New Article: Kaufman, The Trans-Arabian Pipeline and the Arab-Israeli Conflict

Kaufman, Asher. “Between Permeable and Sealed Borders: The Trans-Arabian Pipeline and the Arab-Israeli Conflict.” International Journal of Middle East Studies 46.1 (2014): 95-116.

 

URL:  http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayAbstract?fromPage=online&aid=9173781

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S002074381300130X

 

Abstract

The Trans-Arabian Pipeline (Tapline), which extended from Dhahran in Saudi Arabia to Zahrani in Lebanon and operated from 1950 to 1982, was haunted by the Arab–Israeli conflict throughout the years of its operation. The route of the pipeline—which traversed Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Syria, and Lebanon—was chosen so as to circumvent Palestine/Israel. However, following the Israeli occupation of the Golan Heights in the 1967 war, Israel became an active participant in this project, with the full consent of the transit states and Egypt. This article uses Tapline as a means to analyze the interconnected world facilitated by oil pipelines, which defies common wisdom about state sovereignty or the function of interstate boundaries. In addition, Tapline demonstrates how this interconnected network created possibilities for Arab–Israeli cooperation that might have seemed inconceivable initially, given the hostile dynamics of the conflict.

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