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Violent Transitions

Speaking to a delegation of Latin dignitaries in 1962, President John F. Kennedy said, “Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.” His words ring prophetic as regimes in Egypt, Syria and Yemen who refuse to cede to the peaceful demands of their people find themselves locked in a deadly dance.

Arabs who have decided to seize their own destiny are confronted with regimes that are willing to use any means necessary to retain power. As Arabs struggle to overthrow their regimes, we will explore ways of averting violence, the virtues and drawbacks of international intervention and the sacrifice tens of thousands of Arabs are making for their freedom.

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To the shores of Tripoli

Great Britain and Italy are preparing to send ground troops to Libya, and American troops will likely be involved eventually – ironic developments given western intervention helped create a failed state in Libya in the first place.

Reflections from Arab Spring to refugee crisis in Europe: an argument for measure and the rule of law

As we must find ways to deal with economic migration in all its variations and the effects it has on society and economy, we must offer a rights-based welcome to those who qualify for asylum.

Peace: a meaningless concept?

Netanyahu and suicide bombers represent two sides of the same coin; both lethal and unstoppable.

Saudi executions: beyond the numbers

The inability to recognise an affront to the rule of law, regardless of the identity of the perpetrator, reveals the region’s dire state of affairs, politically, morally, and intellectually. Arabic

Yemen: independent intellectuals under threat

Polarisation is wiping out all independent or dissenting voices. Yemeni intellectuals are constantly at risk of acts of violent intimidation, arrest or assassination. Français

Tunisia’s fight against its revolutionary youth

The threat of terrorism has been exploited to justify anti-democratic laws and an escalation of arrests and detentions, apparently more focused on silencing dissent than anything else.

Al-Qaeda or ISIS? Al-Shabab's loyalty dilemma

Al Qaeda’s franchise model continues to be attractive for al-Shabab despite the rise of ISIS.

Outside the box: a Sunni endgame in Syria, Iraq?

A series of related events point to a possible endgame scenario in Syria and Iraq.

Israel Firsters

For the past few months Israelis and Palestinians have experienced a wave of terrorist attacks mainly on civilian targets. Peace education may have an answer.

Exceptional Israel: the case for BDS

case for BDS by other means.

Conflicting interests in crowded skies prolong Syria’s agony

Turkey-Russia spat is a symptom of different, often incompatible agendas.

The paradox of the Syrian conflict and its politics

While the French president has won public approval and international backing for the fight against IS, differences persist about the necessity of coordinating with Russia.

The Islamic State that isn’t

Why do western media call a barbaric terrorist group the ‘Islamic State’ when it is neither Islamic nor a state?

Why it would be sheer folly to redraw Middle East borders along ethnic lines

However groundless the Sykes-Picot Agreement, is a Balkanisation of Syria and Iraq really the way forward?

How ISIS provincialised Europe

A politics of blame, of ‘us’ versus ‘them’, serves only to endorse ISIS’s Manichean worldview. Only an ethos of intercultural dialogue can help produce the "strange multiplicity" that an irreversibly multiethnic Europe so urgently needs.

No peace and quiet for Israel until the occupation ends

Palestinian activists are faced with knowing that their unarmed resistance, whilst it has attracted international civil society support, has failed to exercise any leverage over Israel.

The movement of refugees to Europe will continue, regardless of how dangerous EU states make it

Until the war ends and concerted international efforts to rebuild Syria and Iraq are implemented, the root causes of mass displacement will remain.

The thinking behind a mental health workers pledge for Palestine

Concerned professionals may need to move beyond their accustomed professional roles to support a genuine transformation in Israel and occupied Palestine that respects the human needs and rights of all who live there.

Russia’s policy in the Middle East imperilled by the Syrian intervention

This risky experiment in power projection continues traditional Russian policy in the region, but also departs from the careful manoeuvring aimed at exploiting confusion in US and European policies.  

Why the west cannot defeat ISIS

Maged Mandour

ISIS has emerged from the wounds of the Arab world—for which the west is to a large extent responsibleand current airstrikes are pouring salt into these wounds.

The ISIS threat: terror, propaganda and ideology

Mainstream Muslim scholars must engage with reinterpreting passages of the Qur'an that seem to support ISIS' treatment of women. Translated excerpt from Trusselen fra IS: Terror, propaganda og ideologi.

Israel, ISIS and the Paris attacks

The recent spate of terror attacks around the world have given Israel an opportunity to showcase its military and intelligence capabilities—and to further crack down on Palestinians.

International community neglects to act on Yazidi genocide

Mass murder, rape, slavery, and kidnapping; the situation for the Yazidi community is dire and the international community's reponse has been wholly inadequate.

Countering the logic of the war economy in Syria

The country has entered a vicious circle where Syria’s own resources are being used to destroy it, and where ordinary people have no choice but to rearrange their lives around the conflict and either join or pay armed actors to meet everyday needs.

Social resistance to IS in Syria: the case of Daraa

Areas that maintained a strong sense of social cohesion despite the 'new war' situation, such as Daraa, are far more resistant to the infiltration of both JAN and ISIL.

ISIL and governance

ISIL enters areas afflicted by weak governance, an active war economy, and ongoing conflict with the intention of changing this situation and imposing control to ensure the longevity of its rule. 

ISIL, JAN, and the war economy in Syria

The nature of ISIL and its ability to recruit based on economic needs is not something that can be countered by aerial bombardment.

Islamic State as the Saddam regime’s afterlife: the Fedayeen Saddam

In the Fedayeen—connected to the global Islamist terrorist movement, combining elements of Ba’athism with an increasingly-stern Salafism—is a microcosm of the Saddam regime’s mutation into Islamic State (ISIS).

Baathist/Syrian state institutions must be reformed

Assad is responsible for the damage being caused to Syria, but he is not the only one. Negotiators must reconsider their agreement over the fate of Syrian state institutions.

From Beirut, this is Paris: in a world that doesn’t care about Arab lives

There is a stark contrast in the reaction of the world to the horrific terrorist attacks in Lebanon and France. But in the world that doesn’t care about Arab lives, Arabs lead the way.

Normalising bloodshed: education and the dreams of the Marshall

What are the people in Egypt forcing themselves to believe in order not to deal with the harsh realities of the past four years – let alone the years before?

Gaza: walking ‘eyes wide open’ into another war

The ramping up of air strikes in Gaza combined with a humanitarian crisis compounded by a stalled reconstruction effort following last summer’s war, should compel us all into a heightened state of activism using BDS.

Turkey: repeating past mistakes

Civilian Kurds bear the brunt of Turkey's indiscriminate campaign against the PKKOnly learning from history can finally end the vicious cycle of conflict and bring about a new dawn of peace.

Saudi blockade threatens famine in Yemen

Yemeni civilians are starving as the international community tacitly allows the blockade to continue. It must be lifted so they have a chance for survival.

The violence of the word refugee

Words have power. The meaning of the word ‘refugee’ must be challenged to represent the experiences of the millions of individuals who have lost everything and yet wake up each day seeking to build a better life for themselves.

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