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Combining contributions of scholars from many different countries and a rich mixture of viewpoints, this book is the first to provide both a comprehensive view of the Middle East at the turn of the century and an outline of the directions that its component states and peoples are likely to pursue in the years ahead. You are free to electronically copy, distribute, and transmit this work if you attribute authorship. This item is only available as the following downloads: PDF. Please contact UPF for information about how to obtain copies of the work for print distribution.

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Nothing in this license impairs or restricts the authors moral rights. Freedman p. Includes bibliographical references and index. ISBN p. Middle EastPolitics and governmentth centuryCongresses. Freedman, Robert Owen. Baltimore Hebrew University. The Persian Gulf and Turkey 1. Yaphe 2. Gregory Gause III 4. The Arab-Israeli Core Area 5. Jordan: Walking a Tightrope Yehuda Lukacs 8. Lesch PAGE 8 9.

Egypt and North Africa The Outside Powers Policy toward the Middle East Don Peretz Freedman Bibliography Contributors Index PAGE 9 PrefaceAs we move into a new century, indeed into a new millennium, it is useful to take stock of where we have been in order to understand where we might be going.

This was the eleventh conference hosted by the center since its creation in Previous conferences have dealt with more limited time frames or with a more narrow focus.

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The proceedings of each conference were published in book form by scholarly presses, after being edited by the director of the center, Robert O. For the conference, however, the participants were asked to speak about, and later write about, a wider theme. As the Middle East enters the twenty-first century, they were asked to comment on and analyze the key developments in their countries since World War II, when many of the countries of the Middle East gained independence, and particularly to discuss the impact on their countries of the three seminal developments of the latter part of the twentieth century: the Islamic revolution in Iran, the Arab-Israeli peace process, and the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait.

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This book, which represents the views of scholars of Arab, Israeli, Turkish, Iranian, and American origin, with often differing perspectives, will provide the necessary background for understanding the Middle East as we enter this new century. My secretary, Elise Baron, did a masterful job in preparing the manuscript; Dr. Finally, without the continuing support of my wife, Sharon, and my children, Debbie and David, this book would not have been possible, and I dedicate the book to them.

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PAGE 11 IntroductionAs the Middle East enters the twenty-first century, many of the legacies of the twentieth century continue to dominate the politics of the region. In particular, while most of the countries achieved independence during or soon after World War II, three seminal developments in the latter part of the twentieth century are casting a long shadow into the twenty-first century.

The first development was the Islamic revolution in Iran in February , which led to the rapid growth of political Islam in the region.

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It was to affect not only the states and peoples of the Middle East but also the United States and Russia. The second key event, coming one month later, was the peace treaty between Egypt and Israel in March , the first such treaty between Israel and an Arab state. It was to be the beginning of the Arab-Israeli peace process in the region, a process that has had numerous ups and downs since The peace process has affected the states of the region and the Palestinian people, as well as the United States, which was intimately involved in many of the developments of the peace process.

The third seminal development was the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait in August , an event that was not only to split the Arab worldsome commentators attributed to it the death of Arab nationalismbut also to motivate the United States to increase greatly its involvement in the defense of the Persian Gulf. These themesthe growth of political Islam, the evolution of the ArabIsraeli peace process, and the impact of the Gulf War on the regionare the central themes around which this book has been organized. While the themes affect each of the states of the region differently, overall they form the structure through which the region enters the twenty-first century.

The first section of the book deals with the countries of the Persian Gulf and Turkey, which were affected by all three of these key developments. Since Iraq was responsible for two major wars in the latter part of the PAGE 12 2 Introductiontwentieth century by invading Iran in and Kuwait in , events that had major implications for both regional and inter-Arab politics, this section begins with an analysis by Judith Yaphe, of the National Defense University, of the changing role of Iraq in the region and the ruling style of its leader, Saddam Hussein. She notes Saddams growing dependence on selected Arab tribes, along with the Republican Guard, the Special Republican Guard, the regular army, and his tribal clan, to maintain himself in power.

Indeed, she notes that Saddam now rules as a tribal godfather. She also emphasizes the role of Iraqs history in creating a leader such as Saddam and asserts that even if Saddam is overthrown, Iraqi politics may not change much.

The second chapter deals with Iran, the home of the first Islamic revolution in the twentieth century. Shaul Bakhash, of George Mason University, analyzes the evolution of the revolution since He deals in detail with the contending forces in the Iranian political arena and, in particular, the battle that erupted in the mids between so-called reformist and conservative forces that came to a head when Mohammad Khatami became Irans president in He also notes the major transformation of the Iranian economy since the days of the shah and the far greater role of the state in the economy under the Islamic Republic.

In the area of foreign policy, Bakhash asserts that despite the Islamic rhetoric, Iran, especially in the s, has pursued a cautious and pragmatic foreign policy in which Iranian state interests, rather than Islamic interests, have taken priority except in areas peripheral to Iran such as Lebanon and Israel. The third chapter deals with the Gulf Arab states.

Its author, Gregory Gause, of the University of Vermont, notes that when oil revenues declined in the s and s, after the prosperity of the middle and late s, the compact between rulers and ruled, under which the people would give their rulers a relatively free hand in return for an assured high standard of living, began to erode. He also notes the Islamic challenge to the rulers of Saudi Arabia, who themselves have sought legitimacy from Islam, and the continuing need of the Gulf Cooperation Council states for U.

Gause also notes, however, that sympathy for the people of Iraq if not their leader, Saddam Hussein and for the Palestinians during the al-Aqsa intifada have created problems for the Gulf leaders in their relations with the United States. Turkey has been heavily influenced both by the Iraqi invasions of Iran and Kuwait and by the Islamic revolution in Iran.


