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  • Author: Yakir Plessner
  • Publication Date: 02-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
  • Abstract: Recently, Israel Television asked Shimon Peres, the architect of the Oslo process, whether he still believed in the efficacy of that process, to which he replied that the question should be put to Yasser Arafat. This answer appears to be symptomatic of a widespread refusal by Israel's political leadership to think about the current situation in a systematic, analytical fashion, giving rise to a suspicion that Israeli society, as a collective, has a basic difficulty with thinking about our relationship with the Palestinian Authority, in general, and about the recent violent confrontations with it, in particular. We appear to be bewildered by it all. The director general of the Foreign Ministry, Alon Liel, stated more than once in a recent television interview that he was baffled by Arafat's behavior, saying that Arafat appeared to have made an inexplicable U-turn. He had assumed that Arafat had resolved to make peace, and he could make no sense of Arafat's recent behavior. In addition, Shimon Peres has stated several times in recent weeks that we must make Arafat understand that his policy is detrimental to the true interests of his own people. This notion was echoed by Ha'aretz columnist Joel Marcus, quoting former Foreign Minister Abba Eban who said years ago that Arafat never misses an opportunity to miss an opportunity. Knesset Speaker Avraham Burg also stated that he found it impossible to decipher Arafat's conduct.
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel
  • Author: Dore Gold
  • Publication Date: 02-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
  • Abstract: Since its independence in 1948, and indeed even in prior times, Israel's rights to sovereignty in Jerusalem have been firmly grounded in history and international law. The aftermath of the 1967 Six-Day War only reinforced the strength of Israel's claims. Seven years after the implementation of the 1993 Oslo Agreements, Prime Minister Ehud Barak became the first Israeli prime minister to consider re-dividing Jerusalem in response to an American proposal at the July 2000 Camp David Summit. The December 2000 Clinton Plan attempted to codify Barak's possible concessions on Jerusalem. Yet they proved to be insufficient for PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat, leading to a breakdown in the peace process and an outburst of Palestinian violence with regional implications. At least the failed Clinton Plan did not bind future Israeli governments or U.S. administrations, leaving open the possibility of new diplomatic alternatives. Only by avoiding premature negotiation over an unbridgeable issue such as Jerusalem can the U.S., Israel, and the Palestinians stabilize the volatile situation that has emerged and restore hope that a political process can be resumed in the future.
  • Topic: Security, Government, International Law, Religion, Sovereignty
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Middle East, Israel
  • Author: Jeffrey S. Helmreich
  • Publication Date: 01-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
  • Abstract: There are two clashing myths on the political power of American Jewry. One claims that the community is too small to affect national elections; Jews make up less than 3 percent of the U.S. population. A contrasting view holds that U.S. Jews play a disproportionately large role in national politics thanks to their campaign donations and media influence.
  • Topic: Security, Politics, Religion
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Middle East
  • Author: Gerald M. Steinberg
  • Publication Date: 01-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
  • Abstract: As events that accompanied the establishment of the State of Israel receded into the history books, the extraordinary accomplishments of the Zionist movement also began to fade. For many Israelis growing up after 1948, Zionism became a negative term, satirized and trivialized, and the details of its achievements were rarely taught in the Israeli schools.
