Tunisian Foreign Fighters

Aaron Zelin comes back on the show to discuss Tunisian foreign fighters going to Iraq and Syria, and how Tunisia is handling security issues. Topics we covered include:

  • Radicalization of jihadists in prison
  • How the democratic transition enabled free movement
  • Tunisian government's evolution in dealing with jihadis
  • Instability on Tunisia's borders
  • Potential for regular jihadi attacks to become the new normal
  • International support for civil society and security efforts


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Netanyahu and the Politicization of Israel

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!

Turkish Elections & Anti-ISIS Strategy

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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Studying Jihadi Culture

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!

Humanitarian Relief in Syria

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

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