Friday, January 30, 2009

The "Arab System" After Gaza - Khaled Hroub

Open Democracy Forum, January 30, 2009 - A combination of political failures, new players and shifting geopolitics in the middle east is creating a more radicalised environment - and a desperate last hope for peaceful progress, says Khaled Hroub.

The Gaza war can be seen in part as the culmination of America's short-sighted middle-east policy in the 2000s: that is, of leaving things to take their own shape in Israel-Palestine without external intervention. The result of such indulgence of Israel and indifference to the deep-rooted and long-standing problems of the Palestinians is the emergence of new realities in the region, where pro-western Arab countries (Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Jordan in particular) are now being forced to take harder stances as their "moderation" is exposed as ineffective.

The counterproductive effects of the Bush years have buried the aspiration of a peaceful "new middle east" and produced instead emerging signs of what might be called a "resisting middle east" - a region where the moderates have been weakened, the radicals are stronger, anti-Americanism is deeper, and Palestine as the core issue in the region is as persistent as ever....

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