Middle East Briefs

Parallel to the Center’s scholarly work, Middle East Briefs provides a brief analysis of a single issue at the top of the region’s political, social, or economic agenda. Targeted primarily at decision-makers and opinion leaders, the publication was launched in 2005.

Latest Brief

May 2023 – How Israel’s New Government Will Challenge the Status Quo in Jerusalem

Peter Krause

Middle East Brief 153 (Summary) — The recent beatings and arrests of Palestinians by Israeli police inside the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan has renewed concerns about the viability of the status quo arrangement of Jerusalem's holy sites. The Israeli police are overseen by national security minister, Itamar Ben Gvir, who has called for changes that would allow increased Jewish access to these sites, including the right to pray. In our latest Middle East Brief, Peter Krause argues the status quo has been continuously challenged and even altered in recent decades, most effectively by religious nationalist activists pursuing small changes that have evaded public and government scrutiny. With Ben Gvir and other religious nationalist activists now part of Israel's governing coalition, Krause considers the future of the status quo and its significance for the stability of Israel’s government and its relations with Palestinians, Arab states, and the U.S.

Read Middle East Brief 153 (PDF)

Peter Krause is a faculty leave fellow at the Crown Center and associate professor of political science at Boston College.