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel
  • Author: Cynthia Mahmood
  • Publication Date: 10-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Joan B. Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, University of Notre Dame
  • Abstract: Kashmir is one of the conflicts implicated in the current "war" of the U.S. and its allies against certain forms of radical Islam. A long-term solution to the conflict in Kashmir cannot be found without consideration of the wishes of the Kashmiri people. The three-option plebiscite, giving Kashmiris a choice among accession to India, accession to Pakistan, or full sovereignty, is an avenue that must be explored. The United Nations should serve as the organizer of such a plebiscite and should be the ultimate guarantor of its results. Convincing Pakistan and India of the ultimate wisdom of such a course can be part of current negotiations around the events in Afghanistan that now demand our attention.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, United States, Middle East, Asia, Kashmir
  • Publication Date: 11-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxford Analytica
  • Abstract: This week's piece focuses on the economic prospects for the euro-area in 2002. The euro-area economy has shown increasing signs of cyclical weakness since the beginning of 2001. These signs, compounded by the effects of accelerated decline in the United States since the September 11 terrorist attacks, indicate continuing stagnation into 2002 and growing difficulties for states to maintain their fiscal positions. SGP requirements are reducing the fiscal room for manoeuvre of euro-area states to respond to the current economic downturn. The absence of concerted intervention represents a considerable risk, particularly if global demand fails to pick up in 2002.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East
  • Publication Date: 11-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxford Analytica
  • Abstract: This week's piece examines the prospects for the al-Qaida group and Osama bin Laden's wider terrorist network following the fall of the Taliban and the loss of many of its facilities in Afghanistan. Key elements of bin Laden's network have been seriously damaged. Some operational cells are likely to survive but most are likely to remain inactive for the foreseeable future in order to avoid detection. Al-Qaida is likely to remain active but less effective than hitherto. As long as the reasons for bin Laden's appeal to certain Islamist constituencies remains, new cells and entirely new groups will be formed within migrant communities and among those engaged in regional conflicts around the world.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East
  • Publication Date: 10-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxford Analytica
  • Abstract: This piece focuses on the obstacles facing the US-led military campaign in Afghanistan. In order to defend the United States and its allies against further terrorist attacks, the US-led military campaign in Afghanistan seeks to destroy Osama bin Laden's al-Qaida organisation and topple the Taliban regime which hosts it. However, significant obstacles stand in the way of victory. Washington appears to have embarked upon a long-term simultaneous military, political, diplomatic and economic strategy to achieve its objectives in Afghanistan. However, given the absence of any credible pan-Afghan leaders and the deleterious effects of more than two decades of internecine warfare, this approach carries high risks. They include even greater political fragmentation of the country, continued war and possible regional destabilisation.
  • Topic: Defense Policy
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, Middle East
  • Publication Date: 10-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxford Analytica
  • Abstract: The Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) met on Wednesday, September 26, in Vienna. The uncertainties associated with the international oil market have been greatly compounded by the September 11 terrorist attacks on the United States.
  • Topic: Security
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, Middle East
  • Publication Date: 09-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxford Analytica
  • Abstract: The Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) met on Wednesday, September 26, in Vienna. The uncertainties associated with the international oil market have been greatly compounded by the September 11 terrorist attacks on the United States.
  • Topic: Terrorism
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, Middle East
  • Publication Date: 08-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxford Analytica
  • Abstract: Israel's Chief of Staff Shaul Mofaz met senior Turkish defence officials on July 27 to discuss defence cooperation. Israel and Turkey, facing similar strategic problems based on shared interests and fears, are in the process of building the most powerful alliance in the Middle East. They are doing so in the face of opposition from the Arab and Muslim worlds as well wider concerns, notably on the part of Russia. The Turkish-Israeli alliance now appears sufficiently robust, at least for the moment, to withstand opposition from the Arab and Muslim world. Moreover, US support for the entente may grow owing to concerns about terrorism and stability in the eastern Mediterranean basin, as well as the administration's renewed emphasis on stability in the Gulf.
  • Topic: Security, Diplomacy
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Middle East, Israel
  • Author: Caspar Fithin
  • Publication Date: 06-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxford Analytica
  • Abstract: President Mohammed Khatami was re-elected on June 8 by a huge margin. Khatami's supporters are already talking about a renewed campaign for reform under a reorganised cabinet and a reinvigorated Majlis. However, the obstacles to such a programme remain formidable. Khatami is likely to press a little more strongly for reform, especially in the economic field. However, doubts remains that he or his parliamentary colleagues have the means to use the renewed mandate provided by the election to press for radical change. Any change is therefore likely to modest and incremental, though, in the Iranian context, significant.
