Middle East

Israeli-Palestinian solidarity overcomes politics

With cement walls and electric fences making a comeback, with the word “Muslims” becoming synonymous with terrorists, with racism enjoying a revival, the recommendation of the Talmud-era sage Hillel the Elder takes on new meaning: “In a place where there are no humans, one must strive to be human” (Pirkei Avit 2:5). Akiva Eldar Al Monitor It is harder, still, to be a decent human being — in Yiddish, a “mensch” — in a fraught relationship between occupiers and the occupied. Despite the abundance ... Read More »

What you need to know about the Israeli settlements

(CNN) – Four issues have dominated the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as the most difficult to solve and the most complex to handle: the status of Jerusalem, Palestinian refugees (and their right of return), borders, and settlements. Oren Liebermann CNN Recent announcements by the Israeli government of the expansion of West Bank settlements, made in the period since Donald Trump became US President, have put settlements back in the spotlight. The announcements come… What you need to… Read More »

Turkey is finding itself a place in the new world

In 1967, when the United States and Turkey were at odds over Cyprus, President Lyndon Johnson wrote a letter to Prime Minister İsmet İnönü threatening to block Turkish warships from sailing to the island. Ilnur Cevik Daily Sabah İnönü in reply told the U.S. president that if the world falls apart “Turkey will find itself a place in the new world.” Today, after five… Turkey is finding… Read More »

Taking west Mosul: A bridge too far?

Squeezing ISIL out of west Mosul will perhaps be the most defining battle in Iraq following the US-led invasion in 2003. Tallha Abdulrazaq Al Jazeera News The battle for Mosul has now entered its 15th week. The Iraqi Security… Taking west Mosul… Read More »

James Packer caught in middle of corruption inquiry into Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

James Packer’s lawyer asked about arranging citizenship or residency in Israel for the Australian billionaire, the country’s Interior Minister says, in a move that could bring Mr Packer significant tax benefits. Sophie McNeill ABC Mr Packer has found himself caught in the middle of a major corruption inquiry that has rocked the Middle Eastern country. His name has been… James Packer caught in… Read More »

Is political solution in Syria any closer after Astana talks?

International peace talks have been taking place for several years now in an effort to come to a political solution for the ongoing war in Syria. Nour Samaha Al Monitor Yet the recent Astana talks, much like the previous Geneva talks, have demonstrated that they have little impact on the ground, as both the Syrian government and regional actors continue to push their own agendas. From the get-go, the… Is political solution in… Read More »

The real reason Erdoganists still love Trump despite ‘Muslim ban’

The executive order by US President Donald Trump, banning the citizens of seven predominantly Muslim nations from entering the United States, has sparked major protests all across America. Mustafa Akyol Al Monitor Most Muslims, naturally, were happy to see this solidarity offered to them by Jews, Christians, atheists and many others who do not share their faith. However, the same… The real reason… Read More »

Trump bans, Iran profits

The US president wants to keep his country safe, but he’s strengthening Tehran and ISIL. David Patrikarakos Politico President Donald Trump’s executive order banning people from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the U.S. was intended to safeguard Americans from terrorism. Instead, it is likely to… Trump bans, Iran… Read More »

Does Syria really want to reconcile with Kurds?

QAMISHLI, Syria — Syrian Kurds are working quietly but feverishly to build a state entity with its own security, economy and sociocultural bodies. Fehim Taştekin Al Monitor But what if Damascus rejects this system and opts for war? I recently traveled through… Does Syria really want… Read More »

Iraq retaliates against US travel ban imposed by Trump

Two lawmakers say that the Iraqi parliament has approved a “reciprocity measure” after U.S. President Donald Trump’s executive order temporarily banning citizens from Iraq and six other Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States. Compiled from Wire Services Daily Sabah The measure, adopted by lawmakers at a Monday session of parliament, is to apply to Americans entering Iraq. Lawmakers Kamil al-Ghrairi… Iraq retaliates against US… Read More »

Why are Islamist armed groups clashing in Syria?

Rebel alliances in Syria fluctuate frequently, mirroring the ever-changing complexities of the region. Rami G Khouri Al Jazeera News The fresh clashes in Syria’s Idlib region between a dozen important Islamist and extremist rebel movements are battles for turf and authority on the ground – but they also mirror northern Syria’s ever-changing complexities, as…. Why are Islamist armed… Read More »

Failed Islamic State?

The once-sleepy town of Idlib is fast becoming a hotbed for militants who are being funnelled there by outside powers, possibly as part of grand plan Sami Moubayed Asia Times Until a few years ago, Idlib was nothing but a sleepy and forgotten city in the Syrian northwest, famed for its agricultural fields and for a celebrated resistance leader it produced at the end of World War I, who staged a… Failed Islamic… Read More »

4 reasons Turkey is destined for an imperial presidency

Turkey’s president has his political propaganda machine all oiled up and ready to roll to victory in April, when voters will very likely grant him exceptional powers. Pinar Tremblay Al Monitor On Jan. 21, Turkey’s parliament approved 18 amendments to its tainted constitution, which dates back to 1982. The controversial reforms now… 4 reasons Turkey is… Read More »

An uncertain future for peace

It looks like the tide is high in the UN-brokered Cyprus reunification talks, now that the focus is on the thorny issue of security and guarantees in a… Annie Charalambous incyprus The two leaders met in Nicosia yesterday for the first time since the Geneva-hosted security-focused Conference on Cyprus and agreed to meet again on… An uncertain future… Read More »

Cyprus hopes dashed by Turkes four freedoms demand

Turkey’s Deputy Prime Minister, Tugrul Turkes, has torpedoed hopes for a settlement on the Cyprus problem after publically stating that his country will not budge on its request for four freedoms for the… in-cyprus Turkes – who had travelled to Geneva earlier this month to meet with Turkish Cypriot negotiator Ozdil Nami – said that the… Cyprus hopes dashed… Read More »