Middle East

The Sidebar: Dispatch from Syria and Spy Doctors

January 17, 2013
Barak Barfi reports on the real state of the Syrian Civil War after returning from a recent trip to the country, and Charles Kenny explains why mixing public health campaigns with covert operations is disastrous. Elizabeth Weingarten hosts.

Lost Tribes

  • By
  • Daniel Levy,
  • New America Foundation
January 15, 2013 |

Israelis will go to the polls on Jan. 22 to elect a new parliament and, by extension, government -- an event that has so far attracted relatively little international attention. Understandably so: Benjamin Netanyahu just came closer than any Israeli prime minister in more than two decades to serving out a full parliamentary term, and nobody expects him to lose. His putative challengers from the center have been unable to find, coalesce around, or attract enough support for a credible alternative candidate.

Surviving in Aleppo

  • By
  • Barak Barfi,
  • New America Foundation
January 14, 2013 |

ALEPPO, SYRIA — Kneeling on a rooftop, a woman jams a stick down a long pipe. With no electricity, residents now use diesel fuel for heat, which clogs the chimneys with soot. Nearby, on Bab al-Nayrab street, goats rummage through a quarter-mile of garbage. Its putrid stench extends even farther.

As fighting in Syria’s largest city enters its sixth month, the economy has ground to a halt. There is no electricity, and the prices of basic goods such as bread and cooking oil have skyrocketed. Residents are selling off their possessions to survive.

Aleppo Dispatch: The Dark Side of the Syrian Opposition

  • By
  • Barak Barfi,
  • New America Foundation
January 14, 2013 |

Ibrahim al-Halabi was confused by my questions. He could neither tell me how he landed himself in a makeshift prison cell nor respond to even simple queries, like what job he held. The 27-year-old had been picked up at a routine checkpoint in the city of Aleppo by rebels from the Free Syrian Army (FSA) fighting the Syrian regime. When he could not provide identification papers, they arrested him.

Constitution Watch Podcast: Laying Down the Law

December 13, 2012
Elizabeth Weingarten and Marianne Ibrahim, the co-founder and executive manager of Egypt's Al-Gisr Center for Development and Dialogue, discuss the draft constitution's most controversial elements – and what must be changed before the articles are set in.

Constitution Watch Podcast: Hope and Chaos in Egypt

December 13, 2012
Leila Hilal talks to Nadine Sherif of the Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies about how the recent tumult in Egypt has coalesced the opposition to President Morsi in Cairo and strengthened the Egyptian national identity.They also discuss the most important elements of Egypt's draft constitution.

New America Foundation Podcast: Hope and Chaos in Egypt

December 7, 2012
Director of the Middle East Task Force Leila Hilal talks to Nadine Sherif of the Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies about how the recent tumult in Egypt has coalesced the opposition to President Morsi in Cairo, and strengthened the Egyptian national identity. They also discussed what the U.S. should be doing in light of increasing violence in the streets of Egypt, and what's likely to happen if the December 15 constitutional referendum take place.

The Conversation Israel and Palestine Needs to Have

  • By
  • Peter Beinart,
  • New America Foundation
  • and Alan M. Dershowitz
December 3, 2012 |

From the Gaza war and the upgrading of Palestine at the U.N. to Israel’s announcement that it will likely build new settlements, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is spiraling out of control. We as coauthors disagree on the Palestinian U.N. bid, as on other important aspects of Middle Eastern politics. But on this we profoundly agree: negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority must resume, and fast.

Programs:

On Pilgrims and Zionists

  • By
  • Rosa Brooks,
  • New America Foundation
November 21, 2012 |

It's Thanksgiving, which means it's time to think about Israel.

That's not as nonsensical as it may sound. The Pilgrims who established our American Thanksgiving ritual thought about Israel a great deal: both they and the larger group of Puritan settlers who followed them a decade later saw themselves as New Israelites, forced into the wilderness by religious persecution.

From Confusion to Kardashian: Misreading the Middle East

  • By
  • Haroon Moghul,
  • New America Foundation
December 4, 2012 |

On the one hand, anything Kim Kardashian does shouldn’t be news. On the other hand, it usually is, so why not use her celebrity to push another point? I’m writing about Kardashian’s recent tweets on Israel and from Bahrain, and what the ensuing teapot-sized tempest tell us about elites, Arabs, and the magic of social media. 

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