Opinion: The Iran-Sunni feud and prospects for Israeli-Palestinian peace
An unspoken rapprochement is settling in between Israel and a Saudi-led group of Sunni Arab states as they work together to counteract Iran’s growing influence in the Middle East. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict, however, is holding back even closer cooperation. Could the Saudis pressure the Palestinians to become more flexible and finally accept a peace agreement with Israel? Much still stands in the way of a lasting peace.
Opinion: A road map for peace in the Middle East
Iran, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Egypt and Israel are all vying for supremacy in the Middle East through direct confrontation and proxy wars. This may trigger an all-out conflict with dire consequences for the region and for Europe. Reversing the logic of war and replacing it with cooperation is difficult but possible, as all the involved parties stand to gain from it.
Iran and Israel’s proxy war in Syria escalates
The accidental downing of a Russian military plane by Syrian anti-missile defense, which coincided with Israeli air force jets’ presence in the area, highlights the danger of the increasingly open proxy warfare between Israel and Iran. The number of parties involved – Israel, Russia, Syria, Iran and Hezbollah – points to the risk of the drawn-out Syrian conflict exploding into full-fledged regional war.
GIS Dossier: Syria, Round 2
As Islamic State and jihadist rebels head for defeat in Syria’s civil war, the conflict is becoming more internationalized. Turkey has intervened military in the north against the Kurds, the U.S. has bombed Russian military contractors, and a rocket-propelled chess game between Israel on one side and Iran and Hezbollah on the other is heating up. If the key players aren’t careful, Round 2 in Syria could be a regional conflagration.
India’s growing influence in the Middle East
India has recently elevated its relationships with the United Arab Emirates, Israel and Iran, increasing its influence in the Middle East. But New Delhi has always preferred keeping the explosive region at arm’s length by dealing with only a few bilateral relationships. The Middle East’s shifting dynamics may make that strategy very difficult to maintain.
War in the North? Israel, Lebanon, Syria and Iran
Israel is girding for another war in southern Lebanon. But this time Hezbollah can pound northern and central Israel with up to 1,500 missiles a day – 10 times as many as it launched in the entire 2006 Lebanon war. And the conflict could well spread to Syria and Gaza, and perhaps even to Iraq and the Mediterranean offshore gas fields. As Iran supplies Hezbollah with ever more advanced missile technologies, the window for a preemptive strike by the Israeli Defense Forces is closing.
GIS Dossier: Autumn of the patriarchs
In many parts of the world, the outlook for political stability in 2018 will depend on aging, often long-serving politicians. Some are senescent leaders trying to manage a generational transition, others have caught their second wind and are bracing for a long run. Here is a short list of rulers who are losing their grip, handling tricky successions, or building their legacies with a late burst of vigor. They are a key human element in geopolitics.
Global Outlook 2017: Israel and its neighbors
Concerns about Israel focus on President Donald Trump's explosive proposal to move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem, which could set off another Intifada in the Occupied Territories. But the bigger danger lies in Syria, especially if President Bashar al-Assad and Hezbollah decide to strike south. That would put Israel eyeball-to-eyeball with Iran on the Golan Heights, and trigger a wider regional war.
Can Turkey and Israel sustain detente?
Turkey’s mercurial president decided to make up with Israel just as suddenly as when he froze relations back in 2010. That bodes ill for a durable rapprochement, especially in light of Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s long-standing ties with Hamas. But there are long-term reasons why the deal could work.
Politics, economics still stifle Eastern Mediterranean gas
Since 2009, international interest in the Eastern Mediterranean’s offshore oil and gas resources has followed a cycle from widespread excitement, to a stall in activity, to disappointment and back to excitement again. The Levant Basin has seen several discoveries that could have a big impact on domestic economies. However, unless circumstances locally, regionally a...