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  • Author: Adel Abdel Ghafar
  • Publication Date: 02-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: The role played by countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) in the Eastern Mediterranean is becoming increasingly important. This calls for an assessment of their evolving relationship with countries in the region, as well as their involvement in the Libyan conflict. Increased involvement by Gulf actors may inflame existing regional rivalries and geopolitical tensions. The interests of GCC countries in the Eastern Mediterranean are first analysed in the broader context of regional rivalries. Special attention is then devoted to Egypt, Libya, Lebanon, Greece and Cyprus, while considering the role of other key regional actors such as Turkey and Israel. Recommendations on why and how the new US administration should intervene to decrease regional tensions are provided.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Gulf Nations, Geopolitics, Economy, Conflict
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Israel, Greece, Libya, Lebanon, Egypt, Cyprus, Mediterranean
  • Author: Dale Hudson
  • Publication Date: 01-2021
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Palestine Studies
  • Institution: Institute for Palestine Studies
  • Abstract: Available on publicly accessible websites, interactive documentaries are typically free to use, allowing audiences to navigate through amounts of information too large for standard film or television documentaries. Media literacy, however, is needed to understand the ways that interactive documentaries reveal or conceal their power to narrate. Examining ARTE France’s Gaza Sderot (2008–9), Zochrot’s iNakba (2014), and Dorit Naaman’s Jerusalem, We Are Here (2016), this article discusses documentaries that prompt audiences to reflect upon asymmetries in the power to forget history and the responsibility to remember it by mapping Palestinian geographies that have been rendered invisible. Since media ecologies are increasingly militarized, particularly in Palestine/Israel, interactive documentaries like iNakba and Jerusalem, We Are Here can disrupt Israeli state branding as technologically innovative while minimizing risk of surveillance by avoiding the use of location-aware technologies that transform interaction into tracking.
  • Topic: Science and Technology, Communications, Media, Film, Conflict
  • Political Geography: Israel, Palestine, Jerusalem
  • Publication Date: 01-2021
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Mitvim: The Israeli Institute for Regional Foreign Policies
  • Abstract: This document presents recommendations for initial policy steps that the Biden Administration can take to advance Israeli-Palestinian peacemaking. It describes the current state of play in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as Biden takes office, identifies nine key goals for the new administration in advancing peacemaking, and outlines concrete policy steps for their implementation. These are the goals outlined in the document: (1) Highlighting the importance of resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict; (2) Renewing ties and building trust with the Palestinian leadership; (3) Emphasizing US commitment to the two-state solution and formulating parameters for a final-status agreement; (4) Preserving the feasibility of the two-state solution and drawing red lines; (5) Leading multilateral steps, such as creating a new international mechanism and an incentives package; (6) Leveraging Israeli-Arab normalization to advance the peace process; (7) Improving the situation in Gaza and ending the internal Palestinian divide; (8) Empowering pro-peace Israeli and Palestinian actors, including in civil society; (9) Setting a constructive tone to relations with the Israeli leadership and public.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, Conflict, Peace, Joe Biden
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel, Palestine, United States of America
  • Publication Date: 06-2021
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Palestine Studies
  • Institution: Institute for Palestine Studies
  • Abstract: This article explores the resurgence of Indigenous/Palestine solidarity during the Wet’suwet’en land sovereignty struggle in Canada that took place around the same time Donald Trump’s Middle East “peace plan” was released in early 2020. Historicizing this resurgence within a longer period of anti-colonial resistance, the article attends to the distinct historical, political- economic, and juridical formations that undergird settler colonialism in Canada and Israel/Palestine. It contends with the theoretical limits of the settler-colonial framework, pushing back against narratives of settler success, and shows how anti-colonial resistance accelerated economic crises that led both settler states to enter into “negotiations” with the colonized (reconciliation in one case, and peace talks in the other) as a strategy to maintain capitalist settler control over stolen lands. The analysis also sheds light on a praxis of solidarity that has implications for movement building and joint struggle.
