Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni and interim Libyan Prime Minister Abdul Hamid Dbeibeh.

As working summits go, Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni’s meeting with Libya’s interim prime minister in Tripoli last week seemed like a routine visit. But her meeting a few hours later in Benghazi with the leader of the rival government there underscored the dangers lurking below the surface of the two sides’ calm relations.

Lebanese army soldiers stand guard in front of a bank that was set on fire.

In Lebanon, a financial meltdown, state dysfunction and a massive explosion at the Beirut port have submerged the country in crisis for nearly half a decade and left three-quarters of the population in poverty. Now, as 2024 progresses, the Lebanese state’s process of disintegration appears irreversible.

Arab Israelis march in a demonstration calling for an end to the war in Gaza.

Since the war in Gaza began, Israel’s Arab population and political leaders have faced censorship and backlash for opposing the war. But at the same time, Arab political parties and their leaders have skillfully managed the situation in order to prevent tensions from escalating between Israel’s Arab and Jewish citizens.