• Policy Analysis
    IraqIdentity Politics and Sectarianization

    Time to Reboot American-Iraqi Relations

    Sep 13, 2018Charles W. Dunne

    As the conflict in Syria draws to its inevitable bloody close, the United States can't afford to ignore Iraq. In fact, it is time to reboot US-Iraqi relations.

  • Viewpoint
    LevantInternational Law

    The Trump Administration’s “Peace Plan” Threatens Global Peace and Security

    Sep 12, 2018Tamara Kharroub

    On September 10, 2018, the United States ordered the closure of the Palestine Liberation Organization’s (PLO) office in Washington, DC. A statement by the Depa…

  • Policy Analysis
    EgyptDemocracy and Governance

    Five Years after Sisi’s Coup: Soul Searching, Resistance, and Division

    Sep 12, 2018Daniel Brumberg

    Sisi is building a full autocracy in Egypt. He will not be intimidated by pushback from state-linked elites but by a genuine healing of the Islamist-secular br…

  • Policy Analysis
    LibyaDemocracy and Governance

    Libya Cries Out for More International Commitment

    Sep 7, 2018Imad K. Harb

    Despite the UN’s efforts to assist Libya, it remains up to the country’s leaders themselves to agree to a political settlement and begin to restore the authori…

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    LevantUS Domestic Politics and Elections

    Congressional Update – Week Ending September 7, 2018

    Senator Lankford seeks to reform UNRWA aid while House members seek to end US support for the Yemen war; details emerge on White House peace plan and Trump opt…

  • Policy Analysis
    LevantUS Foreign Policy

    The Trump Administration’s Grandstand on Idlib

    Sep 7, 2018Joe Macaron

    As Russia and the Syrian regime gear up for the Idlib offensive, the United States is giving Moscow a free hand short of using chemical weapons.

  • Policy Analysis
    LevantConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    The Battle for Idlib: Three Scenarios

    Sep 5, 2018Marwan Kabalan

    After using de-escalation zones to take over one rebel-held area after the other, Russia has its eyes now on Idlib.

  • Policy Analysis
    LevantMigrants, Refugees, and IDPs

    Defunding UNRWA: Ramifications for Countries Hosting Palestinian Refugees

    Disbanding UNRWA will not only be disastrous for registered Palestinian refugees, but it will also have a serious and adverse impact on the countries hosting t…

  • Policy Analysis
    Saudi ArabiaJustice, Equality, and Human Rights

    Saudi Arabia’s Extrajudicial Arrests: Between Reforms, Modernization, and Human Rights Violations

    Aug 31, 2018Tamara Kharroub

    The White House deals another blow to Palestinians, cutting millions of dollars in aid; Trump Administration officials pan Washington to talk Syria, Yemen, Ira…

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    IranJustice, Equality, and Human Rights

    Congressional Update – Week Ending August 31, 2018

    Aug 31, 2018Marcus Montgomery

    I. CongressThe House was on its last week of recess and senators cut short their work week, in part to pay tribute to their late colleague, John McCain, who di…

  • Viewpoint
    IraqDemocracy and Governance

    The Complicated Formation of the Iraqi Government

    Iraq’s fourth parliament since the 2003 American invasion will convene in regular session on September 3, amid confusion and speculation about the formation of…

  • Policy Analysis
    JordanMigrants, Refugees, and IDPs

    Washington Adopts Israel’s Positions: The Refugee Chapter

    Aug 29, 2018Yousef Munayyer

    President Trump has presided over making American policy toward Israel and Palestine more in line with Israeli positions; now with respect to the Palestinian r…

  • Policy Analysis
    LevantRegional Relations and Geopolitics

    The Trump Administration’s Objectives in Syria

    Aug 28, 2018Imad K. Harb

    American officials’ latest pronouncements on Syria are intended to help insinuate some important preferences as the conflict there arguably nears its end on Ru…

