Brief analysis

Israel knows it will get away with the attack on Shireen Abu Aqleh’s funeral

May 16, 2022 | The Guardian

any were shocked by the images of Israeli border police attacking the funeral procession of the prominent Palestinian journalist Shireen Abu Aqleh – not merely by the police’s cruelty, but also by their willingness to ride out the reputational damage from the attack. Abu Aqleh’s killing, Continue Reading

The Syrian regime has been partially rehabilitated, and it doesn’t even have Russia’s natural resources to bargain with.

April 01, 2022 | New Statesman

European leaders have vowed to impose further sanctions on Russia after the appearance of images from Bucha of bound Ukrainian civilians being killed by Russian forces. These would be in addition to the sanctions following the invasion of Ukraine, which the US treasury secretary called “unprecedented”. Continue Reading

How Israel’s Occupation Came Home

June 16, 2021 | newlinesmag

The violence that erupted across Israeli cities in May was unprecedented. At no time since Israel’s independence has the country witnessed such violence among ordinary civilians. Continue Reading

Yes, Assad won reelection last week. But Syria’s elections serve another purpose.

June 01, 2021 | washingtonpost

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his wife cast their ballots in the May 26 presidential election in the town of Douma, a suburb of the capital city of Damascus. The location was not coincidental — Assad’s forces lost control of Douma in 2012 and regained it only after years of Continue Reading

How the Syrian Regime Undermines the Response to COVID-19

October 13, 2020 | cgpolicy

The Syrian regime appears to have given up the effort to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic, as the real number of infections across the country have soared in recent months. Continue Reading

How Europe should talk with non-state armed groups in the Middle East

November 10, 2020 | cgpolicy

The Middle East and North Africa region is increasingly dominated by non-state armed groups wielding significant military and governance power. Continue Reading

Three illiberal leaders cooked up a backroom deal to benefit the political careers of two and the geopolitical power of the third.

August 20, 2020 | The conversationalist

When the United Arab Emirates (U.A.E.) announced on August 13 that it would normalize relations with Israel, under a U.S.-sponsored agreement,Continue Reading

Is this the end of the Palestinian cause?

August 20, 2020 | The conversationalist

The Israeli-Emirati deal establishing formal diplomatic relations is merely the latest blow dealt to the Palestinian people. Continue Reading

Has Turkey’s Incursion into Syria Opened the Door for an Islamic State Comeback?

February 21, 2020 | The conversationalist

People who travel north through these areas bid their family goodbye, in case they do not return,” said Samir, a lawyer living in Hajjin, Continue Reading

Has Turkey’s Incursion into Syria Opened the Door for an Islamic State Comeback?

March 05, 2020 | The conversationalist

Residents of Idlib, the last opposition-held stronghold of Syria, most of them living in displacement and with sparse electricity, Continue Reading

Russia has killed more Syrian civilians than ISIS. Why are they getting away with it?

February 24, 2020 | Forward

When Aaref Watad, a Syrian photographer, arrived at the scene of a recent Russian air force attack in western Aleppo, he found a car completely pierced by shrapnel and nine corpses. Four of them were children. Continue Reading

Analysis: The walls are closing in on Idlib. We cannot ignore the humanitarian crisis.

February 20, 2020 | The World

The walls are closing in on the three million residents of Idlib, the last pocket under the control of Syria’s armed opposition. The ongoing Syrian regime campaign in Continue Reading

Desperate, Thousands of Syrians Flee Toward Turkish Border

February 10, 2020 | Foreign Policy

As snow fell on northern Syria this past week, it covered thousands of fleeing families unable to find even a piece of tarp to shelter themselves. Continue Reading

Your Partisanship Is Blinding You To The Truth About Iran

January 17, 2020 | Forward

Two weeks after the assassination of Qasem Soleimani, the commander of Iran’s foreign operations and the Qods Force, Iran’s political subversion unit, tensions are winding down. Despite doomsday predictions, Iran chose Continue Reading

