The Evening: Israeli Hostages Rescued, Proposed Rafah Evacuation, Mardi Gras, and More

Israel Rescues 2 Hostages

Israeli forces rescued two hostages early Monday, storming a heavily guarded apartment in a densely packed town in the Gaza Strip as airstrikes carried out to cover the raid killed more than 60 Palestinians, as the AP reports.

Israel Proposes Rafah Evacuation

Israel is proposing the creation of sprawling tent cities in Gaza as part of an evacuation plan to be funded by the U.S. and its Arab Gulf partners ahead of an impending invasion of a city in the strip’s south, where 1.2 million Palestinians are sheltering and which Israel says is the last bastion of Hamas, as the WSJ reports.

Biden Meets King Abdullah II

President Biden met at the White House on Monday afternoon with King Abdullah II of Jordan, a key figure in the push for a cease-fire in the Gaza Strip, as the NYT reports.

Executive Education

Ready to take the next step towards policy success in Washington? Join CSIS experts March 18-21, 2024, at CSIS Headquarters for "Decoding D.C.: Policy, Power, and People," to unlock the secrets to thriving in the capital's unique policy landscape. Register here by March 4.

Audio Briefs

CSIS experts give short, spoken-word summaries on the biggest takeaways from their latest reports, white papers, and commentaries—in their own words.

Listen here: "Geopolitical Significance of U.S. LNG" with CSIS's Kunro Irié.

In That Number


More than 100 million people are expected to vote in Indonesia's pivotal general election on Wednesday.
Source: NYT

Critical Quote

Any relativization of NATO’s support guarantee is irresponsible and dangerous, and is in the interest of Russia alone.

— German Chancellor Olaf Scholz

iDeas Lab

Photo: CSIS

Recent activity by the Venezuelan armed forces on Anacoco Island observed in satellite imagery suggests that President Maduro is employing a carrot-and-stick approach in negotiations with Guyana. Read the full analysis here.

The Andreas C. Dracopoulos iDeas Lab at CSIS enhances our research with the latest in cutting-edge web technologies, design, and multimedia.


Photo: Mohammed Abed/AFP/Getty Images

Photo: Mohammed Abed/AFP/Getty Images

Smoke billows during Israeli bombardment over Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip on Monday, February 12, 2024.

Recommended Reading

Miscalculation and Escalation over the Essequibo: New Insights into the Risks of Venezuela's Compellence Strategy" by CSIS's Christopher Hernandez-Roy, Henry Ziemer, Rubi Bledsoe, Joseph S. Bermudez Jr., and Jennifer Jun.

This Town Tomorrow

At 11:00 a.m., the CSIS Korea Chair discusses North Korea's preparation for war and potential responses for South Korea.

Also at 11:00 a.m., the CSIS Energy Security and Climate Change Program explores how proposed 45V tax credit guidance could shape the growth of the U.S. hydrogen industry.

Then, at 1:30 p.m., the CSIS Europe, Russia, and Eurasia Program hosts a special event marking the two-year anniversary of Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine.


Today, the CSIS Korea Chair hosted an event on U.S.-ROK-Japan trilateral cooperation, including on North Korea and extended deterrence, China and Taiwan, and economic security and supply chains. Watch the full video here.


The Truth of the Matter

CSIS's Norman Roule joins the podcast to discuss the recent U.S. strike in Baghdad and what U.S. policy is seeking to achieve in the Middle East in combating Iranian proxies.

Listen on Spotify & Apple Podcasts.


Today is Lundi Gras in New Orleans—you guessed it, the Monday before tomorrow’s Fat Tuesday, or, as we say in the Big Easy, “Mardi Gras Day.” Lundi Gras is always such a blast, especially in terms of the great music playing throughout the city. When most people think about Mardi Gras music, it is typically funk, brass, and jazz. But the truth is, as with every other day in the Crescent City, the music is a gumbo of funk, blues, jazz, rock, country, and everything in between. It’s all roots music in New Orleans because this is the place that many consider the birthplace of American music.

I love the cannon of classic Mardi Gras tunes, like Art Neville’s “Mardi Gras Mambo,” or Al “Carnival” Johnson’s “Carnival Time.” I could go on about a huge playlist of Mardi Gras tracks that are fantastically familiar. But the other day I heard a newer Mardi Gras tune from 2020 called “Mardi Gras” by Mason Via of Old Crow Medicine Show and country singer Sierra Ferrell. I first heard “Mardi Gras” streaming on the brilliant listener-supported New Orleans radio station WWOZ. This song is destined for classic status.

I invite you to email me at and follow me on Twitter @handrewschwartz