Forecast 2020: Challenges and Opportunities for Israel
Trends and likely developments over the coming year in Israel’s strategic environment.
By fellows of JISS, December 2019
The Jordan-Israel Peace Treaty at 25: A Slightly Tarnished, but Still Important, Silver Anniversary
Twenty-five years after the signing of the Jordan-Israel peace treaty, the bilateral relationship is in a challenging phase, but nothing should obscure the crucial benefits strategic and security cooperation affords to both sides, and the centrality of the relations to each side’s national security.
Armed Opposition Groups in Iran
Armed opposition groups emerging from the Kurdish, Baloch and Ahvazi Arab minorities have stepped-up attacks on regime assets in Iran. Tehran is responding by acting against these opponents, in Pakistan and Iraq and further afield. But these insurgencies are not capable by themselves of calling the regime’s viability into question, because of their relatively narrow bases of support.
What Happens after the “Deal of the Century” is Tabled?
Whatever paradigm for peace is tabled by the Trump administration, no end to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is in sight. Managing the conflict for the long term – a somewhat fuzzy approach in need of constant reevaluation – is the only realistic way to do some good in the Israeli-Palestinian arena.
The Rise of Iraq’s Shia Militias: An Emergent Threat to Israel
The Iraqi Shi'ite militias form a single, numerous and increasingly able component of the military and paramilitary assets available to Iran in its efforts. They substantially increase the scope for Iranian disruption in the region, and may significantly increase Iranian capabilities in the event of a war on Israel’s northern front
Foreign Actors in eastern Jerusalem: A Challenge to Israeli Sovereignty in its Capital
Foreign actors have stepped-up their subversion of Israeli sovereignty in eastern Jerusalem. This includes covert and overt activities, both legal and illegal, ideological and concrete, in the civilian and security spheres. In response, the Israeli government must devise an integrated, inter-ministerial approach to this challenge; prevent illegal activities, especially illegal foreign financing; revise and rigorously implement the law which bars the Palestinian Authority from governmental activity in Jerusalem; and provide enhanced and accessible municipal services to Jerusalemite Arabs, instead of the foreign actors.
The New Emerging Energy Hub in the Eastern Mediterranean
The projected gas pipeline between Israel, Cyprus, Greece and Italy confirms that Israel's regional partnership has shifted from Turkey to Greece and that a new energy hub is emerging in the eastern Mediterranean. Yet this welcome geopolitical change has many opponents. Israel will need to act proactively and assess energy-related power struggles within the EU in order to actualize the pipeline.
After the US took out Soleimani, Iran vowed retaliation. Was that it?
Dr. Yossi Mansharof: The chances of a direct war with Iran are very low, but the reliance of Tehran on proxy warfare will play a major role.
Israel careful onlooker as Mideast reacts to killing of senior Iranian commander.
Dr. Yossi Mansharof: Israel needs to sit back, help the Americans with intelligence as much as possible and be prepared to defend herself.
Israeli embassies, IDF raise alert levels as Iran threatens to avenge Soleimani.
Dr. Yossi Mansharof: Hezbollah had a worldwide network of operatives, and an attack on American officials, high-ranking military officers or other interests is also possible.
Plain Talk by Israel’s Top Soldier Seen as Filling Political Vacuum.
Prof. Efraim Inbar: The main significance of Kochavi’s speech lay in the chief of staff’s willingness to candidly discuss policies previously left opaque.