Arab Nationalism

The End of Pan-Arabism Redux

Published in the Huffington Post on Feb. 22, 2012.

In his 1999 book, The Dream Palace of the Arabs, Middle East scholar Fouad Ajami examines how Arab nationalism — a secular concept which advocates Arab unity via language and culture — not religion — went into decline following the 1967 War, the 1973 War and the 1982 Israeli invasion of Lebanon. In the 1950s and ’60s, the popular, charismatic and gifted orator Gamal Abdel Nasser, guided Arab nationalism. He served as the undisputed leader of the Arab world and inspired a generation of Arabs to believe that unity could be an attainable vision.

After Nasser’s death in 1970, Arabism suffered a major setback, and went into decline. Several self-proclaimed Arab nationalists surfaced including Hafez al-Assad of Syria, Muammar Gaddafi of Libya and Saddam Hussein of Iraq. All vied to be Nasser’s successor as spokesperson for the Arab people, but failed miserably by relying primarily on brute force and oppression. Continue reading “The End of Pan-Arabism Redux”

Hamas-Fatah

Hamas and Fatah – What is to be Done?

My first radio appearance on The John Batchelor Show discussing Hamas and Fatah.  Fast forward to the end at 30:36.

Jordan

King Abdullah’s Growing Anxiety Over the Two-State Solution

Published in the Huffington Post on Feb. 15, 2012.

Jordan’s struggle with its political identity is not something new, but the social media, the Arab Spring and stalled Israeli-Palestinian negotiations has revived concerns about Jordan’s future. Jordan ruled the West Bank — territory which the international community now regards as Palestinian — from 1949 to 1967. However, after the 1967 War, the West Bank was referred to in the international press as “occupied Jordan” in the late 60s, 70s, and 80s. This description persisted even in the early 90’s after King Hussein formally renounced ties to this landlocked territory in 1988. Continue reading “King Abdullah’s Growing Anxiety Over the Two-State Solution”

Hamas

Reflections on a New Hamas Strategy

Published in the Huffington Post on Feb. 8, 2012.

As I previously noted, a multilateral approach advocated by the Arab Peace Initiative could have the potential to prevent Palestinian unilateralism, which offer no security guarantees to Israel. On February 6, in an effort to unite rival Palestinian factions Hamas and Fatah, Mahmoud Abbas signed a reconciliation agreement with Khaled Meshaal in Doha. The agreement stipulates that Abbas will serve as premier under an interim unity government comprised of technocrats until parliamentary and presidential elections occur in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Continue reading “Reflections on a New Hamas Strategy”

Arab Peace Initiative

Revisiting the Arab Peace Initiative – A Novel Approach to Failed Talks

Published in Your Middle East on Feb. 2, 2012.

During the first Palestinian intifada (uprising) against Israel in 1988, renowned scholar and former Israeli intelligence chief Yehoshafat Harkabi argued in his book Israel’s Fateful Hour, that in order for Israel to sustain its majority Jewish and democratic character, Israel’s options were not between good and bad but between bad and worse. Continue reading “Revisiting the Arab Peace Initiative – A Novel Approach to Failed Talks”