Newsletters

 

MESG Newsletter-December 2021

 

Dear all

 

 

Annual Report

 

Thank you to all the researchers who provided information about their activities during the past year. If you wish to add information, please send it to me no later than 10 December 2021.

 

I just published a fascinating interview with former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert: “Lessons from Peace Negotiations: Interview with Ehud Olmert”, Israel Affairs (online first 1 November 2021). DOI: 10.1080/13537121.2021.1993000. Available at: https://hull.academia.edu/RaphaelCohenalmagor/Papers

 

 

MESG Programme 2021-2022

 

The last MESG Research Seminar with Rt Hon. Alistair Burt, former Minister for the ME and North America, Sir Richard Dalton (MESG), Sir Vincent Fean (MESG) and Sir Tom Phillips (MESG) on Britain in the Middle East: Does it still have a role? was superb. Those of you who saw it surely enjoyed it. If you did not see it for some reason, this unmissable event is available at

https://www.gotostage.com/channel/923cb85986064f9bb7f9be592abf994d/recording/90b67c9edb5a4dc79a2555d9a4511ac6/watch

 

You can read Sir Richard’s paper at

https://mesg.wordpress.hull.ac.uk/speakers/

 

Reiterated gratitude is expressed to Richard, Vincent, Tom, Dean Hardy, Ahmed Zaky and the FBLP events team for organizing this event.

 

Coming next two events on the same day:

 

8 December 2021, 2:00-3:00pm

FBLP Research Seminar

Professor Raphael Cohen-Almagor

Just, Reasonable Multiculturalism

Discussant: Professor Naomi Chazan (MESG)

Chair: Professor Massimo La Torre (MESG)

Link to register: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/7074420958859479052

 

Naomi Chazan is professor emerita of political science and African studies at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Prof. Chazan served as a Member of the Knesset for three terms (1992-2003) on behalf of the Meretz party. She was Deputy Speaker of the Israeli Parliament, the Knesset, and a member of numerous committees:  Foreign Affairs and Defense, Education, Economics, Immigration and Absorption, and the Advancement of the Status of Women.

 

Massimo La Torre is Professor of Philosophy of law at the University of Catanzaro, Italy, and a visiting professor of European law at the University of Tallinn, Estonia. For many years, Massimo was a Visiting Professor at hull School of Law.

 

More information about both at

https://mesg.wordpress.hull.ac.uk/members/

 

 

8 December 2021, 6:00-8:00pm

MESG Annual Lecture

Sir Professor Lawrence Freedman

Great Powers and the Middle East: The Twenty Years Shift

Chair: Professor Stephen Hardy

Link to register: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/8332035760999046157

 

Professor Sir Lawrence Freedman is Emeritus Professor of War Studies, King’s College London. He was Professor of War Studies from 1982 to 2014 and Vice-Principal from 2003 to 2013. In June 2009 he was appointed to serve as a member of the official inquiry into Britain and the 2003 Iraq War.

More information at https://mesg.wordpress.hull.ac.uk/speakers/

 

 

MESC

As some of you know, I am seeking to transform MESG into The Middle East Study Centre (MESC). The main reason for this application is to compete for funding. Building on the strengths of the MESG, we could do better in attracting students, increasing the volume of activities, attracting funding and growing in importance in the field of Middle Eastern studies as a centre of excellence.

 

 

MESG Partnerships

Together with Sir Tom Phillips I am working to create partnerships with similar centres in the Middle East. The University is interested to support this initiative, and this is very important.

 

SECRETARY OF DEFENSE SPEECH

Remarks by Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III on Middle East Security at the Manama Dialogue (As Delivered)

NOV. 20, 2021

Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III

https://www.defense.gov/News/Speeches/Speech/Article/2849921/remarks-by-secretary-of-defense-lloyd-j-austin-iii-on-middle-east-security-at-t/

 

 

 

Volunteers needed

 

In the past few months, Ahmed and I arranged the MESG events programme and the book celebration; launched funding appeal; collected information for the upgrade to centre; updated the MESG website; compiled information for the MESG Annual Activities Report; engage in establishing international relationships between the MESG and other organisations, and more.

 

As our volume of activities increases, we are looking for volunteers who will assist us with MESG work. If you have time to do important work with us, please get in touch. You will gain invaluable experience in networking, organising events, fund raising, contacting important people and organisations throughout the world, participate in research and initiate and pursue your own ideas.

 

 

Wishing you good health and peace, with my very best wishes

 

Rafi

 

MESG Newsletter-November 2021

 

Dear all

 

Visiting Professorship

Many thanks to all of you who congratulated me after reading the VC announcement that the Swedish Research Council granted me the 2023 Olof Palme Guest Professorship.

 

The Professorship was established by the Swedish Riksdag in 1987 in memory of Sweden’s former prime minister, Olof Palme. Every year, the Swedish Research Council issues a call and Swedish universities compete by nominating internationally prominent researchers in areas of importance for the understanding of peace in a broad context – areas to which Olof Palme had a life-long commitment. The research may cover areas such as international politics, peace and conflict research and the comparison of social institutions.

