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QUICKTAKE: The Gaza Conflict – A Palestinian Perspective

Israel and Hamas on Wednesday agreed to a ceasefire brokered by Egypt on the eighth day of violent conflict between the two parties in the Gaza Strip.   Israel has agreed to stop all hostilities, whether by land, sea or air, and has pledged not to target individuals or undertake any kind of military incursions More »

INSIGHT: The Palestinian-Israeli Conflict – From Pan-Arabism to Pan-Islam

Three Middle Eastern countries , Iran, Turkey and Egypt, play a decisive role in the current Israel-Hamas round of hostilities.  These three countries do not usually hold much in common insofar as their foreign policy is concerned – or at least not until recently. So, what is it that binds them together over the More »

Middle East Monitor: Gaza Violence Continues for Now

- Air raids continue in Gaza, although an Israeli ground operation is “on hold” - Obama sends Clinton to the Middle East for talks on a truce - The Kurdish insurgency faces a crossroads - Critics of Jordan’s king bemoan possible missed More »

Middle East Monitor: Instead of a Cease-Fire

-  Hamas militants in the Gaza strip continue to fire rockets into Israel and the Israeli military continues its relentless counter attack -  NATO says it might provide military assistance to Turkey… if it asks… to defend against rocket attacks from Syria -  And an increase in stability in parts of the Middle East is translating More »

INSIGHT: Gaza – No Lessons Learned

The escalating violence between Israel and Gaza should remind us of old lessons that still need to be learned and new realities to which attention must now be paid. First and foremost among the old lessons is the fact that the successive waves of violence that have characterized the history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict have More »

INSIGHT: Preventing Further Escalation in Gaza

The fighting between Israel and Hamas has escalated. Hamas rocket barrages are targeted the coastal cities of Ashdod and Ashkelon along with areas as far south as Dimona (seventy-five kilometers from Gaza and home to Israel’s nuclear reactor). In all, 274 rockets have been fired at Israel so far, reportedly including a longer-range Fajr-5 More »

INSIGHT: World Powers Restrained on Gaza Conflict, as Iran Benefits Most

As fighting in Gaza continues, reactions from major world powers have little to do with mediation – all while Iran seems to be benefiting the most from the current escalation. From Washington to Moscow, everyone was counting on Egyptian diplomacy to end the current bout. China remains ‘concerned’ about the developments and many are stressing, More »

INSIGHT: Israel’s Conflict with Hamas Escalates

After nearly a month of low-level fighting between Israel and Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip, the situation erupted into a fully-fledged conflict on November 14, following the death of Ahmed Jabari, military chief of the Islamic Hamas movement, in an Israeli airstrike. Hamas, which governs the Gaza Strip, and other militant groups responded More »

INSIGHT: US Middle East Policy – Caution and Partial Retreat?

The conventional wisdom is that American presidents who win a second term are less bound by domestic electoral considerations that may impose constraints on their foreign policy. But in his second term, President Barack Obama is unlikely to take any bold initiatives in the Middle East. Indeed, he is far more likely not only More »

INSIGHT: Meanwhile, on the Israeli-Palestinian Issue…

While Americans have been focusing on their election, there have been a few developments in the so-called “Middle East Peace Process.” PLO chairman Mahmoud Abbas has said he would drop his precondition for negotiations – a total construction halt in the settlements and in East Jerusalem – and return to the table after the U.N. More »

INSIGHT: Obama’s Win – What It Means for the Middle East

With President Barack Obama’s re-election, many people across the Middle East are contemplating what this region might expect from his second term. Over the next four years, Obama will likely continue the policy directions set in his first term: by completing the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, for example, and reaching out to global players like More »

VOICES: Palestinian-Americans Would Vote for _______ as President

An official U.S. general election mail-in ballot to be used in Hudson County, 8th Congressional District, is pictured in Hoboken, New Jersey, October 17, 2012.

The issue of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict was not among those front and center in the recent foreign policy debate between U.S. presidential candidates, Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, but is has come up numerous times during the course of the campaign. Both candidates have stressed the close relationship between the U.S. and Israel but More »

INSIGHT: Malala Yousafzai and the Role of Women in Muslim History

As someone who writes and lectures about women and gender in Islam, I am often asked if women had any role in the making of the Islamic tradition. Happily, the answer is always yes. There were in fact many prominent women in the early history of Islam. At the top of the list would have More »

Images of the Week: October 6 – October 12

This week in the Middle East, Jews celebrated Shimat Torah and Jordan’s King Abdullah dissolved the country’s parliament and swore in a new one to pave the way for elections next year. In Egypt, President Mohamed Morsi’s 100th day in office passed, and the president removed Prosecutor General Abdel Maguid Mahmoud from his post More »

‘Let Girls Be Girls!’ – UN Marks First-ever Day of the Girl Child

October 11, 2012, marks the United Nation’s first-ever observance of the International Day of the Girl Child. According to the U.N., selected as this year’s theme was “Ending Child Marriage.” Organizers say it was chosen because the practice is seen as a phenomenon that violates millions of girls’ rights, disrupts their education, jeopardizes their More »

Arab Women Launch Online Uprising

On October 1st, 2012, women organizers launched a Facebook page, “The Uprising of Women in the Arab World,” to highlight the discrimination against them which they don’t feel comfortable – or safe – enough to protest in the streets.  In just ten days, the page has generated nearly 35,000 “likes” and conversation among more More »

Images of the Week: September 29 – October 5

This week in the Middle East, fighting continues in Syria and tension develops on the Syria-Turkey border after a deadly attack that killed five Turkish civilians on Wednesday. In Egypt, women protest against the Muslim Brotherhood, demanding rights, and President Mohamed Morsi visited former President Anwar Sadat’s tomb. In Israel, many celebrated the Jewish More »

Images of the Week: September 22 – September 28

This week in the Middle East, fighting continued in Syria, Jews throughout the world celebrated Yom Kippur, protests against the anti-Muslim film produced in the U.S. continued, Basra governor Mohammed Musabih Al-Waili was killed in Iraq, and 15 militant Islamists were sentenced to death or life imprisonment in More »

Images of the Week: September 8 – September 14

This week in the Middle East, a film trailer lambasting the prophet Mohammed contributed to anti-American protests in Cairo, Sanaa and Benghazi, resulting in the death of U.S. Ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens and three other Embassy staff members. Also, new attacks broke out in Syria, UNHCR visited refugee camps, and  protests against poor living More »

Images of the Week: September 1 – September 7

This week in the Middle East, Yemen received another $2.4 billion in aid, the Syrian National Council faces internal criticism, Israeli residents were relocated from the Migron outpost in the Palestinian territories, Obama receives the democratic presidential nomination, and More »