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  • Author: Halle Malmvig
  • Publication Date: 12-2016
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: Senior researcher Helle Malmvig explores Israels’s Syria agenda as part of a DIIS initiative to understand the geopolitics of nonwestern intervention in Syria. Israel’s activities in Syria have not drawn much attention due to Israel’s official policy of neutrality. Yet, over the last couple of years, Israel has stepped up its operations in Syria, targeting Iranian and Hezbollah assets and providing quiet assistance to the rebels.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Security
  • Political Geography: Israel, Syria
  • Author: Hugh Lovatt
  • Publication Date: 10-2016
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: European Council On Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: The adoption and streamlining of differentiation measures represents a unique and effective European contribution towards Israeli-Palestinian peace at a time in which the Middle East Peace Process in its current configuration has failed. Differentiation disincentives Israel’s illegal acquisition of territory and re-affirms the territorial basis of a two-state solution. It also feeds an Israeli debate over national priorities by framing the negative consequences that Israel will face in its bilateral relations if it continues its annexation of Palestinian territory. Despite Israeli efforts to erode consensus within the EU, differentiation continues to receive broad support among member states. EU officials must allow the correct, full, and effective implementation of existing legislation and policy positions relating to Israeli settlements European entities engaging in financial activity with Israeli settlements – even indirectly – could face serious legal, financial and reputational risks. The EU and its member states should offer more advice on the consequences of doing business with settlement-related entities.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Europe, Israel
  • Author: Christian Koch
  • Publication Date: 07-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Geneva Centre for Security Policy
  • Abstract: The breakdown of state structures and the wider regional political order has resulted in a complex tapestry of conflict throughout the Middle East that is likely to produce a continued period of volatility and violence for several years to come. This is because there are numerous dynamics at play that are competing with one another across various levels. Within these dynamics, religion as a mobilizing factor which, alongside sectarianism has emerged as a primary driving force for many of the ongoing conflicts. In addition, the deep crisis of the nation-state has released different dichotomies resulting in overlapping lines of confrontation that seem to be exploding all at once. The situation is exacerbated by the diminished leverage of global players on regional forces and regional players over national ones, thus significantly complicating the search for solutions.
  • Topic: International Relations, Politics
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel, North Africa
  • Author: Robert Satloff
  • Publication Date: 03-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: In less than forty-eight hours, U.S.-Israel relations went from "unbreakable," according to Vice President Joe Biden, to "perilous," as ascribed to an "unnamed senior U.S. official." This drastic mood swing risks overshadowing the great achievement of the vice president's Middle East trip -- the affirmation for Israelis (as well as those Arabs and Iranians following his words) that the Obama administration is "determined to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons."
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Israel
  • Author: Tal Becker, Hussein Ibish
  • Publication Date: 03-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: A great deal of misinformation and disinformation surrounds Israel's desire to be recognized as a Jewish state. In practice, the concept refers to acknowledgment of the Jewish people's right to self-determination in the land of Israel, also known as Zionism. The land does not necessarily encompass what many call "Greater Israel," which includes the West Bank, or deny the right to self-determination of neighboring Palestinians, who deserve a state of their own. The issue of Israel's recognition as a Jewish state has grown in prominence in the last year as Israeli prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu has made it a point of emphasis.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel
  • Author: Allis Radosh, Ronald Radosh
  • Publication Date: 05-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: When Harry Truman became president in April 1945, he had not thought deeply about the exact form a Jewish national home in historic Palestine would or should take. Following his landmark decision to recognize the state of Israel in May 1948, he would suggest that his support for such a development had been unwavering, and that his decisions had come easily. Yet the record shows otherwise. Between Truman's first days as president and Israel's formation, his approach to the idea of a Jewish state evolved significantly, at times seeming to change in response to the last person with whom he met. Although he ultimately made the historic decision, a Jewish state had never been, in his mind, a foregone conclusion.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: United States, New York, Middle East, Israel
  • Author: David Makovsky
  • Publication Date: 05-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: U.S. special envoy for Middle East peace George Mitchell is currently in Jerusalem amid wide expectation that on Saturday the Palestinians will approve proximity talks with Israel. For its part, Israel has already agreed to the talks.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Israel
  • Author: Ash Jain
  • Publication Date: 07-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Four years ago this week, Israel launched a military campaign in Lebanon in retaliation for a brazen Hizballah attack on its soldiers. The goal, according to an Israeli official, was "to put Hizballah out of business." But neither war nor subsequent U.S. diplomatic efforts aimed at weakening the group have succeeded, and some in the Obama administration now appear to view direct engagement as an option worth exploring. Reaching out to Hizballah, however, at a time when it is politically and military emboldened, would be an exercise in futility that could prove counterproductive.
  • Topic: International Relations, Diplomacy, Terrorism, War
  • Political Geography: United States, Israel, Lebanon
  • Author: Mohammad Yaghi, David Schenker
  • Publication Date: 01-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: The Israeli military campaign in Gaza has exacerbated the already strained relationship between Hamas and Egypt, and threatens to further undermine their ties. Under increasing stress from Israeli air operations over the past week, Hamas has been pressing Egypt to open the Rafah Crossing to provide sanctuary to ordinary Gazans and the organization's targeted leadership. Instead of helping Hamas, however, Cairo -- which views its own Islamists with increasing concern -- seems more interested in weakening the organization. Although the relationship appears poised for a breakdown, Hamas, with only Israel and Egypt on its borders, will continue to depend heavily on Cairo if it hopes to remain in power in Gaza.
  • Topic: International Relations, Insurgency, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: Israel, Gaza, Egypt
  • Author: Kim Beng Phar
  • Publication Date: 11-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: To fulfill Turkey's mission as a ʺcivilizational connectorʺ between Europe and Asia, Turkey must be a full member of the East Asian Summit. The path towards this goal, among others, requires Turkey to be a Dialogue Partner of ASEAN. Once ASEAN sponsors Turkey's membership in East Asian Summit, Turkey would then be strategically positioned to be a key member with some of the world's most monumental economic and political powers in its midst. Indeed, if Turkey is a member of East Asian Summit, ideally by 2010, Turkey would be in a better position to realize its strategic, civilizational, and historical depth.
  • Topic: International Relations, Development, International Organization
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey, Middle East, Israel, East Asia
  • Publication Date: 11-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: The process that will be launched shortly at Annapolis may not quite be do-or-die for the Israeli-Palestinian peace process but at the very least it is do-or-barely-survive. Positively, a U.S. administration that neglected Middle East peacemaking since taking office appears committed to an intensive effort: it has persuaded both sides to agree to negotiate final status issues – no mean feat after years of diplomatic paralysis and violent conflict. But pitfalls are equally impressive. The meeting, like the process it aims to spawn, occurs in a highly politicised context, with sharp divisions in the Palestinian and Israeli camps. These will make it hard to reach agreement and to sell it to both constituencies and, for the foreseeable future, virtually impossible to implement. Moreover, failure of the negotiations could discredit both leaderships, while further undermining faith in diplomacy and the twostate solution.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, International Relations
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Israel, Palestine, Arab Countries
  • Author: Robert Satloff
  • Publication Date: 02-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: The Fatah-Hamas unity agreement reached in Mecca last week has powerful implications for all regional players. The most serious challenge it poses is to U.S. diplomacy.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: United States, Iran, Middle East, Israel, Arabia, Mecca
  • Author: Nathan J. Brown
  • Publication Date: 05-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: By electing a parliament dominated by Hamas, Palestinians have sharply challenged U.S. policy. The initial American reaction—undermining the new government—will leave the population in chaos, with various Palestinian groups vying for influence. Political constraints preclude anything but a Hamas government in the short term. But the Hamas victory should not be viewed as a defeat for the American vision of reform—which, indeed, may offer a path out of the current deadlock. The United States should develop a policy for the longer term to continue calming the Israeli- Palestinian conflict; maintain the Palestinian Authority; and work for political reform by focusing on the judiciary, media, and other institutions that are independent of the current regime.
  • Topic: International Relations, Democratization, Government
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Middle East, Israel, Palestine
  • Publication Date: 07-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: The Middle East is immersed in its worst crisis in years following the capture of three Israeli soldiers by the Palestinian Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) and Lebanese Party of God (Hizbollah) in late June 2006 and early July, Israel's comprehensive offensive throughout the Gaza Strip and Lebanon, and the daily firing of rockets deep into Israel. And horrific as it is, the current toll of death and destruction could reach entirely different proportions should a new threshold be crossed – a Hizbollah rocket that strikes a chemical plant or a heavily populated area in Tel Aviv or Haifa, an Israeli bombing raid resulting in massive casualties, a major ground offensive, or the expansion of the war to Syria or Iran. A political solution to the twin crises of Lebanon and Palestine must be the international community's urgent priority. Waiting and hoping for military action to achieve its purported goals will have not only devastating humanitarian consequences: it will make it much harder to pick up the political pieces when the guns fall silent.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Politics
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel, Palestine, Lebanon
  • Author: Dan Blumenthal, Gary J. Schmitt
  • Publication Date: 10-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: The recent election of Shinzo Abe to the premiership of Japan has raised a host of issues about the direction in which Japan is headed. Conventional wisdom holds that Abe will lead the country in an increasingly nationalistic course, but Abe's nationalism is democratic, and one that should be welcomed by the United States.
