The future of Turkish foreign policy in the framework of the theory of offensive realism
Abstract: States’ foreign policy is greatly influenced by the world system. The world system is expressed with various structural orders in successive cycles that start with multipolar, progress towards bipolar shape, and result in conflict with hegemonic tendencies. Therefore, the future of foreign policy depends on the shape and structure of the world system. Considering the scope and nature of the future of Turkey’s foreign policy, we need to make it more research-oriented. Therefore, in this article, we will examine the future of Turkish foreign policy in the era of the AKP based on John Mearsheimer’s “Offensive Realism” theory. In this article, I will try to fill the research gap in this area. Because so far very few articles have extensively and in-depth examined the future of Turkish foreign policy in the era of the AKP based on the theory of the realism of aggression. Our hypothesis in this article is to prove and examine the claim that the future of Turkish foreign policy in the AKP era will be critical in a multipolar world.
The central and hegemonic governments seek to maximize their share of world power. (1) John Mearsheimer’s main argument is that in contemporary history, the world order has undergone many changes, and one of the most important of these issues has been the management of the international system in multipolar, bipolar, and hegemonic forms. He claims that in a multipolar system, the world order is subject to crises and conflicts between powerful governments, and this situation also affects peripheral and developing countries. Unlike many contemporary political thinkers, he considers the bipolar system of the Cold War to be one of the most peaceful and stable in the world. That is why his book, The Tragedy of Great Power Politics, tries to show the positive characteristics of a bipolar system.
In one of the critiques of the theory of offensive realism, the author tries to show the logical and explanatory problems hidden in the theory itself. The critic of this theory states that the cruel world that forms the basis of the hypothesis does not show itself in practice and has fundamental shortcomings in explaining its intended model. This critic claims that if we measure the correctness of the theory of offensive realism with its own parameters, there will still be problems. In his critical essay, he outlines the five basic principles of the theory of offensive realism which includes the anarchic nature of the international system, the emphasis on the aggressive power of states that can potentially destroy each other; the prevalence of mistrust and uncertainty in international relations, highlighting the principle of survival of governments, which is a prerequisite for achieving their goals, and paying attention to the rationality of behavior and acting of governments which is to pursue their survival strategies. According to this critic, although these principles are interesting, by assuming these five principles, the international system considered by Mearsheimer, which is also very hostile, will not be created because the predatory goals of governments, which is one of the realities of international politics, are not considered in the hypotheses of this theory. His critic also argues that although Mersheimer names a hierarchy of government goals that also includes revisionist intentions and goals, he outlines non-security goals. But none of them are among his five hypotheses that the world is prone to a conflict of offensive realism. (2)
Another critic, in an article examining China’s emergence as a new international power and the US approach to it, makes it clear that John Mearsheimer is trying to call on the United States to use all possible means to slow China’s rise to power. Emphasizing the use of classical realism in the study of China’s rise to power, he describes John Mearsheimer’s offensive realism as dangerous. According to this critic, the root of problems and errors is structuralism. In his view, the classical realist approach, influenced by history and politics, has a more analytical and wise view of issues than offensive realism. The author of this critical article states that John Mearsheimer claims that China cannot become a world power for peace. Since from the point of view of offensive realism, China will become an aggressive and hegemonic country by increasing its capabilities. On this account, according to Mearsheimer, the current US policy will not be able to stop China’s unbridled growth. For this reason, he suggests that the United States should use all possible means to stop China. Another criticism that the author makes of the theory of offensive realism is that it emphasizes the way governments act according to this theory. As the theorist of this theory says, “If governments want to survive, they must act according to these principles of the theory.” (3)
Another researcher in the field of international politics claims that Turkey is trying to become a key power in the Middle East with its step-by-step policy. However, Turkey’s first move will be to become a power in the periphery. This analyst claims that according to the theory of offensive realism, every state wants to increase its power and become a central government. Therefore, from this researcher’s point of view, if Turkey succeeds in changing its position in the international system, it will no longer play the role of an obedient country in the Middle East. (4)
According to another researcher, the main function of aggressive realism is to explain the problems and obstacles of regional powers before taking over the leadership of the region. Accordingly, the anarchic atmosphere of the international system, which has been formed in the direction of lack of confidence in the goals and objectives of international actors, has become one of the main reasons for the need to pay attention to the issue of the survival of governments. In his view, Ankara must act within the framework of common interests with the central countries in order to overcome the systematic pressures and regimes of the central powers, as well as the problems and strategic mistakes of the past. In 2015, he stated that Turkey had reached a strategic impasse. Hence this country must use foreign resources to advance its economic, military, industrial, agricultural, and planning goals. For this reason, the strained relations between Turkey and the central countries, which have great potential for creating a crisis in the Middle East, could make the future of its relations with the Western world difficult because from the neorealist point of view, the principle is the capabilities of a government, not the goals. (5)
Each state’s foreign policy has a long-term vision, medium-term goals, and planned implementation strategies to determine its future regional and international position. Governments try to determine the future of their domestic and foreign policies by evaluating the situational perceptions they face, problems and threats, within the framework of the overall possibilities and capabilities. In this respect, an important group of main resources that play a role in the preparation and formation of foreign policies of governments is linked to internal factors. However, despite the importance of internal factors, these indicators alone cannot give sufficient efficiency to foreign policy because especially the foreign policies of developing or third world countries are largely affected by the economic and military policies of the hegemonic or centralized governments, and these countries do not have the opportunity to take an active and balancing political position during this period of influence. In today’s world, where all countries are part of the global system in different ways, this situation forms the basis for determining the power centers.
