Category Archives: Middle East

25Jul/21

Israel-Gaza 2021: A moment for the emerging moderates?

The more tolerant Arab states have no incentive to support the extremist theocrats like Hamas and Hezbollah that rally for resistance rather than renaissance.by Jul 24, 2021, Newsi, South Africa

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, Commons; Signing of Abraham Accords, White House, Credit: Avi Ohayon

Extremists of all types have had their debut moment in the 11 days fighting between Israel and Gaza. By launching rockets at the holy sites of Jerusalem, Hamas – the Muslim Brotherhood affiliate running the Gazan enclave – has sought to place itself at the center of Palestinian political life. Hamas’s rhetoric has also empowered extremist elements inside Israel and has spurred attacks between mobs from both Israeli Jewish and Arab communities. They lit a fire. But will it continue to burn?

This round of fighting has also gone further on social media than before. Platforms like TikTok spread incitement while proudly showing young Arab mobs attacking Jews in the middle of the street. Antisemitism levels have gone up 80% in a month. In America, the socialist wing of the Democratic party has been pushing hard to overturn the traditional moderate position of the party. Those such as Rep. Rashida Tlaib, have openly spoken about the destruction of Israel.

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21May/21

The Future of the Abraham Accords (Duke University)

In 2020, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, Morocco, and Sudan normalized their relations with Israel, the first Arab countries to do so since Jordan in 1994. What does this mean for the future of the Israeli-Palestinian relations? Will the Abraham Accords improve or worsen the prospects for Middle East Peace? And what should the Biden administration do in the aftermath of the agreements? A panel with Dr. Nir Boms and Dr. Najat Al-Saied

03Mar/21

Israel and Lebanon: A Bridge Over Troubled Waters?

In the latest edition of Tel Aviv Notes, Stéphane Cohen and Nir Boms explain the late 2020 negotiations between Israel and Lebanon over the maritime border.


Amidst a deep political and economic crisis in Lebanon, accelerated by the Beirut port explosion in August last year, the end of 2020 witnessed a surprising round of talks regarding the demarcation of the Israeli-Lebanese maritime border. These bilateral negotiations – mediated by the U.S. and the U.N. – are the first non-security talks held between the two countries since the 1990s. Of course, Lebanon and Israel have no diplomatic relations and are technically in a state of war. The incentives for progress in the talks are strong as they could pave the way for lucrative oil and gas deals on both sides, though there still appear to be significant obstacles on the Lebanese side. Speaking with John Desrocher, the most recent U.S. mediator for the negotiations, in December 2020, Lebanese President Aoun was quoted as saying that Lebanon wants the talks to succeed because “this will strengthen stability in the South and allow us to invest in natural resources of oil and gas.”[1] Could a maritime border agreement between Israel and Lebanon be feasible, despite the otherwise toxic atmosphere between the two countries and the recent escalating threats of Hizballah? In a region full of surprises, this, too, might be a part of a changing reality.

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