  • Topic: International Relations, Nationalism, Politics
  • Political Geography: United States, Japan, Israel
  • Author: Joshua Muravchik
  • Publication Date: 07-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: No sooner had Israel raised its hand in self- defense when Finland, speaking as the rotating president of the European Union, denounced it for “the disproportionate use of force.” This position, echoed by France, Spain, the United Nations, and others, is wrong legally, morally, and strategically. From a legal standpoint, Israel is the victim of multiple unprovoked aggressions. It withdrew entirely from Lebanon in 2000 and from Gaza in 2005. (Both of these occupations had come about as acts of self-defense: the former against rocket fire from Lebanon in 1982, and the latter against a war of annihilation declared by Egypt in 1967.) From the time of its withdrawal from Gaza, not a single day had passed without rockets being fired into Israel. Now from the north as well as the south, Israel finds hundreds of rockets being fired across its border. Even if these were aimed at military installations, it would be a clear-cut act of war. To make it worse, these rockets are aimed randomly at cities and other civilian population centers, making them not only acts of war but war crime.
  • Topic: International Relations, Defense Policy
  • Political Geography: Europe, Middle East, Israel, Finland, France, Gaza, Spain, Lebanon, Egypt
  • Author: Michael Rubin
  • Publication Date: 07-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: After Hamas kidnapped nineteen-year-old Corporal Gilad Shalit on June 25, Israeli forces launched an assault on Gaza to win his release. Arab condemnation was swift. Saudi Arabia's pro- government al-Jazira daily called Israel “a society of terrorists.” Egypt's state-controlled al-Gumhuriyah condemned Israel's “heinous crimes” in Gaza. Following a July 8 meeting in Tehran, foreign ministers from countries neighboring Iraq denounced the “brutal Israeli attacks.”
  • Topic: International Relations, Government
  • Political Geography: Iran, Middle East, Israel, Tehran, Gaza, Arab Countries, Saudi Arabia, Egypt
  • Author: Michael Rubin
  • Publication Date: 07-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: As fighting continues between Israel and Hezbollah, both the British government and the United Nations have called for the dispatch of an international peacekeeping mission to southern Lebanon. “The only way we are going to have a cessation of violence is if we have an international force deployed,” British prime minister Tony Blair said recently. UN Secretary General Kofi Annan added that such a force is “essential.” But with its long and troubled history in the region, the idea of sending a peacekeeping force should be dead on arrival.
  • Topic: International Relations, Peace Studies, United Nations
  • Political Geography: United Kingdom, Middle East, Israel, Lebanon
  • Author: Seth Wikas
  • Publication Date: 11-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: The first annual International Media Forum on the Golan Heights, held November 5-7, 2006, in the city of Quneitra on the Syria-Israel border, highlighted Syria's stated desire for the return of the entire Golan. The forum's backdrop was a litany of controversial statements made by Syrian president Bashar al-Asad about his next moves in relation to Israel.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, International Relations, Security
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel, Syria
  • Author: Christopher Hamilton, Dvorah Chen
  • Publication Date: 11-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Israel's summer war with Hizballah has again raised legal questions about the imprisonment of terrorists in Israel. From its founding, the state of Israel has been forced to confront belligerent activities by hostile states and organizations seeking to destroy it. The struggle against Palestinian terrorism has taken an enormous toll over the course of the second intifada, during which time more than one thousand Israelis have been killed and thousands more wounded. Enemy combatants are imprisoned in order to prevent them from causing further destruction. Therefore, terrorist detentions play a central role in the struggle to prevent terrorist activities, and the legal issues surrounding these detentions pose crucial concerns for the entire international community. There are two major processes for the prosecution of terrorist detainees in Israel: (1) through the normal civilian criminal track based on penal legislation, and (2) through special administrative measures under the minister of defense.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: America, Middle East, Israel
  • Author: Ehud Yaari
  • Publication Date: 10-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: The governments on both of our “hot” fronts, Lebanon and the Palestinian Authority, are on the verge of change, with practical, immediate implications for Israel—and unfortunately, not positive ones. Rather, the storm clouds continue to gather on the strategic horizon.
  • Topic: International Relations, Development, Government, War
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel, Gaza
  • Author: Robert Satloff, Akbar Ahmed, Gregg Rickman
  • Publication Date: 10-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Of all the forms of anti-Semitism in Arab societies, Holocaust denial is one of the most pernicious and widespread. Generally it takes one of three forms: outright denial, Holocaust glorification, and Holocaust minimization or trivialization. One does no favor to Arabs by exempting them from this history, whatever its connection to their political dispute with Israel. And because jihadists' conspiracy theories target a coalition of “Crusaders and Jews,” exempting Arabs from Holocaust history certainly does America no favor either.
  • Topic: International Relations, Genocide, Religion
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, America, Israel
  • Author: Christopher Hamilton, Barak Ben-Zur
  • Publication Date: 09-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: As part of the international effort to ensure that the cessation of hostilities between Lebanon and Israel can become a sustainable ceasefire, much attention has been paid to blocking arms shipments to Hizballah, as called for in UN Security Council Resolution 1701. But another threat to peace in the region is Hizballah's potent terrorist wing. Arguably its most dangerous offensive weapon, Hizballah's terrorist wing was active throughout this recent conflict.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, International Relations, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel
  • Author: David Schenker, Michael Eisenstadt
  • Publication Date: 08-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Recent developments related to the war in Lebanon—a warning from Damascus that Israeli forces in Lebanon should keep away from the Syrian border, the placement of Syrian forces on a heightened state of alert, the explosion of a crude improvised explosive device (IED) on the Syrian side of the Golan, President Bashar al-Asad's bellicose August 1 Army Day speech, Syrian facilitation of Iranian efforts to resupply Hizballah, and Israeli attempts to interdict these supply lines through air strikes along the Lebanon-Syria border—have prompted concerns that the fighting in Lebanon could escalate to involve Syria. Warnings from Damascus that an international stabilization force for Lebanon would be seen as an army of occupation, and therefore a legitimate target of resistance, have likewise raised the possibility that Syria might sponsor or support attacks on such a force, as it sponsored attacks against the Multi-National Force (MNF) in Beirut in 19821984.
  • Topic: International Relations, Development, War
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel, Lebanon, Syria
  • Author: Robert Rabil
  • Publication Date: 08-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: As Lebanon plunges deeper into ruin and chaos as a result of Hizballah's “gang war” tactics against Israel's expanded military campaign to degrade the power of the Islamist party, Hizballah, Syria, and its allies in Lebanon are devising plans to subvert an international agreement on a multinational force to guard the Israel-Lebanon border. They are also preparing for a political comeback in a postconflict Lebanon by riding the wave of the victory Hizballah is sure to claim whatever the outcome—a supposed triumph that in reality will be at best a Pyrrhic victory.
  • Topic: International Relations, Treaties and Agreements, War
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel, Lebanon, Syria
  • Author: Robert Rabil
  • Publication Date: 08-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: With the ongoing clashes between Israel and Hizballah raging without respite and Lebanon sustaining significant human and material losses, the sociopolitical scene in Beirut is bursting with both centrifugal and centripetal forces. While these forces threaten the country with implosion, they are sparking a national debate on Lebanese national identity that may prevent Lebanon from disintegrating as a sovereign state. While many Western observers see the civilian deaths in Qana as galvanizing Lebanese support for Hizballah, national solidarity against Israeli attacks should not be mistaken for a widespread embrace of Hizballah.
  • Topic: International Relations, Religion, War
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel, Lebanon
  • Author: Jeffrey White
  • Publication Date: 07-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: The critical question of whether or not the current conflict in Lebanon will escalate to a broader regional war is being answered in two overly simple ways. One such analysis is that this is a “meltdown” with escalating violence and mounting pressures for further escalation. A second, equally simplistic view is that since no one has an interest in escalating to a regional conflict it will not happen. Both of these views do not account for the complex set of dynamics and the real possibility that accident and error can intervene.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, International Relations, War
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel, Lebanon
  • Author: Christopher Hamilton, Barak Ben-Zur
  • Publication Date: 07-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: In a July 17 article in Kayhan, a newspaper sponsored by Iran's supreme leader, editor Hossein Shariatmadari wrote, “The Muslim nations should not let the engagement [with Israel] remain in its limited regional boundaries. The Zionists are scatted in many parts of the world and their identification is not that difficult. . . . Everywhere in the world must be made insecure for the Zionists.” Even without this exhortation from Iran, there is a real possibility that the conflict could expand beyond the borders of Lebanon and Israel. History has shown that Iran and Hizballah together have significant capabilities to conduct violent terrorist attacks anywhere in the world.
