Thursday, October 30, 2014

The GLORIA Center needs your help to continue its ground-breaking Middle East reporting

Last week, MERIA Journal's exclusive Special Report Did ISIS Use Chemical Weapons Against the Kurds in Kobani?, by new GLORIA Center Director Jonathan Spyer, caught the world’s attention with its shocking unprecedented photos of Kurds killed by apparent Islamic State (ISIS) use of chemical weapons in northern Syria. The story has been reprinted and/or cited in major media outlets, including:
·        U.S.:  New York Times, Huffington Post, New York Post, FOX News, Buzzfeed, Middle East Forum
·        Europe:  Bild-Zeitung, Russia Today
·        Israel:  Jerusalem Post, Times of Israel, Channels 9 and 10.

In the same week, GLORIA's Rubin Research Fellow Aymenn Jawad al-Tamimi testified before the British House of Commons on the threat represented by the Islamic State, drawing on his own unique information sources and field data collection.

At a time of unprecedented crisis within the Middle East and far beyond, the world needs this information now more than ever.

Click to make a tax-deductible donation in the U.S., Israel, or the U.K.

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Founded by the late Professor Barry Rubin in 2000, the GLORIA Center produces up-to-date, insightful analysis and reporting on modern Middle East affairs, using primary sources and exclusive on-the-ground contacts throughout the region.

Professor Rubin was a prolific analyst of Middle-East politics.  Since his untimely death in February 2014, new Director Dr. Jonathan Spyer has visited Iraq and Syria, witnessing developments first-hand and interviewing participants.

With its dynamic leadership and contributors, GLORIA remains one of the most versatile and active Mid-East research centers in the world.

GLORIA Center Highlight Accomplishments in 2014:
  • ISIS Chemical Weapons: Ongoing exclusive coverage and its implications for the region
  • Iraq and Syria: Frontline reporting, including exclusive on-ground interviews
  • Media and Consultancy: For government, news media, and academic research, including testimony about ISIS before the British House of Commons and elsewhere
  • Middle East Review of International Affairs (MERIA) Journal: Covering the latest developments in the region from a wide variety of viewpoints, including U.S. policy, radical movements and minorities, MERIA is the most widely read journal of its type in the world, with a circulation of over 25,000.  MERIA is available free of charge.
  • Nazis, Islamists and the Making of the Modern Middle East: One of Prof. Barry Rubin's final books, co-authored by Visiting Fellow Prof. Dr. Wolfgang G. Schwanitz and published by Yale University Press in 2014, this acclaimed book focuses on the political alliance forged among Third Reich leaders, Arab nationalists, and Muslim religious authorities during the 1930s and 1940s.
  • Silent Revolution: How the Left Rose to Political Power and Cultural Dominance: Published in April 2014 by Harper Collins and among Barry Rubin's last books, the book is an exposé of the radicalism masquerading as liberalism today and its unchecked rise to cultural and political power in the United States.
  • The Military History of the Modern Middle East: Forthcoming in January 2015 (Routledge), this collection, edited by Barry Rubin, covers 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.
  • Israel: An Introduction in Chinese: Barry Rubin's (ed.) book, originally published by Yale University Press in 2012, will soon be available in Chinese, thanks to SIGNAL and the China University of Petroleum (CUP). This is the first book to provide a comprehensive picture of modern Israel and will be used in Israel Studies programs across China.
  • Free Books: 13 full-text books by Barry Rubin on the Israel-Palestinian conflict, Syria, U.S. policy, Jewish assimilation, and more
  • 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 offers scholarly discussion on these topics and more.

Click to make a tax-deductible donation in the U.S., Israel, or the U.K.

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For more information or to pledge support, please contact

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

The Logic of the Middle East, a prescient analysis by Prof. Barry Rubin

In light of the current situation in Israel and Gaza, the GLORIA Center is reposting Prof. Rubin's prescient analysis of the likely situation that would emerge in Gaza following the Disengagement.  

This article is, if anything, even more relevant today than when it was first published in 2005:

By Barry Rubin
August 2005

                It cannot be repeated often enough that Middle East politics are not like those of other places. They make sense once one understands the region’s history, politics, and institutions, but they defy the logic that uninformed or semi-informed outsiders expect.
                Consider, as the most recent example, Palestinian politics and the Israeli withdrawal from the Gaza Strip. Here is what might be expected to happen:
                “This is a step forward by Israel showing that this country is ready to make peace,” the Palestinian leader would tell his people. “We must now make the most of this opportunity in two ways.”
“First, we must encourage Israel to agree to a comprehensive deal by proving to its leaders and people that we really do accept their country’s existence and security. The best way to do this is by stopping all incitement to hate Israel and portray it as illegitimate in our media and textbooks, while showing our determination to prevent terror attacks. We will demand all of the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and Gaza Strip in a Palestinian state but we will simultaneously show we are true nationalists by making it clear that all Palestinian refugees should be resettled in our own state in order to make it prosperous and successful.”
“Second, we must show the world that we are worthy and ready for a state by governing the Gaza Strip well. We will put all security forces under political control and disband the extremist militias. A stable government will be established that will not permit anarchy. We will fight corruption and use the aid money well. And we will show our commitment to democracy. We may not succeed completely but everyone will know that we have done our best and made real progress. ”
“Critical in this effort is to show our people that this great day was brought about not by murdering Israeli civilians but as an outcome of the negotiations process begun with the Oslo agreement.”
Indeed, many people in the West no doubt think that this is what already is happening. But what, in fact, is the most likely course of events in the Palestinian debate and politics?
--There will be no decline in incitement or change in the public rhetoric of Palestinian officials speaking to their own people. Thus, of course, Israeli suspicions regarding their intentions will be reinforced.
--The Palestinian movement will continue to be oriented toward conquest and revenge rather than nation-state nationalism.
--No stable government with real control over the territory will be created in the Gaza Strip, and the Palestinian Authority will not even try too hard to do that. On the contrary, it will ignore the Road Map’s provisions about stopping terrorism and disarming radical groups and simply keep insisting on getting a state right away without preconditions or concessions.
--The Israeli withdrawal will be claimed as a victory for terrorism (under the phrase revolutionary violence) thus laying the basis for more of the same.
--Palestinian security forces will stand by most of the time and do nothing as not only Hamas and Islamic Jihad but also Fatah gunmen try to attack Israel. Then the Palestinian leadership will scream when Israel retaliates. The big losers here will be the Palestinians themselves since this continuing war will destroy any chance for development.
--Anti-corruption efforts will remain tiny even in the context of modest expectations. The new aid money being offered by the West will disappear without a trace.
--The Palestinian leadership will do everything possible to avoid power-sharing, wider democracy, or fair elections. There is some good reason for this since Hamas will benefit the most if people are given a choice but a large part of the reason for that situation is precisely the current leadership’s failure to do more for the masses’ welfare.
In short, there is every reason to believe that the Palestinian leadership and movements will throw away this opportunity. If you don’t think so, let’s talk about it again in six months’ time.
Does this analysis mean Israel should not withdraw? Actually, one could argue the exact opposite. For if nothing is going to change any way why should it be bound to the status quo? Take away the excuse of “occupation” and let the world—and far more importantly the Palestinians themselves—see the real cause of their problems. Let Israel determine its best deployments and use of security resources rather than have to be permanently tied down to being in the whole Gaza Strip.
Of course, one should quickly add, that Israel largely withdrew from the territory eleven years ago when it was turned over to the tender mercies of Yasir Arafat. The presence of 7500 settlers and Israeli control over certain roads had very little effect on the Palestinian situation there. On my many trips to the Gaza Strip in the second half of the 1990s, I never saw Israeli settlers, soldiers or road blocks. It was like being in Jordan or Lebanon, a Palestinian state in all but name.
The idea at the time was that he would have to deal with schools and sewage, jobs and housing. The problem was that he and his colleagues had no interest in anything other than fighting Israel. Some of his top successors have better intentions but lack the power or determination to do better.  As a substitute, they will complain about inadequate international support, blame Israel for everything, and urge more militancy. Which side will be better off after the withdrawal? Watch the material realities, not the rhetoric to find out.
Barry Rubin was director of the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center at the Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya (IDC).  He was the author and co-author of many books on history, politics and the Middle East.  He passed away in 2014.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Washington Institute Memorial Event: Prof. Barry Rubin

3:00 PM

Please join the family, friends, and colleagues of Dr. Barry Rubin as we gather together to celebrate his life, work, and legacy. Dr. Rubin succumbed after a long battle with cancer in February.

Those paying tribute to Dr. Rubin will include Washington Institute director of research Dr. Patrick Clawson, Institute Program on Arab Politics Program director David Schenker, Middle East scholar and coauthor of Barry's final book Dr. Wolfgang Schwanitz, and Lee Smith of the Weekly Standard and the Hudson Institute. The program will include a special written contribution by Professor Walter Laqueur.

A brilliant scholar, prolific author, and fearless advocate for historical accuracy, Dr. Rubin had a long association with The Washington Institute, serving as a senior fellow from 1988-1993 and as a visiting fellow frequently thereafter. He was the author of numerous Institute studies on a broad cross section of subjects including Arab-Israeli relations, Syria, Jordan, and the Gulf.

Dr. Rubin served as director of the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center and editor of the journal Middle East Review of International Affairs. His many books include The Truth about Syria (2007), The Long War for Freedom (2006), Hating America: A History (2004), and Yasir Arafat: A Political Biography (2003).
This event will be held in the Stern Library and Conference Room at The Washington Institute, 1828 L Street NW, Suite 1050, Washington, DC, 20036. 
It will also be broadcast live on the Washington Institute website.
To register for this event, please use the
or call 202-452-0677.

Click here to request a broadcast reminder.
Members of the media wishing to cover the event with cameras should call 202-230-9550.

Monday, March 3, 2014

An Invitation: Prof. Rubin's 30-day Memorial

Dear Friends,

Prof. Barry Rubin's 30-day memorial and the unveiling of the gravestone will be held on Thursday, March 6, 2014, 11:00am at the Kiryat Shaul Cemetery in Tel Aviv, Israel. All are welcome to attend. Please notify us at if you plan to come.

The Rubin Family & the GLORIA Center

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu Sends Condolences on Barry Rubin's Passing

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu wrote on Prof. Rubin's passing, "Barry was a prolific writer, historian and analyst who dedicated both his intellect and his energies to the challenges facing the Middle East... His contribution to the public discourse in both Israel and the United States will serve as a proud legacy...."

To make a tax-deductible contribution in Prof. Barry Rubin’s memory in order to continue his mission and help future research, click the donate button at the top right of this page or visit: