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  • Author: John Feffer
  • Publication Date: 12-2000
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Foreign Policy In Focus
  • Abstract: It was a striking juxtaposition, U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and North Korean leader Kim Jong Il sitting side by side at a display of mass gymnastics in Pyongyang this last October. “Spectacular and amazing,” Albright called the coordinated movements of the 100,000 performers. When a picture of the August 1998 Taepodong rocket launch was displayed, Kim Jong Il confided that it would be his country's first and last such launch. The North Korean leader was a man with whom she could do business, Albright concluded at the end of her visit. The U.S. and North Korea, technically at war for over fifty years, had never before been on quite such cordial speaking terms.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Arms Control and Proliferation, Peace Studies
  • Political Geography: United States, Israel, North Korea, Korean Peninsula, Pyongyang
  • Author: Saul Singer
  • Publication Date: 12-2000
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
  • Abstract: Ask Israelis or Arabs to characterize the U.S.-Israel relationship and most, particularly on the Arab side, will argue that the picture is one of unwavering support for the Jewish state. Indeed, the outgoing Clinton administration has been widely perceived and labeled as the closest to Israel in the history of the U.S.-Israel relationship. Though the ties between the U.S. and Israel are indeed close, deep, and institutionalized, a closer examination reveals a constant tension between support for Israel and "evenhandedness" between Israel and the Arab world.
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Middle East, Israel, Arabia
  • Author: Manfred Gerstenfeld
  • Publication Date: 12-2000
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
  • Abstract: Why is it that Israel's per capita GNP still lags substantially behind that of the leading countries of the world? Why is it likely to take decades for the Israeli economy to catch up? This is while the Israeli papers are full of news about very promising high-tech start-ups, and we even hear occasionally about payments of billions of dollars by major foreign firms to acquire Israeli businesses which were founded a few years ago and have at most several hundred employees.
  • Topic: Security, Economics, Religion
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel
  • Author: Yaakov Ne'eman
  • Publication Date: 11-2000
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
  • Abstract: A number of factors are impeding the implementation of privatization in the Israeli economy. Here I will review those factors based on my own experience, both as someone who has represented investors who purchased government companies through privatization processes, and (from the other side of the fence) in my positions in the Ministry of Finance, when I had an opportunity to observe the governmental process from the inside.
  • Topic: Security, Government, Privatization, Religion
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel
  • Author: Gerald M. Steinberg
  • Publication Date: 10-2000
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
  • Abstract: During the past twenty years, beginning with the Israeli-Egyptian disengagement talks following the 1973 war, the tension between secular and religious perspectives on the Middle East peace process and the "land for peace" formula has grown steadily.
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel, Arabia, Egypt
  • Author: Abraham Tamir
  • Publication Date: 09-2000
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
  • Abstract: Over the last two decades, the reliance on separate negotiating tracks in the Arab-Israeli peace process has resulted in a cumulative loss of territories vital for the defense of Israel's very existence, without any corresponding buildup of peace and security for Israel that could last for generations. The military capabilities of Israel's potential adversaries have not diminished, but, in fact, have expanded considerably. The normalization of relations between Israel and the Arab world, as stipulated in the peace treaties between Israel, Jordan and Egypt, has not advanced, but, rather, has been held hostage to further Israeli concessions in each of the separate negotiating tracks. Finally, the employment of terrorism and violence by Israel's neighbors became part of the negotiating process with Syria and the PLO.