 

https://www.vr.se/english/applying-for-funding/decisions/2021-08-25-olof-palme-visiting-professorship.html

 

https://www.vr.se/english/applying-for-funding/how-applications-are-assessed.html

 

The Palme Professorship is from 1 January until 31 December 2023. The purpose of the Olof Palme Visiting Professorship is to give universities the opportunity to develop a subject area by inviting an internationally prominent researcher as a visiting professor for one year. The position comes with many responsibilities throughout the year, including research collaboration, delivering lectures and seminars, supporting PhD students, advising Lund University and its partners in facilitating this professorship, communicating with politicians, decision-makers and the media.

 

In making this application for the Palme Professorship, Lund University partnered with five other reputable institutions: Gothenburg University, The Swedish Institute of Foreign Affairs, Stockholm University, The Folke Benadotte Academy, and the University of Copenhagen. They all acknowledge the important work that the MESG is doing.

 

https://www.cmes.lu.se/article/cmes-hosting-2023-olof-palme-visiting-professorship-awarded-raphael-cohen-almagor

 

 

Annual Report

 

Thank you to all the researchers who provided information about their activities during the past year. If you wish to add information, please send it to me no later than 10 December 2021.

 

I just published a fascinating interview with former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert: “Lessons from Peace Negotiations: Interview with Ehud Olmert”, Israel Affairs (online first 1 November 2021). DOI: 10.1080/13537121.2021.1993000. Available at: https://hull.academia.edu/RaphaelCohenalmagor/Papers

 

 

MESG Programme 2021-2022

 

The last MESG Research Seminar with Rt Hon. Alistair Burt, former Minister for the ME and North America, Sir Richard Dalton (MESG), Sir Vincent Fean (MESG) and Sir Tom Phillips (MESG) on Britain in the Middle East: Does it still have a role? was superb. Those of you who saw it surely enjoyed it. If you did not see it for some reason, this unmissable event is available at

https://www.gotostage.com/channel/923cb85986064f9bb7f9be592abf994d/recording/90b67c9edb5a4dc79a2555d9a4511ac6/watch

 

You can read Sir Richard’s paper at

https://mesg.wordpress.hull.ac.uk/speakers/

 

Reiterated gratitude is expressed to Richard, Vincent, Tom, Dean Hardy, Ahmed Zaky and the FBLP events team for organizing this event.

 

Coming next two events on the same day:

 

8 December 2021, 2:00-3:00pm

FBLP Research Seminar

Professor Raphael Cohen-Almagor

Just, Reasonable Multiculturalism

Discussant: Professor Naomi Chazan (MESG)

Chair: Professor Massimo La Torre (MESG)

Link to register: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/7074420958859479052

 

Naomi Chazan is professor emerita of political science and African studies at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Prof. Chazan served as a Member of the Knesset for three terms (1992-2003) on behalf of the Meretz party. She was Deputy Speaker of the Israeli Parliament, the Knesset, and a member of numerous committees:  Foreign Affairs and Defense, Education, Economics, Immigration and Absorption, and the Advancement of the Status of Women.

 

Massimo La Torre is Professor of Philosophy of law at the University of Catanzaro, Italy, and a visiting professor of European law at the University of Tallinn, Estonia. For many years, Massimo was a Visiting Professor at hull School of Law.

 

More information about both at

https://mesg.wordpress.hull.ac.uk/members/

 

 

8 December 2021, 6:00-8:00pm

MESG Annual Lecture

Sir Professor Lawrence Freedman

Great Powers and the Middle East: The Twenty Years Shift

Chair: Professor Stephen Hardy

Link to register: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/8332035760999046157

 

Professor Sir Lawrence Freedman is Emeritus Professor of War Studies, King’s College London. He was Professor of War Studies from 1982 to 2014 and Vice-Principal from 2003 to 2013. In June 2009 he was appointed to serve as a member of the official inquiry into Britain and the 2003 Iraq War.

More information at https://mesg.wordpress.hull.ac.uk/speakers/

 

 

MESC

As some of you know, I am seeking to transform MESG into The Middle East Study Centre (MESC). The main reason for this application is to compete for funding. Building on the strengths of the MESG, we could do better in attracting students, increasing the volume of activities, attracting funding and growing in importance in the field of Middle Eastern studies as a centre of excellence.

 

 

MESG Partnerships

Together with Sir Tom Phillips I am working to create partnerships with similar centres in the Middle East. The University is interested to support this initiative, and this is very important.

 

The Balfour Project

On Tue, 30 November 2021, 17:30 – 18:30 GMT, our member and friend Sir Vincent Fean will host Toufic Haddad to discuss “Will there ever be a Two-State Solution?”

Dr Toufic Haddad is a social scientist whose work focuses on the political economy of development and conflict in the Middle East, and Israel-Palestine in particular. Before joining the Council for British Research in the Levant as the Kenyon Institute’s Deputy Director in October 2018, Toufic had an eclectic professional and academic career working as a journalist, editor, researcher, consultant and a publisher, including for several UN bodies.

