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  • Author: Ari Kattan
  • Publication Date: 02-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for International and Security Studies at Maryland (CISSM)
  • Abstract: After Hezbollah fired thousands of rockets at northern Israel during the 2006 Israel-Hezbollah War, the Israeli government began a crash program to find a technological solution to the rocket threat. The result was Iron Dome, which shot down its first rocket on April 7, 2011, and saw large-scale combat during wars in 2012 and 2014. The system has been hailed in Israel and worldwide as a success, with the Israeli military claiming a 90 percent interception rate. Some American defense commentators have even touted Iron Dome as evidence in favor of ballistic missile defense. However, serious questions remain about Iron Dome’s true technical efficacy, both in terms of its past performance and how it is likely to perform in the future under different conditions. Because so much about Iron Dome is classified, information provided by the Israeli military cannot be independently verified. Analyses performed by outside experts—both those questioning Iron Dome’s efficacy and those defending the Israeli government’s claims—are inconclusive. Assuming for the sake of argument that Iron Dome did, in fact, perform as advertised during its previous engagements, it is far from certain that it will be as successful in future engagements, where the volume of rocket fire will be higher and the rockets more accurate. This paper argues that Israel may have already reached “peak Iron Dome,” and the system’s military and political benefits will decrease in future wars until another technological breakthrough is made on rocket defense. This is not to say that Iron Dome was not worth the cost and should not have been procured. But expectations about Iron Dome from the Israeli military, Israeli civilians, and interested parties abroad should be tempered. If they are not, Iron Dome’s decreased success rate in future wars may pose political problems for Israel domestically and give Israel’s adversaries a decisive propaganda victory.
  • Topic: Violent Extremism, Missile Defense, Hezbollah, Propaganda, Anti-Semitism
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel, Palestine
  • Author: Yossi Peled
  • Publication Date: 05-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute for Development and International Relations (IRMO)
  • Abstract: The relocation of the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem draw once again the attention of international community to Israel. The event of relocation is in line with the decision of the Trump administration reached in December last year, a move that has its legal foundation in the Jerusalem Embassy Act that was passed by the US Congress as far as 1995. For more than twenty years, the American administrations have been delaying the decision to move the US embassy to Jerusalem, and the Jerusalem Act was void of presidential signature until Donald Trump became president. In the same year when he took of�ice president Donald Trump recognized Jerusalem as the capital city of the State of Israel and ordered the relocation of the US embassy from Tel Aviv. Ever since the time of David, the king of Israel who conquered Jerusalem more than three thousand years ago, and his son king Solomon who built the First Temple, Jerusalem was the Holy City for Jews around the world and the center point for Israel and Judaism. At the same time Jerusalem is a holy site for the Palestinians and the Muslim world, hence a source of confrontation for the two sides. Notwithstanding, people of Israel believe that Jerusalem cannot be divided and that only Jerusalem due to its cultural, historical and religious importance for the Jews, is and can be the only capital city of the State of Israel. However, this status of Jerusalem is still not fully internationally recognized, with a number of United Nations states who do not acknowledge the right of Israel to sovereignly rule in Eastern Jerusalem, including the Old City where most sacred sites of Judaism are located – the Western Wall and the Temple Mount.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Imperialism, International Cooperation, Religion, Anti-Semitism
  • Political Geography: United States, Israel, Palestine, Jerusalem