PRIME MINISTER NETANYAHU IN THE US CONGRESS: DID THE ENDS JUSTIFY THE MEANS?
(A senior research fellow at the Institute for National Security Studies, served as director of INSS from July 2008 to November 2011, following a long career in Israel's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and other government positions).
Copyright: The Institute for National Security Studies (INSS-no 669 March 4, 2015), Israel. Publication date on RIEAS web site (www.rieas.gr) on 6 March 2015
It is questionable whether the marginal effect that the Netanyahu speech may have on the current course of the negotiations with Iran justified the row, tension, and latest cracks in the personal relations between Obama and Netanyahu, as well as the danger of Israel becoming a political football in the US partisan rivalry between the Democratic and Republican Parties. To be sure, the Netanyahu Congressional speech affair is not yet over. There might be renewed attempts to legislate new laws that aim to limit the administration's ability to conclude an agreement; a refusal by Congress to lift sanctions, even if partially, if an agreement with Iran is reached; and a continuous debate if the negotiations end with no agreement. In either case a dialogue between the governments of Israel and the US will be necessary, and it is hoped that the strident exchanges of recent weeks will not prevent that from taking place.... Read more
CONSENSUS CONTINUES TO BE THE KEY FOR TUNISIA’S POLITICAL SUCCESS STORY
(Editor, Your Middle East)
Copyright: Research Institute for European and American Studies (www.rieas.gr) Publication date: 26 February 2015
Many have explained Tunisia's democratic success story by referring to the country's consensus seeking political climate. There are many factors behind this continuous compromise seeking policy, which continues to be at the core of Tunisian politics.
It was the 26-year-old Tunisian fruit vendor Mohammed Bouazizi's self-immolation on December 17 2010 that ignited a protest wave that would spread beyond the country's borders. However, it was only in the so-called Arab Spring's birthplace that the revolution not only ousted former President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali but also paved the way for a peaceful and stable democratic transition. Today Tunisia is seen as a success story, deemed by watchdog Freedom House as a "Free" country and labelled by the Economist as the only "fully democratic" country in the region. What is the secret behind the Tunisian success story, ask observers. One important element for the country's ability to avoid unrest is the country's commitment to political compromise and inclusive governance, which has been evident throughout the country's post-revolutionary development...Read more
INTERVIEW WITH HRH PRINCE EL HASSAN BIN TALAL of JORDAN
(HRH Prince El Hassan bin Talal of Jordan was Chairman of the UN Secretary-General's Advisory Board on Water and Sanitation from 2013 to 2014 and currently chairs the High Level Forum for the Blue Peace Middle East Plan)
Copyright: www.osce.org – Publication Date on RIEAS web site: 15 February 2015.
Waging Peace with Water Water shortages due to climate change and conflicts can spell death and suffering for millions; regional water co-operation, on the other hand, can bring peace. This was the message His Royal Highness Prince El Hassan bin Talal of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan brought to the OSCE Security Day on water diplomacy held on 8 July 2014 in Vienna... Read more
INTERNATIONAL LAW AND DISPLACED PERSONS
Cecile Abi Tayeh
(PhD Candidate at the National Kapodistrian University of Athens & RIEAS Research Associate)
Copyright: Research Institute for European and American Studies (www.rieas.gr)
Publication date: 1 February 2015
In a world full of turmoil, the displaced persons are a tragic illustration of the convulsions of the planet. They witnessed all the situations of the war, famine and oppression that lay on the exodus roads millions of uprooted. In the past years, the proliferation of conflict and violent situations resulted in new forced movements of populations that have come to bring a large number of displaced people in the world....Read more
GULF ARAB STATES AND THE JIHADIST WARS OF NO POLITICAL CONSEQUENCE
(European Council on Foreign Relations, Middle East policy fellow Author, The Islamic Utopia: The Illusion of Reform in Saudi Arabia)
Copyright: Research Institute for European and American Studies (www.rieas.gr) Publication Date: 23 December 2014
