Global Topics Terrorism

Suicide Attacks Worldwide in 2021: The Downward Trend Continues (Aviad Mendelboim, Yoram Schweitzer, Ido Gadi Raz, INSS)

Over the past five years there has been a clear downward trend in the number of suicide attacks worldwide, with a particularly sharp drop in 2021. This trend is apparently the combined result of the significant weakening of the Islamic State following its military defeat in Syria and Iraq, and the withdrawal or considerable reduction of Western military forces in combat areas in the Middle East and southern Asia. In 2021 there were about 42 percent fewer suicide attacks than in the previous year, with a 48.5 percent reduction in the number of suicide attackers, and a decrease of 69 percent in the number of women participating in such attacks. A sharp drop of 44.5 percent was recorded in the number of attacks carried out by ISIS and its affiliates, and of about 35 percent in the number of attacks carried out by supporters of al-Qaeda. In general, there was a reduction of about 44 percent in the number of attacks linked to the Salafist-jihadi stream of Islam, although organizations linked to it continued to dominate as instigators of suicide attacks.

Suicide Attacks Worldwide in 2021: The Downward Trend Continues | INSS

Israel Jordan

Jordan 2021: Cause for Concern in Israel, but No Need to Panic (Oded Eran, INSS)

Recent developments in Jordan and its immediate neighborhood have raised questions about the stability of the regime in the kingdom, and with that, have aroused concern in Israel. The questions stem from the possible ramifications of the economic crisis in Jordan, especially among the tribal Bedouin population, which is the traditional support base of the monarchy, and from the response to the reforms that the king intends to implement in the parliamentary electoral system; from the direct challenges by various Jordanians toward the monarchy; and from the changes in Jordan’s regional policy, especially regarding Syria. The stability of the Hashemite regime was and still is an important cornerstone of Israel’s security. Any significant change in Jordan’s political-military orientation or undermining of the regime could have implications for Israel’s strategic balance.

Jordan 2021: Cause for Concern in Israel, but No Need to Panic | INSS


Antisemitism in the United States: A Critical Look at the Data, Monitoring, and Measurement (Tom Eshed, INSS)

A variety of government entities, law enforcement agencies, and civil society organizations—Jewish and non-Jewish—are engaged in tracking antisemitic incidents in the US. They maintain extensive databases, conduct opinion polls, and sometimes publish reports summarizing the state of antisemitism in the US and other parts of the world, including the number of incidents, their character, and trends in comparison to previous years. The databases presented in this research are currently the most basic tool for tracking antisemitic incidents and analyzing trends of antisemitism in the US. Monitoring the phenomenon is critical to measure and assess trends and changes, as well as to raise awareness of antisemitism among the general public, support processes of formulating strategy and decision making on the subject, and provide data that can be used in response in the context of enforcement, education, law, and maintaining the safety of Jewish communities and institutions.

Antisemitism in the United States: A Critical Look at the Data, Monitoring, and Measurement | INSS

Israel Palestine

The Arrangements Law and the Palestinian Economies (Haggay Etkes, INSS)

Publicly, Israeli governments attach great importance to the economic situation of the Palestinians as related to political-security stability. However, the public debates on trade and agriculture reforms included in the Arrangements Law (attached to the budget bill) do not address their impact on the Palestinian economies. This article discusses the expected implications of these reforms for the structure of Palestinian foreign trade, the reform of imports, and the reform of agriculture.

