Arab Digest editor William Law welcomes back the Middle East and North Africa analyst Francis Ghilès. Their conversation focusses on how persistent misreadings of the Middle East over decades have lead both America and Europe down a road that has repeatedly led to disasters culminating in the current war in Gaza where, unless rational thinking prevails, an unimaginable bloodbath will follow with the potential to engulf the region in an all-out war with enormous consequences for the world.
Summary: the war in Gaza is casting a long shadow in Yemen where urgently needed humanitarian aid is falling far short of requirements and efforts to achieve a peace deal are being stymied in part by the US designation of the Huthis as a terrorist group.
Arab Digest editor William Law’s guest this week is the energy analyst and author Jim Krane. In a wide ranging conversation they discuss how shifts in global energy patterns are altering relations between the US and Saudi Arabia, how Gulf hydrocarbon producing states’ move towards transition is proceeding and how the Gaza war is impacting the Gulf energy sector.
Summary: questions are being asked about why the leaders of powerful Arab states have been reluctant to use their considerable diplomatic and economic clout to end the slaughter in Gaza and secure the rights of Palestinians to a free and independent country.
Summary: Hamas provides a detailed response to the original Paris ceasefire proposal and offers a clear pathway to ending the war.
Middle East security, foreign affairs and defence analyst Tobias Borck joins Arab Digest editor William Law to talk about his new book Seeking Stability Amidst Disorder, an examination of how Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Qatar have used foreign policy sometimes to good effect, sometimes not, to attempt to secure stability in a volatile neighbourhood that with the war in Gaza has become ever more unstable.
Arab Digest editor William Law’s guest this week is the Syrian analyst Malik al-Abdeh. As with the earthquake that devastated northwest Syria one year ago Bashar al-Assad is once again using disaster to strengthen his grip on the roughly two-thirds of the country he controls. Carefully steering his regime clear of any support for Hamas or for the Palestinians trapped and being massacred in the Gaza Strip, Assad is securing growing acceptance of his regime in Europe.
Arab Digest Editor William Law is joined by Middle East analyst Sami Hamdi to talk about the growing threat to the region and the world as Israel continues its brutal prosecution of the Gaza war.Their conversation looks at outside players and how they are responding to the scorched earth policy the IDF is carrying out. Will diplomatic pressure and the world’s outrage be enough to stop the Israeli onslaught or will this war continue down an apocalyptic road?
Summary: in stoutly backing Israel’s PM, the US and the UK are enabling a politician who in his bid for self-preservation is prepared to plunge the Middle East into a catastrophic regional war.
Arab Digest editor William Law welcomes Sanam Vakil director of the Middle East and North Africa Programme at Chatham House.Their conversation focusses on the role of Iran and the Axis of Resistance in the Gaza war. As Israel continues its brutal assault there is a growing risk that tit for tat responses in other theatres of action will blend into a full-blown regional war. The podcast was recorded 22 January before the UK, for the second time, joined the US in strikes on Yemen’s Huthis.