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Israel

Israeli Arabs’ Violent Lawlessness: An Existential Threat (Gershon Hacohen, BESA Center)

The violent Arab-Israeli riots that took place in Israel’s cities during the last Gaza war are a corollary of the widespread lawlessness and rebelliousness that has been taking root in parts of Israel’s Arab society for some time, and which can cause vast damage to the fabric of Israeli life if left unattended.

Israeli Arabs’ Violent Lawlessness: An Existential Threat (besacenter.org)

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Iran

Iran’s Nuclear Program: Where Is It Going? (Raphael Ofek, BESA Center)

From the earliest days of the Iranian military nuclear program, it was directed primarily at Israel, which the revolutionary regime in Tehran deems an archenemy to be completely destroyed. Its real intentions notwithstanding, Iran has consistently presented its nuclear program over the years as designed “for peaceful use.” Even when, in the second half of 2002, Iran’s two major projects to obtain fissile materials for nuclear weapons were exposed—the Natanz plant for enriching uranium using centrifuges, and its plans to build a plutogenic reactor as a heavy water production plant—the regime claimed that both facilities were intended for energy production as alternatives to exploiting its oil reserves.

Iran’s Nuclear Program: Where Is It Going? (besacenter.org)

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Israel. The Terrorists’ Escape from Gilboa Prison: A Wake-Up Call for Israeli Society (Maj. Gen. (res.) Gershon Hacohen, BESA Center)

Recent events, including the escape of six terrorists from Gilboa Prison and the death of Sgt. Barel Hadaria Shmueli, who was shot point blank by a Palestinian terrorist, represent a wake-up call for Israelis who have grown too accustomed to the pursuit of day-to-day quiet as a strategic choice. Whether Israelis recognize it or not, they are in a state of war with their enemies.

The Terrorists’ Escape from Gilboa Prison: A Wake-Up Call for Israeli Society (besacenter.org)

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Abraham Accords. The Old Peace Treaties vs. the Abraham Accords (Frank Musmar, BESA Center)

President Bill Clinton watches King Hussein and PM Yitzhak Rabin shaking hands, October 1994, image via Israel GPO

Unlike Israel’s earlier peace agreements with Egypt and Jordan, the Abraham Accords involved Arab countries that do not border Israel, have never fought it on the battlefield, and are relatively unburdened by the Palestinian question. Accordingly, they were able to implement a “people to people” peace that eluded their predecessors.

The Old Peace Treaties vs. the Abraham Accords (besacenter.org)

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Afghanistan/Israel/Iran. The Real Lesson of the Afghanistan Debacle (Jonathan Ariel, BESA Center)

Afghanistan has proved once again that even a superpower cannot win a war against a proxy as long as it refuses to confront the power that supports it. This is of vital importance to Israel, which is facing a proxy war being waged against it by Iran via its regional proxies Hezbollah and Hamas.

The Real Lesson of the Afghanistan Debacle (besacenter.org)

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Russia. Putin’s Anti-Navalny Law (Dr. Jiri and Leni Valenta, BESA Center)

Vladimir Putin and Alexei Navalny, image via Wikimedia Commons

On June 4, Russian president Vladimir Putin signed a law banning “individuals designated as ‘extremists’ from running for public office.” There is little doubt that the legislation is aimed primarily at opposition leader Alexei Navalny, now in prison, and whoever supports him.

Putin’s Anti-Navalny Law (besacenter.org)

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Iran/Afghanistan. Iran and the Taliban (Erfan Fard, BESA Center)

Iranian clergymen, including Ebrahim Raisi, image via Wikimedia Commons

The US invaded Afghanistan in 2001 to overthrow the Taliban regime and al-Qaeda after the 9/11 attacks. Iran opposed the US presence, as it strove (and continues to strive) for regional hegemony. Despite its distaste for the Sunni Taliban, Tehran constantly undermined US efforts to stabilize Afghanistan by collaborating with the extremist group.

Iran and the Taliban (besacenter.org)

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Turkey. Disasters Expose Erdoğan’s Paper Tiger Sultanate (Burak Bekdil, BESA Center)

Wildfire in Turkey, summer 2021, image via Newsbook

Wildfires and floods in August revealed how weak Turkey is in the face of natural disasters, and how skewed are the priorities of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. Once again, Turks failed to unite in a time of national sorrow.

Disasters Expose Erdoğan’s Paper Tiger Sultanate (besacenter.org)

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Afghanistan/Saudi Arabia/Iran. Afghanistan May Be a Bellwether for Saudi-Iranian Rivalry (

Globe showing Afghanistan, Iran, and Saudi Arabia, image via Max Pixel

Boasting an almost 1,000-kilometer border with Iran and a history of troubled relations between the Iranians and Sunni Muslim militants, including the Taliban, Afghanistan could become a bellwether for the future of the rivalry between the Islamic Republic and Saudi Arabia.

Afghanistan May Be a Bellwether for Saudi-Iranian Rivalry (besacenter.org)

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