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The Middle East (ME) experienced drastic changes that would affect its further political, social, and economic development after WWII to a considerable degree, defining the development of the Israel-Palestine conflict (IPC). To analyze the situation, the recent publications addressing the history of the ME struggle and the current political situation were used. The paper describes Arab Socialism, then proceeds with the analysis of the IPC, and ends with discussing the role of the U.S. in the ME development.
Since the ME is currently affected by several issues including economic and socio-cultural ones, the further choice of the IPC-related strategies will require the focus on the right of theme residents for self-determination because it is the driving force behind positive social, political, and economic changes.
In retrospect, the current situation regarding the confrontations between the ME and Israel, as well as the tensions in the ME’s political arena, can be seen as the inevitable side effects of the self-determination process. The latter has been taking place in the ME setting since the beginning of “Ba’th,” or the Arab social and political renaissance.1 With the creation of the Arab Socialist Party in 1949, the focus on the national revival and the promotion of the Arab Unity has been consistent and unceasing.2
The movement was initially spurred to encourage the process of detaching the ME from imperialists. Afterward, it grew into an all-embracive political force that would eventually introduce socioeconomic and financial opportunities for the representatives of the lower and middle class.3 Therefore, Arab socialism can be seen as the movement that encouraged changes in the realm of the political, economic, and social life of the ME residents, yet its effects cannot be deemed as entirely positive. Particularly, the prolonged confrontation with Israel needs to be mentioned as one of the negative outcomes.
Israel, the Middle East, and Palestine
The IPC has been in existence since the late 1940s, yet very little progress has been made so far to prompt a compromise or a solution that could lead to the best possible outcomes. Since the part of the land that is currently under the control of Israel is also claimed by the Arab population, the issue remains highly problematic on several levels, including sociocultural and political ones. The situation is aggravated by the long history of hostility between Arab and Jewish people, including the anti-Jewish legislation that was released in 1947.4
The problematic relationships between Arabs and Jews were not restricted to legal concerns; in addition, anti-Jewish riots occurred in Baghdad in 1941, making people flee from Iraq, Egypt, Yemen, Libya, and Syria.5 The past confrontations between Arabs and Jews affected the choices that both sides would make once the IPC started evolving, thus blocking the ways to a peaceful solution and reinforcing the military conflict. Therefore, it is critical to introduce a solution that would acknowledge the rights of the Arabs for self-determination.
The U.S. and the Middle East
The changes that the ME experienced in the specified time slot were also marked by an increase in the development of the ME foreign policies and the enhancement of global cooperation. Particularly, the economic and political ties to the US have been reinforced since WWII, with the US taking the place of the United Kingdom in the specified relationships as the imperial power.6 While the reasons for the US to manage its connection to the ME could be justified by the need to control the oil industry, other factors defined the current US policies toward the ME.
Specifically, the issues associated with the regional balance for power remained the point of concern for the US since the discrepancies in the specified domain would imply the lack of political and economic stability.7 Herein lied the reason for the U.S. to maintain its concern for the alterations in the political decisions of the ME. Furthermore, since oil remained a crucial asset that allowed for controlling a range of economic processes in the global political arena, the U.S. replaced the United Kingdom in the imperial relationships with the ME.
The post-WWI period of the ME development was marked by a range of political and economic challenges caused by external factors such as the need for the U.S. to maintain imperial control over the ME oil, In addition, the internal ones such as the need for self-determination played a significant part. The situation in which the ME found itself was rather complex due to the lack of control over the IPC and the need to sustain the economic and social well-being of the population.
On the one hand, the rise in social awareness and the focus on self-determination could be described as positive trends in ME development. On the other hand, the implications of the selected approach toward managing foreign policies led to the continuous conflict with Israel and the inability to avoid the development of imperialism-based relationships with the U.S. Consequently, a new direction in leveling the current conflicts and addressing the existing social and political concerns are required to handle the infamous IPC and determine the future course of development for the ME.
Burns, Adam. American Imperialism: The Territorial Expansion of the United States, 1783-2013. Edinburgh, United Kingdom: Edinburgh University Press, 2017.
Gasiorowski, Mark. The Government and Politics of the Middle East and North Africa. Boulder, CO: Hachette United Kingdom, 2017.
Hinnebusch, Raymond A. The International Politics of the Middle East. Oxford, UNITED KINGDOM: OUP, 2017.
Magnarella, Paul J. Middle East and North Africa: Governance, Democratization, Human Rights. New York, NY: Taylor & Francis, 2017.
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Prifti, Bledar. US Foreign Policy in the Middle East: The Case for Continuity. New York, NY: Springer, 2017.
Smith, Dan. The State of the Middle East: An Atlas of Conflict and Resolution. New York, NY: Routledge, 2014.
- Mark Gasiorowski, The Government, and Politics of the Middle East and North Africa (Boulder, CO: the Hachette United Kingdom, 2017), 116.
- Paul J. Magnarella, Middle East and North Africa: Governance, Democratization, Human Rights (New York, NY: Taylor & Francis, 2017), 68.
- Raymond A. Hinnebusch, The International Politics of the Middle East (Oxford, United Kingdom: OUP, 2017), 119.
- Dan Smith, The State of the Middle East: An Atlas of Conflict and Resolution (New York, NY: Routledge, 2014), 37.
- Ibid., 35.
- Bledar Prifti, US Foreign Policy in the Middle East: The Case for Continuity (New York, NY: Springer, 2017), 59.
- Adam Burns, American Imperialism: The Territorial Expansion of the United States, 1783-2013 (Edinburgh, United Kingdom: Edinburgh University Press, 2017), p. 43.