• Washington Policy Weekly
    IraqSecurity and Defense

    Congressional Update – Week Ending April 6, 2018

    Congress remains quiet as Israel kills and wounds Palestinians; Trump sows confusion on Syria while top officials outline their visions for its future; courts …

  • Viewpoint
    LevantJustice, Equality, and Human Rights

    Covering Gaza: Is the Mainstream Media Discourse Changing on Palestine/Israel

    Apr 6, 2018Tamara Kharroub

    As Israeli occupation forces carried out a brutal response against 30,000 Palestinians protesters in Gaza, Washington, DC—and much of the international communi…

  • Viewpoint
    LevantJustice, Equality, and Human Rights

    Netanyahu Tries to Shore Himself Up

    Apr 4, 2018Imad K. Harb

    The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) did not need the people of Gaza demonstrating on their border to create what amounted to a target-shooting opportunity that kil…

  • Policy Analysis
    LevantUS Domestic Politics and Elections

    Is This the End of AIPAC’s Reign?

    Apr 3, 2018Tamara Kharroub

    The month of March in Washington DC is known for cherry blossom and AIPAC's annual conference. From 4-6 March, the 2018 AIPAC policy conference took place in D…

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    LevantUS Domestic Politics and Elections

    Congressional Update – Week Ending March 30, 2018

    Mar 30, 2018Marcus Montgomery

    I. CongressLawmakers in both chambers had the week off and the recess will extend through next week as well. The Senate is scheduled to hold legislative busine…

  • Policy Analysis
    JordanJustice, Equality, and Human Rights

    A Palestinian Landscape of Unknowns

    Mar 23, 2018Yousef Munayyer

    Unable to even pretend that Washington can deliver on brokering peace, Palestinian leaders seem stuck, having already devoted fruitless heavy political investm…

  • Viewpoint
    LevantMedia and Technology

    Where on Earth is the Palestinian Press?

    Mar 16, 2018Khalil E. Jahshan

    As a long-term observer of Middle East politics, I have always been intrigued by the surprisingly limited impact exerted by the Palestinian media on Palestinia…

  • Policy Analysis
    LevantUS Foreign Policy

    Who is Mike Pompeo? A Political Profile of the Nominee for US Secretary of State

    Mar 13, 2018Marcus Montgomery

    When considering his policy positions, temperament, and personal relationship with President Trump, Pompeo is almost the polar opposite of outgoing Secretary o…

  • Viewpoint
    LevantUS Foreign Policy

    Tillerson’s Departure: Implications for Middle East Policy

    Mar 13, 2018Imad K. Harb

    President Donald Trump’s sacking of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has important ramifications for US policy in the Middle East, and specifically toward the …

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    LevantSecurity and Defense

    Congressional Update – Week Ending March 9, 2018

    Congress considers new anti-BDS bill; lawmakers probe officials about global security; Trump looks into strikes in Syria as White House is mired in drama.

  • Policy Analysis
    JordanJustice, Equality, and Human Rights

    Trump’s UNRWA Decision Buys into Israel’s Argument

    Mar 8, 2018Tamara Kharroub

    US funding cuts to UNRWA open the door for further US policies that espouse Israeli far-right positions regarding the status of Palestinian refugees and the ri…

  • Policy Analysis
    JordanJustice, Equality, and Human Rights

    Repercussions of Trump’s Jerusalem Policy Change: An Interview with Khalil E. Jahshan

    President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and his administration’s decision to move the American embassy there have probably t…

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    LevantUS Domestic Politics and Elections

    Congressional Update – Week Ending February 23, 2018

    Feb 23, 2018Marcus Montgomery

    Members of Congress spend recess visiting Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Jerusalem, and the West Bank; the State Department is struggling with diplomacy; Nikki H…

  • Viewpoint
    LevantConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    Abbas Reassures UNSC of Palestinian Commitment to Just and Lasting Peace

    Feb 20, 2018Khalil E. Jahshan

    Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas delivered today his long-anticipated speech to the UN Security Council. His objective was essentially two-fold, he wanted f…

  • Viewpoint
    LevantConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    Mahmoud Abbas at the UN Security Council

    Feb 20, 2018Imad K. Harb

    What was most noticeable in Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s peace plan was his reaffirmation that the Arab Peace Initiative (API) of 2002 remai…

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    BahrainMigrants, Refugees, and IDPs

