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  • Author: Reuven Paz
  • Publication Date: 09-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: In his September 21st speech to Congress, President George W. Bush mentioned two terrorist groups in addition to Osama bin Laden's Al-Qaedah: the Egyptian Islamic Jihad and the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan. Both groups are fighting the regimes of their homelands but serve the interests of global Jihad as well.
  • Topic: Security, NATO, Arms Control and Proliferation, Islam, Religion, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Uzbekistan, Arab Countries, Egypt
  • Author: Patrick Clawson
  • Publication Date: 09-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: British foreign secretary Jack Straw arrives in Tehran today to "build alliances with every country that we can." In fact, Iran is the acid test of U.S. resolve to fulfill the goal set by President George Bush in his speech to Congress, namely, "From this day forward, any nation that continues to harbor or support terrorism will be regarded by the United States as a hostile regime." While Iran could be a useful ally vis-a-vis Afghanistan, there is no sign that Iran has any intention of stopping its support for terrorism. The objective of U.S. policy should be finding a way to take advantage of Iran's anti-Taliban sentiment while still pressing ahead with efforts to terminate Iran's own support for international terrorism.
  • Topic: Security, NATO, Arms Control and Proliferation, Religion, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, Iran, Middle East, Arab Countries
  • Author: Simon Henderson
  • Publication Date: 09-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: The visit to Washington this week by Saudi foreign minister Prince Saud Al Faisal is an early test of Saudi Arabia's ability and willingness to work with U.S. authorities in meeting the threat of terrorism led by Saudi dissident Osama bin Laden. Although the United States is the kingdom's strongest ally and has historically helped make it the world's largest oil exporter, the recent past does not augur well.
  • Topic: Security, NATO, Arms Control and Proliferation, Religion, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: United States, Washington, Middle East, Arab Countries, Saudi Arabia
  • Author: Dennis Ross
  • Publication Date: 09-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: On September 13, 2001, Dennis Ross, counselor and distinguished fellow at The Washington Institute, delivered a presentation at a special briefing on the September 11 terrorist attacks. The following is an adaptation of Ambassador Ross's remarks.
  • Topic: Security, NATO, Arms Control and Proliferation, Religion, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: America, Washington, Middle East, Arab Countries
  • Author: Robert Satloff
  • Publication Date: 09-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: On September 13, 2001, Robert Satloff, executive director of The Washington Institute, and Dennis Ross, counselor and distinguished fellow at the Institute, held a special briefing on the September 11 terrorist attacks. The following is a rapporteur's summary of Dr. Satloff's remarks; the report of Ambassador Ross's remarks will be distributed tomorrow.
  • Topic: Security, NATO, Arms Control and Proliferation, Religion, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: America, Washington, Middle East, Arab Countries
  • Author: Ray Takeyh
  • Publication Date: 09-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Given the scope of last week's terrorist attacks and the shadowy nature of the perpetrators, the White House has pledged that U.S. retaliation will be qualitatively different from the past — targeting states as well as organizations, crafting a wide international coalition, employing an array of military, political, and cultural means, and persisting over a long period of time. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld acknowledged that the U.S. response would be "political, economic, diplomatic, and military," while the president unequivocally declared that the objective of the United States "is to rid the world of evil." Deciding how to achieve these goals, however, raises several quandaries.
  • Topic: Security, NATO, Arms Control and Proliferation, Religion, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Arab Countries
  • Author: Michael Rubin
  • Publication Date: 09-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Three days after the horrific attacks against the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, investigators are concentrating on al-Qaida, the terrorist network of Saudi financier Osama bin Laden. But as President Bush warned, focusing on the perpetrators must not detract from focusing on those that make his operation possible.
  • Topic: Security, NATO, Arms Control and Proliferation, Religion, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Taliban, Arab Countries
  • Author: Amy Hawthorne
  • Publication Date: 09-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: In a glimmer of hope for Egyptian-American democracy advocate Saad ed-Din Ibrahim and five of his colleagues — sentenced to prison in May — Egypt's Court of Cassation last week set an October 17 hearing for a petition to suspend their sentences while the verdict is under appeal. This news, along with the arrival in Cairo of a new U.S. ambassador, should give the United States the opportunity to pursue the Ibrahim case more vigorously, despite the tension this may add to U.S.-Egyptian relations at a time of regional conflict.
  • Topic: Security, NATO, Arms Control and Proliferation, Religion, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Arab Countries, Egypt, Cairo
  • Author: Irwin Cotler
  • Publication Date: 08-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: On August 7, 2001, Irwin Cotler, member of the Canadian parliament and co-chair of the Joint House-Senate Parliamentary Human Rights Group, addressed The Washington Institute's Policy Forum. The following is a rapporteur's summary of his remarks.
  • Topic: Security, NATO, Arms Control and Proliferation, Human Rights, Religion, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: Washington, Middle East, Arab Countries
  • Author: Michael Eisenstadt
  • Publication Date: 08-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: A nuclear breakout by Iraq or Iran could have a number of direct and indirect effects on the region: First, a nuclear breakout by either will cause the United States to be much more careful in its dealings with that state, particularly when it comes to considering military action. America's military freedom-of-action will be greatly constrained. Second, an Iraqi breakout would almost certainly cause Iran to further accelerate its own nuclear efforts and might spur Tehran to withdraw from the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, which it increasingly sees as a liability. Third, the emergence of a nuclear Iraq and/or Iran could cause the members of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) to seek an independent deterrent capability — including chemical weapons. (The large petrochemical industries of the Gulf could provide many of the precursor chemicals needed for such an effort.) Saudi Arabia might even seek to buy nuclear weapons from Pakistan.
  • Topic: Security, NATO, Arms Control and Proliferation, Religion, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, United States, Iraq, America, Iran, Middle East, Arab Countries, Saudi Arabia
  • Author: Michael Eisenstadt
  • Publication Date: 08-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: As U.S. policymakers review options for national missile defense and ways to reshape the military to meet future threats, nuclear proliferation — particularly in the Middle East — looms large as one of the most critical future challenges facing the United States. In the coming years, it is conceivable, if not likely, that the United States will have to respond to a nuclear breakout by Iraq and/or Iran. Such a development could have a dramatic impact on the strategic environment of the Middle East by altering the regional balance of power and encouraging further proliferation in the region and beyond. A nuclear breakout by either of these countries would also undermine international proliferation norms, put U.S. forces in the region at risk, pose a direct threat to U.S. friends and allies, and greatly constrain America's military freedom of action in the region. The likelihood of such a development — or at least its potential impact — will, however, be influenced by steps the United States takes now to deal with such an eventuality. And Washington is more likely to successfully manage the consequences of a nuclear breakout by Iraq or Iran if its response is not improvised, but based on prior planning.
  • Topic: Security, NATO, Arms Control and Proliferation, Religion, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Iran, Washington, Middle East, Arab Countries
  • Author: Patrick Clawson
  • Publication Date: 08-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: August 5 is an auspicious day for Iran, as it marks the inauguration of Mohammed Khatami's second four-year term as president of that country. It is also the day that the Iran-Libya Sanctions Act (ILSA) would have expired, had its renewal not received an overwhelming vote last week by 96-2 in the Senate and 409-6 in the House. Khatami's cabinet choices, which he is expected to announce at his inaugural, will indicate much about where Iran is heading. Similarly, how the Bush administration administers a renewed ILSA will indicate much about the direction of U.S.-Iran policy.
  • Topic: Security, NATO, Arms Control and Proliferation, Religion, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: Iran, Middle East, Libya, Arab Countries
  • Author: Michael Colson
  • Publication Date: 08-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: At the end of August, the United Nations is set to convene a "World Conference Against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance" (WCAR) in Durban, South Africa. But with less than one month to go, preparations for the conference are in shambles. Draft texts under consideration are replete with language equating Zionism with racism. Efforts to address anti-Semitism and the Holocaust have been perverted beyond recognition. Governments and nongovernmental organizations are demanding apologies and recognition of the right to reparations and compensation for slavery, the slave trade, colonialism, and other historical wrongs. These problems have prompted the Bush administration to warn that it may boycott the entire event.
