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MERIP Editors


Fifty Years of Occupation: A Forum

This week marks the fiftieth anniversary of the 1967 Arab-Israeli war, which culminated in the Israeli military occupation of the West Bank, East Jerusalem, the Gaza Strip, and the Golan Heights, among other transformations of regional politics. The post-1967 occupation and its consequences continue to structure the mainstream conversation about resolving the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians, and those between Israel and other Arab states, even as scholarship ...

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Announcing the New Issue of Middle East Report (Spring 2017): Activism

Middle East Report No. 281 (Spring 2017) ACTIVISM Many commentators declare that the Arab uprisings of 2011 have ended. But in the eyes of many activists in the region, the uprisings are not over, even if the multitudes have retreated from central squares as the regimes re-entrench. Indeed, the throngs that assembled in 2011 set an unreasonable standard for judging the political significance of street protests, which continue—and may even be increasing in frequency—in ...

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Announcing the New Issue of Middle East Report (MER 280): Politics on the Move

Middle East Report  No. 280 POLITICS ON THE MOVE Trump in the White House. Attacks on Christians in Egypt. Continued politicking in Lebanon. Appropriating Palestinian art in Egypt. Electricity in the Gulf. Asylum seekers in Sicily. The politics of American Jews on college campuses. The Middle East uprisings have not ended and US involvement in the region has not decreased since Trump came into office. The process of political transformation continues to manifest ...

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Announcing the New Issue of Middle East Report (Spring 2016): Life in Exile

Middle East Report No. 278 (Spring 2016) LIFE IN EXILE The Middle East is once again the world’s biggest producer of refugees, due primarily to the catastrophic war in Syria. The region has also long hosted the greatest number of refugees on earth—indeed, the exodus of Syrians is the latest of a nearly unbroken series of refugee crises stretching back to the early twentieth century. The spring issue of Middle East Report explores important dimensions of the current ...

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Announcing the New Issue of Middle East Report (Winter 2015): Iran's Many Deals

[Cover image of Winter 2015 issue of Middle East Report]

Middle East Report  No. 277 (Winter 2015) IRAN’S MANY DEALS In the wake of the historic bargain over Iran’s nuclear research program, coverage of the Islamic Republic has focused on geopolitics—chiefly, its relation to other regional conflicts. But the stakes of the agreement in Iranian domestic politics are also very high, as sanctions are lifted and Iran is reintegrated into the global economy. The winter issue of Middle East Report looks at the ...

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Yemen's Time of Turmoil (New Issue of Middle East Report)

Midway through Barack Obama’s second term as president, there are two Establishment-approved metanarratives about his foreign policy. One, emanating mainly from the right, but resonating with several liberal internationalists, holds that Obama is unequal to the task of running an empire. The president, pundits repeat, is a “reluctant warrior” who declines to intervene abroad with the alacrity becoming his station. The other, quieter line of argument posits that Obama is the ...

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Announcing the New Issue of Middle East Report -- Fuel and Water: The Coming Crises

[Image crop from cover of new issue of Middle East Report]

FUEL AND WATER: THE COMING CRISES Demand for fuel and water in the Middle East is rapidly increasing. Populations are growing, as are expectations of middle-class levels of consumption. Supplies of fuel and water are finite, however, and renewable water reserves are dwindling fast. The summer issue of Middle East Report warns of the resource crises to come in the era of climate change. In the main, these are crises of inequality, not ...

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Introducing MERIP's Blog and Its Guest Editors

MERIP’s blog aims to complement our time-honored long-form analysis in Middle East Report and Middle East Report Online with a more spontaneous, ongoing conversation. MERIP’s blog is produced by our staff (Chris Toensing and Amanda Ufheil-Somers) with help from rotating teams drawn from our editorial committee. So, in addition to other contributors, you will see more from three of our editors in particular over the next few months. Sheila ...

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Announcing the New Issue of Middle East Report Fall 2013

[Crop of cover of this issue of Middle East Report]

GENDER FRONT LINES How is gender related to revolution? What is the connection between gender and women or, for that matter, between gender and women and men? These questions are posed in dramatic fashion by the Arab revolts, as well as other mass movements, in the second decade of the twenty-first century. As the fall 2013 issue of Middle East Report details, gender is at the front lines of the region’s battles for political participation and social justice. In her ...

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Iraq: Ten Years Later

[Crop from cover of Spring 2013 issue of Middle East Report]

“The Iraq war is largely about oil,” wrote Alan Greenspan in his memoir The Age of Turbulence(2007). “I’m saddened that it is politically inconvenient to acknowledge what everyone knows.” It may indeed be self-evident that the United States invaded Iraq in 2003, as the former Federal Reserve chairman says, because of oil. But what does this proposition mean? The answer is not so obvious. Part of the plan may have been that regime change in Iraq would open the country’s ...