 

He has a BA in Philosophy and Middle East Studies from Trinity College; an MA in Near East Studies and Journalism from New York University; and, a PhD from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London (Development Studies). His PhD was transformed into Palestine Ltd: Neoliberalism and Nationalism in the Occupied Territory, published by I.B. Tauris in 2016, with paperback edition out in 2018. He is the co-author of two additional books and has extensively spoken and published on the Israel-Palestine conflict, featured in an assortment of books, print, television and online media, both academic and popular.

 

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/toufic-haddad-the-israeli-palestine-conflict-what-does-the-future-hold-tickets-204786200037

 

 

UCL Book Launch

Some of you asked for the link of the book launch I had at UCL with The Rt Hon. Lord David Neuberger,

Deputy President (ret.), Justice Elyakim Rubinstein, and Professor Avrom Sherr. It is available at

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=axlHX5obYrE

 

 

Volunteers needed

 

In the past few months, Ahmed and I arranged the MESG events programme and the book celebration; launched funding appeal; collected information for the upgrade to centre; updated the MESG website; compiled information for the MESG Annual Activities Report; engage in establishing international relationships between the MESG and other organisations, and more.

 

As our volume of activities increases, we are looking for volunteers who will assist us with MESG work. If you have time to do important work with us, please get in touch. You will gain invaluable experience in networking, organising events, fund raising, contacting important people and organisations throughout the world, participate in research and initiate and pursue your own ideas.

 

 

Wishing you good health and peace, with my very best wishes

 

Rafi

 

MESG Newsletter-October 2021

 

Dear all

 

I am delighted to announce that one of our members, Professor Saul Friedlander, has received The Balzan Prize for scholarly and scientific achievements. The prize of 750,000 Swiss francs was granted for his work broadening the perspective on the history of the Holocaust.

 

The Balzan Foundation awards two prizes in the sciences and two in the humanities each year, rotating specialties to highlight new or emerging areas of research and sustain fields that might be overlooked elsewhere. Recipients receive 750,000 Swiss francs ($815,000), half of which must be used for research, preferably by young scholars or scientists.

 

 

MESG Programme 2021-2022

 

The programme is now complete. As already said, it promises to be interesting and stimulating as it was in previous years.

 

MESG Programme 2021-2022

 

https://mesg.wordpress.hull.ac.uk/speakers/

 

 

 

 

6 October 2021, 5:00-7:00pm

MESG Ambassador Forum

Ambassador Jon Allen (MESG)

The Role of Canada in the Middle East

Chair: Professor Raphael Cohen-Almagor

Lecture recording: https://www.gotostage.com/channel/923cb85986064f9bb7f9be592abf994d/recording/86227013344241dba7134796995a2ac6/watch

 

9 November 2021, 5:00-7:00pm

MESG Research Seminar

Opening words: PVC (International) Professor Philip Gilmartin

Rt Hon. Alistair Burt, former Minister for the ME and North America

Sir Richard Dalton (MESG)

Sir Vincent Fean (MESG)

Sir Tom Phillips (MESG)

Britain in the Middle East: Does it still have a role?

Link to register: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/1598136170312728333

 

8 December 2021, 2:00-3:00pm

FBLP Research Seminar

Professor Raphael Cohen-Almagor

Just, Reasonable Multiculturalism

Discussant: Professor Naomi Chazan (MESG)

Chair: Professor Massimo La Torre (MESG)

Link to register: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/7074420958859479052

 

8 December 2021, 6:00-8:00pm

MESG Annual Lecture

Sir Professor Lawrence Freedman

Great Powers and the Middle East: The Twenty Years Shift

Chair: Professor Stephen Hardy

Link to register: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/8332035760999046157

 

19 January 2022, 5:00-7:00pm

MESG Ambassador Forum

Professor Daniel Kurtzer (MESG)

Biden’s Agenda in the Middle East: How Relevant will the United States Be?

Chair: Sir Richard Dalton (MESG)

Link to register: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/6660273410942404621

 

9 February 2022, 5:00-7:00pm

MESG Research Seminar

Former Deputy President, Justice Professor Elyakim Rubinstein (MESG)

Moshe Dayan – A Personal Memoir

Chair: Mr Uzi Dayan

Link to register: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/8260060630971209742

 

16 February 2022, 5:00-7:00pm

MESG Research Seminar

Mr Joel Singer (MESG)

From Oslo to Gaza

Chair: Professor Isabell Schierenbeck (MESG)

Link to register: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/636424135822788109

 

9 March 2022, 5:00-7:00pm

MESG Research Seminar

Mr Francesco Motta
Chief, Asia Pacific and MENA Branch, The United Nations

Between a Rock and a Hard Place – the work of the UN promoting human rights in the Middle East

Chair: Professor Glenn Burgess

Link to register: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/8554371306472469776

 

27 April 2022, 5:00-7:00pm

MESG Books’ Celebration

 

 

Dr Alan Brener

Professor Alan Dowty

Professor Jack Goldstone

Professor Daniel Kurtzer

Professor Lester Grabbe

Professor Simon Smith

Professor David Tal

Professor Raphael Cohen-Almagor

Chair: Professor Stephen Hardy

Link to register: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/6165794445316367888

 

 

Please pencil the dates in your diaries.