Andre Gunder Frank, states that socialist countries (now third world countries) are rapidly integrating into the system of division of labor of capitalism because socialist countries have not been able to create a strong division of labor and market system for themselves or for the third world as an alternative to the system of division of labor of global capitalism. (6) Obviously, we must keep in mind that at the time Frank expressed these ideas, China did not yet pose a serious economic threat to American economic power. Third world countries have remained in a position of constant dependence on hegemonic and central powers in economic, scientific, technological, and military terms due to the conditions imposed by the trade process in the free market system this is the reason why the issue of government dependence on great powers has always been a serious issue for international relations theorists. Some political scientists write about a world organized around Europe, Japan, and the United States. Others divide the world into six regional blocks or two. Some international policy analysts say the bipolar international system has become a five-way star, with China on one side and India on the other. There are differing views on whether or not present-day Europe extends beyond the Atlantic to the Soviet frontier. (7) Also, according to John Mearsheimer, hegemonic and central governments seek to increase their share of global power and influence. (1)
The search for power by central governments, especially the United States, greatly limits the foreign policy movements and maneuvers of developing and Third World countries. Because the dominant positions of certain powers in the world order, which is increasingly globalized today, are the main drivers in the field of foreign policy. Throughout the contemporary history of world politics, the world order has been governed in various forms and methods such as multipolar, bipolar, and hegemonic. In John Mearsheimer’s view, reshaping the foreign and domestic policies of governments within the various structures of the world system is inevitable. We refer to John Mearsheimer’s theory of offensive realism to explain the behavior of governments in multipolar, bipolar, and hegemonic systems.
He expresses his theory in the following words; By presenting several arguments about the manner and principles of central governments’ actions against each other, I try to show that hegemonic and central governments seek the right opportunity to gain more power through mutual assistance and influence. I also seek to explain a situation that makes the possibility of conflict more or less. For example, one of my main hypotheses is that multipolar systems are more at risk of war than bipolar systems, and especially multipolar systems with powerful states (potential hegemons) are the most dangerous and they are the most challenging systems. (1)
In this respect, when we look at the political history of the Ottoman and Republic periods, it will be seen that the most critical issues emerged at the height of the conflict between regional and global powers. This example shows that the theory is based on the undeniable influence of the great powers on the policies of other countries. Thus, as this theorist shows, at that time world politics in almost every region was largely affected by the conflict and rivalry between the Soviet Union and the United States between 1945 and 1990. Considering the World Wars I and II that took place before the Cold War, a similar impact can be seen in regional policies around the world. Each of these conflicts represents a major issue and systemic issue, affecting global stability in every way. (1) Both of these processes in Turkey’s domestic and foreign policy have led to major crises.
The multipolar political situation faced by the troubles of the world system in Turkey, the period of the bipolar and hegemonic framework should look at this in terms of the features.
Turkey’s position in the multipolar system
Using the terms unipolar, bipolar, and multipolar systems to describe the power structures of international relations, the difference in nuance is that in a unipolar system, one pole or superpower has the power to dominate other states, and in a bipolar system, the existence of such two powers and other states generally we can state that they are in a position to connect to either of the two poles. In a multipolar system, there will be three or more powers capable of dominating other states.
Since World War II, the world system has gone through bipolar and unipolar periods. Farid Zakaria argues that the world order is now facing the third major power change of the new age and that we are living in a multipolar world as we enter this age. (8) Given the circumstances of World War I and the emergence of major world powers such as Russia, Germany, Britain, Austria-Hungary, the United States and the Ottoman Empire, the struggle between these powers seems logical.
Between the early 1890s and 1914, political relations between the great powers of Central Europe began as a pattern of close competition and conflict, with the emergence of two major alliances between the German and Austro-Hungarian governments on the one hand and Russia and France on the other Britain joined the alliance, and the catastrophe of the great war of the nineteenth century destroyed the balance and stability of the power system and the assumptions that were thought to underlie it. (9) The war did not remain within its own geographic boundaries and affected all world powers and the most important regional powers. In this environment, the Ottoman state lost all its lands in Europe. The occupation of the Ottoman Empire was not limited to Europe. The Caucasus and the Arab regions backfired on the iron power of Ottoman rule. For this reason, from Feroz Ahmad’s point of view, the declaration of Bulgarian independence, the annexation of Bosnia and Herzegovina to Vienna, the declaration of the alliance between Crete and Greece (all in September 1908) in Libya on 11-1912, and the Turkish-Italian war in 1912-13. As a result, it led to the loss of legitimacy of the Ottoman government to the public. As a result, the Istanbul government found itself completely isolated and powerless, while the great powers found diplomatic solutions at the expense of the Ottoman-acquired lands. (10)
On the other hand, during World War I, one of the most important and influential results of the multipolar system that brought the Ottoman Empire to an end and led to change in the Middle East to this day was the signing of the Sykes-Picot Agreement in May 1916. The agreement, which was later ratified by the Russian government, provided for the establishment of an international regime in Palestine with the support of Western governments. The interior of Syria, with its vast sphere of influence, was to be annexed to France, and Lower Mesopotamia was to be ceded to Britain. (11) Given John Mearsheimer’s ideas about the problems and dangers of a multipolar system, we know that the sparks of World War I later spread in the form of war and brutal conflict from the Far East to the Middle East to the United States itself.
I will briefly explain the Libyan crisis to illustrate the point and illustrate an example of conflict in a multipolar world.