  • Topic: International Relations, War
  • Political Geography: Iran, Middle East, Israel, Lebanon
  • Author: David Makovsky, Dennis Ross, Moshe Yaalon
  • Publication Date: 07-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: On July 10, 2006, Lt. Gen. (ret.) Moshe Yaalon, David Makovsky and Dennis Ross addressed The Washington Institute's Special Policy Forum. General Yaalon, a distinguished military fellow at the Institute, is the former Israel Defense Forces (IDF) chief of staff. Mr. Makovsky, senior fellow and director of The Washington Institute's Project on the Middle East Peace Process, is author of the Institute monograph Engagement through Disengagement: Gaza and the Potential for Israeli-Palestinian Peacemaking. Ambassador Ross, the Institute's counselor and Ziegler distinguished fellow, is a former U.S. Middle East peace envoy and author of The Missing Peace: The Inside Story of the Fight for Middle East Peace. The following is a rapporteur's summary of their remarks.
  • Topic: International Relations, Government, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: United States, Washington, Middle East, Israel, Palestine, Gaza
  • Author: Rana Shaab, Nicholas Ravella, Nathan Hodson, Daniel Fink
  • Publication Date: 07-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: The outbreak of hostilities after Hizballah's July 12 raid into Israel, in which it captured two Israeli soldiers and killed eight others, has elicited a variety of responses from government officials and other prominent figures throughout the Middle East. Though it is not surprising to see harsh statements about Israel, it is unusual to see Arab leaders criticizing Hizballah for its role in precipitating the conflict. The usually cautious Saudi authorities implicitly criticized Hizballah for adventurism; is seems that Riyadh may be wary of Iranian influence. The following is a sampling of Middle Eastern reactions, compiled from various regional and international media sources.
  • Topic: International Relations, Government
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel, Arab Countries, Lebanon
  • Author: Samer Abu Libdeh
  • Publication Date: 07-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Even while Israelis and Palestinians are locked in deepening conflict over the kidnapping of a young Israeli soldier and the future of the Hamas government, political life on the East Bank of the Jordan River is increasingly focused on internal Jordanian concerns.
  • Topic: International Relations, Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel, Palestine, Jordan
  • Author: Christopher Hamilton
  • Publication Date: 06-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Taken together, the kidnapping on Sunday of an Israel Defense Forces (IDF) soldier and the signing on Tuesday of an agreement among Palestinian factions to create a unity government for the Palestinian Authority (PA) suggest that significant seismic forces may be developing within Hamas that may have a decisive impact both on the organization's solidarity and on the future course of Israeli-Palestinian relations. While the unity agreement itself has little significance beyond internal Palestinian politics—it is a nonstarter for the Israelis and represents a major retreat from previous Palestinian positions—its importance lies in the fact that it highlights the possible emergence of a fissure within the Hamas organization between its internal leaders, headed by Palestinian prime minister Ismail Haniyeh, who experience the brunt both of popular concerns and Israeli reprisals, and its external leaders, chief among them Damascus-based Khaled Mashal, who are free of these constraints and therefore able to insist on more maximalist positions. However, in signing this agreement—apparently without full consultation with, or the approval of, the Damascus contingent—the Hamas leaders in the territories have signaled both their independence and their intention to embark on a more pragmatic path than that preferred by Hamas's more ideological external elements. Indeed, the timing and nature of the attack seems to have been specifically intended to disrupt the effort to agree on a unity government with Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas, and thereby, the possible emergence of a more moderate Hamas strategy.
  • Topic: International Relations, Defense Policy, Politics
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel, Palestine
  • Author: Mohammad Yaghi
  • Publication Date: 06-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas's pursuit of a referendum on the Palestinian National Accord has been widely interpreted by commentators and reporters as a power play designed to circumvent the Hamas-led government and force it to implicitly accept Israel's existence. But while the process of conducting a referendum -- the legality of which remains questionable -- would shift power away from the government and the legislature, the actual text of the document, which a group of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails negotiated, more closely resembles the political program of Hamas than that of Abbas. Moreover, Hamas has recovered from its initial surprise at the referendum initiative and has mounted an effective response, first by challenging the legality of a referendum, then by dragging Abbas into negotiations over the substance of the Accord. Despite a possible compromise that may emerge in coming days and shift the composition of the government or modify the language of the Accord, Hamas has used the internal Palestinian debate over a referendum to secure its internal legitimacy and advance many of its governing priorities.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, International Relations, Government
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel, Palestine
  • Author: Efraim Halevy
  • Publication Date: 05-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: In the current global circumstances, the role of intelligence gathering and analysis in policymaking has become increasingly important. As a result, intelligence leaders have ever more influence in the policymaking process. This is particularly the case in Israel, where some of the political leadership's most significant decisions came on the heels of Mossad and Military Intelligence initiatives and assessments.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Politics
  • Political Geography: Washington, Middle East, Israel, Jerusalem
  • Author: Elizabeth Young
  • Publication Date: 03-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: As the international donor community struggles to determine its stance on aid to the Palestinians under the Hamas government, it is important to remember the extent to which the Palestinian economy is dependent upon Israeli decisions. Last year the international community gave the Palestinians $1.4 billion in aid; Israel has the potential to affect at least that sum through its policies on trade, Palestinian workers in Israel, and the tax revenue it collects.
  • Topic: International Relations, Economics, Government
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel, Palestine
  • Author: David Makovsky
  • Publication Date: 03-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: In a surprise move prior to Israel's March 28 election, Acting Prime Minister Ehud Olmert unveiled a proposal that Israeli settlers be consolidated into West Bank settlement blocs largely adjacent to the Green Line. A week after the announcement, Israeli public reaction suggests his gamble seems to have paid off. According to a Yediot Ahronot poll released on March 17, Israelis favor Olmert's unilateralist proposal by a margin of 52 percent to 45 percent. Moreover, Olmert's poll standing was not negatively impacted by the proposal, despite the fact that it could mean the removal of an estimated 60,000 settlers from dozens of settlements scattered across the larger part of the West Bank outside Israel's security barrier. (Inside the Israeli security barrier, there are approximately 193,000 settlers, mostly in blocs, in the 8 percent of the West Bank largely adjacent to the pre-1967 boundaries. By comparison, President Clinton's final proposal in 2000 involved Israel keeping 5 percent of the land.) An Olmert security advisor and former Shin Bet head, Avi Dichter, says the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) will not be withdrawn from the West Bank. Olmert was able to use his commanding lead to answer critics who say that the new party leader lacks Ariel Sharon's track record and therefore the authority to ask the public to trust his decisions. In the March 17 poll, Olmert's Kadima stood to win 39 seats in the 120-seat Knesset; Labor was polling at 19 seats and Likud, 15 seats. Olmert's standing was undoubtedly assisted by Israel's March 15 operation to seize from a Jericho prison the assassins of Israeli cabinet minister Rehavam Zeevi. Olmert hopes the operation will burnish his security credentials and undercut Netanyahu's argument that he is uniquely tough enough to challenge Hamas. (Olmert needs to be concerned about the 22 percent of Israelis who are undecided—the equivalent of twenty-five Knesset seats.)
  • Topic: International Relations, Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel
  • Author: David Makovsky, Patrick Clawson, Marc Otte
  • Publication Date: 03-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: On March 3, 2006, Marc Otte, Patrick Clawson, and David Makovsky addressed The Washington Institute's Special Policy Forum. Ambassador Otte is the European Union's special representative for the Middle East peace process. Dr. Clawson, The Washington Institute's deputy director for research, is author with Zoe Danon Gedal of the Institute monograph Dollars and Diplomacy: The Impact of U.S. Economic Initiatives on Arab-Israeli Negotiations. Mr. Makovsky is a senior fellow and director of the Project on the Middle East Peace Process at The Washington Institute. The following is a rapporteur's summary of their remarks.
  • Topic: International Relations, Politics
  • Political Geography: United States, Washington, Middle East, Israel, Arabia
  • Author: David Makovsky, Michael Herzog, Elizabeth Young
  • Publication Date: 03-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: In the immediate aftermath of Hamas's parliamentary victory in late January, the Quartet—the United States, the EU, Russia, and the UN—set clear criteria for funding a Palestinian Authority (PA) under Hamas's leadership. The Quartet said direct funding would be a function of the new government's “commitment to the principles of nonviolence, recognition of Israel, and acceptance of previous agreements and obligations, including the Roadmap.” Indeed, there is no other example of taxpayers subsidizing a government run by an organization that appears on State Department and EU terror lists.
