Prof. Yehudit Ronen

Prof. Yehudit Ronen, a researcher and lecturer at BIU’s Department of Political Studies, is a world renowned expert on the Middle East and Arab Countries, whose research focuses on the evolution of ISIS (The Islamic State). Ronen says ISIS has been growing increasingly popular especially after the Arab Spring revolution, and the collapse of nationalistic Arab state, rendering them in political, security and religious chaos. “The Islamic State took advantage of the anarchy and the political voids created, with states with no pronounced leaders, and positioned itself in the disintegrating social and political frameworks of Libya, Iraq and Syria.”


Prof. Ronen is recognized around the world for her expertise, specifically her knowledge of Libya. She has published dozens of articles and books about the country, as well as its geo-strategic Arab and African surroundings. She is a sought-after interviewee and panelist on all related subjects. Libya has a prominent role in Ronen’s current research about the illegal immigration to Europe. Ronen says that most immigrants pass through the massive Libyan plains, in which ISIS has established well-oiled mechanisms of smuggling people, stolen goods and drugs. “This well-branched industry is the main financial resource for funding and developing ISIS in Libya. ISIS is also eying Libya’s other resources, mainly its oil fields and ports.” However, notes Ronen, “the bigger and stronger ISIS gets and the more local ‘partners’ it recruits, the more determined the EU gets about deflating the vast numbers of immigrants and stopping them even before reaching Europe, when they are still in Libya.“


Prof. Ronen ties the rapid expansion of ISIS, which was joined by terrorist organizations active in the Sinai Peninsula and Gaza, to the illegal immigration to Europe and Israel, and maintains that it directly impacts national security. She hopes to use her research to help understand these trends and their significance, first and foremost to determine their implication on the State of Israel and its interests.


For more on Prof. Ronen click here.