  • Viewpoint
    Saudi ArabiaDemocracy and Governance

    Saudi Arabia: Half Reform, Half Revolution

    Aug 24, 2018Adel Marzooq

    The Saudi reform project coincides with the appointment of Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud as the new crown prince in June 2017. From the outset, man…

  • Policy Analysis
    LevantSecurity and Defense

    US Defense Budget Prioritizes Securing Israel over Deterring Iran

    Aug 24, 2018Joe Macaron

    The 2019 US defense budget reveals that the Trump administration has no clear way forward for Syria or Yemen and that its commitment to Israel exceeds the US d…

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    IranMigrants, Refugees, and IDPs

    Congressional Update – Week Ending August 24, 2018

    Aug 24, 2018Marcus Montgomery

    I. CongressThe House remains on recess, but the Senate worked its first full week since taking a brief recess earlier in August. The upper chamber is looking t…

  • Policy Analysis
    IranConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    Complications of the Houthis’ Role in the Red Sea

    The Houthis’ attack on two Saudi Arabian tankers near the Bab al-Mandab waterway prompts questions about whether they and Iran can disrupt shipping in the Red …

  • Viewpoint
    The Arabian Peninsula and The GulfConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    Congress is Rattled by the US Role in Yemen—But Will It Matter?

    Aug 22, 2018Marcus Montgomery

    Criticism from Capitol Hill has been largely symbolic because few in the Republican majorities in the House and Senate have opted to challenge the president on…

  • Policy Analysis
    BahrainRegional Relations and Geopolitics

    The Exclusionary Turn in GCC Politics

    The emergence of a hyper-hawkish geopolitical axis running from Riyadh to Abu Dhabi has widened existing fractures within the GCC and inflicted potentially lon…

  • Policy Analysis
    LevantConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    Shifting the Balance of Power from Ramallah to Gaza

    Aug 17, 2018Khalil E. Jahshan

    If successfully implemented, the latest agreement on a cease-fire between Israel and Hamas may pave the way for a radical change in Palestinian power from the …

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    IranSecurity and Defense

    Congressional Update – Week Ending August 17, 2018

    Aug 17, 2018Marcus Montgomery

    The National Defense Authorization Act becomes law, so Senate turns to the defense budget; Trump, Congress to square off over Yemen; White House cuts funds to …

  • Policy Analysis
    LevantConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    Why Are Israel and Hamas Negotiating a Cease-fire Now?

    Aug 16, 2018Yousef Munayyer

    As the Trump Administration speaks of a “deal of the century,” questions arise about why Israel and Hamas are negotiating for a truce in the Gaza Strip.

  • Policy Analysis
    LevantInternational Law

    Israel Returns to Basics in Syria: “Better the devil you know”

    Aug 15, 2018Joe Macaron

    After nearly seven years of unrest next door, Israel opted to coexist with the Assad regime and to return to the stability in the occupied Golan Heights that l…

  • Policy Analysis
    LevantConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    The Ticking Time Bomb of Northern Syria

    Aug 15, 2018Mustafa Gurbuz

    The Assad regime’s coming Idlib offensive will cause serious troubles and endanger the US security structure in northern Syria.

  • Policy Analysis
    QatarThe GCC

    Can a GCC Reconciliation Summit at Camp David Succeed?

    President Trump is planning to host a GCC reconciliation summit in September to shore up Arab support for his Iran policies; but to succeed, he will need to re…

  • Policy Analysis
    IranConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    Putin Arbitrates Iran’s Presence in Syria

    Aug 10, 2018Daniel Brumberg

    Rumors of a rocky Russian-Iranian alliance have been greatly exaggerated. Putin as arbiter in Syria will only do what serves Russia’s influence there.

