Jerusalem Center Initiatives and Impact

(Winter-Spring 2015-16)

The Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs is one of Israel’s leading think tanks, featuring the foremost experts in the areas of national security, regional diplomacy, and international law. This report reviews the Center’s activities in applied research and diplomacy in response to critical threats to Israel and the Jewish world, as we develop new models and opportunities in a changing Middle East.

Jerusalem Center intelligence and national security experts exposed and assessed the terror strategies and tactics of ISIS, Hamas, Hizbullah, Syria, and Iran. The Center has also led strategic and public diplomacy initiatives involving high-level Iranian dissidents, Syrian opposition leaders, Kurdish leaders from Syria and Iraq, and other figures from neighboring countries. It has produced studies exposing the official Palestinian incitement behind the ongoing stabbing and car-ramming attacks that have killed and maimed hundreds of Israelis. The Center’s research on delegitimization, boycott-divestment-sanctions (BDS), and assaults against Israel have set the pace for both Israeli government and private initiatives to combat the political and economic warfare against Israel and the Jewish world.

The Jerusalem Center operates one of the largest Israel advocacy/Middle East analysis website networks in the world, with 1,700,000 monthly page views across websites in four languages.


Israel’s Security – New Publications
The Knife and the Message: The Roots of the New Palestinian Terror Uprising
Who is really behind the terrorist attacks on Israeli civilians?
Video: As the Mideast Descends into Chaos, Israel Must Have Defensible Borders.
Islamic jihadist armies are approaching Israel’s borders.
The Psychology of “Lone Wolf” Palestinian Arab Violence
Are cultural factors responsible for the teenage terrorists?
The Failures of the International Community in the Middle East since the Sykes-Picot Agreement, 1916-2016
Borders, traditional leadership, international law disappear in the region.
Unmasking and Combatting the Global Delegitimization (BDS) Assault Against Israel
Jerusalem: Delusions of Division
Calls to divide Jerusalem endanger all its citizens, heritage, and economy. New solutions for Jerusalem’s administration.
Protecting the Status Quo on the Temple Mount
Challenging the “Al Aqsa is in Danger” myth
International Law
The myriad issues of Palestinian incitement, Jews as the indigenous people, land ownership, boundaries, the International Criminal Court, delegitimization of Israel.
Applied National Security and Diplomacy Outreach
In recent months, the Jerusalem Center has met with leaders, dissidents, and military officials from Israel’s neighbors, including Kurdish, Syrian, and Palestinian figures.
Discussions on the Jewish World
The Jerusalem Center has hosted scholars and leaders to discuss European Jewry, anti-Semitism, and the assassination of Argentine prosecutor Roberto Nisman.
American Elections
Analyses on U.S. politics and the “Iran Deal,” and U.S. citizens’ support for Israel.
Student Leadership Program in Arab-Israel Studies
Why this program works. Examples of student activities in the United States
Jewish Political Studies Review
Social Media Initiatives – Websites, Facebook, Twitter, Video
Experts in the Media
Recent Articles by Our Experts
Back to Contents

Israel’s Security – New Publications

The Knife and the Message: The Roots of the New Palestinian Uprising

The latest wave of Palestinian violence against Jews is a new phenomenon, an insidious wave of seemingly un-orchestrated attacks, perpetrated by unlikely assailants, and generally untraceable to any particular organization. This path-breaking Jerusalem Center study reveals that the Palestinian president and those under his authority are indeed instructing young Palestinians on what to do; not sending them into battle as soldiers, but goading them into action through deliberate incitement-driven messaging, distortion and fabrication. >> More

Back to Contents

The Psychology of “Lone Wolf” Palestinian Arab Violence

Terrorist filmed by a security camera.

By Irwin J. (Yitzchak) Mansdorf, PhD

While many attacks are described as “lone wolf” actions, the material and social support provided by the Palestinian Authority and the cultural support of Palestinian society serve as a steady framework for sustaining violence, even when the attackers appear to act alone. >> More

Back to Contents

Video: As the Mideast Descends into Chaos, Israel Must Have Defensible Borders

Is Israel in a position to make concessions on its' borders?

