Today in Middle Eastern history: Sabra and Shatila (1982)

Of all the atrocities that attended Lebanon’s 15 year civil war from 1975-1990, and of all the atrocities that have been blamed on the Israeli Defense Forces–and/or on American meddling in Middle Eastern affairs–over the past several decades, what happened in the Sabra neighborhood of west Beirut and the neighboring Shatila refugee camp between September… Continue reading Today in Middle Eastern history: Sabra and Shatila (1982)

Middle East update: May 22 2018

Hi. Perhaps you’ve noticed that I’ve been gone for a while. I’m not going to recap everything that happened while I was gone, but be forewarned that this is going to be a long post. And by “long,” I mean I’m at 1800 words as I write this and I haven’t even gotten to Iran… Continue reading Middle East update: May 22 2018

Middle East update: May 16-17 2017

TURKEY We’re going to start with a story about Turkey that didn’t happen in Turkey, or anywhere near Turkey. Rather, it happened in Washington, DC, on Tuesday: Supporters and opponents of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey engaged in a violent confrontation outside the Turkish ambassador’s residence in Washington on Tuesday night. Nine people were… Continue reading Middle East update: May 16-17 2017

Conflict update: March 15 2017

SECOND VERSE, SAME AS THE FIRST Well, that was fast. Donald Trump’s Muslim Ban 2.0, which is totally not about religion, you guys, just got blocked by a federal judge in Hawaii for being, you know, pretty much about religion. In his ruling, District Judge Derek Watson in particular rejected one of the administration’s favorite… Continue reading Conflict update: March 15 2017

Conflict update: January 19 2017

The Gambia Private Citizen Yahya Jammeh, whose presidency still exists only in his own imagination, began his day by finding out that his vice president, Isatou Njie Saidy, had quit. He spent his day hearing about the inauguration of new Gambian President Adama Barrow in the Gambian embassy in Senegal (which is Gambian soil, technically)… Continue reading Conflict update: January 19 2017

Conflict update: December 26 2016

Israel The fallout from Friday’s UN Security Council resolution condemning Israel’s illegal annexation of occupied Palestinian territory continued all weekend. Benjamin Netanyahu’s government began by summoning the ambassadors of the 12 security council members who voted in favor of the resolution and with which Israel has relations (Venezuela and Malaysia also voted yes but don’t… Continue reading Conflict update: December 26 2016

A Real Festivus Miracle

There’s nothing like being pleasantly surprised for the holidays: The U.N. Security Council will vote on Friday on a resolution demanding an end to Israeli settlements, defying pressure from U.S. President-elect Donald Trump as well as Israel and several U.S. senators who urged Washington to use its veto. The United States is likely to abstain… Continue reading A Real Festivus Miracle