  • Topic: Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: Iran, Middle East
  • Author: Caspar Fithin
  • Publication Date: 04-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxford Analytica
  • Abstract: Israel last week launched an air raid against a Syrian radar station in Lebanon. The air raid has raised the stakes in the low-level military confrontation between Hizbollah and Israel. It has also exacerbated Lebanese internal divisions and exposed the lack of a national consensus on Hizbollah's cross-border operations. The Israeli raid has set a precedent and raised the stakes in Tel Aviv's confrontation with Hizbollah along the Lebanese border. Although neither Syria nor Israel is interested in a military confrontation, there are no guarantees that the situation will not spin out of control and lead to a limited regional conflict.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel, Lebanon
  • Author: Caspar Fithin
  • Publication Date: 02-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxford Analytica
  • Abstract: Likud leader Ariel Sharon's resounding victory in last Tuesday's election for prime minister has produced a chaotic political situation. The Knesset is likely to remain as dysfunctional as it was before the election campaign and Sharon will face immense difficulties in his attempts to form a government and pass the budget. Even should he succeed, it is possible that the government will fall before the next scheduled election, and that he will face a credible challenge from former prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu.
  • Topic: Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel
  • Author: Caspar Fithin
  • Publication Date: 01-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxford Analytica
  • Abstract: Senior Palestinian officials this week rejected US President Bill Clinton's peace proposals. All the Palestinian factions have now rejected the proposals designed to end the conflict with Israel. This is a sign of the overwhelming domestic pressure Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat is under. However, his position remains one of conditional acceptance as he awaits further US interpretations and clarifications. Arafat's conditional acceptance of the US proposals is an attempt to improve his diplomatic position. He hopes to make use of the enhanced Arab engagement in the Palestinian-Israeli peace process to improve on the terms of a future peace agreement. This will be essential if he is to win domestic approval of any deal.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Diplomacy, Ethnic Conflict, Politics
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Israel, Palestine
  • Author: Yossi Baidatz, Rachel Stroumsa
  • Publication Date: 12-2000
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: While international attention has been focused on the shift from diplomacy to violence in the Israeli–Palestinian arena, the "comeback" of Lebanon's Hizballah organization as an instigator of conflict has been, to some observers, a surprise. Following Israel's withdrawal from the "security zone" in May 2000, it was widely held that Hizballah would rest on its laurels and focus on its political/social agenda inside Lebanon. Instead, as recent events show, Hizballah has chosen to persist in its military strategy against Israel. Indeed, in contrast to the low-intensity conflict on the Palestinian front, Hizballah's actions have the potential to trigger a full-scale, inter-state war.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Diplomacy
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel, Palestine, Arabia, Lebanon
  • Author: David Makovsky
  • Publication Date: 12-2000
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Israeli prime minister Ehud Barak's surprise resignation Saturday night has plunged the country's already battered political system into further turmoil, and so far, his gambit seems to have failed. Barak's move was clearly designed, at least in part, to utilize a provision in Israeli law that would sideline his once and would-be opponent Benjamin Netanyahu from running in a special election for prime minister on February 6. Moreover, Barak hoped that by avoiding a general election, he could avert the reconfiguration of the Knesset since polls show that if elections were held today, it would become a more rightward-leaning body.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Diplomacy
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel, Arabia
  • Author: Dan Schueftan
  • Publication Date: 12-2000
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Recently, public opinion in both Israel and the Palestinian territories has shifted in ways that argue for separation or disengagement. Israelis no longer accept the notion that negotiations will eventually lead to peace, but they are far more willing to make concessions to the Palestinians. Palestinians no longer expect a final agreement with Israel, and have instead shifted toward the Lebanon model of using violence to force an Israeli retreat — a trend with tragic implications for the future of Palestinian society.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Diplomacy
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel, Palestine, Arabia
  • Author: David Makovsky
  • Publication Date: 11-2000
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Israeli prime minister Ehud Barak's decision yesterday to preempt his opponents and announce his willingness to hold early elections must be seen in the context of his interest in reviving the peace process. The vote for early balloting was driven by both animus toward the failed Camp David summit and by the Barak government's handling of the subsequent Al-Aqsa Intifada.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Diplomacy
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel, Arabia
  • Author: Robert Satloff, Rachel Stroumsa
  • Publication Date: 11-2000
