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  • Author: Ido Yahel
  • Publication Date: 06-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Moshe Dayan Center for Middle Eastern and African Studies
  • Abstract: Iranian involvement in the Syrian civil war has often made headlines in Israel. Particularly in the context of the Israel Defense Force (IDF)’s so-called campaign between the wars (the Hebrew acronym is Mabam), which has included attempts to prevent Iran from establishing military bases in Syria, keeping Iranian forces away from the Syrian-Israeli border, and thwarting the transfer of precision weapons to Hizballah. But Iranian involvement in Syria goes far beyond the confines of the Israeli-Iranian conflict. As a result of the "Arab Spring" uprising and the Syrian civil war, Iran has succeeded in establishing itself in areas far from the Israeli-Syrian border and extended its influence in Syria beyond the military sphere.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Military Affairs, Conflict, Syrian War
  • Political Geography: Iran, Middle East, Syria
  • Author: Joel Parker, Sarah Cahn
  • Publication Date: 09-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Moshe Dayan Center for Middle Eastern and African Studies
  • Abstract: On August 6, Hizballah fired 20 rockets towards the Shebaa Farms area of the Golan Heights, highlighting the growing political instability in Lebanon. Hizballah's behavior should be viewed in light of the ongoing financial and political crisis that has affected every aspect of Lebanese life since late 2019 and has pushed hundreds of thousands of people into poverty. Hizballah may not be the primary or sole cause of the crisis, but it is important to understand how it may have contributed indirectly to it, how it may benefit from it, and why it may not have an interest in fully resolving it. Hanin Ghaddar, the Friedmann Fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP), argues that despite the collapsing economy in Lebanon, Hizballah has been able to expand its array of social-welfare institutions to deepen their Shiʿi constituency's dependence and even expand the reach of these programs by providing support to a growing number of Lebanese who are struggling to survive. Hizballah also receives funding from Iran and through its commercial activities around the world, so one might ask how much Hizballah really needs the Lebanese state. Lina Khatib, a scholar at Chatham House and SOAS University of London, contends that Hizballah benefits from its hybrid role as a part of the state and, at the same time, free to operate outside the official channels of government and public scrutiny. Michael Young, senior editor at the Carnegie Middle East Center in Beirut, however, has argued that the group might indeed benefit from a collapse of the state, which will allow Hizballah to continue to fill a growing political, economic, and social power vacuum.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Hezbollah, Regional Power, Economic Crisis
  • Political Geography: Iran, Middle East, Lebanon
  • Author: Paul Rivlin
  • Publication Date: 07-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Moshe Dayan Center for Middle Eastern and African Studies
  • Abstract: In this issue of Iqtisadi Paul Rivlin analyses the causes of shortages in electricity and water supplies in the Persian Gulf region. In Iraq and Iran, in particular, spontaneous protests have gained momentum this summer as a result of these critical problems. The Gulf is well known for its oil and gas resources, but the lack of water may be its outstanding feature. Between 2000 and 2020, the population of the Gulf states rose by almost 50 percent but the supply of fresh water from sources other than desalination fell. This edition of Iqtisadi examines recent developments in the Gulf with an emphasis on the water crisis. The oil producers in the Gulf are divided into two groups: the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) members – Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, and Oman – and Iran plus Iraq. The GCC states are all monarchies while Iran and Iraq are republics. The differences between the two groups are not only constitutional and political, but also socio-economic.
  • Topic: Energy Policy, Water, Economy, Electricity
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Iran, Middle East, Persian Gulf, Gulf Nations
  • Author: Joshua Krasna, George Meladze
  • Publication Date: 10-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Moshe Dayan Center for Middle Eastern and African Studies
  • Abstract: In this inaugural MDC Occasional Paper, Josh Krasna and George Meladze analyze the structure of power in the Middle East during the past decade, mapping the main regional players and the interrelationships between them, and assessing the potential for future change in the politics of the region.
  • Topic: Politics, Regional Cooperation, Geopolitics
  • Political Geography: Russia, Iran, Turkey, Middle East, Israel, Saudi Arabia, United States of America