 

 

Invitation: Online Book Launches at Reading and UCL

 

WEDNESDAY 27 OCTOBER 2021, 5-7PM BST

 

SCHOOL OF LAW

UNIVERSITY OF READING

‘JUST, REASONABLE MULTICULTURALISM’ (CUP, 2021)

VIRTUAL BOOK LAUNCH AND PANEL DISCUSSION

On Microsoft Teams

Please contact r.ziegler@reading.ac.uk for registration

 

Panelists:

Raphael Cohen-Almagor (Chair in Politics, Hull)

Chris Hilson (Professor of Law, Reading)

Gila Stopler (Dean and Associate Professor of Law, College of Law & Business)

Aleardo Zanghellini (Professor of Law and Social Theory, Reading)

 

Chair and moderator:

Ruvi Ziegler (Associate Professor in International Refugee Law, Reading) (MESG)

 

This book explores the main challenges against multiculturalism. It aims to examine whether liberalism and multiculturalism are reconcilable, and what are the limits of liberal democratic interventions in illiberal affairs of minority cultures within democracy. In the process, this book addresses three questions: whether multiculturalism is bad for democracy, whether multiculturalism is bad for women, and whether multiculturalism contributes to terrorism. Just, Reasonable Multiculturalism argues that liberalism and multiculturalism are reconcilable if a fair balance is struck between individual rights and group rights. Raphael Cohen-Almagor contends that reasonable multiculturalism can be achieved via mechanisms of deliberate democracy, compromise and, when necessary, coercion. Placing necessary checks on groups that discriminate against vulnerable third parties, the approach insists on the protection of basic human rights as well as on exit rights for individuals if and when they wish to leave their cultural groups.

 

 

4th November 2021, 5 – 6.30pm

Raphael Cohen-Almagor, Just, Reasonable Multiculturalism (Cambridge University Press, 2021)

 

Speakers include:

 

The Rt Hon. Lord David Neuberger of Abbotsbury, former President of the United Kingdom Supreme Court

 

Deputy President (ret.), Justice Elyakim Rubinstein, Israel Supreme Court, Jerusalem, Israel (MESG)

 

Professor Avrom Sherr, Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, Professor Emeritus, Director Emeritus (MESG)

 

https://www.ucl.ac.uk/laws/events/2021/nov/online-book-launch-just-reasonable-multiculturalism

 

 

 

Volunteers needed

 

In the past few months, Ahmed and I arranged the MESG events programme and the book celebration; launched funding appeal; collected information for the upgrade to centre; updated the MESG website; compiled information for the MESG Annual Activities Report; engage in establishing international relationships between the MESG and other organisations, and more.

 

As our volume of activities increases, we are looking for volunteers who will assist us with MESG work. If you have time to do important work with us, please get in touch. You will gain invaluable experience in networking, organising events, fund raising, contacting important people and organisations throughout the world, participate in research and initiate and pursue your own ideas.

 

 

Wishing you good health and peace, with my very best wishes

 

Rafi

 

MESG Newsletter-September 2021

 

Dear all

 

The past few months were extremely busy. Ahmed and I, with the support of the MESG Advisory Board, have been exploring and establishing cooperation with international organisations; compiling information with the aim of elevating MESG to MESC, i.e., to a centre; launching fund raising campaign; compiling our MESG annual activities report; updating our website, and organising our international events for this academic year.

 

 

Cooperation between MESG and the Vienna Process

 

MESG has become an associated academic partner of the Vienna Process.

 

 

MESG Book Celebration

On 27 April 2022 we will hold our MESG Books’ Celebration. Several members will present their new books, published during the past year. These include:

Dr Alan Brener

Professor Jack Goldstone

Professor Daniel Kurtzer

Professor Lester Grabbe

Professor Simon Smith

Professor David Tal

Professor Raphael Cohen-Almagor

 

The event will be chaired by FBLP Dean Professor Stephen Hardy.

 

 

MESG Programme 2021-2022

 

The programme is beginning to take nice shape. It promises to be interesting and stimulating as it was in previous years. Our first event for this academic year will be the Ambassador Forum:

 

6 October 2021, at 5:00pm

Ambassador Forum

Jon Allen (MESG)

Tentative title: “Canada and the Middle East”.

Please register directly with the online platform:

https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/8415262193839918351

 

All, of course, welcome.

 

As our budget is strained (I am using my Oxonian understatement here), all our events will be online. This allows us to continue benefiting from the best brains in the world. The tentative programme is, in addition to Ambassador Allen:

 

9 November 2021, 5:00-7:00pm

Opening words: PVC (International) Professor Philip Gilmartin

Rt Hon. Alistair Burt, former Minister for the ME and North America

Sir Richard Dalton (MESG)

Sir Vincent Fean (MESG)

Sir Tom Phillips (MESG)

Britain in the Middle East: Does it still have a role?

Link to register: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/1598136170312728333

 

8 December 2021, 6:00-8:00pm

MESG Annual Lecture

Sir Professor Lawrence Freedman

Great Powers and the Middle East: The Twenty Years Shift

Chair: Professor Stephen Hardy

Link to register: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/8332035760999046157

 

19 January 2022, 5:00-7:00pm

Professor Daniel Kurtzer (MESG)

Biden’s Agenda in the Middle East: How Relevant will the United States Be?

