As events continue to unfold in the Middle East, the reverberations are being felt in Europe. Over the past few weeks, we have seen hundreds of thousands of people across Europe taking to the streets in mass demonstrations, in support of both Israel and Palestine, and calling for a ceasefire to the conflict. There is now concern among many EU Member States that the conflict, and the large volume of reporting, commentary and social media reaction, might have a polarising effect upon communities, with violent extremist groups capitalising on events to radicalise and recruit. In this Special Edition of the RAN Practitioners Update, we take a look at the possible impact of events in the Middle East on communities here in the EU. To do this, we feature some thoughts from members of the RAN Practitioners network, highlight relevant articles which can be found online and identify some upcoming events.
Comment: Anneli Portman
In a short article, Dr. Anneli Portman, co-lead of the RAN Practitioners Working Group Local authorities (RAN LOCAL) and Senior Specialist at the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL), shares her thoughts on how the conflict in Gaza is having a polarising effect upon communities in Europe and creating new divisions between them.
Interview: Magnus Ranstorp
In an interview with RAN Practitioners, Dr. Magnus Ranstorp, Special Advisor to the Radicalisation Awareness Network, Vice Chair of Nordic Safe Cities and expert on Hamas, shares his thoughts on the current situation in Gaza and how it might progress, as well as the possible consequences for the P/CVE environment in Europe.
Comment: Catherine Durand
With events in Gaza creating an atmosphere of uncertainty and tension in Europe, particularly among Europe’s Jewish and Muslim communities, Catherine Durand, from the Prevention of Radicalisation and Separatism team in Lyon, talks about the murder of French teacher Dominique Bernard – which occurred just days after Hamas’ attack on southern Israel – and the government response.
Article: Israel’s Gaza Problem
In a commentary published by the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI), Daniel R DePetris, a fellow at Defense Priorities, takes a look at the history between Israel and Hamas, reviews the new tactics deployed by Hamas and assesses the response by Israel.
Article: Hamas and the Israeli/Palestinian Conflict
The Counter Extremism Project (CEP) provides a detailed overview of Hamas, including its leadership, history, violent activities, associations and rhetoric. CEP also provides an overview of some of the media reporting on the group since the start of the conflict on 7th October.
Article: Hamas global jihad – An impact in France?
In an analysis published by the Internal Center for Counter-Terrorism (ICCT), Antoine Baudon, Deputy Director at ICCT, discusses whether the conflict could spur violence outside of the region and considers if Hamas’ call for support resonates with previous calls to transnational jihad by other jihadist actors.
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