old (Greece and Cyprus), some new (Israel and Egypt). Erdogan seemingly believes that he can undermine this supposed “anti-Turkish axis” by challenging maritime zones around its weakest link, Cyprus—an approach in keeping with his more offensive-minded foreign policy in the neighborhood (e.g., see his ongoing intervention in Syria). Unlike his predecessors, Erdogan feels empowered to pursue Turkey’s interests unilaterally, even at the price of regional isolation.

Majority of Israelis Support their Parties Joining a Blue and White Coalition

November 4, 2019

October 2019 Israeli Voice Index revealed a decline in Israelis’ assessment of President Trump’s commitment to Israel’s security. The survey also found that 62% of Israelis support the parties they voted for in the last elections, seeking to join a Blue and White led coalition.

Despite The Election Tumult, Israeli Democracy Dodged A Bullet

November 1, 2019

The ultimate result of September’s election in Israel is still unclear. We do not yet know what type of coalition will be formed, when it will come together, or who will head it. We do know, however, that Israeli democracy had dodged a bullet. This is because, no matter who takes the reins of government or even if Israel holds a third round of elections, a radical assault on our judicial system has been halted.

Shortening Compulsory IDF Service for Men

October 31, 2019

The discharge of men inducted into the IDF from July 2015 began in March 2018, after 32 months of compulsory service (compared with 36 months until then). A law stipulating a further shortening of compulsory service for men is supposed to apply to those drafted from July 2020, such that they will serve 30 months. However, according to media reports, the past year has heard dissenting voices within the military against adopting this shortened service, in view of the increasing security challenges.

Netanyahu and Gantz Need to Learn the Hebrew Word “Mamlachtiut”

October 28, 2019

In Israeli history books, the term is conjured every time the nation faces a major juncture that requires individuals and factions to transcend partisan loyalties. Judging from their behavior in the recent elections, Benjamin Netanyahu and Benny Gantz both appear to be fuzzy on the meaning of the word.

What Israel’s Past Leaders Can Teach Us About Its Current Problem

October 23, 2019

David Ben-Gurion, Menachem Begin, Yitzhak Rabin, and Ariel Sharon would have faced up to the moment. Even though they did not share the same ideologies, they did share a common view of leadership and the role of the prime minister. First and foremost, they understood what was important. They never shied away from making painful decisions in which they put the state, not their political needs, first.

Does Iran’s Leader Leave Room for Iran’s Return to the Negotiating Table?

October 21, 2019

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei continues to take the hardline Iranian stance regarding anything related to the management of the nuclear crisis with the West. After the failure of attempts by French President Emmanuel Macron, which “nearly” led to a meeting between Presidents Trump and Rouhani, the Iranian Supreme Leader stated at a meeting of the leaders of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard that Iran would continue with its policy of reducing the level of its commitments to the nuclear deal: “The policy of ‘maximum pressure’ on Iran as a way to force it to compromise has been a resounding failure.”

Jordan-Israel Peace at Twenty-Five: Past, Present, and Future

October 19, 2019

Watch as two pioneers of Israeli-Jordanian peace assess the state of their countries' relations on the 25th anniversary of their historic 1994 peace treaty.

Hints of Gulf Rapprochement: Iranian Tactics Might Be Paying Off

October 18, 2019

Fears of a potential military conflict with Iran may have opened the door to a Saudi-Iranian dialogue against the backdrop of a rethink of US military logistics, involving at least a gradual partial relocation to the US of command and control operations based in the Gulf for almost four decades.

Turkey’s Syria Incursion: What Spurred It, and What’s Next?

October 16, 2019

On October 9, Turkey launched its long-expected military operation into north Syria with the goal of undermining the Kurdish People’s Defense Units (YPG). Why did Ankara act now? What are the operation’s tactical objectives? And how does the decision fit into the Trump administration’s own objectives in Syria?