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Ed Webb

Qatar's agriculture push risks further groundwater depletion - 0 views

  • Qatar's leading news outlets recently reported that local agricultural production has jumped by 400% since a political and economic blockade was imposed on the emirate by its Arab neighbors in 2017. And within a few years, 40% to 50% of fresh products could be produced locally,
  • the blockade caused Qatar to realize its vulnerability when it comes to the food supply
  •  recently ranked as the most water-stressed country in the world. It is also one of the few countries with no permanent rivers as rainfall is extremely unpredictable and highly erratic
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  • Qatar’s fast-growing agriculture has been looking deep underground for its water.
  • Each year, 92% of the 250 million cubic meters (75,000 acre-feet) of groundwater withdrawn from the country's aquifers is given free of charge to farmers
  • At Baladna, Qatar's largest producer of fresh dairy products, 12,000 cows produce 400 tons of fresh milk and and other dairy goods a day. The company’s press officer, Saba Mohammed Nasser Al Fadala, acknowledges that "cows were not made for the desert."
  • Artificial recharges and irrigation return flows reduce this loss but also may be polluting the aquifers, in part because of chemical fertilizers used by farmers
  • groundwater depletion causes seawater intrusion into aquifers: In 2014, 69% of wells in Qatar were classified as moderately saline
  • Half of the groundwater allocated to agriculture is utilized to grow fodder that feeds 60% to 70% of the 1.6 million head of livestock in Qatar.
  • Qatar withdraws nearly four times as much water from its aquifers than is replenished by rainfall each year
  • To mitigate the depletion of Qatar’s aquifers, local authorities plan to ban the use of groundwater to grow fodder by 2025 and restrict it to vegetable crops. Treated sewage water that is currently allocated to the irrigation of green spaces, deep injection into aquifers and agriculture is to be used for fodder.
  • Freshwater reserves for Qatar are estimated at 2.5 billion cubic meters. However, an annual groundwater deficit of some 100 million cubic meters or more puts Qatar's future in a precarious situation
  • each Baladna cow requires an average of 700 liters of water a day, most of which is used for misting in Qatar's heat. The press officer said up to 80% of this water can be recycled
  • The Ministry of Municipality and Environment says it supports those who reduce their groundwater consumption and move toward hydroponic farming. A budget of $2.75 million to $3.3 million has been allocated to a program that aims to provide up to 140 farms with free greenhouses
Ed Webb

Permission to Narrate: Half the story: What @IDFSpokesperson leaves out about #Gaza - 0 views

  • In 2011, the projectiles fired by the Israeli military into Gaza have been responsible for the death of 108 Palestinians, of which 15 where women or children and the injury of 468 Palestinians of which 143 where women or children. The methods by which these causalities were inflicted by Israeli projectiles breaks down as follows: 57% or 310, were caused by Israeli Aircraft Missile fire, 28% or 150 where from Israeli live ammunition, 11% or 59 were from Israeli tank shells while another 3% or 18 were from Israeli mortar fire.Conversely, rocket fire from Gaza in 2011 has resulted in the death of 3 Israelis.
  • Last year, in a post about this issue, we showed how media portrayed a flare-up in cross border violence as a result of increased rocket fire while actual tweets from individuals in Gaza revealed that destructive Israeli strikes preceded and in fact provoked the upsurge in rockets. Of course, the events that came before the upsurge in Gaza-launched projectiles did not get reported.Now, with the daily data we have from UN OCHA and the data we have for launches from Gaza, we can graph the two lines next to each other.
  • Palestinian deaths from Israeli projectiles into Gaza led to a 22% increase in rocket launches the following day, Palestinian injuries led to an additional 4% increase
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  • increases in the red line, which signifies Palestinian casualties, typically precede increases in the blue line, which signifies launches of projectiles from Gaza. This is particularly evident before the most significant spikes in the blue line. This suggests that Palestinian launches may be explained, in part, as a response to Israeli projectiles which kill or injure Palestinians
  • The three Israelis who died as a result of Palestinian projectile fire died during periods of upsurge provoked by preceding Israeli projectile fire into Gaza. In fact, 75% of launches from Gaza came during these upsurges provoked by Israeli fire.
  • This suggests that it is the Israelis and not the Palestinians who, through their capacity to actually inflict high casualties with their projectiles, control escalation in cross border dynamics. While all launches from Gaza cannot be explained as responses to Israeli fire, most of them are.
Ed Webb

