• Policy Analysis

    Doomed to Fail: Syria is not Ready for a Ceasefire

    Sep 23, 2016Joe Macaron

    For the second time in nearly six months, Washington and Moscow are striving to implement a nationwide ceasefire in Syria. The ultimate objective of establishi…

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    IranSecurity and Defense

    Congressional Update – September 23, 2016

    Sep 23, 2016

    Despite several pressing issues, such as the need to pass a Continuing Resolution (CR) by September 30, Congress is determined to press the Obama Administratio…

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    IranSecurity and Defense

    Congressional Update

    Sep 22, 2016

    Despite several pressing issues, such as the need to pass a Continuing Resolution (CR) by September 30, Congress is determined to press the Obama Administratio…

  • Policy Analysis

    New US-Israeli Military Aid Package Reflects Shifts in Relationship

    Sep 15, 2016Yousef Munayyer

    On September 14, 2016 the United States and Israel signed a new 10-year Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on military aid, which replaces a previous MOU set to…

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    Saudi ArabiaUS Domestic Politics and Elections

    House Passes JASTA Amid White House Opposition: Implications for the US-Saudi Relationship

    Sep 13, 2016

    The US House of Representatives passed by unanimous voice vote on September 9, S2040, the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act (JASTA), a bill to allow fa…

  • Policy Analysis

    Senate Races 2016 Update

    Sep 7, 2016

    In 62 days voters will cast their ballots for President and for 34 Senate seats up for re-election.  Democrats remain cautiously optimistic that their party ca…

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    IranSecurity and Defense

    The Legislative Agenda for the Month of September

    Sep 7, 2016

    Congress returned to session on September 6 after a seven-week summer recess.  Congress will be in session for the month of September with a targeted adjournme…

  • Policy Analysis

    Implications of Al-Qaeda Rebranding in Syria

    Aug 31, 2016Radwan Ziadeh

     The announcement by the top leader of Al-Nusra Front in Syria Abu Mohammed Joulani to distance his group from Al-Qaeda last month was very controversial.…

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    Saudi ArabiaSecurity and Defense

    Congressional Update

    Aug 31, 2016

    Arms Sale to Saudi ArabiaCongressional criticism of the pending arms sale to Saudi Arabia has grown louder, even though the sale is likely to go through.On Aug…

  • Policy Analysis

    The US fatal mistake in northern Syria

    Aug 31, 2016Joe Macaron

     The moment the Turkish incursion into Syrian Territory began on August 24, the stage was set for a looming direct military confrontation between Ankara a…

  • Policy Analysis

    Biden in Ankara enticing Erdogan to weigh his options

    Aug 24, 2016Joe Macaron

    Vice President Joe Biden visited Ankara on August 24 to salvage the remnants of US interests in Turkey. The July 15 military coup attempt left President Recep …

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    IranSecurity and Defense

    Congressional Update – Week of August 15, 2016

    Aug 24, 2016

    I. Saudi ArabiaProposed Arms Sale: On August 8 the Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) notified Congress of its intention to sell to the Kingdom of Saud…

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    US Domestic Politics and Elections

    How the Electoral College Works

    Aug 24, 2016

    The Electoral College has served as a vehicle for American democracy since the country’s birth over two centuries ago. Yet, not many people (including American…

  • Policy Analysis

    The 2016 Congressional Elections

    Aug 11, 2016John Gregory

    I. Can Democrats Reclaim the Senate?Every two years, one-third of the Senate is up for re-election.  Elections are staggered to avoid having both Senators from…

  • Policy Analysis

    A Sane Alternative to Trump: Hillary has yet to Define her Nomination

    Aug 2, 2016

    After scrambling to unite her Democratic Party at the outset of the convention in Philadelphia last week, presidential nominee Hillary Clinton rolled out her n…

  • Policy Analysis

    DNC 2016 Platform: In Denial over Mideast Challenges, Dispensable Language on Israel

    Jul 29, 2016

    Like every partisan document in a tense prelude to national elections, the 2016 Democratic platform reflected the party’s status quo with presidential nominee …

