Robert M. Danin

Middle East Matters

Danin analyzes critical developments and U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East.

Middle East Matters This Week: Iranian Negotiations, Syrian Deterioration, and Palestinian Violence

by Robert M. Danin Thursday, February 28, 2013
Participants sit at a table during talks on Iran's nuclear program in Almaty on February 26, 2013 (Filippov/Courtesy Reuters).. Participants sit at a table during talks on Iran's nuclear program in Almaty on February 26, 2013 (Filippov/Courtesy Reuters)..

Guest Post: The Politics of Egypt’s Rape Epidemic

by Guest Blogger for Robert M. Danin Tuesday, February 26, 2013
A woman raises a knife against Egyptian president Mohammed Morsi and members of the Brotherhood during a march against sexual harassment and violence against women in Cairo February 6, 2013 (Dalsh/Courtesy Reuters).. A woman raises a knife against Egyptian president Mohammed Morsi and members of the Brotherhood during a march against sexual harassment and violence against women in Cairo February 6, 2013 (Dalsh/Courtesy Reuters)..

This post is written by Allison Nour, a research associate at the Council on Foreign Relations.

In a powerful scene from the 2010 Egyptian film “678,” a veiled woman boards a crowded public bus on her way to work, squeezing through a mass of passengers in search of a space where she will feel least vulnerable to attack. Inevitably, though, groping hands reach her and she has no choice but to endure or try to quietly move away without drawing attention. Read more »

Middle East Matters This Week: Egyptian Elections, Damascus Explosions, and a New Tunisian Government

by Robert M. Danin Friday, February 22, 2013
Egyptian electoral workers carry ballot box at a center for vote counting during a previous parliamentary election (El-Ghany/Courtesy Reuters). Egyptian electoral workers carry ballot box at a center for vote counting during a previous parliamentary election (El-Ghany/Courtesy Reuters).

Significant Developments

Egypt. President Mohammed Morsi issued a decree last night calling for parliamentary elections to begin April 27 and end in late June. The vote will take place in four stages across different regions dues to a shortage of electoral supervisors. The new parliament will then convene for the first time on July 6. Read more »

Voices From the Region: Egypt, Iraq, Tunisia, Syria, Iran, Libya, and Yemen

by Robert M. Danin Tuesday, February 19, 2013
Former Arab League chief Amre Moussa (Dalsh/Courtesy Reuters). Former Arab League chief Amre Moussa (Dalsh/Courtesy Reuters).

“We do not talk about Morsi’s legitimacy, but rather about his credibility in dealing with the problems of the ordinary Egyptian citizen…We are against his policies, and just as he is legitimate, the opposition is too.” –Former Arab League chief Amre Moussa speaking on behalf of the National Salvation Front Read more »

Middle East Matters This Week: Struggles in Tunisia, Egypt, and Syria

by Robert M. Danin Friday, February 15, 2013
Tunisian prime minister Hamadi Jebali arrives for a round of consultations with other political parties at the Carthage Palace in Tunis, February 15, 2013 (Mili/Courtesy Reuters). Tunisian prime minister Hamadi Jebali arrives for a round of consultations with other political parties at the Carthage Palace in Tunis, February 15, 2013 (Mili/Courtesy Reuters).

Significant Developments

Tunisia. Prime Minister Hamadi Jebali pledged to announce a government of technocrats tomorrow, following intensive consultations with a variety of party leaders today. Jebali recently sacked his cabinet and called for new elections after the assassination of prominent opposition leader Chokri Belaid on February 6. Read more »

Voices From the Region: Tunisia, Egypt, Jordan, and Iraq

by Robert M. Danin Friday, February 8, 2013
A protester wears a Tunisian flag during a demonstration in Tunis February 7, 2013 (Larbi/Courtesy Reuters). A protester wears a Tunisian flag during a demonstration in Tunis February 7, 2013 (Larbi/Courtesy Reuters).

“Ghannouchi, assassin, criminal…Tunisia is free, terrorism out.” –Demonstrators against Tunisia’s ruling party Ennahda during Chorki Belaid’s funeral

“Morsi is an employee who works for us. He must do what suits us, and this needs to be made clear.” – Ahmed Mansour, a doctor Read more »

Middle East Matters This Week: Tunisia, Egypt, Iran, Syria, and More

by Robert M. Danin Thursday, February 7, 2013
A man cries next to a poster with an image of Chokri Belaid, a prominent Tunisian opposition politician who was shot dead, in Tunis February 7, 2013 (Souissi/Courtesy Reuters). A man cries next to a poster with an image of Chokri Belaid, a prominent Tunisian opposition politician who was shot dead, in Tunis February 7, 2013 (Souissi/Courtesy Reuters).

Significant Developments

Tunisia. Tunisia’s ruling Islamist party Ennahda rejected its own prime minister’s proposal today to form a new government of technocrats following the assassination yesterday of Chokri Belaid, a prominent opposition politician. Belaid was gunned down outside his Tunis home immediately sparking massive nationwide protests. Read more »

Obama’s Reset Opportunity With Israel

by Robert M. Danin Wednesday, February 6, 2013
U.S. democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama shakes hands with an elderly Israeli man during his visit to Sderot on July 23, 2008 (Hong/Courtesy Reuters). U.S. democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama shakes hands with an elderly Israeli man during his visit to Sderot on July 23, 2008 (Hong/Courtesy Reuters).

The White House announced yesterday that Barack Obama will visit Israel in March, his first visit there as president. The decision reportedly follows a January 28 telephone conversation between the president, just starting his second term, and newly reelected Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Read more »