December 2009

Why Won't Arabs Protect Themselves from Iran Nuclear Weapons / Prof.B.Rubin

It isn’t hard to conclude that Iran having nuclear weapons is a direct threat to Arab states, except Syria—Tehran’s ally—which would benefit. Why, then, don’t Arab states and intellectuals public express more concern?

Western observers were shaken up when at a debate in Qatar, the relatively moderate Arab audience split almost down the middle between those cheering and those jeering the idea of Iranian nuclear weapons.

One member of the audience said:

Hizbullah's Struggle to Change the Lebanese Regime / Shimon Shpira and Yair Minzili

The publication of Hizbullah's subversive plan against Egypt and the exposure of a Shiite group headed by a Hizbullah activist that planned to act against Egyptian targets diverted attention from the challenge that Hizbullah has made against the very foundations of Lebanese authority.

Why Don't Western Elites and Governments Comprehend International Realities / Prof.B.Rubin

The question readers most often ask me is an extremely basic, vitally important one.

So how can we explain the world's second biggest problem today. The first is the flourishing of radical, often violent forces, committing aggression, making gains, increasing repression. The second is the refusal of all too much of the Western leadership and intelligentsia to notice that reality, then try to do something about it.

The American Public's Incredibly Strong Support for Israel / Prof.B.Rubin

According to the latest Pew poll, 51 percent of the American public say they sympathize more with the Israelis, while just 12% say they sympathize more with the Palestinians. (14 percent say neither; 19 percent have no opinion). That’s very impressive, right?

That means that two-thirds of Americans who have an opinion sympathize more with Israel.

What about all the academics who hate Israel, all the anti-Israel propaganda, the supposed sympathy for Palestinians as victims and underdogs? No apparent effect.

Anatomy of Syrian- Israeli Tensions:A Background Analysis / Jerusalem Center Strategic Affairs Unit

Anatomy of Syrian-Israeli Tensions: A Background Analysis

Jerusalem Center Strategic Affairs Unit

Syria served as a primary conduit for the build-up of Iranian-backed Hizbullah prior to the outbreak of the Second Lebanon War in July 2006. Damascus supplied the majority of the heavy-payload rockets Hizbullah fired at Israel.

Hezbollah's Delusions / Jonathan Spyer

The latest events in Lebanon offer an image in miniature of larger regional developments. The Iranian-backed Shi'ite Islamist movement Hezbollah is pursuing a long-term strategy intended to eventually deliver Lebanon into its hands. In the short term, the greater commitment of the movement's cadres and its public is delivering impressive results. But at the core of the strategic thinking of Hezbollah and its patrons lie a series of delusions, which are likely to bring about the defeat of the movement over time.

Palestinian Strategy:Why Make Peace with Israel When We can Get Everything from the World? Prof.B.Rubin

The Palestinians Tell the World Their Strategy: Why Make Peace with Israel When We Can Get Everything from You Instead?

If you want to understand what’s really going on in the alleged Israel-Palestinian peace process—beyond the babble that progress is being made, it’s all Israel’s fault, and everyone is working hard on it—here’s what you need to know.

For the present, the Palestinian leadership isn’t interested in pursuing negotiations with Israel because it has a different strategy: get everything it wants from others without making any concessions.

Why All the Excuses for Palestinian Intransigence Don't Make Sense /Prof.B.Rubin

The Arab-Israeli, or Israel-Palestinian, conflict is the most misrepresented subject in the entire world. The most basic facts are often distorted and the most fantastical of narratives provided, even in college classrooms, about what has actually happened.

