MEMRI Publishes Top Analysis Of 2020 From Its Worldwide Staff



*WASHINGTON, DC / ACCESSWIRE / December 22, 2020 / *The Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) published its 2020 Editor's Picks of selections from the MEMRI Daily Brief series and the MEMRI Inquiry and Analysis series from 2020, by various MEMRI researchers and focused on a variety of topics. MEMRI will publish additional lists of top reports and clips from the year in a series of end-of-year reports.

*Lt.-Gen (Ret.) Vincent R. Stewart, MEMRI Board Of Advisors Chairman And Special Advisor, Testifies Before The U.S. House Committee On Homeland Security On 'U.S.-Iran Tensions: Implications For Homeland Security'** *

By: Vincent R. Stewart

On January 15, 2020, Lt. Gen. (Ret.) Vincent R. Stewart, MEMRI Board of Advisors Chairman and Special Advisor, testified before the U.S. House Committee on Homeland Security on "U.S.-Iran Tensions: Implications For Homeland Security." He spoke about the threat of Iran cyberterrorism and potential cyber consequences.

*The Making Of A President?** *

By: Yigal Carmon

A few months ago, due to the repeated haplessness of President Trump in the face of major Iranian provocations, I wrote a scathing article titled "No Principles, No Dignity, No Power, No Deterrence", in which I argued that apparently the comprehension that principles, dignity and power translate into deterrence, and prevent escalation into a more costly war, was beyond Trump's understanding as a great hotelier.

*The Quiet Crisis In U.S. International Broadcasting** *

By: Alberto M. Fernandez

According to a copy of the Biden-Harris Transition Team workplan for USAGM (the U.S. Agency for Global Media, which oversees all U.S. government broadcasting to international audiences) that I have seen, this is the week that the incoming team is supposed to substantively engage with the incumbents.

*Dispute At Al-Azhar's 'International Conference On The Renewal Of Islamic Thought' Reflects Institution's Long-Standing Rejection Of Religious Reforms In Egypt** *

By: Y. Yehoshua

In January 2020, Al-Azhar - which is the leading religious institution in Egypt and in the Sunni Muslim world - held an International Conference on the Renewal of Islamic Thought, under the sponsorship of President 'Abd Al-Fattah Al-Sisi. The conference dealt, inter alia, with the renewal of religious discourse, an initiative that Al-Sisi's regime has been trying to promote for years as part of its efforts to combat terror and extremism in the country.

*Jihadis' Theological Perception Of The Coronavirus Pandemic: A Review Of Terror Organizations' Responses To COVID-19 And The Resulting Security Implications** *

By: Steven Stalinsky

Since the coronavirus pandemic began, jihadis have been following it closely. Beginning with early chatter in late January 2020, this topic is a frequent focus of their online discourse. Additionally, it is impacting the global jihad, and, as U.S. and Western government officials are underlining, it could have security and other ramifications.

*Al-Jazeera Unmasked: Political Islam As A Media Arm Of The Qatari State** *

By: Yotam Feldener, Alberto M. Fernandez

Launched in 1996, the Al-Jazeera network not only revolutionized pan-Arab broadcast media but also became a household name across the world in the aftermath of 9/11, when it aired exclusive interviews with Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden. In the more than two decades that have passed, the Qatari TV channel has grown into a multi-channel, multi-language international operation.

*The Iran-U.S. Conflict: Iran Is Working On Obtaining Strategic Capability - Long-Range Missiles And Nuclear Submarines** *

By: A. Savyon

In recent months, the Iranian regime has suffered several grave geostrategic setbacks: the killing of IRGC Qods Force commander and the Iranian regime's No. 2 man Qassem Soleimani, who was in charge of actualizing the regime's goal of exporting Iran's Islamic Revolution; the weakening of Iran's grip in Iraq with the establishment of the government of the pro-U.S. Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi; and the deepening of Iran's economic crisis due to tougher U.S. sanctions, the nosedive in oil prices, and the sharp devaluation of the country's currency, along with the widespread damage to Iran's regime, economy, and society caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

*Renowned Russian Academic Karaganov: Russia Needs To Endorse 'Neo-Isolationism,' Create A New 'National Ideology'** *

By: Anna Mahjar-Barducci

On October 10, 2020, prominent Russian academic Sergey Karaganov, also known as the "Russian Kissinger," was a guest of the program "Right To Know!" on Russia's state-run network TV Center (see Appendix). During the program, Karaganov mainly addressed Russia's role in world affairs, Russia's identity vis-à-vis the West, and Russia's need for a new national ideology that can challenge the liberal order.

*At Anti-France Protests, Pakistani Clerics Call For Jihad, Atom Bomb Against France; 50 Million Rupees Offered For Beheading President Macron** *

By: Tufail Ahmad

This report reviews recent anti-France protests in Pakistani towns led by Islamic scholars, who have declared jihad against France. The clerics are demanding the beheading of French President Emmanuel Macron, the expulsion of France's French ambassador from Pakistan, and a boycott of French products.

*In His First 100 Days In Office, Al-Kadhimi Faces Reality Ahead Of Tougher Challenges To Iraq's National Recovery** *

By: S. Ali

Emerging as an independent leader from the Iraqi political scene, which is heavily dominated by an Iran-backed political elite, Mustafa Al-Kadhimi's appointment on May 6, 2020 as prime minister of Iraq has reignited optimism that he could bring a systematic change to restore Iraq's sovereignty and end more than a decade of Iranian hegemony over Iraq.

*Visions Of The Post-Coronavirus World - Official Russia Sides With China Against US On Coronavirus Coverup Charges, Other Russians Voices Urge Neutrality Or Even Express Hostility Towards Chinese Government** *

By: Amiel Ungar, Anatoly Strandberg

The tension between the United States (and to a lesser extent Western Europe) and China over responsibility for the coronavirus pandemic and the demand for indemnification for damages, has triggered reactions in Russia. Official Russia has backed China unequivocally. Russia has staked a great deal on relations with China.

*The Organization For The Liberation Of Argentina (OLA) - Building Support For The Iranian Regime And Hizbullah** *

By: JTTM Staff

Ever since the founding of the Ayatollah regime in Iran, the country has invested significantly in the export of the principles of the revolution to the world at large, in establishing local support bases in other countries, and in undermining local governments abroad

*Qatar, Qatar-Backed International Union Of Muslim Scholars Blast Trump's Peace Plan: It Belongs In The Dustbin Of History, Must Be Opposed By Every Possible Means** *

By: H. Varulkar, Z. Harel

In its official responses to the Trump administration's peace plan, which was announced on January 28, 2020 and has been dubbed "the Deal of the Century," Qatar welcomed the U.S. efforts to achieve peace and expressed willingness to assist in these efforts, but at the same time voiced reservations and implied criticism of the plan.

*Muslim World League's Historic Auschwitz Visit Draws Support From Saudi Arabia, Condemnation From Qatar** *

By: B. Shanee

The January 23, 2020 visit to the Nazi Auschwitz concentration and extermination camp in Oświęcim, Poland by a delegation from the Mecca-based Muslim World League (MWL), comprising 25 senior Muslim clerics and headed by its secretary-general, Mohammad Al-'Issa, was unprecedented.

*Moroccan King, Senior Officials Condemn Antisemitism, Call To Teach Tolerance, Coexistence As Lessons Of Holocaust** *

By: B. Chernitsky

In recent years, the Moroccan King and senior Moroccan officials have taken a clear stance against antisemitism and stressed the need to teach the values of tolerance and coexistence as lessons of the Holocaust. Pro-Palestinian organizations in the country have condemned this discussion of the Holocaust as an expression of normalization with Israel.

*What Next For Turkey And Russia In Nagorno-Karabakh?** *

By: Dr. Dimitar Bechev

On November 17, 2020, Turkey's Grand National Assembly authorized the deployment of a military contingent in Azerbaijan. It is hard to overstate the symbolism of the decision. It resonates strongly with the sentiments of many in the country for whom the adage iki devlet, tek millet ("two states, one nation") is an article of faith.

*Symbols, Terms Used In Online White Supremacist Discourse** *

By: Michael Davis

The discourse of white supremacist and Neo-Nazi online communities is elaborate and constantly changing, and serves as common ground and an "identifying badge" for the numerous individuals and groups that comprise these communities. This report, published as part of MEMRI's Domestic Terrorism Threat Monitor (DTTM) project, presents terms, phrases and symbols that are typical of this discourse, including acronyms, abbreviations, online slang, and derogatory terms for targeted groups such as Jews, Blacks, Muslims and others.

*'Recognized' But Not Legitimate: A Muslim Brotherhood Alliance Of Turkey And Qatar Managed To Acquire International Recognition For A Usurper Libyan Islamist Government** *

By: Romany Shaker, Yigal Carmon

Libya's political situation is characterized these days by a civil war between a mostly Islamist side based in Tripoli, in west Libya, and a mostly non-Islamist side based in Tobruk, in east Libya, with both sides being aided by foreign governments with conflicting interests.

*Iranian Regime Marks Qods Day 2020 With Antisemitism, Blood Libels, And Calls For Destruction Of Israel** *

By: M. Manzour, A. Savyon

As it does every year, the Iranian regime is marking Qods Day - Jerusalem Day - on the last Friday of Ramadan, which in 2020 falls on May 22. This year as well, the call for destroying Israel features prominently in statements by regime officials, who announced that the due to the coronavirus Qods Day marches would be presented via the media and there would be no parades in the streets.

*The Jews Of The Gulf - Past And Present** *

By: Dr. Nimrod Raphaeli

As Israel and some of the Gulf countries enter a new era of diplomatic and business relations, it should be realized that Jews have had a long history in that part of the Arab world. Jews were present in the Arabian Peninsula long before the birth of Islam. Their presence came to an end under the second Islamic Calif Omar (634-644), who expelled them, in keeping with a hadith from Muwatta Malik, who taught at the mosque of the Prophet Muhammad.

*Amazon Sells And Promotes Antisemitic Literature in French, In Direct Violation Of French Hate Speech Laws** *

By: N. Szerman, P. Lurcat

The following report reviews the sales of antisemitic books in French on, with a focus on French antisemitic writer Hervé Ryssen. Amazon's platform is available to antisemitic authors writing in many languages, including French. In France, contravenes the French hate speech laws which aim at protecting individuals and groups from defamation on the grounds of identity.

*The China-Australia Crisis From China's Perspective** *

By: Heathe Sloane

On November 18, 2020, the Chinese Embassy in Australia leaked an extraordinarily blunt dossier enumerating 14 grievances that purportedly implicate Australia in "poisoning the atmosphere of bilateral relations." In addition to protestations against Australia's decision to block specific Chinese investment projects and to ban Chinese telecoms from building Australia's 5G network, the dossier scorned Australia's current stance on issues relating to Xinjiang, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and the South China Sea, deriding it as "incessant wanton interference."

*Veteran Chinese Diplomat Yuan Nansheng: 'Wolf Warrior' Diplomacy Will Not Give China Victory Over U.S.; We Must Keep A Low Profile With The Sword In The Scabbard As In Deng Xiaoping's Guiding Ideology** *

By: Sasha Gong, Anna Mahjar-Barducci

In September 2020, veteran Chinese diplomat Yuan Nansheng (袁南生) published an essay, which prompted a wave of reactions, titled "My Thoughts On Sino-U.S. Relations After The Coronavirus Pandemic," analyzing past, present, and future Sino-U.S. relations.

For a full list of articles, see the report here.


Exploring the Middle East and South Asia through their media, MEMRI bridges the language gap between the West and the Middle East and South Asia, providing timely translations of Arabic, Farsi, Urdu-Pashtu, Dari, and Turkish media, as well as original analysis of political, ideological, intellectual, social, cultural, and religious trends.

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