Huge oil and gas resources are one of the causes of political-military crises and international conflicts over the acquisition and control of these very valuable energy resources. In the contemporary multipolar world, the dispute over the seizure of energy resources is one of the main causes of political crises. Libya, as one of the main and strategic energy producers, is important for most of the countries of Southern Europe. France and Italy are the largest buyers and importers of oil resources from the country’s southern coast. Libya has the largest crude oil reserves in Africa, with huge oil reserves of about 48.4 billion barrels. A study conducted before the fall of Gaddafi’s regime showed that Libya produced 1.6 million barrels of oil per day. The audit center, which conducted a study on the amount of fuel smuggled from Libya, estimated the total value of smuggled fuel abroad in 2017 at $ 5 billion a year, according to figures released. Some observers say that the French government has played a very cynical and silent role, at least since 2015, in supporting General Benghazi as a very powerful figure. The French government, as a central country, is trying to control Libya’s oil and gas resources through its policies, and this is one of the reasons for the escalation of conflict and war in the contemporary multipolar world. This Paris policy is in the context of supporting the oil producer in North Africa, where we are facing a relatively small population and more and more Islamist groups. It is natural that regional and supra-regional powers will not remain silent in the face of this French policy, and this is the beginning of a global crisis in a multipolar system. (12)
On the other hand, according to the maneuvers and movements of the United Arab Emirates with the aim of full control and domination over the southern parts of Yemen and the port areas there, especially the cities of Aden and Socotra, which is based on a plan to increase maritime trade and expand influence in the Red Sea region. In addition, the UAE government is also working to increase its political and economic investments in oil-rich Libya and its strategic position on the southern shores of the Mediterranean, with appropriate solutions. The UAE government is also in fierce competition with the Government of National Accord of Fayez Sarraj and its ally, the Turkish government. As one of the most powerful governments in the Middle East, Turkey provides military, technological and strategic assistance to the military forces of the Tripoli government. With military, technological, and strategic assistance from the Turkish government in early May 2020, armed conflict in western Libya prevented General Khalifa Haftar’s forces from advancing and thwarted their actions in some strategic areas. (13)
With the continuation of the Libyan civil war, the crisis of political instability in the country, and the competition for energy resources in the Mediterranean Sea, regional and supra-regional powers such as Russia, Turkey, Israel, Egypt, Greece entered the boiling pot. Each of these key actors, each of which is a kind of regional and trans-regional power, allied with the Libyan National Army (LNA), a group of former Libyan soldiers led by the government of the National Accord, or Genera Khalifa Haftar. Each of the foreign governments at the boiling point of the Libyan crisis has their own reasons, strategies and views. Based on these priorities, they decide to intervene and use the full support of government allies trying to control access to energy resources and routes. (14)
Turkey’s position in the bipolar system
In international relations theories, the bipolar system refers to the period from the end of World War II to the collapse of the Soviet Union. During that historic conflict, the United States and the Soviet Union clashed over diplomacy, competed in arms, and formed NATO and Warsaw Pact. The period that we refer to as the Cold War period has arisen as a result of the conflicts and disputes of the bipolar system of the world system. During this period of the Cold War, the politics of the world system became a bipolar system and the world was divided into three opposing poles. (15)
At a time when a bipolar system dominated international politics, Turkey pursued a policy of balance to protect its national interests. Turkey did not lose its national sovereignty, territorial integrity, and independence during the Cold War when the world of politics was embroiled in a bipolar war. But in the multipolar system, the Ottoman government experienced deep crises and even lost its lands. These were the most positive points between a multipolar system and a bipolar system for Turkey. On the other hand, this stability of the world order was endorsed not only from the point of view of Turkey but also from the point of view of the great nuclear strategist Herman Kahn and the great strategist Henry Kissinger. According to Hermann’s observations and analysis, the bipolar world order of the Cold War between the Soviet Union and the United States in the 1960s is very remarkable in terms of stability in the 1960s. (16) In addition, Henry Kissinger compares the Cold War period, which was the culmination of the bipolar era, to a multipolar system, stating that in the relatively simple bipolar world of the Cold War, in Berlin, in South Korea, and again in Berlin, and finally in The Cuban Missile Crisis was a quick response to pressure or ransom. (17)
But the bipolar world has created a system of stability relative to exploiting this feature of diplomacy and foreign policy maneuvers in an unstable region like the Middle East would require effective implementation by governments such as Turkey. Moreover, although the stability and balance between the superpowers have not been unstable, they have also not been flexible. With the expansion and growth of the bipolar system, the world lost its perspective on the subtle differences between governments. On the other hand, the profit of one government was considered an absolute loss for the other party. Everything seemed to rest on the state’s survival issue. (17)
Of course, during the Cold War, the Turkish government was ideologically incapable of maintaining a policy of balance (1945-63), and the government was forced to choose between the ideology of communism and liberalism. In fact, Turkey did not enter the Western camp because it was directly threatened by the Soviet Union, because it stemmed from the Turkish government’s view of the world of liberalism and its commitment to liberal democracy. (9) It can be said that the entry of the Turkish government into the liberal bloc was a kind of preference of political leaders because the delay in the election of one of these two blocs of world power had a negative impact on Turkey’s domestic and foreign policies, as well as a negative impact on the integration of the ruling class in the world system. In the field of geopolitics, the struggles of world powers took place mainly on the margins of Eurasia. The Chinese and Soviet bloc dominated most of Eurasia, but could not control its margins. (16) Turkey’s government joined the US-based Foreign Policy blog and follow liberalism distanced itself from Soviet influence.
Turkey’s internal security also increased during the Cold War and the bipolar system. The Truman Doctrine Declaration (1947) marked a turning point in the post-Cold War history for the Turkish government in its quest for national security. In Greece, the domestic political and economic situation was much more dangerous than in Turkey, which is why Truman, in his speech to Congress, attached great importance to this issue (thus, $ 300 million will be allocated to Greece, $ 100 million to Turkey) (9)
In the following decades, US military aid increased to $ 715 million in 1984 and to $ 526 million at the end of the Cold War in 1988. Nevertheless, Turkey was still the third-largest recipient of US military aid after Egypt and Israel. (9) The US government has provided for Turkey’s domestic security and military forces and give it financial support, the future of the Turkish government has made in a conventional manner dependent on US military and security policy.
Turkey’s position in the American hegemony system
Throughout recent history, countries such as Portugal, Germany, France, Spain, and England, which have been the central and powerful states of the world, have carried out the military occupation of Asian, African, and even European countries, but none of these countries, except Britain, has been able to influence and change the world’s global, economic, cultural, ideological, and governmental systems as much as the Soviet Union and the USA.