Chair: Sir Richard Dalton (MESG)

Link to register: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/6660273410942404621

 

9 February 2022, 5:00-7:00pm

Deputy President, Justice Professor Elyakim Rubinstein (MESG)

Moshe Dayan – A Personal Memoir

 

16 February 2022, 5:00-7:00pm

Mr Joel Singer (MESG)

From Oslo to Gaza

Chair: Professor Isabell Schierenbeck (MESG)

Link to register: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/636424135822788109

 

9 March 2022, 5:00-7:00pm

Mr Francesco Motta
Chief, Asia Pacific and MENA Branch

The United Nations

 

27 April 2022, 5:00-7:00pm

MESG Books’ Celebration

The books include the writings of:

 

Professor Lester Grabbe

Dr Alan Brener

Professor Jack Goldstone

Professor Simon C. Smith

Professor David Tal

Professor Daniel Kurtzer

Professor Raphael Cohen-Almagor

 

Chair: Professor Stephen Hardy

 

 

Please pencil the dates in your diaries.

 

 

BALFOUR PROJECT OPENS APPLICATIONS FOR ITS PEACE ADVOCACY FELLOWSHIP PROGRAMME 2021/22

The Balfour Project is proud to open applications for the 3rd year of its peace advocacy fellowship programme. This paid fellowship is aimed primarily (but not exclusively) at post-graduate and final year undergraduate students who are committed to the Balfour Project ethos. The successful applicants will advocate for peace and equal rights on the basis of the Balfour Project approach, applying professional tools provided in the fellowship training.

Further details at;

https://balfourproject.org/bp/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/Call-for-Balfour-Project-2021-2022-1.pdf

 

https://balfourproject.org/fellowships/

 

 

Carnegie Connects: Aaron David Miller (MESG) in Conversation with The Honorable James A. Baker, III
September 29, 2021  11:00 to 11:45 a.m. EDT

Live Online

Aaron and many others consider Jim Baker to be one of the brightest and ablest Secretary of State.

 

https://carnegieendowment.org/events/forms/?fa=registration&event=7702&lang=en&id=&mkt_tok=MDk1LVBQVi04MTMAAAF_rMubdhyMlWJ3kNHxpXGWQjX24rT6UrB8Ae2V7Ju3sz9SNB4WOCeyrHZPkHw6iXwmmkmbTP8Zh4S3GG8m1Q8K5r9pm26KziJMzQxASVn38pc

 

 

Invitation: Online Book Launch at UCL

 

Raphael Cohen-Almagor, Just, Reasonable Multiculturalism (Cambridge University Press, 2021)

 

Speakers include:

 

The Rt Hon. Lord David Neuberger of Abbotsbury, former President of the United Kingdom Supreme Court

 

Deputy President (ret.), Justice Elyakim Rubinstein, Israel Supreme Court, Jerusalem, Israel

 

Professor Avrom Sherr, Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, Professor Emeritus, Director Emeritus

 

4th November 2021, 5 – 6.30pm

https://www.ucl.ac.uk/laws/events/2021/nov/online-book-launch-just-reasonable-multiculturalism

 

 

Postgraduate Scholarships and Fellowships for Cypriot nationals

The Jo Carby-Hall Cyprus Scholarship/Fellowship

Each of these scholarships are applicable to all disciplines offered at the University of Hull. They are only offered to EXCEPTIONAL applicants. (The scholarship is for Master and Doctoral degrees with a contribution of £350 per annum towards their university fees. Fellowships are by invitation only and paid for by the sponsor authority. Prospective applicants are welcome to write to Professor Jo Carby-Hall: J.R.Carby-Hall@hull.ac.uk

 

Interview about R. Cohen-Almagor’s new book, Just, Reasonable Multinationalism,

Vital Interests, Fordham University, New York:

https://www.centeronnationalsecurity.org/vital-interests-issue-87-raphael-cohen-almagor

 

 

US Afghanistan withdrawal: the impact on MENA geopolitical risk

A REPORT BY THE ECONOMIST INTELLIGENCE UNIT

The rapid US withdrawal from Afghanistan has provided the starkest example yet of the US’s long-standing desire to disentangle itself from the regional conflicts in the Middle East. However, a continued US presence in the Gulf remains a key underlying factor for political stability in the region.

This special report examines which countries in the Middle East could be next to be destabilised from a long-term US withdrawal. Our analysis also explores which global powers are poised to benefit from a declining US interest in the region.

https://www.eiu.com/n/campaigns/geopolitics-in-the-middle-east?utm_source=mkt-asset-download&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=sep-21-mena-geopolitics&utm_term=download-free&utm_content=cta-1&mkt_tok=NzUzLVJJUS00MzgAAAF_q5sdpdhUNreCP-0-zw8zccWPTTim3u6NjqdSF5mDepqgjy5LmHHmbfMreJVQfy02Mn0AKR3HEbKXOqz0ZVgnOAvzOSTN7kdS4SF-F3rbSSrN

 

 

The Alec Gill Hessle Road photo archive

A book celebrating the photographic study of one road in Hull and its community at the heart of the UK’s historic fishing culture.

