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  • Author: Rula Abisaab
  • Publication Date: 01-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Palestine Studies
  • Institution: Institute for Palestine Studies
  • Abstract: Hezbullah comes out of Augustus Richard Norton's long interest and pioneering accounts of the Shi`a of Lebanon, his many research trips to Lebanon, and his close contacts with Shi`i intellectuals and political figures. The book is a dynamic and multifaceted account of one of the most important parties in the modern Middle East—namely, Hizballah. The book examines Shi`i political history since the independence of Lebanon in 1943. Alienated by the Maronite-Sunni coalition that dominated the first Lebanese republic founded in 1943, many Shi`a turned to nationalist and leftist parties to effect a more equitable political system. Norton argues that it was not until the advent of Sayyid Musa al-Sadr that a sectarian identity started to emerge among the Shi`a. Norton, however, describes al-Sadr as “hardly a man of war” (p. 21), even though he had created the Shi`i resistance group Amal in 1975 as an armed militia and raised banners with slogans that glorified armed resistance such as “al-silah zinat al-rijal” (“arms are the ornament of men”).
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Lebanon
  • Author: C. David Welch
  • Publication Date: 03-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Ambassadors Review
  • Institution: Council of American Ambassadors
  • Abstract: On November 27, 2007, President George W. Bush brought together Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas at the US Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland to launch renewed Israeli-Palestinian negotiations with the shared aspiration of concluding a permanent status agreement by the end of 2008. This landmark event demonstrated the commitment of the United States and of the parties themselves to realize President Bush's vision, first articulated in June 2002, of two states living side-by-side in peace and security. More than 40 Foreign Ministers attended the conference, representing a broad swathe of the international community including traditional European allies, 15 Arab states (plus the Palestinian Authority), and important Muslim states such as Indonesia, Malaysia and Pakistan. In a sense, Annapolis was the culmination of US and Quartet efforts that were reinvigorated following Israel's war with Hezbollah in the summer of 2006. But most importantly, Annapolis was the starting point for political negotiations now underway. Only such negotiations can lead to the establishment of an independent, viable, peaceful and prosperous Palestinian state that can be a source of stability and security for Israel and the broader Middle East.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, United States, Malaysia, Middle East, Israel, Palestine, Maryland
  • Author: Ford M. Fraker
  • Publication Date: 03-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Ambassadors Review
  • Institution: Council of American Ambassadors
  • Abstract: Since the historic meeting between President Franklin D. Roosevelt and His Majesty King Abdulaziz Al Saud aboard the USS Quincy in 1945, the US-Saudi relationship has grown and strengthened, though we weathered a difficult period immediately post 9/11. However, we have passed through this challenge, and our relationship is now embarking on an exciting new chapter. Historic visits, first by Mrs. Laura Bush, then by President George W. Bush, gave new momentum to joint initiatives. New progress is building on the fine work we have pursued over many years. I am proud to lead our mission into a new era marked both by close, personal bonds and a shared, future-oriented vision.
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Saudi Arabia
  • Author: K.M. Fierke
  • Publication Date: 01-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Human Rights and Human Welfare - Review Essays
  • Institution: University of Denver - Graduate School of International Studies
  • Abstract: In 2008, Israel will turn sixty. Landmark birthdays often give rise to reflection on the past. In this case, questions about memory, and whose memory to privilege or commemorate, may have consequences for the future of the region. For the Israelis, the object of memory, and the vehicle of its birth, was the 1948 “War of Independence,” where like David and Goliath, a numerically smaller but technologically and culturally superior power, faced down a larger but inferior one. Following just a few years after the Holocaust in Europe, Israel's military victory offered, in the words of Nahum Goldman, an American Zionist leader, “a glorious contrast to the centuries of persecution and humiliation, of adaptation and compromise” (Shlaim 2000: 40). For Palestinians, and Arabs more generally, the Israeli narrative is not merely offensive but a source of humiliation itself, given the “ethnic cleansing” of Palestinians that occurred during al Nakba (the Catastrophe), with the dispossession of over 750,000 indigenous inhabitants of Palestine and their descendents. For Palestinians, the failure of the Israeli state to ac knowledge 1948 as an ethnic cleansing continues to underpin the conflict.