  • Topic: International Relations, Economics, Humanitarian Aid
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Middle East, Israel, Palestine
  • Author: Soner Cagaptay
  • Publication Date: 02-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Khalid Mishal, a Hamas leader currently residing in Damascus, visited Ankara today. Despite fierce debate in the Turkish press and objections from the secular-minded foreign policy elite, Mishal's visit went ahead with backing from Turkish prime minister Tayyip Erdogan and his Justice and Development Party (AKP) government. From the American perspective, the visit is important for three reasons. First, it could potentially hurt Turkey's longstanding role as an honest broker between the Israelis and the Palestinians. Second, it serves as yet another foreign policy breech between Turkey and the West. Third, the visit is a telltale sign of the AKP's policy of “strategic depth” toward the Middle East, a policy that Washington needs to understand given U.S. objectives in Iraq, Syria, and Iran.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Politics
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Iran, Turkey, Middle East, Israel, Palestine, Syria
  • Author: Emily Hunt
  • Publication Date: 02-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: As Israelis assess the implications of Hamas's victory in January elections to the Palestinian Legislative Council, a new threat may be developing in Lebanon. Al-Qaeda–linked terrorists have been present in Lebanon for a decade, but recent statements by Ayman al-Zawahiri and Abu Musab al-Zarqawi suggest that the dual objectives of destabilizing Arab regimes and targeting Israel proper are becoming top al-Qaeda priorities. Al-Zarqawi–linked terrorists in Lebanon have already engaged in low-level targeting of Israeli and Lebanese interests, yet several obstacles may hinder their ability to launch significant attacks in or from Lebanon. The Lebanese government, although weak, has a clear interest in preventing both internally and externally directed al-Qaeda activity. The dynamic among Hizballah, the Palestinians, and al-Qaeda remains more ambiguous, but early signs suggest potential antagonism among the groups. Together, Israel and the United States may be able to help Lebanon contain this emerging threat.
  • Topic: International Relations, Government, Regional Cooperation
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Israel, Lebanon
  • Author: Ben Fishman, Mohammed Yaghi
  • Publication Date: 01-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: With just over two weeks left before January 25 Palestinian legislative elections, the mainstream Fatah movement remains bitterly divided, with some of its key factions advocating the postponement of elections and others demanding that voting be held as scheduled. Having publicly aired its internal problems over the last weeks rather than developing a clear campaign message, Fatah is unlikely to win more than 40 percent of the seats in the next Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC). Even though the question of Israel allowing voting in East Jerusalem now seems resolved, it remains to be seen whether elections will take place. If they do proceed, Fatah is certain to lose its monopoly on the Palestinian Authority and will require a coalition to form the next government.
  • Topic: International Relations, Development, Politics
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel, Palestine, Jerusalem
  • Author: Stephen Zunes
  • Publication Date: 11-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Foreign Policy In Focus
  • Abstract: The election of a Democratic majority in the House and Senate is unlikely to result in any serious challenge to the Bush administration's support for Israeli attacks against the civilian populations of its Arab neighbors and the Israeli government's ongoing violations of international humanitarian law.
  • Topic: International Relations, Democratization, Humanitarian Aid, Politics
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel, Arabia
  • Author: Michael Swaine, Minxin Pei
  • Publication Date: 11-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: The rapid deterioration in Sino-Japanese relations in recent years has raised geopolitical tensions in East Asia and could embroil China and Japan in a dangerous strategic conflict that could be threatening to U.S. interests. China's rise, Japan's growing assertiveness in foreign policy, and new security threats and uncertainties in Asia are driving the two countries increasingly further apart. Political pandering to nationalist sentiments in each country has also contributed to the mismanagement of bilateral ties. But Japan and China are not destined to repeat the past. Their leaders must ease the tensions, restore stability, and pursue a new agenda of cooperation as equals. For its part, the United States must play a more positive and active role.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, International Relations
  • Political Geography: United States, Japan, China, Israel, East Asia, Asia
  • Author: Anthony Bubalo
  • Publication Date: 05-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Lowy Institute for International Policy
  • Abstract: The current fragile ceasefire between Palestinian militants and Israel has raised hopes of an end to four years of violence. To sustain that ceasefire both Israel and the Palestinian Authority must meet their respective commitments under the "Road Map for Middle bast Peace". For the PA this means preventing terrorist attacks against Israel and undertaking political, legal and security reforms. These reforms are also critical to meeting the Palestinian public's own demands for an end to lawlessness and corruption. Given Australia's expertise in legal and institutional development, the Australian government's commitment to promoting democracy and peace in the Middle bast and its sound relationship with both the PA and the government of Israel, Australia should lend what support it can to the Palestinian effort to establish strong foundations for a stable, prosperous and democratic Palestinian state.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, International Relations, Development
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel, Palestine, Australia
  • Author: John H. Makin
  • Publication Date: 10-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: Japan's stock market, one of the world's strongest this year, is up about 20 percent since spring. It is doing remarkably well for a country whose nominal GDP is still below its 1997 level. By contrast, the U.S. stock market has been drifting lower all year. The S 500 Index is down about 4 percent in the last five months, even more when the highflying energy sector is excluded. This is the case despite U.S. nominal GDP having grown by a cumulative 46 percent since 1997. Clearly, stock markets are looking ahead and seeing a brighter future for Japan than for the United States.
  • Topic: International Relations, Development, Economics
  • Political Geography: United States, Japan, Israel, East Asia
  • Author: David Makovsky
  • Publication Date: 12-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Former Israeli prime minister and recently resigned finance minister Benjamin Netanyahu won the Likud leadership primary on December 19, beating the foreign minister, Silvan Shalom, by a margin of 45 percent to 33 percent. Netanyahu returns to the leadership of Likud, which he vacated after his loss in the 1999 election. Netanyahu's victory comes a day after Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon suffered what his doctors called a mild stroke; he was released from the hospital within forty-eight hours. At seventy-seven, Sharon already shares the record for the oldest Israeli prime minister; David Ben-Gurion was seventy-seven when he resigned in 1963. Sharon turns seventy-eight in February.
  • Topic: International Relations, Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel
  • Author: David Makovsky
  • Publication Date: 10-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas returned to Ramallah from Washington last week having missed a key opportunity to spur President George W. Bush to reengage in the Roadmap. Instead, the October 20 joint press conference at the White House concluded with Bush acknowledging that his presidency may not witness the creation of a Palestinian state by 2008. His administration, Bush said, might merely “lay that foundation so that the process becomes irreversible.” The same administration that two years ago endorsed the Quartet's Roadmap to Israeli-Palestinian peace based upon a detailed schedule of commitments now expresses hesitancy on committing to any “timetable” for the creation of a Palestinian state. Bush administration policy has always had a performance-based rather than a time-based approach, but now it is not putting down any time markers.
  • Topic: International Relations, Government
  • Political Geography: United States, Washington, Middle East, Israel, Palestine
  • Author: Michael Herzog
  • Publication Date: 09-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: The September 1 Egypt-Israel agreement regarding the deployment of new Egyptian forces along the Egyptian border with Gaza (the Agreed Arrangements) represents a shared Israeli-Egyptian interest in preventing the militarization and radicalization of Gaza following Israeli disengagement. For the first time, Israel is relinquishing its control over part of the external perimeter of the Palestinian areas, handing responsibility to a third party. Success or failure will bear important consequences for both Israeli-Egyptian and Israeli-Palestinian relations.
  • Topic: International Relations, Peace Studies, Treaties and Agreements
  • Political Geography: Africa, Israel, Gaza, Egypt
  • Author: Brooke Neuman
  • Publication Date: 09-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: On September 1, 2005, following lengthy negotiations, Egypt and Israel signed the Agreed Arrangements Regarding the Deployment of a Designated Force of Border Guards along the Border in the Rafah Area (the Agreed Arrangements). This agreement was designed to enable Israel to evacuate the Philadelphia corridor, an eight-mile (thirteen-kilometer) military zone along the Gaza-Egypt border, through the deployment of Egyptian border patrol forces to the Egyptian side of the border in order to prevent smuggling into Gaza. In eighty-three clauses, the agreement describes the mission, weaponry, infrastructure, and obligations of the parties.