  • Topic: Political Activism, Solidarity, Conflict, Peace, Settler Colonialism, Indigenous, Reconciliation , Israeli–Palestinian Conflict
  • Political Geography: Canada, Israel, Palestine
  • Publication Date: 08-2021
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Future for Advanced Research and Studies (FARAS)
  • Abstract: On Friday, July 30, Iran targeted the Mercer Street oil tanker in the Northern Arabian Sea off the Omani port of Duqm, which was on its way from Dar es Salaam in Tanzania to Fujairah in the UAE, killing two crew members: a British and a Romanian. The Israeli ship was attacked by one or more drones. The attack came in two waves. The first wave was the bombing of the tanker with missiles carried by a normal drone. As the damage was limited, a larger suicide attack was launched on the dormitories of the ship's crew, with the aim of causing casualties, which actually resulted in the deaths of a British and a Romanian. The oil tanker belongs to the London-based Zodiac Maritime company, which is part of the Zodiac company owned by Israeli businessman Eyal Ofer. This is the second attack within the month of July, as the first one took place on July 3, targeting Csav Tyndall, which is also owned by Eyal Ofer.
  • Topic: Oil, Conflict, Crisis Management, Trade
  • Political Geography: Iran, Middle East, Israel, Persian Gulf
  • Author: Shay Jovany
  • Publication Date: 06-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Moshe Dayan Center for Middle Eastern and African Studies
  • Abstract: In June issue of Beehive, Shay Jovany compares social mobilisation in Jordan and Lebanon against the Israeli military operation “Guardian of the Walls”. This article is part of special issue, "Social Media in Times of Conflict", which analyses social media activism during the recent military conflict and communal disturbances in May 2021. Following several days of violence and civil unrest on the Temple Mount complex and in the Sheikh al-Jarah neighborhood, Hamas fired several rockets at Jerusalem on May 10. This triggered the “Guardian of the Walls” military operation, which similar to Israel’s past operations in Gaza, led to an outpouring of concern and condemnation in the international media and on social media platforms, including in the Arab world.
  • Topic: Social Media, Conflict, Protests, Borders, Demonstrations
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel, Palestine, Lebanon, Jordan
  • Author: Dina Smeltz, Emily Sullivan
  • Publication Date: 08-2021
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Chicago Council on Global Affairs
  • Abstract: Ahead of Prime Minister Bennett's first visit to Washington, Council data show partisan divides on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, support for a Palestinian state, and more. In recent years, the US-Israel relationship was stewarded by Israel’s longest-serving leader, former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and the man whom he referred to as “the greatest friend that Israel has ever had in the White House,” former President Donald Trump. This week, the first meeting between the two countries’ newly elected leaders, President Joe Biden and Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, will set the tone for a new era of US-Israel relations. New data from the 2021 Chicago Council Survey indicate that some differences in ideas about US policy toward Israel on Capitol Hill—heightened by the 11-day clash between Israel and Hamas last May—have corresponding divisions among the American public. The US public is sharply divided along partisan lines on key issues, including whether to take a side in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, support for a Palestinian state, and restrictions on the uses of military aid to Israel. Moreover, it’s not just Americans who are at odds with each other. A comparison of the recent Chicago Council Survey and a Viterbi Family Center poll shows that the American public and Jewish Israelis have opposing views on what might be acceptable solutions to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, while Israeli Arabs and Americans are broadly aligned on acceptable political outcomes.
