Middle East

Israel’s Upcoming Elections and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

Israel’s parliamentary elections on 9 April seem set to see Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu return to lead a fragile, more right-wing coalition, an outcome unlikely to prompt a dramatic change in the country’s policies in the West Bank and Gaza. Ofer Zalzberg ICG Who will win the upcoming parliamentary election? Current polls project that the governing Likud party will secure enough seats in the Knesset for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to put together a new right-wing governing coalition, similar to ... Read More »

Crisis Group Yemen Update #8

This is the eighth briefing note in Crisis Group’s Yemen Campaign. ICG This week, we explain why ending the internal conflict in Taiz should be a priority step toward national-level peacebuilding efforts. Trendline: Trouble in Taiz Taiz, Yemen’s largest pre-war manufacturing hub and cultural capital nestled in the country’s central highlands, is widely regarded by its inhabitants as a forgotten city. Any future political settlement will have to include a mechanism to end the struggle for Taiz, but internal wrangling ... Read More »

‘We can and must push back against the tide of fascism,’ says Arab-Israeli MK Tibi

As Israel’s General Election approaches on 9 April, MEMO interviews candidates, current and former, about their hopes for the future of Israeli politics. Rebecca Stead The Middle East Monitor Ahmad Tibi is, in many ways, the face of Palestinian politics within Israel. Boasting 20 years’ service as a Knesset Member (MK), he sees no reason why he shouldn’t one day become Israel’s Prime Minister. Yet with only days to go until the General Election, Tibi must battle anti-Palestinian rhetoric, an ... Read More »

Wiesenthal Center Urges Removal Of Anne Frank’s Name From NGO Due To Antisemitism

Alleged Anti-Jewish conspiracy theorist and Israel-hater Daniel Bax is slated to speak at the Anne Frank Educational Center. Benjamin Weinthal JPost The Simon Wiesenthal Center called on the Frankfurt-based Anne Frank Educational Center to remove the Holocaust victim’s name from its organization after it invited an alleged anti-Jewish conspiracy theorist who loathes Israel to speak at its conference on antisemitism. The latest antisemitism scandal at the center is roiling Frankfurt’s city government. Frankfurt’s deputy mayor and city treasurer, Uwe Becker, ... Read More »

Pompeo: There will be ‘devastating’ consequences if Turkey attacks Syria

April 4 (UPI) — U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo warned Turkey of “devastating” consequences if it attacks Syria. Darryl Coote Pompeo gave the warning to Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu Wednesday in Washington during the first day of the two-day NATO Ministerial, State Department Spokesman Robert Palladino said in a statement. “Secretary Pompeo expressed support for ongoing negotiations regarding northeast Syria, while warning of the potentially devastating consequences of unilateral Turkish military action in the region,” Palladino said in ... Read More »

Erdoğan’s Four Challenges

Turkey’s president suffered a frustrating setback in local government elections as democratic resilience prevailed. Marc Pierini Carnegie Europe Watch out for the impact on the economy, the rule of law, defense, and Syria. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s campaigning was vintage AKP electioneering: playing a nationalist fiddle; hiding economic realities with creative accounting and cosmetic measures; equating low interest rates (again) with low inflation; accusing foreigners of weakening the currency; threatening the opposition; continuing the crackdown on free speech and ... Read More »

Turkey’s marriage of F-35 and S-400 ‘absolutely unsustainable,’ says EUCOM nominee

WASHINGTON — The U.S. general nominated to lead American forces in Europe said Tuesday that if Turkey buys the Russian S-400 air defense system, it “should not get” the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter from the United States. Joe Gould DefenseNews At his Senate Armed Services Committee nomination hearing to lead U.S. European Command, Air Force Gen. Tod Wolters called the co-location of the F-35 and the S-400 “absolutely unsustainable.” “I concur with this committee’s belief that the S-400 and the ... Read More »

Turkish democracy is the winner in these momentous local elections

By toppling the AKP in Ankara and Istanbul, the opposition has shown that Erdoğan’s ruling party is not an invincible force Sinan Ülgen The Guardian Sunday’s local elections in Turkey resulted in a major setback for the president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, and his ruling alliance. The ruling Justice and Development party (AKP) and nationalist MHP coalition lost Turkey’s major cities to an opposition ushering in an era of change at the local level. The political transitions in Istanbul and Ankara ... Read More »