Civilians see no future in Idlib as Syrian forces tighten grip

January 6, 2020 | The New Humanitarian

With nearly 300,000 people fleeing bombing and fighting in and around Idlib province since mid-December, civilians in the area told The New Humanitarian they had taken everything they own with them. Continue Reading

The Syria Withdrawal’s Other Victims

October 24, 2019 | The Soapbox

In Deir Ezzor, the largest city in eastern Syria, on the banks of the Euphrates River, protesters last week chanted and raised signs calling for the downfall of Bashar al-Assad’s dictatorial regime. But they also raised U.S. and French flags, hoping the anti-ISIS coalition might keep its forces in the region. “I remember when we were taught at a young age about the French colonialist occupier, when the Continue Reading

The Human Rights Abuses Behind Erdogan and Trump’s Syrian ‘Safe Zones’

October 22, 2019 | Haaretz

U.S. President Donald Trump hailed the recently announced deal between the United States and Turkey concerning the Turkish invasion into northeastern Syria as Continue Reading

Idlib Faces a Fearsome Future: Islamist Rule or Mass Murder

September 19, 2019 | Foreign Policy

In recent months, Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS), the radical Islamist group that now controls Idlib—the last redoubt of Syria’s armed opposition—has shown a growing Continue Reading

Hezbollah and Israel have stepped back from the brink this time but the trajectory is deeply troubling

September 05, 2019 | The National News

After a week of violence between Israel and the Lebanese militia Hezbollah, tensions have simmered down. The situation was quite different last Sunday, when hundreds of cars packed with terrified civilians fleeing Continue Reading

Uncertainty, violence, and the fear of fostering extremism in Syria’s al-Hol camp

August 27, 2019 | The New Humanitarian

It was just one sign of what became clear to me during the two days I spent at al-Hol last month: the camp’s civilian administration, the security personnel, and the dozens of aid NGOs are under-resourced and overwhelmed, and tensions Continue Reading

Who will write our history? The world looks away while Idlib awaits its fate

August 09, 2019 | Conversationalist

On July 22 Russian jets bombed the market in Maarat al-Numan, a town near Idlib in northwestern Syria, killing 40 civilians. According to an eyewitness named Um Abdullah, the bombing was Continue Reading

The progressive case for staying in Syria, for now

August 05, 2019 | Middle East Institute

My family packed their belongings after Trump’s tweet … and prepared for displacement,” said Abdul Muin, an activist from Shheel, Deir Ezzor, referring to Continue Reading

In the Islamic State’s Former Stronghold, a Secret Yearning for Assad

July 26, 2019 | Foreign Policy

RAQQA, Syria—The U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces that liberated this war-ravaged city from the Islamic State—which had declared Raqqa its capital—are having a tough time Continue Reading

Kurdish-Arab Power Struggle in Northeastern Syria

July 24, 2019 | Carnegieen Dowment

The destruction of ISIS as a territorial entity in March 2019, has allowed the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), an umbrella Continue Reading

Oh My God, Why Are They Doing This?’ Northeastern Syrians Await Their Fate

October 13, 2019 | Forward

A massive humanitarian crisis is unfolding in Syria. Over 130,000 civilians have been displaced in a once relatively stable region. Dozens of civilians have been killed or injured. Horrific videos showing field executions by Turkish-backed armed factions have begun to circulate on social media. The fate Continue Reading

A better path forward for Syrian refugee return

October 01, 2019 |

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan used his speech at the annual gathering of the UN General Assembly to advocate for a plan that would see the return of over one million Syrian refugees from Turkey to a strip along the Turkish border in northeastern Syria. While Turkey should not Continue Reading

Netanyahu’s Loss Is Israeli Democracy’s Gain

September 19, 2019 | Forward

For Israelis, myself included, imagining the end of Netanyahu’s era as prime minister has long seemed like a useless theoretical exercise. That all changed after this week’s election.

The end is nigh. “King Bibi” Continue Reading

Netanyahu’s Loss Is Israeli Democracy’s Gain

September 19, 2019 | Forward

For Israelis, myself included, imagining the end of Netanyahu’s era as prime minister has long seemed like a useless theoretical exercise. That all changed after this week’s election.