  • Policy Analysis

    Democratic Party Unity Remains a Challenge for Hillary Clinton

    Jul 27, 2016

    The Democratic Party confirmed on July 26 the candidacy of Hillary Clinton, making her the first female presidential nominee of a major party in American polit…

  • Policy Analysis

    Trump’s Convention Speech and the Rise of Conservative Nationalism

    Jul 25, 2016

    Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump is the first American politician in modern history to invoke both nationalism and populism in a successful bid to …

  • Policy Analysis

    Democratic Vice Presidential Candidate Tim Kaine: A Political Profile

    Jul 23, 2016

    Timothy Michael “Tim” Kaine was born in St. Paul, Minnesota, on February 26, 1958, but grew up mainly in the suburbs of Kansas City, Missouri. After graduating…

  • Policy Analysis

    Republican Vice Presidential Nominee Mike Pence: A Political Profile

    Jul 20, 2016

    Indiana Governor Mike Pence was born on June 7, 1959, in Columbus, Indiana. His family was Irish Catholic and Democratic and had President John F. Kennedy as o…

  • Policy Analysis

    GOP Platform on the Middle East Offers Tough Talk, Little Change

    Jul 20, 2016

    As far as the 2016 Republican Party Platform is concerned, the campaign of the presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump is nowhere to be found. The hands-of…

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    IranJustice, Equality, and Human Rights

    Congressional Update

    Jul 20, 2016

    Note: Congress has adjourned for an extended August recess and will return on September 6.  Weekly congressional updates will be provided as needed and regular…

  • Policy Analysis

    With Trump Taking Over, A New Republican Party Is Born

    Jul 19, 2016

    The Republican National Convention began its deliberations on July 18 to confirm the party’s presidential and vice-presidential nominees for the 2016 US nation…

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    IranUS Foreign Policy

    Congressional Update

    Jul 12, 2016

    Note:  Congress will adjourn on July 18 for an extended summer recess and will not return to session until September 6. Members will attend the Republican and …

  • Policy Analysis

    The Week that Cut Turkey’s Ambitions Down to Size

    Jul 7, 2016Yousef Munayyer

    Although signs of policy adjustment have been in the works for several months, the events of June 2016 were an emphatic marker of a shift in Turkey’s foreign p…

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    BahrainJustice, Equality, and Human Rights

    Congressional Update

    Jul 6, 2016

    I. Bahrain(1) Bahrain Human Rights Abuses: On June 30, Senator Chris Murphy (D-Connecticut), and six Democratic colleagues sent a letter to Secretary of State …

  • Policy Analysis

    New Rules of Engagement for US-Hezbollah Arm Wrestling in Lebanon

    Jul 6, 2016Joe Macaron

    Lebanon is the only country in the Middle East where US policy is actively seeking to deter Iran’s regional influence. Washington is directly targeting Hezboll…

  • Policy Analysis

    The State Department’s “Dissent Memo” and US Options in Syria

    Jul 6, 2016Radwan Ziadeh

    On June 16, 2016, a dissent memo regarding Syria was filed with the Director of Policy Planning at the US State Department criticizing the Obama Administration…

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    LevantMigrants, Refugees, and IDPs

    Congressional Update

    Jun 24, 2016

    The House abruptly adjourned on June 22 amid chaos when Democrats staged a sit-in on the House floor disrupting proceedings.  Led by civil rights icon Represen…

  • Research Paper

    The Gender Paradox of Arab Democracy

    Jun 22, 2016Tamara Kharroub

    On 17 December 2010, 26-year-old Tunisian street vendor Tarek al-Tayeb Mohamed Bouazizi was slapped across the face in front of a crowd and insulted by a munic…

  • Policy Analysis

    Courting the Houthis did not Yield Peace Deal in Yemen

    Jun 22, 2016Joe Macaron

    United Nations Special Envoy for Yemen Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed briefed the Security Council on June 21, 2016 marking 60 days of relentless diplomatic efforts …

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    EgyptSecurity and Defense

    Congressional Update

    Jun 17, 2016

    (June 10 - 17, 2016) I. Israeli-PalestinianOn June 1, Senator David Perdue (R-Georgia) sent a letter to Secretary of State Kerry, expressing his concerns …