Donald Trump Is the First Demagogue of the Anthropocene - The Atlantic - 1 views

  • Jürgen Scheffran, a professor of geography at the University of Hamburg, has been investigating whether climate change makes armed conflict more likely for more than a decade. In 2012, he worked on a team that analyzed all 27 empirical studies investigating the link between war and climate change.“Sixteen found a significant link between climate and conflict, six did not find a link, and five found an ambiguous relationship,” he told me. He described these numbers as inconclusive. Trying to prove that climate change is linked to war, he said, would be like trying to prove that smoking causes cancer with only one available case study.
  • there is only one world, and not a million worlds, in which the temperature is rising, and you cannot associate a single event—like a single hurricane or a single conflict—to climate change. It’s a statistical problem, and we don’t have enough data yet
  • the U.S. Department of Defense already considers global warming a “threat multiplier” for national security. It expects hotter temperatures and acidified oceans to destabilize governments and worsen infectious pandemics
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  • Martin O’Malley was mocked for suggesting that a climate-change-intensified drought in the Levant—the worst drought in 900 years—helped incite the Syrian Civil War, thus kickstarting the Islamic State. The evidence tentatively supports him. Since the outbreak of the conflict, some scholars have recognized that this drought pushed once-prosperous farmers into Syria’s cities. Many became unemployed and destitute, aggravating internal divisions in the run-up to the war
  • Scheffran underlined these climate connections but declined to emphasize them. “The Syrian War has so many complex interrelated issues—and most of them are political and economic—that the drought is just one contributing factor to the instability in the region,”
  • it’s all about the exogenous shock. We were all interested in, to what extent does a big event like a flooding or a drought undermine society, or trigger a conflict outbreak?
  • Heatwaves, droughts, and other climate-related exogenous shocks do correlate to conflict outbreak—but only in countries primed for conflict by ethnic division. In the 30-year period, nearly a quarter of all ethnic-fueled armed conflict coincided with a climate-related calamity. By contrast, in the set of all countries, war only correlated to climatic disaster about 9 percent of the time
  • climate disaster will not cause a war, but it can influence whether one begins
  • Models predict that northern Africa and the Levant, both already drought-prone, will dry out significantly over the course of the century. On the phone, Schleussner also cited southern Africa and south-central Asia as regions to watch. (It’s no coincidence that some of the largest, longest wars this century have occurred in those places.)
  • a drought-and-flood-fueled armed conflict near the Mediterranean Basin could send people toward Western Europe in the hundreds of millions
  • “I wouldn’t say that there would be a mass migration to Europe, but I would expect to see a large number of people being displaced within Africa,”
  • There is literally, in legal parlance, no such thing as an environmental refugee,” says Edward Carr. “To meet the international standard for refugee, a changing environment is not a forcing. It doesn’t count.”
  • When would you attribute the decision to move to changes in the climate? Does a place have to be dry for five years? For 10 years? Does someone have to have three children die, and then they decide to move?
  • Climate change could push Western politics toward demagoguery and authoritarianism in two ways, then. First, it could devastate agricultural yields and raise food prices; destroy coastal real estate and wash away family wealth; transform old commodities into luxury goods. Second, it could create a wave of migration—likely from conflict, but possibly from environmental ruination—that stresses international reception systems and risks fomenting regional resource disputes.
  • it could erode people’s sense of security, pushing them toward authoritarianism
  • Like the CEO in the 1950s who predicted that America would see flying cars and three-day workweeks by the year 1999, I’ve assumed that every ongoing trend line can be extrapolated out indefinitely. They can’t. The actual future will be far stranger.
  • climate change must be mitigated with all deliberate speed. But he also suggests certain cultural mechanisms. Some Americans may favor more restrictive immigration policies, but—in order to withstand against future waves of mass migration (and humanely deal with the victims of climate change)—racist fears must be unhooked from immigration restrictionism. In other words, as a matter of survival against future authoritarians, white supremacy must be rejected and defeated.
  • Improving the United States’s immune response to authoritarian leadership—a response that could be repeatedly tested in the century to come—can follow from weaving its civic fabric ever tighter. I don’t know what this will look like, exactly, for every person. But here are some places to start: Volunteer. Run for local or state office. Give to charity (whether due to religion or effective altruism). Organize at work. Join a church or a community choir or the local library staff. Make your hometown a better place for refugees to settle. Raise a child well.
  • climate realists have always split their work between mitigation—that is, trying to keep the climate from getting worse—and adaptation—trying to protect what we already have
Ed Webb

More than 2,000 Saudis fighting for militant groups abroad: Interior ministry | Middle ... - 1 views

  • n an interview with pan-Arab newspaper Al-Hayat, interior ministry spokesman General Mansour al-Turki said 2,093 Saudi militants are fighting with “terrorist organisations” in different conflict zones.Syria is the top destination for Saudi militants, according to al-Turki, with 1,540 Saudis fighting there. Other militants have joined groups in Yemen, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iraq, al-Turki said.
  • al-Turki played down the appeal of the Islamic State in Saudi Arabia. "According to our statistics, Saudis in the Islamic State are fewer than what most of us would imagine," he said. He added that Moroccan and Tunisian IS militants are greater in numbers than Saudis.
  • More than 5,000 Tunisians are fighting for militant groups abroad, mainly in Iraq, Syria or Libya, according to a UN working group on mercenaries.On Friday evening, Tunisia’s Interior Minister Hedi Majdoub told parliament 800 Tunisian nationals who had fought for such organisations abroad have returned to the country.
anonymous

Freedomhouse Report: Egypt - 0 views

  • 920s, has undergone reform, especially with respect to its procedural elements. Legal prohibitions preventing women's equal access to and representation in the judiciary have been lifted, and social taboos that have restricted their access to certain professions have been broken. At the same time, increasing poverty and hardship have taken their toll on women and their families, limiting their choices and reducing their opportunities to assert their rights.
  • According to Article 40 of the constitution, all citizens are equal, irrespective of race, ethnic origin, language, religion, or creed.[4] Article 40 does not explicitly mention gender, but it is commonly interpreted as protecting women from discrimination. In 2007, Article 62 was amended to call for minimum representation of women in the parliament, opening the door for the establishment of a quota (see "Political Rights and Civic Voice").
  • cent legislative reforms, women do not enjoy the same citizenship rights as men. The parliament amended the nationality law in 2004, allowing the children of Egyptian mothers and foreign fathers to obtain Egyptian citizenship, but the law still prohibits such children from joining the army, the police, and certain government posts
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  • Egypt ratified the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) in 1981. It placed reservations on Article 9(2), regarding the right of women to pass their nationality to their children; Article 16, related to equality within marriage; Article 29(2), on the resolution of disputes related to the convention; and Article 2, which calls for the implementation of policies designed to eliminate gender discrimination, on the grounds that this could violate Shari'a in some cases. The reservation to Article 9(2) was lifted in 2008 after the nationality law was amended to allow women to transfer citizenship to their children. However, the other reservations remain
  • The Egyptian delegation to CEDAW justified the reservations to Article 16 by arguing that Shari'a provides equivalent—rather than equal—rights to women that balance the prop
  • attack, organized a demonstration that was attended by over 500 people.[41] These advocacy efforts have helped lift the taboo against discussing such issues, and t
  • media are increasingly covering both the offending events and the reaction of NGO
  • Government statistics have shown improvements in the gender gap in education level
  • The 2005 elections for the People's Assembly were marked by one of the lowest female participation rates in decades. There were only 131 women out of 5,165 candidates, of which only four were elected
  • As of 2009, there were 18 female members in the 264-seat Consultative Council. No women were elected to the body during the 2004 midterm elections
  • Many women have assumed leadership positions on a local level in recent years, thus increasing their ability to influence gender-based stereotypes, ideas, and values in their communities.
  • onomic dependence on men and a patriarchal culture that mistrusts female leaders
  • fewer Egyptians favor female political empowerment
  • Reflecting this lack of confidence in female leaders, political
  • parties tend to nominate few female candidates, meaning most run as in
  • overnment. In December 2008, lawyer and Coptic Christian Eva Kyrolos became the first female mayor in Egyp
  • On March 14, 2007, the long-standing ban on female judges was lifted
  • Although public voices of dissent are suppressed, women have found multiple ways of expressing themselves, participating in civic life, and seeking to influence policy.
  • he right of women to participate as candidates in elections is hindered by their socioec
  • Amal Afifi became the country's first maazouna, or female marriage registrar
anonymous