Defusing the Crisis at Jerusalem’s Gate of Mercy

A standoff looms between Palestinian worshippers and Israeli police over a shuttered building at Jerusalem’s Holy Esplanade. ICG Israel and Muslim religious authorities should reopen the building to lessen tensions at the sacred site, where small incidents have blown up into prolonged violence before. What’s new? At Jerusalem’s Holy Esplanade (Haram al-Sharif/Temple Mount), Israeli authorities and Palestinian worshippers are struggling over control of a building next to the Gate of Mercy. Shut by Israeli authorities since 2003, Palestinians forcibly regained ... Read More »

A Turning Point for Turkey’s Opposition?

The AKP’s losses in key major cities in Turkey’s local elections provide opposition parties the opportunity to hold the ruling party accountable. A.Kadir Yildirim Carnegie After an unusually quiet campaign season in Turkey, the March 31, 2019 local elections delivered one of the most stunning results in recent memory. While securing a majority of the votes nationwide, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his Justice and Development Party (AKP) lost major ground. Interestingly, from a historical perspective, the AKP outperformed ... Read More »

Understanding Israel’s Role in The F-35 Dispute Between the US and Turkey

The United States has just cut off its nose to spite its face by announcing that Washington will halt delivery of equipment related to the F-35 fighter jet to Turkey. Adam Garrie EurasiaFuture This makes life more difficult for both Turkey and the US as Turkey played a key role in the development of the F-35. Is this about Russia or is it about Israel?  Throughout 2018, the US threatened to halt delivery of the F-35s to Turkey due to ... Read More »

Brexit, the Republic of Cyprus and the Sovereign Base Areas

An Open Letter addressed to the President of the Republic of Cyprus and the President of the European Commission Klearchos A. Kyriakides Assistant Professor, Cyprus Campus, University of Central Lancashire (UCLan Cyprus) 2 April 2019 Brexit, the Republic of Cyprus and the Sovereign Base Areas Published by Agora Dialogue on 2 April 2019 Read More »

Erdogan tried to make local Turkish elections about national security, but it didn’t work

Votes are still being counted in local elections that took place across Turkey on Sunday, but so far it appears that President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s party has lost key cities and towns. Authors: The Conversation That includes the Turkish capital Ankara, which has been run by Islamist mayors for the last 25 years. When Erdoğan won Turkey’s presidential election in June last year, he effectively became an autocrat with few checks and balances. Since then, parliament has lost its significance ... Read More »

Kastelorizo Updates

I predicted at “Kastelorizo – Mediterranean Flashpoint?” that the issue of a Greek exclusive economic zone would turn the tiny island of the Anatolian coast into a crisis point. Daniel Pipes This blog notes some developments on the EEZ topic that bear on that issue. For starters, the Hellas Frappe blog reports on a indirect Greek proclamation of its EEZ, at the behest of Foreign Minister Dimitris Avramopoulos. This was done via a verbal statement of its continental shelf coordinates ... Read More »

The Critical Role of the Exclusive Economic Zone in the Greek-Turkish Dispute

The legal regime for the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) is enshrined in the Unites Nations Law Convention of the Law of the Sea (UNLOS) on December 10, 1982. Theodore C. Kariotis Part V of that Convention (more precisely, articles 55 to 75) provides for an EEZ “extending 200 nautical miles seaward from the coast.” If all coastal states thus exercised their jurisdiction over their own EEZs, some 38 million square nautical miles would become their “economic patrimony.” The oceans represent ... Read More »

‘The world stands disgraced’ – Israeli shelling of school kills at least 15

• UN condemns IDF attack on sleeping children as violation of international law • Strike on crowded market in Shujai’iya during ceasefire kills 17 • Death toll now more than 1,300 after three weeks of fighting Harriet Sherwoodin Jerusalem and Hazem Baloushain Jabaliya The Guardian United Nations officials described the killing of sleeping children as a disgrace to the world and accused Israel of a serious violation of international law after a school in Gaza being used to shelter Palestinian families was shelled on Wednesday. ... Read More »