In January 2016, the Jerusalem Center released a video, "As the Mideast Descends into Chaos, Israel Must Have Defensible Borders," which reviewed military and terrorist developments in the region, with interviews by military experts at locations along Israel’s border. British Colonel Richard Kemp joined Center experts to discuss Israel’s vital need for defensible borders, even in this age of ballistic missiles and Islamic State terror encroaching on Israel's borders.

The video was translated into Hebrew, Russian, Chinese, French, Spanish, German and Persian. The clip has been viewed by tens of thousands. The publication was launched with a press conference with Israeli reporters and analysts. >> More

Col. Richard Kemp

See also Video: Israel Cannot Withdraw from West Bank and Golan

By Col. Richard Kemp

Back to Contents

The Failures of the International Community in the Middle East since the Sykes-Picot Agreement, 1916-2016

Original Sykes-Picot map

Original Sykes-Picot map signed by the two negotiators

by Amb. Freddy Eytan

A century after the Sykes-Picot Agreement signed in 1916 between France and Britain, the Middle East remains a political powder keg and the battlefield for successive armed conflicts. The boundaries drawn just a century ago by Western powers are evaporating. This study reviews historical facts and sheds new light on the many failures of the Sykes-Picot agreement and its implementation during the past century.

The Jerusalem Center and the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung will jointly conduct an international seminar in Jerusalem on May 18, 2016, on the lessons learned from the Sykes-Picot Agreement with the participation of diplomats, military analysts, and scholars. >> More

Back to Contents

Unmasking and Combatting the Global Delegitimization (BDS) Assault against Israel


The Jerusalem Center has been documenting and analyzing efforts to delegitimize Israel through the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) campaign for many years. Brig.-Gen. (res.) Yossi Kuperwasser, former director general of Israel’s Ministry of Strategic Affairs, and Dan Diker, former secretary general of the World Jewish Congress, are currently involved in developing ideas to combat BDS based on an understanding of the real objectives of the movement – the destruction of Israel – and who is behind it.

Project Director and Research Fellow Dan Diker is directing a three-part applied research and diplomacy project that unmasks the deceptive global BDS campaign. The Jerusalem Center has reached out to Palestinian and black South Africans who reject BDS and are willing to help to expose the maximalist and destructive nature of the broad political, economic, legal and cultural assault against the State of Israel. The 2014 publication Unmasking BDS: Radical Roots, Extremist Ends traces BDS’ roots and reveals its goal of delegitimizing and isolating Israel in order to cause its implosion. The Palestinian and South African counter-BDS research illustrates why BDS undermines the Palestinians’ future and exposes the "Israel as Apartheid” libel as a lie, as testified to by black South African intellectuals who suffered under Apartheid.

The War of a Million Cuts

During the past year, we published a 500-page study by Jerusalem Center Fellow and former Board Chairman Dr. Manfred Gerstenfeld entitled The War of a Million Cuts: The Struggle Against the Delegitimization of Israel and the Jews, and the Growth of New Anti-Semitism.

Back to Contents

Jerusalem: Delusions of Division

Jerusalem and the Delusions of Division

by Nadav Shragai

Forty-eight years of living with Israelis in one city have fostered a different mindset among east Jerusalem Arabs, more modern and much more cognizant of reality. It is a very different mindset than that of the Arabs of the West Bank or Gaza. It stems from common patterns of life within the city, and also, to a great extent, from a plethora of economic and other advantages. These advantages are entailed by the resident status that east Jerusalem residents maintain – a status and attendant benefits that the Arabs of the West Bank and Gaza do not share.