    Congressional Update – Week Ending February 16, 2018

    Feb 16, 2018Marcus Montgomery

    Congressional hearings on global threats to the US; Trump’s illusive peace plan for Israel and the Palestinians; the state of human rights in Bahrain; Tillerso…

  • Policy Analysis
    JordanJustice, Equality, and Human Rights

    Mahmoud Abbas’s Disappearing Options

    Feb 15, 2018Yousef Munayyer

    Abbas’s options have significantly narrowed after Trump’s position change on Jerusalem; but his limited choices are not beneficial for anyone given the ambigui…

  • Policy Analysis
    EgyptUS Foreign Policy

    The Middle East Nuclear Picture: Peaceful Programs or Not, Cause for Concern

    Feb 2, 2018Charles W. Dunne

    Focusing solely on the Iranian nuclear program has made Washington oblivious to some significant nuclear developments in other parts of the Middle East.

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    IranMigrants, Refugees, and IDPs

    Congressional Update – Week Ending February 2, 2018

    Congress comes out in support of Syrians; President Trump delivers his first SOTU; US Diplomats pan the Middle East and Special Representative Greenblatt pushe…

  • Policy Analysis
    JordanConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    The Palestinian Bet on the EU Could be an Opportunity for Washington

    Jan 25, 2018Joe Macaron

    The United States should remain engaged in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process and President Abbas’ visit to Europe may have provided the Trump Administratio…

  • Policy Analysis
    JordanInternational Law

    Trump Has Upended the Foundation of the Middle East Peace Process

    Jan 18, 2018Yousef Munayyer

    After the Jerusalem decision, questions remain about whether Trump and his circle will realize the folly of their policies and the tremendous damage they will …

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    IranUS Domestic Politics and Elections

    Congressional Update – Week Ending January 12, 2018

    Jan 12, 2018Joe Macaron

    Congress grapples with FISA legislation and new sanctions; senators explore US strategy for Syria; President Trump keeps the JCPOA in place, but adds new sanct…

  • Policy Analysis
    JordanUS Foreign Policy

    Will Trump’s Jerusalem Move Unravel US-Jordanian Relations?

    Jan 11, 2018Joe Macaron

    President Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital is testing US-Jordanian relations and shifting how Amman views its regional role.

  • Policy Analysis
    EgyptConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    Egyptian and Jordanian Relations with Israel under Strain

    Generally cordial and cooperative, Egyptian and Jordanian relations with Israel are currently strained following provocative actions by the U.S. and Israel on …

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    IranUS Domestic Politics and Elections

    Congressional Update – Week Ending January 5, 2018

    Back from a holiday recess, the Senate makes major personnel moves; President Trump, Nikki Haley have strong words for Palestine, Iran.

  • Policy Analysis
    LevantReligion and Politics

    The Many Angles of Turkey’s Fight for Jerusalem

    Dec 28, 2017Mustafa Gurbuz

    Turkey’s championing of the cause of Jerusalem is genuine but also serves its interest in restoring its relations with the Arab countries and increasing its so…

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    LevantUS Domestic Politics and Elections

    Congressional Update – Week Ending December 22, 2017

    Dec 21, 2017Marcus Montgomery

    Congress looks to ratchet up pressure on Syria and Qatar; President Trump releases his National Security Strategy; Trump and Haley take issue with the United N…

  • Policy Analysis

    Trump’s Jerusalem Declaration: The Oslo Era’s Final Act

    Dec 13, 2017Yousef Munayyer

    Trump’s declaration about Jerusalem isolated the United States, unified the Arab and Muslim worlds, and may have given the Europeans a chance to play a role as…

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    IranUS Domestic Politics and Elections

    Congressional Update – Week Ending December 8, 2017

    With the 69th Anniversary of “Human Rights Day” approaching, Congress explores the US’ role in promoting human rights, peace, and stability in the Middle East;…

  • Policy Analysis
    JordanInternational Law

    Trump’s Jerusalem Announcement: Big Gambit, Little Gain

    Dec 6, 2017Tamara Kharroub

    This is indeed a shameful day for the United States, where accrediting military force, violating international law, and supporting apartheid in Jerusalem mark …

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    LevantConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    Congressional Update (Extended Edition) – Week Ending December 01, 2017

    Congress assesses Saudi, Lebanese developments and explores threats to the United States; the White House weighs US embassy move, PLO office closure, and ousti…

  • Policy Analysis
    LevantConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    Arab Normalization with Israel Frames Trump Peace Plan

