06 Aug 2018 - NPWJ News Digest on Middle East and North Africa Democracy


Survey: The majority of Israelis support military campaign in Gaza
Middle East Monitor, 06 Aug 2018

The monthly academic survey, Peace Index, published by the Israeli Institute for Democracy and Tel Aviv University, showed that the majority of Israelis support the inclusion of the principle of equality into the recent “nation-state law.” The survey has also referred to the security tension on both Israeli fronts, namely in the borders with Gaza Strip and Syria.

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Syrian conflict: Government scientist killed in blast
BBC News, 05 Aug 2018

The head of a suspected chemical weapons' research centre in Syria has been killed in a car bombing, pro-government and opposition media report. Aziz Asber was the head of a facility belonging to the government's Syrian Scientific Research Centre. Western intelligence agents have said the organisation is linked to a Syrian chemical weapons programme.

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Into the Hands of the Soldiers review: how democracy failed in Egypt
The Guardian, 05 Aug 2018

In December 2010, a Tunisian street vendor named Mohamed Bouazizi set himself ablaze. His death sparked a conflagration that raged from North Africa to the Levant and all the way to the Gulf. On 11 February 2011, mass demonstrations and the collapse of US support forced Hosni Mubarak, Egypt’s president, out of office. After nearly 30 years, a pharaoh had fallen.

Libya would be launched into chaos, Syria would be hurled into a grinding civil war, Isis would emerge as a force to be reckoned with. But in the end, the Arab spring melted like a mirage in the cruel desert sun. With the exception of Tunisia the Middle East is now less free, not more. Egypt would again be led by a man in uniform. Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.

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Forget BDS, losing its liberal democracy is real threat against Israel
The Jerusalem Post , 04 Aug 2018

The world’s largest academic democracy ranking project upgrades Tunisia and downgrades both Israel and Palestine-West Bank in its latest report. A big question for the future is where the authoritarian trend will lead Israel, Palestine and the conflict between them? V-Dem’s annual democracy report for 2018, released in May this year, downgraded Israel from “liberal democracy” to “electoral democracy.” Israel is now placed 53/178 on V-Dem’s Liberal Democracy Index, three places behind Poland and eight ahead of Hungary.

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A plan for the free movement of Africans across the continent is being held up by fears of xenophobia
Quartz Africa, 31 Jul 2018

The African integration project took several major steps this year. One of them was the African Union’s adoption of a protocol on the free movement of people. The move has been widely welcomed. The free movement of Africans between African countries could unquestionably facilitate growth. Allowing freer movement would encourage trade, tourism and investment between African countries. And it would allow students to study in other African countries and Africans with suitable skills to find rewarding jobs.

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