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  • Author: Oren Kessler
  • Publication Date: 06-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Journal of International Security Affairs
  • Institution: Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs
  • Abstract: TEL AVIV–“Better the devil you know than the one you don't.” It's a 500-year old Irish proverb, but to Mideast policy wonks the phrase is instantly identifiable as Israel's decades-long policy toward its nettlesome neighbor Syria. Nearly four decades have passed since the Yom Kippur War, the last conventional conflict between the two states. During that time, Syrian Presidents Hafez and later Bashar Assad kept their frontier with Israel largely quiet, continuing the fight against it via their proxies Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in the Palestinian territories. In Israel's never-ending search for regional stability—and amid uncertainty over who might replace the Assads—that arrangement seemed good enough. When in 2005 President George W. Bush asked Ariel Sharon his thoughts about toppling Assad, the Israeli premier responded with a question of his own: “Are you crazy?” Likewise, when Syrians first rose up against their regime last spring, Israeli officials remained cagey. Asked last March for comment, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu replied laconically, “Any answer I'll give you wouldn't be a good one.” Shlomo Brom, a former head of IDF strategic planning and an Israeli negotiator with Syria in the 1990s, described Bashar Assad as a “known quantity,” while veteran diplomat Dore Gold urged caution given the volatility caused by anti-government dissent spreading “from the Turkish border down to the Suez Canal.”
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: Israel, Lebanon, Syria
  • Author: Mark Dubowitz
  • Publication Date: 10-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Journal of International Security Affairs
  • Institution: Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs
  • Abstract: No abstract is available.
  • Topic: Government, War
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Europe, Israel
  • Author: Caroline B. Glick
  • Publication Date: 09-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Journal of International Security Affairs
  • Institution: Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs
  • Abstract: Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's July 30, 2008, announcement of his intention to resign from office and the recent upsurge in internecine violence between Hamas and Fatah operatives in Gaza has thrown a monkey wrench in the Bush administration's goal of seeing Israel and the Fatah-led Palestinian Authority sign a peace treaty laying out the borders and powers of a Palestinian state by the end of 2008. But even in the unlikely event that such an agreement is reached, far from stabilizing Israel's relationship with the Palestinians, it will likely have either no impact on the Palestinian conflict with Israel, or a profoundly negative one.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: Israel, Palestine, Gaza