On the most single important issue in this framework-why isn't there peace, who wants and doesn't want peace, and how can peace be achieved-there is a common set of arguments against Israel. It goes like this:

Has Hizbullah Changed?The 7th General Conference / Brig.-Gen.(ret.)Shimon Shapira

Some Western analysts believe the political manifesto published in the wake of Hizbullah's 7th General Conference at the end of November 2009 represented a fundamental change in Hizbullah policy.
While its link to Iran as the ultimate source of authority was not mentioned in this or any previous political manifesto, this link - that is part of Hizbullah's essence - appeared in the "Open Letter" (Resala Maftuha) of 1985, which remains the founding manifesto of Hizbullah and continues to serve as the movement's ideological basis.

Hillary Announces Sanctions and Arab Poll Says Iran is Bigger Threat than Israel/ Prof.B.Rubin

Two Big Developments: Hillary Announces Start of Sanctions Push, Arab Poll Says Iran is Bigger Threat than Israel

It may well be that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has given the signal for the new phase of U.S. policy toward Iran. On December 14, she said that the engagement policy with Tehran hadn’t worked and now it needs to press for additional sanctions.

How to Fight the Campus Battle against Old and New Anti-Semites / M.Gerstenfeld

The Battle against old and new campus anti-Semitism is usually fought with classic methods. These include public debate, op-eds, letters to the editor, petitions, letters to university administrations or efforts to persuade them to take action, requests for the investigation of incidents, legal actions, and the mobilization of allies. These approaches alone are not adequate in the current circumstances.

The Palestinian Authority New Strategy:Instant Peace if Obama Pressures Israel / Prof.B.Rubin

The Palestinian Authority Sets its New Strategy: Tempts Obama Administration with Instant Peace if it Pressures Israel

We now have Mahmoud Abbas’s answer regarding short-term Palestinian Authority (PA) strategy. He says that if Israel stops all construction now—in Jerusalem and the 3000 apartments being completed—and accepts in advance the 1967 borders and there will be peace within six months. This is the basic story we’ve been hearing since around 1988: one or more Israeli concessions and everyone will live happily ever after.

Incidents Involving Harm to U.N and International Facilities, Gaza Operation / IDF investigation findings

These findings were published by the Israeli Foreign Ministry

(a) Incidents Involving Harm to U.N. and International Facilities

330 During the fighting in Gaza, the IDF faced a major challenge in avoiding damage to U.N. and other international and sensitive facilities. In the densely populated Gaza Strip there are over 750 United Nations facilities, and almost 1,900 sensitive facilities in total.

H.Climton Can't Bring Israeli- Palestinian Peace after Palestinian Rejected B.Clinton's Offer / Prof.B.Rubin

Why Can't H. Clinton Bring Israeli-Palestinian Peace? Look at What B. Clinton Offered which the Palestinians Rejected

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton gave an interview to al-Jazira television, December 10, which reminds us of something exceptionally important for any discussion of the Israel-Palestinian conflict: what her husband offered the Palestinians-the last time a comprehensive deal was proffered-and was turned down almost exactly nine years ago.

How does Clinton explain the lack of a peace agreement? She blames it on George W. Bush:

The Future of the Two-State Solution / Maj.-Gen.(res)Giora Eiland

(Maj.-Gen. (res.) Giora Eiland is Former Chairman, National Security Council )

While the outlines of a two-state solution are generally known, the maximum that any government of Israel will be ready to offer the Palestinians and still survive politically is much less than the minimum that any Palestinian leader can accept. The real gap between both sides is much greater than what is perceived, and that gap is growing.

Palestinian Politics:Springtime for Abbas / Prof.B.Rubin

What's Really Going on in Palestinian Politics: Springtime for Abbas

There’s a new trend worth noting in the West Bank and the Palestinian Authority (PA): a sense of satisfaction. While the Western media generally reflect the rather false-front public relations’ campaign waged by the PA—bitter, frustrated, victimized, and eager for peace—that’s not what’s really going on right now.

Mahmoud Abbas’s government has to weather some difficult politicking along the following lines:

Akbara, the Arabic Village was a Jewish town until the 11th Century / DR.Rivka Shpak Lissak

Akbara was until recently an Arab village in the upper-eastern Galilee, not far from Safed. About 1,000 people lived in the village. However, in 1982 the village was annexed to Safed and became a city neighborhood.

