August 10, 2020

Foreign Minister Faruq al-Shara’s Explanation


Understanding Syria's national strategy is one of the most complex and controversial questions of contemporary Middle East politics. Many government officials, policy analysts, and journalists wrongly predicted that Syria was ready to make a peace agreement with Israel. Clearly, important factors were left out of the equation. To examine Syrian thinking and policy, perhaps the single most interesting document is the January 2000 speech by Syrian foreign minister Faruq al-Shara to the Arab … [Read more...]

Israel and the Maghreb at the Height of the Arab-Israeli Conflict: 1950s-1970s

Israel and the Maghreb states--Algeria, Morocco, and Tunisia--have never technically been in a state of war, nor have they ever enjoyed a real peace. For decades, though, secret contacts between Israel and these states have led to greater understanding and limited cooperation against the backdrop of turbulent Arab-Israeli politics. Israeli ties with Tunisian, Algerian, and Moroccan nationalists originated in the 1950s at the initiative of Israeli government officials and diplomats, including … [Read more...]

Higher Education and the Development of Palestinian Islamic Groups

  Volume 4, No. 2- June 2000 HIGHER EDUCATION AND THE DEVELOPMENT OF PALESTINIAN ISLAMIC GROUPS  By Reuven Paz Editor's Summary: As was the case in the development of the Palestinians? nationalist identity, institutes of higher education throughout the West Bank and Gaza Strip were crucial to the development of Palestinian Islamic groups throughout the 1980s. Focusing on the two most prominent Islamic groups?Hamas and Islamic Jihad?the author traces the origins and … [Read more...]

Russian-Iranian Relations in the 1990s

  Volume 4, No. 2- June 2000 RUSSIAN-IRANIAN RELATIONS IN THE 1990s By Robert O. Freedman Editor's Summary: Iran is Russia?s most important ally in the Middle East. Moscow supplies Tehran with arms and nuclear reactors. They are allies against the Taliban government in Afghanistan, as well as in countering Azerbaijan and Turkey. Russia has also helped Iran's efforts to evade and eliminate the U.S.-led efforts to isolate that country. Yet the election of Iranian president … [Read more...]

Weapons of Mass Destruction: A New Dimension in U.S. Middle East Policy

      Volume 4, No. 2- June 2000 Weapons of Mass Destruction: A New Dimension in U.S. Middle East Policy By George Tenet Editor's Summary: A new and extremely important issue has emerged in U.S. Middle East policy concerning the threat of weapons of mass destruction (WMD). Washington?s intelligence community is worried about the use of WMD by unstable states or terrorist groups in the Middle East against U.S. forces or population centers. In this address before … [Read more...]

The View From Jerusalem: Israeli-American relations and the Peace Process since Camp David

      Volume 4, No. 2- June 2000 Israeli-American relations and the Peace Process By Jonathan Rynhold Editor's Summary: There is a general consensus that Israel, as a �client� of the United States, uniformly seeks to maximize its leverage over American policy. But, in fact, different Israeli governments have pursued conflicting approaches to the United States in the context of the peace process, some with more success than … [Read more...]

Understanding Syrian Policy: An Analysis of Foreign Minister Faruq al-Shara’s Explanation


UNDERSTANDING SYRIAN POLICY: AN ANALYSIS OF FOREIGN MINISTER FARUQ AL-SHARA’S EXPLANATION  By Barry Rubin Editor's Summary: In studying the contemporary Middle East, one of the most controversial and complex challenges is comprehending Syria’s regional strategy and policy toward the peace process. The author believes that Syria is stuck between its traditional hardline stance and attempts to develop a more flexible approach. This article provides a detailed analysis of … [Read more...]

Negotiating With Syria: A First Hand Account

  Volume 4, No. 2- June 2000 NEGOTIATING WITH SYRIA: A FIRST-HAND ACCOUNT  By Yossi Ben-Aharon Editor's Summary: The following is an account by Israel?s former chief negotiator of the Israel-Syria peace talks initiated at the Madrid Conference in 1991. The author contrasts his experience with that of his successor, Professor Itamar Rabinovitch, to reveal the difficulties of negotiating with Asad?s regime and the different approaches favored by Likud and Labor … [Read more...]