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    LevantUS Domestic Politics and Elections

    Congressional Update – Week Ending August 10, 2018

    Aug 10, 2018Marcus Montgomery

    A Palestinian-American is poised to become first female Muslim elected to Congress; White House tackles Iran sanctions at the same time its peace plan for Isra…

  • Viewpoint
    Saudi ArabiaJustice, Equality, and Human Rights

    The Latest Example of Erratic Saudi Foreign Policy

    Aug 9, 2018Imad K. Harb

    Once again, impulsive, ill-advised, and harmful foreign policy decisions are negatively impacting Saudi Arabia’s global standing. The kingdom has expelled the …

  • Policy Analysis
    IranConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    A Dangerous Confusion in US Iran Policy

    Aug 7, 2018Charles W. Dunne

    The latest Trump Iran tweet and announcement revealed a lack of a coherent Iran policy in the wake of the US withdrawal from the JCPOA regulating Iran’s nuclea…

  • Policy Analysis
    LevantEducation and Development

    The State of Education in the Arab World

    Aug 6, 2018Ilham Nasser

    When closely examining reports on the status of education in the Arab region, the main conclusions have pointed to the Arab states’ deficits in educational att…

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    LevantSecurity and Defense

    Congressional Update – Week Ending August 3, 2018

    I. CongressMembers of the House have the month of August off, so many will be preparing for reelection fights that are less than 100 days away. While there may…

  • Viewpoint
    Security and Defense

    An Arab NATO? The Folly of Trusting Trump

    Jul 31, 2018Imad K. Harb

    The Trump Administration is said to be pushing for establishing a Middle East Strategic Alliance (MESA). Discussions for the plan will be conducted during a su…

  • Policy Analysis
    LevantDemocracy and Governance

    Replacing Mahmoud Abbas: Issues and Likely Candidates

    Jul 30, 2018Bishara Bahbah

    Speculation has been rampant in the Palestinian, Arab, and international press about succession to Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas, who is g…

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    EgyptSecurity and Defense

    Congressional Update – Week Ending July 27, 2018

    Jul 27, 2018Marcus Montgomery

    Lawmakers talk human rights in Egypt, stabilizing Iraq after IS, and protecting Palestinian children; the Trump Administration again assails Palestinians while…

  • Policy Analysis
    LevantRegional Relations and Geopolitics

    Middle East Concerns of American Strategic Planners

    US strategic planners involved in the Middle East have concentrated on protecting vital sea lanes and assisting partner countries against threats, but without …

  • Policy Analysis
    LevantIdentity Politics and Sectarianization

    Separate and Unequal in Israel: The Foundations of Discriminatory Law

    Jul 26, 2018Yousef Munayyer

    Israel’s new nation-state law enshrines discrimination, with constitutional weight, into the Israeli state’s legal system, spelling further marginalization and…

  • Viewpoint
    US Domestic Politics and Elections

    Citizenship Question on Census Form is Counterproductive

    Jul 25, 2018Imad Hamad

    The U.S. Constitution requires a census of the population every 10 years. The census is a treasure trove of information for the private and the public sector. …

  • Policy Analysis
    IraqDemocracy and Governance

    Iraq’s Southern Intifada: Mere Demands or a Popular Revolution?

    The latest protests in Iraq point to a public backlash against entrenched Shia parties involved in widespread corruption, sectarian politics, and loyalty to Ir…

  • Policy Analysis
    LibyaConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    Facing Extremism and Preventing Fragmentation in Libya

    Jul 24, 2018Mustafa Gurbuz

    With deepening economic and security crises, Libya may be headed toward a future of fragmentation in which extremist groups find a fertile breeding ground.

  • Research Paper
    LevantDemocracy and Governance

    What does the “Jewish Nation” basic law mean?

