• Policy Analysis
    LevantJustice, Equality, and Human Rights

    Insult of the Century: Assessing the Trump Administration’s Peace Plan

    May 30, 2019Yousef Munayyer

    The Trump Administration’s Palestinian-Israeli peace deal, leaked to the press, and the upcoming Bahrain meeting represent an insult to the Palestinians and ar…

  • Policy Analysis
    JordanConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    Facing Pressure at Home and Abroad, Jordan’s King Shifts Strategy

    May 23, 2019Joe Macaron

    The Trump Administration’s anticipated Israeli-Palestinian peace initiative is pushing Jordan’s King Abdullah to realign interests with his country’s Muslim Br…

  • Policy Analysis
    LevantConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    Syria for Sale: The Price of Assad’s Survival

    May 10, 2019Radwan Ziadeh

    Russia’s so-called investments in vital Syrian installations like the Tartous port and in strategic assets such as oil and gas illustrate that the country is b…

  • Policy Analysis
    LevantUS Domestic Politics and Elections

    The First Amendment Blocks Anti-BDS Legislation in the United States

    May 8, 2019Yousef Munayyer

    Developments over the last several months have shown a shift in the battle over the right to boycott Israel in the United States, with the First Amendment pres…

  • Viewpoint
    LevantArab Americans/ Muslim Americans

    What the Ilhan Omar controversies reveal about US politics

    Apr 26, 2019Tamara Kharroub

    The attacks against Omar are part of a larger project to silence voices that advocate for Palestinian rights.

  • Policy Analysis
    JordanConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    Will Israel’s New Government Annex the West Bank?

    Apr 24, 2019Yousef Munayyer

    With growing domestic support and unquestioning backing from the Trump White House, Israeli leaders may decide that there is a rare opportunity to annex at lea…

  • Policy Analysis
    LevantJustice, Equality, and Human Rights

    The logic behind US humiliation of the Palestinians

    Apr 24, 2019Marwan Bishara

    The Trump administration has launched an all-out diplomatic assault on the Palestinians, while preparing a new initiative to resolve the Middle East conflict.

  • Policy Analysis
    LebanonDemocracy and Governance

    Avoiding Punishing Lebanon Because of Hezbollah

    Apr 16, 2019Khaldon Roukie

    The United States continues to ostracize and pressure Hezbollah in Lebanon which is inadvertently helping the party grow and become more influential in the cou…

  • Policy Analysis
    LevantDemocracy and Governance

    Turkey after the Heated Municipal Elections: Key Takeaways

    Apr 8, 2019Mustafa Gurbuz

    The results of the municipal elections in Turkey have surprised many including the ruling AKP, which called them a “coup” and demanded a recount in Istanbul an…

  • Policy Analysis
    LevantJustice, Equality, and Human Rights

    The Policy of No Return: The Case of Syrian Refugees

    Apr 2, 2019Radwan Ziadeh

    The third annual conference to support Syrian refugees concluded in Brussels with $7 billion pledged but without political commitments, exposing shortcomings a…

  • Policy Analysis
    LebanonDemocracy and Governance

    The Trickiness of Syria’s Return to the Arab League

    Mar 29, 2019Imad K. Harb

    It is important for Arab states to continue to withhold Syria’s membership until Damascus agrees to a political process that leads to a transition from Assad’s…

  • Policy Analysis
    LevantDemocracy and Governance

    American Campaigning Elevates Netanyahu’s Election Chances to New Heights

    Mar 26, 2019Yousef Munayyer

    A historical look at shifting US policy positions demonstrates the significance of recognizing the Golan Heights as Israeli territory. The warm embrace and cam…

  • Viewpoint
    LevantInternational Law

    Trump and the Occupied Syrian Golan Heights

    Mar 25, 2019Radwan Ziadeh

    Trump’s presidential proclamation officially recognizing the Golan Heights as Israeli territory will have serious implications for international law, US role i…

  • Policy Analysis
    LevantConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    The New Shtayyeh Government in Palestine: Challenges and Prospects

    Mar 20, 2019Khalil E. Jahshan

    The newly designated Palestinian prime minister faces difficult challenges in forming an inclusive government at a time of serious divisions in Palestinian ran…

  • Policy Analysis
    IranConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    The Mutually Connected Fronts between Israel and Iran

    Mar 18, 2019Joe Macaron

    Although a direct confrontation between Israel and Iran is improbable at this time, the two countries share three potential war fronts in Lebanon, Syria, and t…

  • Viewpoint
    LevantInternational Law

    Do Not Recognize Israel’s Sovereignty over the Occupied Golan

    Mar 15, 2019Imad K. Harb

    By agreeing to Israel’s annexation of the Golan Heights, the Trump Administration would be dealing a serious blow to its global influence––let alone its moral …

  • Viewpoint
    LevantConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    It May Be Time to Go Beyond Zionism

    Mar 8, 2019Laurie King

    It is necessary to distinguish between hatred of Jews and valid and overdue criticism of Israel’s violations of international humanitarian law.

