Middle East

Netanyahu’s UK visit represents a paradigm shift with Israel

19/02/2017 Olivia Beer

“Settlements aside, Israeli/UK business remains stronger than ever. Trade relations between both countries are positive and are steadily growing in both directions. Bilateral trade is worth £5 billion a year and has doubled in the last decade. The UK is Israel’s second largest trading partner after the US. And, technological, pharmaceutical and military collaboration between both sides remains strong.” (Read More)

Air strike in Sana'a / Credit: ibrahem Qasim
Middle East

The neglected war in Yemen

24/08/2016 Gabriela Bernal

Gabriela writes about the civil war currently going on in Yemen and the role the US and UK are playing. A Saudi-led coalition has been fighting the Houthi rebels in Yemen since March 2015 and up to now all peace talks have failed and the country is in chaos. (Read More)


Turkey: current developments and ambitions

27/05/2016 Gabriela Bernal

Erdoğan also claimed that funds promised by the EU have yet to reach Turkey. The refugee problem has put a severe strain on Turkey, especially after the recent EU-Turkey agreement of March 20. This agreement called for all migrants who arrive illegally in Greece to be sent to Turkey if they do not apply for asylum or if their claim is rejected. So far, Turkey has taken in some three million refugees and has had to spend about $10 billion of their budget on dealing with the refugee crisis. (Read More)

Middle East

ISIS foreign recruitment: The pitch and how to weaken it

08/03/2016 Sam Black

It is estimated that 36,500 foreigners, at least 6,600 of which are from Western countries, have joined ISIS. Consequently, the often-asked, but no less serious, question remains: how can Western powers hinder recruitment? Scholars have identified the compelling narrative crafted by ISIS as a key variable to be undermined. (Read More)

Photograph: 'Views of Jerusalem' / Flickr
Middle East

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

17/10/2015 Alex Beck

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)

Photograph: 'Views of Jerusalem' / Flickr
Middle East

Israel turns a blind powerless eye

16/10/2015 Bradley Alis

Today UNRWA provides assistance to over 5 million registered Palestinian refugees. What was meant to be a temporary relief agency has become a quasi-governmental entity nearly seven decades later. Being a UN agency, UNRWA is supposed to espouse values of peace, yet after thorough examination of the curriculum being taught in UNRWA schools – in Gaza, the West Bank, Syria, Lebanon and East Jerusalem – it has been found to be anything but peaceful. Israel continues to turn a blind eye, while its aid and money is helping to create its enemies of tomorrow. (Read More)

Middle East

The West: The problem not the solution in the Middle East

Syria lies in ruin! Rampant with death and displacement, children freeze in the long harsh winter of refugee camps that stretch far and wide. Whilst, Egypt’s democracy lasted less time than the Pleb gate scandal, Libya and Iraq sees militias set the agenda, with death a frequent and tragic companion to these embattled populations. As a citizen of the twenty-first century I am repulsed by what has been allowed to happen in Middle East; however my repulsion as a world citizen is nothing compared to my revulsion at being identified as British, European and Western following the Arab Spring. (Read More)

Middle East

Targeted killings as a counter-insurgency strategy: Part 3

31/03/2015 Alex Beck

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

30/03/2015 Alex Beck

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)

'Books are power' / CC

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

27/03/2015 Alex Beck

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)

Photograph: 'Views of Jerusalem' / Flickr
Middle East

Letter to the London Jewish News and the Jewish Chronicle: The Israeli election

25/03/2015 Stephen Hoffman

Dear Sir,

The Israeli election showed the vibrancy of Israel’s democracy, which as a Zionist I am incredibly proud of. However, I was dismayed by Binyamin Netanyahu’s comments towards Israeli Arabs, where he complained about the high turnout from Israeli Arabs, as some sort of leftist conspiracy that right-wing voters must counteract. Mr Netanyahu, it was an example of democracy in action, where minorities, unlike in the countries surrounding Israel, have the right to vote. (Read More)

History & Philosophy

Did Israel Misuse Targeted Killings? A Machiavellian Account: Part 1

19/03/2015 Alex Beck

“A targeted killing is a state-level, intentionally focused operation using every resource that intelligence agencies and armed forces have at their disposal with the objective of forcefully and permanently eliminating specific individuals from armed conflict, or at the very least deterring them from partaking in armed hostilities.” (Read More)

Photograph: 'Views of Jerusalem' / Flickr
Middle East

Bye-bye Bibi, Bibi bye-bye?

07/03/2015 Sam Julius

March 17th is the day of reckoning for Benjamin Netanyahu, a man who polarises the Israeli electorate like no other. In under two weeks time there remains a possibility that the world will wake to the political obituary of Israel’s second longest-serving prime minister. (Read More)