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Malik Mufti, of Tufts University, discusses the impact of these events, noting that Turkish for- PAGE 13 Introduction 3eign policy toward the Middle East in the last forty years has swung back and forth between the isolationist policy of Ismet Inn and the more activist policies of Adnan Menderes and Turgut Ozal. Mufti describes the foreign and domestic political pressures that counterbalanced these activist efforts and concludes that although events in the Middle East over the past decadethe growth of Iraqi, Iranian, and Syrian missile technology, the rise of the PKK Kurdish Workers Party and its use of bases in Iraq as the Iraqi regime weakened, and so onhave dragged Turkey into a more active role in the region, successive Turkish leaders have not worked out a coherent strategy for dealing with the region.

The next section of the book deals with the core area of the Arab-Israeli conflict: Israel, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, and the Palestinians. While by the end of the twentieth century Israel had made peace with Jordan, albeit a somewhat tenuous one, it remained in conflict with the Palestinians, Lebanon, and Syria.

Ilan Peleg, professor of government and law at Lafayette College, begins this section with a chapter on Israel.


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  5. He argues that Israel has been beset by four ongoing challenges that are shaking the very foundation of the polity: the occupation of the Palestinian-populated West Bank and Gaza; the challenge by the Arab citizens of Israel for equality and national rights; the role of religion among Israeli Jewsespecially the growing conflicts between secularists and the Orthodox; and a culture war Kulturkampf between universalism and particularism over the question of whether Israel should continue to be a Jewish state or become a state of all of its peoples, Jewish and Arab.

    Peleg carefully analyzes the numerous connections between the four challenges Israel faces and concludes that a more democratic Israel is a possible result of the politys struggle with the four challenges. Of all the Arab countries and peoples, the Palestinians have posed the greatest existential threat to Israel. Barry Rubin, director of the Global Research in International Affairs Center, contends that the central problem facing the Palestinians, and especially their leader, Yasser Arafat, is that they could never agree to settle for what was a realistic solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

    Consequently, their position has deteriorated steadily since , when they could have received, through the same UN vote that created Israel, a Palestinian state on a large part of the former British Mandate over Palestine. Rubin also argues that the alAqsa intifada is but one more example of the inability of the Palestinians PAGE 14 4 Introductionto separate the ideal from the possible, and he attributes the primary cause of the Palestinian failure to achieve their aims to the poor leadership of Arafat.

    Jordan, the only Arab country other than Egypt to have made peace with Israel as the twentieth century came to an end, is discussed by Yehuda Lukacs, director of the Center for Global Education at George Mason University. He analyzes the delicate balancing act, both domestically and in Jordans foreign policy, that first King Hussein and then his successor King Abdullah II have had to perform to maintain stability in their country. Lukacs points to this balancing act as the reason both for Jordans support of functional cooperation with Israel from to and for the kings support of the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait in When the king then took a risk by signing a peace treaty with Israel in one that has not brought the promised peace dividend to the Jordanian people his policy came under sharp attack, especially from Jordanians of Palestinian origin who form more than one-half of Jordans population.

    Relations with Israel deteriorated sharply following the election of Prime Minister Netanyahu. Husseins successor, King Abdullah II, has sought to alleviate the pressure by distancing Jordan from Israel and improving ties with both Syria and Iraqa trend that accelerated following the outbreak of the al-Aqsa intifada. Syria, discussed by David Lesch, professor of history at Trinity University, also experienced a leadership transition at the end of the twentieth century as longtime strongman Hafiz al-Assad was replaced by his son Bashar.

    Lesch analyzes the constantly shifting Syrian strategy since when Hafiz al-Assad, the pragmatist, replaced the radical Ba athists who had ruled Syria since and had lost the Golan Heights in the war with Israel that they had helped precipitate. With his primary goals the regaining of the Golan Heights and the political and military containment of Israel, Hafiz al-Assad engaged in a series of changing alliances and alignments in the s and s, seeking, above all, to control Lebanon which Syria occupied in , Jordan, and the Palestinians.

    Following Egypts peace agreement with Israel, Assad put particular emphasis on preventing Lebanon, Jordan, and the Palestinians from following Anwar Sadats example. While he was successful in outflanking Israel in Lebanon following the Israeli invasion of , he proved unable, by the s, to prevent the Palestinians or Jordan from moving to peace with Israel.

    Consequently, the flexible Assad, looking to improve relations with the United States following the collapse of his main political and military backer, the Soviet Union, began his own peace negotiations with Israel.

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    Lesch also PAGE 15 Introduction 5notes that despite all the diplomatic zigzagging Syria did from to , the Syrian economy has done very poorly. Consequently, besides maintaining himself in power, reinvigorating the Syrian economy is Bashars number one domestic priority. While Syria has been in full occupation of Lebanon since except for a brief period from to when Israel controlled large parts of the country , many Lebanese, especially the Christians, want the Syrian army to leave, especially since Israel has now withdrawn to the borders approved by the United Nations.

    Marius K. He analyzes both the alliance between Syria and Iran and the alliance between Syria and Hizballah also backed by Iran and notes how Syria has used Hizballah as a tool in pressuring Israel to return the Golan Heights. Deeb also asserts that a Lebanon free of Syrian control would move toward a peace with Israel, based on mutual mercantile interests, that would rapidly become much warmer than Is raels peace treaties with Egypt and Jordan. The third section of this book deals with Egypt and the states of North Africa.

    Egypt has been a pivotal state in the region, and the three main developments in the Middle East in the latter part of the twentieth century have all had a major impact there.