Photograph: 'Views of Jerusalem' / Flickr
Middle East

How Israel’s targeted killings were consistent with its strategy: Part 4

From a Realist perspective the negative implications of the assassination campaign on Israel’s national interests are negligable when considering that the subsequent rise of Hamas in Gaza had the effect of undermining the bargaining position of the Palestinian authority. Moreover it is worth noting that with the rise of a new generation of Hamas leaders and its take-over of government, the nature of the group‘s attacks changed, with the number of suicide bombings against Israelis decreasing. (Read More)

Middle East

Targeted killings as a counter-insurgency strategy: Part 3

With the beginning of the second intifada the nature, the frequency and magnitude of Israel’s targeted killings (TKs) changed dramatically. Whereas before the insurgency Israel’s TKs against Islamists were covert operations conducted by the secret service, now that Israel was facing a wave of deadly suicide bombings the army itself adopted TKs as a strategy to subdue Hamas. Consequently, the armed forces were sent on a mission to ‘terrorize the terrorists’ with the weapons they had at their disposal. “The main downside of helicopter attacks was that such operations did not allow Israel any deniability. For this reason, Israel claimed responsibility for all helicopter assassinations while remaining mute in most cases on which activists were gunned down in the middle of the street or by long-range sniper bullets.” (Read More)

Middle East

Targeted killings as a ‘divide and rule’ tactic: Part 2

Strategy is a comprehensive long-ranging plan to promote interests in the context of conflict. In theory, strategy “requires both a policy to define its purpose and tactics to make it happen” and thus provides “the bridge between political goals and military means.” Tactics, on the other hand, is defined by Clausewitz as “the sciences and art of organizing a military force, and the techniques for combining and using weapons and military units to engage and defeat an enemy.” (Read More)


Unity or Division? Assessing the impact of the Japanese occupation on modern Indonesia: Part 3

The elimination of Dutch influence and mobilization of the population for the Japanese war effort demanded the systematic indoctrination of Indonesians throughout the archipelago. Although this constant propaganda failed to convince Indonesians of the apparent superiority of Japanese culture, it did, however, intensify anti-Western and nationalistic attitudes, which in the process helped unify Indonesians in their commitment to independence. (Read More)


Unity or Division? Assessing the impact of the Japanese occupation on modern Indonesia: Part 1

When Showa Japan invaded the Dutch East Indies in 1942, different groups began to compete for the goodwill of their new colonial masters. In the course of these events remaining Europeans were either killed or sent as forced labour into Japanese concentration camps. Many Indonesians had welcomed the Japanese as liberators but their hopes were soon balked. The occupying power brutally quelled resistance since its ultimate aim was to incorporate the East Indies into the ’Greater East Asian Co-Prosperity Sphere – a Japanese dominated imperial order. (Read More)

'Books are power' / CC

Review: “The Palestinian Hamas: Vision, Violence, and Coexistence” by Shaul Mishal & Avraham Sela

Among Israeli politicians and the media there has been a tendency to project a one-sided image of Hamas as being merely a terrorist cell, driven by religious fundamentalism and ready to pursue its stated aim of destroying Israel at any cost. “Islamic and national zeal, bitter opposition to the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, and strategies of terror and violence against Israel have become the movements hallmark” write Shaul Mishal and Avraham Sela in The Palestinian Hamas: Vision, Violence, and Coexistence. (Read More)