The best way to describe the current Syrian quandary is to borrow from Winston Churchill’s assessment of what he considered the complex nature of the former Soviet Union: popular grievances wrapped in regional rivalries inside big power competition.
In attacking Gaza, the Israeli military and government seeks to keep Palestine divided and Palestinians in Gaza politically and economically crippled. The goal of all Palestinians must now be to resist Israel’s settler colonialism.
To realize shared priorities and fulfill the Persian Gulf’s potential as a global cornerstone for energy and trade, hardline Gulf states must acquiesce to waning U.S. hegemony and pursue reconciliation with Iran.
The only way for Israelis to escape perpetual deadlock is to shatter the taboo on inviting Non-Zionist parties into the government. Like Menachem Begin and the Sinai, Netanyahu may be the one to do it.
As the international community grapples with the immediate challenge of Iran’s nuclear program, those in Washington and other capitals should consult Seyed Hossein Mousavian and Emad Kiyaei’s book and perhaps devise a more considered approach to rid the Middle East of the threat of mass destruction that continues to hang over the region.
Social distancing, wearing masks, scavenging for toilet paper while spraying disinfectant everywhere: what kind of year was this? A tragic one for many, but we end with a hope for vaccine somewhat realized.
Guest speaker at the 16th Nadia Younes Memorial Lecture, Dutch Minister Sigrid Kaag, presented ideas for geopolitical challenges in the Middle East and North Africa during and after the coronavirus pandemic.
Hindered by an array of domestic and international obstacles and competing regime priorities, the Syrian government’s efforts to attract regional capital for investment and reconstruction will be insufficient.