  • Topic: International Relations, Peace Studies, Treaties and Agreements
  • Political Geography: Africa, Israel, Gaza, Egypt
  • Author: Mohammed Yaghi
  • Publication Date: 09-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Empowering Palestinian Authority (PA) president Mahmoud Abbas and fellow moderates at this critical time may be in the interest of everyone who favors a return to peace negotiations, but Abbas himself faces immense challenges to his authority that make him unlikely to be able to implement significant changes in the four months left before Palestinian legislative elections in January. The weakened position Abbas inherited included limited control over security forces, paralyzing rivalries within the Fatah movement that limit any support for difficult decisions, and an increasingly assertive Hamas that constantly flaunts its ability to act independently. None of these sources of Abbas's weakness is likely to change significantly in the coming months. And, despite Abbas's intentions to establish law and order and begin economic revitalization in Gaza as articulated in a speech delivered on September 13, the chaos exhibited along the border at Rafah and in the old Israeli settlements immediately after the Israeli withdrawal demonstrates just how difficult his task will be.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, International Relations, Peace Studies
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel, Palestine
  • Author: Michael Herzog
  • Publication Date: 09-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: On September 12, the last departing Israeli forces closed the gates of Gaza behind them, followed by a salvo of Palestinian rockets aimed at southern Israel. In the unsettled aftermath of the Israeli disengagement from Gaza and parts of the northern West Bank, only one camp seems clearly to know where it is heading -- the militant Palestinian Islamist groups, led by Hamas. These groups now profess their intention to continue their violent campaign in and from the West Bank. Their strategy, using armed and political capabilities, poses a serious challenge to both Palestinian and Israeli leaderships and may undermine prospects of improved Israeli-Palestinian relations.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, International Relations, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel, Palestine, Gaza
  • Author: David Makovsky, Elizabeth Young
  • Publication Date: 09-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: A key issue in the runup to January's Palestinian parliamentary elections is whether the radical Islamist party Hamas will be allowed to participate and under what conditions. Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon and foreign minister Silvan Shalom have insisted that the group disarm, disavow terror, and end its call for Israel's destruction before it is permitted to run in elections. Palestinian Authority (PA) president Mahmoud Abbas has favored an unconditional acceptance of Hamas's electoral participation, believing that it could coopt Hamas within the Palestinian political fold. However, he said in a Washington Post interview published on September 11, 2005, "A political party plus a militia is unacceptable," but he did not elaborate specific plans that would prevent Hamas from participating in elections as both party and militia.
  • Topic: International Relations, Religion, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: Europe, Washington, Middle East, Israel, Palestine
  • Author: Matthew Levitt, Jamie Chosak
  • Publication Date: 09-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Now that Israel has disengaged from the Gaza Strip and four settlements from the northern West Bank, the international community has a clear interest in doing all it can to see that the post-withdrawal security situation remains stable so that the exit from Gaza leads to further steps along the path laid out in the Quartet's Roadmap to Middle East peace. As former World Bank leader James Wolfensohn, now Washington's special envoy for disengagement, lobbies world leaders to offer significant support for Palestinian development projects, a parallel effort is necessary to create new, transparent public and private social-service organizations unaffiliated with Hamas or other groups engaged in terrorism or political violence.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Humanitarian Aid, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: Washington, Middle East, Israel, Palestine, Gaza
  • Author: Simon Henderson, Soner Cagaptay
  • Publication Date: 09-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: The September 1 meeting in the Turkish city of Istanbul between Israeli foreign minister Silvan Shalom and his Pakistani counterpart, Khurshid Kasuri, was historic. There have been no public official contacts between the two nations since Pakistan was founded in 1947 as a home for Muslims in the Indian subcontinent just a few months before Israel, the Jewish national home, achieved statehood in 1948. The meeting represents a major breakthrough in Jerusalem's efforts to overcome diplomatic isolation and also indicates that Turkey is determined to play a more active role than previously thought.
  • Topic: International Relations, Diplomacy, Peace Studies
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Turkey, Middle East, Israel
  • Author: David Makovsky
  • Publication Date: 09-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Israeli disengagement from Gaza and the northern West Bank settlements has left in its wake three important crises for the religious Zionist movement that spearheaded settlements in Israel. These crises involve the settlers' future relationships with the Israeli public, the Israeli state, and the political secular right. For settlers, these three relationships are now colored by a sense of betrayal, raising the question of whether disengagement will radicalize the ideological settlers.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, International Relations, Religion
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel, Gaza
  • Author: David Makovsky
  • Publication Date: 08-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: An immediate consequence of Israel's disengagement from Gaza was Benjamin Netanyahu's August 7 resignation as finance minister, making a Likud Party leadership challenge between him and Ariel Sharon virtually inevitable. What will be the impact of such a challenge on Sharon's policy in the postdisengagement period? And how would a Netanyahu challenge affect the chances of a split within the Likud—and perhaps a broader realignment of Israeli politics?
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Peace Studies
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel, Gaza
  • Author: David Makovsky, Dennis Ross, Michael Herzog
  • Publication Date: 08-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: On August 4, 2005, Dennis Ross, Brig. Gen. Michael Herzog, and David Makovsky addressed The Washington Institute's Special Policy Forum. Ambassador Ross, the Institute's counselor and Ziegler Distinguished Fellow and former U.S. Middle East peace envoy, has just returned from a month in the region. General Herzog of the Israel Defense Force is a visiting military fellow at The Washington Institute. Formerly the senior military aide to the minister of defense, he was also an Israeli peace negotiator. Mr. Makovsky, senior fellow and the director of the Project on the Middle East Peace Process at The Washington Institute, is author of the Institute monograph Engagement through Disengagement: Gaza and the Potential for Israeli-Palestinian Peacemaking. The following is a rapporteur's summary of their remarks.
  • Topic: International Relations, Peace Studies, Politics
  • Political Geography: United States, Washington, Middle East, Israel, Palestine, Gaza
  • Author: Michael Herzog
  • Publication Date: 07-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's July 22-24 visit to the Israeli-Palestinian scene came amid critical domestic challenges to the Palestinian leadership against the backdrop of imminent Israeli disengagement from the Gaza Strip and parts of the northern West Bank, scheduled to begin August 15. In an unprecedented step, Palestinian Authority (PA) president Mahmoud Abbas recently demonstrated the will to enforce his policy of nonviolence on Hamas and curb the group's efforts to become an alternative armed authority. Given his precarious vacillation between appeasement and enforcement, the international community should encourage Abbas to continue down the latter path and provide him with practical support toward that end.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, International Relations, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel, Palestine, Gaza
  • Author: Dennis Ross
  • Publication Date: 07-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: I have spent the past month in Jerusalem, meeting with Israelis and Palestinians here, in Ramallah, and in Gaza City. In my years of dealing with both sides, I cannot recall a time when emotion in general, and frustration in particular, have so clearly shaped their outlook. Given the death of Yasser Arafat, the emergence of Mahmoud Abbas, and Ariel Sharon's decision to disengage from Gaza, this should be a time of hope and opportunity. Instead, there is less a sense of possibility than of foreboding. It may not yet be too late to use the withdrawal as a platform on which to build a different future. Yet, much of what could have been done to prepare the ground for disengagement has not been done—and that may explain the unease that pervades both sides.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, International Relations, Religion
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Israel, Palestine, Gaza
  • Author: Aviezer Ravitsky
  • Publication Date: 06-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: On June 24, 2005, Aviezer Ravitsky, a professor at Hebrew University of Jerusalem and an expert on religious Zionism, addressed The Washington Institute's Special Policy Forum. The following is a rapporteur's summary of his remarks. The impending Israeli disengagement from the Gaza Strip and four settlements in the northern West Bank threatens the ideological foundations of many settlers. This is particularly true for religious settlers, most of whom view Israeli habitation of the West Bank as the fulfillment of a biblical mandate initiated by the Hebrew patriarchs. The fact that Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, a prime architect of the settlement movement during his tenure as housing minister in the late 1970s, unilaterally proposed the disengagement epitomizes what many settlers see as their abandonment by the political establishment. They fear that Israel will eventually withdraw from most, if not all, of the West Bank. That prospect threatens to undermine the cause of the national-religious camp in Israel, which has championed the settlement movement above all else since Israel assumed control over the territories in 1967.
  • Topic: International Relations, Politics, Religion
  • Political Geography: Washington, Middle East, Israel, Gaza
  • Author: Michael Herzog
  • Publication Date: 06-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: The June 21 meeting between Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon and Palestinian Authority (PA) president Mahmoud Abbas highlighted the widening expectations gap between the two parties. Less than two months before Israel commences its pullout from the Gaza Strip and parts of the northern West Bank, the security situation is worsening, while the PA appears largely unprepared to assume effective security control over these areas. Without an urgent predisengagement "crash program" to improve security, the opportunity afforded by Yasser Arafat's departure from the scene and Israel's departure from Gaza will be lost.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel, Palestine, Gaza
  • Author: Jennifer Amyx
  • Publication Date: 02-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: East-West Center
  • Abstract: Regional financial cooperation in East Asia is proceeding with unprecedented intensity. Latest developments include two Asian Bond Funds, created by the regional central bankers group, and an Asian Bond Markets Initiative launched by the finance ministers of the Association of South East Asian Nations member states plus China, Japan, and South Korea (or ASEAN+3). Some observers continue to attribute such cooperation to sharpened antagonism between East Asia and the West since the Asian financial crisis of 1997–98. But this view overlooks a key internal driver: ChinaÂ's shift to a more proactive stance toward regional cooperation. Far from demonstrating an antagonism toward market-based financial systems, ASEAN+3 members are embracing more liberal rules for economic interaction in their creation of regional bond funds and markets. Financial cooperation in East Asia is today motivated by factors that differ considerably from those observed in the immediate aftermath of the Asian financial crisis—and the implications extend beyond East Asia.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Trade and Finance, Regional Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Israel
  • Author: Anthony DiFilippo
  • Publication Date: 06-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Foreign Policy In Focus
  • Abstract: Deterring attack is usually cited as the main motivation for states to keep or acquire nuclear weapons. Yet today's NPT stalemate involves both security and economic concerns. Nuclear and nonnuclear weapons states alike have associated nuclear-energy-generating capabilities with economic growth. By far the biggest problem that the NPT faces today is that nations have come to see and use it as a self-serving accord.