  • Viewpoint
    LevantConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    Bankrolling Kushner’s Mideast Plan

    The Palestinians have no option but to reject the Trump Administration’s peace plan because of its failure to publicly and explicitly guarantee Palestinian sta…

  • Policy Analysis
    LevantUS Domestic Politics and Elections

    Can the 2020 Democratic Candidates Change the US-Israel Relationship?

    Mar 6, 2019Yousef Munayyer

    Democratic presidential contenders have a difficult task reconciling their party’s traditional pro-Israel position with that of young and progressive activists…

  • Policy Analysis
    LevantIdentity Politics and Sectarianization

    Is Anti-Zionism a Form of Anti-Semitism?

    Mar 3, 2019Azmi Bishara

    Visiting the Quatzenheim Jewish cemetery in eastern France on February 27 after dozens of graves were vandalized with swastikas, French President Emmanuel Macr…

  • Policy Analysis
    LebanonDemocracy and Governance

    Syria’s Demographic Changes Buttress Assad’s Authoritarianism

    Mar 1, 2019Radwan Ziadeh

    The Syrian regime violated international prohibitions on the conduct of war by forcing millions of people to flee their homes in order to spur demographic chan…

  • Viewpoint
    LevantConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    The Trump Administration Is Buying Time in Syria

    Feb 26, 2019Joe Macaron

    It is no secret that Trump does not see any financial or strategic value in keeping US forces in Syria; however, his policy there has been like an aimless roll…

  • Policy Analysis
    IraqConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    Iran Should Worry about New Iraq-Jordan Relations

    The recent economic agreement between Iraq and Jordan sends signals to Iran that Iraq may find Arab alternatives to its relations with the Islamic Republic.

  • Policy Analysis
    LebanonIdentity Politics and Sectarianization

    Lebanon’s New Government: No Need for Washington to Panic

    Feb 6, 2019Joe Macaron

    Lebanon’s new cabinet is not that different from the previous one. An American overreaction to Hezbollah’s role in it is likely to strengthen the party’s hold.

  • Policy Analysis
    JordanDemocracy and Governance

    How Netanyahu’s Dominance of Israeli Politics Has Shaped the Field

    Feb 5, 2019Yousef Munayyer

    Whatever Netanyahu's fortunes in the coming elections, his brand of politics has already conquered Israel's political landscape, which is unlikely to change an…

  • Viewpoint
    LevantDemocracy and Governance

    The Tragic Governance Crisis in Palestine

    Fatah and Hamas are underestimating the damage of their split on Palestinians and their strategic objectives to end Israel’s occupation and establish an indepe…

  • Policy Analysis
    LevantUS Foreign Policy

    The Arab World in the 115th Congress: A Review

    Jan 30, 2019Marcus Montgomery

    The 115th Congress was largely deferential to President Trump on policies related to the Arab world, but the 116th is likely to challenge him on important issu…

  • Policy Analysis
    LebanonEnergy and Economics

    The Eastern Mediterranean Gas Forum Reinforces Current Regional Dynamics

    Jan 25, 2019Joe Macaron

    The recently announced Eastern Mediterranean Gas Forum is not likely to aid cooperation or economic integration because the policies of its member states mirro…

  • Policy Analysis
    LevantDemocracy and Governance

    ‘Does Israel Have a Right To Exist’ Is a Trick Question

    Jan 22, 2019Yousef Munayyer

    Criticizing Israel’s policies toward the Palestinian people should never be conflated with eliminationism.

  • Viewpoint
    LevantConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    The Manbij Attack Exposes the Vulnerabilities of US Policy in Syria

    Jan 17, 2019Joe Macaron

    The US withdrawal from Syria may encourage Turkey and Russia to fill the vacuum, but IS’s Manbij attack may persuade Trump to stay a bit longer there.

