April 24, 2014

GROWING ANTISEMITISM AND ANTI-JEWISH HATRED IN THE NETHERLANDS

The synagogue in the town of Veghel, Netherlands. The community in Veghel was a small mediene community, which reached its height around 1900. In the years following the community shrank to some 30 members, and was eventually completely destroyed during the Holocaust.

PDF version available here This article discusses increasing anti-Jewish hatred in the Netherlands, in particular due to the growing Muslim immigrant population there. Though the Dutch government has been traditionally friendly to Israel and there has been proportionately less antisemitism there compared to in other European countries, shocking slanders appear about Israel in the mainstream Dutch media and there has also been an academic boycott of Israel. In addition, Dutch politicians … [Read more...]

THE ISLAMIC STATE OF IRAQ AND AL-SHAM

Photo of a Jama’at Jund al-Sham fighter holding a flag of the group

PDF version available here This article examines the rise of the al-Qa’ida-aligned group known as the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) since its announcement in April 2013 until September 2013. It focuses in particular on its military operations and its relations with other rebel groups. The article concludes by examining what the future holds for ISIS on the whole.   INTRODUCTION: THE IDEOLOGY   The group under consideration in this paper--like al-Qa’ida … [Read more...]

THE POPULAR FRONT FOR THE LIBERATION OF PALESTINE-GENERAL COMMAND (PFLP-GC) AND THE SYRIAN CIVIL WAR

PFLP-GC Jihad Jibril Brigade

As the Asad regime’s most loyal Palestinian proxy, the PFLP-GC’s role in the conflict in Syria is of great importance. Currently, the group’s interests center on countering Syrian rebel forces in Syria and their allies in Lebanon. In this role, the PFLP-GC has suffered a number of significant losses, and for the first time in its existence is being pressed in all areas it operates. This article will focus on the Syrian Civil War’s effects on the PFLP-GC and what the future may hold for … [Read more...]

REVOLUTIONARY SALAFI ISLAMISTS IN EGYPT: AN ANALYSIS AND GUIDE

A microbus sponsored by the al-Nour Party offers voters free rides to polling stations during 2011/2012 Egyptian parliamentary elections.

While the ruling Muslim Brotherhood has received a great deal of attention in Egypt, the varied Salafi groups have been far less studied. At times allies and at times rivals of the Brotherhood, the Salafists are widely varied. Whether the two groups can cooperate will determine the future of Islamist rule in Egypt. The Salafists pull the Brotherhood to take stronger action more immediately and may have faith in the larger organization or consider it to have betrayed the revolution. Moreover, the … [Read more...]

BLIND TO TERROR: THE U.S. GOVERNMENT’S DISASTROUS MUSLIM OUTREACH EFFORTS AND THE IMPACT ON U.S. MIDDLE EAST POLICY

Obama meets with members of his national security team to discuss developments in the Boston Marathon bombings investigation, in the Situation Room of the White House on April 19, 2013. Pictured, from left, are: FBI Director Robert Mueller; Lisa Monaco, Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism; Attorney General Eric Holder; Deputy National Security Advisor Tony Blinken; and Vice President Joe Biden.

    Why has the U.S. government called certain Islamic groups supporters of terror in federal court, and then turned around and called these same organizations “moderates” and embraced them as outreach partners? In a number of cases from the Clinton, Bush, and Obama administrations, the leaders of these organizations (some of whom are now in federal prison) were under active investigation at the same time they were meeting with senior U.S. leaders at the White House and the … [Read more...]

Western Leftists Back Islamists; Arab Counterparts Are Their Victims

barry-rubin

OH! pleasant exercise of hope and joy! For mighty were the auxiliars which then stood Upon our side, we who were strong in love! Bliss was it in that dawn to be alive, But to be young was very heaven!--Oh! times, In which the meager, stale, forbidding ways Of custom, law, and statute, took at once The attraction of a country in romance! --William Wordsworth, Poem on the French Revolution, 1789 A decent but very leftist British Middle East expert once described for me his … [Read more...]

AN ISRAELI “PLAN B” FOR A NUCLEAR IRAN

Assuming that Iran does indeed obtain nuclear weapons and Israel doesn’t launch an attack on its facilities, what is Israel’s “plan B” to deal with the new situation? This article analyzes the issue. Click here to download the PDF version of this article. INTRODUCTION Despite substantial sanctions designed to curb its nuclear program, Iran has refused to bend to international pressure. It has consistently violated U.N. resolutions calling for it to abandon its uranium enrichment … [Read more...]

HIZBALLAH AND THE ARAB REVOLUTIONS: THE CONTRADICTION MADE APPARENT?

jonathan-spyer

Since the 1990s, Hizballah has defined itself along a number of parallel lines, each of which prior to 2011 appeared to support the other. The movement was simultaneously a sectarian representative of the Lebanese Shi’a, a regional ally of Iran and Syria, a defender of the Lebanese against the supposed aggressive intentions of Israel, and a leader of a more generically defined Arab and Muslim “resistance” against Israel and the West.  As a result of the events of 2011, most important the … [Read more...]

SYRIA’S 31 PERCENTERS: HOW BASHAR AL-ASAD BUILT MINORITY ALLIANCES AND COUNTERED MINORITY FOES

As the Syrian revolution against Bashar al-Asad’s rule enters its first year, Asad appears to have a good command over Syria’s large and fractious minority community. Three of the most prominent minority groups include the Christians, Druze, and Kurds. Asad’s control of these groups was not happenstance but the result of a number of hard- and soft-power moves executed by the regime. These calculations did not simply involve direct internal dealings with said minorities, but also outreach … [Read more...]

THE “INDEPENDENT SHI’A” OF LEBANON: WHAT WIKILEAKS TELLS US ABOUT AMERICAN EFFORTS TO FIND AN ALTERNATIVE TO HIZBALLAH

U.S. diplomatic cables released by Wikileaks have given a new insight into American policy in Lebanon, especially efforts to counter Hizballah. Hizballah’s willingness to use a combination of hard power through violence and coercion, combined with a softer touch via extensive patronage networks has given them unmatched control over the Shi’a community since the 2005 Cedar Revolution. Using these released cables, this study will focus on efforts, successes, and failures made by so-called … [Read more...]