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: In recent weeks, Arab parties from the Palestinian Authority (PA) to the Arab League summit have called for the dispatch of a United Nations force to the West Bank and Gaza in order to protect Palestinian civilians from Israeli military force. Rather than reject this idea because of its contribution to the internationalization of the Israeli-Palestinian dispute, the U.S. view has been to cite its impracticality, given Israeli opposition. Remarkably, the Israeli government itself seems to be hinting that it may be willing to consider the proposal, especially in the event of a reduction in violence. This is evidenced by recent talks between Israeli and Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) representatives to the United Nations, reportedly hosted by their Egyptian colleague.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Diplomacy, United Nations
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Israel, Palestine, Arabia, Gaza, Egypt
  • Author: Ephraim Sneh
  • Publication Date: 11-2000
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Recently, four factors have combined to make the situation in the Middle East far more combustible than it is has been for a long time. These elements are: Iraq has managed to break out of the boundaries imposed by the UN sanctions regime and to evade weapons inspections. Saddam Husayn is now stronger than ever and ready to play a role in the region. He has signaled this intention by his deployment of troops on the western borders of Iraq just before the Arab summit in Egypt. Although he has since pulled them back, this maneuver was intended to send the message that Saddam Husayn is a force to be reckoned with from now on. Iran has enhanced its efforts to use a consortium of terrorist groups against the remnants of the peace process. Intelligence information shows that Iran has deployed long-range Katyusha missiles in Lebanon and that it is encouraging Hizballah activities against Israel. Syrian president Bashar al-Assad has disappointed most analysts, who hoped that he would focus on addressing Syria's economy and other domestic concerns. Instead, his speeches both at the Arab summit in Egypt and at the Organization of the Islamic Conference in Qatar have been extremely bellicose. In addition, it is clear that the recent kidnappings by Hizballah and a Palestinian group's attempt to infiltrate Israel through Lebanon could not have taken place without at the least a green light from Damascus, even if Bashar himself did not authorize them specifically. Palestinian Authority (PA) chairman Yasir Arafat has evidently changed course from negotiation to confrontation. So far, the Palestinian cause has proven to be uniting force in the Arab world; under certain circumstances, it might also serve as a good pretext for resumption of full-scale hostilities.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Diplomacy, United Nations
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Iran, Middle East, Israel, Palestine, Arabia, Syria, Egypt
  • Author: Michael Eisenstadt
  • Publication Date: 11-2000
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Since the beginning of the Al-Aqsa Intifada, accusations that Israel has used "excessive force" in dealing with Palestinians have led to calls for Israel to employ "non-lethal" weapons as a way to reduce Palestinian casualties and stem the cycle of violence between the two sides. In fact, however, Israel is already using the rather limited range of traditional "less lethal" (LL) and "non-lethal" (NL) weapons that are used by most modern armies. More exotic, nontraditional concepts that have been under development in the past few years are either not yet ready for fielding (as in the case of so-called "acoustic weapons"), or have potential drawbacks which vitiate their potential operational utility (as with "sticky foam").
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Diplomacy
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel, Palestine, Arabia
  • Author: Ehud Yaari
  • Publication Date: 11-2000
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: The events of the past five weeks are not a repeat of the Palestinian Intifada of 1987-90, a spontaneous uprising that caught both Chairman Yasir Arafat and Israel equally by surprise. Rather, the current uprising is a confrontation imposed by Arafat on the Palestinian street. Three major elements of the original Intifada are missing in the current situation: 1) The countryside, a backbone of the original Intifada, has so far opted out of the current struggle; 2) the population of east Jerusalem has distanced itself, to the extent that the Tanzim has had to send people from Ramallah and the refugee camps into Jerusalem in order to engineer confrontations. Seen from this angle, the shooting of Israeli guards at the National Insurance Institute in east Jerusalem is a signal to Jerusalem Arabs that Arafat will not permit them to remain on the sidelines; 3) the lower middle classes, a prominent player during the original Intifada, are absent. While thousands may participate in funeral processions, very few (including very few students) join in confrontations with Israeli soldiers at the major flashpoints; the size of these confrontations rarely exceeds a few hundred.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Diplomacy
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel, Palestine, Arabia, Jerusalem
  • Author: Liat Radcliffe
  • Publication Date: 11-2000
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: "The Arab leaders affirm that just, comprehensive peace will not be achieved except with . . . the restoration of all the occupied Arab territories, including full Israeli withdrawal from . . . southern Lebanon to the internationally recognized borders, including Shebaa farms, the release of Arab prisoners in Israeli prisons in implementation of the relevant UN resolutions. . . ."