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/agarchivebook/alec-gills-hessle-road-archive

 

 

Volunteers needed

 

In the past few months, Ahmed and I arranged the MESG events programme and the book celebration; launched funding appeal; collected information for the upgrade to centre; updated the MESG website; compiled information for the MESG Annual Activities Report; engage in establishing international relationships between the MESG and other organisations, and more.

 

As our volume of activities increases, we are looking for volunteers who will assist us with MESG work. If you have time to do important work with us, please get in touch. You will gain invaluable experience in networking, organising events, fund raising, contacting important people and organisations throughout the world, participate in research and initiate and pursue your own ideas.

 

 

Wishing you good health and peace, with my very best wishes

 

Rafi

 

MESG Newsletter-August 2021

 

New books:

 

Professor Lester Grabbe (MESG) is about to publish a new book:

 

A History of the Jews and Judaism in the Second Temple Period, Volume 4: The Jews under the Roman Shadow (4 BCE–150 CE) (Library of Second Temple Studies 99; London/New York: Bloomsbury T & T Clark, 2021), 638 pp.

 

This is the fourth and final volume of my history of the Jews in the Second Temple period, i.e., the period beginning about 550 BC and covering the Jews under Persian, Greek, and Roman rule to about 150 of the Common Era.  This volume gives the history from the death of King Herod the Great to the last Jewish revolt under Bar-Kokhva (about 132-35).  It takes in the period of the Roman governors of Judaea including Pontius Pilate, the beginnings of Christianity, the conquest of Jerusalem and destruction of the Temple 66-70, and the foundations of Rabbinic Judaism.  It collects all that is known about the Jews during the period in which they were ruled by the Roman Empire. Based directly on primary sources such as archaeology, inscriptions, Jewish literary sources and Greek, Roman and Christian sources, this study includes analysis of the Jewish diaspora, mystical and Gnosticism trends, and the developments in the Temple, the law, and contemporary attitudes towards Judaism. The volume concludes with a holistic perspective on the Jews and Judaism for the entire 700 years of the Second Temple Period.

 

 

My new book:

 

Just, Reasonable Multiculturalism

Raphael Cohen-Almagor

 

New book: Raphael Cohen-Almagor, Just, Reasonable Multiculturalism (New York and Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2021). https://www.cambridge.org/core/books/just-reasonable-multiculturalism/5EB0648682BB3A81E392DC2E374A5A09#fndtn-information

 

My book explores the main challenges against multiculturalism. Its primary objectives are twofold: to examine whether liberalism and multiculturalism are reconcilable, and what are the limits of liberal democratic interventions in illiberal affairs of minority cultures within democracy when minorities engage in practices that inflict physical harm on group members (e.g. Female Genital Mutilation) or non-physical harm (e.g. denying members property or education). In the process, the book addresses three questions: whether multiculturalism is bad for democracy; whether multiculturalism is bad for women, and whether multiculturalism contributes to terrorism.

The main thesis is that liberalism and multiculturalism are reconcilable provided that a fair balance is struck between individual rights and group rights. It is argued that reasonable multiculturalism can be achieved via mechanisms of deliberate democracy, compromise and, when necessary, coercion. Placing necessary checks on groups that discriminate against vulnerable third parties, commonly women and children, the approach insists on the protection of basic human rights as well as on exit rights for individuals if and when they wish to leave their cultural groups.

 

 

During 2022, the MESG will hold a book celebration, hosting authors who recently have published new books. Please drop me a line if you wish to take part.

 

MESG Programme 2021-2022:

The programme is beginning to take nice shape. It promises to be interesting and stimulating as it was in previous years. Our first speaker:

6 October 2021, at 5:00pm

Ambassador Forum

Jon Allen (MESG)

Tentative title: “Canada and the Middle East”.

 

 

Please pencil it in your diaries. I will publish the full programme once it is finalized.

 

 

Recommended Podcast:

Peace Process Now with Yossi Beilin and Daniel Kurtzer (MESG)

https://peacenow.libsyn.com/199-peace-process-now-with-yossi-beilin-and-daniel-kurtzer

 

 

Recommended readings:

Joel Singer (MESG), The Israel-PLO Mutual Recognition Agreement, https://www.joelsinger.org/the-israel-plo-mutual-recognition-agreement/

 

 

Tariq Dana, Mahmoud Abbas and the Palestinian Authority’s succession dilemma, https://english.alaraby.co.uk/analysis/mahmoud-abbas-and-pas-succession-dilemma

 

Wishing you peace, with my very best wishes

 

Rafi

 

MESG Newsletter-July 2021

 

Dear all

 

 

June 2021: Faculty Research Newsletter

 

Middle East Study Group Seminar Programme
The Middle East Study Group (MESG) is a think-tank that brings togetherpeople from different disciplines, academic and non-academic,

to discuss Middle Eastern affairs. Believing that the University should be an integral part of the community, the

MESG is open to all people who are interested in and engaged with Middle Eastern politics. The group has

been meeting since 2008, to discuss pertinent topics. Meetings are usually designed for the discussion of

work-in-progress papers, so presenters can benefit from the deliberation prior to publication, and there is an

annual seminar programme featuring guest speakers.

