Latest Article from Matthew RJ Brodsky
Matthew RJ Brodsky joins former Missouri State Senator John Loudon (R) on i24News "ClearCut" with Michelle Makori to discuss President Trump's statement and decision to stand by Saudi Arabia as an ally in the wake of the Jamal Khashoggi affair.
Latest Article from Ilan Berman
Just how solid is the strategic partnership between Russia and Iran? For years, policymakers in Washington and regional capitals have speculated about whether it might be possible to sever the long-standing strategic ties between Moscow and Tehran. And, via a range of strategic issues, successive American administrations have tried to do just that. During the George W. Bush era, the United States attempted repeatedly to enlist Moscow's assistance against Tehran as part of its broad-based "war on terror." Subsequently, the Obama White House tried a different tack, seeking to rehabilitate Iran through international negotiations over its nuclear program (which, in turn, would have helped dilute Russian influence over the Islamic Republic). And in its early days, the Trump administration toyed with the notion of driving a wedge between the two countries by giving Russian President Vladimir Putin a freer hand in Syria. None of these overtures amounted to much. Initially forged during the Cold War, bilateral ties between Moscow and Tehran have flourished over the past quarter-century on the basis of arms (and nuclear) sales, shared worries about Sunni jihadism and a common, pervasive sense of anti-Americanism. These bonds have made the Russo-Iranian entente mutually beneficial for both countries – and remarkably resilient to outside pressure, especially while the Kremlin played only a limited role in the Middle East. But now, Russia is expanding its equities in the region.
Latest Article from Clifford May
Eight years ago this month, Asia Bibi, a Pakistani Christian, was prosecuted, convicted and sentenced to be hanged on the charge of blasphemy. She has spent the years since on death row. Now, Pakistan's Supreme Court has overturned her conviction on grounds of insufficient evidence. So this sad story turns out to have a happy ending, right? C'mon, you knew it wasn't going to be that simple.
Latest Article from Judith Miller
The C-40 military jet carrying then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions and senior staff had just lifted off the runway at Boston's Logan airport on Oct. 29 when the engine shuddered and the plane hit the ground with a thud. The jet had hit a flock of birds, remnants of which were splattered across the windshield. The two senior aides in the front cabin were pale and shaken. So was I, a reporter covering him that week.
Jeff Sessions never flinched.
Latest Article from Soeren Kern
The American midterm elections attracted intense interest in Europe, where much of the political and media establishment are hostile to U.S. President Donald J. Trump, and many had openly hoped that the vote on November 6 would weaken him and his legislative agenda.
Newspapers and magazines across Europe provided saturation coverage of the elections. The overwhelming majority of commentaries and editorials, while customarily vitriolic in tone, grudgingly acknowledged that the midterm results did not amount to the total repudiation of the Trump Administration and may even help the president's chances for reelection in November 2020.
Latest Article from Jonathan Schanzer
The Trump administration, after reinstating sanctions on the Iranian regime Monday, now seeks to convey that more pressure is on the way. But the messaging by U.S. officials has been mixed, leaving some doubt as to where Washington's Iran policy goes from here.
For example, it was unclear until only a few days ago whether Iran would be booted from SWIFT, the Belgium-based financial messaging service that is crucial to keeping Iran's central bank connected to the international banking system. A majority of Iranian banks are now slated to be disconnected from the ubiquitous messaging system, leaving only a few to remain connected for humanitarian transactions.
Latest Article from Michael Freund
Earlier this week, the cabinet passed a welcome decision that was long overdue. For the first time since 2002, the government approved the construction of 31 Jewish housing units in Hebron, thereby allowing the city's Jewish community to continue to grow.
That it took 16 years to grant permission to Hebron's Jews to build is remarkable, for it underlines how successive governments have failed to muster the requisite courage needed to fortify and expand the Jewish presence in the City of the Patriarchs. There is simply no reason it should be so difficult for Jews to build in the place where our founding father, Abraham, lived and was buried.
Latest Article from Asaf Romirowsky
The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine evacuated at least 10 international senior officials from the Gaza Strip last Monday. The reason? These top staffers had received death threats following the announcement of budget cuts and planned layoffs by the agency.
This is all because U.S. had decided not to renew its funding — emboldened, perhaps, by the Taylor Force Act's prohibition on funding organizations that abet terrorism.
UNRWA confirmed later that it had "decided to temporarily withdraw part of its international staff from Gaza following a series of worrying security incidents affecting its personnel in the Strip."
Latest Article from Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi
[Originally published under the headline "Why is the Middle East Studies Association Trying to Stop the Online Publication of Islamic State Documents?"]
Why would the Middle East Studies Association (MESA), the primary umbrella organization for the field of Middle East studies, oppose the New York Times partnering with George Washington University (GWU)'s Program On Extremism to produce a public archive of the thousands of Islamic State (ISIS) documents the newspaper retrieved from northern Iraq?
Latest Article from Henry I. Miller
Eco-Bullying Crosses the Pond