FreedomHouse Report on Saudi Arabia - 0 views

  • The Basic Law of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia does not guarantee gender equality.
  • A vigorous progressive movement,
  • Due to an enforced
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  • nd women in public, the opportunities for women's employment remain limited
  • n men a
  • separation betwee
  • e that work in these fields will become more widely available to women in the future. Higher education, in fact, is one area in
  • performed men in terms of PhD degrees earned.
  • which women have significantly out-
  • Article 8
  • consultation, and equality in accordance with Shari'a, or Islamic law. However, Shari'a in Saudi Arabia does not offer equality to women, particularly regarding family law. Instead, women are considered legal minors under the control of their mahram (closest male relative) and are subject to legal restrictions on their personal behavior that do not apply to men.
  • In 2004 a royal decree affirmed the principle of equality between men and women in all matters relating to Saudi nationality,[5] but women remain unable
  • to pass their Saudi citizenship automatically to their noncitizen spouses and children.
  • Saudi Arabia ratified the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) in 2000, with reservations stating that the kingdom is under no obligation to observe terms of the treaty that contradict Islamic law.
  • 8 report was critical of Saudi Arabia's compliance with the convention and called for Saudi Arabia "to enact a gender equality law."
  • committee's 200
  • In 2007 and 2008, renewed pressure mounted to allow women to drive, and an ad hoc Comm
  • ittee for Women's Right to Drive organized a petition addressed to the king.[19] In January 2008, days after Saudi Arabia faced criticism by the CEDAW committee for restricting "virtually every aspect of a woman's life,"[20] the government announced that a royal decree allowing women to drive would be issued "at the end of the year."[21] In March, the Consultative Council recommended that women be allowed to drive during the daylight hours of weekdays if they get permission from their guardians, undergo drivers' education, wear modest dress, and carry a cell phone. To allay concerns about women's safety, the council added the imposition of a sentence and a fine on any male in another car talking to or sexually harassing a female driver.
  • As of October 2009 these goals had not been implemented, but government approval for the idea of women's driving is a milestone for the kingdom.
  • At the end of 2007, the long–standing bans on women checking into hotels alone and renting apartments for themselves were lifted by royal decree, and a women-only hotel opened in 2008 in Riyadh
  • Government efforts to support women's legal right to work are in reality ambiguous, giving comfort to those who believe that women should stay at ho
  • me as well as to those who demand the right to pursue economic independence.
  • t. Statistics on women's economic activity vary somewhat depending on the source. According to the Ministry of Economy and Planning, women constituted only 5.4 percent of the total Saudi workforce in 2005
  • Two such obstacles
  • mixing the sexes in the workplace and the requirement that a woman's guardian give permission for her to work.
  • women have recently been appointed to elite ministry posts, university deanships, and directorships in quasi-governmental civic organizations
  • The opening of a women's department in the law faculty at King Saud University in Riyadh raises the possibility of appointments to judgeships for women in the future
  • The Internet has played a major role in political activism in Saudi Arabia by helping to bring human rights abuses to international attention.
Ed Webb

Failing to forecast the Israeli-Palestinian crisis - The Washington Post - 0 views

  • Auguste Comte’s 19th century dream of a “social physics” that would “enquire into the present, in order to foresee the future, and to discover the means of improving it.” Historic events like the escalation of conflict and the achievement of peace, in the view of political forecasters, are just as predictable as more routine phenomena like election results or traffic patterns. They all obey the laws of political and social life, analogous to the laws of the natural world – or do they?
  • sophisticated vector-autoregression (VAR) models predicted routine events fairly accurately, but were far less accurate in predicting historic episodes like wars, uprisings and peace accords – the very events that political forecasters are most eager to anticipate.
  • Many of those historic moments involved “structural breaks,” a technical term that indicates shifts in the underlying parameters of the statistical model. These shocks to the system could not be extrapolated from prior data – they could only be identified as they occurred. All of this suggests that major historic events may not obey the same laws as the more routine events that precede them. Instead, major events can dissolve seemingly permanent laws of political and social life, initiating new patterns of interaction, for better or for worse.
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  • When this sense of novelty becomes widespread, it can erase aspects of prior patterns of interaction, catching everybody by surprise. That is what happened during the Iranian Revolution. It happened again during the “Arab Spring” uprisings of 2011.
  • These momentous breaks from routine mark the limits of social-scientific knowledge. They stubbornly resist domestication in social-scientific models. What remains, I have proposed, is to study the experience of wildness. What does it feel like to live through such moments, to participate or avoid participation, to make history?
Ed Webb

