Sunday, July 17, 2016

Huffington Post Reviews Rubin & Schwanitz's Nazis, Islamists: "What We Got Wrong About Nazis And Terrorists"

By Steve Mariotti
Huffington Post, July 7, 2016

“Terrorism, the Skorzeny Syndrome, is flourishing in the modern world, a reminder that Hitler and Nazism are still taking their toll more than three decades after the Third Reich collapsed.”— Glenn B. Infield, biographer of Nazi commander Otto Skorzeny

On November 28, 1941, Adolf Hitler and Arab leader Mohammed Amin al-Husaini had a pivotal 90-minute meeting. New research has revealed that Hitler and the Mufti verbally cemented a pact to exterminate the Jewish population in Europe and in the Middle East.

Adolf Hitler and Mohammed Amin al-Husaini meet in Berlin, 1941

This critical meeting changed the course of history, and it likely represents the dawn of modern-day terrorism, according to the riveting book by Barry Rubin and Wolfgang Schwanitz Nazis, Islamists, and the Making of the Modern Middle East.

"Riveting book... The Nazi link to Islamic extremism and terrorist tactics is clear... Why aren't our leaders talking about this?"

ISIS’s dream of a border-melting Islamic State echoes Hitler’s efforts to create a Third Reich in Europe. The escalating terror attacks in Orlando, Turkey, Dhaka, the Medina and Baghdad in response to ISIS’s recent loss of territory are reminiscent of terrorist tactics the Nazis resorted to as their dream was crushed near the end of World War II.

Shortly after al-Husaini and Hitler met, Hitler and his inner circle began to plan at the Wannsee Conference how they would carry out the genocide of Europe’s Jews. The alliance between al-Husaini and Hitler would eventually culminate in Nazi leaders relocating to the Middle East after World War II. There, they would spread their socialist and genocidal ideologies while training Arab jihadists in terrorist tactics.

The Nazi Origins Of Modern-Day Terrorism

During the final months of World War II, Hitler saw his dreams for a Third Reich crumble as Allied Forces turned the tides of war. Hitler became increasingly desperate for results and for propaganda wins to maintain morale. He sought counsel from Otto Skorzeny, the leader of Operation Greif, which used German soldiers to infiltrate their opponents by adapting enemy languages, uniforms and customs. Skorzeny was the twisted genius who had dressed Nazi soldiers in American uniforms in an effort to spread rumors of Eisenhower’s assassination and demoralize the Allies. In 1943, Skorzeny led the rescue mission that freed Benito Mussolini from prison. In 1944, he organized a secret unit of German suicide bombers.

To read the full article, click here.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Middle East Review of International Affairs, Vol. 20, No. 1 (Spring 2016)

World Values Survey


Click here for PDF This study attempts to estimate the development of civil society in the Arab World by using comparative opinion survey data based on the author’s evaluation of the World Values Survey. Certain basic assumptions of current Middle East studies are evaluated, which are also reflected in the Obama administration’s Presidential Research Directive […]
Flag of Jabhat al-Nusra


Click here for PDF This article seeks to explore the dynamics surrounding the various Sunni jihadi groups in the south of Syria near the border with the Israeli-controlled Golan Heights, examining whether they pose a significant and imminent threat to Israel’s security. It is based on a presentation given by the author at a Rubin […]
DAVOS/SWITZERLAND, 21JAN04 - H.E. Hojatoleslam Seyed Mohammad Khatami, President of the Islamic Republic of Iran, delivers a speech during the Welcome to the Annual Meeting 2004 of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, January 21, 2004.

Copyright World Economic Forum ( by Jean-Bernard Sieber


Click here for PDF Iranian moderates made significant gains in the country’s February 2016 legislative elections. The reformists won 85 out of 290 seats compared with 75 seats for the conservatives. However, the reformists represented in the new parliament have no historical continuity with the reformist camp of the former President Mohammad Khatami; those reformists […]
Flag of South Azerbaijani Awakening Movement (Source: WikiCommons, Qutlu)


Click here for PDF This article discusses the minority rights of Iran’s Azerbaijani Turks and human rights violations in its majority Azerbaijani-populated provinces of Iran by the Iranian central government. With the conclusion of the second Russo-Persian War (1826-1828) and the signing of the Turkmenchay Treaty, Azerbaijan was divided into north and south, with the […]
Fethullah Gulen


Click here for PDF Turkey’s Islamic movement increased its power dramatically during the first decade of the 2000s, benefiting from the cooperation of the AKP and the Gulen movement. This alliance allowed Islamic actors to control major state functions following several decades of struggle against secularist elites. Yet, to the surprise of most observers, the […]

Monday, January 25, 2016

Invitation: Symposium in Honor of the Late Prof. Barry Rubin: “Israel in a Changing Middle East”

The Rubin Center for Research in International Affairs cordially invites you to

A Symposium in Honor of the Late Prof. Barry Rubin:
“Israel in a Changed Middle East”

Sunday, February 7th, 2016, at 8:30am
Carol and Joey Low Lecture Halls
Interdisciplinary Center (IDC) Herzliya

8:30 | Reception

8:45 | Opening remarks

Prof. Uriel Reichman, President and Founder, IDC Herzliya.