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    LevantUS Domestic Politics and Elections

    Congressional Update – The Relationship between Israel and the Palestinians

    Jun 15, 2016

    On June 14 the Senate passed the National Defense Authorization Act, S2943, by a vote of 85-13.  The vote occurred after a compromise manager’s amendment by Se…

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    LevantProtests and Activism

    Congressional Update – Combatting BDS Act

    Jun 15, 2016

    On June 14 the Senate passed the National Defense Authorization Act, S2943, by a vote of 85-13.  The vote occurred after a compromise manager’s amendment by Se…

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    LevantProtests and Activism

    Congressional Update – Combatting BDS Act of 2016

    Jun 6, 2016

    On Monday, June 6 the Senate began consideration of the FY 2017 Defense Authorization bill, S2943. Senators are expected to consider nearly 100 amendments to t…

  • Policy Analysis

    Assessing the Potential Impact of the Paris Peace Conference: Vive la France or Forget Paris?

    Jun 4, 2016Yousef Munayyer

    One hundred years after the Sykes-Picot agreement, international stakeholders met in Paris on June 3 to discuss the outlines of an Israeli-Palestinian peace pl…

  • Policy Analysis

    Battle over Fallujah Tests US-Iran Tacit Deal against ISIL

    Jun 3, 2016Joe Macaron

     As Major General Qassem Soleimani, commander of Iran’s al-Quds Force, was reportedly spotted in the northern outskirts of the besieged city of Fallujah, …

  • Policy Analysis

    Why the World Shouldn’t Panic About Trump

    Jun 1, 2016Joe Macaron

    “Everything I say right now is a suggestion, I am not the President,” the Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump told Fox News on May 13. However, his …

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    IranSecurity and Defense

    Congressional Update

    May 27, 2016

    (May 20-27, 2016)Congress has been preoccupied with Saudi Arabia and Iran this week as noted in the push to enact the Justice against Sponsors of Terrorism Act…

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    Saudi ArabiaUS Foreign Policy

    US-Saudi Relations – Update: Senate Passes Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act

    May 23, 2016

    On May 17, the Senate passed by voice vote S2040 The Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act, referred to as the “JASTA,” after agreeing to a substitute amen…

  • Policy Analysis

    Lessons of Israel’s Political Shuffle

    May 20, 2016Yousef Munayyer

    The latest political move by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is significant on many fronts. Yesterday the news was reported that Netanyahu had offere…

  • Policy Analysis

    What Municipal Elections Mean for Lebanon

    May 17, 2016Joe Macaron

    Lebanon is holding this month municipal elections across the country, the first electoral test since the start of the Syrian war. The ruling traditional partie…

  • Policy Analysis

    Navigating Pitfalls and Opportunities: Obama’s Parting Shot on Israel/Palestine

    May 17, 2016Yousef Munayyer

     President Obama, who gave his first interview to Al-Arabiya in 2009 and spoke again few months later in his Cairo address about Palestinian aspirations, …

  • Policy Analysis

    The Paris Initiative and US Middle East Policy: Paving the Way for the 4th Intifada – Why justice is the only roadmap to peace

    May 16, 2016Tamara Kharroub

     In the middle of the US presidential election season, France has elected to take the opportunity and break the US monopoly over the Middle East peace pro…

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    IranMedia and Technology

    Congressional Update

    May 13, 2016Roxanne Perugino

    I. PalestinePalestinian Children’s’ Rights. On April 28, 2016, Representative Betty McCollum (D-Minnesota) circulated a letter to her colleagues urging Preside…

  • Policy Analysis

    Defeating ISIL is Not Enough to Save Iraq

    May 10, 2016Joe Macaron

    Two years into the fight against the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and amid the persistent downward trend of global oil prices, Iraq is obviously…

  • Policy Analysis

    The Coming Change in US-Israel Relations

    May 10, 2016Yousef Munayyer

    The discussion on Israel at the most recent Democratic presidential debate is but the latest benchmark in progress down a road on which the American people hav…

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    Saudi ArabiaUS Foreign Policy

    Saudi Arabia: Under Congressional Scrutiny

    May 4, 2016

    There has been a debate in Washington about the nature of the US-Saudi relationship which recently has been fraught with tension due largely to the Iran nuclea…