  • Topic: International Relations, Arms Control and Proliferation, Nuclear Weapons
  • Political Geography: Japan, Israel
  • Author: Stephen Zunes
  • Publication Date: 06-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Foreign Policy In Focus
  • Abstract: Most of the international community and arms control advocates here in the United States have correctly blamed the Bush administration for the failure of the recently-completed review conference of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. In the course of the four-week meeting of representatives of the 188 countries which have signed and ratified the treaty, the United States refused to uphold its previous arms control pledges, blocked consideration of the establishment of a nuclear-free zone in the Middle East, refused to rule out U.S. nuclear attacks against non-nuclear states, and demanded that Iran and North Korea—but not U.S. allies like Israel, Pakistan, and India—be singled out for UN sanctions for their nuclear programs. Thomas Graham, who served as a U.S. envoy to disarmament talks in the Clinton administration noted that the Bush administration's demands resulted in what appears to be "the most acute failure in the treaty's history."
  • Topic: International Relations, Arms Control and Proliferation, Nuclear Weapons, Treaties and Agreements
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, United States, India, Israel, Korea
  • Author: Conn Hallinan
  • Publication Date: 05-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Foreign Policy In Focus
  • Abstract: At first glance, the growing tension between China and Japan seems almost inexplicable. Massive anti-Japanese demonstrations in China over events that took place more than half a century ago? A heated exchange filled with mutual threats over an offshore petroleum field that western oil companies think is not worth exploiting? Has a Shinto shrine and slanted textbooks really driven the two great Asian powers to the edge of a Cold War or worse?
  • Topic: International Relations, War
  • Political Geography: Japan, China, Israel, Asia
  • Author: Wenran Jiang, Willy Lam, David G. Wiencek, Drew Thompson
  • Publication Date: 05-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: China Brief, The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: April marked a small leap forward in China's energy relations with Canada. China National Offshore Oil Corp. (CNOOC) put down $150 million for a one-sixth stake in MEG Energy Corp., an upstart oil sands company. This is China's first major investment in Canada's vast oil sands industry. Two days later, Petro China International Co. Ltd. signed a memorandum of understanding with Canada's giant pipeline company Enbridge Inc., promising cooperation in the $2.5 billion Gateway pipeline from Alberta to the West Coast that may supply China with 200,000 barrels of crude a day once completed. China's large energy corporations are predicting more such deals but at a “much bigger” scale.
  • Topic: International Relations, Government, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: China, Canada, Israel
  • Author: Morris Rossabi, Sergei Blagov, Migeddorj Batchimeg, Alicia Campi, Wang Wei-Fang
  • Publication Date: 05-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: China Brief, The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: Just before the 2005 Tsagaan Sar (or New Year's) celebrations, a Mongolian government official urged his fellow citizens not to buy Chinese gifts for relatives and friends because if they did he estimated that $30 million would enter China's coffer.
  • Topic: International Relations, Government, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: China, Eurasia, Israel
  • Author: You Ji, Willy Lam, Tarique Niazi, John C.k. Daly
  • Publication Date: 04-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: China Brief, The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: It is not surprising that President Hu Jintao and his colleagues decided in mid-April to cool down anti-Japanese protests: a body blow has been dealt to China's reputation as a responsible member of the global community. The fact that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) administration was close to losing control over xenophobic crowds has again alerted Beijing to the reality that nationalism is a double-edged sword. There are also signs that CCP factions not allied with Hu and his sidekick, Premier Wen Jiabao, have used the worsening crisis with Japan to fault the way that the Hu-Wen team has conducted its foreign policy.
  • Topic: International Relations, Government, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: China, Israel
  • Author: Mohan Malik, Frank Ching, Willy Lam, William R. Hawkins
  • Publication Date: 04-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: China Brief, The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: One of Beijing's worst nightmares seems to be coming true. Having apparently steadied the course in the Middle East, the Bush administration is turning to Asia to tame its long-standing “strategic competitor.” While this particular term has been shelved since 9/11 – and Sino-U.S. relations have improved thanks to China's cooperation with Washington's global anti-terrorist campaign – there are signs at least from Beijing's perspective that Washington is spearheading multi-pronged tactics to contain the fast-rising Asian giant.
  • Topic: International Relations, Government, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: China, Israel, Asia
  • Author: Frank Ching, Eugene Kogan, Willy Lam, Richard A. Bitzinger
  • Publication Date: 03-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: China Brief, The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: The saga of Hong Kong Chief Executive Tung Chee-hwa's fall from grace has highlighted Beijing's tightening grip over the Special Administrative Region (SAR), as well as the dicey future of the “one country, two systems” model. While Tung indicated last Thursday that he had submitted his resignation to Beijing earlier that day because of failing health, news about his impending departure had already been splashed across the Hong Kong papers on March 2
  • Topic: International Relations, Government, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: China, Israel
  • Author: Willy Lam, Arnold Zeitlin, Mikyoung Kim, Ahmad Lutfi
  • Publication Date: 03-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: China Brief, The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: The likelihood of Beijing putting more pressure on Pyongyang regarding the nuclear issue has decreased given Hu Jintao's perception that a plethora of “anti-China” actions have been emanating from the Bush administration. This has increased the possibility of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) flaunting the North Korean card against America's so-called containment policy against China – as well as Washington's harder line on Iran
  • Topic: International Relations, Government, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: China, Israel
  • Author: You Ji, Bernard D. Cole, Tarique Niazi, Tai Ming Cheung
  • Publication Date: 02-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: China Brief, The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: As a maritime power, China's naval developments remain an issue of intense interest for Western policymakers as its meteoric economic development paves the way for China's transformation as a major global power. In light of Beijing's quest to secure energy resources, its extensive maritime seaboard, and unresolved territorial disputes, Chinese naval interests deserve continued attention. Undoubtedly, the People's Liberation Army Navy's (PLAN) ability to adequately defend China's sea lines of communication (SLOCs) will be critical to protecting its overseas interests. Jamestown is proud to present this special issue of China Brief on Chinese naval developments and maritime strategy.
  • Topic: International Relations, Government, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: China, Israel
  • Author: Wenran Jiang, Willy Lam, William R. Hawkins, Anthony Smith
  • Publication Date: 02-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: China Brief, The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: If one theme characterizes Thailand's foreign policy, it is the ability to take advantage of the rivalries of larger powers. Skillfully avoiding occupation during various colonial enterprises, Thai foreign policy has cleverly sensed the prevailing winds and adapted accordingly. Thailand's close relationship with China – arguably one of the closest in Southeast Asia – sits alongside an alliance relationship with the United States. But the re-emergence of substantial independence sentiment in Thailand's southern provinces has now put Thai diplomacy to the test. Although there is no direct link, in a sense Thailand's separatist problem parallels China's own difficulties in Xinjiang. Thailand's latest challenge, this time domestic, finds that country sharing something of a similar strategic outlook to China.
  • Topic: International Relations, Government, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: China, Israel
  • Author: Eric Hagt, Willy Lam, Drew Thompson, Gill Bates, Daniel C. Lynch, Chen Yali
  • Publication Date: 01-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: China Brief, The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: The good news about the Taiwan Legislative Yuan elections last month, from the perspective of Beijing, Washington, and at least half of the Taiwan electorate, is that nothing will happen. Chen Shui-bian and his pan-green coalition remained a legislative minority, meaning a radical push ahead for more sovereignty – and the instabilities that might bring for cross-Strait relations – does not appear in the cards for now.