  • Political Geography: America, Europe, Middle East, Israel, Palestine
  • Author: Meliha Benli Altunisik
  • Publication Date: 04-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Turkey has been traditionally viewed mostly as a hard power in the Middle East, due to its military and economic strength. In recent years, however, there has been a discussion on Turkey's soft power. This article focuses on two aspects of Turkey's soft power in the region. First, Turkey's relevance to the debate on political and economic reform is discussed. It is argued that because of Turkey's internal transformations its attractiveness has increased. In addition to having assets, Turkey is generally more willing to project soft power as well as having increasing credibility in the region. Second, the article focuses on Turkey's use of soft power tools, especially its eagerness to play third party roles in the management and resolution of regional conflicts. Turkey's roles in the Israeli-Syrian, Israeli Palestinian and Lebanese conflicts are considered as an example. The article argues that Turkey's soft power has increased in these two aspects and yet it also elaborates on existing and possible constraints in this regard.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, International Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Middle East
  • Author: Barin Kayaoglu
  • Publication Date: 04-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: The Cyprus tragedy of the past and the Iraq predicament of our times bear striking similarities. Cyprus of the 1960s and 1970s is not too far from Iraq in 2008. The main thrust of this article is that Cyprus presents a useful case study for contemporary decision-makers in the United States, Turkey, and Iraq. Just like the Cyprus question, which has caused nearly irreparable damage to the relations between Turkey, Greece, and the United States, policies that are not carefully crafted by Washington, Ankara, Erbil, and Baghdad could lead to a very problematic future for the Middle East. In a nutshell, this article offers a cautionary analysis by drawing on the experiences of the Cyprus tragedy for the purpose of avoiding a similar one in Iraq.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, War
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Turkey, Middle East
  • Publication Date: 04-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Turkey as a U.S. Security Partner by Stephen Larrabee / 146 Ömer Taşpnar Turkey and the European Union: Prospects for a Difficult Encounter Edited by Ezra LaGro, Knud Erik Jorgensen / 149 Natia Ejoshvili The Importance of Being European: Turkey, the EU and the Middle East Edited by Nimrod Goren and Amikan Nachmani / 151 Christopher Brewin Between Islam and the State: The Politics of Engagement by Berna Turam / 153 Tuba Kancı The Kemalists: Islamic Revival and the Fate of Secular Turkey by Muammer Kaylan / 156 Michael M. Gunter The Politics of Turkish Democracy: İsmet İnönü and the Formation of the Multi-Party System, 1938-1950 by John M. Vanderlippe / 158 Paul Kubicek The Ottoman Empire, the Balkans and the Greek Lands: Toward a Social and Economic History Edited by Elias Kolovos, Phokion Kotzageorgis, Sophia Laiou and Marinos Sariyyannis / 160 Fatma Sel Turhan
  • Topic: Security, Islam
  • Political Geography: United States, Turkey, Middle East
  • Author: Mustafa Abbasi
  • Publication Date: 03-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Palestine Studies
  • Institution: Institute for Palestine Studies
  • Abstract: Tiberias was unique among Palestinian mixed cities for its unusually harmonious Arab-Jewish relations, even during periods of extreme tension like the 1936-39 Arab Revolt. Yet within hours of a brief battle in mid-April 1948, the town's entire Arab population was removed, mostly across the Transjordanian border, making Tiberias a wholly Jewish town overnight. In exploring how this took place, this article focuses on the Arab community's rigid social structure; the leadership's policy of safeguarding intercommunal relations at all costs, heightening local unpreparedness and isolating the town from the rest of Arab Palestine; the growing involvement of the local Jewish community with the Haganah's plans; and the British authorities' virtual abdication of responsibility as they began withdrawing their troops in the last month of the Mandate and as Plan Dalet was launched, engulfing the country in all-out war.
  • Topic: Civil Society, War
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: Walid Khalidi
  • Publication Date: 03-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Palestine Studies
  • Institution: Institute for Palestine Studies
  • Abstract: Almost fifty years ago, Walid Khalidi published "The Fall of Haifa" in the December 1959 issue of the now-defunct Middle East Forum. On the occasion of the sixtieth anniversary of the fall of Haifa on 22 April 1948, a major landmark in the Palestine war, JPS is republishing the article, long unavailable, to which Professor Khalidi has added endnotes and an introduction.
  • Political Geography: Middle East
  • Author: Nicholas Gossen
  • Publication Date: 09-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: al Nakhlah
  • Institution: The Fletcher School, Tufts University
  • Abstract: Despite Ayatollah Khomeini's famous comment that the Iranian revolution was “not about the price of watermelons,” the Islamic Republic of Iran was in part founded on economic promises of redistribution, equality, and justice. The strength of this rhetoric has formed a core basis of political support for the regime, but it has also established public expectations that the Islamic Republic has been chronically unable to meet. Many analysts have cited Iran's poor economic performance since the revolution and resulting public dissatisfaction as a key weakness of the clerical regime and a potential source of its downfall. Indeed, this is a crucial element of the argument advanced by advocates of stronger multilateral economic sanctions against Iran in the dispute over its nuclear program. However, underlying this logic is an implicit assumption that regime legitimacy is tied to economic performance. While intuitively appealing, this assumption bears further scrutiny, particularly if it forms a basis for American policy decisions towards Iran. The primary goal of this paper is to examine the political and economic factors that have caused the gap between economic rhetoric and performance in Iran, and to assess the extent to which that gap has affected the political legitimacy of the Iranian regime.
  • Topic: Economics
  • Political Geography: America, Iran, Middle East, Beijing