President Donald J. Trump on 6 December 2017 declared U.S. recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, breaking decades of precedent even while saying the U.S. was not “taking a position of any final status issues”. In this Q&A, Ofer Zalzberg and Nathan Thrall, Senior Analysts for Israel/Palestine, examine what the decision means for Israelis, Palestinians and the future of their conflict.
CrisisWatch is a monthly early warning bulletin designed to provide a regular update on the state of the most significant situations of conflict around the world.
The Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) and its Syrian affiliates face a stark choice: risk their gains in northern Syria through continued prioritisation of the PKK's fight against Turkey, or pursue local self-rule in the area they have carved out of the chaos of the Syrian war.
The U.S. campaign against ISIS in northern Syria both benefits from and is complicated by its partnership with an affiliate of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), a group fighting against its NATO ally Turkey. The challenges will grow as the war on ISIS moves further east.
This report examines President Trump’s emerging counter-terrorism policies, the dilemmas his administration faces in battling ISIS and al-Qaeda across the Middle East and South Asia, and how to avoid deepening the disorder both groups exploit.
Four years after plunging into Syria’s civil war, Hizbollah has achieved its core aim of preserving the Assad regime. Yet with no clear exit strategy, the Lebanese “Party of God” faces ever greater costs unless it can lower the sectarian flames, open dialogue with non-jihadist rebel groups and help pave the way for a negotiated settlement.
Turkey is under growing pressure from nearly three million Syrian refugees. To mitigate domestic tensions and spillover from regional conflicts, Ankara needs to develop, and find support for, new policies that open refugees’ routes to jobs, education and permanent legal status.
The collapse of U.S.-led Israeli-Palestinian talks in 2014 led to political instability, rising violence and settlement expansion. To improve his successors’ peace-making chances, President Obama should push for a new UN Security Council resolution setting out the basic parameters of a deal.
Hamas finds itself in the awkward position of having moved, slowly and grudgingly, towards an international consensus position only to find the consensus falling apart.
Without a [U.S.] reversal of the recognition [of Jerusalem as Israel's capital], the [Palestine Liberation Organization] would need something on the scale of U.S. recognition of Palestine.
[Los palestinos] tienen poca confianza en sus líderes y ya no responde al llamamiento de los partidos a la movilización porque sospecha que obedecen a sus intereses partidistas más que al interés nacional.
If [U.S.] President Trump now submits a request to Israel to do this and that, in order to restore trust, it becomes more difficult for the Israelis to say 'no,' because that request comes from a hostile president.
If you’re calling for intifada and general uprising, that implies a willingness to risk everything, including the dissolution of the Palestinian Authority. You have leaders who are clearly not willing to do that.
Es demasiado pronto para decir cómo evolucionarán las protestas [de los palestinos], pero está claro incluso que aumentarán cada día que pase.
Trump may have earned himself goodwill in Israel, but at the cost of inflating annexationist sentiment and stirring trouble at Jerusalem’s Holy Esplanade.
Originally published in Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
Eight members of International Crisis Group’s Council and Ambassador Council joined a trip to Lebanon alongside Crisis Group staff in November 2017 to examine the consequences of the Syrian war since 2011. In this op-ed and an accompanying video, Crisis Group supporters from the Council reflect on the Syrian refugees they met and Lebanon’s increased fragility as a result of its enormous new burdens.
Originally published in The New York Review of Books
Lebanon is caught between Iran and Saudi Arabia as regional tensions rise following the resignation of Lebanon's Prime Minister Saad Hariri on 4 November. In this video from Beirut, Crisis Group's Project Director for Lebanon, Syria and Iraq Heiko Wimmen argues that the resignation alone is unlikely to destabilise Lebanon, but that sanctions by Gulf states might well derail its fragile economy.
As Raqqa and its surrounding areas fall into the control of Kurdish governing authorities, providing security and effective governance will be key to preventing the return of the jihadist insurgency. In this video our Senior Analyst for Syria Noah Bonsey echoes the concerns shared with him by local authorities and people on the street.