  • Topic: International Relations, Government, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: China, Israel
  • Author: Matthew Oresman, Drew Thompson, John C.k. Daly, Harvey Stockwin
  • Publication Date: 12-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: China Brief, The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: While much of the world is fixated on China's booming economic growth and its ravenous appetite for energy, untidy diplomatic loose ends in the form of territorial disputes with neighbors have many of the countries bordering the Asian giant nervous. Though Beijing's claims over Taiwan remain the focus of world attention, China is embroiled in unresolved territorial maritime and land issues with no less than thirteen of its neighbors. Given that China's military capability is growing apace with its economy, the potential for military conflict over the disputed regions is similarly on the rise. While China up to now has attempted to address these issues diplomatically, the fact that many of the unresolved border disputes involve potential energy reserves might prompt China to use military force to resolve issues of strategic economic interest.
  • Topic: International Relations, Government, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: China, Israel, Taiwan, Beijing, Asia
  • Author: Willy Lam, Lionel Martin, John Tkacik, Toby Lincoln
  • Publication Date: 10-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: China Brief, The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: Beijing is flashing the North Korean (DPRK) card at a time when the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) leadership feels increasingly threatened by an anti-China “containment policy” that Washington is supposedly spearheading with the help of Japan, Taiwan and other Asian countries and regions.
  • Topic: International Relations, Government, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Japan, China, Washington, Israel, Taiwan, Beijing, Asia, North Korea
  • Author: Wenran Jiang, Willy Lam, Dennis J. Blasko, Eric Teo
  • Publication Date: 10-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: China Brief, The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: The year is 2008. The setting is the vast West Pacific region. To break the US-Japan- Taiwan military containment of China, the combined air, navy and armed forces of the Chinese Liberation Army (PLA), equipped with newly established carrier battle groups, have destroyed all U.S. military bases in the region, taken control of all strategic sea routes from the Strait of Malacca to the Persian Gulf, and imposed an oil embargo to choke the U.S., Japan, Taiwan and their allies.
  • Topic: International Relations, Government, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Japan, China, Israel, Taiwan
  • Author: Eugene Kogan, Willy Lam, Drew Thompson, Dennis J. Blasko, Zhu Feng
  • Publication Date: 09-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: China Brief, The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: President and Central Military Commission (CMC) Chairman Hu Jintao has moved swiftly to tighten his grip over the People's Liberation Army (PLA). The emphasis that the new commander-in-chief has put on flexing the nation's fast-growing military muscle has fed speculation that he will be taking a more hard-line stance on relations with the U.S. and with Taiwan. However, it is unlikely that the predominant Hu-Wen Faction – a reference to the leadership team under Hu and Premier Wen Jiabao – will unveil too many major initiatives until it has consolidated its control over the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), the government and the army.
  • Topic: International Relations, Government, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Israel, Taiwan
  • Author: Christine Loh, Willy Lam, Eric Teo, Zhenzhen Chen
  • Publication Date: 09-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: China Brief, The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: The 1.784 million voters that participated in Hong Kong's 2004 Legislative Council Election gave a clear signal that they want democracy sooner rather than later. Whereas until now Hong Kongers have only been able to select the opposition, the recent elections indicated the people's desire to elect their city government. However, herein lies the uniqueness of Hong Kong's political system. Despite the city's many achievements in education standards, economic vibrancy, and social stability, its seven million people have yet to be allowed to freely choose their municipal political leaders.
  • Topic: International Relations, Government, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: China, Israel
  • Author: Christine Loh, Eugene Kogan, Willy Lam, Drew Thompson, Zhu Feng
  • Publication Date: 09-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: China Brief, The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: The soon-to-be-announced appointment of former Vice-Foreign Minister Wang Yi as Chinese Ambassador to Japan is emblematic of efforts by the Hu Jintao-Wen Jiabao leadership to improve Sino-Japanese relationship. In the past year, bilateral ties have deteriorated due to a host of issues ranging from “the question of history” – and compensation for World War II-related damages – to altercations over rights to oil and gas under the East China Sea. Protests by nationalistic Chinese groupings outside the Japanese Embassy in Beijing, banned until about two years ago, have become almost routine. Ugly scenes at a recent soccer match between the two national teams in the Chinese capital demonstrated the hostility with which many Chinese regard their nextdoor neighbor. And in Japan, the “China threat” theory is fast gaining ground owing to the perception that an economically and militarily strong China is throwing its weight around and threatening Japanese interests everywhere.
  • Topic: International Relations, Government, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Japan, China, Israel
  • Author: Stephen Green, Willy Lam, Eric Teo, Alexandr Nemets
  • Publication Date: 08-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: China Brief, The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: Although the Chinese leadership faces no electoral contenders, Beijing will soon have to deal with two uncertain but crucial elections in the next four months, the consequences of which could have serious implications for China's internal political cohesiveness as well as regional stability. In September, Hong Kongers will elect their Legislative Council (Legco), of which 30 seats are set aside for election through universal suffrage and the other 30 through “functional representation.” And in December, Taiwanese go to the polls to choose their next Legislative Yuan (Taiwan's legislature), nine months after they had renewed the mandate of President Chen Shui-Bian for a second term in March.
  • Topic: International Relations, Government, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: China, Israel, Taiwan
  • Author: Willy Lam, Zhu Feng, Kevin Scott, Marat Yermukanov, Andrew Thompson
  • Publication Date: 07-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: China Brief, The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: Beijing has acted quickly to dash the hopes that the half-a-million-people rally in Hong Kong last week will change the leadership's hard-line stance toward universal-suffrage elections in the special administrative region (SAR). While the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has continued with its public-relations, united-front offensive to win hearts and minds in the territory, it is expected to step up its divide-and-run tactics in order to isolate and marginalize pro-democracy politicians and intellectuals who dare challenge Beijing's suzerainty.
  • Topic: International Relations, Government, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: China, Israel, Beijing, Hong Kong
  • Author: Willy Lam, Richard A. Bitzinger, Alexandr Nemets, Enzio Von Pfeil
  • Publication Date: 06-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: China Brief, The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: In April, the European Union (EU) dodged a bullet by refusing to take up the issue of overturning its 15-year-old ban on selling arms to China. Supporters of lifting the embargo, led by France and Germany, are unlikely to abandon their quest, however, and the issue will likely come up again for review, perhaps as early as this summer. If it lifts the ban, the EU risks further damaging a transatlantic alliance already strained over Iraq and other issues, with very little likelihood that its defense industry would see much, if any, benefit.
  • Topic: International Relations, Government, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: China, Europe, Israel
  • Author: Willy Lam, Drew Thompson, Cynthia Watson, James P. Jr. Muldoon
  • Publication Date: 06-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: China Brief, The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: The recent spate of articles on China's growing energy and natural resource consumption is a key explanation for Beijing's growing interest in South America. While the continent remains at least fourth on China's list of priorities, the vast array of resources available, coupled with a growing population eager to increase its consumption of goods, makes this part of the world ever more enticing. The People's Republic of China (PRC) seeks to put a modest investment in diplomatic, military, cultural, and trade relations for a possible long-term gain of significant proportion.
  • Topic: International Relations, Government, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: China, Israel, Beijing, South America
  • Author: Ronald N. Montaperto, Willy Lam, Cynthia Watson, Jean-Pierre Cabestan
  • Publication Date: 05-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: China Brief, The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: In the view of many observers, the normalization of Sino-American relations signaled the end of a strategic relationship with the Republic of China (Taiwan) that had endured with but one brief interruption for forty years. The rapid growth of economic ties between the U.S. and mainland China in the 1980s seemed to confirm this assessment. Although political connections through the Taiwan Relations Act (TRA) remain strong, the major benefit to the United States of its unofficial relationship to the island lies in the economic realm.
  • Topic: International Relations, Government, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Israel, Taiwan
  • Author: Ahmad Lutfi, John C. K. Daly, Stephen Bank, Sergei Troush
  • Publication Date: 05-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: China Brief, The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: China's insatiable energy thirst is causing it to undertake a global search for energy supplies to sustain its booming economy. Beijing has injected itself into the complex Caspian chess match to ensure itself as large a share as possible of resources being developed there. This complex political and economic maneuvering forces China to deal with the Caspian's five riparian states - Russia, Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan.
  • Topic: International Relations, Government, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, Iran, Israel, Kazakhstan, Beijing, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan
  • Author: Mohan Malik, Matthew Oresman, Willy Lam, Paul H.B Godwin
  • Publication Date: 04-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: China Brief, The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: The unusually effusive reception that the Chinese leadership accorded Dear Leader Kim Jong-Il last week has buttressed speculation that Beijing and Pyongyang probably reached some form of a deal even prior to the long awaited visit. According to diplomatic sources in Beijing, Kim agreed during discussions with his Chinese hosts to take a “more serious and proactive stance” toward the ongoing six-nation talks on dismantling his country's weapons of mass destruction (WMD). Moreover, the sources said the reclusive leader pledged that unless there was further “provocation” from the United States, Pyongyang would not engage in tension raising gimmicks such as testing bombs or missiles. And, at least for the time being, a freeze would be put on the development of new WMD.
