Weekend long read

1) At WINEP, Patrick Clawson explains how ‘Changing Population Patterns Will Reshape the Middle East’.

“The UN forecasts that two of the largest populations in the Middle East—Turkey’s and Iran’s—will experience declines by the year 2100. Turkey’s is expected to fall from 85 million to 83, and Iran’s from 89 million to 80 million, toppling them from their status as the region’s demographic giants.

By contrast, two midsize countries—Iraq and Yemen—are expected to explode in population, presumably increasing their geostrategic importance in the process. Iraq will expand from 44 million people to 112 million—that is, from half as large as Iran or Turkey today to 40% larger than either. Among other things, this means that the country with the most Shia Muslims in the world will be Iraq, not Iran.”

2) At the Moshe Dayan Center, Yusri Khaizran discusses ‘The Syrian Popular Uprising and the Decline of the Druze Political Role’.

“Syria, as we have known it up to 2011, no longer exists. The war that has plagued Syria for around a decade has wrecked the Syrian state and society and has brought an almost total economic collapse. As in other sectors of the Syrian society, the dimensions of death, destruction, and the disintegration of the social fabric brought on by the war, have not passed over the Druze. During the war, the Druze have come to the realization that their existence as a legitimate minority is an obvious premise to all, which deepened the Syrian tragedy from the Druze perspective, and the end of the war proved just how much their existence is dependent on the same Syrian regime that led them to poverty.”

3) The ITIC records Palestinian Authority and Fatah glorification of terrorist fatalities.

“The PA operates on two seemingly contradictory levels: on the one hand it officially claims it wants to contain the violence, or at least demonstrates it makes an effort, and on the other it strives to justify violence at a time when many Palestinians who carry out terrorist attacks or attack Israelis are killed. Both the PA and Fatah still claim to adhere to the “peaceful popular resistance,” while in reality they praise operatives who promote an armed “resistance” [terrorist attacks] and the military-terrorist “option.””

4) The Alma Center has published a case study of an Iranian cargo ship.

“Did the Iranian cargo ship “Azargoun,” which is under US Treasury Department sanctions, carry military cargo from Iran to Syria? Why do the two NATO member states (Turkey and Romania) allow an Iranian vessel under US sanctions to dock in their ports? Can the “Azargoun” be a potential platform for transferring military equipment to Russia?”

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