    Nov 22, 2017Yousef Munayyer

    President Trump’s peace plan in the Middle East embraces the “outside-in” approach for peace between Palestinians and Israelis with a risky Arab-Israeli normal…

  • Policy Analysis
    LevantConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    The Closure of the PLO Office in Washington: The “Ultimate Deal” Exposed

    Now that the Palestinians are potentially losing their diplomatic foothold in Washington, they may finally decide that the United States is withdrawing from ne…

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    IranSecurity and Defense

    Congressional Update – Week Ending November 17, 2017

    Nov 17, 2017Marcus Montgomery

    Congress sets its sights on Palestine’s Hamas and Islamic Jihad while also trying to strengthen Iran sanctions; groundbreaking Palestinian rights bill is intro…

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    LevantDemocracy and Governance

    Congressional Update – Week Ending November 10, 2017

    Nov 10, 2017Marcus Montgomery

    Congress debates defense authorization and foreign surveillance legislation; multiple committee hearings examine counterterrorism and democracy in the Middle E…

  • Policy Analysis
    JordanConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    Bilateral Disagreements Aside, Jordan and Israel Agree on Syria

    Jordan and Israel view military activities by Sunni extremists groups and by Hezbollah as threats and are using their developing ties with Russia to try to mit…

  • Policy Analysis
    LevantConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    Is Palestinian Reconciliation Viable This Time?

    The Fatah-Hamas reconciliation agreement is the product of political manipulation between parties that lack confidence in each other’s strategic objectives. Th…

  • Policy Analysis
    LevantConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    A Century after Balfour: Israel’s Knesset Wants All of Palestine

    Nov 2, 2017Yousef Munayyer

    A hundred years after the Balfour Declaration, Israeli lawmakers are slated to take legislative steps that, instead of moving toward democracy, would only doub…

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    LevantSecurity and Defense

    Congressional Update – Week Ending October 20, 2017

    Oct 20, 2017Marcus Montgomery

    I. Congress1) Legislation. This week, with the House of Representatives on recess and the Senate preoccupied with passing its version of a budget resolution, t…

  • Policy Analysis
    LevantConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    Mahmoud Abbas: A Lone Voice in the UN Wilderness

    Sep 29, 2017Khalil E. Jahshan

    President Abbas’s speech before the United Nations was true to the Palestinian essentials of appealing for justice in Palestine, denouncing Israel’s excesses a…

  • Policy Analysis
    LevantConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    Will Netanyahu’s Legal Troubles Break the Stalemate?

    Aug 31, 2017Yousef Munayyer

    With or without Benyamin Netanyahu, there is little reason to believe that any likely foreseeable Israeli government will be ready for peace with the Palestini…

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    EgyptUS Foreign Policy

    Congressional Update – Week Ending August 25, 2017

    Aug 25, 2017Marcus Montgomery

    The Trump Administration goes all out for peace as Kushner and Company travel the region; Secretary Mattis visits allies in Jordan and Iraq; Secretary Tillerso…

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    LevantReligion and Politics

    Congressional Update – Week Ending August 18, 2017

    Aug 18, 2017Marcus Montgomery

    The White House is set to try jumpstarting the Middle East peace process; the State Department launches its annual report on religious freedom; former CIA empl…

  • Policy Analysis
    LebanonConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    Stretched over Two Borders, Hezbollah is Making Israel Anxious

    Aug 8, 2017Joe Macaron

    In the long run, the risks of confrontation between Israel and Hezbollah may largely depend on how the US-Russia deal will unfold in southern Syria.

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    IraqConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    Congressional Update – Week Ending August 4, 2017

    The Senate finishes legislative business and joins the House for August recess; pro-Israel bills loom large in Congress while Washington discusses the plight o…

  • Policy Analysis
    LevantConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    Taylor Force Act: Putting the Palestinian Authority on Notice

    Senators have agreed to revise a bill that will put the Palestinian Authority on notice, conditioning US aid to the PA on ending payments to Palestinian prison…

  • Policy Analysis
    LevantConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    Palestine Recentered

    Jul 25, 2017Yousef Munayyer

    The Jerusalem events show that the Palestine issue remains central to the region and that a serious, sustained, and committed engagement in its resolution is p…

  • Policy Analysis
    LevantConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    The Arab Peace Initiative is Back on the Table; Netanyahu Is Not Budging

    The Arab Peace Initiative has not gone anywhere since it was launched in 2002. Developments in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict do not inspire confidence that …

