Middle East Notes and Comment: Lebanon's Government Collapses
October 24, 2019
Though Lebanese prime minister Saad Hariri resigned on October 29, protesters continue to storm the streets. With approximately a third of the Lebanese population participating, the protests transcend sectarian lines and constitute a demand for systematic change. In Jon Alterman's new set of Critical Questions, he uncovers the significance and economic implications of the collapse of the Lebanese government.
On Babel's newest episode, “Getting aid to Yemen,” Jon Alterman speaks with Aisha Jumaan, founder and president of Yemen Relief, about her efforts to deliver humanitarian assistance to Yeminis in need. Then, he discusses Congress' approach to the crisis with Will Todman and Amber Atteridge.
Jon Alterman and Syrian journalist Ibrahim Hamidi assess whether Syrian political negotiations matter on Babel's third episode. To conclude, Will Todman and Amber Atteridge join Dr. Alterman to examine Russia's role in the Middle East.
In the panel “Regulating Religion in Africa," former CSIS Middle East expert Haim Malka discusses the difficult balance of state intervention in religious activity with Jennifer Cooke, Intissar Fakir, Father Bathelemy Bazemo, and Mvemba Dizolele. The event launched Mr. Malka’s edited volume Faith in the Balance.
Jon Alterman outlines China’s strategy in the Middle East in a short video interview with the Atlantic Council.
Will Todman answers key questions highlighting “The Implications of a Turkish Intervention in Northeastern Syria.”
In the News
On the U.S. withdrawal from northeastern Syria, Jon Alterman senses a “tremendous amount of discomfort in the Middle East about what the president’s moves with the Kurds means for the durability of any country’s relationship with the United States.” Reuters (10/21/19)
Will Todman emphasizes that the Kurds are “certainly not safer under the control of the Assad regime and Russia in comparison to when the United States had a presence.” PolitiFact (10/16/19)
Jon Alterman tells the New York Times that Washington’s swift retreat from the region “helps the Russians, who have benefited tremendously from a quite limited investment in Syria.” (10/15/19)