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Diplomacy, United Nations
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Israel, Arabia, Lebanon
  • Author: David Makovsky
  • Publication Date: 11-2000
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: The truce reached today should be interpreted very cautiously, given both today's terror bombing in Jerusalem, which killed two Israeli civilians, and the two previous failed ceasefires recently brokered by the United States in Paris and Sharm el-Sheikh, respectively. Palestinian Authority (PA) leader Yasir Arafat was due to announce the truce but instead opted to have other PA officials announce it on Palestinian television and radio. Moreover, Hamas quickly declared that it is not bound by the terms of the ceasefire. Prime Minister Ehud Barak's office nevertheless announced that the ceasefire is in effect.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Diplomacy
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Israel, Paris, Arabia, Jerusalem
  • Author: Robert Satloff
  • Publication Date: 10-2000
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: On Friday, October 27, 2000, Washington Institute Executive Director Dr. Robert Satloff delivered a presentation on the current Middle East situation to a Special Policy Forum luncheon briefing. Following is a rapporteur's summary of his remarks.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Diplomacy, Politics
  • Political Geography: Washington, Middle East, Arab Countries
  • Author: David Schenker
  • Publication Date: 10-2000
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Yesterday, the text of a draft communiqué for the impending Arab summit, principally drafted by host Egypt, was leaked to the Beirut press. In an interview about this document, Egyptian foreign minister Amre Moussa indicated that this draft was accurate but preliminary. If this version emerges from the summit relatively unchanged, it would represent a stunning regression in Arab-Israeli relations and a major setback for the prospects of Middle East diplomacy.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Diplomacy
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Arab Countries
  • Author: David Makovsky
  • Publication Date: 10-2000
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: On October 13, 2000, David Makovsky, senior fellow at The Washington Institute and former editor of the Jerusalem Post, spoke at The Washington Institute's Policy Forum. The following is a rapporteur's summary of his remarks. The Grand Deal on peace is buried for now. Too many factors have conspired against attaining a Grand Deal in the near future, foremost of which include lack of trust, parliamentary arithmetic, and the undermining of the premises of Camp David.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Diplomacy
  • Political Geography: Washington, Middle East, Arab Countries
  • Author: Robert Satloff
  • Publication Date: 10-2000
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: President Clinton announced bare-bones understandings today on Israeli-Palestinian ceasefire-plus-disengagement. The test of success of this understanding will be in the swift and full implementation of its objectives on the ground, with today's shooting at a Jewish neighborhood in Jerusalem boding ill for the success of this process. Even if fully implemented, however, this understanding is unlikely to lead to a renewal of "permanent status negotiations" where the parties left off their post-Camp David diplomacy three weeks ago.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Diplomacy
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Jerusalem, Arab Countries
  • Author: Robert Satloff
  • Publication Date: 10-2000
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: The last two weeks have been symptomatic of the different sort of Middle East the United States will be facing in the early years of the new decade. Whereas the dominant context of the 1990s was peacemaking punctuated by intermittent bouts of violence and conflict, the new decade will be marked by violence and conflict punctuated by intermittent bouts of diplomacy.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Diplomacy
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Arab Countries
  • Author: Yossi Baidatz
  • Publication Date: 10-2000