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    IranUS Domestic Politics and Elections

    Congressional Update – Week Ending July 21, 2017

    Jul 21, 2017Marcus Montgomery

    House Appropriations Committee bolsters defense spending, cuts the State Department’s budget; Iran is back in the spotlight; Washington grapples with how to he…

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    LevantMigrants, Refugees, and IDPs

    Congressional Update – Week Ending July 14, 2017

    Jul 14, 2017Marcus Montgomery

    The House eyes funding for the Departments of Defense and State; the Tunisian Prime Minister visits Washington; Qatar decries the humanitarian costs of the Gul…

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    IranUS Foreign Policy

    Congressional Update – Week Ending July 7, 2017

    Lawmakers have the week off for the Independence Day recess; the Iran-Russia sanctions bill hits another roadblock; terrorism finance experts discuss how the G…

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    IranUS Domestic Politics and Elections

    Congressional Update – Week Ending June 30, 2017

    Jun 30, 2017Marcus Montgomery

    Congress faces a setback in Iran-Russia sanctions legislation; the Senate explores authorizing the use of military force against ISIL; experts discuss US role …

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    IranUS Domestic Politics and Elections

    Congressional Update – Week Ending June 30, 2017

    Jun 30, 2017Marcus Montgomery

    I. CongressCapitol Hill was very busy again this week in the run-up to the July 4 recess. In the House of Representatives, there were several markups on budget…

  • Policy Analysis
    LevantConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    The Gaza Crisis and the Politics of the Light Switch

    Jun 26, 2017Yousef Munayyer

    The Gaza Strip is under unprecedented pressure. The situation on the ground has reached a climax over the past few months, making it ripe for either an implosi…

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    LebanonUS Domestic Politics and Elections

    Congressional Update – Week Ending June 9, 2017

    James Comey's testimony shakes the Capitol; Congress holds hearings on ISIL, Hezbollah; battles continue over Saudi Arabian arms deal; Iran and Russia sanction…

  • Policy Analysis
    LevantConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    A Discussion of the UN Report on “Israeli Practices Regarding the Palestinians and the Question of Apartheid”

    Jun 8, 2017Virginia Tilley

    The two-state solution will allow Israel as an apartheid state to rule over a smaller portion of historical Palestine but will not be a just solution for the c…

  • Policy Analysis
    LevantConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    Trump and the Israel-Palestine Conflict

    Jun 6, 2017William B. Quandt

    It is doubtful that the current political climate in the United States is conducive to the kind of effort required to resolve the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

  • Policy Analysis
    LevantConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    A Bird’s Eye View of the 1967 War: Palestine Remains the Central Issue

    Jun 5, 2017Imad K. Harb

    After fifty years of the 1967 war that changed the map of the Middle East and destroyed the Arab republican nationalist regimes, the Question of Palestine rema…

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    IranUS Foreign Policy

    Congressional Update – Week Ending June 2, 2017

    I. CongressThe House and Senate were in recess this week for the Memorial Day holiday. The Senate will return to session June 5 and the House will get back to …

  • Policy Analysis
    LevantConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    The Dangers of Arab Normalization with Israel

    Jun 1, 2017 Dana El Kurd

    Arab normalization with Israel is a shortsighted policy on the part of governments, organizations, and individuals. Such a policy poses a risk to both the Pale…

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    LevantUS Domestic Politics and Elections

    H.R. 2712: Palestinian International Terrorism Support Prevention Act of 2017

    May 31, 2017Marcus Montgomery

    On May 25, Rep. Brian Mast (R-Florida) introduced H.R. 2712, “a bill to impose sanctions with respect to foreign support for Palestinian terrorism, and for oth…

  • Policy Analysis
    LevantConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    Netanyahu’s Nightmare: Trump Visits Palestine

    May 30, 2017Yousef Munayyer

    Trump will not bring about a two-state solution but he may be in a unique position to get Israelis to understand that they have to end their oppression of the …

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    IranDemocracy and Governance

    Congressional Update Week Ending May 12, 2017

    May 12, 2017Marcus Montgomery

    House members meet with voter anger in their districts over the new health care bill. Aid to Palestinian threatened in the Senate. Hearings for second in comma…

  • Policy Analysis
    LevantConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    Abbas’s Inconclusive Washington Visit and Netanyahu’s Tactics

    May 9, 2017Yousef Munayyer

    The outcome of President Abbas’s visit to Washington was inconclusive but it was a reminder that President Trump is an unpredictable partner in peace.

