Category Archives: Academic

15Jul/19

Changing borders in a changing region: the civilian dimension and security predicament along the Syrian-Israeli border

The Syrian civil war – which has largely ended following bloody 8 years – serves as a prime case study of mechanisms which challenge border realities, as well as geography and demography, through engagement of manifold internal and external actors. This article discusses these processes and their implications by focusing on the Syro-Israeli borderland. It analyses the main actors and their motives, geography of interactions, as well as implications for humanitarian situation and security considerations. It is argued that while the dynamics in the Syro-Israeli borderland have several unique characteristics, they also point to a broader process of re-drawing borderlands and lines of influence in the Middle East region.

Boms,Nir & Zielińska Karolina (2019) Changing borders in a changing region: the civilian dimension and security predicament

along the Syrian-Israeli border, Israel Affairs, DOI: 10.1080/13537121.2019.1626090

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23Jan/19

Iran and the New State of Play in Southwest Syria



In the summer of 2018, the Asad regime reestablished its control over the Syrian side of the Golan Heights, restoring Syrian sovereignty and redeploying the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) to its pre-war positions. However, a deeper look at the developments across the Syrian-Israeli frontier reveals that the new reality is substantially different from pre-civil war Syria. The Syrian military bases today host a number of new actors, which include pro-Iranian militias, Russian military police, and reconfigured Syrian units under new command. The local leadership and elements identified with the opposition, who informally governed these areas before the Asad regime reestablished control, have fled or been killed. In its place is a new Syrian security architecture that is based, in part, on foreign actors (some with Syrian identity cards), who are playing the role that used to be reserved for the Syrian security apparatus.

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23Jul/18

The Internet Hate Paradox

 

 

 

The advent of the internet was groundbreaking, allowing half the planet—from students to scientists—access to an unparalleled amount of information and resources acquired throughout the history of time. It has become an integral part of our lives, revolutionizing trade, finance, shopping, and banking, while changing the structure of communication and furthering globalization. Today, it is estimated that over4billion people have access to the internet. There are reportedly 6,000 tweets posted every second on Twitter, totaling a whopping 500 million tweets per day. YouTube claims that 400 hours of video are added to its site per minute.  Every hour, Facebook’s roughly 2.07 billion users world wide post around 30 million messages.

The internet has given a voice to those who previously had no means of expressing themselves to a wider audience. This phenomenon was first observed in 2009, when a Moldovan student protest was organized after cell phone coverage was halted by the government. This was considered the first “Twitter revolution.”3 After the disputed 2009 Iranian presidential elections, civilians took to the streets and were able to freely post hundreds of accounts, videos, and photos of clashes that were taking place. In 2011, Egyptians were able to organize, and garner public support, via Twitter in order to bring down the government. However, despite all of these positive uses, there are inherent dangers in the flow of information. This powerful engine of communication has also become a weapon of choice for extremist groups, crime networks, and terrorists, who use it to preach hate, spread dangerous ideologies and propaganda, and incite violence.

Full article here