Israeli/Hebrew Music Collections—Easily Accessible

April 2, 2020

Contemporary Israeli music has long and varied roots. It is rich and dynamically innovative. Instrumental and vocal streams reflect Jewish and Israeli history. Engage your senses in diversely eclectic flavors. Listen wherever you are—links to free online sources; stream Israeli music from many genres and eras.

The United States and Israel: The Risk of Growing Apart

April 1, 2020

United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s assertion that “the establishment of Israeli civilian settlements in the West Bank is not per se inconsistent with inter­national law” is merely the latest example of how US and Israeli policies have marched almost in lockstep since Donald Trump’s inauguration as president. However, the United States and Israel have shared an intense and intimate relationship that long predates the Trump Administration and goes beyond the chemistry of individual leaders. In many respects, in fact, that relationship is unique in American foreign rela­tions and uniquely critical to Israeli security.

The Calm before the Storm? Coping with Corona in the Middle East

March 31, 2020

The coronavirus is making its way across the Middle East, forcing states to prepare for the possible collapse of governing systems. The virus struck a region already buckling under the weight of armed conflicts, social upheaval, severe economic distress, and identity-related clashes. The data on corona’s spread is far from precise or reliable, given the lack of testing, lagging policies, and likely efforts at concealment on the part of certain regimes.

Social and Economic Resilience in a Crisis Situation: Strategic Implications

March 30, 2020

The ability of Israeli society to stay resilient at a time of national emergency – specifically in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic – has direct strategic and security implications, insofar as Israel demonstrates that it is capable of facing adversity. in addition, despite the huge budgetary hit engendered by Corona, it is vital to sustain Israeli investment in advanced military capabilities, and retain an untouchable budget reserve for this purpose.

China’s Rise, US Opposition, and The Implications for Israel

March 25, 2020

This article offers assessments of China in a clear-eyed and non-polemical fashion. It offers not an apology but an explanation for why China, having suffered a century of humiliation by external powers in the 19th century, is focused on re-establishing its role in the world – a role it believes its global economic weight entitles it to have. The Chinese response to the coronavirus is a vivid reminder of the fear that constrains honest discussion or reporting or intellectual development in that vast country.

The Corona Epidemic: Systemic Challenges for Israel

March 23, 2020

Israel is in a state of emergency: schools are closed, businesses are shut, and people continue to lose their source of income. Optimal handling of this dramatic challenge demands a combined strategy. The primary thrust, prevention, protection, and containment, must be complemented by a strategy to promote societal resilience as the secondary effort.

The Corona Crisis and Israel’s National Security

March 20, 2020

A seminar at the Institute for National Security Studies (INSS) on political and security implications of the corona crisis underscored the prevalent uncertainty regarding the situation, but also highlighted several instructive points. The biggest threat to the global (and Israeli) economy derives from the slowdown or negative growth in the United States, and at the current stage, the American ability to meet the crisis effectively is not clear. As for Israel, the risks of escalation in the northern arena and the Gaza Strip have decreased in the short term, but toughening the restrictions on the border crossings with the Palestinian Authority could lead to its economic collapse.

Using Transcripts, Interviews and Conference Proceedings to Write History

March 18, 2020

In writing history, documents and primary texts are reliably accurate. Veracity can emerge by crosschecking sources. However, if all we have is one shard of pottery from the second temple period, we must settle for it in isolation as evidence of how the pottery was constructed, its composition, use, etc. Unless of course, we are fortunate enough to have a text that describes the pottery piece, and we have the piece of pottery as evidence. When oral recollections are used to bolster the written text, subtle shades and emphatic dimensions provide colorful detail to historical writing. Unlike written records, oral evidence provides vignettes, opinions, hues, suppositions, and sentiments almost always absent in a document.

Palestinian Public Resigned to Israel’s Election Outcome, Looks to Other Arabs Instead for Next Steps

March 16, 2020

A Palestinian public opinion poll conducted during this latest Israeli election campaign, January 23-February 11, showed a mere 8% of West Bankers, along with 22% of Gazans, reporting that the vote would probably turn out “better for the Palestinians.” Many more expected Israel’s election to make things worse for them: a third of West Bankers, and nearly half (46%) of Gazans. The remainder—half in the West Bank, and a quarter in Gaza—anticipated that it would “probably make very little difference either way.”

Startup Israel tackles coronavirus with ingenuity and chutzpah

March 13, 2020

A handwashing machine and facemasks that claim to kill coronavirus. Contact-free monitoring of hospitalized COVID-19 patients. Proactive policies to prevent the spread of the virus. A possible vaccine on the horizon. These are among the many ways Israel is responding with characteristic swift ingenuity to the raging coronavirus pandemic.

As Israel’s Kingmaker Gets Off the Fence, Gantz Gets a Boost

March 11, 2020

Israel’s third round of elections last week seemed inconclusive at first, but the deadlock may now be broken. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu did better this time than in September’s round two, but his gains were insufficient to form a new government. Potential kingmaker Avigdor Liberman jettisoned his previous idea of getting the two top parties to join forces; instead, personal antipathy and policy differences have led him to definitely state that he will not join any government Netanyahu leads.

Sudan’s Predicament and the Israeli Connection

March 9, 2020

In this issue of Iqtisadi, Paul Rivlin delves into the structural factors that led to protests and the overthrow of Sudan's longtime dictator, Omar al-Bashir, in 2019. This background along with more recent developments, explains why some of the leadership in Sudan today believe engagement with Israel makes good economic sense.