 

The MESG Seminar programme for 2020-21, which has recently

concluded, has been a wonderful opportunity to hear from a diverse mix of high profile, expert speakers about a

range of different issues relevant in the Middle East today.

 

With 8 sessions in total, the programme attracted 1138 registrants and a total of 695 delegates attended from

around the world.  The most popular seminar with an audience of 248, was a talk on the 21st April from world

renowned intellectual Professor Noam Chomsky, who offered his unique insights into the challenges facing human

kind today. In the second most popular talk we heard from former Prime Minister of Israel Ehud Olmert, with an

audience of 109 delegates.

 

Thanks to Raphael Cohen Almagor, Founding Director of the MESG, and Ahmed Zaky for both securing

the speakers and their pivotal roles in the arrangements.

 

Recordings of all sessions are available on the FBLP Recording Channels and for more information about

the MESG please visit their website here.

 

 

25.5.2021

 Dear all

 1

MESG Affiliate Member Jon Allen agreed to share with you segments of a speech he delivered on May 14, 2021. Jon served as Canadian ambassador to Israel.

 

Let me begin by making it clear that what I have to say is not about justifying the almost 2000 rockets that have been launched against Israel over the past few days. I condemn Hamas’ rocket attacks as pure political opportunism as I will explain later. Nor does it justify Arab on Jewish violence in Israel’s mixed cities, the shocking new dimension to this conflict. Not only are these actions terrifying for all Israelis, men, women and especially children – and they must stop, but they also feed the belief that there is no, and never will be, a partner for peace on the Palestinian side, and that an independent Palestinian state would be a constant threat to Israel. I don’t agree with either of those suggestions but many Israelis and many Jews in the diaspora do and the violence this week further fuels the mistrust and in some cases hatred that are major obstacles to peace going forward.

 

In my view, the causes for the disturbances leading up to and including the rocket fire are multiple: they are secular and religious, they are long standing and immediate and they are political. But they are ultimately centered on the question of Palestinian rights and the lack thereof.

 

Let’s begin with the immediate causes. The first was the barricading of Damascus Gate during Ramadan. This is an area where young Palestinians traditionally gather while waiting for the evening meal and after. I don’t know why the decision was taken to do it. (There is some speculation that the commanders of the police were new and inexperienced.) At any rate, it was a provocation and it set off the first demonstrations and acts of real violence on both sides. It brought out radical Jewish extremists, and innocent Jews and Arabs were attacked during the protests and police actions that followed.

 

The second was the intervention by the Kahanist MP Itamar Gvir. According to the Times of Israel, Israeli Police Commissioner Kobi Shabtai told Prime Minister Netanyahu that the extreme-right MK was responsible for ongoing riots in Jewish-Arab cities. He said that every time police appeared to be getting an area under control, Ben Gvir, the Kahanist member of the Religious Zionism party, showed up to fan the flames.

 

The third cause was the pending, now postponed, Supreme Court decision on whether a number of Palestinian families would be evicted from their homes in Sheikh Jarrah – homes they have lived in since 1948. Derek will explain this issue in detail. Let me just say that scheduling the court decision and possible evictions during Ramadan was not well thought out. The evictions are perceived by Palestinians and others as part of a larger effort to surround the Old City with “Jewish only” settlements and thereby cut off East Jerusalem from the West Bank.

 

The proposed march to celebrate Jerusalem Day that was intended to finish at the Damascus Gate, but which was re-routed at the last minute, also did not help. The simultaneous expulsion of Palestinians from their homes and the celebration of Jerusalem Day, which for the marchers means all of Jerusalem, both East and West, are also perceived as an effort to unilaterally settle one of the most sensitive of the final status issues between Israel and Palestine – the status of Jerusalem. The Trump Peace Plan’s formal recognition of West Jerusalem as Israel’s capitol and his encouragement of Jewish settlements in East Jerusalem are controversial backdrops to Palestinians concerns.

 

The fifth and by far most provocative cause, especially given that tensions were already high and that violence on both sides had already erupted, was the use of force by the police on the grounds of the Temple Mount/Al Aqsa. No one in the Israeli government seemed to recall that it was a visit by Ariel Sharon to this same site that provoked the Second Intifada, or to realize that it’s violation, especially during Ramadan, was guaranteed to provoke a strong reaction, not only in Jerusalem but throughout Israel and the Muslim world. The media coverage of police firing rubber bullets and tear gas to disperse demonstrators further stoked the flames.

 

As a result, even secular Muslims and non-Muslims could easily identify with these issues.

