The Dhow: A Weekly Newsletter from AGSIW 

The Bridge blog
Jerusalem Summit in IstanbulJerusalem Declaration Unites – and Divides – the Gulf

By Kristin Smith Diwan

The decision by U.S. President Donald J. Trump to formally recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel elicited universal condemnation from Gulf Arab states. Governments and peoples united in finding the announcement provocative, illegal, and unjust. Still concrete action was difficult to divine in the official announcements, and unity of purpose frayed in the often divisive public discussion that ensued. Saudi Arabia has come under criticism for its warm relations with Trump and perceived rapprochement, especially in security cooperation, with Israel. State censure of the U.S. action has been eclipsed in public debate by censure of fellow Gulf state Qatar and regional rivals Turkey and Iran. 
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Ali Mohsen al-AhmarYemen’s Ali Mohsen al-Ahmar: Last Sanhan Standing

By Peter Salisbury

Yemen’s history has seen a number of alliances of convenience unravel spectacularly, most recently the three-year marriage of convenience between former President Ali Abdullah Saleh and the Zaydi Shia Houthi rebels, who on December 4 killed Saleh in the capital of Sanaa after several days of fighting between their militias and his loyalists. Saudi Arabia and its allies have painted Saleh’s death as proof that the Houthis cannot be trusted and have argued that the former president empowered an extremist militia, allowing Iran to gain a powerful foothold in the strategically important, impoverished country. Yet in Riyadh’s attempts to unite the multiple forces operating on the ground across Yemen, it has also come to sponsor a deeply controversial figure: Major General Ali Mohsen al-Ahmar, a onetime Saleh ally who split from his regime in 2011.
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Millennial Gulf
Yemen Street ArtStreet Art in Yemen: Artists Fight War through Graffiti

By Joshua Levkowitz

Yemen’s ongoing war has left millions of people displaced, hungry, and hopeless. The fluid authority of local factions, the lack of news sources, and pervasive illiteracy all work to stifle public discussion within Yemen. But street graffiti, presented in local context, is a way to slip past those obstacles: to promote citizens’ involvement and provide hope. A burgeoning group of artists has developed street campaigns and involved the community in work that visualizes the indomitable spirit of Yemenis. Murad Subay, maybe the most well-known of them, vows to continue to draw graffiti: “This is how I fight in this war.”
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AGSIW in Arabic

مني الرئيس دونالد ترامب بهزيمة انتخابية مدوية، يُمكن اعتبارها مقدمة لهزائم قد تناله وحزبه الجمهوري في الانتخابات الأمريكية النصفية في 2018، بعد أن هُزم روي مور المرشح الجمهوري في الانتخابات الخاصة لعضوية مجلس الشيوخ عن ولاية ألاباما، على الرغم من وضع ترامب كل ثقله وراء هذا المرشح الذي له سجل سياسي متعصب ومحرج، وكان ينوء تحت ثقل اتهامات جدية بالتحرش الجنسي بقاصرات
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DubaiThe UAE and Bahrain Have Been Included on an EU Tax Haven Blacklist. What Are the Implications?

By Karen E. Young

Of the seventeen countries on the new European Union blacklist of “non-cooperative jurisdictions for tax purposes,” the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain are really the only ones with significant financial centers with stock exchanges, financial service industries for private equity funds, asset and private wealth management. These are new global financial centers that act as hubs attracting foreign capital which they then invest globally. 
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In the Media
Hussein IbishSpeaking with the Times of Israel, Senior Resident Scholar Hussein Ibish commented on U.S. President Donald J. Trump's decision to move the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv, Israel to Jerusalem: "The Jerusalem decision greatly complicates tensions between the strategic interest of pursuing a relationship with Israel and their interest in terms of domestic politics, in terms of values and in terms of the strategic equilibrium they require in order to live happily."

Commenting for Arab News, Ibish discussed the Trump administration's comments that Jerusalem's Western Wall would remain part of Israel in a final status agreement: "These comments make a bad situation worse by adding to the uncertainty about Washington’s policies and by foreclosing the idea many were clinging to that the White House would clarify that it is not preempting East Jerusalem issues."
Seche at CFRExecutive Vice President Stephen A. Seche spoke at the Council on Foreign Relations panel "Yemen: A Country in Crisis" discussing the aftermath of former President Ali Abdullah Saleh's death: "I do think the Houthis will be exposed more for what they are. That veneer of legitimacy that Saleh allowed them to entertain has been removed, and they’ll be seen as heavy handed and repressive in ways that it was not always the case, at least when Saleh was around to provide that little bit of cushion for them."

Senior Resident Scholar Karen E. Young spoke on the panel "The Security Imperative of Economic Reform" at the IISS Manama Dialogue.

Senior Resident Scholar Hussein Ibish and Non-Resident Fellow DB Des Roches joined a faculty roundtable at Khalifa University discussing Washington's relationship with its Gulf Arab allies, particularly the United Arab Emirates.

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