18 Items

- Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School Belfer Center Newsletter

Daniel Sobelman: Learning to Listen to the “Other Side”

    Author:
  • Bridget Reed Morawski
| Fall/Winter 2015-2016

A graduate of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and a former correspondent for the newspaper Ha’aretzDaniel Sobelman arrived at the Belfer Center in the summer of 2014 at a time when Israel was embattled in a confrontation with Hamas. Large portions of the country were coming under daily rocket fire from Gaza....

At the Belfer Center, Sobelman is researching the conceptual and military implications of “asymmetric conflicts,” focusing on the evolution of the conflict between Israel and Hezbollah.

Report

Tipping the Balance?

| December 2015

Standing before the United States Congress early in March 2015, in the face of a looming deadline in the Iran and P5+1 talks over the Iranian nuclear program, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu portrayed the negotiations in stark terms. Drawing a direct parallel between biblical plots to persecute Jews in pre-Islamic Persia and modern Iran’s nuclear program, Netanyahu framed Iran as nothing less than an existential threat to Israel. Anything short of a practical dismantling of Iranian nuclear infrastructure would be unacceptable. Largely perceived as an attempt to undermine President Barack Obama’s efforts to reach a negotiated settlement with Iran, Netanyahu’s actions thus proved quite contentious inside the United States.

Blog Post - Iran Matters

Hezbollah's Friends in Yemen are Trying to Lure the Saudis into a Ground War

| June 12, 2015

Daniel Sobelman, research fellow with the International Security Program at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, writes in Foreign Policy that the Houthi rebels in Yemen are following a similar operational strategy to the one pursued by Hezbollah during its 2006 war with Israel. He argues that the Houthis share operational links with Hezbollah. These links between the organizations can be best discerned by analyzing the rhetoric of Hezbollah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah, who has stated that Hezbollah's fight against Israel in 2006 provides a model for organizations and groups operating against militarily superior forces. In this model, the actions of the Houthis to attack Saudi border towns and garrisons are part of a broader strategy of forcing Saudi Arabia to deescalate its air campaign or force it to engage with ground forces, an outcome that would favor the Houthis. He concludes that while it is impossible to know what the exact effects of the Houthi retaliatory measures against Saudi targets, it is clear that more than air power will needed to end the Houthi threat to Saudi Arabia.

In this April 22, 2015 file photo, a Shiite rebel, second left, holds a poster of Hezbollah leader Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah as he attends along with his comrades a protest to denounce the Saudi-led airstrikes, in Sanaa, Yemen.

AP Photo/Hani Mohammed

Analysis & Opinions - Foreign Policy

Hezbollah's Friends in Yemen Are Trying to Lure the Saudis Into a Ground War

| June 11, 2015

"...[T]he kingdom's highly restrictive media environment makes it all the more difficult to gauge the real impact of the Houthi cross-border rocket campaign. Nevertheless, the Houthis' apparent ability to place Saudi assets at continuous risk could have a significant long-term impact on Riyadh's threat perception and willingness to engage in similar military campaigns against the Houthis."

Blog Post - Iran Matters

Hezbollah ‘Delivers’ Assad: Implications of Iran’s Involvement in Syrian Crisis

| Apr. 17, 2015

Daniel Sobelman, Research Fellow with the International Security Program at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, writes that Iran's and Hezbollah's involvement in the ongoing conflict in Syria has major potential strategic implications for Israel and the region. He notes that Iranian military and economic aid have been crucial in saving the Syrian regime, and argues that this has put Iran in the dominant position to determine Syria's strategic directory for some time to come. He goes on to state that the disintegration of state authority near the Golan Heights and the ongoing fighting there between the regime and its allies and the rebel forces has created the potential for another "border" between Israel and Iran, in addition to the positions held by Hezbollah in South Lebanon, complicating Israel's regional security posture.

Analysis & Opinions - Iran Matters

Hezbollah 'Delivers' Assad: Implications of Iran's Involvement in Syrian Crisis

| April 17, 2015

Iran's and Hezbollah's involvement in the ongoing conflict in Syria has major potential strategic implications for Israel and the region. He notes that Iranian military and economic aid have been crucial in saving the Syrian regime and argues that this has put Iran in the dominant position to determine Syria's strategic directory for some time to come. He goes on to state that the disintegration of state authority near the Golan Heights and the ongoing fighting there between the regime and its allies and the rebel forces has created the potential for another "border" between Israel and Iran, in addition to the positions held by Hezbollah in South Lebanon, complicating Israel's regional security posture.