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Essay: The Virtual Caliphate

Essay: The Virtual Caliphate Categories: Islamic Extremism, Terrorism     Author: Mina Hamblet

Al-Qaeda has been all but eclipsed by the Islamic State (ISIS), which has skilfully used social media to become the foremost purveyor of jihadist indoctrination in the West, creating a "virtual caliphate," extremely dangerous and easily accessible to vulnerable men and women from a variety of backgr

Media Microscope: Split Decision

Media Microscope: Split Decision Categories: Australasia, Media/ Academia     Author: Allon Lee

Whether it was genuine or a publicity stunt, Hamas' announcement that it is willing to talk about a unity government with its secular Fatah rival and even hold elections certainly was a rare example of Palestinian internal politics that made the mainstream media sit up and pay attention.

Europa Europa: Terms of Engagement

Europa Europa: Terms of Engagement Categories: Europe, Terrorism     Author: Douglas Davis

The good burghers of Europe have long assumed that the decline of the ISIS caliphate would diminish the terrorist threat they face. They know better now. ISIS is no longer encouraging activists to join its ranks in Iraq and Syria. Instead, it is advising them to wreak havoc in their home countries.

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The pendulum swings back in Jakarta

The pendulum swings back in Jakarta Categories: Asia, Islamic Extremism     Author: Giora Eliraz

The Government has begun taking concrete actions against the hardline elements that were alleged to be involved in orchestrating the massive show of bigotry and intolerance in the public sphere of Jakarta late last year and early this year.

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The Road to Kurdistan

The Road to Kurdistan Categories: Iran, Iraq, Middle East, Op-eds, Turkey     Author: Colin Rubenstein

Stateless and persecuted, Kurds have been the target of oppression, intimidation and violence. Tens of thousands have been killed. Yet despite all they have been through, they continue to cling to the hope of a brighter future in a state of their own.

The Kurdistan referendum – the aftermath

The Kurdistan referendum – the aftermath Categories: Iran, Iraq, Israel, Turkey, Updates     Author: Shmuel Levin

As discussed here on FreshAIR a few weeks ago, despite significant opposition, Iraq's Kurds proceeded on 25 September with an independence referendum resulting in an overwhelming ‘yes' vote of 93%. The referendum was opposed with near-unanimity from multiple countries, including most prominen

Assad is Winning

Assad is Winning Categories: Israel, Middle East, Syria     Author: Amotz Asa-El

What until two years ago seemed like the younger Assad's imminent collapse has now given way to his apparent victory. While this development has its positive elements, especially in terms of ending the terrible bloodshed in Syria, from Israel's viewpoint it is alarming.

Editorial: The Road to Kurdistan

Editorial: The Road to Kurdistan Categories: Australasia, Europe, Middle East     Author: Colin Rubenstein

Amidst the chaos and turmoil of the volatile Middle East, there is a long-suffering people that have been denied self-determination continuously for almost a century... I am not referring to the Palestinians, who have rejected several opportunities to establish their own state... I am talking about

Kulturkampf in Merkel's Germany

Kulturkampf in Merkel's Germany Categories: Europe, Far Right     Author: Dominic Green

In the 2013 elections, the AfD narrowly failed to cross the 5% threshold for representation in the Bundestag. On Sunday, it won 13.5% of the vote nationally, and more than 20% in the economically depressed areas of the old East Germany. The AfD will be the third-largest party in the new Bundestag, w

Why the winner in Syria is ... Iran

Why the winner in Syria is ... Iran Categories: Iran, Iraq, Israel, Middle East, Syria     Author: Jonathan Spyer

A flurry of diplomatic activity is currently taking place in the Syrian and Iraqi arenas. While the moves are occurring on separate and superficially unrelated fronts, taken together they produce an emergent picture. That picture is of two camps, one of which works as a united force on essential int

AfD and the Jewish community

AfD and the Jewish community Categories: Antisemitism, Europe, Holocaust/ War Crimes, Updates     Author: Shmuel Levin

The big news of Germany's recent election is the rise of Alternative für Deutschland (AfD) with 12.6% of the vote. AfD is regularly described as far-right and has campaigned strongly on an anti-immigrant and anti-Islam platform. Despite some overtures by AfD leaders towards the Jewish communit

Israeli PM in Mexico and Colombia

Israeli PM in Mexico and Colombia Categories: Israel, Updates     Author: Sharyn Mittelman

Last week Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made history as the first Israeli PM to visit Latin America. My earlier blog post looked at Netanyahu's historic visit to Argentina - this one reviews the Israeli PM's subsequent travels to Colombia and Mexico where friendships were reinforced and

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