Arab World

Arabs and the Holocaust

| February 5, 2020

Leaders from around the world recently visited Israel to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz. Concurrently with that visit, another important historical visit took place: for the first time, a delegation of leading Arabs visited the Nazi extermination camp.

Denial of Citizenship as a Weapon of Repression in the Arab World

| January 23, 2020

Kuwait and Saudi Arabia recently announced that they were revoking the citizenship of individuals whose “sin” was a connection to Judaism and a pro-Israeli attitude. Apart from the institutional antisemitism these measures reflect, they are a blunt reminder that these are tyrannical states and regimes in which the legal system is little more than a fig leaf.

2019 Was Marked By Defiance and Dissent. 2020 Will Probably Be No Different

| January 6, 2020

Like 2019, the new year—and perhaps the new decade—is likely to continue to be marked by popular protest, particularly in the Middle East and North Africa. Protests are likely to produce uncertain and fragile outcomes at best, irrespective of whether the protesters or vested interests gain the immediate upper hand.

Young Arabs Say Religion Plays Too Big a Role in the Middle East

| May 30, 2019

A recent annual survey of Arab youth provides insights that should inform autocrats’ quest for social and economic reform. The survey also suggests, as do the intermittent anti-government protests that continue to erupt in different parts of the Arab world, that Western and Middle Eastern interests would be better served by more nuanced US and European approaches toward the region’s regimes.

Arab Religiosity and Support for the Palestinians

| March 1, 2019

There are more webpages in Arabic for the al-Aqsa mosque than webpages on Palestinian resistance. In English, there are triple the number of webpages on Palestinian resistance than on the al-Asa mosque, reflecting a more secular public than in the Arab world. To understand the Middle East, you have to think in Arabic and take religion much more seriously.

The Failure of Democracy in the Arab World

| May 9, 2018

Ever since 9/11, Western leaders have pushed for democratization of the Arab world. Almost twenty years down the road, the push for democratization has had catastrophic results: With the partial exception of Tunisia, the Arab states whose dictators were toppled are mired in strife or have relapsed into despotism. The time has come to learn from the experiences of South Korea, Spain, and Chile in the mid-to-late 20th century and realize that without a growing economy and a sizable middle class, democracy cannot take root in society. 

The Chaotic Arab World Has Nothing to Offer Israel

Israel should not do the bidding of the divided and bankrupt Arab world and strive to contain Tehran’s hegemonic ambitions at an exorbitant human and material cost. Nor should it trust its Arab neighbors to offer genuine peace once the Iranian threat is eliminated.