  • Topic: Politics, Foreign Aid, Military Affairs, Conflict
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel, Palestine, North Africa, United States of America
  • Author: Jon Greenwald
  • Publication Date: 06-2021
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Council on International Policy (CIP)
  • Abstract: Though my favorite baseball team in Kansas City was always weak, a local columnist used to write every spring that it would win the championship. I know something of hope’s unreliability as a basis for prediction. But I offer this: there will be a serious chance for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian dispute within five years. An agreement for Jewish and Arab states to live side-by-side between the Mediterranean and the Jordan River seems increasingly improbable. Last month’s fighting between Israel and the Hamas movement that controls Gaza and simultaneous riots and brutalities between Jews and Arabs within Israel have created a near consensus that the Oslo Process to reach that objective is dead. Fair enough. Neither side has a leadership or constituency with commitment or capability to conclude that deal. The lack of interest Israel showed under Bibi Netanyahu will not change under a conflicted coalition government dominated by right-wing parties favoring more de facto annexation of Palestinian land. Nor are the Palestinians in better shape. Their bitterly divided movements are uninterested in a unified approach to their national problem. President Abbas is in the 17th year of a four-year term. His Fatah, riddled with corruption, has little legitimacy on the West Bank, while Hamas, its popularity renewed by fighting Israel, is less inclined than ever for diplomacy. Ever fewer Israelis and Palestinians believe two states are feasible, and their notions of a single state alternative differ wildly. No serious politician in Israel or Palestine, much less in Washington, will propose a comprehensive initiative this year or next. Nevertheless, a sea change is underway. Israel has long largely been spared terrorism thanks to the separation barrier and security cooperation afforded by the Palestinian Authority. Fighting with Hamas is only a periodic disturbance. The Palestinian issue featured in no recent election, and Israelis had begun to think they could ignore it, that because the Sunni Arab world wanted an anti-Iran front, they could escape regional isolation without cost to their occupation policy.
  • Topic: Territorial Disputes, Conflict, Borders, State Building
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel, Palestine
  • Author: International Crisis Group
  • Publication Date: 08-2021
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: The latest escalation of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict brought important shifts in the status quo, underscoring the necessity of a political settlement. A peace based on equal respect for both peoples’ rights will take time, however. Steps to lower the temperature are urgent in the interim.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Territorial Disputes, Conflict, Peace, Settlements
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel, Palestine
  • Author: Gideon Biger
  • Publication Date: 01-2021
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Polish Political Science Yearbook
  • Institution: Polish Political Science Association (PPSA)
  • Abstract: Earlier this year, President Donald Trump presented his Peace Plan for Israel and the Palestinians. The plan also dealt with the future boundaries of Jerusalem. Jerusalem is the only city ruled by a sovereign regime, the State of Israel, which declared Jerusalem as its Capital city and draw its boundary lines. Except for the US, the status and boundaries of Jerusalem are not accepted by any other international or national entity. Only the United States, which accepts Jerusalem as the capital city of Israel, agreed to accept its Israeli declared boundaries. Jerusalem’s status and boundaries stand at the core of the dispute between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, which wishes to restore the pre-1967 line. The city of Jerusalem was divided during the years 1948-1967 between Israel and Jordan. The Palestinian Authority thus calls for a separation of Jerusalem between two independent states. Today, Jerusalem has an urban boundary that serves partly as a separating line between Israel and the Palestinian Autonomy, but most countries do not accept the present boundaries, and its future permanent line and status are far from establishing. Jerusalem is a unique city. This article presents a brief history that should help understanding its uniqueness.
  • Topic: International Cooperation, Territorial Disputes, Conflict, Urban
  • Political Geography: Israel, Palestine, Jerusalem
  • Author: Reilly Barry
  • Publication Date: 04-2021
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Harvard Journal of Middle Eastern Politics and Policy
  • Institution: The John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University
  • Abstract: The Middle East saw its share of globe-altering events in the last year. While JMEPP seeks to offer original analysis beyond the headlines, almost all major contemporary regional developments have been addressed in the present edition. The list, of course, is not exhaustive, but includes the Abraham Accords and increasing international marginalization of Palestinians, the renewed fighting over Nagorno-Karabakh between Armenia and Azerbaijan, continued protests amidst crises and weakening state institutions in Lebanon, and the rise of Turkey’s aggressive imperial foreign policy, to name a few. While there are major global transitions afoot as relates to the region, there is also a lack of transition— sadly, the 10-year anniversary of the Syrian revolution marks little change for those living under the dictatorship of Bashar al-Assad. Likewise, the humanitarian crisis in Yemen persists. The edition discusses what may become of newly inaugurated President Biden’s policies toward the region, including the challenge of renegotiating the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) with Iran. And finally, the edition would be remiss to not address how Covid-19 has impacted the region.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Politics, Diaspora, Refugees, Social Media, Alliance, Conflict, Protests, Peace, Houthis, COVID-19, Polarization
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Europe, Iran, Turkey, Middle East, Israel, Yemen, Palestine, Georgia, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, United States of America, Nagorno-Karabakh