  • Topic: Security, NATO, Arms Control and Proliferation, Religion, Terrorism, United Nations
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, South Africa, Arab Countries
  • Author: Patrick Clawson
  • Publication Date: 07-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: August 2, 2001 marks eleven years since Saddam Husayn invaded Kuwait. Given Washington's unsuccessful effort to win UN Security Council approval for a reformed sanctions regime, the Bush administration must now reconsider the options for Iraq policy.
  • Topic: Security, NATO, Arms Control and Proliferation, Religion, Terrorism, United Nations
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Washington, Middle East, Kuwait, Arab Countries
  • Author: David Schenker
  • Publication Date: 07-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: This week, Jordan's King Abdullah took two major decisions that will have significant implications for the kingdom's complicated and often troubled relations with its Palestinian and Islamist communities. Last Sunday, Abdullah approved a new election law; two days later, he issued a decree indefinitely postponing parliamentary elections. Taken together, these moves appear designed to bolster the stability of the kingdom, though it is still too early to assess whether the regime wins or loses from these parliamentary gambits.
  • Topic: Security, NATO, Arms Control and Proliferation, Religion, Terrorism, Law
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Palestine, Arab Countries, Jordan
  • Author: Ibrahim Karawan
  • Publication Date: 07-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: On July 10, 2001, Professor Ibrahim Karawan, director of the Middle East Center at the University of Utah and Ira Weiner Fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, addressed The Washington Institute's Policy Forum. The following is a rapporteur's summary of his remarks. The record of prediction about Islamism as a political force has been unimpressive. The failure is due to inadequacies in conceptualizing what is known, more than any shortage of raw data.
  • Topic: Security, NATO, Arms Control and Proliferation, Islam, Religion, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: Washington, Middle East, Arab Countries
  • Author: Ruth Wedgwood
  • Publication Date: 07-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: On June 25, the fifth anniversary of the Khobar Towers bombing, Dr. Ruth Wedgwood, professor of international law at the Yale Law School and Edward B. Burling Professor of International Law and Diplomacy at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (2001-2002), addressed The Washington Institute's Policy Forum. The following is a rapporteur's summary of her remarks.
  • Topic: Security, NATO, Arms Control and Proliferation, Religion, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Arab Countries
  • Author: Michael Rubin
  • Publication Date: 07-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: On June 27, 2001, Michael Rubin, a Washington Institute visiting scholar and Carnegie Council fellow, addressed the Washington Institute's Policy Forum. Dr. Rubin has just returned from nine months in northern Iraq, where he taught in the region's three universities. The following is a rapporteur's summary of his remarks. Iraq remains at the forefront of U.S. and international attention. Many contentious issues — such as sanctions, weapons of mass destruction, and the future political disposition of the country — remain unresolved. In analyzing the source of Iraq's problems, it is useful to compare those portions of Iraq under the control of Saddam Hussein to the three northern governorates (Dahuk, Irbil, Sulaymaniyyah), which are controlled by the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), and the Islamic Unity Movement of Kurdistan — especially as all parts of Iraq fall under the same set of UN sanctions. The population in the north is approximately 3.5 million, many of whom are Kurdish, Turkoman, or Assyrian, and almost 1 million of whom are displaced persons expelled from Saddam's portion of Iraq. By refusing to grant visas to many journalists, Saddam's government consistently seeks to deny press coverage to northern Iraq. Those who do visit Baghdad-controlled Iraq are restricted to guided tours with Iraqi government minders and are prevented from traveling into the Kurdish-controlled north. Foreigners visiting the north, however, are able to move around freely without prearrangement.
  • Topic: Security, NATO, Arms Control and Proliferation, Religion, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Middle East, Arab Countries
  • Author: Simon Henderson
  • Publication Date: 06-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: On Friday in Europe, Secretary of State Colin Powell is set to meet Crown Prince Abdullah, the de facto ruler of Saudi Arabia. Washington's relationship with the world's largest oil exporter has become strained for reasons more complicated than Crown Prince Abdullah's recent reluctance to meet President Bush at the White House, allegedly because of perceived U.S. bias toward Israel and against the Palestinians. Saudi diplomacy suffers a credibility problem because contradictory statements by top Saudi officials often leave diplomats guessing as to what is the real Saudi position.