The end is nigh. “King Bibi” Continue Reading

Think Social Media Should Be Government Regulated? Check Your Privilege

May 15, 2019 | Forward

We’re used to hearing people moan about how much time they waste on social media. But recently, there’s been a shift in the focus of the discussions about social media use, from focusing on harm to our productivity to focusing on the damage wrought by social media companies themselves. Continue Reading

Among Displaced Iraqis, One Group Is Worse Off Than the Rest

April 29, 2019 | foreignpolicy

MOSUL, Iraq—Thousands of Iraqis with perceived family ties to the Islamic State are facing extreme poverty and abuse in displacement camps across the country, with little or no chance of returning home. Continue Reading

U.S. Withdrawal From Syria Threatens Revival of Kurdish Language, Too

April 23, 2019 | haaretz

QAMISHLI and AL-MALIKIYAH, Northern Syria — The students at Rojava University rise to welcome their Kurdish literature professor. The large room is dimly lit by indirect sunlight because the electricity is cut off most hours of the day, and the lecturer, Continue Reading

Trump’s Golan Heights Tweet Is a Gift to the Far Right

March 22, 2019 | The New Republic

With a few strokes on his keyboard on Thursday, President Trump undermined one of the fundamental norms of international law. “After 52 years,” he tweeted, “it is time for the United States to Continue Reading

How Did Israeli Elections Get So Racist?

January 30, 2019 | Forward

A disturbing new trend has emerged in the political ads of the Israeli elections. Campaign ads seem to be competing over which candidate has killed the most Palestinians. Continue Reading

‘Scared to Death’: Syria’s Kurds Feel Trapped Between Threats From Assad and Erdogan

Dec 21, 2018 | haaretz

U.S. President Donald Trump’s sudden announcement this week that the United States’ military presence and humanitarian aid in northeastern Syria would be ending surprised and disappointed the Kurds in the region who rely on U.S. support. They weren’t the only ones to be surprised.Continue Reading


Mar 15, 2018 | Publications Atlantic Council

As in previous Syrian government sieges that ended in “reconciliation,” submission to the regime did not end the human rights abuses of local residents in eastern Ghouta. In the aftermath of the enclave’s gradual fall into government hands, the area witnessed the largest forced population transfer recorded throughout the Syrian civil war, a crime against humanity in and of itselfContinue Reading

Death notices fortify barrier of fear in Syria

August 28, 2018 | Atlantic Council

Over recent weeks, as the Syrian regime updated its civil registries across the country, hundreds of families discovered that their relatives died in detention. Tens of thousands of Syrians were arrested in the early years of the uprising and their families continued to hold on to hope that they were still alive. Syrian human rights organizations documented a significant rise in the number of Continue Reading

Why Do Israelis Care So Much About Syrians But Not About Palestinians?


July 24, 2018 | Forward

On Saturday night, the Israeli Defense Forces released footage of a rescue operation, in which over 400 humanitarian aid workers in Syria, known as White Helmets, were evacuated by Israel along with their families and ferried through the Golan Heights to safety in Jordan. Continue Reading

Israel’s Airstrikes In Syria Were A Message


March 10, 2018 | Forward

Israel’s bombing campaign against dozens of Iranian, Hezbollah and Syrian Army targets across Syria last night was the most extensive Israeli operation in Syria in over 40 years. Through these strikes, Israel is signaling to Tehran that it will not accept Iranian entrenchment in Syria and attempting to compel the Assad regime to rein in Iran’s activities in the country. Continue Reading

The Left Only Cares About Palestinians When It Can Blame Israel


May 04, 2018 | Forward

For the past two weeks, horrifying images of Palestinians being murdered have surfaced on social media. Jets have dropped bombs, sending flames and black smoke into the air, followed by helicopters dropping improvised and unguided barrel bombs. On the ground, in the besieged Palestinian camp, buildings collapsed burying civilians alive underneath them. Continue Reading

The Left Only Cares About Palestinians When It Can Blame Israel


April 18, 2018 | Forward

In a popular Syrian news group on Facebook, a Syrian activist recently shared a video of Ahed Tamimi, the Palestinian teenager in jail for slapping an Israeli soldier. Across the world, Tamimi has become a cause celebré, a symbol of the Palestinian resistance to Israel’s occupation. But when the activist posted the Amnesty International video about Israel’s policy of detaining children and Tamimi in particular, most of the group’s members — all of them Syrian — reacted dismissively. Continue Reading

The Syrian War Started Exactly 7 Years Ago. How Did Israel Get So Involved?


