Ideas. Action. Impact. The Washington Institute for Near East Policy The Washington Institute: Improving the Quality of U.S. Middle East Policy

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Fikra Forum

Fikra Forum

خلق الحوار. التأثير على السياسة.

Generating Dialogue. Impacting Policy.

Fikra Forum

The Western media misguided narrative about Al Jazeera

Emad Al Hadi

On June 5, 2017, yet another dangerous crisis broke out in the Middle East: The Arab Quartet, whose members are Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and Egypt, decided to cut diplomatic ties with neighboring state Qatar. The response of American and Western media to the affair has been perplexing, not to say misguided: Erroneously referring to the boycott as a “siege,” American and Western news outlets seem to adopt Qatar’s stance, according to which the Quartet’s demand to shut down the state-owned channel Al Jazeera constitutes an attempt to suppress free speech.

Fikra Forum

Thomas Parker’s Comment on Maged Atef’s “Revelatory Elections – A State of Divide and Rule”

Thomas Parker

I want to thank Mr. Maged Atef for his fine article on the upcoming Egyptian election. I read it several times with great pleasure and interest since Egypt is one of the most important countries in the world, and not just in the Arab world. My comments here go beyond the scope Atef’s analysis, looking forward to U.S. policy choices and toward Egypt’s own longer-term political future.

Thirty years after the Halabja Genocide: Iraq Still Punishes the Kurds

Yerevan Saeed

March is a bittersweet month for Kurds. It is the month for celebrating the Kurdish uprising against Saddam Hussein in 1991, the original declaration of Kurdish autonomy 1970, and most notably Nowruz, which Kurds consider their national day of freedom and welcoming spring. But, March is also the time of mourning. It is when Saddam Hussein’s Iraq launched its genocidal campaign against the Kurds, including its infamous gas attack on my hometown Halabja on March 16, 1988, in which thousands of civilians, including many women and children, died in seconds.

Fikra Forum

Why It Is Time for a Stronger French-Israeli Connection

Margaux Nijkerk

For decades, Israel has had uneven relations with European countries. Today, French President Emmanuel Macron and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu now find themselves in a unique place to enhance bilateral ties, more so than some other EU countries. In particular, France can benefit from Israel in the fields of security and technology, while Israel can benefit from Macron’s close relationship with Lebanon and his growing popularity among Sunni Arab leaders.

Fikra Forum

Iranian Tortoise and American Hare in Iraq

Haitham Numan

Everyone remembers the beloved story about the tortoise and the hare. There is a similar race taking place between Iran and America in Iraq. As Iran moves in a slow and cunning way, ever increasing its influence in Iraq, America has lost most of its own sway there. The race between the U.S. and Iran began in 2003 after Iraq turned into a Shia regime shared with the Islamists on the Arab Sunni side, along with Kurdish nationalists, Marxists, and Islamists. At the same time, Iraq also became a rear base for Iran to support its fronts in Syria, Lebanon, and other areas.