Under Sisi, firms owned by Egypt's military have flourished - 0 views

  • Maadi is one of dozens of military-owned companies that have flourished since Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, a former armed forces chief, became president in 2014, a year after leading the military in ousting Islamist President Mohamed Mursi.
  • In interviews conducted over the course of a year, the chairmen of nine military-owned firms described how their businesses are expanding and discussed their plans for future growth. Figures from the Ministry of Military Production - one of three main bodies that oversee military firms - show that revenues at its firms are rising sharply. The ministry’s figures and the chairmen’s accounts give rare insight into the way the military is growing in economic influence.
  • Some Egyptian businessmen and foreign investors say they are unsettled by the military’s push into civilian activities and complain about tax and other advantages granted to military-owned firms
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  • In 2016, the military and other security institutions were given exemptions in a new value-added tax (VAT) law enacted as part of IMF-inspired reforms. The law states that the military does not have to pay VAT on goods, equipment, machinery, services and raw materials needed for the purposes of armament, defense and national security.The Ministry of Defense has the right to decide which goods and services qualify. Civilian businessmen complain that this can leave the system open to abuse. Receipts for a cup of coffee at private sector hotels, for example, add 14 percent VAT. Receipts at military hotels do not. Employees at the military-owned Al-Masah Hotel in Cairo told Reuters that no VAT was charged when renting venues for weddings and conferences.
  • The Ministry of Military Production is projecting that operating revenues from its 20 firms will reach 15 billion Egyptian pounds in 2018/2019, five times higher than in 2013/2014, according to a ministry chart. The ministry does not disclose what happens to the revenues. The chairmen of two of the firms said profits go to the ministry or are reinvested in the business.
  • “I don’t want to be a local shop. I want to be a company that has the capacity to export and compete internationally.”
  • Egypt’s military, the biggest in the Arab world, has advantages.It enjoys financial support from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, staunch supporters of Sisi since he toppled the group they see as a threat to the Middle East, the Muslim Brotherhood. Western powers see Cairo as a bulwark against Islamist militancy. Egypt receives $1.3 billion in military aid annually from the United States alone.
  • The chairmen of two military engineering companies, Abu Zaabal Engineering Industries Co and Helwan Engineering Industries Co, said in recent years it had become much easier to access financing through the Ministry of Military Production.
  • The Ministry of Military Production signed a memorandum of understanding with China’s GCL Group last week to build a solar panel factory worth up to $2 billion. The military has taken over much of the construction of intercity roads from the Ministry of Transport and now controls the toll stations along most major highways.
  • Economists and investors say reforms tied to a $12 billion three-year IMF program signed in Nov. 2016 should lay the ground for economic expansion. But foreign investors are still shying away from Egypt, apart from those focusing on the more resilient energy sector. Non-oil foreign direct investment fell to about $3 billion in 2017 from $4.7 billion in 2016, according to Reuters calculations based on central bank statistics.  
  • foreign investors were reluctant to invest in sectors where the military is expanding or in one they might enter, worried that competing against the military with its special privileges could expose their investment to risk. If an investor had a business dispute with the military, the commercial officer said, there was no point in taking it to arbitration. “You just leave the country,” he said.
  • Among projects the Ministry of Military Production announced in 2017 was a plan to plant 20 million palm trees with an Emirati company and build a factory to make sugar from their dates. It agreed with a Saudi company to jointly manufacture elevators. The military inaugurated the Middle East’s biggest fish farm on the Nile Delta east of Alexandria.
  • In 2015, the defense minister issued a decree exempting nearly 600 hotels, resorts and other properties owned by the military from real estate taxes
  • Military companies receive an exemption from import tariffs under a 1986 law and from income taxes under a 2005 law. Cargoes sent to military companies do not have to be inspected.
  • At bustling Cairo squares, people line up to buy subsidized meat and other food handed out from trucks sponsored by the military. Sisi said he had instructed the military to enter the market “to supply more chicken to push down prices.”Some disagree with such measures on the grounds the military’s mission is to protect the country from external threats.“We have reached a point where they are competing even with street vendors,”
Ed Webb

Pentagon Asks for More Cash to Cut Down Civilian Deaths - 0 views

  • Under fire from human rights groups, the Pentagon is asking lawmakers for funding to improve its ability to track civilian casualties in the ongoing fight against the Islamic State and other terrorist groups
  • It’s not immediately clear how much the new setup, which includes funds to set up a database that would allow members of the public to directly submit claims of U.S.-caused deaths, will ultimately cost. Those estimates are expected to come later as the Pentagon appears set to unveil a new policy to curb civilian casualties in combat later this year, first prompted by former Defense Secretary James Mattis and continuing under his successor, Mark Esper.  
  • The Pentagon has been under increased scrutiny to improve its civilian casualty reporting since the London-based Airwars outfit began reporting higher tallies of civilian casualties from U.S. airstrikes in Iraq and Syria
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  • At the end of last month, U.S. Africa Command announced it would begin issuing a new report revealing ongoing civilian casualty investigations, after Amnesty International said that retaliatory American strikes against the al Qaeda-linked Somalian group al-Shabab killed two civilians in February, contradicting U.S. findings
  • “Currently, information from the public is received in a variety of ways — such as through email, reports by impartial humanitarian organizations and civil society groups, media reports, and social-media,” a defense spokesperson told Foreign Policy. “We are looking at additional options for receiving information from the public, such as creating a webpage that identifies what types of information helps in conducting assessments and how to submit it.”
  • after a U.S.-led coalition drove the Islamic State out of the self-described caliphate’s twin capitals of Mosul, Iraq, and Raqqa, Syria, in 2017, spearheaded by foreign troops backed by American advisors and strikes, rights groups that accused the Pentagon of vastly undercounting the number of civilian dead are pushing the agency to fold in public assessments to get smarter about choosing its targets.
  • The Defense Department has also chafed at building a fund to pay back the families of innocent victims of U.S. strikes, allowing only $3 million to be authorized each year, despite a tabletop exercise meant to reconcile the differences between the agency and the NGO community
Ed Webb

Can Cairo stave off discontent over soaring prices? - 0 views

  • As pressure builds on Egyptian livelihoods following the devaluation of the pound and the slashing of fuel subsidies in November, some analysts are wondering if another uprising is looming on the horizon for Egypt. They warn that a new wave of unrest would be bloodier than the 2011 uprising and could spell disaster for the country, still reeling from the turbulent post-revolution transition.
  • Prices of basic food items, medicine, transport and housing have soared, prompting Egyptians to cut spending to make ends meet. The prices of some basic food items have shot up by up to 40%, according to CAPMAS, the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics
  • protests broke out in at least four Egyptian provinces March 7. The demonstrations were triggered by bread shortages in some bakeries after Supply Minister Aly Moselhy announced a new bread subsidies system that he defended as “necessary to curb waste and corruption.” Hundreds of demonstrators blocked roads and cut railways in Alexandria, Giza, Kafr El Sheikh and Minya in protest at the minister’s abrupt decision to reduce the share of bread allotted to holders of paper ration cards to 500 loaves per bakery a day from the original 1,000 and 4,000 loaves (depending on the number of consumers in the bakery’s vicinity.)
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  • The decision to implement the new system was quickly reversed, however, over fears that the simmering bread crisis could provoke wider tumult. Seeking to allay citizens’ concerns that the move was a prelude to a reduction in their quotas of subsidized bread, Moselhy held a televised press conference on the day of the protests, apologizing to “all citizens who had not received bread” and asserting that their quotas would remain untouched. Promising to resolve the crisis within 48 hours, he blamed bakery owners for the crisis, hinting they were making profits off the subsidized flour they received from the government.
  • In the last six years, government spending on food and fuel subsidies has represented more than a quarter of annual government expenditure (more than the country spends on education and health services combined)
  • a thriving black market for the subsidized wheat, which is often resold by the bakeries at a profit rather than turned into bread
  • “The patience of Egyptians is wearing thin,” Cairo University political scientist Hassan Nafaa told Al-Monitor. “Despite the economic pressures they are facing, citizens have so far restrained themselves from protesting because they are weary after two revolutions. They also fear further turmoil as they see the civil wars in some of the neighboring Arab countries. But if people are hungry and if their basic needs are not met, there is likely to be another rebellion,” he warned, adding that if that happens, “It would be messy and bloody.”
  • Tensions have been simmering since the pound’s depreciation — a key requirement by the International Monetary Fund for Egypt to secure a $12 billion loan needed to finance the country’s budget deficit and shore up dwindling foreign currency reserves. Economists and analysts have lauded the flotation as “a much-needed reform that would restore investors’ confidence in the economy, helping foster growth and job creation.”
  • shrinking middle class was already struggling with flat wages, high inflation and mounting unemployment
  • Sisi’s approval ratings, which according to a poll conducted in mid-December 2016 by Baseera (Egyptian Center for Public Opinion Research) fell by 50% during his second year in office
  • the weak currency is helping the economy by boosting exports and luring back tourists. A 25% increase in non-petroleum exports in January (compared with the same month last year), along with new loans from the IMF and other sources, is beefing up foreign currency reserves, according to The Economist. The weaker currency is also proving to be a blessing in disguise for local manufacturers as more consumers are opting to purchase local products, which are more affordable than their imported alternatives
  • The real test will be the government’s ability to stave off unrest that could undermine the progress made so far. Nafaa said it is possible to quell the rising anger over soaring prices “through more equitable distribution of wealth, better communication of government policies, transparency and accountability.”
  • “The government must also ease the crackdown on dissent, release detainees who have not committed terror crimes and bring more youths on board,”
Ed Webb