  • Topic: Security, NATO, Arms Control and Proliferation, Religion, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: Europe, Washington, Middle East, Israel, Palestine, Arab Countries, Saudi Arabia
  • Author: Michael Rubin
  • Publication Date: 06-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: On June 5, 2001, Michael Rubin, a Washington Institute visiting scholar who was in 2000/2001 a visiting professor at the three universities in the Kurdish region of northern Iraq, addressed the Institute's Policy Forum luncheon. This event marked the publication of Dr. Rubin's new study, Into the Shadows: Radical Vigilantes in Khatami's Iran (Policy Paper no. 56, The Washington Institute). The following is a rapporteur's summary of his remarks.
  • Topic: Security, NATO, Arms Control and Proliferation, Religion, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Iran, Washington, Middle East, Arab Countries
  • Author: Patrick Clawson
  • Publication Date: 06-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Tomorrow, Mohammed Khatami is sure to be re-elected president of Iran. But that is not likely to make much difference to Iranians, as Khatami has no coherent program for any of Iran's three pressing problems: economic revitalization, political liberalization, and reduction of security threats. Even though Khatami has shown disinterest in improving relations with the United States, Washington should try once again, while not expecting much-if any-response.
  • Topic: Security, NATO, Arms Control and Proliferation, Religion, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: United States, Iran, Washington, Middle East, Arab Countries
  • Author: Geneive Abdo
  • Publication Date: 05-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: In May, Geneive Abdo, a research scholar at the Middle East Institute of the Columbia University School of International Affairs, addressed The Washington Institute's Special Policy Forum. The following is a rapporteur's summary of her remarks. To see her remarks in their entirety, The election of Muhammad Khatami as president of Iran four years ago has given rise to a perception that he is a maverick, a rare political leader in Iranian history who advocates values important to the Western world: political pluralism, freedom of expression, and human rights for all, including religious minorities. However, Khatami's unwillingness to confront the establishment became clear early in his presidency. After students staged five days of protest in July 1999 — the first true test of Khatami's courage — the president took a different turn. He decided at critical moments to side with the establishment, no matter how much he might alienate his own supporters.
  • Topic: Security, NATO, Arms Control and Proliferation, Religion, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Arab Countries
  • Author: Michael Eisenstadt
  • Publication Date: 05-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: This week, the United States and United Kingdom are circulating a draft resolution in the UN Security Council proposing a package of new measures intended to "re-energize" sanctions against Iraq. They hope to bring the resolution to a vote before the next six-month phase of the "oil for food" program begins on June 4. This revamped sanctions regime will lift restrictions on civilian trade, while retaining both international control over Iraq's oil income through the UN escrow account, and a ban on the import of arms and dual-use items critical to the production of weapons of mass destruction (WMD).
  • Topic: Security, NATO, Arms Control and Proliferation, Religion, Terrorism, Weapons of Mass Destruction
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, United Kingdom, Middle East, Arab Countries
  • Author: Simon Henderson
  • Publication Date: 05-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: The Bush administration this week launched initiatives on two fronts of U.S. concern about the Middle East: Secretary of State Colin Powell's proposals to end Arab–Israeli violence and Vice President Dick Cheney's national energy policy. While the energy policy report concentrates on domestic issues, it necessarily discusses the Middle East. Its prescriptions about the Middle East, however, are vague. At worst, Washington appears unwilling to criticize the price-influencing production policies of the members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) cartel, dominated by Middle Eastern countries.
  • Topic: Security, NATO, Arms Control and Proliferation, Religion, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: Washington, Middle East, Israel, Arab Countries
  • Author: Tansu Ciller
  • Publication Date: 05-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: On May 8, 2001, Tansu Ciller, former prime minister and the leader of Turkey's True Path Party, addressed The Washington Institute's Policy Forum. The following is a rapporteur's summary of her remarks. At the dawn of the new millennium, Turkey remains a significant actor in its region despite economic difficulties. Turkey, a strategic partner with the United States, is a source of steadiness that is vital for peace in its region. Turkey's long relations with Israel play a stabilizing role in the Middle East.
