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  • 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
  • Author: Caspar Fithin
  • Publication Date: 11-2000
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxford Analytica
  • Abstract: Israel this week launched missile attacks against Palestinian security targets in Gaza in retaliation for the bombing of a school bus carrying settlers. Tel Aviv and Washington have blamed Palestinian National Authority President Yasser Arafat for the current crisis, saying he could reduce the violence. In fact, the uprising is a spontaneous revolt against the terms of the Oslo peace process. Far from being undermined by the crisis, Arafat is using it to maximise his political and diplomatic position in the event that negotiations resume. The crisis marks a decisive shift in the Palestinians' conditions for peace with Israel.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, International Relations, Security, Diplomacy, Ethnic Conflict, Peace Studies, Politics
  • Political Geography: Washington, Middle East, Israel, Palestine, Gaza
  • Author: Caspar Fithin
  • Publication Date: 07-2000
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxford Analytica
  • Abstract: United Nations peacekeeping forces are expected to deploy to the Lebanese-Israeli international border soon. Considerable diplomatic efforts have been required to win 'acceptance' of the border by Beirut and Tel Aviv, and thereby enable UN deployment to the area from which Israel withdrew nearly two months ago. The United Nations is likely to find it even more difficult to implement the other terms of its mandate.
  • Topic: Security, United Nations
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel, Lebanon
  • Author: Wi Saeng Kim
  • Publication Date: 05-2000
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: This paper conducts an event study for a sample of firms listed on the Korean Stock Exchange. The study finds that positive and statistically significant abnormal returns occur around the announcement date of foreign direct investments. This finding suggests that security prices in the Korean stock market do reflect firm-specific information, and that FDI by Korean MNCs are, on average, value increasing investment decisions. The finding is consistent with the studies of Doukas and Travlos (1988) and Fatemi (1984) which found similar results for U.S. MNCs.
  • Topic: Economics, Emerging Markets, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: United States, Israel, Korea
  • Author: Richard L. Lawson, Donald L. Guertin, Shinji Fukukawa, Kazuo Shimoda
  • Publication Date: 11-2000
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: Given the dramatic increases in economic growth, energy use and attendant environmental problems in Asia, it is timely for Japan and the United States to increase their bilateral cooperation and cooperation with other Asian countries in the energy field as an integral part of their efforts to help Asia achieve sustainable development. The magnitude of growth in Asia in energy use is well illustrated, for example, by a projected doubling in China from 1990 to 2020. Projections indicate energy demand in China could triple by 2050, relative to 1990. These increases are not only of great significance to individual Asian economies, but also globally, as projections indicate that most of the growth in energy demand in the next century will occur in Asia (and principally in China and India). Achievement of such growth in energy demand, to improve the living standards of the 3.3 billion Asians that now represent about half of the world's population, is essential from the viewpoint of equity, social development and the economic well-being of people throughout Asia.
  • Topic: Energy Policy, International Cooperation
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Israel, East Asia, Asia
  • Author: Doug Bandow
  • Publication Date: 05-1999
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: To contain Soviet-led communism and, secondarily, to prevent a militarily resurgent Japan, Washington established a network of alliances, bases, and deployments throughout East Asia after World War II. By the 1990s the Soviet Union had imploded, China had become a reasonably restrained international player, and other communist states had lost their ideological edge. At the same time, the noncommunist nations had leaped ahead economically. Despite such momentous developments, however, U.S. policy remains fundamentally the same.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Defense Policy
  • Political Geography: United States, Japan, China, Washington, Israel, Soviet Union
  • Author: Christopher P. Hood
  • Publication Date: 11-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: Ishihara Shintaro, known for his strong views particularly on Japan's relationship with the United States, became Governor of Tokyo on 11 April 1999. This paper considers the significance of his election, and whether it symbolizes a rise in nationalism in Japan.
  • Topic: International Relations, Nationalism, Politics
  • Political Geography: United States, Japan, Israel, Tokyo
  • Author: Joel Peters, Becky Kook
  • Publication Date: 08-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: On 17 May 1999 Ehud Barak secured a stunning victory in the Israeli elections, defeating incumbent Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu with a majority of almost 400,000 and gaining slightly over 56 per cent of all the votes cast. While polls in the days immediately prior to the election had signalled Netanyahu\'s defeat, no one had anticipated such a landslide victory. After three turbulent years of Likud government, Barak\'s election slogan \'Israel wants a change\' clearly captured Israeli public disillusion with Netanyahu, who lost the trust and support of voters throughout the country.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Government, Peace Studies, Politics
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel
  • Author: Frank Ching, Lee Kuan Yew, George Hui, Sunny Kai-Sun Kwong
  • Publication Date: 10-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: During my yearly visits to Hong Kong over the last thirty years, I was struck by the upbeat, can-do spirit of its people. However troublesome the situation, such as the noisy demonstrations of the imitators of the Red Guards in 1966 and 1967, or the economic downturn caused by the sudden quadrupling of oil prices in 1973, Hong Kong people were not dismayed or despondent. So when I spent a few days in Hong Kong at the beginning of June this year, I was surprised by its completely different mood. The people I met seemed frustrated at finding themselves in a situation where the solutions were not obvious. Much of the present malaise in Hong Kong arises from the problems of a transition that proved more difficult than expected. In part it was because of the five years of the last governor's policies, aggravated by the Asian financial crisis. Until the territory has come through this transition phase it is not possible to make any long-term forecasts on Hong Kong's future.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Economics, Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: Israel, Hong Kong
  • Author: Yezid Sayigh, Henry Siegman, Michel Rocard, Khalil Shikaki
  • Publication Date: 06-1999