To describe American hegemony in the international system, we must first explain the concept and meaning of hegemony. The term hegemony was first used by the Italian political philosopher Antonio Gramsci as a form of “Caesarism” to develop a completely new theory of fascism. (18) From Gramsci’s point of view, hegemony is a situation in which an economic class as a political, intellectual, and moral actor assumes the role of leadership within a hegemonic system. This form of system is constructed by a shared worldview with organic ideology. (19) Among the thinkers of political science, even ancient Rome, Portugal, France, and Spain were considered as hegemonic states, because there were no exactly the same views among the thinkers in this regard. Nevertheless, there is general agreement among hegemonic theorists after World War II that the United States was a hegemonic power and that Britain was in that position in the mid-nineteenth century. (20) In addition, the reason for the importance of the concept of hegemony from the perspective of the theory of aggressive realism is that the structure of the international system encourages countries to become hegemonic. (1)
In this article, the US and Turkey’s foreign political Republican era when dealing at a general level, the foreign policy of the ruling Justice and Development Party should be briefly and succinctly touched upon. After the Justice and Development Party came to power, it was felt that the new government avoided the intellectual and political values of Kemalism. On the other hand, we witnessed the prioritization of Ottoman intellectual, cultural and ideological values. As the party grew, so did a kind of liberal-conservative Islam. US full support to the Justice and Development Party policy, it’s totally a secular state with a Muslim Turkey for the purpose in the Middle East, which have no enmity-American and West, shows that convert to a Western liberal model.
A book published by US government officials discusses the US government’s official support for the Liberal Islamist Justice and Development Party, which emphasizes the long-standing ally of the Turkish government and its NATO membership since 1952. Until recently, Turkey had been only semi-democratic. A powerful and ambitious army and a group political elite tried to impose the principles of Mustafa Kemal’s secularism on the people, sometimes very violently. The principles of Kemalism were the so-called doctrine and method of the secularist policies of the government, which to some extent allowed Turkey to modernize, but democratic political development has not yet been fully reflected. With the rise of the AKP, Islamic leaders seized political power. The new Turkish government insisted that its goal was not to become a theocracy. Their only goal is to try to balance society. They say they want the freedom of expression and action in the public sphere for religious and traditional groups in society. Debates between the old Kemalist elites and the new leaders about the future course of the country led to increasing tensions and conflicts. The fact that the wives of AKP officials usually wear headscarves and hijabs has raised concerns among Turks who fear the Islamization of their country and government.
In her book, Condoleezza Rice writes that she saw Turkey as a government on the front lines of the war trying to reconcile the demands of Islam and the principles of individual freedom. (21) Condoleezza Rice, President of the US National Security Council from 2001 to 2005 and Secretary of State from 2005 to 2009, created the AKP government as a front-line state in the historical struggle to combine Islamic values (Islamism and Ottomanism) and individual freedoms (liberalism and US-centered politics) positioning it is one of the indicators on which axis the foreign and domestic policy of the AKP government will advance.
On the other hand, Ahmet Davutoğlu, former prime minister of the Justice and Development Government (2014-2016), foreign policy strategist and Minister of Foreign Affairs (2009-2014), in his article on Principles of Turkish Foreign Policy and Regional Political Structuring: In this way, we think that specific causes and issues help us to cope with these challenges and conflicts: our holistic approach to historical trends and crises and our awareness of active activity, the internal stability of the country based on a balance of freedoms and security has been established and will help in the process of our reunification with our neighbors. On the other hand, we will continue to defend our foreign policy principles that combine our local, national, and global values. We will also take an active foreign policy approach based on these strengths. (22) Until this day, possessing the positive and negative traces left by Ahmet Davutoglu, the Turkish foreign policy, US-based policy ideas, as Turkey’s domestic and foreign policies of the main perspective is introduced directly. Kissinger’s view on US-Turkey relations is becoming the foreign policy of the United States forced dependency of Turkish foreign policy more open mechanism.
Kissinger says Turkey and Greece must remain members of NATO and our allies. Can the United States be present in the Eastern Mediterranean without military bases without allies such as Turkey and Greece in the face of possible future crises in the eastern Mediterranean? (23)
In the clear and concise view of Kissinger, written in 1999, we can find permission for Rice and Davutoğlu’s foreign policy basis.
Libya, after the start of Iraq and civil war in Syria, Davutoglu’s neo-Ottomanism, the conservative-liberal Islam-centric foreign policy, which he claims to be the leader of the Islamic world and the sample was seemed clearly the failure of the plan to create a model of Turkey.
As John Mearsheimer argues, instability, lack of peace, and war conditions are increasing in the global multipolar system. He also said in an article that we would aspire to peace during the Cold War with the collapse of the Soviet Union and the transition from the Cold War. (24) As can be seen from the writings of political scientists like Kissinger, Fukuyama, Farid Zakaria, and Huntington, we have entered a multipolar world. However, the United States is the world’s largest military and political power capable of promoting liberal democracy. With the rise of China, India, Brazil, and Japan, we can talk about a multi-polar global system in the international economy.
Among these economic powers, China will definitely transform its economic strength into military power. With its anti-US nature, Russia has strengthened its presence in the Middle East, Caucasus, and Europe with its military front power. Iran has also been transformed into a regional power that challenges American hegemony in the Middle East with its Shia Islamic ideology and military power.
So it can be estimated that Turkey’s economic and military field, enter the global multipolar system because China, India, Brazil, and Japan are in a position to challenge the US economic hegemony and China, Russia, and Iran to challenge the US military hegemony. An increase in military tension and instability appears in the global multipolar system. Therefore we know based on a multipolar trend in Turkey’s economic and military policies. This trend will also boost Turkey’s regional and international tensions. Turkey, due to its geopolitical position of the United States, can establish some kind of balance of power between China and Russia. It can also balance its foreign policy by refusing to play a global power role.
Biography of the author of the article: Elshan Bioukvand Ghojehbiglou is a graduate student of Political Science and International Relations at Yeditepe University in Istanbul. His research interests include issues of nationalism, identity and separatism in the Middle East, Caucasus studies, and Turkish foreign policy issues. From 2011 to 2017 he worked as a writer in the Republic of Azerbaijan section of Radio Liberty Europe (The author’s name is written in Azerbaijani Turkish as follows: Elşən Böyükvənd)
The author, from Prof. Dr. Emin Gürses, who provided the necessary guidance in the classroom, and from the efforts of Prof. Dr. Cengiz Okman, who assisted me in editing the article and providing constructive suggestions, as well as the valuable comments from Prof. Dr. Seda Ünsar and Dr. Murat Arslan, which contain tips. It was important, thank you very much.
