Middle East Research and Information Project: Critical Coverage of the Middle East Since 1971

The United States’ Recognition of Jerusalem as the Capital of Israel and the Challenge to the International Consensus

On December 6, 2017, US President Donald Trump announced that the US was recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and would be moving its embassy there from Tel Aviv in fulfillment of the 1995 Jerusalem Embassy Act (henceforth Embassy Act). In one fell swoop, the US has seriously challenged 70 years of international consensus enshrined in international law as regards the status of the city, and put the potential for a two-state solution into a tail-spin. What are the consequences of this major policy change?

Recognizing Annexation

Joel Beinin 05.12.2018

The White House announcement distinguishes between recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and establishing an embassy there and recognizing “the specific boundaries of Israeli sovereignty in Jerusalem.” In other words, the Trump administration, like all those before it, seeks to avoid acknowledging how Israel, in defiance of UN resolutions, has altered the demographic and geographic realities of the city.

Preservation or Plunder? The ISIS Files and a History of Heritage Removal in Iraq

The removal of the ISIS files from Iraq is only the latest episode in a long history of seizures of Iraqi archives and artifacts by Europeans and Americans. Rather than dismiss Iraqi critics as unreasonable, everyone with a stake in the study of Iraq—including all journalists, historians, and archivists—must reckon with the enduring legacies of two centuries of Western removal of Iraqi heritage.

The Southern Transitional Council and the War in Yemen

Susanne Dahlgren 04.26.2018

In late January this year, an armed conflict erupted in Aden between troops under command of President ‘Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi and those loyal to the Southern Transitional Council (STC), both in principle on the same side of the Yemeni war. The fighting left more than 40 people dead and several wounded. The conflict raised speculations of a crack in the Saudi-led coalition that since March 2015 has waged war in Yemen.

Reading César Vallejo in Arabic

The Poets The posthumous poetry collection of the Iraqi poet Sargon Boulus (1944–2007), ‘Azma Ukhra li-Kalb al-Qabila (Another Bone for the Tribe’s Dog), published in 2008 shortly after his death in Berlin, is populated with ghosts. [1] There are ghosts of anonymous...

From the Editors (Winter 2017)

This double issue of Middle East Report, “The Latin East,” is a collaboration with the North American Congress on Latin America (NACLA). We publish it in tandem with the current issue of NACLA Report on the Americas, which is available for free online. With the kind...

Radix Malorum est Cupiditas

James Spencer 04.3.2018

The last three years have been a time of outright misery for most Yemenis as War, Pestilence, Famine and Death have stalked what used to be known as Arabia Felix. Thousands are recorded as having been killed; tens of thousands more are known to have died. Millions are starved by a siege, and—weakened by hunger—are more vulnerable to diseases which are but fading memories in the “civilised” West. And for what?

Sisi’s Plebiscitary Election

Mona El-Ghobashy 03.25.2018

From day one of his July 3 coup, al-Sisi has directed a relentless campaign to depoliticize and incapacitate the population, riveting the old relations of deference and subordination between those who rule and those coerced to obey. But plebiscitary elections are part of a different type of autocratic rule, one that orchestrates continuous and diverse performances of citizen enthusiasm and state-identification.

Pamela Pennock positions her new book, The Rise of the Arab American Left, as a corrective to what she characterizes as a near omission of Arab American activism in histories of the left in the United States. She notes that ethnic studies literature on Third World left movements “dutifully examines” African American, Latino American, Asian American and Native American activism, yet leaves out histories of Arab American activism and the centrality of Palestine to coalitional organizing during this time. This omission, she contends, overlooks Arab American activists’ role in the anti-imperial movements of the 1960s through 1980s and misses an opportunity to understand histories of Arab American coalition building in spite of escalating government surveillance.

In the post-September 11, 2001 landscape, the United States made clear its intent to go it alone—even if that meant operating outside the doctrines of international law and international institutions. While President Barack Obama, to some degree at least, endeavored to re-situate the United States within the international community, Trump has embraced Bush-era doctrines. This approach, combined with a US-Russia alliance and failure to understand the refugee crisis as a global crisis that requires a global plan, has had significant repercussions for Europe, which is keenly aware that the problem extends far beyond Trump.

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