    Jul 24, 2018Azmi Bishara

    A first glance at the law suffices to reveal that — unlike the rest of Israeli basic laws (the constitutional laws) — it does not include the expression “Israe…

  • Viewpoint
    LevantInternational Law

    Israel Legalizes Apartheid and Ethnocentric Supremacy

    Jul 20, 2018Khalil E. Jahshan

    For a government that has coined its own term—“Hasbara,” the Hebrew word for “explanation”—for its international propaganda efforts, Israel never fails to amaz…

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    LevantSecurity and Defense

    Congressional Update – Week Ending July 20, 2018

    Jul 20, 2018Marcus Montgomery

    Senator Van Hollen explores Congress’ role in asserting US leadership in the Middle East; some in the US seek to push Washington to recognize Israel’s annexati…

  • Viewpoint
    EgyptDemocracy and Governance

    Five Years after Sisi’s Coup: More Repression and a President for Life

    Jul 20, 2018Imad K. Harb

    Five years after the military coup of July 2013, Egypt’s domestic conditions appear to be heading toward increased authoritarianism, state repression, and regi…

  • Policy Analysis
    IraqEnergy and Economics

    Controlling the Nasib Crossing Is a Game Changer for the Syrian Regime

    Jul 19, 2018Joe Macaron

    The imminent opening of the Nasib crossing on the Syrian-Jordanian border could revitalize commercial activities in the Levant; but challenges lie ahead, inclu…

  • Policy Analysis
    LevantIdentity Politics and Sectarianization

    BDS and Palestinian Rights: An Assessment

    Jul 18, 2018Yousef Munayyer

    The aim of BDS is to pressure Israel to abide by international law, focusing on three principal demands: ending military occupation of Palestinian land, securi…

  • Policy Analysis
    LibyaDemocracy and Governance

    Libya: Controlling Oil, Fearing Partition

    Jul 16, 2018Arab Center for Research and Policy Studies (ACRPS)

    In light of Libya’s institutional fragmentation between east and west, control of the Oil Crescent and its revenues has become a determining factor in the coun…

  • Policy Analysis
    LevantDemocracy and Governance

    Proposed Basic Law: Israel – The Nation State of the Jewish People

    Jul 16, 2018Adalah – The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel

    The Basic Law states that "the State of Israel is the nation-state of the Jewish people" and that the realization of national self-determination in the State o…

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    LevantReligion and Politics

    Congressional Update – Week Ending July 13, 2018

    Jul 13, 2018Marcus Montgomery

    Congress members discuss human rights in Bahrain and threats from the Muslim Brotherhood; Mike Pompeo, other administration officials, work diplomacy with Gulf…

  • Policy Analysis
    International Law

    In Helsinki, Trump and Putin Will Bargain over Syria and Iran

    Jul 12, 2018Charles W. Dunne

    To avoid policy disaster at the Helsinki summit, Trump and his team must develop a clear idea of what they want from Putin on the Middle East and be prepared t…

  • Policy Analysis
    IraqDemocracy and Governance

    The Dangerous Dynamics of Iraq’s Constitutional Vacuum

    With parliamentary results unfinished and a caretaker government barely running the affairs of state, Iraq is facing a dangerous constitutional vacuum at a ver…

  • Policy Analysis
    IraqConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    The Future of Iraqi-Kuwaiti Relations: Overcoming a Troubled History

    Iraq and Kuwait are developing cordial relations after an acrimonious history. Kuwait wants a stable and non-threatening neighbor while Iraq seeks Kuwait’s fin…

  • Policy Analysis
    LevantDemocracy and Governance

    Turkey’s New Regime under Erdoğan: Implications for the Arab World

    Jul 10, 2018Mustafa Gurbuz

    In the new order in Turkey, Erdoğan’s increasing dependence on Turkish nationalists will be a significant factor in shaping the country’s foreign policy in Syr…

  • Public Opinion Survey
    Bar chart showing most Arab citizens believe their household income covers expenditures but does not allow them to save.
    Public Opinion

    2017-2018 Arab Opinion Index: Executive Summary

    Jul 10, 2018

    The 2017-2018 Arab Opinion Index is the sixth in a series of yearly public opinion surveys across the Arab world conducted by Arab Center for Research and Poli…

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    IranUS Domestic Politics and Elections

    Congressional Update – Week Ending July 6, 2018

    Senators make an unexpected trip to Syria while Trump officials visit northern Iraq; Bolton reshuffles Middle East personnel on NSC; the Trump Administration i…

  • Policy Analysis

    The Egypt-Ethiopia Nile Water Crisis: a Cause for Regional Tensions?