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Unleashing an Iranian tiger
A Gulf investor with an analytical and artistic bent, Ali al-Salim pinpointed the long-term challenges Saudi Arabia faces as it reestablishes relations with Iran.
While most analysts focused on the immediate reduction of regional tensions and the possible opening for an end to the eight-year-long Saudi military intervention in Yemen as a result of a Chinese-mediated agreement to restore diplomatic relations between two Middle Eastern arch-rivals, Mr. Al-Salim is looking at Iran’s long-term competitive edge compared to the kingdom.
“As relations between Saudi and Iran begin to thaw, the logic for Saudi’s ambitious ‘Trojena’ ski resort will come further into question. Iran boasts world-class ski resorts an hour from Tehran and 90km of slopes. Oh, and it’s all natural, even the snow,” Mr. Al-Salim said on Twitter.
Mr. Al-Salim was referring to a yet-to-be-built resort on mountain peaks overlooking Neom slated to be home to 7,000 people by 2026 and annually attract 700,000 visitors. Trojena would be the Gulf’s first outdoor ski resort.
Neom is Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s US$500 billion fantasia. It is a futuristic science-fiction-like new city and tourism destination along the Red Sea in a mostly unpopulated part of the kingdom.
Somewhat incongruously, the Olympic Council of Asia has awarded Trojena the right to host the 2029 Asian Winter Games.
In contrast to Iran’s up to 5,600-metre high, 600-kikometer-long Alborz mountain range that stretches along the Caspian Sea, snow falls occasionally on Trojena’s 2,400-metre high Sarawat mountains.
To compensate for its shortage, Trojena plans to create an outdoor ski slope by blasting artificial snow on the mountains. This slope would be powered by renewable energy.
In Mr. Al-Salim’s mind, Trojena appears to be emblematic of the broader challenge posed by an Iran that eventually is freed of the shackles of crippling US sanctions and has rebuilt its economy.
Unshackled and recovered, Iran brings to the table much that Saudi Arabia has and more. With a population close to 90 million, Iran is almost three times the size of the kingdom. It ranks as the world’s third-largest oil and second-largest natural gas reserve holder.
Beyond boasting one of the Middle East’s largest domestic markets, an innovative and technology-savvy youth, a deep-seated identity rooted in empire, and a battle-hardened military, Iran occupies strategic geography at the crossroads of Central Asia, the Middle East and Europe, and a coastline along the Arabian Sea, the western end of the Indo-Pacific.
To be sure, Iran has a long way to go to fully capitalize on its assets with no immediate prospect of its clerical regime doing what it would take to persuade the United States to lift sanctions, rebuild confidence with its neighbors, including Saudi Arabia, and introduce necessary political, economic, and social reforms.
As a result, Saudi Arabia has a first-starter advantage, which Mr. Bin Salman is bent on exploiting with his social reforms and efforts to diversify the Saudi economy to reduce the kingdom’s dependence on oil exports, of which Trojena is one building block.
Even so, the restoration of diplomatic relations with Saudi Arabia constitutes a first step to strengthen the Iranian economy. This would enable Iran to position itself as not just a formidable political rival but also an economic competitor.
“Evidently, de-escalation will reduce the cost of regional security for all parties and free up more potential for trade and cross-border investments and partnerships that the region needs,” said Bijan Khajehpour, a keen observer of the Iranian economy.
Iranian hopes have been buoyed by plans by the United Arab Emirates to boost annual trade with Iran to US$30 billion in the next two years, up from $20 billion in 2022, Emirati interest in Iranian infrastructure, including the strategic Arabian Sea port of Chahbahar, and prospects for Saudi investment in the Islamic republic.
Saudi Finance Minister Mohammed al-Jadaan recently told a private sector forum of Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund that investment in Iran could happen “very quickly.”
Optimistically, Mr. Al-Jadaan went on to say that “there are a lot of opportunities for Saudi investments in Iran. We don’t see impediments as long as the terms of any agreement would be respected.”
Mr. Al-Jadaan’s remarks did not refer to US sanctions, the elephant in the room. Instead, he hinted at Iran’s need to clean up multiple legal and operational ambiguities that pose obstacles to foreign investment, even without considering externally imposed restrictions.
Laying out a roadmap for Saudi and Gulf investment in Iran, Mr. Khajehpour suggested that initially, investors could target non-sanctioned industries, such as food and pharmaceuticals while developing “creative banking and financial solutions” that would enable circumvention of sanctions.
Furthermore, Mr. Khajehpour held out the possibility that the United States could provide waivers for investments that address water scarcity and climate change.
If and when sanctions are lifted, the sky is the limit.
Opportunities range from cooperation on petroleum products and petrochemicals, development of an offshore Saudi-Iranian-Kuwaiti gas field, and connecting electricity grids, to investment in transportation linkages, according to Mr. Khajehpour.
Saudi interest in getting in on the ground floor of Iran’s eventual reemergence extends beyond geopolitical, security, economic, and commercial considerations.
Economic cooperation has the potential to blunt the impact of an unleashed Iran by making the kingdom a partner.
“Iran’s rise is inevitable. When it happens, the Middle East will be a different place. Saudi Arabia knows that. It sees the short- and long-term benefits of recalibrating relations with Iran. Iran hasn’t quite thought that far but ultimately it will,” said a European official who closely monitors Middle Eastern developments.
The New Middle East: The Winners and Losers
The Middle East and the Gulf regions are experiencing a political and diplomatic movement that they have not witnessed in the last three or four decades.
Behind this movement are the influential states such as Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Iran and, to a lesser extent, Egypt. A few years ago, it was impossible to imagine any political or diplomatic rapprochement between Saudi Arabia and Iran, between Turkey and Egypt, and between a number of Arab states and Syria.
For decades, the US has been working on a “New Middle East” that embraces Israel, and then the circumstances tend towards a “new one that includes Iran!
What led to this movement, which will have repercussions on alliances and threads of differences?
There are several regional and other remote factors that are no less influential.
Domestically, it is clear that the region, with its leaders and people, is tired of wars and turmoil and is now envious of the world’s progress while it is mired in its endless complexes and crises.