  • Policy Analysis

    Freedom of religion as a foundation of Arab democracy: An Arab view of the 2016 report of US Commission on International Religious Freedom

    May 3, 2016

    The onset of the so-called “Arab Spring” in 2011 gave hope to millions of people across the Arab world that change is possible and that freedoms, democratic tr…

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    LebanonReligion and Politics

    Congressional Update

    Apr 29, 2016

     Note:  Congress will recess at the end of the week.  The House will return on Tuesday, May 10, the Senate will return on Monday, May 9. The next Congress…

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    US Foreign Policy

    Congressional Update

    Apr 22, 2016

    I. Israeli/PalestinianIsraeli Security/Two State Solution. On April 18, Representatives John Yarmuth (D-Kentucky), David Price (D-North Carolina), Lloyd Dogget…

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    Religion and Politics

    Who is Behind the Effort to Declare the Muslim Brotherhood a Terrorist Organization

    Apr 20, 2016

    (amended)The issue of designating the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) a foreign terrorist organization (FTO) has gained momentum in recent months.During an April 13 he…

  • Policy Analysis

    Wanted: A US Strategy in the Middle East

    Apr 11, 2016Yousef Munayyer

    In 2006, as Israel and Hezbollah were engaged in what would be a 34­day war, the longest of any Arab­Israeli war since 1948, US Secretary of State Condoleezza …

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    EgyptThe GCC

    Congressional Update – April 11, 2016

    Apr 11, 2016

    I. Iran:On April 5, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee (SFRC) held a hearing on Iran’s compliance with the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). Test…

  • Policy Analysis

    The promise of democratic socialism: Bernie Sanders, Palestine, and US policy in the Middle East

    Apr 11, 2016

    Bernard (or Bernie) Sanders is one of two remaining candidates running for the Democratic Party’s nomination for the 2016 US presidential elections. Following …

  • Research Paper

    Time for Transitional Justice and National Reconciliation in Syria

    Apr 8, 2016Radwan Ziadeh

    Transitional justice refers to a group of activities or investigations that focuses on communities with a legacy of human rights violations, genocide, or other…

  • Research Paper

    Jordan’s Azraq Refugee Camp – A Pictorial Essay

    Mar 25, 2016Priscilla Philippi

    When the conflict in Syria broke out in March of  2011, there was no indication as to the duration or the enormity of the ensuing humanitarian crisis.  Accordi…

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    IranMigrants, Refugees, and IDPs

    Congressional Update – March 23, 2016

    Mar 23, 2016

    Note:  Congress has adjourned for the Easter break.  The Senate will return to session on Monday, April 4. The House is scheduled to return to session on Tuesd…

  • Policy Analysis

    The Obama Doctrine from a Middle East Perspective: Orientalism, Inaction, Contradiction, and Lack of Accountability

    Mar 18, 2016

    In a lengthy narrative collection of conversations and interviews with President Obama and others, journalist Jeffry Goldberg’s tedious tale of “The Obama Doct…

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    Migrants, Refugees, and IDPs

    The Refugee Program Integrity Restoration Act of 2016

    Mar 18, 2016

    On March 16, the House Judiciary Committee approved legislation that would provide for an annual adjustment of the number of admissible refugees to the United …

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    LevantConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    Congressional Update – March 11, 2016

    Mar 11, 2016

    1. IsraelUS-Israel Economic Relationship: On March 1, Senators David Perdue (R-Georgia), Jon Tester (D-Montana) and Chris Coons (D-Delaware) introduced SRes 38…

  • Policy Analysis

    Saudi Arabia Goes on the Offensive against Hezbollah

    Mar 8, 2016Joe Macaron

    Saudi Arabia’s explicit identification of the Iranian-backed Hezbollah as a strategic threat is a tipping point in the underlying tensions between both sides. …

  • Policy Analysis

    US Presidential Candidates’ Middle East Policy Positions (Infographics)

    Mar 8, 2016

    In five simple infographics, this report summarizes the US presidential candidates’ positions on all the important Middle East issues. The infographic report c…