'It's like Judgment Day': Syrians Recount Horror of an Underreported COVID-19 Outbreak ... - 0 views

  • Interviews with doctors and the testimonies of patients and residents living in Syria paint a grim picture of a populace, already battered by nine years of war, now struggling to grapple with a pandemic that has cut short many more lives than those disclosed in official statistics.
  • Cornered by a collapsing economy, widespread poverty, sanctions, and a shortage of medical supplies and protective equipment after nearly a decade of conflict, Syria appears to be headed into a desultory experiment with herd immunity.
  • “The way the Syrian government is dealing with corona reminds me of those who leave their houses wearing shorts and t-shirts when it is actually freezing outside,” he said. “What is the point they are trying to make? Should everyone give them a round of applause for not having a lot of corona cases? It’s a pandemic that has hit everywhere, even the most stable and developed countries.”
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  • For almost two months after the first case was announced in Syria, official figures showed limited circulation of the virus, with under 50 cases by mid-May. At the time of this writing, that figure had risen to 4,457 cases in territories run by the government, 1,072 in rebel-controlled areas in northwestern Syria, and 1,998 in northeast Syria, where a predominantly Kurdish de facto autonomous administration is in charge. Only 192 deaths have been registered by the Ministry of Health.
  • “The government doesn’t really know how many COVID-19 cases there are, and it does not seem invested in trying to find out.”
  • Between March 2011 and February 2020, at least 595 attacks targeted 350 medical facilities in the country,
  • the killing of 923 medical personnel
  • A list bearing the names of 61 health care workers who died of COVID-19 in Syria circulated on social media in August. The death of five doctors and one pharmacist in Aleppo on the same day, Aug. 14, sparked an uproar among residents
  • An outbreak in Damascus’ Al-Assad University Hospital landed even its director-general in the ICU in August, according to a statement published by the hospital’s administration. A month later, Mohammad Makhlouf, father of businessman Rami Makhlouf and the man who built the Assad family’s financial and business empires during the era of Hafez al-Assad, died of COVID-19 in that same hospital.
  • “I almost think that the government is letting the pandemic get out of hand in order to reduce the population because it can no longer provide for it,” said one restaurant owner in Aleppo.
  • Even though there is no evidence the government is deliberately adopting such a strategy, it illustrates what many residents of Syria, even ones who support the government, have been reduced to believing as panic spreads.
  • In quarantine centers, which housed suspected domestic COVID-19 cases as well as ones coming from abroad including hundreds of repatriated citizens, people were jammed together in small rooms and forced to share unsanitary utilities. Karam, an administrative assistant at a cash transfer agency, was taken to a center in the Damascus countryside upon his return from Baghdad, where he had to sleep on unwashed sheets and pillowcases.“It was a nightmare. I got out of that place 14 days later with a negative test result, only to go seek out another test because I was certain that I contracted the virus in that place,” Karam said.
  • A doctor in Latakia reported that many Syrians are ashamed of admitting that they have COVID-19 symptoms, and do not want to be ostracized.
  • Many Syrians have adopted the attitude that, because they survived years of brutal civil war, they shouldn’t worry too much about the coronavirus. Others espouse conspiracy theories that originated in the West, such as the idea that the global lockdowns were instituted to facilitate 5G installation. Some conspiracy theories were spread by official channels. A state-run radio station reported that people should not worry about the virus because it loses potency in the Middle East’s hot climate.
  • In Idlib in the northwest, where Turkey-backed opposition forces hold sway, the outbreak continues to grow, albeit at a slower pace. The northwest is home to vulnerable populations of internal refugees who cannot adhere to social distancing or adequate handwashing in crowded camps. The region has also lost many of its medical centers and health care workers due to Russian and Syrian regime airstrikes over the past few years.
Ed Webb