Internationally, it is possible to talk about the US role and then the political and social changes in Europe coinciding with the rise of international powers on the periphery such as India, China and others, and finally the war in Ukraine.
The beginning was with the arrival of President Donald Trump and his resort to painful language in its frankness, which does not hide that the man does not respect the region and its leaders, but rather considers it a mere bazaar in which he markets whatever he wants without objection from anyone, and a mere ATM that withdraws from it whenever he wants and as much as he wants. Not to mention his frankness that he will not fight wars on behalf of a region he deems lazy and backward and refuses to rely on itself. Trump embodied this conviction when he refused to strike Iran in response to the dangerous Houthi attacks on oil facilities in Saudi Arabia in mid-September 2019.
This crude frankness and lack of respect led the Middle East and the Gulf region, especially states that considered the United States an eternal ally such as Saudi Arabia, to ask: What will the Democrats do to us if Trump, our Republican ally, disrespects us like this?
Then came their reply. The Democrats did not wait long after Joe Biden came to the White House to take an approach similar to Trump’s, but for other reasons and from a different mentality. In addition to the annoyance of Saudi Arabia and other states in the region about the issues of rights and freedoms hinted at by the Biden administration, there is the great confusion shown by this administration in dealing with the problems of the region, in contrast to Trump’s frankness, and its excessive interest in the conflict with China and later the war in Ukraine at the expense of the US’s allies traditionalists in this region.
The Trump and Biden administrations should be given credit for waking up the leaders of the Middle East and the Gulf, because their approaches were a wake-up call that it would be dangerous to ignore. The service provided by the two administrations to the staff of the region is that they are equal in their disdain for everyone: Saudi Arabia, Turkey, the UAE, Egypt, Jordan, with a keenness to further strangle Iran and Syria for well-known reasons.
In the midst of that labor, Russia’s war broke out against Ukraine to shuffle the cards across the world, but specifically in the Middle East and the Gulf regions due to its traditional strategic tensions and its richness in oil and natural resources, and the need for both conflict camps to gain its support for it.
As far as the Ukraine war and above all Europe, it constituted a wake-up call in the positive direction of the Gulf leaders. The Ukraine war was an outlet for these leaders on more than one level. It first gave them the opportunity to maneuver and express their displeasure with the US insults. And I gave them an alternative that is no less powerful than the traditional West, which they can deal with in better conditions and without insults, which is the camp of Russia, China and dozens of states that swim in their orbit around the world.
It would be a mistake to be overly optimistic about this multi-faceted movement. Realism requires acknowledging that the more exceptional it is, the more reasons for its failure it contains in the absence of sufficient sophistication and the required sacrifices from all parties. One of the weaknesses of this movement is that it is the result of pressure, driven by need, not by conviction. Iran is stifled by sanctions and the unstable internal situation. Saudi Arabia can no longer tolerate a single missile from the Houthis. The economy and financial situation in Türkiye is in dire straits. Egypt is not moved by anything other than “rice”. The regime in Syria wants to get out of its isolation, which will be the culmination of what it considers a victory over its opponents. The UAE wants to prove to US that it is not everything in this universe.
This is on the political level. On the practical level, there are many obstacles that will stand in the way of this movement, especially when it comes to Saudi Arabia, Iran, Egypt and Turkey. It is a good coincidence (and bad at the same time) that normalization (or lack thereof) between Riyadh and Tehran will be reflected far beyond the two states, and the same applies to Ankara and Cairo.
Saudi Arabia and Iran are separated by political, religious and strategic differences that are not easy to overcome. The theaters of confrontation between the two states are vast, including Yemen, Bahrain, Iraq, Syria and Lebanon, and inevitably there are other areas and issues that constitute points of contention.
Turkey and Egypt are stuck on many issues, most notably the Muslim Brotherhood, Libya and the energy fields in the Mediterranean. In addition to Egyptian foreign policy that is not completely independent and directed by the winds of the Gulf, Turkish foreign files, including normalization with Egypt, remain dependent on the results of the presidential elections scheduled in Turkey in late May.
It will also be necessary for the Arab and Gulf leaders who decided to engage in this movement, taking into account that the United States will not easily accept maneuvers behind its back in a region that it has considered guaranteed for more than seventy years. There is also the position of Israel, which will not accept the rehabilitation of the Iranian regime in the region, and will not easily swallow that the region has favored Iran.
The consolation is that this movement is not isolated from what is happening in the world, but is part of it. What is happening in the world outweighs the US and Israel and is happening against their will. It is an opportunity that will not be repeated easily if the region knows how to benefit from it for the benefit of all.
How Beijing take advantage of US’s attempts to get rid of Netanyahu and expel him from power?
What caught my eye most after the success of Netanyahu’s hard-line government in Israel in January 2023 was the same American fear of its hard-line policies against the Palestinians and the region, especially after the Israeli occupation authorities announced an increase and expansion in the number of settlements and settlement units in the West Bank and occupied Jerusalem. Indeed, real American signs began to get rid of the Netanyahu government in Israel. In addition to the American fears circulating on the horizon in anticipation of any rapprochement between China and Israel. This was explicitly announced by the US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Multilateral Affairs and Global China Issues, “Jung H. Pak”, at the China-Israel Global Network and Academic Leadership Conference, known as: “SIGNAL”.
And it was held immediately after Benjamin Netanyahu’s victory in the Israeli elections, with the announcement of “Jung H. Pak”, that:
“Israel must take more steps to protect its “advanced biotechnologies from the Chinese investment”
The same American fears about the position of the Netanyahu government and its policies regarding China as a strong competitor to Washington in Tel Aviv and the region, occurred at the end of 2019, before the end of the previous term of “Benjamin Netanyahu” in power, when the Israeli government led by “Netanyahu” and under strong and intense pressure from Washington decided to establishing (a consultative mechanism on aspects of national security for foreign investments) and the meaning here is basically China. Therefore, the previous Netanyahu government’s approval of this US policy towards China came as an Israeli attempt mainly to manage obstacles and slowdowns in order to maneuver between US demands and Chinese economic opportunities in Tel Aviv.
