Middle East

The Biden Admin is Right to Exercise “Excessive Restraint” Against Iranian Proxies

Amidst the enduring conflict between Israel and Gaza, Iran’s proxy forces—collectively known as “The Axis of Resistance”—are hard at work in embodying Churchill’s adage to never let a good crisis go to waste. Stretching from Lebanon to Yemen and comprising scores of disparate factions including small Islamist militant groups, quasi-state actors, and designated terrorist organizations, […]

Palestine and the 2021 Crisis

Last May was not the first time that Israel laid siege to the Gaza Strip. In the fifteen years of the blockade, this was Israel’s fourth intensive bombardment campaign since 2008. After its failed incursion into Lebanon in 2006, periodically “mowing the grass” in Gaza maintains Israel’s strategic “deterrence capacity.” But for what seemed like […]

What is Happening in Israel

On May 10, 2021, in the final days of Ramadan, Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) stormed the sacred Al-Aqsa Mosque with tear gas and stun grenades.  The Al-Aqsa Mosque is the third holiest site in Islam, but is part of a larger complex called the Temple Mount, which is the holiest site in Judaism. Though Israel […]

Israel’s Cat-astrophe and Its Impact on Wildlife

This started out as an inside joke.  As I packed for my spring break trip to Israel, I asked my closest friends and family what they wanted as souvenirs. One said, “a cat that speaks Hebrew.”  When I reached my first tourist spot—an ancient grave—I spotted a stray. “Do you speak?” I joked as I […]

Germany’s Landmark Syrian State Torture Trial

April 23 marks the beginning of one of the most important international human rights cases in recent memory, the first criminal trial regarding state-sanctioned torture in Syria. However, it is not Syria or the United Nations adjudicating the case, but Germany.  Syria’s military conflict began in 2011, sparked by a series of protests against President […]

The “Deal of the Century” and the Death of the Two-State Solution

In late January of this year, US President Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu formally unveiled “Peace to Prosperity,” a proposal by the Trump administration to resolve the Arab–Israeli conflict. The so-called “Deal of the Century” plagiarizes a forty-year-old plan by the World Zionist Organization, envisions a disjointed Palestinian state, and loosely promises […]

The Kurdish Question: In Context

The recent withdrawal of United States military forces from Syria has thrust the Kurds—an ethnic group inhabiting the south of Turkey, Syria, northern Iraq, and Iran—into the international spotlight. In recent years, Kurds predominantly located in Syria and southern Turkey have fought successfully with US forces against the regional strongholds of the Islamic State and […]

The Qatar-Gulf Crisis in Context

Akshat recently traveled to Doha as a member of the Qatar Exchange Fellowship, sponsored by the National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations and the Northeastern University International Relations Council. The content of this article is largely sourced from conversations with officials from the U.S. Departments of State and Defense, Qatar’s Foreign Affairs and Defence Ministries, Al […]

The Battle of Hodeidah and the World’s Worst Humanitarian Crisis

The prominent theme of the Yemeni Civil War has unfortunately been extreme famine. It is another example of a poor, vulnerable population caught in the middle of a deadly clash. In fact, Yemen is the poorest country in the Middle East, with a per capita GDP of just $1,300, according to 2017 estimates. Syria’s GDP […]

A Look Back at Kurdistan’s Tumultuous September

On June 7th, 2017, a certain political leader shook the world with a tweet. No, not Donald Trump, but Masoud Barzani, President of the Iraqi Kurdish Regional Government. His tweet proclaimed, “I am pleased to announce that the date for the independence referendum has been set for Monday, September 25th, 2017,” thereby launching a bid […]