September 18, 2014

“A Compelling and Somber Insight”: Middle East Quarterly Reviews Nazis, Islamists

Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin al-Husseini meeting with Heinrich Himmler in 1943.

From the Middle East Quarterly, Fall 2014 issue. Reprinted with permission from the Middle East Forum site. With Islamist groups taking advantage of uprisings across the Middle East, notably in Egypt, where the Muslim Brotherhood succeeded for a time in gaining power and is still widely viewed as the democratically elected government of Egypt, the publication of this richly researched book, a joint production of two leading Middle East scholars, could not be timelier. While many analysts … [Read more...]

The Guns of August

Thriving city streets of Erbil, Iraq, in 2011, pre-IS. (photo Adam Jones)

Inside the Kurdish-IS War Jerusalem Report, 17/9 Erbil has changed a lot since I was there last. In early 2013, on my way into Syrian Kurdistan, I had stopped off in the city for a few days to make preparations. Then, the city had the feel of a boom town – shopping malls springing up across the skyline, brand new SUVs on the road, Exxon Mobil and Total were coming to town. It was the safest part of Iraq, an official of the Kurdish Regional Government had told me proudly over dinner in a … [Read more...]

At the Kurdistan Front

Peshmerga on a T-55-Tank outside Kirkuk in Iraq, 2014

Weekly Standard, 12/9. A war is being waged along a 900-mile front between two entities that today constitute de facto quasi-states stretching across the old border between Syria and Iraq. These are the Islamic State to the south and a contiguous area of Kurdish-controlled territory to the north. Recently, I traveled to the latter, in regions of northern Iraq and northeast Syria, like the town of Derik, where I spoke with a Kurdish soldier who had recently been in a firefight with IS forces … [Read more...]

Despite Setbacks, Islamic State Faces No Danger to its Existence

Steven Sotloff, American-Israeli journalist abducted by ISIS in August 2013 and murdered in September 2014.

Jerusalem Post, 5/9 The Islamic State this week executed kidnapped American journalist Steven Sotloff – in ‘retaliation’, the group said, for US bombing of its area of control in Iraq.  The murder of Sotloff once more indicated the savage  brutality of this group. But while the IS may be almost without rivals in terms of its capacity for cruelty, events on the ground in Iraq and to a lesser extent in Syria are indicating its limitations as a military force.  IS tactical setbacks, … [Read more...]

The IS-Kurdish War

Mosul Dam hydro power plant

National Post, 29/8 “Eighty years ago, they joined three nations together and formed Iraq. This mistake must not be repeated … The solution is a breakup,” says General Maghdid Haraki. The Kurdish peshmerga officer is speaking from the front lines in Khazar, northern Iraq. His position is only 45 kilometres northwest of Erbil, capital of the autonomous Kurdish regional government (KRG), which along with Sunni and Shiite Arab lands makes up modern Iraq. Today, not only the existence … [Read more...]

The Rubin Scholarship 2014

The late Prof. Barry Rubin

The Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center at the Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya is offering a scholarship for an outstanding researcher in modern Middle East politics.  The Rubin scholarship is named in memory of Professor Barry Rubin, founder and former director of the GLORIA Center, who passed away in February 2014. The scholarship is available to PhD candidates and above who are at the beginning of their careers in the fields of Middle East Studies, International … [Read more...]

Roots of Hatred: National Review looks at Nazis, Islamists

Amin Al Husseini with one of his Nazi Muslim Troops

In Islamic societies, Jews are still widely thought of as people of bad character who cannot help engaging in criminal conspiracy. Muslims are advised several times in their canonical writings and by Middle Eastern rulers that the rightful ordering of the world depends upon destroying Jews for fear Jews may destroy them. Recent times have fueled this murderous fantasy. The Jewish state is conceived as the outcome of a criminal conspiracy involving Britain and now the United States. Merely by … [Read more...]

Qatar, Hamas and the Gaza War

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry with Qatari Foreign Minister Khalid Al Arriya in Washington, April 2014.

Tower Magazine, August 2014. One of the most notable aspects of the current conflict between Israel and Hamas in Gaza is the prominent role being played by the Emirate of Qatar in supporting the terrorist organization, whose genocidal charter calls for the murder of Jews and destruction of Israel. Emir Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad al-Thani, the leader of the Emirate of Qatar, is acting as Hamas’ “channel of communication” to the international community. Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal is now … [Read more...]

The Logic of the Middle East, a prescient analysis by Prof. Barry Rubin

Residents riot during the forced evacuation of Israeli communities in Gaza, summer of 2005.

In light of the current situation in Israel and Gaza, the GLORIA Center is reposting Prof. Rubin's prescient analysis of the likely situation that would emerge in Gaza following the Disengagement.     This article is, if anything, even more relevant today than when it was first published in 2005:   August 2005                   It cannot be repeated often enough that Middle East politics are not like those of other places. They make sense once one understands the … [Read more...]

Netanyahu’s ‘Long War’ Doctrine

President Obama and PM Netanyahu Visit Iron Dome Site in 2013 (photo credit:  Mark Israel / The Israel Project)

PJmedia, 5/8: As a number of former senior Israeli officials pointed out in the course of Operation Protective Edge, Jerusalem had only two possible strategic options to choose from as it entered this fight. The first involved seeking to inflict serious damage on Hamas’s military capabilities in an operation limited in scope. The goal of such a course of action would be to achieve deterrence against Hamas. Implicit in this option is that, at its conclusion, the Hamas authority in Gaza … [Read more...]