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: The capture of three IDF soldiers from the Israeli-Lebanese border last Saturday not only raises the danger of a third front for Israel—in addition to the upheaval in the Palestinian territories and the tensions with Israel Arabs inside sovereign Israel—but it offers the United States the first opportunity to test the intentions and capabilities of Syria's new yet inexperienced president, Bashar al-Asad.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Diplomacy
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel, Arab Countries
  • Author: David Schenker
  • Publication Date: 10-2000
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: As violence continues to flare in parts of Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza, attention is increasingly focused on the Palestinian group responsible for much of the rioting and confrontation—the Fatah Tanzim. Just yesterday, the leader of the Tanzim, Marwan Barghouthi, ridiculed the ceasefire reached in Paris as useless. That the agreement was so short-lived highlights the growing importance of this quasi-civilian strike force.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Diplomacy
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Palestine, Gaza, Arab Countries
  • Author: Robert Satloff
  • Publication Date: 10-2000
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: The fact that U.S. and Israeli officials—not Yasir Arafat—announced that the Palestinian leader had ordered a halt to violence in the West Bank and Gaza highlights the failure of the U.S.-led summit meeting in Paris. This underscores the prospect that the al-Aqsa Intifada—as Palestinians have termed the week-long spasm of violence and rioting—is a turning point, not a transitory blip, in the seven-year-old Oslo peace process. To the Clinton Administration, engrossed in the peace process since 1993, this came as a painful setback. Chances are high, however, that the President will wade into Arab-Israeli diplomacy at least once again before leaving office-either for one last push toward agreement or to ward off the accusation that he focused on peace when opportunity beckoned but left a mess to his successor. Much will depend on whether violence actually abates soon, as promised; on Arafat's success in internationalizing the conflict, as his current UN gambit for an international inquiry suggests; on the political fortunes of Israel's Ehud Barak and the potential for a national unity government; and on the outcome of the November election (i.e., will the passing of the baton next January be characterized, by and large, by continuity in policy and personnel [a Gore victory] or reassessments and staffing up lag-time [a Bush victory]?
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Diplomacy
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Israel, Arab Countries
  • Author: Michael Eisenstadt
  • Publication Date: 10-2000
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Uneven press coverage and shocking television footage have skewed analysis of the ongoing "Battle for Jerusalem"—the week-old explosion of violence that has swept from the Temple Mount/Haram al-Sharif, to the West Bank, Gaza and Arab population centers in Israel. Seen in political and historical context, current events actually highlight a relatively low level of casualties, a general policy of restraint by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), and a confluence of interests among all elements of the Palestinian political spectrum—from the Palestinian Authority (PA) leadership to the street-level Fatah tanzim to the opposition Hamas—favoring violence against Israel.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Diplomacy
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel, Palestine, Jerusalem, Gaza, Arab Countries
  • Author: Reuven Paz
  • Publication Date: 10-2000
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: The riots and violent demonstrations of Israeli Arab citizens in the last few days have been the most violent in 18 years and can be compared only to the violent protests that occurred in response to the massacres in the Palestinian refugee camps of Sabra and Shatilah by Christian Phalanges in September 1982. Israeli Arabs did not give vent to such violence and rage even during the Palestinian Uprising (Intifadah) in the Territories. Although most of the Israeli Arab citizens have not taken part in the current violence, it seems from their reactions that most of them—especially the Muslim population—identify with the expressions of rage (Christian, Northern Bedouin, and Druze villages took no part in the latest incidents).