 

So why did Hamas act when it did and why with such force. The easy answer is that Hamas gave Israel an ultimatum to leave Al Aqsa and Israel didn’t comply. A more likely reason is far more political and opportunist. Hamas sought to take advantage of the Palestinian’s anger and long-standing frustration and fill a vacuum at a time when Fatah and its leader Mahmoud Abbas were silent. Recall also that this was taking place shortly after Abbas had cancelled the Palestinian elections – the first in almost 15 years – elections that many predicted Hamas would win. Another possible reason for Hamas’ reaction is that Hamas (and some say Bibi Netanyahu) believed that a conflict of this nature and magnitude would disrupt the efforts of the anti-Bibi bloc to form a government in Israel. As we know, that bloc could have succeeded in forming a government only with the support of one of the Israeli-Arab parties. Hamas, you see, prefers a Netanyahu government just as Bibi prefers to quietly support Hamas. Both want to weaken Fatah, and neither are interested in a two-state solution.

 

Just how long did Israel think that Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza would put up with military rule and military courts; with house demolitions and evictions; with settler expansion and daily settler violence ignored by the IDF; with severe restrictions on their movement, both within the Territories and between the Territories and the outside world? How long would the residents of Jerusalem – they are denied Israeli citizenship – accept their third-class status? Did Israeli government officials think that Palestinian Israelis in Lod, Akko and Ramle were either ignorant of or immune to the treatment of Palestinians in the territories or the provocations at Al Aqsa? For how long do Israelis and we Jews in the Diaspora think that this situation is sustainable? If nothing is done to fix this larger problem, I fear we will back here in a few years having a very similar conversation.

 

 

2.

I published my own thoughts on my Blog, Israel: Democracy, Human Rights, Politics and Society, http://almagor.blogspot.com

 

 

3.

Affiliate Member Joel Singer shares: My First Encounter With Yasser Arafat

 

Singer recalls his first encounter with PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat, back in 1974 – nearly twenty years before we met on the White House South Lawn during the signing ceremony of the Oslo Agreement. In the three years that followed that ceremony, Singer spent so many days and nights negotiating the details of the Oslo Accords with him that some came to consider Singer an expert on Arafat – one of the most controversial and enigmatic figures of the 20th century.

 

https://www.joelsinger.org/my-first-encounter-with-yasser-arafat/

 

 

4.

Call for Papers: Post-Pandemic Politics: Perspectives and Possibilities

 

The Editors of Public Governance, Administration and Finances Law Review are inviting contributions to their online conference Post-Pandemic Politics: Perspectives and Possibilities (30th June 2021) to approximate some post-Covid-related political dilemmas. The deadline for abstract submission is 31st May 2021. Be sure to check out the full call at: https://ludevent.uni-nke.hu/event/938/

 

Prominent scientists say the transformation of Israel from a COVID-19 hotspot to a vaccination success story underlines that any developed country can subdue the virus.

 

They estimate that a relatively small number of vaccinations are needed to take a country out of crisis mode. The moment that half of the population aged 60-plus is inoculated, authorities can expect a dramatic drop in cases and hospitals are safe from being overwhelmed, they conclude.

 

5.

Dr Sina Hakiman, a retired psychiatrist who is living in Hull and is a member of the Baha’I community got in touch following Dr David Rutstien event. Sina wishes to explore whether if as a volunteer there is a possibility to collaborate on some community building activities in a neighbourhood in Hull as a project.

 

Those interested are welcome to contact Sina directly:

Dr Sina Hakiman

sinahakiman@hotmail.com

Mobile 07922333964

6.

Invitation to my Talk: “Arafat, Barak and Clinton at Camp David: Clashes of Characters and Conduct”, Centre for Leadership, Ethics and Organisation in conjunction with the Senator George J. Mitchell Institute for Global Peace, Security and Justice

Chair: Dr Joanne Murphy Date: Wednesday 2nd June @ 4.30 pm – Via Zoom

The Centre for Leadership, Ethics and Organisation in conjunction with the Mitchell Institute invite you to attend a seminar by Professor Raphael Cohen-Almagor, DPhil, St. Catherine’s College, University of Oxford; Professor and Chair of Politics and Founding Director of the Middle East Study Group, University of Hull. The discussion will focus on all three parties: Israel, the PLO and the USA being responsible for the summit failure. This paper holds that convening the Camp David summit was ill-timed and ill-prepared. Israel and the PLO were not fully resolved to end the conflict and to sign a peace treaty. The parties – Israel, the Palestinian Authority (PA) and the USA – came to the summit unprepared, with impossibly wide gaps between the sides. The negotiators were not familiar with details of possible solutions to problems. In the focus of analysis are the three leaders: Ehud Barak, Yasser Arafat and Bill Clinton. The paper focuses on their conduct they were the first among equals and much was dependent on them. It is argued that all three of them made crucial mistakes that undermined the talks and brought about the summit’s inevitable failure. The analysis exposes inherent problems in the search for peace in the Middle East: the bad design and timing of the Camp David summit, the asymmetric power relationship between the negotiating sides, the poor human relationships, the yearning for public consensus at the expense of reaching results, the unbalanced mediation role of the USA, perceived to be biased by all three sides (Israel, PA and the USA itself), and the lack of leadership.

https://forms.office.com/pages/responsepage.aspx?id=6ner6qW040mh6NbdI6HyhmySBV8_hNdKjn7uif1eeRhUQjJaR1RFRDdVSEtYREc1OEUyODBLQ1M5Vi4u