March 14, 2018 | Forward

February was one of the bloodiest months since the start of the Syrian civil war, seven years ago this Thursday. All throughout the past month, the Assad regime, along with pro-Iranian militias and Russia, escalated their assault on the rebel-held eastern Ghouta suburb of Damascus. Continue Reading

Israel’s Deepening Involvement with Syria’s Rebels


February 14, 2018 | warontherocks

As it becomes clear that Bashar al-Assad has stabilized his rule over the ruins of Syria, outside powers are stepping up their intervention in the country in an effort to shape an outcome that will secure their interests. Israel, which has remained relatively less involved than other actors, is now faced with regional rivals – Iran and its proxies – that have never been more powerful and emboldened. Israel is left to defend its interests with targeted airstrikes and by supporting ragtag rebel militias in southern Syria whose interests partially align with those of the Jewish state. Continue Reading

REVIEW: We Crossed a Bridge and It Trembled – Voices from Syria


January 20, 2018 | Middle East Eye

The conflict in Syria continued to rage in 2017, even though the slight decrease in daily casualties, media fatigue after six years of war, the defeat of Islamic State in Syria and a near halt in refugees heading to neighbouring countries and Europe all contributed to a shift in public attention. Continue Reading

U.S. Attack on Assad Regime Brings Hope to Rebels: ‘First Time Syrian Children Were Not Abandoned’


April 09, 2017 | haaretz

Even though it caused limited damage, the U.S. reprisal attack on a Syrian air base undermined the objective of Tuesday’s chemical attack at Khan Sheikhoun – to break the spirit of the regime’s opponents. After two days of despair, distress and suicidal Continue Reading

Seven Months after ‘Liberating’ Palmyra, Residents Still Cannot Return


October 13, 2016 | Atlantic Council

Even though it caused limited damage, the U.S. reprisal attack on a Syrian air base undermined the objective of Tuesday’s chemical attack at Khan Sheikhoun – to break the spirit of the regime’s opponents. After two days of despair, distress and suicidal Continue Reading

Israel’s Deportation Policy Forces Asylum Seekers to Choose Between Prison and Persecution


November 18, 2015 | News Week

A recent decision by an Israeli district court paved the way for the indefinite incarceration of Eritrean and Sudanese asylum seekers who refuse to leave Israel to be resettled in Rwanda and Uganda. If this decision is upheld by the High Court of Justice upon appeal, refugees fleeing dictatorship and genocide will be forced to choose between remaining in prison forever and leaving to countries that do not guarantee their most basic rights.Continue Reading

The New Torture Camps for Eritrean Asylum-Seekers


October 06, 2015 | hotline

The halt in operation of the Sinai torture camps has not stopped the abuse of Eritrean asylum-seekers. Thousands of Eritreans flee their homeland every month due to the dictatorial nature of the regime in Asmara and the indefinite forced-labor service all Eritreans must perform. Eritreans and other migrants and asylum-seekers are vulnerable to abuse and exploitation, as they travel through unknown lands with no legal protection.Continue Reading

Iran Is Not the Solution


April 10, 2018 | haaretz

The letter sent by United States President Barack Obama to Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, which contains a proposal to cooperate in the fight against the Islamic State (ISIS), attests to a lack of understanding in the top echelons of the U.S. administration.Continue Reading

Israel Is Helping Hamas


March 30, 2016 | nytimes

One cannot stir a hornet’s nest and claim self-defense when the hornets start biting. This is how the latest round of fighting between Israel and Hamas commenced.Continue Reading

