Markaz

  • Markaz

    No unilateral Israeli path to two states

    A demonstrator holds a sign with a Palestinian and Israeli flag during a demonstration by Palestinian and Israeli activists calling for a better future for both people, in the West Bank city of Bethlehem February 5, 2016. REUTERS/Ammar Awad

    The composition and track record of the current Israeli government leads Palestinians to expect very little from Israel in the way of advancing peace. After five decades of military occupation, and repeated failures of two decades of bilateral negotiations based on the Oslo Accords, there is a clear need for new ideas. But the proposals offered by Amos Yadlin’s post last month, “Two states, four paths for achieving them,” do not accord with basic realities on the Palestinian side, and as such do not offer a viable pathway to a two-state outcome.

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    Enough is enough—U.S. abdication on Syria must end

    Syrians line up as they wait to cross into Syria at Oncupinar border crossing in the southeastern city of Kilis, Turkey February 8, 2016. REUTERS/Osman Orsal

    It is time to proclaim the moral bankruptcy of American and Western policy in Syria.

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    “Shame and anger”: Watch Leon Wieseltier and Michael Ignatieff on the global refugee crisis

    Michael Ignatieff, Leon Wieseltier, and Martin Indyk.

    As part of the Richard C. Holbrooke Forum on February 5, Leon Wieseltier and Michael Ignatieff delivered impassioned remarks about the global refugee crisis the Syrian conflict has spawned.

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    Why doesn’t Obama seem to listen to Syria experts?

    U.S. President Barack Obama bows his head in prayer as he attends the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington February 4, 2016. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

    The Obama administration’s apparent resistance to rethinking its policies on Syria, despite rapidly changing events on the ground, sparks a number of challenging questions: When the basic thrust of policy seems immovable, irrespective of events on the ground, how should researchers respond? Should influencing policy be the animating objective of policy research? Who exactly should our work be directed to?

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    Everything you need to know about Iran’s Assembly of Experts election

    An Iranian woman casts her ballot during the Iranian presidential election at a Shi'ite mosque in Baghdad's Kadhimiya district, June 14, 2013. Millions of Iranians voted to choose a new president on Friday, urged by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei to turn out in force to discredit suggestions by arch foe the United States that the election would be unfair. The country's 50 million eligible voters have a choice between six candidates to replace incumbent Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, but none is seen as challenging the Islamic Republic's 34-year-old system of clerical rule. REUTERS/Thaier al-Sudani

    Iranians will vote for new members of the Assembly of Experts on February 26. What is the Assembly of Experts? And is the power of the supreme leader really supreme?

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    Demystifying Iran’s parliamentary election process

    A voter holds a flag outside the Iranian consulate in central London June 14, 2013. The building was the focus for demonstrators, as it was used as a venue for British based Iranians to cast their vote in their country's election to choose a new president. REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth

    Iran's parliamentary elections take place on February 26. What is the Majlis, and what powers and responsibilities does it have? How is the Majlis elected? Who gets a seat? And what now?

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    Experts weigh in (part 3): Is ISIS good at governing?

    An Islamic State flag flies over the custom office of Syria's Jarablus border gate as it is pictured from the Turkish town of Karkamis, in Gaziantep province, Turkey August 1, 2015. Karkamis is a Turkish town of 10,500 people that sits directly opposite the border post. Shut for more than a year, the military sealed the crossing with a breeze block wall a few months ago. Behind it, just inside Syria, the black flag of Islamic State flaps in the breeze. Karkamis lies on the northeastern edge of a rectangle of Syrian territory some 80 km (50 miles) long, controlled by the radical Islamists. The United States and Turkey hope that by sweeping Islamic State from this border zone, they can deprive it of a smuggling route which has seen its ranks swollen with foreign fighters and its coffers boosted by illicit trade. Picture taken August 1, 2015. REUTERS/Murad Sezer

    Attempts by salafi-jihadis to create states or govern territory are not a new phenomenon. Even for the Islamic State, this is its second attempt at establishing a state and governing territories it controls. What sets it apart this time is the level of planning, sophistication, and capabilities compared to ten years ago. Aaron Zelin presents a historical perspective on IS governance.

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    Will regionalization help democratization in Morocco?

    Protesters hold a Moroccan national flag during a protest against Geert Wilders, leader of the Dutch hard-right Freedom Party, in Amsterdam March 22, 2014. A parliamentarian for the Freedom Party resigned from the party on Thursday amid uproar over the way leader Wilders led supporters in racist chants against Moroccans during an election night rally. Wilders' eurosceptic, anti-Islam Freedom Party failed to make the huge gains it had expected in Wednesday's municipal elections, which it contested in two cities. REUTERS/Cris Toala Olivares

    Will the Moroccan government's ongoing process of "advanced regionalization" enhance democracy, particularly in the Western Sahara? More broadly, where does Morocco stand politically and economically now, five years after the Arab uprisings?

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    Five years later, lessons of the uprisings in North Africa

    A pro-government protester chants slogans as they gather in Al-Qaed Ibrahim area in Alexandria, the city's equivalent of Cairo's Tahrir Square, during the fifth anniversary of the uprising that ended the 30-year reign of Hosni Mubarak, Egypt, January 25, 2016. REUTERS/Asmaa Waguih

    Five years after the Arab uprisings, optimism has faded to cynicism as ongoing conflicts in Syria, Libya, and Yemen cast a shadow on the prospects for a sustainable democratic transition in the region. After five years, the main participants—the Islamists, the Arab youth, and the regimes themselves—should process several lessons.

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    Experts weigh in (part 2): Is ISIS good at governing?

    A Kurdish fighter looks at documents inside an advocacy office that belonged to Islamic State fighters in the town of Tel Abyad, Raqqa governorate, June 19, 2015. Aided by U.S.-led air strikes, the Kurdish-led YPG militia may have dealt Islamic State its worst defeat to date in Syria by seizing the town of Tel Abyad at the Turkish border, cutting a supply route to the jihadists' de facto capital of Raqqa city. Picture taken June 19, 2015. REUTERS/Rodi Said

    Internal ISIS documents can provide important clues into how the group's governance has evolved, as well as problems it faces that we don't see in the endless streams of propaganda.

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