Wednesday News

Netanyahu Losing Ground In Election Polls
The center-left Zionist Union has opened up a slim lead against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud Party in the parliamentary elections scheduled for March 17, according to new polls. The two parties had been virtually tied for weeks, but a new survey by Israel’s army radio found the Zionist Union winning 24 seats, to Likud’s 21. A poll by Channel 2 television, meanwhile, had the Zionist Union winning 25 seats, and Likud winning 21.

There are 120 seats in the Israeli Knesset, and either faction will need to form a coalition with other parties in order to govern. Netanyahu still might have an advantage over his rivals in doing so: Several far-right parties, which would be his natural allies, are expected to capture a significant number of seats

The “swing vote” in the election could be the center-right Kulanu Party headed by Moshe Kahlon, who has not yet indicated which bloc he would support.

A Look Inside The Ideology Of ISIS
In a new report, Cole Bunzel of Princeton University sheds light on the unique ideology driving the Islamic State’s strategy.

Bunzel argues that the coalition military campaign may actually strengthen the Islamic State’s ideology by lending credence to one of the group’s fundamental views: the idea that Shia are conspiring with the United States and secular Arab rulers to limit Sunni power in the Middle East.

Instead, Bunzel recommends regional governments take the lead in countering the Islamic State by deconstructing its violent ideology and eroding the legitimacy of its claims to statehood. Reducing the Islamic State from a “caliphate” back to a “paper state,” Bunzel writes, may stem the group’s influence.

He also spoke as part of a webcast at the Brookings Institution today on the ideology and propaganda of ISIS.

The Jihadist Movement Is Not Global
Martha Crenshaw argues in The Atlantic that the global jihadist movement is nothing more than a figment of the imagination and that in reality it is a fragmented and constantly shifting threat.

The benefit to the terrorists, she maintains, is that the United States and the West is fighting a war in which the enemy of its enemy is not necessarily their friend.

“A result of these fast-changing conflict dynamics is that the U.S. is engaged in a struggle for power in which the enemy of its enemy is not necessarily its friend. In the Islamic State as well as al-Qaeda and affiliates, the U.S. shares a common adversary with its enemies Iran and Syria. At the same time, actions against the Islamic State benefit al-Qaeda and affiliates, and vice versa. It may not be possible to weaken one without strengthening the other,” she writes.


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