Judith Colp Rubin, Honorary President, Rubin Center for Research in International Affairs, IDC Herzliya.

Dr. Jonathan Spyer, Director, Rubin Center for Research in International Affairs,      IDC Herzliya.

Symposium on “Israel in a Changed Middle East”
Panel Chair: Dr. Jonathan Spyer, Director, Rubin Center for Research in International Affairs, IDC Herzliya.

9:00 | Session 1: State-to-State Issues and the Changed Region

Dr. Dan Schueftan, Director, The National Security Studies Center, The University of Haifa.
"Strategic implications of regional change for Israel, and the impact of U.S. Middle East policy."

Alex Grinberg, Research Associate, Rubin Center for Research in International Affairs, IDC Herzliya.
"The Iranian threat after the JCPOA."

Prof. Joshua Teitelbaum, Senior Research Associate, Begin-Sadat (BESA) Center for Strategic Studies, Bar-Ilan University.
"Israel and the Gulf countries: A window of opportunity?"

Dr. Bruce Maddy-Weitzmann, Principal Research Fellow, Moshe Dayan Center for Middle Eastern and African Studies, Tel Aviv University.
"The current state of relations between Israel and Egypt"

10:40 | Break

11:00 | Session 2: Israel and Non-State Actors
Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi, Rubin Fellow, Rubin Center for Research in International Affairs, IDC Herzliya.
"The jihadi threat on Israel’s northern border"

Dr. Eitan Azani, Deputy Executive Director, International Institute for Counter-Terrorism (ICT), IDC Herzliya.
"Is Hizballah stronger or weaker as a result of its involvement in the Syrian civil war?"

Prof. Ofra Bengio, Senior Research Fellow, Moshe Dayan Center for Middle Eastern and African Studies, Tel Aviv University.
"Israel and the Kurds"

The event will be conducted in English
To ensure a place, please RSVP to

Thursday, December 24, 2015

The Rubin Center Needs Your Support to Continue Its Groundbreaking Research: Make Your Tax-Deductible Donation Before the End of the Year

Founded by the late Professor Barry Rubin, the Rubin Center is one of the most versatile and active Mid-East research centers in the world. The center is committed to making the most up-to-date; accurate; and in many cases, otherwise inaccessible information available to policymakers and to the broader public. The Rubin Center’s groundbreaking frontline reporting and research—frequently picked up by the major media outlets—sets us apart from other research centers.