And this matter has become applicable to the Israeli government that preceded the current Netanyahu government regarding the exercise of maximum American pressure in the face of the Hebrew state to ease its relations with Beijing. In July 2022, US President “Joe Biden” and former Israeli Prime Minister “Yair Lapid” published a joint declaration on (establishing a strategic dialogue on advanced technologies in Israel) to warn mainly against transferring that advanced Israeli technology with the help of the United States of America to China, and holding this strategic dialogue is mainly between Washington and Tel Aviv, headed by the US and Israeli national security advisors (Jake Sullivan and Eyal Holata). On October 12, 2022, the outgoing Israeli government headed by “Yair Lapid” decided to strengthen the advisory mechanism on foreign investments, especially with China, primarily to satisfy Washington. This is the same as confirmed by the US Ambassador to Israel, “Tom Needs”, when he said, “The US administration has also reached understandings with Israel regarding trade with China, and that it will tighten control over the sale of domestic technology to China, for fear of it falling into the wrong hands”, in an explicit reference to china.
However, after the victory of the Netanyahu government in the January 2023 elections, we were surprised by a severe deterioration in relations between Washington and Tel Aviv, to the extent that planning began in the White House in Washington and the “CIA” to get rid of the Netanyahu government and its hard-line policies in Palestine and the region, in anticipation of embarrassing Washington by all parties in the region and reduce confidence in them. Which made me pause for a long time on this serious issue of the American planning to get rid of Netanyahu’s extremist government, and how can Beijing take advantage of this to strengthen its presence and influence in Israel and the region? Especially after those statements from an American military official, that the United States of America is trying to get rid of Israeli Prime Minister “Benjamin Netanyahu” because of its lack of commitment with Washington.
In my opinion, and according to my reading of the scene, it is expected that China will take advantage of this loophole in the tense US-Israeli relations during the current Netanyahu government, to enter as an active and influential party in the peace process in the Middle East. This is what Netanyahu expects even during his previous term, when he expected Beijing to play an important role in (European-American mediation diplomacy between Israel and the Palestinians). It also brings me to a previous meeting chaired by “Netanyahu” and attended by Chinese and Israeli diplomats, in which “Netanyahu” told the Chinese directly, saying literally: “I believe we can work together to meet the challenges of achieving peace in the Middle East”. This aroused the anger and fears of the Americans about China’s entry as an active party and a reliable partner for all parties in the region in the peace process and its management between the Palestinians and the Israelis.
Hence, China, through its intellectual and research centers and its Ministry of Foreign Affairs, began a serious follow-up to the crisis situation between Washington, Tel Aviv, and the hardline Netanyahu government, after the success of “Benjamin Netanyahu” in 2023 to think about the Chinese entry effectively in the line of the flaring crisis between Washington and Tel Aviv to play the role of mediation regionally and internationally in order to lead China’s efforts and the mediation process in the region and between the Palestinians and the Israelis, especially those related to building settlements and settlement units for the extremist Netanyahu government in the West Bank and the occupied Palestinian territories.
In this regard – and on a personal academic level – I am reminded of what I wrote about an analysis published several years ago, specifically on June 2, 2014, entitled:
“The impact of Chinese labor in Israel on Arab national security”
This aroused the Israelis’ ire and anger at me, with my extensive analysis and my talk about Chinese labor in Israel, especially in the construction sector, which is estimated at more than 23,000 Chinese workers in Israel, which the Israeli occupation authorities are trying to benefit from in the process of building Israeli settlements and settlement units, especially that illegal Chinese labor, which entered Israel through illegal ways, so the Israeli occupation authorities are trying to take advantage of it in illegal actions affecting the construction of Israeli settlements, and this has become the most issue that causes and continues to strain relations between China and Israel. This is what I wrote about specifically, personally and academically, in June 2014, by emphasizing that this issue of Chinese labor in Tel Aviv, specifically those working in the construction sector, has become the most threatening file for Chinese-Israeli relations, with the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs objecting several times to its Israeli counterpart by seeking their help in Illegal actions related to the construction of Israeli settlements and the Chinese demand to expel them and not seek help from them, and my candid statement in my analysis referred to and published in 2014, that this issue of Chinese labor in Israel, specifically in the construction sector, did not occur to any Egyptian or Arab researcher unless he lived He went to China himself, listened to all opinions, and analyzed them.
I mentioned in my previous analysis, published on June 2, 2014, regarding (Chinese labor in Israel, especially in the construction sector), which is a permanent source, and perhaps also unheard and uncirculated in our Arab region and Palestine, despite its extreme danger in studying the file of relations between China and Israel. In general, it is difficult for any researcher in the joint Israeli-Chinese political affairs to access these data and statistics, especially those related to the availability and access to necessary data, information and details about Chinese labor in Israel, or Israeli labor in China. Israel constitute a few separate groups, including small groups of Chinese students studying in Israeli universities, businessmen, merchants, workers and Chinese investors in the construction sector in Israel, and they are the majority in the business community and workers in Tel Aviv.
It remains a noteworthy note for me in this context, which is China’s keenness to increase the number of its citizens working in ”Israel”, which number approximately 20 thousand workers, and who transfer 330 million dollars annually to Beijing.
My analysis, referred to and publicly published on June 2, 2014, came as a result of the recent increase in joint Chinese-Israeli studies to establish a system for the employment of migrant labor between China and Israel. Under this project, the focus is on Chinese immigrants who were recruited to work in Israel under legal contracts. It was found that many of these immigrants face a state of illegality within the framework of their presence in the State of Israel. The operating system seeks to integrate these Chinese immigrants as well as mediators in the field of work and employers, from both the Chinese and Israeli sides, and to achieve a joint Chinese-Israeli benefit – especially in the informal Chinese-Israeli business sector, represented in preserving illegal Chinese labor, especially in the building and construction sector, amounting to 23 thousand workers – through the availability of many special Israeli facilities for them in the residency and work system in Tel Aviv.
