Issue 26



The West-Arab Relations' Crisis, New Perspective

The relationship between the Arabs and the US led New World Order has since the early nineties been facing a crisis at various levels, not only political, economic and security, but even cultural too. In this respect, a hateful, stereotyped image has crystallized from which west European countries -  traditionally considered more understanding of Arab issues in the post old-colonial period  - have not been spared. The sequence of this crisis, to be sure, underscores western, i.e. USA and European, responsibility for the deterioration state of the relations between the two sides.

The crisis actually commenced in 1987 upon the outbreak of the Palestinian “Intifadha” and not in consequence of the 11 September,2001, events. It was further aggravated by the US led war against Iraq in 1990, particularly in consequence of the defeat of the Iraqi forces in Kuwait, the enforcement of total blockade on the country and its eventual occupation in the spring of 2003. This brought about an atmosphere of mistrust that prevailed over the existing relations between the two parties culminating in the formation of a policy which falls short of the proper and correct way to deal with the Arab region and Islamic World.

Various efforts have been noticed to be earnestly undertaken by Western institutions and intellectuals who have developed the feeling of the gravity of this crisis and its strategically serious impact on international relations. They are consequently endeavoring to rebuilding the bridges of confidence that have been destroyed by the US military machine in both Afghanistan and Iraq, to say nothing of the Israeli terrorist activities carried out against the Palestinians, and security measures and legislations adopted against Muslim communities in the west. Be that as it may, the said efforts vary in their aims and means between promoting and justifying the existing western stance; endeavoring to understand the Arab nation’s reality and facets; and  exploring the actual situation of the said Arab communities and their own tendencies towards backing western interests  based on realizing US and European national security aims irrespective of price. Alongside these efforts, noteworthy endeavors are being gradually crystallized stemming from the desire to reconstruct Arab – Western relations on fair bases and mutual interests including recognition of those of the "Other" party.

Admittedly it is not enough to base efforts on good intentions and ensure that they meet with success. Indeed, diagnosing the crisis and its causes, and realizing the variables that preceded and crystallized it, constitute the most effective means for finding correct outlets that affect departure from it and facilitate arrival at some form of confidence, or cooperation at least. Most notable among such means are:

1.       Absence of literature, reports and precise and genuine information relating to US policy makers vis a vis the Middle East. This information stems from three principal sources:

A. Beneficiaries from the existing reality in the region.

B. Israeli based information.

C. Certain western studies whose authors allege themselves to be experts on Middle Eastern affairs.

2.       Success of US exerted political, media, economic and military pressure in imposing the 11 September events and their consequences as a general framework regulating international relations, particularly US relations with the Arab and Muslim Other.

3.       Western, especially US, efforts generally exerted in bringing about a psychological and intellectual, and perhaps even sentimental, state of isolation between the western, particularly USA, peoples and the Arabs.

4.       US perception with respect to exclusive possession of world leadership, and its endeavor to marginalize the role of important regional hubs, such as the Arab world, in sketching their policies vis a vis the world and the Middle East region.

5.       Utter and complete embrace of Israel and preventing the implementation of any of the penalties stipulated in international laws and charters despite Israel’s brutal measures taken against the Palestinian people.

6.       Pursuing the policy of making demands and dictating terms, as required by US foreign policy imperatives, without resorting to any prior dialogue with the Arab side. Such demands pertain to education curricula, cultural and intellectual change and economic and political reform, to say nothing of making demands pertaining to safeguarding effecting Israeli security.

On the level of the most significant policies, trends and programs that may contribute to defusing the dangerous crisis, the following may be suggested:

1.       Adopting a policy and language of common and mutual interests.

2.       Respect for the cultural and religious ingredients of the Other.

3.       Extending the bounds of information resources for decision makers to include Arab data obtained from think tanks, experts, academics, states and independent civil society institutions.

4.       Adopting a policy of international and regional partnership in forming the international order and its policies instead of a policy of exclusive possession, hegemony and marginalization.

5.       Accepting social variables in the region as they  actually are on account of their being peculiar to Arab and Muslim communities; and dealing with them on such basis while avoiding the policy of dictating cultural and social values and concepts.

6.       Giving precedence to cultural and economic openness, and political cooperation at the expense of the security factor and the so called war on terrorism which has come  to constitute  a dark black umbrella over western communities which is utterly harmful to their interests as much as they are harmful to Arab and Muslim interests.

7.       Stopping any discriminatory measures taken against Islam and Islamic communities in Europe and the USA on the education and media levels; and endeavoring to bring bout coexistence with the Islamic communities in accordance with the theory of cultural, political and social pluralism based on equal duties and rights.

8.       Making wide room for activating cultural and commercial exchange, as well as the movement of capital and labor between the two parties, away from discriminatory and hindering laws, and without fear from mutual pluralism or western Christianity.

9.       Founding an Arab-European-US dialogue forum based on such foundations and principles, and promoting for it in all the communities of the states concerned.



Opening Article  
The West-Arab Relations' Crisis, New Perspective
Researches & Studies  
Geopolitical changes in the Middle East, in the 21st Century.  
Technology impacts on the Arab Position at dividing international work.  
Political and Security developments in Iraq.  
Reports and Articles  
Jordan’s New Government: Challenges and perspectives  
The Separation Wall.. Discrimination Israeli Policy.  
Sudani agreement:  is it and end to the south question?  
  Contemporary Arab thought under revision.  
Overview of the US religious freedom’s report for 2003.  
Issues file  
Geneva Document and the future of the Palestinian question