  • Topic: Security, NATO, Arms Control and Proliferation, Religion, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: United States, Washington, Turkey, Middle East
  • Author: Brenda Shaffer
  • Publication Date: 05-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: In April, Brenda Shaffer, research director of Harvard University's Caspian Studies Program and visiting fellow at The Washington Institute in 2000, addressed The Washington Institute to mark the publication of her Policy Paper, Partners in Need: The Strategic Relationship of Russia and Iran. The following is a rapporteur's summary of her remarks. Russia and Iran see themselves as strategic partners, and therefore their relations are based on an overall security conception. It would be a misperception to assume that because Washington and Moscow share concerns about Islamist radicalism that Russia would necessarily decide to cooperate with the United States on Iran. It would also be a misperception to think that Russia wants to sell arms to Iran solely in order to make money and that the United States can induce Russia not to make these sales by offering a better economic deal.
  • Topic: Security, NATO, Arms Control and Proliferation, Religion, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Iran, Washington, Middle East, Arab Countries
  • Author: Patrick Clawson
  • Publication Date: 05-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Today's decision by Iranian president Mohammad Khatami to run for re-election was more important than the actual election on June 8, which he is sure to win. But neither matters nearly as much as the crucial question for Iran's future — namely, will hardliners let the formal government rule or will they continue their crackdown through the revolutionary institutions they control? The answer will be key for U.S. policy options towards Iran.
  • Topic: Security, NATO, Arms Control and Proliferation, Religion, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: United States, Iran, Middle East, Arab Countries
  • Author: Yossi Baidatz
  • Publication Date: 04-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Tomorrow, Lebanese prime minister Rafiq al-Hariri begins his visit to Washington, his first since the September 2000 elections that saw his return to the office he held from October 1992 to December 1998. His ears are ringing with voices of two interwoven debates at home — namely, debates about the deterioration of the security situation along the Lebanese–Israeli border and about the continued Syrian presence in Lebanon. Hariri, a seasoned businessman who is well aware of the delicacy of the situation and of his limitations as the head of a government with restricted powers, does not see this visit as a mere courtesy call, but as a milestone. To assure his own political survival, he needs to extricate Lebanon from its severe economic crisis and avoid entanglement in war. For the new American administration that is still formulating its Middle Eastern policy, this visit could be an opportunity to prevent a conflagration in Lebanon and to begin a new long-term policy towards Lebanon and Syria.
  • Topic: Security, NATO, Arms Control and Proliferation, Religion, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: Washington, Middle East, Arab Countries, Lebanon, Syria
  • Author: Mark Parris
  • Publication Date: 04-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Turkey is important . . . The new administration, based on what it has said and done since January, understands this." "One reason [for Turkey's importance], of course, is its location and the issues that come with that geography-big issues; issues that have literally made or broken past administrations' foreign policies: Russia; the Caucasus and Central Asia; Iran; Iraq; post-Asad Syria; Israel and the Arab world; Cyprus and the Aegean; the Balkans; the European Security and Defense Initiative (ESDI); drugs, thugs, and terror. I would submit that no administration can achieve its objectives on any of these issues unless the Turks are on the same page.