    Jul 5, 2018Daniel Stoll

    While the Ethiopian dam on the Nile could be a source of conflict in east Africa, and while relations among Egypt, Ethiopia, and Sudan will remain unsettled fo…

  • Viewpoint
    LevantConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    The Raging—and Surprising—Battle for Southern Syria

    Jul 5, 2018Radwan Ziadeh

    The Syrian regime began its assault on the southern city of Daraa toward the end of June, assisted as elsewhere in Syria by Russian warplanes and Iran-supporte…

  • Policy Analysis
    IranConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    Iran’s Syria Predicament

    Jul 4, 2018Marwan Kabalan

    As Syria's civil war draws to a close, Iran's activity in the country is coming under increasing scrutiny. The US, Israel, and the Gulf states are all working …

  • Policy Analysis
    Saudi ArabiaDemocracy and Governance

    Mapping Saudi Arabia’s New Ruling Bargain

    Jul 3, 2018Daniel Brumberg

    “There is nothing more difficult to carry out, nor more doubtful of success, nor more dangerous to handle, than to initiate a new order of things.” Machiavelli…

  • Policy Analysis
    JordanJustice, Equality, and Human Rights

    The Kushner-Greenblatt “Deal of the Century”: A Dealmaker Morphs into a Dealbreaker?

    Jun 29, 2018Khalil E. Jahshan

    What was most insulting to Kushner’s Palestinian audience was his attempt to wittingly or unwittingly reduce their political aspirations and yearning for natio…

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    LevantMigrants, Refugees, and IDPs

    Congressional Update – Week Ending June 29, 2018

    Jun 29, 2018Marcus Montgomery

    I. Congress 1) LegislationDefense Spending. This week, the Senate Appropriations Committee passed its version of the Pentagon’s budget for fiscal year 2019 whi…

  • Policy Analysis
    JordanMigrants, Refugees, and IDPs

    Syrian Refugees in Jordan and Lebanon: The Politics of their Return

    Jun 28, 2018Joe Macaron

    Overwhelmed by their own economic woes, Jordan and Lebanon are employing different tactics to achieve the same objective: to secure the return of Syrian refuge…

  • Policy Analysis
    JordanJustice, Equality, and Human Rights

    Jared Kushner’s Misguided Appeal to the Palestinian People

    President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and senior advisor, Jared Kushner, gave an interview to the Palestinian Al Quds newspaper on June 24 (original Arabic, Engl…

  • Policy Analysis
    EgyptDemocracy and Governance

    The Aftermath of Egypt’s 2018 Presidential Election: Stormy Weather Ahead

    Jun 26, 2018Charles W. Dunne

    Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi's return to office in a rigged election this March failed to provide a strong mandate for difficult economic and politi…

  • Policy Analysis
    LevantIdentity Politics and Sectarianization

    US Withdrawal from UN Human Rights Council Has Little to Do with Human Rights

    Jun 22, 2018Tamara Kharroub

    US withdrawal weakens the council’s credibility and empowers Israel in its neglect for the council’s investigations and resolutions. The UNHRC is the premier i…

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    LevantSecurity and Defense

    Congressional Update – Week Ending June 22, 2018

    Jun 22, 2018Marcus Montgomery

    Lawmakers set out budget figures for Departments of Defense and State; Kushner and Greenblatt tour Middle East seeking support for the “ultimate deal”; US with…

  • Policy Analysis
    LevantDemocracy and Governance

    The Problem of Legitimacy for the Palestinian Authority

    Jun 21, 2018Yousef Munayyer

    Recent damaging decisions by the Palestinian Authority cannot be solely blamed for the popular discontent with it. Instead, the Palestinians’ anger stems from …