  • Policy Analysis
    LevantConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    President Abbas Spins the Wheel in Washington

    May 2, 2017Imad K. Harb

    Realities on the ground in the occupied Palestinian territories and an obvious pro-Israel American bias dash any hope for an equitable peace deal from the Trum…

  • Policy Analysis
    LevantConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    Israel’s “New” Settlement Policy Ploy

    Apr 21, 2017Yousef Munayyer

    To reach a peace deal between Israelis and Palestinians, President Trump has to press the former to end violations of international law and settlement building.

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    IranMigrants, Refugees, and IDPs

    Congressional Update – Week Ending March 31, 2017

    Mar 31, 2017Roxanne Perugino

    I. JASTA UpdateOn March 28, the law firm of Mayer Brown LLP hosted a webinar focused on recent developments related to the Justice against Sponsors of Terrori…

  • Policy Analysis

    The US at the UN and the Apartheid Report on Palestine

    Mar 29, 2017Yousef Munayyer

    Earlier this month and for the first time in the history of the United Nations, the Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA)—a UN institution—is…

  • Policy Analysis

    Turnover: What Are the Implications of Recent and Upcoming Changes in Hamas?

    Mar 15, 2017Yousef Munayyer

    BackgroundSince its establishment in the 1980s, the Palestinian Islamic Resistance Movement, or Hamas, has increasingly become an important player in domestic …

  • Policy Analysis

    J Street Annual Conference: “Defending Our Values: Fighting for Our Future”

    Mar 8, 2017Roxanne Perugino

    J Street, the liberal left-of-center Jewish pro-peace, pro-Israel organization held its sixth annual conference at the end of February in Washington, DC. Over …

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    IranMigrants, Refugees, and IDPs

    Congressional Update – Week Ending March 3, 2017

    Mar 6, 2017Roxanne Perugino

    I. Muslim and Refugee Ban Executive OrderOn Monday, March 6, President Trump announced a new travel ban Executive Order, “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Te…

  • Policy Analysis

    Netanyahu and Trump Chart New US-Israel Relationship

    Feb 26, 2017Yousef Munayyer

    BackgroundOn February 15, 2017, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Donald Trump met in the White House for the first time since America’s …

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    LevantMigrants, Refugees, and IDPs

    Congressional Update – Week Ending February 24, 2017

    Feb 24, 2017

    Congress has been in recess this past week in observance of Presidents’ Day so capitol Hill has been relatively quiet. The House and Senate will reconvene on M…

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    IranMigrants, Refugees, and IDPs

    Congressional Update, February 17, 2017

    Feb 17, 2017

    I. US Ambassador-designate David Friedman Testifies before the Senate Foreign Relations CommitteeOn Thursday, February 16, David Friedman, President Trump’s ch…

  • Policy Analysis

    Receiving Netanyahu, Trump Must Emphasize America’s Interests

    Feb 14, 2017Imad K. Harb

    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu comes to Washington this week to officially reset US-Israeli relations after the chill of the last few years of the Obama Adm…

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    LevantMigrants, Refugees, and IDPs

    Congressional Update, February 3, 2017

    Feb 3, 2017

    I. “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States” referred to as the Muslim BanPresident Donald Trump’s January 27 Executive Order…

  • Policy Analysis

    Netanyahu Unrestrained: The Trump Effect on Israeli Politics

    Feb 3, 2017Yousef Munayyer

    BackgroundSince 2009, there have been two constants in the American-Israeli relationship: Barack Obama was President of the United States and Benjamin Netanyah…

  • Policy Analysis

    Forget Paris. It Won’t be Hard

    Jan 25, 2017Yousef Munayyer

    The Paris Peace Conference of January 15, 2017, barely amounted to a singular blip on radar. Some 70 countries participated in what was among the largest inter…

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    IranUS Domestic Politics and Elections

    Congressional Update – Week Ending January 20, 2017

    Jan 18, 2017

    The 115th Congress convened on January 3, 2017 and lawmakers in both houses wasted little time in voicing concerns about recent developments in the Middle East…

  • Policy Analysis

    The Battle for DNC Chair: Palestine and Democratic Party Politics after Trump’s Election

    Jan 17, 2017Tamara Kharroub

    2016 was a tumultuous year for the Democratic Party. Democrats lost the White House, both houses of Congress, and a large number of gubernatorial races (two-th…