Beyond the Nation-State | Boston Review - 0 views

  • The Westphalian order refers to the conception of global politics as a system of independent sovereign states, all of which are equal to each other under law. The most popular story about this political system traces its birth to the Peace of Westphalia in 1648, follows its strengthening in Europe and gradual expansion worldwide, and finally, near the end of the twentieth century, begins to identify signs of its imminent decline. On this view, much of the power that states once possessed has been redistributed to a variety of non-state institutions and organizations—from well-known international organizations such as the UN, the EU, and the African Union to violent non-state actors such as ISIS, Boko Haram, and the Taliban along with corporations with global economic influence such as Facebook, Google, and Amazon. This situation, the story often goes, will result in an international political order that resembles medieval Europe more than the global political system of the twentieth century.
  • Over the last two decades, scholars working on the history of the global order have painstakingly shown the complete mismatch between the story of Westphalia and the historical evidence. The nation-state is not so old as we are often told, nor has it come to be quite so naturally. Getting this history right means telling a different story about where our international political order has come from—which in turn points the way to an alternative future.
  • Generations of international relations students have absorbed the idea of the 1648 Peace of Westphalia as a pan-European charter that created the political structure that now spans the entire globe: a system of legally (if not materially) equal sovereign states. Along with this political structure, this story goes, came other important features, from the doctrine of non-intervention, respect of territorial integrity, and religious tolerance to the enshrinement of the concept of the balance of power and the rise of multilateral European diplomacy. In this light, the Peace of Westphalia constitutes not just a chronological benchmark but a sort of anchor for our modern world. With Westphalia, Europe broke into political modernity and provided a model for the rest of the world.
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  • In fact, the Peace of Westphalia strengthened a system of relations that was precisely not based on the concept of the sovereign state but instead on a reassertion of the Holy Roman Empire’s complex jurisdictional arrangements (landeshoheit), which allowed autonomous political units to form a broader conglomerate (the “empire”) without a central government.  
  • What we have come to call the Peace of Westphalia actually designates two treaties: signed between May and October 1648, they were agreements between the Holy Roman Empire and its two main opponents, France (the Treaty of Münster) and Sweden (the Treaty of Osnabrück). Each treaty mostly addressed the internal affairs of the Holy Roman Empire and smaller bilateral exchanges of territory with France and with Sweden.
  • The treaties were only properly mythologized in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, when European historians turned to the early modern period in order to craft stories that served their own worldview.
  • Looking for a story of states fighting for their sovereignty against imperial domination, nineteenth-century historians found exactly what they needed in the anti-Habsburg fabrications that had been disseminated by the French and Swedish crowns during the Thirty Years’ War
  • Leo Gross’s essay “The Peace of Westphalia: 1648–1948,” published in 1948 in the American Journal of International Law. Canonized as “timeless” and “seminal” at the time, the article gave meaning to the emerging postwar order. By comparing the 1945 UN Charter to the Peace of Westphalia, Gross rehashed a story about treaties for freedom, equality, non-intervention, and all the rest of the alleged virtues for reinventing national sovereignty
  • The solution to the Westphalia debacle, then, would seem to lie in putting forward an alternative narrative grounded in greater historical accuracy, one that reflects the much more complicated process through which the modern international order came about.
  • Until the nineteenth century, the international order was made up of a patchwork of polities. Although a distinction is often made between the European continent and the rest of the world, recent research has reminded us that European polities also remained remarkably heterogeneous until the nineteenth century. While some of these were sovereign states, others included composite formations such as the Holy Roman Empire and the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, within which sovereignty was divided in very complex ways.
  • Sovereign statehood only became the default within Europe in the nineteenth century, with entities like the Holy Roman Empire gradually giving way to sovereign states like Germany. While often overlooked in this regard, Latin America also transitioned into a system of sovereign states during that period as a result of its successive anti-colonial revolutions.
  • Over the past several decades, the state has not only triumphed as the only legitimate unit of the international system, but it has also rewired our collective imagination into the belief that this has been the normal way of doing things since 1648.
  • As late as 1800, Europe east of the French border looked nothing like its contemporary iteration. As historian Peter H. Wilson describes in his recent book Heart of Europe (2020), the Holy Roman Empire, long snubbed by historians of the nation-state, had been in existence for a thousand years at that point; at its peak it had occupied a third of continental Europe. It would hold on for six more years, until its dissolution under the strain of Napoleonic invasions and its temporary replacement with the French-dominated Confederation of the Rhine (1806–1813) and then the German Confederation (1815–1866).
  • what we think of as modern-day Italy was still a patchwork of kingdoms (Sardinia, the Two Siciles, Lombardy-Venetia under the Austrian Crown), Duchies (including Parma, Modena, and Tuscany), and Papal States, while territory further east was ruled by the Ottoman Empire.
  • We are accustomed to thinking of Europe as the first historical instance of a full-blown system of sovereign states, but Latin America actually moved toward that form of political organization at just about the same time. After three centuries of imperial domination, the region saw a complete redrawing of its political geography in the wake of the Atlantic Revolutions of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century. Following in the footsteps of the United States (1776) and Haiti (1804), it witnessed a series of wars of independence which, by 1826 and with only a few exceptions, had essentially booted out the Spanish and Portuguese empires. Of course, Britain promptly gained control of trade in the region through an aggressive combination of diplomatic and economic measures often referred to as “informal empire,” but its interactions were now with formally sovereign states.
  • much as with Western Europe, the region did not stabilize into a system of nation-states that looks like its contemporary iteration until the end of the nineteenth century. It now seems possible to tell a relatively similar story about North America, as in historian Rachel St John’s ongoing project, The Imagined States of America: The Unmanifest History of Nineteenth-century North America.
  • Until World War II the world was still dominated by empires and the heterogeneous structures of political authority they had created. Once decolonization took off after 1945, the nation-state was not the only option on the table. In Worldmaking after Empire (2019), Adom Getachew describes anglophone Africa’s “federal moment,” when the leaders of various independence movements on the continent discussed the possibility of organizing a regional Union of African States and, in the Caribbean, a West Indian Federation.
  • “antinationalist anticolonialism” eventually ran afoul of the French government’s unwillingness to distribute the metropole’s resources amongst a widened network of citizens. Yet the fact that it was seriously considered should give us pause. Of course, in the context of decolonization, the triumph of the nation-state represented a final victory for colonized peoples against their long-time oppressors. But it also disconnected regions with a shared history, and it created its own patterns of oppression, particularly for those who were denied a state of their own: indigenous peoples, stateless nations, minorities
  • what is clear is that a mere seventy years ago, what we now consider to be the self-evident way of organizing political communities was still just one of the options available to our collective imagination
  • The conventional narrative associates international order with the existence of a system of sovereign states, but the alternative story suggests that the post-1648 period was characterized by the resilience of a diversity of polities
  • The comparative stability of the post-1648 period may therefore have had more to do with the continued diversity of polities on the continent than with the putative emergence of a homogenous system of sovereign states
  • an international system in which power is shared among different kinds of actors might in fact be relatively stable
  • even the most powerful contemporary multinational corporations—Facebook, Google, Amazon, Apple, and the rest—are drastically more limited in their formal powers than were the famous mercantile companies who were central actors in the international order until the mid-nineteenth century. The two largest, the British and the Dutch East India Companies, founded in 1600 and 1602 respectively, amassed spectacular amounts of power over their two-hundred-year existence, becoming the primary engine of European imperial expansion. While these companies started off as merchant enterprises seeking to get in on Asia’s lucrative trading network, they gradually turned into much more ambitious endeavors and grew from their original outposts in India and Indonesia into full-on polities of their own. They were, as various scholars now argue, “company-states”—hybrid public-private actors that were legally entitled to rule over subjects, mint money, and wage wars. From this perspective, contemporary non-state actors are still relatively weak compared to states, who still monopolize far more formal power than all other actors in the international system
  • we should be careful not to suggest that the culprit is an unprecedented weakening of the state and thus that the solution is to expand state power
  • States certainly were important after 1648, but so were a host of other actors, from mercantile companies to semi-sovereign polities and all sorts of empires more or less formally structured. This system only truly began to unravel in the nineteenth century, with many of its features persisting well into the twentieth. Viewed through this lens, the so-called “Westphalian order” begins to look much more like an anomaly than the status quo
  • Engaging with this history makes the current centrality of the states-system as a basis for organizing the globe look recent and in fairly good shape, not centuries-old and on the verge of collapse
  • What is truly new, from a longue durée perspective, is the triumph of the state worldwide, and our inability to think of ways of organizing the world that do not involve either nation-states or organizations of nation-states.
  • Even thinkers in tune with limitations of the nation-state cannot seem to free themselves from the statist straitjacket of the contemporary political imagination. Debates about state-based supranational institutions likewise fall along a remarkably narrow spectrum: more power to states, or more power to state-based international organizations?
  • Misrepresenting the history of the states-system plays into the hands of nationalist strongmen, who depict themselves as saving the world from a descent into stateless anarchy, controlled by globalist corporations who couldn’t care less about national allegiance. More broadly, getting this history right means having the right conversations. Giving power to actors other than states is not always a good idea, but we must resist the false choice between resurgent nationalism on the one hand and the triumph of undemocratic entities on the other.
  • Today the norm is that states enjoy far more rights than any other collectivity—ranging from indigenous peoples to transnational social movements—simply because they are states. But it is not at all clear why this should be the only framework available to our collective imagination, particularly if its legitimacy rests on a history of the states-system that has long been debunked.
Ed Webb

