August 10, 2020

Motives and Interests in Israel-Gulf Relations

barry-rubin

In early August 2009, Saudi foreign minister Prince Saud al-Faysal visited Washington. He praised the Obama administration and then hammered nails into the coffin of its Middle East policy. There was nothing subtle about the Saudi response. For the first time, a non-radical Arab regime--that is, one nominally allied with the United States--has openly ridiculed the U.S. government’s new policy. Naturally, the prince was full of praise for the Obama administration, in general. In specific, … [Read more...]

Building Regional Peace: Iraq and the Kurds

A CHANGING ATMOSPHERE IN BAGHDAD  For 35 years, Israel was a major target for rhetorical, ideological, and military attacks by the Ba'thi regime.[1] Yet with the collapse of the Ba'th and the many changes that have occurred in Iraq, Baghdad’s posture toward Israel has changed significantly. The harsh anti-Israel rhetoric has all but disappeared. Similarly, the vocal and actual commitment to the Palestinian cause has been reduced considerably. These changes were related to various … [Read more...]

Israel-Arab Relations: How the United States and Europe Can Help

  Shimon Stein: Our topic is how third parties can play a crucial role in promoting efforts to improve relations between Israel and non-radical Arab states, given that these states share parallel interests as well as vital strategic relations with the United States and the European Union. There is a feeling that a window of opportunity in the region may create new opportunities for interaction between Israel and non-radical Arab states. And the window of opportunity is, first and … [Read more...]

What to Do on Lebanon: The Future of Lebanon-Israel Relations?

  During the first decades of Israel’s existence and until the late 1970s, many Israelis felt Lebanon would be the second Arab state to sign a peace treaty with Israel. This belief was based on the fact that during this period, Lebanon was dominated by the Maronite community, whose foremost goal at that time was believed by many Israelis to be the preservation of Lebanon’s Christian and generally Western character. Thus, in the view of many Israelis, it followed that the … [Read more...]

Iran and the Arab World: A View from Riyadh

THE IMAGE OF A SHI’A THREAT  Expectations about a broad regional realignment vis-à-vis Iran are very much rooted in Neo-Realist assumptions about the self-help nature of international politics and the irrelevance of domestic politics. In the case of Saudi Arabia, such a perspective could therefore assume a natural tendency to align with Israel. Set apart from other actors in the region by specific (complementary) military and economic strengths and weaknesses, both countries … [Read more...]

Israel-Maghreb Relations: Realities and Possibilities

Israel’s relations with the three core Maghreb states--Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia--have been shaped by a combination of factors: the region’s French colonial legacy and distance from the historical cross-currents of Arab nationalism and from the Arab-Israeli conflict, geopolitical exigencies, the state-building enterprises within the three Maghreb entities and the competition between them, and the particular status of their respective Jewish communities. The Madrid-Oslo years were … [Read more...]

Iran’s Tenth Presidential Elections: Candidates, Issues, and Implications

  The 2009 Iranian presidential elections has marked a turning point in the country’s ongoing evolution toward a post-Islamist republic in which Islamic values and principles are not dictated but embraced. The unexpected popular unrest and political upheaval that has occurred reflects the polarization of social, economic, and political forces in the country. Each of these forces has a different vision for the future of the Islamic Republic. The Iranian political leadership now faces … [Read more...]