Middle East


By Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi

Logo of “The White Shroud”

I have previously written on Sunni groups created within Iraq to fight against the Islamic State [IS], but what about in Syria? Some attention has been devoted to the group “Al-Kafn Al-Abyad” (The White Shroud), but on social media I have seen some Continue →


Israel is sick and needs treatment says president

by sarahbenton on October 22, 2014

1) Mondoweiss on President Rivlin’s speech, 2) Times of Israel report of the conference.

President Reuven Rivlin, above, has been more overtly hostile to a Palestinian state than his predecessor Shimon Peres, but appears to be more perturbed about the effects of the status quo on Israelis.

Israeli president’s diagnosis — ‘Israel Continue →


Blaming Israel for MidEast violence

by sarahbenton on October 22, 2014

The opinion piece in the Jordan Times is followed by a report from the Daily Telegraph.

Anti-American protest in Cairo, 2013. Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Key linkage

By Hassan A. Barari, Jordan Times October 20, 2014

Whether the perpetuation of the Arab-Israeli conflict destabilises the Middle East or not is an unresolved debate in Continue →


Photo Credit: The Nation

Yesterday, Iranian human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh staged a sit-in outside the Iranian Bar Association office in Tehran to protest the three year ban that will prevent her from practicing law. Sotoudeh was joined by 15 other activists for human and women’s rights. Law enforcement took no Continue →


On Tuesday, October 21 2014, the Wilson Center hosted an event titled “Iranian Policy Toward the Iraqi and Syrian Crises.”  The event featured Jubin Goodarzi, the Deputy Head of the International Relations Department at Webster University. Mr. Goodarzi was introduced by Haleh Esfandiari, the Director of the Middle East Program Continue →


Anger in E. Jerusalem still rising

by sarahbenton on October 22, 2014

The AFP analysis of the means used to transfer property from Palestinian to Israeli Jewish ownership is followed by a report of the new police unit for East Jerusalem.

The Dome of the Rock and the Al-Aqsa mosque compound sit atop the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan, a densely-populated Palestinian neighbourhood Continue →


EU draws its red lines on Israeli expansion

by sarahbenton on October 22, 2014

Givat Hamatos: the first pre-fab home, often the first sign of a new illegal settlement. EU seeks talks with Israel over ‘red lines’ in West Bank

Israeli officials fear that proposed negotiations are prelude to further European sanctions.

By Barak Ravid, Haaretz October 22, 2014

The European Union is interested in opening negotiations with Continue →


Ban Ki Moon visits Gaza on October 14th after the Cairo donors’ conference, where he said “the root causes of the recent hostilities” were “a restrictive occupation that has lasted almost half a century, the continued denial of Palestinian rights and the lack of tangible progress in peace negotiations”.

The Reconstruction Continue →

Ex-general Khalifa Haftar speaks during a news conference after surviving an assassination attempt, in Al Marj

 Photo Credit: Reuters

Libya’s House of Representatives formally declared an alliance with renegade former general Khalifa Haftar and his militia, Operation Dignity, in a bid to counteract Islamist influence in the country. According to parliament spokesperson Farraj Hashem,  parliament gave Operation Dignity an official role leading officers and soldiers Continue →


 Photo Credit: World Bulletin

Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu announced that the Turkish government will introduce a bill in parliament which would give law enforcement greater powers over protests. The introduction of the bill will follow violent clashes between pro-Kurdish protesters and police that killed more than 35 people across Turkey. Continue →


US needs strong Palestinian Authority

by sarahbenton on October 21, 2014

Mustafa Barghouti, 2013

Mustafa Barghouti: US-Palestinian ties strong

In an interview with Al-Monitor, former Palestinian Minister Mustafa Barghouti says that the US commitment to the Palestinian Authority’s survival will withstand the Palestinian initiative of seeking UN recognition.

By Shlomi Eldar, trans Sandy Bloom, Al Monitor / Israel Pulse October 20, 2014

For many years, US Continue →


Israeli minister claims UK welcomes Islamic state

by sarahbenton on October 21, 2014

Deputy Education minister Avi Wortzman. Wortzman is a religious MK, a member of Jewish Home. In 2013 he said of talks with the Palestinian Authority and a possible Palestinian state:

Bayit Yehudi’s stance is clear. The Land of Israel belongs to the Jewish people. We oppose a two-state solution. The nations Continue →