Middle East Week

Lisa Goldman, contributing editor at +972 Magazine and a fellow at New America, comes on the show to discuss recent events in Israeli politics. Topics covered include:

  • Background on the events leading up to Israel’s recent election
  • Israel becoming a partisan issue in the U.S.
  • Netanyahu’s narrow majority in the Knesset & his preference for the status quo
  • The Obama - Netanyahu relationship
  • Issues that are driving Israeli domestic politics
  • The growing wealth gap in Israel
  • Ayman Odeh and the Joint List


Thanks to patron Sandin Rekic. You can support the podcast by making a small donation on Patreon!

Direct download: MEW_Lisa_Goldman_May_15.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 3:18pm EDT

Aaron Stein comes back on the show to discuss Turkey’s upcoming election, their fight against ISIS, and relations with Saudi Arabia. Topics we covered include:

  • An overview of the key political parties and politicians in Turkey
  • Constitutional changes Erdogan and the AKP are pursuing
  • Potential backlash AKP could face for pushing for a presidential system
  • Kurdish politicians’ decision to run as a political party, as opposed to running as individual independent candidates
  • The evolution of how Turkey views the ISIS threat
  • Turkey’s strategy to fight ISIS in Syria
  • Turkey’s lack of influence in Iraq, and how that effects their view of ISIS
  • The rapprochement between Turkey and Saudi Arabia


Thanks to patrons Andrew and David de Bruijn. You can support the podcast by making a small donation on Patreon!

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Direct download: MEW_Aaron_Stein_May_15.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 3:46pm EDT

Thomas Hegghammer comes back on the show to discuss his work studying jihadi culture. He recently gave a lecture titled Why Terrorists Weep: The Socio-Cultural Practices of Jihadi Militants (PDF). Topics we covered include:

  • What “jihadi culture” means, and why it’s worth studying
  • Challenges in separating cultural practices from military ones
  • The practical applications of this area of study
  • Regional differences in jihadi culture
  • Relevance of studying jihadi culture for improving CVE programs
  • Jihadi leader’s strategic use of cultural practices
  • Jihadis adopting Sufi practices


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Thanks to Scott Herbert for supporting the podcast. You can help support the show by making a small donation on Patreon!

Direct download: MEW_Hegghammer_May_15.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 4:40pm EDT