Levant

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Snapshot,
Denise Natali

Within Iraq and Syria, the U.S.-led campaign against ISIS relies heavily on Kurdish Peshmerga. But the Peshmerga haven’t been a total success story; Peshmerga forces are using coalition air strikes to engineer territorial and demographic changes that are antagonizing Sunni Arabs—the very communities the United States needs on its side to degrade ISIS.

Snapshot,
Elliott Abrams and Uri Sadot

The United States and Europe frequently criticized Netanyahu's settlement policy as expanding Israeli presence in the West Bank. Meanwhile, right-wing constituencies in Israel lashed out at Netanyahu for doing the exact opposite. In fact, he was doing both—a balancing act that is about to get a lot harder.

Snapshot,
Andrew F. March and Mara Revkin

Debating whether ISIS is really "Islamic" or is better understood as an exotic apocalyptic death cult does not bring the world closer to understanding how the group governs. Indeed, whatever it believes about the apocalypse, it sees itself as creating a distinctive legal order for the here and now, one that is based on a literal (if selective) reading of early Islamic materials and a long-standing theory of statecraft and legal authority.

Snapshot,
Timothy William Waters

For the Palestinian Authority, joining the International Criminal Court is part of a larger effort to internationalize its dispute with Israel. The trend promises plenty of turmoil and trouble in the months and years ahead—for the ICC, for Israel, and for Palestine itself.

Snapshot,
Amos Yadlin and Avner Golov

Israel and the United States share the same strategic goal: preventing Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. The intelligence services of both countries are also largely in agreement on the status of the Iranian program. But they remain deeply divided on what to do about it. Here's how to bring them together.

Snapshot,
Hassan Hassan

Although ISIS defeats in Tikrit and other Sunni areas would seem like good things, the United States should tread carefully. The air campaign against ISIS in Iraq has reached its limits; more strikes won’t help against ISIS and will only further destabilize the sectarian balance in the country. It is time to take the battle further north to Syria.

Snapshot,
Daniel Kurtzer

The ultimate victory in Israeli elections belongs not to Netanyahu but to the country's right wing. The results showed that this force has become a permanent majority—a strength that comes regardless of who leads it.

Snapshot,
Brent E. Sasley

As the post-election dust settles in Israel, it has grown clear how long-standing cultural and political shifts shaped this year’s vote. 

Snapshot,
Michael J. Koplow

Those hoping that a Prime Minister Herzog would bring about a momentous shift in Israeli foreign policy will be disappointed. No matter who emerges as victor following the election and the inevitable weeks of haggling and horse-trading that go into forming a coalition, Israel’s foreign policy on the big issues will be marked by consistency rather than transformation.

Snapshot,
Asher Orkaby

Observers might be surprised to hear of increasingly friendly relations between Israel and Saudi Arabia. But a warming of relations—and even coordinated military operationswould hardly be unprecedented, as the historical record makes clear.

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