  • Policy Analysis
    The Arabian Peninsula and The GulfMigrants, Refugees, and IDPs

    Hodeida and the Changing American Position

    After opposing Saudi-UAE plans to take the vital Hodeida port, the Trump Administration is now supporting the operation to show it will actively oppose so-call…

  • Policy Analysis
    JordanSecurity and Defense

    It May Be Time to Restructure American Assistance to Jordan

    Jun 15, 2018Marcus Montgomery

    Since May 30, the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan has seen a wave of massive, largely peaceful protests that have King Abdullah II in a bind. The current turmoil h…

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    LevantUS Domestic Politics and Elections

    Congressional Update – Week Ending June 15, 2018

    Jun 15, 2018Marcus Montgomery

    I. Congress1) LegislationS. Res. 541. A bipartisan trio of senators proposed a resolution this week that, should it pass, would express the sense of Congress t…

  • Policy Analysis
    LevantConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    Can Assad Truly Assert His Control over Syria?

    Jun 12, 2018Mustafa Gurbuz

    Despite the Assad regime’s consolidation of power, reviving the territorial integrity of Syria is a mirage. Moscow’s rise as a key power broker and the Russia-…

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    IranSecurity and Defense

    Congressional Update – Week Ending June 8, 2018

    I. CongressThe House of Representatives and the Senate both returned to Washington this week to tackle legislative business and move toward securing the federa…

  • Policy Analysis
    LevantReligion and Politics

    The Damascus-Aleppo Highway and Stabilizing Northwest Syria

    Jun 7, 2018Joe Macaron

    While Russia, Turkey and Iran are stabilizing northwest Syria along the Damascus-Aleppo highway, they are also normalizing an irregular situation that could ul…

  • Policy Analysis
    LevantJustice, Equality, and Human Rights

    Human Rights, Democracy, and the Changing Middle East: A Status Report

    Jun 6, 2018Charles W. Dunne

    Demands for democracy, wider political space, and guarantees of basic human rights have been turned aside by more effective authoritarian responses for now, bu…

  • Policy Analysis
    LevantUS Foreign Policy

    The End of an American Era in Palestine and Israel

    Jun 6, 2018Yousef Munayyer

    This is the end of an era in US relations with Palestine and Israel, and the transition to a new era may resemble a moment from the past—the first intifada.

  • Viewpoint
    JordanDemocracy and Governance

    In Jordan’s Case, Rent Collection May No Longer Work

    Jun 5, 2018Imad K. Harb

    Once again, socioeconomic conditions are at the center of Jordan’s political instability. Thousands of Jordanians over the last few days have participated in p…

  • Policy Analysis
    IranConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    Pompeo Digs a Deeper Hole for US Iran Policy

    Jun 5, 2018Daniel Brumberg

    Pompeo's May 21 speech indicates that where Iran is concerned, the US is returning to a policy of "zero enrichment" backed up by economic warfare. But the Whit…

  • Policy Analysis
    QatarConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    The Needless Crisis in the Arabian Gulf

    The Trump Administration would do well to work with the Saudis and Emiratis to identify a face-saving way to back down and end the blockade of Qatar.

  • Policy Analysis
    IranThe GCC

    How the blockade on Qatar failed

    Jun 5, 2018Marwan Kabalan

    The GCC crisis has inflicted significant financial loss on Qatar, but it has failed to bring it down.

  • Policy Analysis
    QatarThe GCC

    One Year Later: A Necessary Reckoning in the GCC

    Jun 5, 2018Imad K. Harb

    Countries blockading Qatar must reflect on how their attempts to control the Gulf are destabilizing the entire region.

  • Policy Analysis
    North AfricaRegional Relations and Geopolitics

    Political Calculations…from the Western Sahara to the Arabian Gulf

    The timing of Morocco’s decision to sever relations with Iran and to close the Iranian embassy in Rabat “immediately” on May 1, 2018, has raised questions abou…