The Syrian civil war has been the third major jihad of modern times for Gulf Arab states. The first, Afghanistan, was a new experience, the inaugural transnational jihad of the modern era in which Saudi Arabia and the United States jumped into the fray against the Soviet invasion. Each with different motivations, they poured some $20 billion in the fight and Saudi interior ministry may have facilitated travel for anything between 35,000 and 40,000 young men to join in. Sensing Russian weakness, Washington wanted to take the fight to the Soviets, while Al Saud were willing to provide the manpower because of a new turn that Saudi Arabia took in the 1980s: scared by the 1979 Wahhabi revolt at the Grand Mosque in Mecca the regime moved to boost its Islamic credentials. The class of ulama (religious scholars) were given wider powers over society, the kingdom embarked on a programme of global proselytization (printing Qurans and funding mosques), and Saudis were publicly encouraged to join the Afghan jihad. The Mujahideen were public heroes... Read more
THE ARAB TURMOIL AND THE CONFLICT IN THE UKRAINE
(Holds a M.A. & a Ph.D in his field: Israel's national strategy and military doctrine. He has been involved with the study of those subjects, academically and practically for more than 20 years. Dr. Eilam also worked for a few years as a researcher in his expertise for Israel's Ministry of Defense, as a private contractor. He now resides near Boston, USA)
Copyright: Research Institute for European and American Studies (www.rieas.gr) Publication date: 9 December 2014
There is a certain similarity between the Arab turmoil in the Middle East and the conflict in the Ukraine. This has to do with the resemblance and linkage between Russia and Iran, Turkey and Poland and the nature of the battlefield... Read more
THINK TANKS FOR SALE OR RENT
(President of the Middle East Forum based in USA)
Copyright: http://www.danielpipes.org/ - Publication Date on RIEAS web site: 27/09/2014
In a eyebrow-raising 4,000-word exposé, "Foreign Powers Buy Influence at Think Tanks" published in the New York Times on September 7, Eric Lipton, Brooke Williams and Nicholas Confessore look into the novel issue of foreign governmental financing for American think tanks.
The trio found that while the total scope "is difficult to determine ... since 2011, at least 64 foreign governments, state-controlled entities or government officials have contributed to a group of 28 major United States-based research organizations." Using the sketchy available information, they estimate "a minimum of $92 million in contributions or commitments from overseas government interests over the last four years. The total is certainly more." ... Read more
MOROCCO’S JOURNEY INTO DEMOCRACY
(Author, Professor and President of the South North Centre for Intercultural Dialogue in Fez, Morocco)
Copyright: Research Institute for European and American Studies (www.rieas.gr) Publication Date: 6 September 2014
The recent political history of Morocco up to the 1990s consisted of the late King Hassan II endeavors to consolidate the power of the monarchy. King Mohammed VI took the throne in 1999 with a promise to make a change and "turn the page" on the worst cruelties of the past.
The "Arabic Spring" in Morocco was soft since February 20 movement was a peaceful democratic pressure group. In response to the protests, King Mohammed VI, in his speech of March 9th 2011, proposed a reform of the constitution which would guarantee a separation of powers, decentralization, good governance, human rights and gender equality. The new constitution passed on 1 July 2011 recognizes Berbers' mother tongue as an official language side by side with Standard Arabic for the first time in Moroccan history.... Read more
FIXING LIBYA’S BROKEN TRANSITION
(Consultant of Arab Politics, Governance and Democratisaton)
Copyright: Research Institute for European and American Studies (www.rieas.gr) Publication Date: 27 August 2014
Many eulogies have been written for the post-Qaddaffi Libyan state since the heavy fighting - which has been sporadically subsuming different parts of the country since independence - engulfed the capital Tripoli in July.
Libya's popular characterisation as a 'failed state' is not baseless. Having failed to re-vamp Qaddafi's political structure of destructive competition and power through patronage; Libya's transitional political bodies have gradually ceased to play any constructive role in the lives of the populace. Transitional legislatures have repeatedly failed to pass laws to arrest the slide into instability and the lack of services; and the executive has proven itself unable to enforce the few which are passed....... Read more
INTELLIGENCE AND BUILDING OF DEMOCRACY IN JORDAN
(RIEAS Senior Advisor and Associate at the CSS, University of Jordan)
Copyright: Research Institute for European and American Studies (www.rieas.gr) Publication Date: 27 August 2014)
The relationship between democracy and the character of secret intelligence presents a composite two-sided puzzle. On the one side, the very concept of democracy demands that an intelligence agency serves democratic interests by providing one country's security and preparedness against potential threats both internal and external. The core notion is that a stronger country can turn itself into a heaven where democracy can continue to be practiced. On the other side, intelligence investigative methods in many countries occur outside the context of democratic control and oversight mechanisms, thus surfacing an inherent conflict..... Read more