The Arrangements Law and the Palestinian Economies | INSS


The Incoming Government in Lebanon: Little New under the Sun (Orna Mizrahi, INSS)

After a delay of more than a year, a new government was formed in Lebanon, led by billionaire Najib Mikati. The government will be able to stem the collapse of Lebanon, which is in the midst of the worst crisis in the history of the country, only if it learns to advance the reforms demanded by the international community as a condition for the transfer of the billions of dollars that Lebanon desperately needs. But the composition of the government does not bode well for this objective, and it seems that the prospects for success are slim. The government was composed according to an old sectorial-based formula, and the ministers, most of whom lack experience in their fields of responsibility, were elected by the party leaders of the different sects and act on their behalf. For its part, Hezbollah has retained its power and ability to influence decision making. Thus far the new Prime Minister has not refrained from criticizing the organization (e.g., on the issue of fuel deliveries from Iran), but he will likely find it difficult to contain Hezbollah’s influence in the future, especially in the context of the struggle against Israel.

The Incoming Government in Lebanon: Little New under the Sun | INSS


Recent Challenges to Relations between the IDF and Israeli Society (Meir Elran, Ofer Shelah, Kobi Michael, Carmit Padan, Zipi Israeli, INSS)

Public confidence in the IDF is a central social-national asset that enables the military to enlist support, resources, and quality manpower, particularly when civilian needs become prominent and threaten its seniority as a public system. Several recent events may reflect growing gaps between the public’s attitudes regarding how the IDF is managed and how the army presents itself. These events may hint at the decline in the level of confidence in the army on the part of the public and some of those serving in it, and also raise doubts regarding the awareness – or lack thereof – of the IDF’s commanders regarding the importance inherent in the relationship with Israeli society. With requisite confidence, modesty, and transparency, the IDF should take the initiative toward reducing the gap, in order to demonstrate to the public that it is still the army of the people, for the people.

Recent Challenges to Relations between the IDF and Israeli Society | INSS



End of the Merkel Era: Sic Transit Gloria Mundi (Shimon Stein, INSS)

The elections in Germany on September 26, 2021 brought to an end Angela Merkel’s 16 consecutive years as Chancellor. Her approach to management of affairs of state and international issues was characterized by mastery of the facts, credibility, avoidance of statements or actions that could encourage extreme positions, and an effort to reach a broad consensus. At the same time, her policies lacked overall strategy and vision, and displayed unwillingness to take electoral risks. Thus Merkel will be remembered as one who managed crises, rather than as one who resolved them. On Israel, Chancellor Merkel will be remembered for her stress on responsibility for the security of Israel as an integral part of Germany‘s “reason of state” that is non-negotiable. Merkel’s very positive image among the Israeli public (compared to Israel’s problematic image among the German public) is partly explained by her avoidance of public criticism, apart from disapproval of settlement policy in the West Bank, which in her opinion does not help secure Israel’s future as a Jewish and democratic state.

End of the Merkel Era: Sic Transit Gloria Mundi | INSS


Hamas/Israel. Hamas has its Own Logic. What is Israel’s Logic? (Udi Dekel, INSS)

Hamas is conducting an ongoing campaign of attrition against Israel. The organization began initiating violent incidents from the Gaza Strip the very same week it scored its first achievements since Operation Guardian of the Walls, with Israel’s announcement that it was easing the closure and that a way was found to transfer funds from Qatar to the Gaza Strip. Israel, considered the “rational” side of the equation, is hard-pressed to understand the logic guiding Hamas and Yahya Sinwar, its leader in the Gaza Strip, and believes his judgment is defective. Has the time come for Israel to change the rules of the game, stop being predictable, and adopt an aggressive proactive policy, for example by closing the crossings to the Gaza Strip and/or executing a prolonged offensive against Hamas’s rocket fire capabilities and military wing? This will require determination, patience, and a capacity for enduring attacks. If Israel does not find the will to change the rules of the game because of the risk involved, Hamas will continue to determine the course of the conflict with Israel through its power of extortion.

Hamas has its Own Logic. What is Israel’s Logic? | INSS



Afghanistan. Adapting to a new reality in Afghanistan (INSS)

How will regional states respond to the Taliban’s victory in Afghanistan? The IISS research team offers their insights into how governments will be carefully recalibrating relationships after a tumultuous week for the region.

Adapting to a new reality in Afghanistan (

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