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Middle East and North Africa

People hold up a coffin and wave flags.
People hold up a coffin and wave flags.

Why Israel Is Afraid of Palestinian Funerals

Shireen Abu Akleh was neither a terrorist nor a dissident. But Israeli authorities treated the journalist’s funeral as a threat to their security.

A view of Givat Zeev, an Israeli settlement near the Palestinian city of Ramallah in the occupied West Bank, on Nov. 19, 2019.
A view of Givat Zeev, an Israeli settlement near the Palestinian city of Ramallah in the occupied West Bank, on Nov. 19, 2019.

Blasting Israeli Settlement Construction Will Get Biden Nowhere

Settlement growth in the West Bank is a product of population pressure, not policy.

Israeli security forces keep watch as Palestinians cross a checkpoint to reach Jerusalem to attend the last Friday prayers of Ramadan at the al-Aqsa mosque compound, on Apr. 29, 2022 in Bethlehem in the occupied West Bank.
Israeli security forces keep watch as Palestinians cross a checkpoint to reach Jerusalem to attend the last Friday prayers of Ramadan at the al-Aqsa mosque compound, on Apr. 29, 2022 in Bethlehem in the occupied West Bank.

An Israeli-Palestinian Confederation Is the Best Path to Peace

The plan would satisfy concerns across the political spectrum by tackling the thorniest issues in new ways.

Demonstrators hold a placard that reads "EU, UN and US it is time for B.D.S."
Demonstrators hold a placard that reads "EU, UN and US it is time for B.D.S."

The BDS Movement Has Already Lost

Where it counts—in the halls of government and boardrooms—the effort to boycott Israel doesn’t even register.

A woman votes behind a white privacy screen.
A woman votes behind a white privacy screen.

Lebanon’s Surprisingly Promising Election

After years of political deadlock, the country may be starting to shake off its ruling class.

Former U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during the American Freedom Tour at the Austin Convention Center in Austin, Texas, on May 14.
Former U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during the American Freedom Tour at the Austin Convention Center in Austin, Texas, on May 14.

Trump’s Poison Pills Are Still Toxic

Whether it’s Iran, China, Cuba, or immigration, U.S. President Joe Biden often finds himself stymied by his predecessor’s foreign policy.

Demonstrators wave Western Sahara flags during a protest against the Spanish government support for Morocco's autonomy plan for Western Sahara, in Madrid, on March 26.
Demonstrators wave Western Sahara flags during a protest against the Spanish government support for Morocco's autonomy plan for Western Sahara, in Madrid, on March 26.

Why Is Madrid Pandering to Morocco?

Spain has traded five decades of neutrality on Western Sahara while getting nothing but a spyware scandal in return.

A person with curly hair stands with their back turned toward the camera, draped in a red and white flag with a green tree in the middle. They're standing in the middle of a road and tan buildings are in the background.
A person with curly hair stands with their back turned toward the camera, draped in a red and white flag with a green tree in the middle. They're standing in the middle of a road and tan buildings are in the background.

Can Lebanon’s Elections Pull the Country Out of an Abyss?

On Sunday, Lebanese go to the polls for the first time since their 2019 uprising.

A satellite image shows the the FSO Safer tanker moored off Ras Isa port in Yemen on June 17, 2020.
A satellite image shows the the FSO Safer tanker moored off Ras Isa port in Yemen on June 17, 2020.

Yemen Is Sitting on a Time Bomb Bigger Than the Exxon Valdez

An abandoned oil tanker with more than 1 million barrels of crude is rusting off the coast.

In a photo supplied by the Saudi Royal Court, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman embraces Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan
In a photo supplied by the Saudi Royal Court, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman embraces Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan

The Middle East’s Kumbaya Moment Won’t Last

The diplomatic resets and outreach underway are just competition by another means.

People stand behind a red barrier and take photos with their phones.
People stand behind a red barrier and take photos with their phones.

Can Saudi Arabia’s Film Industry Take Off?

Big-budget thrillers are now being filmed in the kingdom, but culture clashes could hinder the industry’s success.

The families of American hostages detained abroad hold a rally in front of the White House.
The families of American hostages detained abroad hold a rally in front of the White House.

Families of American Hostages Abroad Find Power—and Solace—in Numbers

Biden faces pressure to secure release of Americans wrongfully detained abroad.

Qatari Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani (left) gestures toward Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi as they walk after a group photo during the final session of the Gas Exporting Countries Forum summit in Doha, Qatar, on Feb. 22.
Qatari Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani (left) gestures toward Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi as they walk after a group photo during the final session of the Gas Exporting Countries Forum summit in Doha, Qatar, on Feb. 22.

The Qatarization of the Middle East

Gulf Arab countries are copying Qatar in hedging against U.S. power. Iran is thrilled.

A Palestinian loads a cart with food.
A Palestinian loads a cart with food.

Palestinians Feel Economic Pain From the War in Ukraine

A food crisis looms as the price of wheat and other staples surges.

A member of the Syrian pro-government forces carries an Islamic State (IS) group flag as he stands on a street in the ancient city of Palmyra on March 27, 2016, after troops recaptured the city from IS jihadists.
A member of the Syrian pro-government forces carries an Islamic State (IS) group flag as he stands on a street in the ancient city of Palmyra on March 27, 2016, after troops recaptured the city from IS jihadists.

ISIS Can’t Even Direct Lone-Wolf Attacks Anymore

But the group is hoping for a resurgence while the West is distracted in Ukraine.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov welcomes his Iranian counterpart, Hossein Amir-Abdollahian.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov welcomes his Iranian counterpart, Hossein Amir-Abdollahian.

Sanctioning Russia Won’t Stop Putin. Just Look at Iran.

Iran is a cautionary tale that stubborn autocracies can’t be disciplined with sanctions.

A long line of cars stretches down a city street from a gas station.
A long line of cars stretches down a city street from a gas station.

Iraq’s Oil Dysfunction

The world’s sixth-largest oil producer still suffers from fuel shortages and power outages.

A man sits near a portrait of Russian President Vladimir Putin during a demonstration in Bamako, Mali, on Feb. 19 celebrating France’s announcement that it will withdraw its troops from the country.
A man sits near a portrait of Russian President Vladimir Putin during a demonstration in Bamako, Mali, on Feb. 19 celebrating France’s announcement that it will withdraw its troops from the country.

Russia Flounders in Ukraine but Doubles Down in Mali

Russian mercenaries fill Mali vacuum as European powers pursue an exit.

A Uyghur man in Medina, Saudi Arabia, in 2019 holds his expired Chinese passport (red) and a one-way travel document (blue) issued in its place by the Chinese mission in Saudi Arabia.
A Uyghur man in Medina, Saudi Arabia, in 2019 holds his expired Chinese passport (red) and a one-way travel document (blue) issued in its place by the Chinese mission in Saudi Arabia.

China’s Transnational Repression Gets Saudi Backing

Deporting Uyghur refugees is inhumane and illegal.

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