In the past year, the geopolitical arena was rife with uncertainty and posed significant challenges for decision makers. This situation has worsened since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has had a multi-systemic impact on the economy, security, society, culture and more. Israel will have to confront the challenges it faces with relatively limited resources in comparison to the past, due to the need to continue fighting the pandemic and the enormous burden involved in rehabilitating the economy and society. The pandemic, with its severe economic consequences, of course also harms Israel’s enemies – most notably Iran – and erodes their power.
The geopolitical year covered in this report ended with the dramatic announcement (August 13, 2020) of the historic agreement between Israel and the United Arab Emirates to fully normalize relations. This agreement was made possible when Israel gave up its intention to annex territories in Judea and Samaria for the foreseeable future. The more Arab countries follow the path of the Emirates, the more we will see the positive consequences of the agreement for Israel’s resilience and the geopolitical arena that affects the situation of Israel and the Jewish people.
The analysis presented in this year’s geopolitical survey does not ignore negative long-term trends (the lack of a solution to the Palestinian conflict, the threat of a nuclear Iran, and more). However, in light of the breakthrough achieved with the UAE, and its potential for driving a positive regional turnaround, we are moving the needle slightly in a positive direction.
The full survey, The Geopolitical Arena in the Shadow of the COVID-19 Pandemic, can be found here.