Inside the Pro-Israel Information War - 0 views

  • a rare public glimpse of how Israel and its American allies harness Israel’s influential tech sector and tech diaspora to run cover for the Jewish state as it endures scrutiny over the humanitarian impact of its invasion of Gaza.
  • reveal the degree to which, in the tech-oriented hasbara world, the lines between government, the private sector, and the nonprofit world are blurry at best. And the tactics that these wealthy individuals, advocates, and groups use -- hounding Israel critics on social media; firing pro-Palestine employees and canceling speaking engagements; smearing Palestinian journalists; and attempting to ship military-grade equipment to the IDF -- are often heavy-handed and controversial.
  • The final group consists of those who are "reflexively pro-Israel, kind of ‘Israel, right or wrong.’" Members of this group "are not actually very knowledgeable," so they needed to be equipped with the right facts to make them "more effective in advocating for Israel,” Fisher said.
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  • Members of the hasbara-oriented tech world WhatsApp group have eagerly taken up the call to shape public opinion as part of a bid to win what’s been described as the “second battlefield” and “the information war.”
  • The group, which also includes individuals affiliated with the influential American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), has tirelessly worked to fire employees and punish activists for expressing pro-Palestinian views. It has also engaged in a successful push to cancel events held by prominent Palestinian voices, including an Arizona State University talk featuring Rep. Rashida Tlaib, a Michigan Democrat who is the only Palestinian-American in Congress. The group has also circulated circulated a push poll suggesting Rep. Tlaib should resign from Congress and provided an automatic means of thanking Rep. Dan Goldman, D-N.Y., for voting for her censure.
  • J-Ventures has also veered into an unusual kind of philanthropy: shipments of military supplies. The group has attempted to provide tactical gear to Israel’s equivalent of the U.S. Navy SEALs, known as Shayetet-13, and donated to a foundation dedicated to supporting the IDF’s undercover “Duvdevan” unit, which is known for infiltrating Palestinian populations. Many of the shipments intended for the IDF were held up at U.S. airports over customs issues.
  • Israel would soon lose international support as its military response in Gaza kills more Palestinian civilians, noted Schwarzbad, who stressed the need to refocus attention on Israeli civilian deaths. “Try to use names and ages whenever you can,” she said. Don’t refer to statistics of the dead, use stories. “Say something like, 'Noah, age 26, was celebrating with her friends at a music festival on the holiest day of the week, Shabbat. Imagine if your daughter was at Coachella.’”
  • The Israel-based venture capitalist outlined three categories of people for whom outreach, rather than attacks, is the best strategy. The first group is what he dubbed “the impressionables,” who are "typically young people, they reflexively support the weak, oppose the oppressor," but "are not really knowledgeable." For this category of people, the goal is not to "convince them of anything," but to "show them that it's much more complicated than it seems." Seeding doubt, he said, would make certain audiences think twice before attending a protest. "So it's really about creating some kind of confusion,” Fisher continued, “but really, just to make it clear to them that it's really a lot more complicated."
  • Fisher repeatedly noted the need to offer accurate and nuanced information to rebut critics of Israel's actions. Yet at times, he offered his own misinformation, such as his claim that "anti-Israel" human rights organizations like Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch "didn't condemn the October 7th massacre."
  • One participant even suggested that they appeal to the university’s “woke” aversion to exposing students to uncomfortable ideas.   The participant drafted a sample letter claiming that Tlaib’s appearance threatened ASU’s “commitment to a safe and inclusive environment.” The following day, ASU officially canceled the Tlaib event, citing “procedural issues.”
  • efforts to discredit HRW stem directly from its outspoken criticism of Israel’s record in the occupied territories and its military conduct. An HRW report released the same day as Fisher’s remarks cited the World Health Organization’s conclusion that the IDF had killed roughly one child in Gaza every 10 minutes since the outbreak of violence in October.
  • members of the J-Ventures group chat also internally circulated a petition for Netflix to remove the award-winning Jordanian film ‘Farha,’ claiming that its portrayal of the actions of IDF soldiers during the 1948 displacement of Palestinians constituted “blood libel,” while another said the film was based “antisemitism and lies.”
  • Last year, the Israeli government revoked funding for a theater in Jaffa for screening the film, while government figures called for other repercussions to Netflix for streaming it.
  • One member noted that despite the controversy over a scene in the film in which Israeli soldiers execute a Palestinian family, Israeli historians have documented that “such actions have indeed happened.” The critique was rejected by other members of the group, who said the film constituted “incitement” against Jews.
  • a variety of automated attempts to remove pro-Palestinian content on social media
  • Over the last two months, dozens of individuals have been fired for expressing opinions related to the war in Gaza and Israel. Most have been dismissed for expressing pro-Palestinian views, including a writer for PhillyVoice, the editor of ArtForum, an apprentice at German publishing giant Axel Springer, and Michael Eisen, the editor-in-chief of eLife, a prominent science journal. Eisen’s offense was a tweet sharing a satirical article from The Onion seen as sympathetic to the plight of Palestinians in Gaza.
  • The WhatsApp chats provide a rare look at the organizing efforts behind the broad push to fire critics of Israel and suppress public events featuring critics of the Israeli government. The scope is surprisingly broad, ranging from investigating the funding sources of student organizations such as Model Arab League, to monitoring an organizing toolkit of a Palestine Solidarity Working Group – “They are verrrry well organized”, one member exclaimed – to working directly with high-level tech executives to fire pro-Palestinian employees.
  • "President Biden seems incapable of using the one policy tool that may actually produce a change in Israel's actions that might limit civilian deaths, which would be to condition military aid that the United States provides to Israel,” Clifton added. He partially attributed the inability of the U.S. government to rein in Israel’s war actions to the “lobbying and advocacy efforts underway.”
  • Lior Netzer, a business consultant based in Massachusetts, and a member of the J-Ventures WhatsApp group, requested help pressuring the University of Vermont to cancel a lecture with Mohammed El-Kurd, a Palestinian writer for The Nation magazine. Netzer shared a sample script that alleged that El-Kurd had engaged in anti-Semitic speech in the past.The effort also appeared to be successful. Shortly after the letter-writing campaign, UVM canceled the talk, citing safety concerns.
  • The WhatsApp group maintained a special focus on elite universities and white-collar professional positions. Group members not only circulated multiple petitions to fire professors and blacklist students from working at major law firms for allegedly engaging in extremist rhetoric, but a J-Ventures spreadsheet lists specific task force teams to "get professors removed who teach falcehoods [sic] to their students." The list includes academics at Cornell University, the University of California, Davis, and NYU’s Abu Dhabi campus, among others.
  • Many of the messages in the group focused on ways in which to shape student life at Stanford University, including support for pro-Israel activists. The attempted interventions into campus life at times hinged on the absurd. Shortly after comedian Amy Schumer posted a now-deleted satirical cartoon lampooning pro-Palestinian protesters as supporters of rape and beheadings, Epstein, the operating partner at Bessemer Ventures Partners and member of the J-Ventures WhatsApp group, asked, “How can we get this political cartoon published in the Stanford Daily?"
  • The influence extended beyond the business and tech world and into politics. The J-Ventures team includes advocates with the most powerful pro-Israel lobbying organization, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, better known as AIPAC. Officials in the J-Ventures group include investor David Wagonfeld, whose biography states he is “leading AIPAC Silicon Valley;” Tartakovsky, listed as “AIPAC Political Chair;” Adam Milstein, a real estate executive and major AIPAC donor; and AIPAC-affiliated activists Drs. Kathy Fields and Garry Rayant. Kenneth Baer, a former White House advisor to President Barack Obama and communications counsel to the Anti-Defamation League, is also an active member of the group.
  • Other fundraising efforts from J-Ventures included an emergency fund to provide direct support for IDF units, including the naval commando unit Shayetet-13. The leaked planning document also uncovers attempts to supply the mostly female Caracal Battalion with grenade pouches and to donate M16 rifle scope mounts, “FN MAG” machine gun carrier vests, and drones to unnamed IDF units. According to the planning document, customs enforcement barriers have stranded many of the packages destined for the IDF in Montana and Colorado.
  • the morning after being reached for comment, Hermoni warned the WhatsApp group against cooperating with our inquiries. “Two journalists … are trying to have an anti semi[tic] portrait of our activity to support Israel and reaching out to members,” he wrote. “Please ignore them and do not cooperate.” he advised. Shortly thereafter, we were kicked out of the group
  • Victory on the “media battlefield,” Hoffman concluded, “eases pressure on IDF to go quicker, to wrap up” and “goes a long way to deciding how much time Israel has to complete an operation.”
Ed Webb