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Diplomacy
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel, Arab Countries
  • Author: David Makovsky
  • Publication Date: 09-2000
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: With talks completed between senior Israeli and Palestinian negotiators at a northern Virginia hotel, following Monday evening's tête-à-tête between Ehud Barak and Yasir Arafat, this week has marked the beginning of the Clinton administration's last big push to achieve Israeli-Palestinian peace. As the countdown to January 20, 2001 proceeds, the administration faces a difficult set of options to achieve its long-sought breakthrough on the peace process.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Diplomacy
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Arab Countries
  • Author: Shimon Peres
  • Publication Date: 09-2000
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Jews are not only the Chosen People but also a people with a choice. The Israeli choices in this peace process have not always been pleasant, but the choice, particularly that to begin negotiating with the Palestinians, was basically a moral one. Israelis felt deep in their hearts that it was wrong for the Jewish people to remain dominators of another people. Although there are some advantages gained by holding the West Bank and Gaza Strip, Israel could not remain a Jewish state and be a dominating country at the same time.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Diplomacy
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Arab Countries
  • Author: Shimon Peres
  • Publication Date: 09-2000
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: The wishes of the Palestinian and Israeli peoples and the situation in which they find themselves mandate a resolution to the conflict. The fact that all three parties—Americans, Palestinians and Israelis—are motivated to reach a deal quickly makes this goal more readily attainable. However, in spite of the wish to reach an agreement before the American elections, this need is not absolute, for two reasons. Firstly, the peace process is not a partisan issue in the U.S. It is not a real catastrophe if an agreement doesn't take place in the next six weeks because negotiations are going to continue with whoever is elected, Gore or Bush. Secondly, "lame duck" presidents have managed in the past to accomplish great things in the Middle East.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Diplomacy
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Arab Countries
  • Author: Martin Kramer
  • Publication Date: 09-2000
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: The political status of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem is the subject of final status negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians. According to press reports, at one moment in the Camp David negotiations last July, senior Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erakat asked his Israeli counterpart: "How do you know that your Holy Temple was located there?" A Jerusalem Report cover story (September 11) placed this in the context of a growing Palestinian denial of the existence of the First and Second Temples. "It's self-evident that the First Temple is a fiction," one Palestinian archaeologist at Bir Zeit University is quoted as saying. "The Second also remains in the realm of fantasy."
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Diplomacy
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Arab Countries
  • Author: David Schenker
  • Publication Date: 09-2000
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Last Sunday, the world breathed a sigh of relief as the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) Central Council voted to postpone a declaration of statehood until at least November 15, 2000. Less noticed, however, has been the internal battle over what is perhaps the second most important political issue on the Palestinian political agenda—the drafting of the Palestinian Constitution. Within the Palestinian Authority (PA) today, the constitution is the focus of an increasingly bitter debate pitting PLO "outsiders" against West Bank/Gaza "insiders." The outcome of this contest will determine not only the future of the PLO as a revolutionary movement and political institution but it may also have far-reaching implications for any future Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Diplomacy
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Arab Countries
  • Author: Kenneth W. Stein
  • Publication Date: 09-2000
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: President Clinton will again meet his two Camp David partners—though not yet in scheduled three-way talks during this week's Millennium Summit, six weeks after the conclusion of their inconclusive Camp David negotiations. In the August interval, each side sent leaders and diplomats jetting about Europe, Asia, and the Middle East offering their spin on what was offered at the summit, what went wrong, and what needed to be done next. In stark contrast to the effective news black-out that governed Camp David, world leaders have, over the past month, been pitched one, two, or even three sets of briefings about each side's views and where the negotiations should go from here.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Diplomacy
  • Political Geography: Europe, Middle East, Asia, Arab Countries
  • Author: David Makovsky
  • Publication Date: 07-2000
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Domestic political considerations will be an important factor in Israeli prime minister Ehud Barak's moves at Camp David. Although he would like to have one for a myriad of reasons, politically Barak does not need a deal. To the contrary, failure to reach an agreement could even bring his "big tent" coalition back from dead. Barak had hoped to have a broad government that included the religious parties behind him, having learned from the Yitzhak Rabin era that it was a mistake to have a narrow government relying on its Arab members to squeeze through Knesset confidence votes. But having lost the Jewish majority before his departure, the prime minister's critics will insist that the results of the Camp David summit are illegitimate. Undoubtedly, Barak will reject such assertions, pointing to his promise to hold a national referendum.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Diplomacy
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel, Arabia
  • Author: David Makovsky
  • Publication Date: 09-2000
