January 28, 2021

Game Not Over: The Quneitra Attack in Context

In analyzing the significance and hence likely fallout from the  Israeli killing of a number of senior Hizballah and IRGC personnel close to the Golan border this week, a number of things should be borne in mind: Firstly, the killings were a response to a clear attempt by the Iranians/Hizballah to violate the very fragile status quo that pertains between these elements and Israel in Lebanon and Syria. Hizballah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah in his interview to the al-Mayadeen network … [Read more...]

Interview with Eric Stackelbeck: The Middle East in 2015

jonathan-spyer

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Battlelines Emerge in Israel’s Election Campaign

Tzipi Livni

With the date of the elections set for March 17th, the campaigning season has begun in Israel. There was little public enthusiasm for the new polls. It is only 20 months since the last time Israelis turned out to vote. The 2015 contest will be the fifth general election in Israel since 2003. This means the average life expectancy of an Israeli government is less than two and a half years. It isn’t a recipe for political stability, or for the pursuing by governments of clear and consistent … [Read more...]

Islamic State Forces Approach Israel-Syria Border

Golan ceasefire line crossing, 2012.

Islamic State has suffered severe losses as a result of coalition air strikes in the last months. Over 1,000 of its fighters have been killed, and Kurdish peshmerga forces have driven the jihadists back on a wide front between the cities of Erbil and Mosul. The terror movement has also failed to conquer the symbolic town of Kobani (Ayn al-Arab) close to the Syrian-Turkish border (further south, Islamic State losses have been more modest and at least partially reversed). Yet despite these … [Read more...]

Sunni Political Islam: Engine of the “Israeli-Palestinian” Conflict

An oft-repeated sentiment currently doing the rounds in discussions of the Israeli-Palestinian issue is that it is imperative that the conflict not become a “religious” one. This sentiment, guaranteed to set heads nodding in polite, liberal company, stands out even within the very crowded and competitive field of ridiculous expressions of historical ignorance found in discussion of the Israeli-Palestinian issue. This sentiment is connected to the recent wave of terror attacks in Jerusalem, … [Read more...]

Fear and Loathing in Jerusalem

The current atmosphere in Jerusalem is reminiscent of the Second Intifada’s opening days, in the autumn of 2000. Tension and fear. A sense of foreboding. “I can feel it in my bones, what’s coming,” says Daniella, a native Jerusalemite who owns a restaurant in central west Jerusalem, and whose sister was killed in a suicide bombing in 2002. What’s coming, she and many others think, is more violence. There are fewer pedestrians on the streets. People have become cautious and alert in … [Read more...]

The Emerging Pattern

A pattern emerges, dear friends. The names of the five Palestinian Arab terrorists who have murdered or sought to murder Israelis in major incidents in the last couple of weeks are: Nur a Din Hashiya, Maher al Hashlamoun, Ibrahim al Akari, Abd al Rahman al Shaludi and Mutaz Hijazi. It is interesting to note that all these men are not simply members of the Arab Muslim public, with no prior affiliation, who suddenly committed acts of terror (there have been a number of incidents involving such … [Read more...]

Voice of Israel Interview: Jonathan Spyer on Gaza, Syria, and ISIS

GLORIA's Jonathan Spyer live with Eve Harrow:  in-depth Voice of Israel interview.

Just before leaving for Syria, Jerusalem reporter Jonathan Spyer tells VOI's Eve Harow why a local said to him, 'Suria Rach,' or 'Syria is gone.' These two video interviews are a must-watch for anyone interested in the current chaotic state of the Levant. On ISIS:  "I was actually personally acquainted with Steven Sotloff, one of the two journalists who were murdered by IS," Spyer says in this in-depth interview with Voice of Israel that sheds light on the current chaotic situation. … [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...]

The Fire This Time

Israel Defense Forces - Gaza Strip smuggling tunnel found near Egyptian border.

New York Daily News, 14/7 In recent years, even as the constant threat of terrorism from Hamas and Hezbollah loomed, Israelis would note the political conflagrations burning up the region all around them and would contrast these with the relative tranquility and normality in their own immediate neighborhood. These observations were made nervously, not with arrogance. Behind them was the assumption that it couldn’t last. Sooner or later, the wave of political fury sweeping the region … [Read more...]