One of the main claims of the supporters of division – or “separation from the Arab neighborhoods of Jerusalem” – is the demographic argument: if we just separate ourselves from the areas and the neighborhoods that we annexed to Jerusalem in 1967, areas in which about 300,000 Palestinian residents now live, our demographic situation will improve. There are, however, other ways to deal with the demographic situation, without incurring the difficult security and municipal problems likely to result from such a “separation,” and we present them here. >> More

See also The “Al-Aksa is in Danger” Libel

The “Al-Aksa is in Danger” Libel

by Nadav Shragai

For the past century, Palestinian leaders have told the “Al-Aksa is in danger” lie in order to incite their people to attack Jews. It is important to expose and counter this fabrication because it remains a spark that can lead to bloodshed.

Back to Contents

International Law

Amb. Alan Baker

In light of an unprecedented tendency toward “legalization” of virtually every aspect of the Israel-Arab issue generally, and Israeli-Palestinian relations in particular, international law issues have become major components of the activities of the Jerusalem Center.

Legal questions regarding the wave of stabbing attacks in Israel and the selective and hypocritical European reticence to describe them as acts of terror, as well as the ongoing incitement by the Palestinian leadership and media, have been analyzed and addressed. Clearly, and pending any return to a mode of negotiations, legal questions and issues will continue to serve as a central factor in the present realities faced by Israel, and in the day-to-day research of the Jerusalem Center.


Amb. Alan Beker

At the invitation of CIDI, the Dutch Center for Information and Documentation on Israel, Ambassador Alan Baker participated in a conference on “Terrorism, Israel and International Law,” which was held in The Hague on March 30, 2016. In his address, “Modern Day Incitement as a Major Component Terror, and How to Deal with It in International Law,” Baker introduced a “Draft International Convention for the Prevention of Incitement to Terror,” recommending that it be taken up and advanced by the European states.

In response to claims by Sweden’s Prime Minister Stefan Löfven and Foreign Minister Margot Wallström minimizing Palestinian attacks against Israelis, Ambassador Baker published, “Do Stabbing Attacks Constitute Terrorism?” He showed that the Swedish leaders lacked “accurate knowledge and awareness of the legal principles involved.”

Back to Contents

Applied National Security and Diplomacy Outreach


Jerusalem Center experts Brig.-Gen. (res.) Yossi Kuperwasser, Col. (ret.) Jacques Neriah, Amb. Freddy Eytan, and Amb. Alan Baker conducted speaking tours and meetings in Paris, London, Madrid, and Washington. They met with senior government, military and parliamentary leaders to discuss Israel’s security issues.

Jerusalem Center experts at the British House of Commons

Jerusalem Center experts Brig.-Gen. Yossi Kuperwasser (right) and Dr. Jacques Neriah (left) with Member of British Parliament Bob Blackman (center) at the Henry Jackson Society conference on Israel and Middle East Security Challenges held at the British House of Commons in December 2015.

Specifically, Kuperwasser met with foreign ministers and former defense ministers in France and Great Britain. Eytan met in Paris with a senior advisor to French President Hollande and senior editors in the French press; Neriah, Eytan, and Kuperwasser met with the head of the French Research Center on Intelligence, along with senior researchers in the Center and the Foreign Ministry. They also briefed some 150 MPs and their staff in the British Parliament on Middle East threats and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Baker attended a two-day international law conference in New York to discuss laws of armed conflict in the context of the Gaza war and the manipulation by the Palestinian leadership of the International Criminal Court and the UN.

The Middle East:

Iran continues its incursions and involvement in various political and military arenas of Middle East. The July 2015 agreement between the Western powers and the Islamic Republic on a Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) for the Iranian nuclear program has also created a new strategic reality in the local, regional and global arenas. While these developments heighten certain threats, the Jerusalem Center is exploring new opportunities and options the new realities present. The Center’s discussions deal with:

  • Iran: The Jerusalem Center held a closed roundtable seminar in Jerusalem in February 2016 with high-level Iranian dissidents and former Iranian officials on “Iran and the Middle East after the Nuclear Deal.”
  • Egypt: Planning is underway with leading Arab counterparts for a strategic discussion in Tel Aviv on Israeli-Egyptian relations.
  • Syria: A meeting with Syrian opposition representatives is being planned for Washington.
  • Additional discussions include:

    • Palestinian figures in the Palestinian media, society, academia and government.
    • Kurdish figures from Syria and Iraq and representatives of regional Arab countries.
    • Dialogue with Arab diplomats and senior security sources. Arab counterparts have reached out to the Jerusalem Center to increase cooperation on security and diplomatic options for improving relations with the Arab world.
Back to Contents

Discussions on the Jewish World

  • In January 2016, on the first anniversary of the assassination of Argentine prosecutor Alberto Nisman, his friend and biographer, Gustavo Perednik, lectured on Nisman’s assassination and Argentina’s Jewish community. See video
  • In February, Dr. Harold Rhode, a former senior intelligence analyst in the U.S. Defense Department, lectured on “The Muslim World and the West: A Clash of Cultures.” His lecture dealt with questions such as “Why is the Muslim world finding it so difficult to deal with the modern world? Why have countries like Japan and South Korea, which were medieval feudal kingdoms 60 years ago and ravaged by war, so successful in adapting to the modern world, while the Muslim world remains static? Is there something in the Islamic culture that holds them back? See video
  • In March, Prof. Leslie Wagner spoke on “The Revival of British Jewry.” In terms of numbers, religious identity, and educational and cultural activity, the British Jewish community is experiencing something of a revival. The increase in anti-Semitic activity does not necessarily cloud this picture. See video
  • In April, Dr. Manfred Gerstenfeld lectured on the “European Refugee Crisis, Israel, and the Jews.” The massive chaotic influx of over a million refugees into Europe in the past year sparked radical new developments, in particular in Germany and Sweden. These ongoing developments create challenges and opportunities for Israel and have important ramifications for European Jews.
Back to Contents

American Elections

2016 Election

The Jerusalem Center closely follows American politics and the election campaigns, focusing on their impact on current and future U.S. foreign policy. The Center takes no partisan positions.

  • In March, the Jerusalem Center hosted veteran American pollster Mark Mellman, who provided a wide-ranging analysis of the U.S. elections and voting trends. See video
  • “The 2016 Election: Jews and Their Politics” by Dr. Steven Windmueller (February 2016) showed that Jewish voters enter the political fray with a broad range of interests. In a close election the “Jewish vote” becomes significantly more important, and this factor is particularly true in such key “swing” states as Ohio, Florida, and Pennsylvania. The Jewish community remains an important voting constituency in seven other states: New York, Massachusetts, Maryland, Illinois, New Jersey, California, and Connecticut. In the 2012 election, overall voter turnout was only 54 percent, yet it is estimated that 85 percent of America’s Jews vote. >> More
  • “The AIPAC Conference in Washington Isn’t Over” by Lenny Ben-David analyzed the massive support for Israel shown during the annual AIPAC policy conference in March. The conference proved that, despite the best efforts of Israel’s detractors, support for Israel is very robust in Washington – and across the United States, according to national polls. There has been no erosion. >> More
Back to Contents

Student Leadership Program in Arab-Israel Studies

Students with Gabriel Naddaf

The Center’s student program had an "inspiring talk” with Greek Orthodox Priest Gabriel Naddaf, a Christian leader who supports integrating Arabic-speaking Christians into all Israeli state institutions, including the IDF.

The Jerusalem Center leadership program is a high-level, advanced academic program designed for the elite, college-bound student interested in the various issues surrounding the Israel-Arab conflict. It provides an intensive, demanding, and often emotional immersion into the historical, cultural, and political aspects of the Middle East from a variety of experts. Throughout the year, students visit important sites in the area and meet with individuals and groups that are active in Israel-Arab affairs.

Students who returned to the United States have been active on campus responding to challenges to Israel’s legitimacy.