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: A decision whether to revive the Israeli-Palestinian peace talks at a reconvened Camp David Summit may be made next Wednesday, but as it stands now, the prospects seem very uncertain. President Bill Clinton is scheduled to hold separate meetings with Israeli prime minister Ehud Barak and Palestinian Authority chairman Yasir Arafat during the United Nations special Millennium Summit. Mindful of an array of ticking clocks, Washington would like to reconvene Camp David for a short and final session sometime during the second half of September. Yet, given the failure of the last summit in July, a generally recognized precondition for a revival of summitry is the prior resolution of almost all outstanding issues between the parties, in order to virtually guarantee the success of renewed negotiations.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Diplomacy
  • Political Geography: Washington, Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: David Makovsky
  • Publication Date: 08-2000
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: In the aftermath of Camp David II and with the start of the Knesset summer recess yesterday, there appears to be a 40-90 day "window" for Israelis and the Palestinians to determine whether a diplomatic breakthrough is still possible or whether the parties will move in alternative directions.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Diplomacy
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: Elyakim Rubinstein
  • Publication Date: 07-2000
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Although the failure of the Camp David II summit to reach a final status agreement between Israel and the Palestinians is certainly sad, it is important to emphasize that this two-week meeting was not a waste of time. For the first time, Israelis and Palestinians sat together in an official setting and thoroughly discussed previously deferred matters like Jerusalem and the refugees. Although unsuccessful in reaching a full resolution, a "basic and very deep clarification of the positions" was achieved at Camp David. A partial agreement was not the preferred alternative of either the Israelis or the Palestinians.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Diplomacy
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel, Arabia
  • Author: Shlomo Slonim, Geoffrey Watson
  • Publication Date: 06-2000
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Since 1967, U.S. administrations have varied their policy regarding the status of East Jerusalem. Under the Johnson and Reagan administrations, East Jerusalem was not considered occupied territory, and, consequently, Israeli control of the city in its entirety was implicitly accepted. Johnson emphasized that the international interest lay only with the holy sites of Jerusalem, and Reagan indicated that Jerusalem as a whole should remain under exclusive Israeli administration. In contrast, the Nixon and Bush administrations viewed East Jerusalem as occupied territory, therefore implicitly calling for a reorganization, if not redivision, of the city. The Nixon administration was the first to declare East Jerusalem "occupied" under the provisions of the 1949 Geneva Convention, and Bush went so far as to declare Jewish settlements in East Jerusalem as contrary to international law. The Carter and Clinton administrations were both ambiguous about the status of East Jerusalem.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Diplomacy
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: Nicole Brackman
  • Publication Date: 07-2000
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Among the issues being discussed at Camp David between Israeli prime minister Ehud Barak, Palestinian Authority chairman Yasir Arafat, and President Clinton is one matter that directly affects several other states in the region not represented at the talks, namely, the situation of the Palestinian refugees, especially those in Lebanon, Syria, and Jordan.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Diplomacy
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Arabia, Syria, Jordan
  • Author: Robert Satloff
  • Publication Date: 07-2000
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: There have been at least seven agreements between Israel and the Palestinians in the past seven years. Negotiations with intermittent spurts of violence have been a way of life. Any new agreement will not be about an end to the conflict: The original 1993 agreement specified such an end, with all further disputes to be settled by negotiations alone. What Israeli prime minister Ehud Barak is looking for is an agreement that will put an end to all further claims.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Diplomacy
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: David Makovsky
  • Publication Date: 06-2000
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: U.S. secretary of state Madeleine Albright completed her round of talks with both Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA) today, failing to announce the immediate convening of a U.S. summit. At the end of her discussions, she said she would report to U.S. president Bill Clinton on Thursday, and that he would only then determine whether and when such a summit will take place. But Palestinian officials say the likely format will be further Israeli-Palestinian talks with an aim toward convening a summit at a later date.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Diplomacy
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Arab Countries
  • Author: Reuven Paz
  • Publication Date: 06-2000
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: The Israeli-Palestinian dispute is no longer the main issue on the Islamist agenda. The fall of the Soviet Union in 1990 and the development of national and Muslim-Christian disputes in various parts of Europe and central Asia assisted in the globalization of the Islamist struggle. In addition to the continuing troubles in Afghanistan and Kashmir, the 1990s have seen warfare in Bosnia, Kosovo, Chechnya, and parts of Indonesia (most prominently East Timor). All this brought about a transfer of the main Islamist struggle from the Arab world to the margins of the Middle East. Afghanistan has become the meeting point between the Arab Islamists and their Asian colleagues in the developing globalization of the Islamic radical struggle.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Diplomacy
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Europe, Indonesia, Middle East, Arabia, Kosovo