A Futile Gagging Order for the ‘Prisoner X’ Scandal


February 26, 2013 | isnblog.ethz

After Australia’s ABC aired an exposé on ‘Prisoner X’ on February 12, Israeli media was quick to follow up on the shocking claims that Ben Zygier, an Australian-born Israeli citizen who worked for Mossad, was secretly detained in a maximum-security prison for months before allegedly committing suicide in 2010. However, reports on the scandal were pulled soon after they emerged. The Prime Minister’s Office called an urgent meeting of the editors of all major Israeli news outletsContinue Reading

Israel Media Ratings War Spills into Conflict Coverage


December 19, 2012 | isnblog.ethz

Israeli media has undergone significant changes over the past few years. Growing economic strains have increased competition between media outlets fighting for a share of advertising revenue. However, because the market that media outlets operate in is relatively small many are experiencing serious financial problems. This includes the daily newspaper Maariv, which was recently sold to a right-wing publisher.Continue Reading

Asylum seekers can now face years in prison over false accusation


August 25, 2012 | 972mag

In early July 2012, the Ministry of Interior and the Israel Police decided to allow asylum seekers with a vaguely defined “criminal background” to be detained under the new Prevention of Infiltration Law. Following the expansion of prisons to hold thousands more migrants, Israel began enforcing the law on June 3. Since then, all newly arrived asylum seekers, including children and torture survivors,Continue Reading

Israel: Defense Budget vs. Social Justice


July 06, 2012 | 972mag

One of the major results of the social justice protests in Israel in the last year has been a renewed debate about the budgetary priorities of the state. The social justice movement (also known as #j14) demanded a more equal distribution of wealth in Israel, including funneling a greater share of the budget to welfare services for the population such as subsidized housing, free education, and better Continue Reading

EXCLUSIVE: Interview with Syrian national on life under constant fear


February 11, 2012 | 972mag

The Syrian uprising reached its deadliest phase this week, with over 600 people killed by the Syrian regime, most of them in the central city of Homs, which has been bombarded with tanks and surface-to-surface rockets throughout the entire week. While Assad’s forces use increasingly violent methods to put down the uprising, Syrians continue to come out to protest against the regime and against the foreign governments backing President Bashar al-Assad. The Chinese and Russian veto Continue Reading

Israel: Netizens Strongly Object to the Prospect of a Strike on Iran


November 02, 2011 | Global Voices

Several Israeli media reports in recent days have discussed the possibility of an imminent Israeli strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities. The reports stated that Israel’s security establishment, the IDF, Mossad and Shin Bet object to attacking Iran, while Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Defense Continue Reading

Migrants tell of grim conditions in holding facility for children


June 22, 2011 | 972mag

Two Israeli NGOs have launched a campaign against the deportation of migrant children, following the deportations of 26 children and their mothers and disturbing reports about the conditions in the holding facility in which the families are being held before being deported. The deportations are the result of a government decision Continue Reading

Court ruling forbids deportation of migrant workers who gave birth


April 16, 2011 | 972mag

In a landmark ruling, the Israeli High Court of Justice declared last week that the Israeli government’s “pregnant worker regulation” is “unconstitutional”, “disproportional and therefore unreasonable” and “must be abolished”. The regulation entails deporting female migrant workers once they have given birth and allowing their re-entry only if they leave their child behind. Continue Reading

Israelis view the street protests in Egypt with both fear and indifference


January 29, 2011 | 972mag

In a landmark ruling, the Israeli High Court of Justice declared last week that the Israeli government’s “pregnant worker regulation” is “unconstitutional”, “disproportional and therefore unreasonable” and “must be abolished”. The regulation entails deporting female migrant workers once they have given birth and allowing their re-entry only if they leave their child behind. Continue Reading

Myths about refugees and migrant workers


October 01, 2010 | 972mag

The public debate raging in Israel today about migrant workers and refugees is full of misleading statistics, slogans and bombastic headlines, which makes it hard to get to the core of the debate. Are migrant workers “taking over” cities across Israel, driving the crime rate up? Are the African “infiltrators” actually migrant workers exploiting Israel? Do migrant workers come to Israel to have Continue Reading