Category Archives: Arab Spring

ISIL’s Iraq Blitzkrieg: A Window of Opportunity to Act in Syria?

Commentary by Tamer Mallat– 14 June 2014

The Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant’s (ISIL, Da’esh in Arabic) lightning invasion of Iraq is a serious cause for alarm. The speed by which it has taken over major Iraqi cities is revealing of the extent of the training its members have received, the numbers it commands and the resources at its disposal. The blitz also demonstrates just how powerful ISIL really is, and how it has asserted itself as a kingmaker in the Syrian civil war. Facing little or no resistance, the success of its operation appears imminent. And yet, this precipitated invasion may offer the first glimmer of hope for the Syrian conflict – the first of its kind in years since the revolution was hijacked by radicals. Continue reading

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Filed under Arab Spring, Foreign Policy & IR, Français, Iraq, Lebanon & Syria

Has the European Union finally turned into an influential actor in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict?

Commentary by Romana Michelon and Bart Hesseling – 18 January 2014

A Palestinian flag flies in front of a settlement known to Israelis as Har Homa and to Palestinians as Jabal Abu Ghneim (Ammar Awad/Reuters)

A Palestinian flag flies in front of a settlement known to Israelis as Har Homa and to Palestinians as Jabal Abu Ghneim (Ammar Awad/Reuters)

The European Union’s stance on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has long emphasized Israel’s right to security but need to end its occupation, and the Palestinians’ right to self-determination but need to renounce terrorism. This past summer, newly-released EU guidelines on Israeli entities operating in the occupied Palestinian Territories shook this well-rehearsed mantra to its core. Preceded by the February appeal from the EU’s Heads of Mission in Jerusalem to take concrete measures against the occupation of Palestine, the Union decided to attach negative economic consequences to the continuation of Israel’s illegal settlement enterprise. Continue reading

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Filed under Arab Spring, English, Foreign Policy & IR, Palestine & Israel

The Prince and the Pouvoir: Saudi Arabia and Algeria facing an uncertain future

Commentary by Faisal Abulhassan – 13 December 2013

Saudi King Faisal and Algerian President Houari Boumédienne. Source : Algeria Philately

Saudi King Faisal and Algerian President Houari Boumédienne. Source : Algeria Philately

Over the years, much has been written about the weakness of the nation-state in the Arab world. Sectarian strife and uprisings across the Arab world have only highlighted these fragile governing structures. Some have argued that the monarchies of Bahrain, Jordan, Kuwait, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have avoided being caught up in the turmoil due to the historic legitimizing role that monarchs play there. Other reasons, ignoring comparisons, were forwarded to explain the lack of large-scale revolutionary movements in the republics of Algeria, Iraq, Mauritania and the Sudan. Continue reading

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Filed under Algeria, Arab Spring, English, Saudi Arabia

Is Tunisia at War?

Commentary by Youssef Cherif – 7 August 2013

Source: AFP

Source: AFP

Right after Tunisia’s Prime Minister Ali Laarayedh wrapped up a press conference on the brutal assassination of opposition leader Mohamed Brahmi on 29 July, a military convoy was ambushed in the Chaambi Mountains – located in the country’s north-west – resulting in a number of deaths and injuries. Some of the bodies were found beheaded, while others had been mutilated. The attack plunged Tunisia into a second period of national mourning in less than a week. The following week, the Tunisian army launched a military operation, including air strikes, to purge the Mount Chaambi of radical Islamist elements that have been attacking military targets over the past months. Continue reading

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Filed under Arab Spring, English, Tunisia

Does Morsi’s Ousting Signify a Blow to the Israeli-Palestinian Peace Process?

Commentary by Romana Michelon – 19 July 2013

An Egyptian soldier stands guard on a watch tower on the border between Israel and Egypt (Source: Reuters/  Ronen Zvulun)

An Egyptian soldier stands guard on a watch tower on the border between Israel and Egypt (Source: Reuters/ Ronen Zvulun)

A little over a year ago, the world’s eyes were fixated on Egypt. Following the huge popular demonstrations that led to the fall of Hosni Mubarak, on June 24, 2012, Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated Mohammed Morsi won the election, and became the country’s first democratically elected President. Egypt was in the spotlight again two weeks ago when, following over a year of popular unrest and growing exasperation, a military coup led to the ouster of Morsi and the installment of Constitutional Court Judge Adly Mansour as interim-president. What will happen next remains a great unknown. The international community expects the new regime to keep its promise and organize democratic elections as soon as possible. In the meantime, Egypt still runs the risk of entering into full-blown civil conflict, as certain elements among Morsi’s supporters have vowed to violently oppose the expulsion of their President. Continue reading

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Filed under Arab Spring, Egypt, English

L’armée égyptienne sous Morsi: retour sur une “neutralité” politique ambivalente

Par Mélissa Rahmouni – 3 juillet 2013

Général Abdel Fattah Al-Sissi, Ministre de la défense et le président Mohamed Morsi. Source : english.alarabiya.net

Général Abdel Fattah Al-Sissi, Ministre de la défense, et le président Mohamed Morsi. Source : english.alarabiya.net

L’objet de cet article n’est pas de revenir sur le bilan d’un an de présidence de Mohamed Morsi, ou des revendications de l’opposition massivement rassemblée dans les rues du pays. Il n’est pas non plus de disserter de façon messianique sur les intentions supposées de l’armée, mais de se contenter de déduire avec un peu de bon sens des observations à partir d’éléments factuels et de l’évolution des rapports de force au cours de la dernière année. L’angle d’approche est donc essentiellement une réflexion sur la position de l’armée, l’évolution des relations armée-confrérie, et les dynamiques qui ont pu mener à une restauration de l’image des forces armées favorable à son ultimatum. Continue reading

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Filed under Arab Spring, Egypt, Français

حزب الله: من البقاع و الى البقاع يعود

بقلم وليام حنّا – ٢٤ نيسان ٢٠١٣

hezbollah funeralsاذا كان من الأكيد أن حزب الله بدأ يدفع ثمن مشاركته في القتال الى جانب عائلة الأسد على الساحة السياسية اللبنانية و كان آخر تجلياته في قبوله بتسمية رئيس حكومة أعلن في أول ما أعلنه وقوفه الى جانب الشعب السوري، و مواجهته لجبهة جديدة في البقاع اللبناني فتحتها المعارضة السورية ردا على دوره في القتال الدائر على الأرض السورية، فلا بد الآن لهذا الحزب الذي يحارب  باسم ايديولوجية شيعية خمينية مهددا مستقبل اللبنانيين الشيعة و العرب في المنطقة العربية أن يدفع ثمن مشاركته في قمع الشعب السوري ضمن الطائفة الشيعية نفسها.

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Filed under Arab Spring, Lebanon & Syria, عربي