When it was inaugurated in 1995, the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership presented a vision of political cooperation, economic development, and cultural understanding between Europe, Arab countries, and Israel. The atmosphere was one of relative optimism, both in Europe and the Middle East. Ten years later, the regional approach took a back seat and the main emphasis was placed on a more bilateral framework, with the introduction of the European Neighborhood Policy (ENP). Following the big wave of European Union enlargement, the gravitational force pulling neighboring countries to the EU was at its peak. The objective was to extend the zone of peace and prosperity beyond its enlarged borders.
Today, at the beginning of 2016, this vision seems to be a faraway dream. In the Middle East and North Africa, the upheavals in Arab countries have brought about growing instability and bloodshed. This situation presents important humanitarian challenges, including major refugee flows within the region and into Europe. Terrorist organizations are exploiting the current situation to spread hatred and commit acts of violence.
In view of this dramatic, unsettling reality, there is a clear need to examine the flaws in the implementation of the ENP and to rethink its most basic elements. A new strategy should include effective tools with which to solidify meaningful cooperation between like-minded countries.
This article argues in favor of a Levantine approach to citizenship and citizenship education. A Levantine approach calls for some sort of Mediterranean regionalism, which accommodates and promotes overlapping and shared sovereignties and jurisdiction, multiple loyalties, and regional integration. It transcends the paradigmatic statist model of citizenship by recasting the relationship between territoriality, national identity, sovereignty, and citizenship in complex, multilayered and disaggregated constellations. As the case of Israel/Palestine demonstrates, this new approach goes beyond multicultural accommodation and territorial partition. It proposes, among other things, extending the political and territorial boundaries of citizenship to take all the territory between the Mediterranean Sea and Jordan River as one unit of analysis belonging to a larger region.
Ward, Frank A., and Nir Becker. “Economic Cost of Water Deliveries for Peace and the Environment in Israel: An Integrated Water Resources Management Approach.” Water Resources Research (early view; online first).
This paper presents a framework for discovering an economically viable water sharing plan among neighboring communities for promoting peace and environmental protection. Its application is to the Middle East in which Israel may be facing water supply obligations to address environmental requirements and for a possible a peace agreement with its Palestinian neighbors. The framework consists of integrating external factors, constraints, policy instruments, and targets. Our findings from a constrained optimization analysis of Israel’s national water system show that the costs of increased deliveries are dependent on two major issues: (1) achieving integrated water resources management (IWRM) in which efficient combinations of expansion from several supply sources and reductions in demands occur over time, and (2) the cost of desalination technologies. We identify a $US 1.46 billion price tag, in present value terms, from using integrated management of demand reduction and supply expansion under current desalination costs. Adjustment costs will decline both with anticipated reductions in desalination costs and with an efficient implementation of IWRM. These adjustments can contribute to moderating regional tensions and protecting key ecological assets while addressing water scarcity in a volatile corner of the world.
Please join us to hear Ambassador Martin S. Indyk discuss “Order from Chaos: The Challenge of Restoring Order in the Middle East.” The lecture, in memory of beloved AU Professor and former Israeli Knesset member Amos Perlmutter, is jointly sponsored by the AU School of Public Affairs and Center for Israel Studies. Ambassador Indyk is Executive Vice President of the Brookings Institution and founding director of its Saban Center for Middle East Policy. He took leave from the Brookings Institution to serve as the U.S. Special Envoy for Israeli–Palestinian Negotiations from 2013 to 2014. Location: American University’s Butler Board Room, on the 6th floor of Butler Pavilion (free parking in Sports Center or Katzen Arts Center garage). For more information please contact Laura Cutler, firstname.lastname@example.org, 202-885-3780
Location: Butler Board Room (Butler Pavilion Floor 6) (free parking in Katzen garage or Sports Center garage). For sports center garage, enter university main entrance at Mass. Ave., drive through tunnel, and immediately make sharp right u-turn up garage ramp. Park on any level 3 or higher, enter either Mary Graydon or Butler doors from garage, and take elevator to level 6.
