Politics

Ruined buildings in the Gaza Strip, 19 July 2014 (photo: DW/Shawgy el Farra)

Israeli military offensive in Gaza

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Israel cannot win

All those whose opinions differ from the prevailing view are considered saboteurs. In this guest commentary, the Israeli writer Etgar Keret describes how the thought police are dominating his homeland and explains why the problems Israel faces cannot simply be bombed awayMore

Memorial march in Tizi Ouzou marking the crushing of a peaceful protest in the Kabylie region in 1980 (photo: picture-alliance/dpa)

Ethnic conflict in Algeria

A struggle for power and recognition

Algeria's non-Arab minorities are up in arms. The ethnic conflict between Arabs and Berbers is weakening the already fragile stability of the Maghreb state. By Susanne KaiserMore

A street in Kabul (photo: DW)

Afghanistan after Hamid Karzai

Facing an uncertain future

In Afghanistan, people look with nostalgia upon outgoing President Hamid Karzai. But at the same time, they fear the uncertain future that his successor might very well bring. By Emran FerozMore

Salafists handing out copies of the Koran in a German city (photo: dapd)

Interview with intelligence operative Benno Köpfer

"You're allowed to be a Salafist in Germany"

More than 300 people from Germany have gone to Syria to join the jihad. In this interview with Jannis Hagmann, Benno Köpfer of the German domestic intelligence service explains what radicalises young people, why not all Salafists agree with the ISIS caliphate and why he drinks the occasional tea with some of themMore

General Qassem Soleimani, the head of the Iranian Quds Brigade. Photo: Faresnews

Portrait: Qassem Soleimani

The man who pulls the strings

Iran is battling Saudi Arabia for regional supremacy in the Middle East, and is steadily expanding its sphere of influence in Lebanon, Syria and Iraq. Behind the scenes, Qassem Soleimani is a key figure who has had more influence on Iran's foreign policy over the last twenty years than almost anyone else. Martina Sabra reportsMore

Ruins of a house in Gaza after a rocket attack on 13.07.2014. Photo: Reuters

Escalation in the Middle East

Provocation and violence

What set off the new spiral of violence in the Middle East? Does Palestinian organisation Hamas deserve the blame? Bettina Marx doubts that's the case and takes a look back at developments in recent weeksMore

Raji Sourani. Photo: Tom Knutson/Right Livelihood Foundation

Interview with Raji Sourani in Gaza

"We are just soft targets: we are very cheap"

Raji Sourani is a human rights lawyer and founder of the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights, which documents and investigates human rights violations in the Occupied Territories. Jailed on six occasions for his work, Sourani is staying put in Gaza at the moment, and continuing to work under siege. He tells Roma Rajpal Weiss that people there have lost all hopeMore

Israeli soldiers near Hebron. Photo: picture alliance/AP

Israel's crisis politics

On hope and despair in the Middle East

The Middle East powder keg is threatening to explode. Anyone who still believes in peace must have hope – yet hope is precisely what is lacking. The Israeli writer David Grossman makes this appeal to his countrymenMore

ISIS using a bulldozer to destroy Sunni sites in Tal Afar. Photo: justpaste.it/atrah

ISIS' cultural vandalism

A trail of destruction

Cultural barbarism prevails in the territories declared a "caliphate" by the radical Islamic group ISIS. The sad irony of this is that its members are even destroying monuments to the companions of Muhammad, whom they themselves supposedly revere. Joseph Croitoru reportsMore

The self-styled "caliph", Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. Photo: YouTube

ISIS leader in Iraq

The new face of jihad?

The Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) has been active in Syria for two years now. It currently has around 5,000 fighters there – and the numbers are growing. Aron Lund, who has written studies on Syria's fighter landscape for the Swedish Institute for International Affairs, explains the terrorist organisation's strategies to Mona SarkisMore

Indonesian presidential candidate Joko Widodo meets the people. Photo: Getty Images

Indonesian Presidential Elections 2014

Populist versus autocrat

The two candidates in the forthcoming presidential elections in Indonesia could hardly be more different. Prabowo Subianto, former son-in-law of the late dictator Suharto, has adopted a militaristic style, and likes to present himself as a strong leader, while social democrat candidate Joko Widodo is seen as a man of the people and establishment outsider. Christina Schott examines their chancesMore

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Photo: Hassan Ammar/AFP/Getty Images

The Syrian conflict and the advance of ISIS

Assad and the myth of the lesser evil

Assad has used chemical weapons and laid waste to entire neighbourhoods and regions with barrel bombs. However, in the West, fears of what ISIS Islamists could achieve loom so large that Syria's dictator continues to be seen as a smaller part of the problem. By Bente SchellerMore

The Lebanese journalist and political scientist Abdel Mottaleb El-Husseini. Photo: private

Interview with the political scientist Abdel Mottaleb El-Husseini

Lebanon: "A mixture of vacuum and volcano"

A million Syrian refugees, a catastrophic economy and increasing domestic hostility towards Hezbollah: the war in Syria is pushing neighbouring Lebanon to the limit. Mona Sarkis spoke to the Lebanese journalist Abdel Mottaleb el-Husseini about the current political situation in his countryMore

US Secretary of State John Kerry on a visit to the Iraqi prime minister, Nouri al-Maliki, in Baghdad. Photo: Reuters

The Iraq crisis and the West

The ugly new order in the "Fertile Crescent"

Iraq is in the grip of a devastating inner-Islamic religious war. The conflict has an inherent dynamic that cannot be stopped by presidential wishful thinking or a hurried visit to Baghdad by US foreign minister John Kerry. Stefan Buchen commentsMore

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki (left) during a visit to President Hassan Rouhani in Tehran (photo: AFP)

Iran's role in the Iraq conflict

An ally, but not a puppet

For many Sunnis in Iraq, the country's Shia prime minister, Nouri al-Maliki, is a puppet of Iran. In the West too, the view that Tehran is pulling the strings in Iraqi politics is widely held. But what influence does Tehran really have in Iraq, and what role is it playing in the current crisis? Answers from Ulrich von SchwerinMore

Gamal Eid (photo: picture-alliance)

Interview with the Egyptian human rights activist Gamal Eid

A warning shot for civil society

Egyptian security forces have seized the current edition the magazine "Wasla", which is published by the Arab Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI). In conversation with Abbas Al-Khashali, ANHRI Chairman Gamal Eid explains the potential political fallout of curtailing freedom of expression in EgyptMore

Members of the Israeli army carrying out a raid in Hebron on 21 June 2014 (photo: Reuters/Mussa Qawasma)

The Israeli army in the West Bank

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The punishment of Palestinian citizens

Israel's heavy-handed acts of retaliation against both Hamas and Palestinian civilians are threatening to provoke a new escalation of violence. The Israeli military deployment in the West Bank is the biggest since the end of the second Intifada in 2005. A commentary by René WildangelMore

A "Green Movement" protest in Tehran in June 2009 (photo: Reuters)

Five years after Iran's "Green Movement"

Past and present

On 12 June 2009, millions of Iranians began protesting against President Ahmadinejad's re-election. Five years after these protests were violently crushed and the "Green Movement" failed, this chapter of modern Iranian history is still not closed. By Faraj SarkohiMore

Nouri al-Maliki (photo: AFP/Getty Images)

Nouri al-Maliki and the Iraqi crisis

Not the right guy for Iraq

The terror in Iraq is a Sunni rebellion against Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, writes Birgit Svensson in Baghdad, who lays the blame for the country's dire straits squarely at the door of its Shia head of governmentMore

Morocco's King Mohammed VI (centre) with his son and heir, Prince Moulay Hassan (left), and his brother Prince Moulay Rachid (photo: picture-alliance/dpa)

Democratic change in Morocco

The right king in the wrong monarchy?

The paradox of the political situation in Morocco is that King Mohammed VI seems to want to bring about domestic political change, whereas his entourage, which has grown rich and influential since the country gained independence, is resisting such efforts. By Mohammed HashasMore

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