Pence’s trip to Israel raises political and religious fears

If anybody thought a visit by America’s evangelical Vice President, Mike Pence, to Israel’s key holy sites would ease tensions at one of the lowest points in Israeli-Palestinian relations in years, perhaps they should think again. Pence, who champions the rights of Christians in the Middle East and typically fights in Israel’s corner, is set […]

Iranians and Saudi youth want to bury 1979

By Thomas L. Friedman The biggest question about the recent protests in Iran — combined with the recent lifting of religious restrictions in Saudi Arabia — is whether together they mark the beginning of the end of the hard-right puritanical turn that the Muslim world took in 1979, when, as Middle East expert Mamoun Fandy once […]

Putin’s Syria Goals Went Beyond Saving Assad

The Russian Defense Ministry is denying a report by a leading Moscow newspaper that seven Russian warplanes were destroyed in a New Year’s Eve attack on the Khmeimim air base in Syria. Two Russian servicemen died in the attack, according to the ministry. Clearly, fighting in Syria isn’t over for Russia yet, despite President Vladimir Putin’s self-congratulatory conversations with Syrian […]

Iranian uprising: ‘This is what revolution looks like’

By Terry Glavin The Iranian uprising that began last Thursday in Mashhad, Iran’s second largest city, was initially reported as an isolated protest over food prices and unemployment. By Sunday, the entire country was heaving in convulsions. Tens of thousands of people had poured into the streets of at least two dozen Iranian cities and towns, […]

Is Anyone Listening To Protests In Iran?

Ellen R. Wald, contributor During this holiday week, much of the world may not have noticed, but there are protests being staged in Iran. Over the last few days, Iranians have taken to streets in anger. They are protesting high levels of unemployment (12.4%) and a stagnant economy with inflationary prices. They are also protesting […]

Trump has forgotten his pledge in designing his tax plan: “America is Last not First”

BY MATTHEW GARDNER When President Trump announced in his inauguration speech that he would pursue a policy of “America First,” some people probably liked it while others feared it sounded too isolationist or perhaps even xenophobic. But even his most ardent supporters might be taken aback to hear that the president seems to have forgotten […]

Donald Trump Seems Confused About Jerusalem

Do you maybe find Middle East politics a bit confusing? Hard to tell all those claims and counterclaims apart, to sort out just who deserves to govern which piece of land? Well, the Trump administration is here to make matters more bewildering and stressful for everyone. First, out of the blue, President Donald Trump announced […]

Analysis: Trump’s core support slipping, polls say

Analysis by Gregory Krieg and Ryan Struyk, On the campaign trail, Donald Trump famously described his core supporters as impervious to outside influence — even when it when it came to his own troubling or divisive behavior. “I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody,” he said at a 2015 rally […]

Is Kushner bringing conflict, not peace, to the Middle East?

Several top Trump administration officials, including the president’s son-in-law and adviser Jared Kushner, slammed Iran this weekend, demonstrating that the administration is maintaining its support for Saudi Arabia and its efforts to contain Iran’s influence in the Middle East. But experts argue their rhetoric might be hurting the administration’s diplomatic efforts. In a rare public […]

The rise and fall of Yemen’s Ali Abdullah Saleh

Yemen’s ex-president Ali Abdullah Saleh, who was killed on Monday, ruled the Arabian Peninsula country for more than three decades, remaining a key player long after his 2012 resignation. Adept at navigating Yemen’s complex politics, he survived civil war, rebellion in the north, an Al-Qaeda insurgency in the south and a June 2011 bomb attack […]