Examples of student follow-up activities:
  • “Columbia University ‘Apartheid Divest’ Divests from Peace,” by Daniella Greenbaum, Columbia Spectator, February 4, 2016.
  • “Watch Out, Jewish Students: The Anti-Israel Movement Will Boycott You Next,” by Jared Samilow, Haaretz, March 24, 2016 (Brown University).
  • “Breaking the Silence Is Wrong – But Columbia Hillel Was Right to Play Host Anyway,” by Daniella Greenbaum and Jonathan Deluty, The Forward, April 6, 2016.
Back to Contents

Jewish Political Studies Review 

Special Issue on the 10th Anniversary of Israel’s 2005 Disengagement from Gaza

Evacuation of Kfar Darom

Evacuation of Kfar Darom, Gaza, 2005 (IDF)

More than a decade has passed since the government of Israel, led by Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, removed the Jewish population, destroyed communities and farms that had thrived for years, and withdrew the Israel Defense Forces from the Gaza Strip and northern Samaria. This issue of the Jewish Political Studies Review explores the implications of the disengagement, an initiative which failed to achieve its stated goals.

Dr. Joel Fishman, editor of the Jewish Political Studies Review, is a historian and Fellow of the Jerusalem Center.

Back to Contents

Social Media Initiatives – Websites, Facebook, Twitter, Video 

Social Media

The Jerusalem Center is devoting great efforts to provide information via the new media networks. All articles, analyses, videos, and interviews are featured on the Center’s dedicated sites. The Jerusalem Center operates one of the largest Israel advocacy/Middle East analysis website networks in the world, with 1,700,000 page views registered across our websites in March 2016 by 160,000 unique visitors. The Jerusalem Center’s English website offers more than 4,000 full-text articles.

The Jerusalem Center’s English website is Our websites also appear in Hebrew, French, and German

Since May 2002, the Jerusalem Center has published the highly-acclaimed Daily Alert – a daily news digest designed for the leadership of organized American Jewry (sponsored by the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations). All back issues of Daily Alert are available from its website, together with a searchable data base of over 60,000 Daily Alert articles. Daily Alert is also available in mobile format.

On social media, the Center’s Twitter followers now number 19,675, among them many of the leading Middle East experts, journalists, and diplomats. Likewise, the Center’s Facebook followers now number 14,400, along with 7,830 YouTube subscribers.

Back to Contents

Experts in the Media 

Amb. Alan Baker

Amb. Alan Baker, head of the Global Law Forum

Pinhas Inbari

Pinhas Inbari, Researcher, Middle East and Palestinian Affairs

Amb. Freddy Eytan

Amb. Freddy Eytan

Lenny Ben-David

Lenny Ben-David, Director of Publications

Dr. Jacques Neriah

Dr. Jacques Neriah, Senior Advisor, Arab Affairs

Brig.-Gen. (res.) Yossi Kuperwasser

Brig.-Gen. (res.) Yossi Kuperwasser, Director of the Project on Regional Middle East Developments

Dan Diker

Dan Diker, Director of the Political Warfare Project

Back to Contents

Recent Articles by Our Experts 


Brig-Gen. (ret.) Yossi Kuperwasser, “The Struggle over the Iranian Nuclear Programme,” Fathom Journal, Winter, 2015.


Amb. Zvi Mazel, “El-Sisi Tries to Keep Egypt Afloat with Little Help from U.S.” World Review, October 21, 2015. Quoted in “Egypt Security Ties Not Affecting Public’s Hatred of Israel,” Jerusalem Post, March 2, 2016.

Palestinian Affairs

Brig.-Gen. (res.) Yossi Kuperwasser, “To Convince Abu Mazen,” Haaretz, April 6, 2016.

Brig.-Gen. (res.) Yossi Kuperwasser, “For Palestinians, Conflict with Jews Is Existential in Nature,” Haaretz, October 12, 2015.

Lt. Col. (ret.) Jonathan D. Halevi, “The ‘Spontaneous’ Intifada Is Orchestrated by the Palestinian Leadership,” Snapshots, December 1, 2015.


Amb. Freddy Eytan interview on France 24, October 1, 2015.

Boycott (BDS)

Dan Diker, “Europe’s Settlement Product Labeling Hurts Palestinians, Not Israelis,” Jerusalem Post, November 10, 2015.

United States

Lenny Ben-David, “The AIPAC Conference in Washington Isn’t Over,” Jerusalem Post, March 28, 2016.