  • Policy Analysis
    JordanJustice, Equality, and Human Rights

    A Shift Begins on Israel/Palestine in the 116th Congress

    Jan 17, 2019Yousef Munayyer

    A shift in public opinion and a clash between the older establishment and the young activists in the Democratic Party will change how the 116th Congress looks …

  • Policy Analysis
    LebanonDemocracy and Governance

    The Arab Rehabilitation of the Assad Regime

    Jan 16, 2019Radwan Ziadeh

    Assad will be able to regain his political legitimacy after winning his battle militarily only if he rehabilitates his regime’s standing in the Arab world.

  • Policy Analysis
    LevantConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    Deteriorating Circumstances in Syria and Yemen Overshadow US Tactical Success

    Jan 16, 2019Charles W. Dunne

    Changing circumstances in Syria and Yemen and Washington’s shifting strategies have exposed the Trump Administration’s claims of success as threadbare.

  • Policy Analysis
    IraqSecurity and Defense

    The United States and the Turkish-Kurdish Conundrum in Northern Syria

    Jan 11, 2019Mustafa Gurbuz

    Future US-Turkey relations depend on Ankara’s demands in northern Syria regarding the Kurds and how its relationship with Moscow develops.

  • Policy Analysis
    LevantDemocracy and Governance

    Israel’s Upcoming Elections: Netanyahu Seeking Shelter from Legal Troubles

    Jan 11, 2019Khalil E. Jahshan

    Netanyahu’s fate lies in the hands of the attorney general who will personally decide whether and when to indict him.

  • Policy Analysis
    LevantUS Foreign Policy

    The Folly and Repercussions of Trump’s Decision on Syria

    Jan 2, 2019Radwan Ziadeh

    Withdrawing from Syria diminishes whatever influence the United States has cultivated there in favor of letting the Syrian regime, Russia, Turkey, and Iran cha…

  • Policy Analysis
    LevantJustice, Equality, and Human Rights

    What will the Middle East look like in 2019?

    Jan 1, 2019Marwan Kabalan

    In 2019, old conflicts in the Middle East will persist and new ones might erupt.

  • Policy Analysis
    Palestine/IsraelConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    Abbas and Netanyahu Turn to Elections to Solidify Control

    Dec 28, 2018Yousef Munayyer

    As a new year begins in Israel/Palestine, leaders there are seeking to use elections to sideline challenges and challengers, solidify their grip on power, and …

  • Policy Analysis
    IranIdentity Politics and Sectarianization

    Iran’s Hardliners and Reformists and the Syria Gambit

    Dec 27, 2018Daniel Brumberg

    Iranian hardliners have tried to isolate reformists by asserting that in times of growing security threats, all political forces must unite behind the drive fo…

  • Policy Analysis
    Saudi ArabiaDemocracy and Governance

    The Aftermath of the Khashoggi Murder: Freedom of the Press in 2018

    Dec 21, 2018Tamara Kharroub

    The rise of populism and anti-globalism has contributed to erosion of the international rights system, with governments moving away from accountability and tra…

  • Viewpoint
    SyriaUS Foreign Policy

    Trump’s Syria Announcement Underscores US Policy Meltdown

    Dec 20, 2018Daniel Brumberg

    The withdrawal of US troops will make it easier for Moscow and Tehran to advance a political solution ensuring that Assad and his allies remain in power.

  • Policy Analysis
    Saudi ArabiaUS Foreign Policy

    Mohammed Bin Salman and the “Deal of the Century”

    Dec 17, 2018Yousef Munayyer

    MbS has proven that he is the wrong man for the job of marketing Trump’s deal. If Trump goes ahead with his peace plan with MbS as his salesman, expectations o…

  • Policy Analysis
    SyriaIdentity Politics and Sectarianization

    Assad Begins a Three-Year Plan to Refurbish His Regime

    Dec 12, 2018Joe Macaron

    The Assad regime is consolidating itself and laying the groundwork to reap the benefits of postwar Syria and strengthen control over territories it recaptured.

  • Policy Analysis
    Palestine/IsraelConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    What If Trump’s Deal Materializes?

    The content of Trump’s “ultimate deal,” as leaked by its architects and fans, leaves little room for optimism, warm reception, and successful implementation am…

  • Policy Analysis
    Palestine/IsraelConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    Israel and Gaza: From the Brink of War to the Brink of Elections

    Nov 27, 2018Yousef Munayyer

    After new elections in Israel, there is little reason to expect anything other than another right-wing Israeli government led by Benjamin Netanyahu.

