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  • Author: Haim Ramon
  • Publication Date: 02-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
  • Abstract: Following the last prime ministerial elections held in Israel in February 2001, the Knesset voted to change the electoral system and restore the former system. Instead of separate ballots for prime minister and for political party, in the next nationwide elections, currently scheduled to take place by the fall of 2003, voters will again be given only one ballot — for political party — and the leader of the party that is able to put together a majority coalition in the Knesset will become prime minister.
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel, Arab Countries
  • Author: Manfred Gerstenfeld
  • Publication Date: 11-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
  • Abstract: In Israel, ongoing contingency planning in the military, political, economic, and information fields is particularly essential now, especially in light of the structural global changes that may occur after the September 11th terrorist attack on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Such evaluations are done elsewhere for other reasons, such as by stock market analysts, and for those who draw accurate operating conclusions the rewards are very significant. In politics, it is even more difficult to imagine and rank potential shifts. Those who continually train themselves intellectually, however, may do better than others, both in defining policies and in suggesting rapid reactions to the unforeseen.
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel, Arabia
  • Author: Zeidan Atashi
  • Publication Date: 10-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
  • Abstract: The Israeli Druze community is the only major non-Jewish group in the state whose sons are required to serve in the IDF. Over the past 50 years the community has forged a covenant of blood with the Jewish state, suffering hundreds of casualties while loyally defending the State of Israel.
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel, Arabia
  • Author: Dore Gold
  • Publication Date: 10-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
  • Abstract: After the September 11 terrorist assault on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, many American analysts have been seeking to understand the source of the intense hatred against the United States that could have motivated an act of violence on such an unprecedented scale. In that context, a new canard is beginning to run through repeated news reports and features: that somehow America's support for Israel is behind the fury of militant Islamic movements, like that of Osama bin Laden, towards the United States. Indeed, a Newsweek poll conducted on October 4-5, 2001, found that 58 percent of Americans believe that the U.S. relationship with Israel is "a big reason terrorists attacked the United States."
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: America, Middle East, Israel, Arabia
  • Author: Jeff Helmreich
  • Publication Date: 08-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
  • Abstract: On May 15, 2001, the Associated Press circulated an article covering Arafat's Al-Naqba speech, marking the day Palestinians recall the "catastrophe" of the creation of the State of Israel. The article boasted direct quotations of the Palestinian leader's statements. They had been spoken in Cairo, broadcast on Palestinian radio stations, and blared out from loudspeakers into the streets of Nablus and Ramallah and all across Gaza. But something happened to the speech on the way to AP's wire report. By the time it reached the newspapers, entire sentences and clauses had been excluded; moderating words had been added; fiery attacks — like a slur about the United States — had been cleaned out; statements had been condensed, enhanced, or otherwise altered. In short, AP's purported "excerpts" of Arafat's remarks were at best edited, at worst fabricated. Moreover, they served to distort (and significantly soften) the message that passed through Arafat's lips.
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Israel, Palestine, Arabia, Gaza
  • Author: Saul Singer
  • Publication Date: 08-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
  • Abstract: In the midst of an already crumbling cease-fire, U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell dropped what to Israeli ears was a bombshell. Standing next to Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat after their June 2001 meeting in Ramallah, Powell said, "I think as we get into the confidence-building phase there will be a need for monitors and observers to...make an independent observation of what has happened." Within hours, Powell punctured his own trial balloon by ruling out any mechanism opposed by Israel. Less than one month later, the observer issue was once again thrust to the fore when the G-8 foreign ministers unanimously called for dispatching "third-party monitors" to the region, as long as they were acceptable to both sides. Why should the seemingly innocuous matter of observers top the Palestinian agenda and be such an anathema to Israel?
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel, Palestine, Arabia
  • Author: Gerald M. Steinberg
  • Publication Date: 07-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
  • Abstract: The wave of Palestinian violence and terrorism that began at the end of September 2000 led to a widespread tendency to focus exclusively on Israeli-Palestinian political and security relationships. This narrow concentration of attention is potentially misleading and obscures the fundamental security threats that Israel is facing at the beginning of the twenty-first century. These threats come primarily from the wider Middle Eastern environment, extending from Libya and Egypt (and to a lesser degree, North Africa) to Iraq and Iran. Indeed, the Palestinian strategy is based, to a large degree, on widening the circle of conflict through escalation and regionalizing the confrontation. As a result, the importance of strategic deterrence, in response to revived coalitions and new military capabilities that threaten Israeli security, should be a basic factor in Israeli planning.
  • Topic: Security, Environment, Religion
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel, Libya, Arabia, Egypt
  • Author: Saul Singer
  • Publication Date: 06-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
  • Abstract: At present, there are no substantive Arab-Israeli peace negotiations underway. Israel has had to contend with the ongoing armed offensive launched by the Palestinians in late September 2000 after the failure of the Camp David summit. Meanwhile, Israel and the Palestinians will only return to the negotiating table after a ceasefire, a meaningful cooling-off period, and confidence-building measures, in accordance with the Mitchell Committee Report. Syria, under Bashar Assad, has given evidence of assuming a harder line, making an early resumption of Syrian-Israeli negotiations unlikely.
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel, Palestine, Syria
  • Author: Raphael Israeli
  • Publication Date: 06-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
  • Abstract: Since the Al-Aqsa Intifada erupted in the Middle East in late September 2000, an almost simultaneous wave of violent anti-Jewish and anti-Israel sentiment has accompanied it in the Western democracies, initiated and executed mainly by locally nationalized Arab or Muslim immigrants, long established or recent arrivals, legal or illegal. Due to the ubiquity in space, synchronicity in time, and similarity in style and content of these events, one wonders whether they were all triggered and managed centrally, or spread by emulation from one part of the globe to another.
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel, Arabia
  • Author: Dore Gold
  • Publication Date: 05-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
  • Abstract: Israel has been increasingly facing new diplomatic initiatives that, in effect, call for a freeze in Israeli settlement activity in exchange for a cessation of the eight-month-old, low-scale warfare on the part of the PLO, which the Palestinians call the Al-Aqsa Intifada. This new linkage has arisen in two distinct forms. First, according to early versions of the Egyptian-Jordanian Initiative of April 2001, the Palestinians are called upon to end incitement to violence and guarantee security cooperation, but Israel is expected, inter alia, to freeze new settlement activity.
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel, Arabia, Egypt