Sisi lets Obama off the hook

As it turns out, President Obama isn’t even going to get a chance to cave to Benjamin Netanyahu one last time before he departs the White House, because that UN Security Council resolution on halting Israel’s annexation/ethnic cleansing of the West Bank isn’t coming to a vote today after all. Why? Because Egyptian President Abdel… Continue reading Sisi lets Obama off the hook

Abbas and Fatah keep on keeping on

Shortly after the year 2016 went live, I wrote about how one of the growing fears related to the Middle East was that the Palestinian Authority might fall apart. This is not because anybody has any great love for the Palestinian Authority–seriously, does anybody?–but because of the potential for chaos that could follow the PA’s… Continue reading Abbas and Fatah keep on keeping on

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, 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… Continue reading Today in Middle Eastern history: Sabra and Shatila (1982)

Today in Middle Eastern history: Jordan’s Black September begins (1970)

Originally posted on and that's the way it was:
Anybody familiar with the 1972 Munich Olympics massacre might wonder if the title of this post refers to the Palestinian terrorist organization that perpetrated the Munich attack, and the answer is, well: See, “Black September,” the organization, never would have existed if it weren’t for…

Today in Middle Eastern history: the Lebanon War begins (1982)

The 1982-85 Lebanon War is, if you want to take a big-picture view of things, really a phase of the 1975-90 Lebanese Civil War. But as it involves the invasion of Lebanon by the Israeli army and therefore a substantial reordering of the conflict, it’s also perfectly reasonable to treat it as its own affair.… Continue reading Today in Middle Eastern history: the Lebanon War begins (1982)

Today in Middle Eastern history: Lebanon’s Bus Massacre (1975)

The Lebanese Civil War (1975-1990) lasted a whopping 15 years and resulted in the deaths of as many as 150,000-250,000 (estimates vary) people. By comparison, the Syrian Civil War, which everybody agrees is a catastrophe of epic proportions, has gone on for a mere five years with only a marginally higher death toll (using the… Continue reading Today in Middle Eastern history: Lebanon’s Bus Massacre (1975)

Four More Wars! Four More Wars!

After all the electoral dust had settled in Israel last night, it turns out that the party that overperformed expectations in this particular Knesset election was actually Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud. Bibi’s Wingnut Cavalcade came in a whopping 8-10 seats ahead of where last week’s polls (by Israeli law, no polling data could be released to… Continue reading Four More Wars! Four More Wars!