The First Temple Period (1,000 – 587BCE)

Akbara was an Israeli village. Prof.Benyamin Mazar found the name of Akbara on Tiglath Pilesser the 3rd monument from 732 BCE. The

The Prisoner that could Hold the Key / Adi Schwartz

Let’s start at the end: if the most famous Palestinian prisoner, Marwan Barghouti, is included in the looming swap deal between Israel and Hamas, the politics surrounding the regional conflict here will change dramatically. For a start his release from prison could end the current unbridgeable schism between the radical Islamist faction running the Gaza strip and the more moderate nationalist party of Fatah that controls the West Bank and, for the first time in years, create unity in the Palestinian camp. There’s still a big “if” here.

Palestinian "Policemen"Killed in Gaza Operation were Trained Terrorists / Lt.Col.(res) Jonathan D.Halevi

After international human rights organizations accused Israel of killing innocent Palestinian "traffic policemen" during the Gaza operation, a detailed investigation shows that a decisive majority of the Palestinian "policemen" were members of the military wings of the Palestinian terror organizations and fighters who had undergone military training.

70 Years Ago,Palestinian Arabs Threw Away Chance to Prevent Israel's Creation / Prof.B.Rubin

Seventy Years Ago, Palestinian Arabs Threw Away Chance to Prevent Israel's Creation; Following the Same Policies Today

The greatest opportunity ever to prevent Israel’s creation and instead make the entire land a Palestinian Arab state took place in 1939, specifically on May 17, 1939, seventy years ago.

For Israel,Good Prospects in 2010 / Prof.B.Rubin

In contrast to my rather gloomy assessment of the Obama Administration's prospects in the Middle East, Israel's prospects look rather good. This is granted, of course, that the chances for any formal peace (note the word "formal") with the Arab states or the Palestinians are close to zero. In addition there are two longer-term threats in the form of Iranian nuclear weapons and Islamists one day taking over one or more Arab states.

The Palestinian Authority Sets its New Strategy / Prof.B,Rubin

The Palestinian Authority Sets its New Strategy: Tempts Obama Administration with Instant Peace if it Pressures Israel

We now have Mahmoud Abbas's answer regarding short-term Palestinian Authority (PA) strategy. He says that if Israel stops all construction now-in Jerusalem and the 3000 apartments being completed-and accepts in advance the 1967 borders and there will be peace within six months. This is the basic story we've been hearing since around 1988: one or more Israeli concessions and everyone will live happily ever after.

Winston Churchill - A Good Friend of Jews and Zionism? / Dr.Daniel Mandel

Winston Churchill - A Good Friend of Jews and Zionism?

by Dr. Daniel Mandel
Published May 2009 Jewish Political Studies Review 21:1-2 (Spring 2009)

Churchill and the Jews, by Michael J. Cohen, London & Portland: Frank Cass, 1985, second revised edition, 2003, 421 pp.
Churchill and the Jews: A Lifelong Friendship, by Martin Gilbert, New York: Henry Holt & Co., 2007, 359 pp.
Churchill's Promised Land, by Alan Makovsky, New Haven & London: New Republic Books/Yale University Press, 2007, 341 pp.
Reviewed by Daniel Mandel

Syria and Turkey:Walking Arm in Arm down the same Road? / David Schenker

The rapprochement between Ankara and Damascus is only the culmination of the increasingly problematic policies pursued by the Islamist Justice and Development Party (AKP).
Two factors in particular seem to have led to Turkey's shift away from Israel and toward Syria. First, Turkey no longer needed Israeli assistance to pressure the Syrian government to change its policy of providing safe-haven to the terrorist Kurdish Worker's Organization (PKK). Second, in the past seven years, once secular Turkish politics have undergone a profound Islamist transformation.