  • Public Opinion Survey
    Bar chart showing a majority of those in the Arab world believe Democracy is the best form of government for their home country.
    Democracy and Governance

    The 2015 Arab Opinion Index: Arab Public Attitudes Towards Democracy

    Mar 7, 2016

    The 2015 Arab Opinion Index (AOI) is the fourth in a series of yearly public opinion surveys conducted by The Arab Center for Research and Policy Studies (ACRP…

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    LebanonUS Foreign Policy

    Congressional Update – February 29, 2016

    Feb 29, 2016

    1. Terrorism(1) Designating the Muslim Brotherhood a Foreign Terrorist Organization (HR 3892) – On February 23, the House Judiciary Committee approved HR 3892,…

  • Policy Analysis

    US in Libya: The Challenges of a Third Front against ISIL

    Feb 25, 2016Joe Macaron

    President Barack Obama’s Administration is considering the opening of a critical third front against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in Libya. …

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    Religion and Politics

    Congressional Update – February 25, 2016

    Feb 25, 2016

    Designating the Muslim Brotherhood a Foreign Terrorist Organization (HR 3892)On February 23, the House Judiciary Committee approved HR 3892, a bill to designat…

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    US Domestic Politics and Elections

    Glossary of Legislative Terms

    Feb 16, 2016

    Act – A bill passed in identical Form by both houses of Congress and signed into law by the President or enacted over his veto. Also called a Public Law.Amendm…

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    Security and Defense

    Congressional Update – February 16, 2016

    Feb 16, 2016

    1. PalestinePLO Office – On February 10 Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Florida), Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee (HFAC) Subcommittee on …

  • Policy Analysis

    Presidential Elections 2016: Profile of Senator Bernie Sanders

    Feb 8, 2016Roxanne Perugino

    Roxanne Perugino

  • Policy Analysis

    Presidential Elections 2016: Profile of Senator Ted Cruz

    Feb 7, 2016

    Personal Background:Senator Ted Cruz was elected to the US Senate from Texas in November 2012, replacing fellow Republican Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison. He is …

  • Policy Analysis

    The Emergence of a New Triangular Relationship in the Middle East

    Jan 29, 2016Joe Macaron

    The implementation of the Iran nuclear deal on January 16 reinforced the emergence of a new triangular relationship in the Middle East involving the United Sta…

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    IranMigrants, Refugees, and IDPs

    Congressional Update – January 20th, 2016

    Jan 20, 2016Roxanne Perugino

    Roxanne Perugino

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    US Domestic Politics and Elections

    Understanding The US Legislative Process

    Jan 10, 2016

    Forms of Congressional ActionUnder the US Constitution, Congress initiates legislation. Legislation passed by Congress must be signed by the President to becom…

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    US Domestic Politics and Elections

    Foreign Assistance Legislation: The Authorization and Appropriation Process

    Jan 9, 2016

    Authorization versus Appropriations LegislationTheory: In theory, Congress should follow a two-step legislative process (authorization and appropriation) that …

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    Security and Defense

    Congressional Update – January 8, 2016

    Jan 8, 2016

    1. FY 2016 Consolidated Appropriations ActMiddle East Provisions of the State, Foreign Operations bill in the Consolidated Appropriations bill.In the days imme…

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    US Domestic Politics and Elections

    The Foreign Policy Powers of Congress

    Jan 8, 2016

    The US Constitution contains ambiguities regarding the roles of Congress and the President in making foreign policy. In practice, strong Presidents and legisla…

  • Public Opinion Survey
    Pie chart indicating the Arab world has an overwhelmingly negative view of ISIL (ISIS).
    SyriaViolent Extremism

    The 2015 Arab Opinion Index: ISIL and Syria

    Dec 21, 2015

    The Arab Center for Research and Policy Studies 2015 Arab Opinion Index (AOI) was based on 18,311 face-to-face interviews conducted in 12 different Arab countr…

  • Policy Analysis

    The “Dos and Don’ts” of Defeating ISIS: Obama’s wasted 13-minutes

    Dec 6, 2015Tamara Kharroub Roxanne Perugino

    Tamara Kharroub and Roxanne Perugino