skip to main content

COVID-19 Information and Guidance

Center for the Middle East News

Why Iran's hard–line governments endure
Middle East fellow Mohammad Ayatollahi Tabaar is interviewed for a New York Times explainer on the longevity of Iran's hard-line governments — against isolation abroad, internal turmoil veering on civil war and devastating wars. “It’s not despite these crises but actually precisely because of them that the regime survives,” with each episode ending with Iran's most powerful leaders and institutions rallying behind the status quo order, and with challengers sidelined, Tabaar said. Read more at the New York Times.
June 22, 2021, 7:08 a.m.

A smooth transfer of power in Israel?
Seemingly taking a page from the Trump playbook, Israel’s Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has assailed the incoming administration and called the election that defeated him “the scam of the century.” Middle East fellow Gilead Sher says the fact that “no transition [of power] has begun by the prime minister, his staff or most of his ministers, is extremely unusual and counterproductive. What Netanyahu and his [Likud] party members have been saying is shameful." Sher, the former chief of staff to prime minister and defense minister Ehud Barak, said Netanyahu should “not try to cling to power.” Read more at The Media Line.
June 10, 2021, 4:57 p.m.

Religious behavior in the Muslim world during the pandemic
Tune in to hear Middle East fellow A.Kadir Yildirim and his co-authors discuss their recent study on the pandemic's impact on religious behavior in five Muslim-majority countries. The podcast is available at the Alwaleed Islamic Studies Program at Harvard University.
June 8, 2021, 3:42 p.m.

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict explained
Baker Institute Director Ambassador Edward Djerejian joined Town Square with Ernie Manouse for a deep dive into the history and issues driving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Despite the Israel-Hamas ceasefire, “the situation now is dire,” he said. “The Palestinian issue cannot be ignored. It will erupt at the most inopportune times unless there is a settlement.” Listen here for the full interview, which starts at the 1:22 mark.
May 27, 2021, 6:36 p.m.

Ambassador Djerejian on the Israeli-Palestine Conflict
"The Middle East has a unique ability of drawing U.S. presidents and administrations tightly into whatever crises that erupt there," Ambassador Edward Djerejian, the Baker Institute's director, said in an interview with Sky News. "Whether he’s interested or not in the Middle East, President Biden cannot escape it." Watch the interview here, in which the ambassador discusses the increasing number of Democrats supporting the Palestinian cause, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's near-term prospects, and more. A transcript is available here.
May 26, 2021, 11:31 a.m.

A tough decision on Afghanistan
The decision to bring troops home from Afghanistan was difficult, but "sometimes in foreign policy ... there are no good solutions," fellow Joe Barnes told KTRK-TV news. Barnes, a former U.S. diplomat, is the Baker Institute's Bonner Means Baker Fellow.
April 16, 2021, 3:32 p.m.

Revisiting the Arab Uprisings
Tune into KPFT (90.1 FM, Pacifica) today at 6 pm as the syndicated Arab Voices radio talk show airs our webinar on “The Arab Uprisings Revisited." You can also click here to watch our video as a experts, moderated by fellow Kelsey Norman, reflect on this historic time and what may lie ahead.
April 7, 2021, 12:12 p.m.

Reversing course on Western Sahara?
"The U.S. views Morocco as a stable partner in the region, meaning that Biden risks upsetting an important ally if he rescinds the recognition,” said Middle East fellow Kelsey Norman of the Trump administration's controversial recognition of Morocco's sovereignty over the Western Sahara region
March 3, 2021, 8:46 p.m.

Why the U.S. should help Saudi Arabia
President Biden’s approach to Saudi Arabia so far is mostly a reversion to the pre-Trump status quo, rather than an overdue and fundamental shift in policy, writes nonresident scholar Annelle Sheline in an op-ed for Politico. Still, "while many rightly consider engagement with MBS distasteful, for the sake of Saudi and American citizens as well as the global climate, Biden should help [him] achieve his more admirable goals while constraining his malignant inclinations."
March 1, 2021, 4:33 p.m.

U.S. must do its fair share for refugees
The Biden administration’s promise to raise the number of refugees resettled to the U.S. “is critical for restoring America’s stature in the world as a leader on refugees," says Kelsey Norman, fellow for the Middle East and director of the Women’s Rights, Human Rights and Refugees Program. Read more here.
Feb. 5, 2021, 11:01 a.m.