In 2010, Israel decided to enrich its Eastern Mediterranean strategy by looking for new partners. In so doing, it turned to Greece and Cyprus. Slowly and steadily, the three countries expanded their cooperation and overcame previously held stereotypes about one another. Trilateral summits have provided the basis for important discussions on energy, security, trade, and culture issues. The sixth tripartite summit, which took place in Jerusalem last March, was attended by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. US support for the tripartite relationship could create new possibilities for the future of the Eastern Mediterranean.
As US naval power declines, other powers – such as China, Russia, and, to a lesser extent, India and Iran – are set to increase their presence in the world’s naval lanes. Because American power depends on its dominance at sea, Washington’s ability to control Eurasia is coming under increasing pressure.
The Middle East is barreling toward a nuclear and ballistic missile arms race. That race is being aided and abetted by a US policy that views the region through the dual prism of the need to stop an aggressive, expansionary, and destabilizing Islamic Republic that seeks to dominate it, and the view of the region as a lucrative market for the US defense and nuclear industry.
One of the most sensational revelations of the recently screened BBC Panorama documentary on antisemitism within the British Labour Party is the presence there of actual Holocaust promoters. The documentary did not address every element of Labour antisemitism, but did provide much new information on “smokescreening” by the leadership: the practice of falsely claiming that it took determined action against antisemitism when in fact it took only partial, lukewarm action.
None of the three actors in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict – Hamas, the PA, and Israel – envisions peace in the foreseeable future. It is this very absence of the prospect of peace that makes the Trump economic plan so timely. Engendering economic well-being does not solve deep-seated political conflict, but it does contain the prospect that differences can be expressed in less violent ways.
As an apparent act of defiance against Western countries’ reluctance to support it against US sanctions, Iran has begun to enrich uranium beyond the level permitted by the nuclear deal. This fact, together with the information revealed by the smuggling out by the Israelis of Iran’s nuclear weapons program archive, belies Tehran’s oft-expressed claim that its nuclear program was always for peaceful use and shows the hollowness of the nuclear agreement.
Against the backdrop of the persecution of Christians in the Middle East in general and in the Palestinian Authority-controlled territories in particular, it is worth recalling a saying that many Muslims have voiced down through the generations: “First we’ll take care of the Saturday people, then the Sunday people.”
This study explores the strategic-military implications of the establishment of a Palestinian state along the pre-June 1967 lines. Its central thesis is that the creation of such a state, on the heels of the IDF’s total withdrawal from the West Bank, will not only deprive Israel of defensible borders but will almost certainly lead to the advent of a terrorist entity like the one created in the Gaza Strip – at a stone’s throw from the Israeli hinterland.
Much of the Middle East’s recent turmoil stems from internecine Middle Eastern rivalries spilling onto third country battlefields and Saudi and UAE-led efforts to roll back the achievements of the 2011 popular Arab revolts and pre-empt further uprisings. The recent successful toppling of ailing Algerian president Abdelaziz Bouteflika and months of anti-government demonstrations that have put Sudanese leader Omar al-Bashir on the defensive suggest that the Saudi-UAE effort may be faltering.
In recent months, the Israeli defense establishment has made increasing use of “information campaigns,” or exposure through the media of enemy activity that has been detected by Israeli intelligence. This modus operandi has developed into an alternative to kinetic strikes.