  • Frontline reporting: Rubin Center researchers regularly visit the region, including Iraq and war-torn Syria, witnessing developments first-hand. The center has exposed many important news stories. In addition to being first to reveal ISIS’s use of chemical weapons, Rubin Center Director Dr. Jonathan Spyer visited Baghdad this year and obtained unprecedented access to the Shi’a militias, interviewing senior officials from those organizations there. Spyer and Rubin Fellow Aymenn Jawad al-Tamimi published the first piece anywhere to call out the role being played by the militias, which later became mainstream knowledge. Spyer later published a detailed report on the subject. Spyer has also reported from Syria and Turkey, conducting groundbreaking research on the nature and limitations of U.S.-Kurdish cooperation in Syria.
  • Primary research: The Rubin Center was ahead of the game on the importance of ISIS as a proto-state. In the first attempt to understand ISIS ideology through use of primary resources in Arabic, Rubin Fellow Aymenn Jawad al-Tamimi has been translating and analyzing key ISIS documents--including recruitment, training, textbooks, administrative, and other primary sources. Jawad obtained an ISIS “masterplan” for the governance of the Islamic State, which was a front page story in the Guardian—which received the information directly from Jawad—and in other major media outlets around the world. Senior U.S. officials referred to the document as significant. In another major, but non-public, media monitoring project, Rubin Research Associate Alex Grinberg has been conducting pioneering research on Iran using Farsi-language resources.
  • Media and consultancy: The Rubin Center consults for government--including the United States, UK, China, Israel, India, Canada, and the Czech Republic--news media, and academic research. Rubin researchers have been sought out by the White House, the British parliament, and other Western governments, as well as media bodies, and human rights NGOs. Rubin Research Fellow Aymenn Jawad al-Tamimi, for example, has testified before the British House of Commons on the threat represented by the Islamic State. The Rubin Center also provides research work for important pro-Western organizations as well as for major media outlets. Its work has been published/cited in the New York Times, Huffington Post, FOX News, and more. Dr. Jonathan Spyer is also a regular contributor to The Australian and to Jane’s Intelligence Review.
  • Middle East Review of International Affairs (MERIA):  Covering the latest developments in the region from a wide variety of viewpoints, including U.S. policy, radical movements, and minorities, the Rubin Center’s quarterly journal MERIA has a circulation of over 25,000. Get your free subscription today!
  • Turkish Studies: In a crucial geographical and political location, Turkey’s importance is growing rapidly throughout Europe, the Middle East, and the Caucasus. With an upsurge in interest in its history, politics, and foreign policy, Turkish Studies quarterly--listed in the Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI)--offers scholarly discussion on these topics and more.
  • Books: The Rubin Center has produced numerous books on subjects of importance, including Nazis, Islamists and the Making of the Modern Middle East—about the political alliance forged among Third Reich leaders, Arab nationalists, and Muslim religious authorities during the 1930s and 1940sand The Transforming Fire: The Rise of the Israel-Islamist Conflict—which deals with the emergence of Islamist movements as Israel’s main adversaries and Israel’s response to this. In 2015, The Military History of the Modern Middle East was published, covering the military history of the past hundred years, including such topics as both world wars, the Turkish-Greek conflicts, Arab nationalism, the Arab-Israeli conflicts, and the post-2003 fighting in Iraq. As part of the center’s Free Books project, we also offer 13 of Barry Rubin’s books online, including on the Israel-Palestinian conflict, Syria, U.S. policy, Jewish assimilation, and more.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

MERIA Journal, Vol. 19, No. 2 (2015)


Middle East Review of International Affairs (MERIA)


Arab Cocoon & Arab Mind
Every year, life in the Arab Middle East gets worse for its inhabitants.  Tarek Heggy’s books The Arab Cocoon and The Arab Mind Bound (2011) argue that cultural factors are to blame.  With all eyes focused on the Arab Spring, his books did not receive the attention they deserved on publication.  They are worth revisiting today, because they help to explain why the Arab Spring failed.  Heggy argues that a “Bedouin model” of Islam spread wildly in recent decades with … [Read more...]


Vladimir Putin meeting with Hassan Rouhani, 13 September 2013
(Photo: Russian Presidential Press and Information Office,
In light of the July 2015 nuclear agreement between Iran and the P5+1 powers, as well as Russian involvement in Syria, Russian-Iranian relations deserve special attention. This article argues that Russia and Iran have both common interests and cultural similarities that simultaneously foster their bilateral relationship and complicate these ties. This is also reflected in the foreign policies of both countries. Russia has been managing a “hybrid war” in Ukraine through … [Read more...]


"Air strike in Sana'a 11-5-2015" by Ibrahem Qasim - Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0 via Commons -
This article examines the broad implications of the 2015 Yemeni civil war on Chinese foreign policy in the Middle East. The findings show that the ongoing crisis in Yemen presents a challenge to the key element of non-intervention guiding Chinese foreign policy in the region and may force Beijing to gradually abandon its low-key strategy in managing its relations with the countries in the region.   INTRODUCTION   The Yemeni civil war, which began in … [Read more...]


Scores of Israeli army tanks and armored personnel carriers are massed on December 29, 2008 near Israel's border with the Gaza Strip. (Photo: Amir Farshad Ebrahimi)
Since its establishment in 1948, Israel has faced numerous security challenges. Ongoing threats to the country’s security could potentially lead to a serious crisis or even escalate to a war. Israel’s greatest concerns are Iran’s nuclear program, Hizballah in Lebanon, and Hamas in the Gaza Strip. In addition, there has been unrest in the West Bank, incidents in the Golan Heights, fighting in Sinai, and uncertainty about Jordan. Since its establishment in 1948, … [Read more...]


The Quagmire by Emil Murad
The following article is the personal testimony of an Iraqi Jew regarding the last days of his community and their preparations for emigration to Israel. It is an extract from Emil Murad’s book, The Quagmire (London: Freund Publishing, 1998). Editor’s Note: This article differs quite significantly from the usual material published by MERIA. The story of the immigration of Middle Eastern and North African Jewish communities to Israel, and their expulsion from their host … [Read more...]

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