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Announcing The New Issue of Middle East Report Spring 2013

[Crop from cover of Spring 2013 issue of Middle East Report]

IRAQ TEN YEARS LATER With few exceptions, the rush of reflections on the decennial marker of the US-led invasion of Iraq ignored the fact that the war happened mostly for Iraqis. Already devastated by 20 years of war, sanctions and dictatorship, Iraq suffered another decade of foreign occupation, civil strife and mass displacement. The spring 2013 issue of Middle East Report takes a hard look at “Iraq Ten Years Later,” including the question of ...

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Announcing the New Issue of Middle East Report Winter 2012

[Crop of cover of new issue MER.]

EGYPT: THE UPRISING TWO YEARS ON On January 25, 2011, spirited bands of protesters joined hands in the epochal popular revolt that would unseat Husni Mubarak, Egypt’s dictator of 30 years. Where is the country headed, with a new civilian government (for now) at the helm? The winter 2012 issue of Middle East Report offers reflections upon “Egypt: The Uprising Two Years On.” 2012 was not 1952, as historian Ahmad Shokr writes: Unlike the Free Officers who ...

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Announcing the New Issue of Middle East Report Fall 2012

[MERIP cover]

PIVOT, REBALANCE, RETRENCH A 2011 poll of Washington savants found that, Democrat and Republican, most of them view the Middle East as declining in strategic value in relation to Asia and the Pacific. On cue, the Obama administration rolled out its plan to “pivot” to Asia in deploying the US Navy and investing diplomatic energy. It turns out, however, that a major reason for this “rebalancing” is to police China’s access to the Indian Ocean and, from there, the Persian ...

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Announcing the New Issue of Middle East Report Spring 2012

[Merip cover]

PULL OF THE POSSIBLE Are the upheavals in the Arab world revolutions? Uprisings? Perhaps all such terms are misnomers, in that they imply an end point to processes that may not have a terminus. Regimes may fall or stand; movements may sputter or succeed in establishing a more democratic system. It often seems as if there are two parallel universes, one of revolution and one of retrenchment, which periodically collide with varying degrees of violence. The key, ...

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Syria's Torment

[Demonstration in Hama on July 29, 2011. Image from]

There are two political-intellectual prisms through which the recurrent conflagrations of the modern Middle East are conventionally seen. One casts the region’s stubborn ills as internally caused -- by the outsize role of religion in public life, the persistence of primordial identities like sect and tribe, and the centuries-long accretion of patriarchal norms. The other espies the root of all evils in external interference, from European colonialism to the creation of ...

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The Fateful Choice

[President Obama during his announcement that Osama Bin Laden had been killed by a US Navy SEAL operation. Image from]

When 19 al-Qaeda hijackers attacked New York and Washington on September 11, 2001, the United States faced a strategic dilemma that was unique in magnitude, but not in kind. Terrorists had killed numerous civilians before, in the US and elsewhere, with and without state sponsorship. Al-Qaeda was not the first non-state actor to present no coherent demands alongside its propaganda of the deed or to have no single fixed address. Nor were Americans the first victims of ...

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Of Principle and Peril

[Voting at UN Security Council. Image from]

Reasonable, principled people can disagree about whether, in an ideal world, Western military intervention in Libya’s internal war would be a moral imperative. With Saddam Hussein dead and gone, there is arguably no more capricious and overbearing dictator in the Arab world than Col. Muammar al-Qaddafi. The uprising of the Libyan people against him, beginning on February 17, was courageous beyond measure. It seems certain that, absent outside help, the subsequent armed ...

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Red-White-and-Black Valentine

[Image from unknown archive]

There are moments in world affairs that call for the suspension of disbelief. At these junctures, caution ought to be suppressed and cynicism forgotten to let joy and wonderment resound. Across the globe, everyone, at least everyone with a heart, knows that the Egyptian revolution of 2011 is such a time.  Before January 25, date of the mass protests that kicked off the revolutionary fortnight in Cairo and other cities, Egypt was another populous, impoverished country ...

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Dead-Enders on the Potomac

[Weighing the

Every US administration has its mouthpiece in Washington’s think tank world, its courtier that will slavishly praise its every utterance. For the blessedly bygone Bush administration, that echo chamber was the American Enterprise Institute and the neo-conservative broadsheets in its orbit. For the Obama administration, it is the National Security Network, an operation founded in 2006 to bring “strategic focus to the progressive national security community.” With one ...

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 MERIP Editors


The Middle East Research and Information Project (MERIP) is a progressive, independent organization based in Washington, DC. Since 1971 MERIP has provided critical analysis of the Middle East, focusing on political economy, popular struggles and the implications of US and international policy for the region. Visit for more information, including the most recent issue of Middle East Report.