Volume XXVI, Summer 2019, Number 2
On May 6, the two U.S. newspapers of record, the New York Times and the Washington Post, following their usual custom, characterized Israel as the victim in the latest lopsided exchange of fire between the Israeli army and the irregulars in Gaza. Twenty-five Palestinians and four Israelis were dead as of that report, the highest number of Israelis killed in five years.
Joan Polaschik, Geoffrey Kemp, Daniel Benaim
The following is an edited transcript of the ninety-sixth in a series of Capitol Hill Conferences convened by the Middle East Policy Council. The meeting was held on April 12th, 2019, in the Russell Senate Office Building with Thomas R. Mattair moderating.
JOAN POLASCHIK, Acting Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs, U.S. Department of State; Former U.S. Ambassador to Algeria
Roman Emperor Julian the Apostate (AD 361-63), addressing his assembled Roman legions, gestured at captive Iranian soldiers on the eve of an ultimately disastrous campaign against the legions’ rival, the Iranian Sasanian Empire, and called them “deformed, dirty and loathsome goats.” Julian’s denigration of the Iranians was neither novel nor original. In their long interaction with the peoples of the Near East, the Greeks and Romans ascribed “Oriental peculiarities” in war to race, culture, the despotic nature of governments and sometimes to the physical environment.
Mr. Chairman, Mr. Ranking Member, it is an honor for me to appear once again before this subcommittee, this time to discuss China’s engagement in the Middle East and its implications for U.S. interests. It’s important to remember that, 20 years ago, every government in the Middle East was either friendly to the United States government or seeking to become more so. While the United States was not exactly triumphant, it was unquestionably dominant.
The Cold War was fought on many fronts.
The prospect of a nuclear-armed Iran unsettled neighboring countries and threatened a nuclear arms race in the Middle East. To thwart Iran’s ambition, the international community imposed an increasingly crippling series of economic sanctions. The regime responded by entering negotiations in 2013 that culminated in a deal known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), signed by Iran and the P5+1 on July 14, 2015. Iran committed itself to a serious rollback of its nuclear project in exchange for sanctions relief.
Today, with the international drive to reduce fossil-fuel consumption and increase the possibilities of sustainable development, the use of new and renewable fuel is being explored with vigor. Considering the potential for renewable energy in Iran, the development of these valuable resources is justified to achieve sustainable development goals: economic growth, social welfare, the improvement of quality of life, and the security of society.
The current international arena is not only different from that of the Cold War and its immediate aftermath, but even from what has existed in Europe since the Congress of Vienna in 1815. At that time, there was multipolarity, at least in the context of Europe. Alliances were built and changed, but they were fixed; “marriage” with one group excluded relationships with another.
The March 31 municipal elections in Turkey produced numerous surprises, as the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) suffered losses in the country’s three largest cities: Istanbul, Ankara and Izmir. On the other hand, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, the powerful leader of the conservative Islamo-Turkish nationalist movement and himself a former mayor of Istanbul, emerged with a “victory”: 44 percent of the total vote. Its ally, the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), won 7 percent.
From the early 1970s until Muammar Qadhafi’s toppling in 2011, Moscow and the Libyan Jamahiriya enjoyed cordial relations. During the Cold War, Libya played an important role as the forward base of Soviet interests in the Mediterranean. Although Moscow and Tripoli never entered into a formal alliance, Soviet military instructors were frequent guests in Libya, its military was equipped with Soviet weapons, and Qadhafi was supportive of Moscow’s highly-advertised efforts to back anti-colonial and anti-imperialist struggle around the globe.
As a result of trilateral negotiations involving Libya, Britain and the United States, Libyan leader Muammar al-Qadhafi decided on December 19, 2003, to abandon his country’s weapons-of-mass-destruction (WMD) programs. The first George W.
The Islamic Republic of Mauritania was one of eight sovereign nations that severed relations with the State of Qatar when the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) crisis erupted in June 2017.1 This move underscored both Nouakchott’s desire to curry favor with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Mauritanian government’s deep concerns about Islamist activity in African, Arab and Muslim countries.2 As Mauritania’s president, Mohammed Ould Abdel Aziz, blames the Muslim Brotherhood “for the destruction of several Arab countries,” Nouakchott is fu
The literature on the protracted struggle between Jews and Arabs over Palestine is voluminous.
In his report to the Third Session of the UN General Assembly on May 14, 1948, Count Folke Bernadotte, UN mediator for Palestine, offered the following prescient and sympathetic assessment of the human wreckage resulting from the creation of Israel:
Rentier Islamism: The Influence of the Muslim Brotherhood in Gulf Monarchies is a revised and reorganized version of the PhD thesis from University of Oxford by Courtney Freer, currently a research officer at the London School of Economics’ Kuwait Programme on Development, G
In the first decade of the twenty-first century, Israel experienced a core transformation of its political orientations and discourse. This resulted in a new “foreign-policy consensus” that was ingrained in the philosophy of being under constant siege, politically and ideologically (p. 74).
Türklük Sözleşmesi: Oluşumu, İşleyişi ve Krizi [The Turkishness Contract: Its Formation, Functioning, and Crisis]
The Turkishness Contract provides readers with innovative concepts and new ways of thinking about Turkey’s chronic and pervasive democratization problems and minority-rights issues.
Honor killings are not just horrifying; they seem unintelligible. Perpetrators claim they had to restore their family honor, but how can you do that by killing a relative? Honor Related Violence sheds analytical and social-psychological light on this question.