Filter Results By:

Subscribe to Middle East Progress Alerts

Support Middle East Progress

In-Depth Coverage

Original Commentaries

Setting the Record Straight

Determined to Reach a Common Objective

“We knew at the outset that the task would be difficult. We acknowledged that publicly and privately. We knew this would be a road with many bumps— and there have been many bumps—and that continues to this day. But we are not deterred. We are, to the contrary, determined more than ever to proceed to realize the common objective, which we all share, of a Middle East that is at peace with security and prosperity for the people of Israel, for Palestinians, and for all the people in the region. We will continue our efforts in that regard, undeterred and undaunted by the difficulties, the complexities or the bumps in the road.”—George Mitchell, special envoy for Middle East peace, remarks with Prime Minister Netanyahu, September 29, 2010

Middle East Analysis

Upcoming Events

The U.S. Agency for International Development and Conflict: Hard Lessons from the Field

May 17, 2011, 12:00pm – 1:15pm

From Afghanistan and Iraq to Pakistan, Somalia, and South Sudan, the U.S. Agency for International Development, or USAID, is engaged daily in trying to help some of the most troubled nations on the planet make a lasting transition to stability, open markets, and democracy. Few areas of the agency’s work are more challenging or more controversial.

Join us for remarks by, and a roundtable with, the deputy administrator of USAID, Ambassador


All items on West Bank/Gaza

    • ‘Understandings’ On Settlements?
    • | Oct 25, 2011
    • Responding to (unconfirmed) news reports of a new Obama administration proposal to restart talks between the Israelis and Palestinians, one which would allow the Israelis to continue building in existing settlements while halting the construction of new ones, former Bush administration Middle East adviser Elliott Abrams writes, “If this is a good idea, a decent compromise, one can only wonder why it took the Obama White House nearly three years to get there. For this policy was precisely


    • The Speech Yasser Arafat Never Gave
    • Analysis | Sep 27, 2011
    • Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ moving speech before the United Nations General Assembly on Friday was certainly the high point of his career. His address will be forever remembered because Abbas was able to do what no Palestinian leader has ever done in the past: make the moral case for Palestinian independence in a clear, coherent, reasonable manner at the highest international forum.

      Most importantly, Abbas’ message was internationally receivable. Only the most recalcitrant supporters


    • Challenging the Insupportable Arguments against Palestinian Statehood
    • Analysis | Aug 10, 2011
    • In their near-hysterical efforts to prevent Palestinians from asking the United Nations to recognize the Palestinian right to self-determination and statehood in the West Bank and Gaza, Israel and the United States have put forward a number of insupportable arguments that cannot be allowed to go unchallenged.

      The claim that the UN is not the appropriate address for bringing about Palestinian statehood that underlies the various legal, political and prudential arguments mustered against the Palestinian


    • Two Marches, Two Futures for Jerusalem
    • Analysis | Jul 14, 2011
    • One of the oddities of life in Jerusalem is that everyone knows where the future border will run between the Palestinian East and the Israeli West—despite the tiresome insistence of the Israeli government that the city will never again be divided. For example, north of the Old City the line will correspond more or less to what is now called Road Number One, a four-lane road that runs roughly north to south until it


    • Another Recipe For Never-Ending Conflict
    • | Jun 20, 2011
    • Observing that “One of the hallmarks of the Arab Spring has been the emergence of a new and more modest American foreign policy,” the Washington Post’s Jackson Diehl writes:

      The Obama administration has insisted on not taking the lead in promoting democratic change; it has declined to act unless not just the French and British but the Arab League go first. It still can’t bring itself to say that Bashar al-Assad, a dictator and implacable U.S. enemy who is using


    • Krauthammer’s Complaint
    • Original Commentary | May 27, 2011
    • By Matt Duss

      In a remarkable shift, neoconservative columnist Charles Krauthammer has recognized that the Palestinians are willing to accept a Palestinian state consisting solely of lands occupied by Israel during the Six Day War in 1967 — the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip. The Palestinians’ position today, writes Krauthammer, is this: “The 1967 lines. Period. Indeed, in September the Palestinians are going to the United Nations to get the world


    • Prioritizing The Two State Solution
    • Heard on the Street | May 20, 2011
    • By Matt Duss

      TEL AVIV- While President Obama’s speech yesterday wasn’t particularly groundbreaking, I thought it was an important (and overdue) statement of recognition of the deep significance of the Arab uprisings, both for the peoples of the Middle East and for the future of U.S. policy in the region. I’ll confine my comments here, though, to the president’s remarks on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

      There has been a lot of attention paid to the president’s


    • The Critical Role of Palestinian State-Building
    • Original Commentary | Dec 22, 2010
    • Palestinian worker in stone and marble factory outside Bethlehem

      On December 10, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton outlined efforts necessary to achieving Middle East peace. She called on the Israeli and Palestinian leaderships to address the core issues of the conflict, and said that the United States would work with both parties towards this end. In addition, Clinton mentioned the need for regional states to continue to develop the Arab Peace Initiative, and stressed the importance of the Palestinian Authority (PA) state-building program while underscoring