• The Gaza war is a reminder that the Europeans left behind an unstable status quo a century ago. Absent a Sunni consensus, Iran is making an indirect power play. Iran’s weakness is also a strength: as non-Arab, Shiite Muslims, Iran’s leaders can’t trace their ancestry to the prophet Muhammad’s qureysh tribe—as can Jordan’s and Morocco’s monarchs, and as ISIS’s Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi claimed. Though around 85 percent of Muslims are Sunni, the demography of global Islam has long favored much larger non-Arab populations. The dynamic might be resolved with a Vatican City-style solution for Al Aqsa.
  • Renzo Guolo 27 February 2024
    Benjamin Netanyahu’s consistent refusals pose a challenge to those seeking to quell the Middle East conflict. Despite global pressure, Netanyahu remains steadfast in his decision to advance the fighting towards Rafah. In this area, millions of Gazans find themselves trapped between the Israeli Defense Force’s Merkava tanks and Egypt’s increasingly fortified barrier, which serves as the final obstacle preventing further dispersal of Palestinians from the Strip.
  • Claudia De Martino 10 January 2024
    Qatar is a small Gulf state that has recently returned to the spotlight as a mediator in the hostage crisis between Hamas and Israel. This is due to its good relations with both Washington and Tel Aviv, as well as its ties to the Muslim Brotherhood movements in the Arab world. Doha serves as the main sponsor of the Muslim Brotherhood in the region. To date, Qatar has successfully facilitated the only prisoner exchange between Israel and Gaza, resulting in the release of 121 hostages in exchange for 240 Palestinian political prisoners. In addition, a seven-day truce was achieved, which benefited Hamas and facilitated the entry of much-needed humanitarian aid into the Gaza Strip. However, Doha remains an unscrupulous player in international relations, detached from the logic of inter-state loyalty and multilateral alliances, and continues to act as a free agent (or, if anything, aligned with Erdogan’s Turkey), lacking any normative approach in the international community.
  • Seyla Benhabib 15 November 2023
    October 7, 2023 is not just a turning point for Israel and the Jewish diaspora; it must be a turning point for the Palestinian struggle. The Palestinian people must free themselves of the scourge of Hamas. The acts of violence by Hamas do not only constitute war crimes and crimes against humanity; they also reveal that Islamic Jihadi ideology, which revels in the imagery of violence, which has overtaken the movement.
  • Israel’s actions in no way justify anti-Semitic reactions, especially not in Germany. It is intolerable that Jews in Germany are once again exposed to threats to life and limb and have to fear physical violence on the streets. The democratic ethos of the Federal Republic of Germany, which is orientated towards the obligation to respect human dignity, is linked to a political culture for which Jewish life and Israel’s right to exist are central elements worthy of special protection in light of the mass crimes of the Nazi era.
  • Simone Disegni 6 November 2023
    Almost a month after the Hamas attack on Israel, the Middle East is on the verge of a political, military and social explosion. Europe and the West are not immune; very serious, high-risk lines of tension are slowly reappearing. If this happens, it will be because precise political wills have constructed and disseminated for decades a distorted and poisonous rhetoric to which millions of people are enslaved, often in spite of themselves. So much so that the power of these narratives can easily overwhelm the objectivity of facts, even their relevance.
  • Gaetano Pentassuglia 27 October 2023
    As the level of brutality of the Hamas-Israel conflict further intensifies, and its effects become measured by the scale of defiance of international humanitarian and criminal law, it is vitally important that we retain the intellectual ability to step back from the horrors of the current confrontation and reflect on two fundamentals that must define any conversation on any type of settlement over the long term. One is Israel’s right to exist within secure borders under international law; the other is the equally sacrosanct legal right of the Palestinian people to self-determination.
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