A well-known Israeli maxim — attributed to Israel’s legendary foreign minister Abba Eban — holds that “the Arabs [or Palestinians] never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity.” The analysis of Israel’s position toward the API demonstrates that the Arabs and the Palestinians have no monopoly on missed opportunities in the century-long conflict. In fact, my research on missed opportunities in the conflict shows that Israel missed quite a few opportunities, of which the API was probably the greatest.
The API is still on the negotiating table. Only recently, Turki Al-Faisal, former director of the Saudi intelligence agency and former ambassador to the UK and US, argued that the initiative “still provides a template for peace.” Indeed, the convergence of the following developments in the Middle East has once again created an opportunity to relaunch the API: First, John Kerry’s failure to broker a bilateral Israeli-Palestinian agreement due to both parties’ intransigent positions; second, the rise and success of jihadist elements in the Middle East, which creates fertile ground for potential cooperation between Israel and the moderate forces in the Arab world; third, the instability in the Arab world caused by the negative ramifications of the Arab Spring; fourth, the war in Gaza between Israel and Hamas, which highlighted that only a regional solution to the conflict would be able to tackle the entire Palestinian problem. In light of these sea changes in the Middle East, the API seems to be the main avenue for a diplomatic breakthrough that would bring some stability to an area besieged by turmoil. Based on its history, the chances that Israel will pick up the gauntlet are slim, but the country now has an opportunity to correct mistakes made over the last 12 years.
This article is the first academic study of Egyptian foreign policy towards Israel under Hosni Mubarak (1981–2011). It challenges a deeply entrenched conventional wisdom that Egypt pursued a cold-peace foreign policy towards Israel throughout this period. We demonstrate that Egyptian foreign policy towards Israel was dynamic – comprising cold peace (1981–91), a hybrid foreign policy of cold peace and strategic peace (1991–2003), and a pure strategic peace posture (2003–11). We also use the case of Egyptian foreign policy towards Israel as a heuristic to develop a conception of a new type of peace, strategic peace, as an intermediary analytical category between cold and stable peace.
The predicament Israelis face can be summarized with a simple allegory.
Imagine a family car trip. I live in Philadelphia — let’s imagine a trip
in Pennsylvania. The family piles into the car, and heads out onto the
road. They’ve got a map of Pennsylvania. The map shows where to go and
where not to go for swimming, camping, hiking and so on. Here’s the
Delaware River gap, here are the Pocono mountains. Relying on that same
map, they cross the Susquehanna River. It is going north to south, just
the way it’s supposed to. All is well, all is understandable. But
imagine that the family continues driving and they end up in Montana or
Texas, but all they’ve got is that map of Pennsylvania. They keep
relying on it. But that map is not going to help them find their way,
it’s going to produce nothing but confusion, false certainty,
irritation, anger and frustration. The Rio Grande will be mistaken as
the Ohio, the Poconos will be enormously larger than they’re supposed to
be. Without a new map or at least the realization that the old map
cannot possibly provide guidance, the trip can only end in
disillusionment and disaster, to say nothing of bitter disputes within
the car over who misinterpreted the map and who is responsible for the
MR. WEISS: I think that, as Steve said earlier, we’re in a period
of no paradigm. I was in Palestine after the rejection of Palestinian
statehood last year and other acts by the Obama administration that
essentially repudiated the position that he had taken in Cairo.
Palestinians had believed in this two-state paradigm, and they’re the
people who are most subject to it. To us, it’s abstract. These are
people living stateless, without any rights. To see these people,
friends of mine, highly educated people, who had the idea that this was
going to happen, and to have it disappear is a profound loss. So I think
that that kind of awareness is going to enter the United States. This
model of thinking that has governed our ideas, like it or not, for 25–30
years, is going to dissolve. That’s an enormously challenging thing.
Expert presenters discuss and debate the Arab Spring; the “Third Arab Way“; Islam, the Muslim Brotherhood, and the role of religion; the U.S. presence or lack of it in the Middle East; how Americans’ worldviews and geographic circumstances affect U.S. foreign policy in the region and the world; the conflagration that is Syria and UN attempts at mediation/resolution; U.S. and regional responses to the nuclear and hegemonic ambitions of Iran; Iraq and Turkey as models of evolution toward regime change through the ballot box; the changing Russian presence; and the five fundamental issues involved in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.