Robert M. Danin

Middle East Matters

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

Regional Voices: Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, and Tunisia

by Robert M. Danin Friday, March 29, 2013
Syrian National Coalition leader Moaz Alkhatib speaks to journalists during the opening of its embassy in Doha on March 27, 2013 (Dabbous/Courtesy Reuters). Syrian National Coalition leader Moaz Alkhatib speaks to journalists during the opening of its embassy in Doha on March 27, 2013 (Dabbous/Courtesy Reuters).

“Their lives are worthless when it comes to the interests of Egypt and Egyptians…I am a president after a revolution, meaning that we can sacrifice a few so the country can move forward. It is absolutely no problem.” –Egyptian president Mohammad Morsi responding to violent clashes between members of the opposition and the Muslim Brotherhood Read more »

Obama’s Stirring Jerusalem Call for Middle East Peace

by Robert M. Danin Thursday, March 21, 2013
U.S. President Barack Obama delivers a speech at the Jerusalem Convention Center

For a number of years now I’ve stressed that for American leaders to be successful in their quest for Middle East peace, they must explain publicly and directly to deeply scarred and pessimistic Israelis and Palestinians why it is the United States believes peace is necessary and possible. Finally, today, President Obama did just that, and very eloquently. Read more »

President Obama Meets the New Israeli Government

by Robert M. Danin Tuesday, March 19, 2013

President Obama heads off to the Middle East just days after the new Israeli government’s formation. I was interviewed today by CFR.org on what the makeup of Israel’s new government will mean for the peace process, Iran, and domestic Israeli politics. You can watch the video embedded below, read excerpts from it here, or view it on YouTube here Read more »

Middle East Matters This Week: Israel, Syria, Egypt, Tunisia, Bahrain, and Iraq

by Robert M. Danin Thursday, March 14, 2013
Yair Lapid, head of Yesh Atid party stands behind Israel's prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu and president Shimon Peres at a reception following the swearing-in ceremony of the 19th Knesset, the new Israeli parliament, in Jerusalem February 5, 2013 (Zvulun/Courtesy Reuters).. Yair Lapid, head of Yesh Atid party stands behind Israel's prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu and president Shimon Peres at a reception following the swearing-in ceremony of the 19th Knesset, the new Israeli parliament, in Jerusalem February 5, 2013 (Zvulun/Courtesy Reuters)..

Significant Developments

Israel. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu appeared poised to form a new government today with Yair Lapid, leader of the Yesh Atid party, and Naftali Bennett, leader of the Habayit Hayehudi party. The coalition agreement is expected to be signed tomorrow. Read more »

Regional Voices: Syria, Lebanon, Egypt, Iran, Israel and Palestine

by Robert M. Danin Saturday, March 9, 2013
Former Lebanese prime minister Saad Hariri (Eid/Courtesy Reuters). Former Lebanese prime minister Saad Hariri (Eid/Courtesy Reuters).

“The Lebanese are asking this government to unmask its true face and say to the Arabs and the world that it is the government of Bashar Assad and Hezbollah…in Lebanon.” –Former Lebanese prime minister Saad Hariri

“It is a bad decision for the president and bolsters the feeling that his decisions are never thought out and that his advisers are not competent.” –Mustafa Kamel al-Sayyed, a Cairo University professor on the Egyptian courts’ decision to delay parliamentary elections Read more »

Regional Voices: Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Iran, Israel and Turkey

by Robert M. Danin Sunday, March 3, 2013
An Egyptian woman holds her son during a demonstration at Tahrir square in Cairo (Salem/Courtesy Reuters). An Egyptian woman holds her son during a demonstration at Tahrir square in Cairo (Salem/Courtesy Reuters).

“Friday has become a day of self-imposed imprisonment.” – Riham Ibrahim, Egyptian housewife

“Presenting money and weapons to al Qaeda (in Syria) by Qatar and Turkey is a declaration of armed action against Iraq…The weapons will reach Iraqi chests for sure.” – Iraqi transport minister Hadi al-Amiri Read more »