The Six-Day War's Legacy in Sinai

The Six-Day War's 50th anniversary will generate an overabundance of commentary about the war's legacy on the Arab-Israeli conflict. Most scholarship will focus on the continued challenges of Israeli occupation in the West Bank and Jerusalem, however there are valuable lessons that Read more

Trump in Israel: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

  President Donald Trump was in Israel for all of twenty-eight hours, and yet even within that short window of time he managed to till a significant amount of discursive soil. Dozens of analysts and commentators will offer their thoughts Read more

Erdogan, Jerusalem, and the End of the Honeymoon

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's statements at the International Forum on al-Quds Waqf (held in Istanbul) received international media coverage when he attacked Israeli policy in Jerusalem, compared the situation in the West Bank with Apartheid South Africa, and called for Read more

The Curious Case of Michael Flynn, Turkey, and Israeli gas

President Trump's former national security advisor Michael Flynn has been at the epicenter of an ongoing story for the last few weeks. While I don't want to rehash what has already been reported, I did find one particular nugget Read more

Turkey Election 2015 results from Israel

Posted on by Gabriel in Israel, Turkey |  

The dust is finally settling on a dramatic election in Turkey. Basically all of the votes have been counted, and the ruling AKP received 41 percent of the national vote – a sharp decline from its 50 percent achievement in 2007. Just as important, the upstart pro-Kurdish HDP managed to surge past Turkey’s daunting 10 percent electoral threshold and enter parliament – a historic first. Read more

Turkish Elections and the Triple Crown

Posted on by Gabriel in Turkey |  

 

This weekend, two historic races are taking place. The first is the Belmont Stakes, where American Pharoah hopes to become the first horse to win the Triple Crown since 1978. The following day, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Turkey’s AK party fights for yet another electoral victory – its third in a fourteen month period – an more importantly, a parliamentary supermajority that would allow Erdoğan to strengthen his presidential powers (more often that not, analysts make the parallel to how Vladimir Putin has consolidated power in Russia).

I am big on metaphors, so I began to think about how impressive a feat both Erdogan and American Pharoah are trying to accomplish and why they will both likely fall short. Read more

The Dangers of Erdogan’s Empty Rhetoric

Posted on by Gabriel in Israel, Turkey |  

 

On June 7, Turkey will hold general elections for parliament. So it was only a matter of time before the world’s most vocal, non-Iranian critic of the Jewish State played the “Israel card” in order to gain a few more votes. Read more

Severing a final link between Israel and Iran

Posted on by Gabriel in Iran, Israel |  
(Courtesy of tachbura.co.il)

(Courtesy of tachbura.co.il)

The Eilat-Ashkelon Pipeline is not commonly known to most Israelis, let alone people who live elsewhere in the world. I daresay few Iranians are familiar with the project, which was a joint venture between Israel and Iran back in the 1960s under Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi. Since the 1979 Iranian Revolution, the two countries have engaged in a bitter and secretive compensation dispute over the pipeline, but today the proceedings may have taken an important step forward. Read more

Turkey and Pope Francis: A Dangerous Game of Chicken

Posted on by Gabriel in Turkey |  

 

On Sunday, during a mass commemorating the 1.5 million Armenians who perished in the First World War (the 1o0th anniversary is on April 24th), Pope Francis referred to their deaths as a “genocide,” and caused a diplomatic uproar. Read more

Are relations between Israel and Turkey thawing?

Posted on by Gabriel in Israel, Turkey |  

At the conclusion of a busy month, one that included a policy dialogue between Mitvim – The Israeli Institute for Regional Foreign Policies and the Global Political Trends Center (GPoT) in Washington D.C., I have been busily working on a piece that reflected my thoughts on the state of Israel-Turkey relations. Taking a break to enjoy some spring air, I walked outside only to be interrupted by the following tweet: Read more

Upon Further Review: Israel elections 2015

Posted on by Gabriel in Israel |  

Israel’s 2015 elections have come and gone – but not without drama. What was projected to be a close race turned out to be a convincing Likud victory. Unless something truly unexpected takes place, Benjamin Netanyahu will remain Israel’s prime minister.

So what does it all mean? Many will try to arrive at prophetic truths from these elections, but I tend to equate this task like drawing water from a stone. The fact remains that these elections were fundamentally different in a number of ways from years past. As is always the case, history will be the most telling judge of what 2015 really said about Israel. Read more

Melodrama, Monopoly, and Fifty Shades of Bibi

Posted on by Gabriel in Israel |  

Only five days remain before Israel’s elections, so this will be the final blogpost discussing the campaign video phenomenon. As I have mentioned in earlier posts, it used to be a tradition that Israel’s parties would air their campaign ads on a predetermined date, roughly two weeks before the election. Families would gather around the television and watch several hours worth of short clips from parties large and small. Read more

Videos bring Israel’s fringe parties to the people

Posted on by Gabriel in Israel |  

We have arrived at the point in every election when voters wish they lived in an autocracy and never had to watch another campaign video ever again. For the last three months Israelis have been bombarded with information and misinformation, and with one week left it can’t be over soon enough.

Little distinguishes this election from previous years: Israeli politics remain multipolar, the same core issues (economy, security, secular v religious social rights, political corruption) are being debated by the various parties, and Benjamin Netanyahu seems likely to remain prime minister. But at least we have YouTube! Read more

Tintin and The Islamic State

Posted on by Gabriel in Uncategorized |  

The Adventures of Tintin have always been my favorite cartoon. My siblings and I would spend Friday evenings sprawled out on the couches, copies of his numerous escapades strewn across the floor. We gobbled up each and every one of Hergé’s colorful pages, reading aloud Captain Haddock’s inventive expletives with youthful joy. Tintin’s feats around the world unquestionably served as an inspiration for my passion for travel – who doesn’t want to be a famous reporter who sees the world and solves its mysteries in the same breath? Read more