  • Topic: Security, Religion, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel, Syria, Egypt
  • Author: Zalman Shoval
  • Publication Date: 07-2000
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
  • Abstract: Prime Minister Ehud Barak's tenure started out with almost everything going his way. He had what was often, though misleadingly, described as a "landslide victory" in the 1999 elections (though, in truth, Jewish voters gave him only a slim 3.2 percent majority over Netanyahu - compared to the almost 12 percent margin by which Netanyahu had defeated Peres in the previous elections). Nonetheless, it is true that Barak achieved better electoral results than most other prime ministers in Israeli history. As a result, no Israeli prime minister in recent memory had begun his term with a greater degree of goodwill from different segments of the population - including many who had voted for the other candidate.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, International Relations, Diplomacy, Politics
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel
  • Author: Dore Gold
  • Publication Date: 05-2000
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
  • Abstract: For most of the Cold War period, the spread of ballistic missiles and weapons of mass destruction to the Middle East was severely constrained by the existence of a global regime of arms control agreements and export controls that was chiefly supported by both the U.S. and the Soviet Union. But in the last decade this regime has crumbled: In the Middle East, Iran and Iraq are seeking to build their own indigenous military-industrial infrastructure for the manufacture of intermediate-range (500-5,000 kilometers) missiles, and thus reduce their dependence on imports of whole missile systems, as was the case in the 1970s and 1980s. Intercontinental strategic-range systems are also planned. These efforts are being backed not just by other rogue states, like North Korea, but by no less than Russia itself, which has abandoned the cautiousness toward proliferation that was demonstrated by the former Soviet Union. Despite Washington's efforts to stop these trends through the United Nations monitoring of Iraq and limited sanctions against Iran, the build-up of Middle Eastern missile capabilities has only worsened, especially since 1998 which saw Iran's testing of the 1,300-kilometer-range Shahab-3 and the total collapse of the UN monitoring effort. Iraq has preserved considerable elements of its missile manufacturing infrastructure, continuing to produce short-range missiles, and with large amounts of missile components still unaccounted for. Nor did the administration stop the flow of Russian missile technology to Iran. "The proliferation of medium-range ballistic missiles," CIA Director George Tenet testified on March 21, 2000, "is significantly altering strategic balances in the Middle East and Asia." Clearly, the Middle East is far more dangerous for Israel than it was in 1991 at the end of the Gulf War. While diplomatic energies over the last decade have been focused on the Arab-Israeli peace process, a major policy failure has taken place that has left Israel and the Middle East far less secure. Not only will Israel's vulnerability increase, but on the basis of these planned missile programs, the vulnerability of Europe and the Eastern United States is likely to be far greater in the next five to ten years, as well. Thus, an entirely new strategic situation is emerging in the Middle East requiring far more intense efforts in ballistic missile defense on the part of the states of the Atlantic Alliance in order to assure their own security and enhance Middle Eastern regional stability. With Russia playing such a prominent role in the disintegration of key elements of the proliferation regime, Moscow's objections to robust missile defenses on the basis of the ABM Treaty should not serve as a constraint on the development and deployment of future missile defense systems. The Russian argument that the ABM Treaty is the cornerstone of global arms control rings hollow. The arms control regime for the Middle East has completely broken down and cannot reliably serve as the primary basis for protecting national security in the new strategic environment of this region. The most promising way of assuring the defense of Israel, the U.S., and the Western alliance is through a concerted effort to neutralize the growing missile threat with robust missile defenses, combined with the deterrence capabilities that they already possess.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, Arms Control and Proliferation, Cold War
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel, Soviet Union
  • Author: Dore Gold
  • Publication Date: 03-2000
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
  • Abstract: Three basic conditions prevailed when the Arab-Israeli peace process began in 1991 in Madrid and accelerated in 1993 at Oslo. First, the Soviet Union crumbled and eventually collapsed, removing what had since 1955 been the strategic backbone of the Arab military option against the State of Israel. Second, Iraq was militarily crushed and under both UN sanctions and monitoring, and was therefore removed from the political and military calculus of relations between Israel and the Arab world. Third, Iran was still recovering from its eight-year war with Iraq and was far from ready to have an impact in the Middle East. Together, these three conditions created a unique moment of Pax Americana, maintained not just by virtue of American power, but by the consent of its potential rivals.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Arms Control and Proliferation, United Nations, War, Sanctions
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Iran, Middle East, Israel, Soviet Union
  • Author: Dan V. Segre
  • Publication Date: 06-2000
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
  • Abstract: In the 1950s, the French Catholic academician, playwright, and former Ambassador to the U.S., Paul Claudel, asked the cultural attachè of the Israeli Embassy in Paris to convey the following message to Martin Buber: Now that the Jews had recovered their sovereignty, would they consider granting citizenship to Jesus, thereby putting an end to his "statelessness" status both for Judaism and Christianity? This could contribute to the fight against anti-Semitism.
  • Topic: International Cooperation, Religion
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Israel, Paris