1196 Items

German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock, right, and her Israeli counterpart Eli Cohen brief the media after a meeting at the foreign ministry in Berlin, Germany, Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2023.

AP Photo/Markus Schreiber

Analysis & Opinions - Lawfare

When Forgiveness Is Impossible: How Atonement Works as Policy

  • Kathrin Bachleitner
| Aug. 27, 2023

In 1952, West Germany and Israel signed the Reparations Agreement between Israel and the Federal Republic of Germany, which became known as the Luxembourg Agreement. Prior to its conclusion, West German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer gave an official apology for “unspeakable crimes” that called for “moral and material indemnity.” The agreement committed West Germany to paying the state of Israel 3 billion deutschmarks (around $714 million at the time, equivalent to more than $8 billion today) over 14 years. The Luxembourg Agreement’s combination of an official apology and material compensation remains unique to this day. However, it doesn’t have to remain that way. Reviewing what made West Germany select this path shows how atonement could become a reality for other states that have committed severe human rights abuses.

Analysis & Opinions - Hoover Institution Press

China Brokers Diplomacy Between Iran and Saudi Arabia: Implications for the US Role in the Middle East

| Mar. 23, 2023

For over a decade, American officials have been touting the wisdom of a strategic “pivot” away from the Middle East in order to face the threat of a rising China. During that same period, Beijing has identified the Middle East as a primary arena for great power competition with the United States. 

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Digital Crime Scenes: The Role of Digital Evidence in the Persecution of LGBTQ People in Egypt, Lebanon, and Tunisia

  • Afsaneh Rigot
| Mar. 07, 2022

Digital evidence–primarily from device searches–has made it easier for law enforcement to identify, harass, and prosecute LGBTQ people on the basis of their identity. This new report by Technology and Public Purpose fellow and Berkman Klein Center affiliate Afsaneh Rigot draws on years of in-depth research, including reviews of individual court case files and interviews with defense attorneys in Egypt, Lebanon, and Tunisia, to demonstrate the painful and unjust impacts of these developments, as well as the communities’ resilience. 

Afsaneh Rigot has deep experience with both the needs and views of queer people in MENA as well as engaging tech companies to make meaningful change. She advocates for a methodology she terms Design from the Margins. Rigot calls on companies to use the findings of this report to build from the essential needs of those most impacted by their tools, creating better tech for all users in the process.

Study group members at the Harvard Art Museum

Sultan Al Qassemi

Investigating the Politics of Modern Middle Eastern Art

| Dec. 08, 2021

This fall, Sultan Sooud Al-Qassemi, an Emirati columnist and researcher who specializes in social, political, and cultural affairs in the Arab Gulf and the founder of the Barjeel Art Foundation in the UAE, joined the Middle East Initiative as the Kuwait Foundation Visiting Scholar. One of the ways he has engaged with the Harvard community and shared his expertise is through his study group, “Investigating the Politics of Modern Middle Eastern Art.”