Tue, 26 May 2015
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
-- posted at: 3:18pm EST
Tue, 19 May 2015
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
-- posted at: 3:46pm EST
Wed, 6 May 2015
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
-- posted at: 4:40pm EST
Fri, 24 April 2015
Elizabeth Dickinson comes back on the show to discuss efforts to raise money and provide humanitarian aid to Syrians. Some of the topics we covered include:
- Donor conferences hosted by Kuwait
- UNSC action to allow aid to go to Syria without Assad’s approval
- Aid organizations being unable to access people in Syria to provide services
- International NGOs inability to use international staff in Syria
- The fear of terrorism as a motivating factor driving aid donations
- Groups trying to plan for the long-term humanitarian challenges in Syria
- New strategies aid organizations are trying
Thanks to David de Bruijn for supporting the Middle East Week podcast! You can help support the show by making a small donation on Patreon
Direct download: MEW_Eilizabeth_Dickinson_Apr_15.mp3
-- posted at: 10:11am EST
Tue, 14 April 2015
Michael Stephens comes back on the show to talk about the ongoing war in Yemen. We covered many topics related to Yemen, Saudi Arabia, and the region:
- What caused Saudi Arabia to launch their air campaign
- The coalition the Saudis have built
- Oman’s decision not to join the coalition
- Pakistan’s decision not to support a ground invasion in Yemen
- Rapprochement between Saudi Arabia and Turkey, and what that could mean for the region
- How Iran views the situation in Yemen compared to its other concerns in the region
- Options available to try to end the fighting
- The humanitarian crisis in Yemen that continues to worsen
Thanks to Alex Dunne and Scott Herbert for supporting the podcast! You can help support the show by making a small donation on Patreon!
Subscribe to the podcast in iTunes
Check out the Middle East Week Facebook page
Direct download: MEW_Michael_Stephens_Apr_15.mp3
-- posted at: 12:33pm EST
Mon, 6 April 2015
Matthew Levitt comes back on the show to talk about his expert testimony in the trial of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, as well as the process of radicalization and countering violent extremism.
Visit middleeastweek.org for pictures of some of the exhibits from the trial.
Direct download: MEW_Matt_Levitt_Apr_15.mp3
-- posted at: 12:12pm EST
Sun, 29 March 2015
Jonathon Morgan comes on the show to talk about using data science to analyze and understand issues in the Middle East. Jonathon is the co-founder of CrisisNET, and recently co-authored the ISIS Twitter Census with J.M. Berger.
- The data collection and verification involved in making the ISIS Twitter Census
- Dealing with multiple languages in their data set
- Information that can be learned from a large data set of ISIS supporters
- Potential to use data like this to study radicalization and improve countering violent extremism strategies
- Why journalists, scholars, and others should try using data science tools and techniques
- How to start using data science, even if you have no experience
- Limitations of data science and “big data”
- How to ask the right questions to make your data more valuable
- How subject matter experts can better work with data scientists
Thanks to Middle East Week patrons Alex Dunne and Michael Jorgensen! You can support the podcast by making a small donation on Patreon!
Direct download: MEW_Jonathon_Morgan.mp3
-- posted at: 7:51pm EST
Wed, 18 March 2015
Kirk Sowell comes back on the show to talk about his new paper Jordanian Salafism and the Jihad in Syria. We covered a lot of information including:
- What is Salafism and Salafi-Jihadism?
- Who is Abu Muhammad al-Maqdisi, and how did he come to play a central role in these issues?
- The split between Maqdisi and Abu Musab al-Zarqawi
- Jordanian Salafi-Jihadists turn towards Syria and Jabhat al-Nusra
- The effects of the ISIS-JaN split on Jordanian Salafi-Jihadists
- What the Jordanian government lets the Jordanian Salafi-Jihadists do, and why
- Maqdisi’s role in the efforts to free Jordanian pilot Moaz al-Kassasbeh
- What could be next for Maqdisi and the Jordanian Salafi-Jihadists
Support the podcast by making a small donation on Patreon!
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Direct download: MEW_Kirk_Sowell_Mar_15.mp3
-- posted at: 2:06pm EST
Fri, 13 March 2015
David Andrew Weinberg comes on the show to talk about human rights in Saudi Arabia. We covered many topics including:
- What are the most pressing human rights issues in Saudi Arabia?
- How much influence does the U.S. have to affect change on Saudi human rights issues?
- Saudi policies that have lead to, or perpetuated, human rights abuses in other Middle Eastern countries
- The strategic implications of Saudi Arabia’s human rights record
- What it takes to get changes implemented in Saudi Arabia
- How the U.S. can push for change without jeopardizing its relationship with Saudi Arabia
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This episode was supported by Scott Herbert. You can help support the show by making a small donation on Patreon!
Direct download: DavidAWeinbergMar15.mp3
-- posted at: 1:14pm EST
Thu, 5 March 2015
Dina Esfandiary comes on the show to talk about the ongoing nuclear negotiations with Iran, including many issues that aren’t explained well (or at all) in news reports. Topics covered include:
- Netanyahu’s speech to congress and Israeli objections to a deal
- The issue of a “sunset clause” in the deal being negotiated
- Major obstacles the negotiations still need to overcome, and what is most likely to cause them to fail
- Problems with focusing on breakout time, and what the various centrifuge numbers being discussed really mean
- Details on the sanctions Iran has faced, and what could happen as they are removed
- How Gulf states, particularly Saudi Arabia, view the ongoing negotiations
- What could happen if a deal isn’t reached by the upcoming deadlines
- How the Supreme Leader and the Iranian public view the negotiations
This episode was supported by David de Bruijn. You can help support the podcast by making a small donation on Patreon!
Direct download: Dina_Esfandiary_Mar_15.mp3
-- posted at: 12:36pm EST