The Washington Institute (23)

Arabs Must Accept Jerusalem's Status

On Wednesday, the Trump administration declared Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. It is the right decision and long overdue to repair the historical injustice and recognize the reality of many decades that Jerusalem is the eternal capital of the Jewish people. As God told Moses in the Koran, "O my ...

For Israel at the UN, Quiet Respect and Continued Public Hostility

On December 5, 2017, the Washington Institute for Near East Policy honored three former Israeli ambassadors who fought for justice and fairness at the United Nations: Dore Gold, Dan Gillerman, and Ron Prosor. The awards ceremony, held in New York City, took place on the eve of the 70th anniversary ...

Managing the Shift in U.S. Relations with Syria's Kurds

In a November 24 call with Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan, President Trump reportedly pledged to stop providing arms to the Syrian Kurdish People's Defense Units , according to Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu. U.S. officials have qualified such reports, suggesting that no immediate cutoff ...

Moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem Is Not a Disaster

Few issues in the Middle East are more evocative than Jerusalem. Arab leaders' public responses to U.S. President Donald Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital this week have been swift and negative at least in part because they had little forewarning of what was coming and could not ...

The Perilous Future of Post-Saleh Yemen

Yemen's capital is reportedly quieting down after several days of fierce fighting between pro-Iranian Houthi rebels and forces that had supported Ali Abdullah Saleh, the one-time president turned rebel ally who was apparently trying to reach safe territory when his convoy was ambushed on December 4. ...

How Trump's Jerusalem Announcement Will Shape Palestinian Politics

Earlier today, President Trump announced that the United States would recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and eventually move the American embassy there, breaking with nearly 70 years of U.S. policy. The announcement has put Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in a tough position. Abbas was ...

Iran May Double Down on Foreign Militias After Its 'Victory' Against the Islamic State

On November 21, Maj. Gen. Qasem Soleimani, commander of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Qods Force , sent a letter to Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei in which he declared victory over the Islamic State "caliphate" in Syria and Iraq. In his reply, Khamenei called on all "Mojahed" forces to ...

Trump Leads From Behind in Syria

President Trump has made reversing his predecessor's legacy a guiding principle, except in one area: Syria. Much like President Obama, Mr. Trump's policy has been exclusively anti-Islamic State, giving Iran and Russia a free hand to dictate outcomes in the country. This won't end well... Read the ...

Why the Wording of Trump's Jerusalem Announcement Matters

The Trump administration has announced that the president will make a statement about Jerusalem on December 6, and his remarks may include some kind of affirmation that the city is Israel's capital. When it comes to peacemaking between Israel, the Palestinians, and Arab states, no issue is more ...

Possible Iranian Links to the Claimed Houthi Missile Launch Against the UAE

On December 3, Houthi rebels in Yemen announced that they had fired a "winged cruise missile" at the construction site for al-Barakah nuclear power plant, located 230 km southwest of Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates. UAE military authorities dismissed the claim, asserting that no strike was ...

Russia's Goals Go Beyond Damascus

It is dangerous to over- or underestimate Vladimir Putin. He had plans for the Middle East, particularly Syria, from the very beginning, and pursued them consistently. As he did so, the West dismissed Russia's influence as inconsequential, wavered, and failed to craft its own clear vision. Yet for ...

Slavery in Libya: The Migration Crisis Reaches New Heights

Since being broadcast on November 11, a CNN report on slave auctions in Libya has prompted international outrage. African artists and sports figures in Europe have protested during performances and matches, and demonstrations have erupted outside Libyan embassies in Brussels, London, Paris, and ...

How Trump Is Going After Hezbollah in America's Backyard

The Trump administration is pushing back aggressively against what the intelligence community often refers to as the "Iran Threat Network" or ITN, and as part of that campaign it is especially keen to focus on the activities of Hezbollah, the pro-Iranian Lebanese militia, in Latin America. Now, new ...

How Hamas' Military Wing Threatens Reconciliation With Fatah

A few days ago, Hamas, Fatah, and 11 other Palestinian factions met for talks in Cairo to finalize a national political reconciliation process that would reunite the West Bank and Gaza Strip. The key sticking point in the talks was monopoly over the use of force. Fatah leader and PA President ...

70 Years After Partition, a Two-State Solution Is Still Possible

Vice President Pence went to the Queens Museum in New York yesterday to commemorate the site of the old United Nations, which 70 years ago today voted for partition to divide the land and establish Arab and Jewish states. The question 70 years later is, is West Bank partition still feasible? Aside ...

Settlements and Solutions

Is a two-state solution still possible for Israelis and Palestinians? Part of answering this question requires understanding the geographic distribution of Israeli settlements in the West Bank. The Washington Institute's interactive project, Settlements and Solutions, is a first-of-its-kind ...

The Regional Dimensions of Hariri's Resignation: Will Iran and Hizballah Compromise?

Earlier this month, while Arab League foreign ministers gathered in Cairo for an emergency meeting called by Saudi Arabia to declare Hizballah a "terrorist organization," Qassem Soleimani, leader of the Iranian Quds Force, was declaring victory in Syria. In a video released immediately after the ...

Beyond Islamists and Autocrats:

The optimism that briefly followed the 2010-11 Arab Spring has long since faded, with a string of political crises, internal crackdowns, and wars casting a long shadow over the prospects for true democratization. The formidable threats posed by Iranian adventurism and jihadist onslaught have ...

An Egyptian Goes to Israel

As a child in Egypt, my image of my Jewish countrymen was shaped by the numerous Egyptian television dramas that depicted them as spies, thieves and fifth columnists. I never knew any Jewish people personally. Naturally it came as a shock when, during my first visit to Israel in 2014, I met a man ...

Why the 1947 UN Partition Resolution Must Be Celebrated

Earlier this month, the governments of Britain and Israel marked the centenary of the Balfour Declaration with much fanfare. From London to Jerusalem, prime ministers, parliamentarians, and protesters weighed in. The world's major media outlets ran extended analyses, while historians enjoyed their ...

High-Level Contacts Between North Korea and Iran Hint at Deeper Military Cooperation

High-level meetings between North Korean and Iranian officials in recent months are stoking concerns inside the U.S. government about the depth of military ties between the two American adversaries. In September, President Trump ordered U.S. intelligence agencies to conduct a fresh review of any ...

Beyond Islamists and Autocrats:

The optimism that briefly followed the 2010-11 "Arab Spring" has long since faded, with a string of political crises, internal crackdowns, and wars casting a long shadow over the prospects for true democratization. The formidable threats posed by Iranian adventurism and jihadist onslaught have ...

Russia's Questionable Counterterrorism Record

In theory, Russia and the United States are on the same side in the war on terrorism. Both have suffered Islamist extremist attacks on their own soil, and both oppose the Islamic State. President Obama often stated he was ready to work with Russia in Syria and in June 2016 proposed a military ...