Middle East Studies

Hannah Arendt on Zionism

Susie Linfield— It’s a pleasant day in the summer of 2013, and I sit with a Jewish-Israeli intellectual in a lively Tel Aviv café. She is a member of the far Left who advocates a one-state solution and is adamantly anti-Zionist. (She has since emigrated from Israel.) She asks me

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Heaven, Hell, and Non-Muslims in the Qur’an

Gabriel Said Reynolds— Heaven and hell are important notions to the Qur’an, the scripture of Islam. The divine voice of the Qur’an assures its audience that those who are faithful and do good will enter into paradise, which it names janna (related to Hebrew gan, meaning “garden”) and firdaws (from

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The Gospel of Matthew: Within and Without Judaism

John Kampen— Matthew is usually regarded as the “most Jewish gospel” since it bears evidence of more direct and more informed interaction with texts, concepts, and institutions usually identified with Jewish life at the conclusion of the first century CE. While the noted connections have not always been well-informed by

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Israel and the Conundrums of the Left

Susie Linfield— Both the Democratic Party in the U.S. and the Labour Party in Britain are in a tizzy over issues relating to Israel and anti-Semitism. Stateside, Rep. Ilhan Omar’s various statements about Israel, AIPAC, hypnosis, dual loyalties, and “Benjamins” sent the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives into months of tormented

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What happened after the Crusades?

Christopher Tyerman— We all know about the Crusades, don’t we? They were wars fought by western European Christians against Muslim control of Jerusalem and the Holy Land of Palestine. They began in 1095, when Pope Urban II summoned the knights of Christendom to undertake a war that would earn its

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Two Rocks in the Holy Land

Gabriel Said Reynolds— A traveler walking along the road from Jerusalem to Bethlehem could be forgiven for missing the ruins of the Kathisma Church. The ruins, found just past a gas station and just before the Greek Orthodox monastery of Mar Elias, are overgrown with weeds and strewn with rubble,

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The Other Middle East

Franck Salameh— Middle East specialists of a hundred years ago have traditionally been philologists trained in a dozen or more Middle Eastern languages, including Latin and Greek, but also the obligatory Hebrew, Aramaic, Arabic, Turkish, and Persian among others. Today, many of the luminaries of this venerable area of inquiry

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Has ISIS Won the Digital War?

Philippe Joseph-Salazar— First, let us remember that terrifying images of throat-slitting are not new. The atrocity of which our discourse community is (not) aware is more than a decade old: It did not begin with the execution of the American journalist James Foley, beheaded on prime time in August 2014.

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Why Oil Prices May Go on Falling – Forever

Dieter Helm— When the Saudis decided to draw a halt to the great shale oil boom in the United States at the end of 2014, they thought they could administer a short, sharp shock of lower prices that would kill off this threat, and then the market would rebalance again

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Remembering the 1967 Six-Day War

Guy Laron— Are wars the result of accidents, compounded by misassessments, misunderstandings, and miscalculations? If this is true, there is no one to blame; according to this view, wars simply happen. But perhaps wars are born out of meticulous and willful planning by individuals and institutions that might benefit from war. If

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