  • Policy Analysis
    Palestine/IsraelConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    Why is Netanyahu so desperate for a ceasefire with Hamas?

    Nov 20, 2018Ibrahim Fraihat

    The ceasefire in Gaza has destabilized Netanyahu's government, yet he has no other choice but to commit to it.

  • Policy Analysis
    SyriaJustice, Equality, and Human Rights

     The Developing GCC-Damascus Rapprochement

    Nov 15, 2018Joe Macaron

    A rapprochement between GCC countries and the Syrian regime is becoming more possible and is being reinforced by recent regional developments.

  • Policy Analysis
    Palestine/IsraelConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    A Weakened Arab Gulf Should Not Normalize Relations with Israel

    Nov 9, 2018Imad K. Harb

    Today, Israel seems to be closer to officially normalizing its existence in the wider Arab world by aggressively pursuing relations with the monarchies of the …

  • Policy Analysis
    Palestine/IsraelJustice, Equality, and Human Rights

    Trump, American Jews, and Israel: Driving a Deeper Wedge

    Nov 9, 2018Yousef Munayyer

    US support for Israel today is partisan in ways not seen before, thanks in part to shifting demographics and opinions and also to changes in the relationship b…

  • Policy Analysis
    LevantUS Domestic Politics and Elections

    The 2018 Midterm Elections: What Do They Mean for the Middle East?

    President Trump is potentially days away from being handed a divided Congress; a Democratic-led House could challenge Republican orthodoxy over US policy regar…

  • Policy Analysis
    SyriaConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    Will the Istanbul Summit Offer Hope for Syria?

    Nov 1, 2018Joe Macaron

    The Istanbul summit on Syria was the first serious attempt in years to advance a viable Syrian political process; but obstacles remain, including American-Russ…

  • Viewpoint
    IraqRegional Relations and Geopolitics

    Russian Gains Are American Losses in the Arab World

    Oct 30, 2018Imad K. Harb

    Putin’s assessment of a receding American international influence paves the way for an even larger Russian role in the Arab world.

  • Policy Analysis
    LevantConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    Sochi Agreement on Idlib Tests Russian-Turkish Relations

    Oct 19, 2018Joe Macaron

    The irregularities in implementing the Sochi Agreement regarding Idlib will put Russian-Turkish relations to the test and may doom the Idlib ceasefire.

  • Policy Analysis
    LevantInternational Law

    Murder at the Consulate: The Questions that Occupy Us

    Oct 19, 2018Azmi Bishara

    Many have raised questions about the logic behind murdering Jamal Khashoggi in the consulate, but what kind of leader makes such a criminal yet foolish decisio…

  • Policy Analysis
    LevantUS Domestic Politics and Elections

    Haley Leaves the UN: Using Israel as Her Way to the White House

    Oct 17, 2018Yousef Munayyer

    On her ambitious quest to the presidency, Nikki Haley missed no opportunity to use her post at the United Nations to defend Israeli policies and to bash and pu…

  • Policy Analysis
    LevantInternational Law

    Arab Leaders Return from New York with Little to Show

    Oct 4, 2018Joe Macaron

    Representatives of Arab governments delivered their remarks at the United Nations General Assembly last week. A review of the 16 speeches shows that they focus…

  • Policy Analysis
    LevantInternational Law

    A September to Forget: Trump, Netanyahu, and Abbas at the UNGA

    Oct 3, 2018Yousef Munayyer

    The major addresses by Trump, Netanyahu, and Abbas at the UN General Assembly failed to achieve any advances on the question of Palestine. The Palestinians con…

  • Policy Analysis
    LebanonDemocracy and Governance

    Cabinet Stalemate in Lebanon May Be Delaying a Political Confrontation

    Sep 24, 2018Joe Macaron

    Four months after Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri was designated to lead a national unity government on May 24, there appears to be no end in sight for the…

  • Policy Analysis
    LevantConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    Oslo at 25: Long Dead and Now Finally Buried?

    Sep 24, 2018Yousef Munayyer

    For 25 years, the Oslo process has been dying a slow death because of Palestinian weakness, overemphasis on ensuring Israeli security, and the Trump Administra…

  • 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
    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
    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…

  • 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…

  • 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 …

  • 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
    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.

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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
    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…