One of the most significant battles taking place these days in the Arab region is about how wide or narrow is the public space available for citizens to express themselves and offer views that differ from or challenge the state.
The scale, intensity, and persistence of the last five years of nonstop and often barbaric violence reflect the fact that Syria today, as in the past four millennia at least, continues to be a central pivot in the geopolitics of the Middle East and its neighbors.
Critics of Israel’s most egregious and often illegal policies—occupation, colonization, mass incarceration, assassinations, and direct and indirect siege of Palestinian civilian communities—now also call for measures to deter or punish it.
Palestinian rights are popping up in more venues around the world, with a regular public focus on countering and even sanctioning Zionist actions such as expropriating and colonizing occupied Arab lands.
An eye-opening report on climate change effects in Lebanon reveals the need for government to commit to save tens of thousands of lives and hundreds of billions of dollars over the coming decades, and prevent a further fracturing of society along wealth/poverty lines.
An American-Russian-French-European peace initiative, with the active participation of the moribund Arab League and expressions of support from Iran, Turkey, and other key players, is achievable and worth attempting.