Another Chance for the Joint List

June 12, 2019

Will Arab politicians take advantage of the second chance that the new elections have presented? Runing in a Joint List and reaching out to their younger voters – 60% of which didn’t vote in the last election, would be the right place to start.

Shavuot in Israel

June 9, 2019

Much like many other Jewish holidays, Shavuot was ascribed new meanings as Hebrew culture developed in the Yishuv (pre-state Zionist, Jewish community in Palestine). With strong agricultural emphasis, Shavuot became a cultural staple of the Kibbutz movement (communal, agricultural settlements).

52 Years Since the Outbreak of the June 1967 War

In early June 1967, Following three weeks of building tension with Egypt—particularly Cairo’s dispatch of 200,000 troops into Sinai, the removal UN peace keeping troops from there, the blockade of Israeli shipping access to its port at Eilat, and blistering verbal barrages from Arab leaders threatening Israel’s destruction—Israel preemptively struck Egypt on June 5. In six days Israel defeated three Arab armies and increased its size three-fold, without pre-determined plans to take either the Golan Heights or the West Bank. Its victory included the reunification of Jerusalem, divided in the 1948-1949 Arab-Israeli War.

Israel and the New European Parliament: No Spring in the Offing

June 7, 2019

While the results of the recent European Parliament elections indicate a weakening of parties that for years have directed the course of the European Union, they also show relatively high support for a strong organization that wields power and influence.

How Jewish Israelis Feel Towards Non-Jews and the Current Conversion Process – Shavuot Survey

June 5, 2019

Conversion is a central theme of the upcoming holiday of Shavuot when the biblical story of Ruth the Moabite – widely considered the first convert to Judaism – is traditionally read. In the spirit of the holiday, we decided to examine what types of relationships Jewish Israelis are ready to have with non-Jews. We also looked into what Jewish Israeli think about the topic of conversions in general and the conversion process in Israel in particular.

Finally, from Gaza, a Ray of Light

May 31, 2019

Notwithstanding Hamas’s recent success at partially overwhelming Iron Dome, it has failed to accomplish one of its signal goals: nothing it has done has succeeded in galvanizing the Arab population in Ramallah and Hebron to rise up against either Israel or the Palestinian Authority (PA).

Israel’s Election Result Shows Broad Consensus on Diplomatic and Defense Issues

May 28, 2019

The recent Israeli election campaign was heated and nasty; primarily a referendum on whether Netanyahu should continue to serve as Prime Minister. His personality and legal problems were the focus of opposition attacks, not his policies. In fact, beyond the harsh rhetoric one can discern a broad consensus in Israel behind the outgoing government’s actual diplomatic and defense policies.

Egypt and Iran Vie for Influence in Gaza

May 24, 2019

While Cairo is exerting its influence in Gaza to avoid a new conflict and mediate a period of calm, Iran sees Gaza as one more base from which to grow and control a proxy terrorist army.

Inside the Trump Administration’s Middle East Peace Effort: A Conversation With Jared Kushner

May 21, 2019

Jared Kushner, the senior advisor to President Donald Trump, was the keynote speaker of the Washington Institute’s 2019 Soref Symposium dinner. The on-the-record event, “Inside the Trump Administration’s Middle East Peace Effort: A Conversation With Jared Kushner,” took place on Thursday, May 2. Kushner was interviewed by Institute executive director Robert Satloff. Since becoming the President’s senior advisor, Kushner has traveled extensively in the Middle East and has met numerous times with the region’s key leaders. He has been present for major Middle East policy decisions, including moving the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and the U.S. recognition of Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights. He has been central to the development of the administration’s Israeli-Palestinian peace plan.

Lag B’omer’s Musical Traditions in Israel

May 20, 2019

Lag B’omer is celebrated Wednesday evening, May 22-23. The Omer is the Hebrew term for the 49-day period between the Jewish holidays of Passover and Shavuot. This period commemorates the Spring harvest, and at the end, the giving of the Torah to the Jewish people.

The Eastern Mediterranean and the EU Parliamentary Election

The states of the Eastern Mediterranean should pay close attention to the upcoming European parliamentary election, as its outcome will influence geostrategic and economic developments in that region. Israel, Cyprus, and Greece will have a major role to play in strengthening Western relationships in the region for decades to come.

The Rising Crisis between the United States and Iran

May 17, 2019

After a year in which Iran opted for “strategic patience,” in the hope that European nations would compensate for the United States sanctions, it now seeks to present a price tag for the US measures against it, and has thus embarked on a response comprising action in three realms: nuclear, military, and oil exports from the Gulf. In the current circumstances, Iran and the United States are demanding conditions that would make a resumption of negotiations difficult, although both sides apparently understand that dialogue may ultimately be the less dangerous option for them.