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: The Interim Period of Palestinian Self-Government Arrangements in the West Bank and Gaza Strip as stipulated in the Declaration of Principles signed by the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and the state of Israel on September 13, 1993, came to an end on May 4, 1999. During that period the two parties signed additional agreements on the transfer of functional and territorial jurisdiction to the Palestinian Authority, which assumed direct responsibility for the conduct of daily life and for cooperation and coordination with Israel in a wide range of spheres. Progress toward a permanent settlement of the decades-old conflict between Palestinians and Israelis, as well as toward peaceful relations in the region, requires the establishment of a capable, credible, and meaningful Palestinian political entity. Good governance is a necessary condition for the success of the peace process, and therefore all parties bear a responsibility to assist and facilitate the strengthening of Palestinian public institutions. The United States, the European Union, Norway as chair of the international donor community, and the international community as a whole hold this view firmly. They have demonstrated a sustained commitment to these goals, extending strong political support, reassurance, and diplomatic input to the process. Moreover, the international community pledged $4.1 billion in assistance for Palestinian reconstruction and development in 1994-98, of which some $3.6 billion was committed against specific projects and $2.5 billion of which was actually disbursed by the end of 1998. Around 10 percent of total disbursement was directed toward Palestinian institution-building. The construction and consolidation of effective and democratic governing institutions based on transparency and accountability is a major step on the road to attaining genuine self-determination for the Palestinians, peace and security for Israel and its neighbors, and stability for the region as a whole. This is the basis for the Palestinians to gain ownership over the assistance, investment, and planning programs that are at present shepherded by the international donor community and its representative institutions on the ground. Ownership is necessary for the Palestinians to make a successful transition from externally assisted emergency rehabilitation and post-conflict reconstruction to sustainable social and economic development, greater self-reliance, and confident competitiveness in global markets. A primary goal of the Palestinian Authority, and of its partners and counterparts in Israel and the international community, should therefore be to achieve good governance, based on the following: a constitutional government; political accountability and judicial review; the transparent and accountable management of public resources; the rule of law and citizens' rights; democratic participatory politics and pluralist civil society; and an effective and responsive public administration. The issue is not only one of organization—that is, of the structures composed of individuals working toward common ends. Even more important, it is one of the rules, norms, and practices that define public institutions and their operating culture and determine relations with their constituents. The Palestinians are moving into a new and decisive phase in their national history, and the purpose of this report is to assist in identifying what needs to be done in order to make that transition successfully.
  • Topic: Government, International Cooperation, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Israel, Norway, Palestine, Gaza
  • Author: Marcus Noland, Sherman Robinson, Tao Wang
  • Publication Date: 07-1999
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: For North Korea, product market integration would generate large welfare gains, sufficient to end the famine. Additional gains could be had through military demobilization. For the South, the impact of product market integration would be trivial, but the impact of factor market integration would be considerable, affecting the composition of output, distribution of income, and rate of growth.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Israel, East Asia, Korea
  • Author: Warwick McKibbin
  • Publication Date: 12-1999
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: The economies of South East Asia and Korea have been shaken by a financial and economic crisis that has enveloped the region since mid 1997. There are competing explanations for the cause of the crisis however most commentators would agree that a major shock that impacted on the countries has been a dramatic increase in the perceived risks of investing in these economies. This paper explores the impact of a re-evaluation of the risk in the Asian economies focussing on the differential real consequences of a temporary versus more permanent rise in risk. It contributes to our understanding of the possible consequences of the Asia crisis by applying a global simulation model that captures both the flow of goods as well as international capital flows between countries. The real impacts on the Asian economies of a rise in risk perceptions in the model are large and consistent with observed adjustment. However the spillovers to the rest of the world are relatively small because the loss in export demand that accompanies the crisis in Asia is offset by a fall in long term interest rates as capital flows out of Asia into the non-Asian OECD economies. Thus strong domestic demand in economies such as the US induced by the general equilibrium effects of the reallocation of financial capital can more than offset the consequences of lower export growth. The analysis also highlights the impacts on global trade balances reflecting the movements of global capital and points to both potential problems and lesson for policymakers over the coming years.
  • Topic: Economics, Emerging Markets, Globalization
  • Political Geography: China, Israel, East Asia, Asia
  • Author: Warwick McKibbin, KK Tang
  • Publication Date: 12-1999
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: Despite the setbacks from the recent Asian currency crisis, the ascendancy of Asia as an economic centre of world economic activity is likely to continue into the 21st century. A key issue that will shape the role of Asia, and indeed the shape of the world economy in the 21st century, is the economic development of China. To date China has successfully weathered the currency storm in Asia and continues on a program of economic reform. If anything, the problems of Japan and Korea provide powerful lessons for other countries undergoing rapid economic growth and structural change. These lessons include the importance of a well developed financial sector with lending and investment decisions based on market signals rather than government directives. Whether China can further integrate smoothly into global markets and sustain the fast growth of the last few decades will be a crucial development in the world economy. In this paper, we explore the impacts of continued Chinese economic reform with a focus on the role of international financial flows both in the adjustment within China as well as in the transmission of Chinese reforms to the rest of the world.
  • Topic: Economics, Emerging Markets, Globalization
  • Political Geography: China, Israel, East Asia, Asia