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Middle East

Israel Normalizes Its Occupation Of The West Bank

Israel’s damaging and counter-productive settlement expansion program in the West Bank continues apace. Earlier this month, the Ministry of Defence body responsible for authorizing the construction of settlements, the Civil Administration’s High Planning Subcommittee, advanced plans to build 4,948 homes, bringing this year’s total to a record-breaking figure of 12,159. Much of the construction will […]

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Middle East

A Milestone In The Arab-Israeli Conflict

Sudan is on the cusp of normalizing relations with Israel, and this is a significant development, a milestone, in the annals of the bitter Arab-Israeli conflict. According to reports, Sudan — a strategically key nation on the shores of the Red Sea and the largest country in Africa — will formally establish diplomatic ties with […]

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Middle East

The Arab Joint List’s Short-Sighted Policy

The Knesset approved Israel’s normalization agreements with the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain by an overwhelming margin of 80 to 13 last week. All the dissenting votes were cast by the Arab Joint List, the third largest political party, though 27 parliamentarians were absent and two MK’s, both from the Arab Joint List, were unable […]

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Middle East

Saudi Arabia Resists Normalization With Israel

Much to Israel’s disappointment, Saudi Arabia in the short term is unlikely to follow the lead of the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain and sign a normalization agreement with Israel. Saudi Arabia — the seat of Islam and the site of some of the holiest shrines in the Muslim world — is sticking to its […]

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Middle East

Turkey Hews To A Neo-Ottoman Foreign Policy

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan delivered a major policy speech on October 1 that confirmed yet again that Turkey under his administration is pursuing a neo-Ottoman foreign policy that blends Islamic consciousness with Turkish nationalism. Harkening back to the era when the Ottoman Empire was a global hegemon and Palestine was one of its far-flung […]

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Middle East

Coronavirus Crisis Engulfs Israel’s Ultra-Orthodox Community

On October 1, shortly after Israel descended into its second lockdown in six months to contain the second wave of the rampaging coronavirus contagion, Israeli President Reuven Rivlin paid an “emergency” visit to a leading ultra-Orthodox rabbi, Shalom Cohen. The purpose of his trip was to urge Cohen to encourage his followers in the haredi […]

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Middle East

A New Beginning In The Middle East?

Israel’s normalization agreements with the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, formalized in Washington, D.C. in a White House ceremony presided over by U.S. President Donald Trump last month, already seem warmer and more substantive than the peace treaties Israel signed with Egypt and Jordan in 1979 and 1994 respectively. If optics mean anything, Israel and […]

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Middle East

From The Nile To The Euphrates

Azzam Al-Ahmad, a senior Palestinian official, recently told Qatar’s Al-Araby television network that Israel aspires to expand its borders from the Nile River in Egypt to the Euphrates River in Iraq. Portraying the Palestinians as the guardians of Arab interests, Al-Ahmad, a member of Fatah’s Central Committee, said, “We, the Palestinians, are defending all of you. […]

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Middle East

Trump’s Comments Feed Into An Antisemitic Myth

Donald Trump is doing it again, conflating American Jews with Israelis and blurring the line between his duties as president and the needs of his reelection campaign. In a phone call with Jewish communal leaders on the eve of Rosh Hashanah, he voiced praise for Jews in the United States. “We really appreciate you,” he […]

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Middle East

Israel Struggles With The Coronavirus Pandemic

Israel submitted itself to a three-week nation-wide lockdown on September 18, in a disheartening and demoralizing sign of its failure to keep the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic in check. Barely four months after emerging from its first painful encounter with a lockdown, Israel was forced to introduce an array of stifling restrictions to contain […]