Middle East

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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,
Asher Orkaby

The Houthis are one of the most effective military forces combating the expansion of al Qaeda and ISIS in the Arabian Peninsula. If the West turns its back on the Houthi leadership because of antagonistic slogans, opportunistic relations with Iran, or Hadi’s protestations, it might end up forsaking a serious partner.

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,
Dafna H. Rand and Nicholas A. Heras

In early March, Baghdad started a push to retake the historic city of Tikrit, in the center of the so-called Sunni triangle. Some Americans must be feeling a sense of déjà vu; the U.S. military tried something similar as part of the 2006-07 Arab Sunni Awakening. Then as now, counterterrorism operations combined with efforts to win Sunni hearts and minds required the tough, tedious work of offering the right guarantees and incentives to “flip” key leaders of the Iraqi Sunni tribal region away from the terrorists in their midst.

Snapshot,
Michael Knights

Unthinkable just a decade ago, the main government forces leading the battle in Tikrit are Shia fighters—the Popular Mobilization Units (PMUs) that are under the control of militia leaders. Worryingly, these forces’ main partners are Iran and Lebanese Hezbollah.

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.

Snapshot,
Nick Danforth

From the 1930s to the present, Turkey has brandished neo-Ottoman rhetoric to support a range of different, even contradictory, policies.

Snapshot,
Zachary J. Foster

It is not often that politicians make public pronouncements about the historical origins of national identities, but the Palestinian identity is a unique case. It has long been the source of controversy and mystery.

Snapshot,
Barak Mendelsohn

It is certainly ironic that at this point, when the United States is the closest it has ever been to destroying al Qaeda, its interests would be better served by keeping the terrorist organization afloat and Zawahiri alive. 

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