  • Topic: International Relations, Government, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Israel, Beijing, Pyongyang
  • Author: You Ji, Igor Rotar, Willy Lam, Eric Teo
  • Publication Date: 04-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: China Brief, The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) leadership has been at pains not to appear to be gloating over the American quagmire in Iraq. Yet in terms of geopolitical calculus, there is little doubt Beijing sees America's worsening problems in Iraq as beneficial to China's global standing, diplomatically and militarily. Capitalizing on fissures in the international community over Iraq and America's war on terror, China has strengthened ties with key members of the European Union and the United Nations in an effort to counterbalance U.S. hegemony. Meanwhile, Chinese experts' scrutiny of the exploits as well as challenges of American and Allied Forces in Iraq will have a big impact on the People's Liberation Army's (PLA) ambitious modernization drive.
  • Topic: International Relations, Government, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: China, Iraq, America, Europe, Israel, Beijing
  • Author: Bernard D. Cole, Willy Lam, Arnold Zeitlin, Harvey Stockwin
  • Publication Date: 04-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: China Brief, The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: Beijing's unusually cautious response to Taiwan's disputed presidential polls shows that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) leadership has yet to come to a consensus on how to deal with four more years of administration under 'splittis' President Chen Shui-bian. This, despite the fact that with the country's fastgrowing economic, military and diplomatic clout, Beijing would seem to enjoy unquestioned superiority over the increasingly divided island of Taiwan.
  • Topic: International Relations, Government, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: China, Israel, Taiwan, Beijing
  • Author: Willy Lam, Jonathan Mirsky, Enzio von Pfeil, Ashok Kapur
  • Publication Date: 03-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: China Brief, The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: No military action for the Taiwan Strait--not even psychological warfare oriented missile drills such as those undertaken in late 1995 and early 1996--is being planned by the People's Liberation Army (PLA) for the coming year or so. And this will be true whether President Chen Shui-bian or his challenger, Kuomintang (KMT) Chairman Lien Chan, wins in the hotly contested polls on March 20. However, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) leadership is readying hardball solutions to the reunification problem for the medium-term.
  • Topic: International Relations, Government, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: China, Israel, Taiwan
  • Author: Frank Ching, You Ji, Willy Lam, Eric Teo
  • Publication Date: 03-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: China Brief, The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: The two rounds of six-party talks in Beijing on the Korean nuclear standoff have demonstrated China.s unusual support for a multilateral solution to the conflict. This is symbolic of the country.s new diplomacy under Hu Jintao and Wen Jiabo. As is typical, Beijing is seeking to maximize its diplomatic gains for reasons related to national prestige and regional stability. What is new, however, is that the two leaders are trying to achieve these goals by having China act as a status quo power rather than through revisionist behavior. This change is vividly reflected in the fact that China has proven more willing to cooperate with the United States and is more determined to pressure North Korea. This brief article attempts to evaluate some of the domestic and international factors that are driving China to sponsor the six-party talks. conflicts on the Peninsula.with severe security implications for China. In the last few years two schools of thought have emerged in Beijing with respect to Chinese policy toward the DPRK. The first of these is the .buffer zone. school. It argues that, Pyongyang.s ill intentions and unpredictable adventurism notwithstanding, North Korea.s very existence remains of great strategic value to a China whose worst security nightmare is that of another Korean war. Moreover, any regime change that might occur in the DPRK as a result of war could bring the deployment of U.S. troops to positions close to the Sino-Korean borders. And taking into consideration a possible showdown between China and the United States in the Taiwan Strait, this could result in a hostile military presence right on China.s doorstep. Indeed, it was precisely this worst case scenario that China fought a war fifty-four years ago to prevent.
  • Topic: International Relations, Government, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Israel, Taiwan, Beijing, North Korea, Korea, Pyongyang
  • Author: Joshua Muravchik
  • Publication Date: 09-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: The longstanding media practice of whitewashing tyrannical regimes and their actions continues in most coverage of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Journalists must figure out how to avoid giving a tyranny the upper hand when it takes on a democracy.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Democratization, Economics
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel, Palestine
  • Author: Willy Lam, William R. Hawkins, Harvey Stockwin, Li Thian-hok
  • Publication Date: 05-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: China Brief, The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: The spread of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome—the SARS virus—throughout China is a phenomenon that had previously been denied by authorities and had gone unreported. But the penetration of the disease is now being admitted publicly, and efforts to combat it have begun. While the immediate epidemic in Beijing appears to be in decline, the fear remains that the spread of SARS within China will still be difficult—and maybe impossible—to control, let alone to eliminate. World Health Organization (WHO) officials admit that what happens in China will “make or break” the course of the epidemic. China's neighbors, and particularly Hong Kong, worry that a failure to curtail the virus will inevitably result in a fresh round of crossborder infection, further intensifying the already grave economic impact of SARS on the region. At worst, a sustained epidemic could bring China's opening-up to the outside world to a screeching halt.
  • Topic: International Relations, Government, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: China, Israel, Beijing, Hong Kong
  • Author: Willy Lam, Arnold Zeitlin, John Tkacik, Jonathan Mirsky
  • Publication Date: 05-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: China Brief, The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: Could Taiwan's voters elect a pro-unification candidate in 2004? Can the challenger, Kuomintang chairman Lien Chan, put together an electoral consensus of ethnic mainlanders, Hakkas and ethnic Taiwanese investors in China that will begin the process of moving Taiwan into the embrace of the People's Republic of China? The polls indicate it could be a fifty-fifty proposition, especially if the campaign's focus is the economy—not national identity. Washington should begin to consider its substantial strategic stake in Taiwan, and rethink the message that its diplomats in Taipei are sending Taiwan's public.
  • Topic: International Relations, Government, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: China, Israel
  • Author: Willy Lam, Harvey Stockwin, Gordon G. Chang, Richard D. Fisher
  • Publication Date: 04-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: China Brief, The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: An epidemic, spread by official deception and indifference, is afflicting the Chinese people. What does this disease mean for the People's Republic of China?
  • Topic: International Relations, Government, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: China, Israel
  • Author: Willy Lam, Gordon G. Chang, Richard D. Fisher, Wangchuk Meston
  • Publication Date: 04-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: China Brief, The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: Chinese strategic and military experts are scrutinizing the U.S. war in Iraq, and for several reasons. First, if American and British forces become bogged down in their effort to liquidate the regime of Saddam Hussein, then it is much less likely that Washington will soon target other rogue regimes with weapons of mass destruction, such as North Korea, a Chinese ally.
  • Topic: International Relations, Government, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: China, Iraq, America, Washington, Israel, North Korea
  • Author: Willy Lam, Harvey Stockwin, Gordon G. Chang, M. D. Nalapat
  • Publication Date: 03-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: China Brief, The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: Newly elected President Hu Jintao and his allies should take heart from the results of the recently concluded First Session of the Tenth National People's Congress (NPC).
  • Topic: International Relations, Government, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: China, Israel
  • Author: Willy Lam, Ahmad Lutfi, Gordon G. Chang, Richard D. Jr. Fisher
  • Publication Date: 03-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: China Brief, The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: Beijing often downplays the size of its Xinjiang problem for fear of exposing the difficulties it faces containing the “cancer of terrorism.” Since September 11, 2001, Beijing has been forced to reverse this policy due to repeated terrorist attacks. The most recent of these took place on February 25, 2003, when two bombs ripped through two of Beijing's most prestigious universities. The blasts shattered Beijing's long-held claim that it has been winning its war on terror.
  • Topic: International Relations, Government, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: China, Israel, Beijing
  • Author: Willy Lam, Gordon G. Chang, William C. Triplett, Dr. Gulshan Dietl
  • Publication Date: 02-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: China Brief, The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: Will Kim Jong Il just slam down the phone on China's president, Jiang Zemin? That's what Beijing wants us to think. “If Kim tells Jiang he is going to test a nuclear weapon unless Jiang gives him more aid, what do we do? We give him more aid. We don't have a choice,” says one Chinese analyst who has dealt with Pyongyang. “We have some influence, but we don't have the kind of relationship where we can tell Kim what to do. If we tell him to do something, he doesn't listen. If we threaten him, he listens even less. If Jiang called him, he might hang up.”
  • Topic: International Relations, Government, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: China, Israel
  • Author: James E. Auer, Willy Lam, Gordon G. Chang, Richard D. Fisher, Holmes Liao
  • Publication Date: 01-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: China Brief, The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: “If we didn't have China I would be suicidal,” chief Morgan Stanley economist Stephen Roach said this month. “It's the only bright spot in the world economy.” And bright spot it is: Beijing announced that its gross domestic product grew 8 percent last year. The rate is so good that some are wondering whether the People's Republic can become the new engine for world growth.
  • Topic: International Relations, Government, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: China, Israel