  • Topic: Security, NATO, Arms Control and Proliferation, Religion, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Turkey, Caucasus, Middle East, Israel, Arab Countries, Syria, Cyprus
  • Author: Yossi Baidatz
  • Publication Date: 03-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: In recent weeks, a simmering debate between the two major power centers in domestic Lebanese politics has spilled into public view. This debate pits newly installed Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri, who represents those who want Lebanon to take advantage of Israel's withdrawal from southern Lebanon to focus on internal stability, economic reconstruction and securing foreign investment, against Hizballah leader Shaykh Hassan Nasrallah, who — with the support of Syria and Iran — champions maintaining Lebanon's role on the front line of the ongoing revolutionary resistance against Israel. This tension was described in the Lebanese newspaper an-Nahar as the choice between "Hanoi" (Nasrallah) and "Hong Kong" (Hariri). As with most Middle East crises, the development of this delicate and flammable dispute carries both risks and opportunities for Lebanon and other players on the Middle East scene.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Foreign Policy, Economics, International Political Economy, Politics, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, Iran, Middle East, Israel, Syria, Hong Kong
  • Author: Michael Eisenstadt
  • Publication Date: 02-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Palestinian officials have threatened an intensification of violence, should — as is expected — Ariel Sharon be elected prime minister of Israel tomorrow. The Palestinian leadership that "rewarded" Prime Minister Ehud Barak's diplomatic flexibility with the "al-Aqsa Intifada" thus seems poised to "punish" the Israeli public for electing Sharon with an escalation of the bloodletting. Its goal would be to force Israel to soften its negotiating position, and perhaps provoke a harsh response that would place world opinion — largely unsympathetic to Sharon to begin with — squarely on the Palestinian side.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Ethnic Conflict, Terrorism, War
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel, Palestine
  • Author: Alan Makovsky
  • Publication Date: 01-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: This is the second of two PolicyWatch articles about Syria, marking the six months since Bashar al-Asad became president on July 17. This article examines the implications of Syria's foreign policy; the previous article (PolicyWatch #512, January 17) looked at the domestic political scene and economic reforms in Syria. For a region used to the late Hafiz al-Asad's stodgy predictability, his son Bashar's six-month-old presidency has displayed a surprisingly active foreign policy, including a willingness to break with the past. However, on issues of greatest importance to the United States — peace with Israel, control over Lebanon, and support for Palestinian terrorist groups — Bashar's regime is mainly a carbon copy of his father's.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Syria
  • Author: Reuven Paz
  • Publication Date: 05-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: On April 21, the grand mufti of Saudi Arabia, Shaykh Abd al-Aziz bin Abdallah Aal al-Shaykh, said that Islam forbids suicide terrorist attacks. This has raised a storm of criticism from supporters of the Palestinian intifada against Israel. However, the mufti may have been thinking more about Osama bin Ladin than recent Palestinian actions.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Islam, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Israel, Palestine, Arab Countries, Saudi Arabia
  • Author: David Schenker
  • Publication Date: 05-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: On April 30, the Department of State issued its comprehensive annual report Patterns of Global Terrorism, describing incidents and trends in international terrorism in the year 2000. This year's report covers the first three months of accelerated Palestinian-Israeli violence. It is also marks the first time the Bush administration State Department has been compelled to publicly comment on the nature of Lebanese Hizballah attacks against Israel in the post-withdrawal era.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Politics, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Israel, Palestine, Arab Countries
  • Author: Reuven Paz
  • Publication Date: 03-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: As Arab leaders gather in Amman for the first regular Arab summit in a decade, non-Arab Iran is keenly watching to see whether Arab heads-of-state once again make grandiose promises to support the Palestinians. If Arab leaders fail to deliver on these promises, as has been the case with Arab financial commitments to the Palestinians, it would open the door for Tehran to build on Hizballah's success in Lebanon and to deepen its already worrisome role in the Israeli–Palestinian arena.
  • Topic: International Relations, Ethnic Conflict, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: Iran, Middle East, Israel, Tehran, Palestine, Arabia, Jerusalem, Lebanon, Beirut
  • Author: David Schenker
  • Publication Date: 03-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: The U.S. Department of State will shortly issue its semi-annual Palestine Liberation Organization Commitments Compliance Act (PLOCCA) report. This report, now several weeks overdue, details PLO and Palestinian Authority (PA) compliance with their "peace process" commitments. And in April, the State Department will release its annual report about global terrorism. The release of these reports comes just weeks after Israeli chief of staff Shaul Mofaz described the PA as a "terrorist entity." The content of these reports will be the subject of close scrutiny. How the United States characterizes the PA with regard to terrorist activities is an important signal — both of how the Bush administration will contribute to the lowering of violence as the first step to the resumption of Israeli–Palestinian negotiations, and of what the direction of U.S.–Palestinian relations will be during the George W. Bush/Ariel Sharon era.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Foreign Policy, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Israel, Palestine