Arab Public Opinion about the Israeli War on Gaza - 0 views

  • a sample of 8000 respondents (men and women) from 16 Arab countries
  • 97% of respondents expressing psychological stress (to varying degrees) as a result of the war on Gaza. 84% expressed a sense of great psychological stress.
  • 54% of respondents relied on television, compared to 43% who relied on the internet
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  • While 67% of respondents reported that the military operation carried out by Hamas was a legitimate resistance operation, 19% reported that it was a somewhat flawed but legitimate resistance operation, and 3% said that it was a legitimate resistance operation that involved heinous or criminal acts, while 5% said it was an illegitimate operation
  • 69% of respondents expressed their solidarity with Palestinians and support for Hamas, 23% expressed solidarity with Palestinians despite opposing Hamas, and 1% expressed a lack of solidarity with the Palestinians
  • 92% believe that the Palestinian question concerns all Arabs and not just the Palestinians
  • 94% considered the US position negatively, with 82% considering it very bad. In the same context, 79%, 78%, and 75% of respondents viewed positions of France, the UK, and Germany negatively. Opinion was split over the positions of Iran, Turkey, Russia, and China. While (48%, 47%, 41%, 40%, respectively) considered them positively (37%, 40%, 42%, 38%, respectively)
  • About 77% of respondents named the United States and Israel as the biggest threat to the security and stability of the region
  • 82% of respondents reported that US media coverage of the war was biased towards Israel
  • a near consensus (81%) in their belief that the US government is not serious about working to establish a Palestinian state in the 1967 occupied territories (The West Bank, Jerusalem, and Gaza)
  • this percentage is the highest recorded since polling began in 2011, rising from 76% at the end of 2022, to 92% this year
  • In Morocco, it rose from 59% in 2022 to 95%, in Egypt from 75% to 94%, in Sudan from 68% to 91%, and in Saudi Arabia from 69% to 95%, a statistically significant increase that represents a fundamental shift in the opinions of the citizens of these countries
  • Arab public opinion is almost unanimous in rejecting recognition of Israel, at a rate of 89%, up from 84% in 2022, compared to only 4% who support its recognition. Of particular note is the increase in the percentage of those who rejected recognition of Israel in Saudi Arabia from 38% in the 2022 poll to 68% in this survey
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