In my research, published on June 2, 2014, I warned of the seriousness of the Israeli government’s policies in using those illegal Chinese workers in the construction sector in building Israeli settlements – which itself is a source of tension between China and Israel – especially with the Israeli government adopting several policies to encourage Chinese and foreign labor in general and expatriates to work in Israel, including expelling Palestinian workers from their jobs and fighting them for their livelihood, and replacing them with cheap Chinese labor. And by analyzing the impact of Chinese labor coming to Israel on our Arab national security, we will notice that more than half a million immigrants from the developing world, especially China, have flocked to Israel, since the first Palestinian uprising in the early nineties of the last century, to replace the Palestinian workers who were the main source of labor in Israel, which I have analyzed and referred to academically and in research, has increased the concern of some, considering that the expulsion and disposal of Palestinian labor comes within the framework of a long and systematic Israeli plan to build new settlements within the occupied Palestinian territories, which infers from it that the replacement of This Palestinian employment with Chinese and others comes within the framework of gaining international sympathy from the countries of these nationalities to turn a blind eye to such Zionist moves, and it is an analysis that deserves study and analysis, even if it is far-reaching.
This is what prompts me to declare, for the first time internationally, that I am trying to obtain official Israeli data from the Ministry of Immigration and Foreign Workers in Israel, pertaining to and affecting my academic work, to know the number of Chinese workers in Tel Aviv in an accurate academic and statistical way, but my request was completely rejected by Israel because that affects Israeli national security. This Israeli refusal to accurately disclose the number of Chinese workers – legal and illegal – in the Hebrew state, came when I wrote my internationally published book in English and classified as one of the most important books in the world, on:
“The impact of Jewish minorities and Israeli think tanks in China on Arab national security”
It is the book that caused a strong international uproar, to the extent that Harvard University, ranked first in the United States and internationally, bought copies of it, in addition to purchasing copies of it from major American and international universities, which placed them in their libraries for public viewing, as well as mentioning, referring, and introducing me to the official American university websites globally to introduce me to American students and researchers, and I published with him (a biography introducing me) on the official websites of these universities, so it was the largest American university that bought and presented my book, on: “The Influence of Jewish Minorities and Israeli Think Tanks in China on Arab National Security”. These are: Universities (Harvard, Washington, Stanford, Ohio, Columbia, New York, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Yale), and other American and international universities.
The danger of my book, American, Israeli, and international, comes from my reference for the first time internationally about (the impact of recruiting Chinese Judaizers into the Israel Defense Forces on Arab national security in the future, and the impact of Chinese labor in Israel on Arab national security as a whole), and even on the strained relations between China and Israel at the same time. This is in the wake of the official Chinese demands from their Israeli counterparts to expel those illegal Chinese immigrant workers, mainly from building Israeli settlements, in violation of United Nations resolutions and international legitimacy, and the Israeli governments’ negligence of those Chinese claims, regarding the failure to use Chinese workers, especially illegal ones, in building Israeli settlements and demanding their expulsion. immediately with the Israeli non-compliance with that decision. And as I indicated, the Israeli side rejected any attempts by me to circumvent in order to obtain those accurate percentages and statistics about the numbers of formal, unofficial or illegal immigrant Chinese workers, especially those working in building Israeli settlements and settlement units illegally, with the Chinese government constantly objecting to those Israeli steps in using them to embarrass the Beijing government mainly in Palestine and the countries of the region, which is what Israel aims primarily for in the future, such as their use of Judaized Chinese to fight the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip and the occupied Palestinian territories in the Israeli Defense Forces. This is what I strongly warned in my book referred to because of its seriousness.
On the American side, the continuation of the extremist Netanyahu government in building settlements and settlement units has become what arouses Washington’s anger and fears the most, like the Chinese as well, and threatens the continued survival of Israeli Prime Minister “Benjamin Netanyahu” at the helm of power in Israel, with what has been observed of desperate American attempts to get rid of immediately and remove him from power. There are several fundamental reasons that prompted Washington to take this decision to get rid of “Netanyahu” now, even though it was his biggest supporter, to describe the new government led by “Netanyahu” as “the most right-wing” in the history of Israel. Also, the new Netanyahu government is the most religious and strict in the history of Israel, due to its composition and composition of several ultra-Orthodox parties, an extremist religious faction, and the far-right Likud party, in addition to the assistance of several other figures in forming the Netanyahu government, which is considered controversial, due to its hardline stances towards the Palestinians, the Palestinian cause, and the Arab region completely that Israeli government, with its new components, will undermine the potential of the Palestinians to obtain their legitimate rights through the expansion of the settlement and Judaization policy, and its complete lack of respect for international law, through its frank and direct announcement of its approved plan and policy to expand the settlement units in the West Bank and on the occupied Palestinian territories. With the presence of a severe American warning to establish new settlements in the northern West Bank, with the increasing American criticism in the face of the extremist Netanyahu government, regarding the law of separation or disengagement, which was signed in 2005, and related to the construction of Israeli settlements.
Hence the summoning of Israel’s ambassador to Washington, “Mike Herzog” in the US State Department, following the background of the cancellation of a number of articles of the Secession Law in the Israeli Knesset, in which members of Parliament, the “Israeli Knesset”, canceled a number of provisions of the Separation Law, which prohibited Jews from living In the northern regions of the West Bank, however, hard-line members of the Knesset formed a strong bloc to cancel several articles of the Separation Law to expand their right to settlement, claiming that the lands of the West Bank in Palestine are part of their historical homeland, as well as the Israeli claim that expanding settlement construction will help in Fighting what they called terrorism and developing the land of Israel according to their claim, which Washington, the Palestinian Authority, Egypt, Jordan, all countries in the region and the international community completely reject. This is what the US State Department itself officially described as a “provocative step” that violates promises. With the American warning to Netanyahu’s hardline government, that the plan to cancel a number of articles of the (Separation Act) to expand settlements in the northern West Bank constitutes an obstacle to American-Israeli peace in Palestine and the Middle East region, and impedes American plans to expand the circle of peace and agreements with the countries of the region and Israel. Hence the US administration’s warning to the Netanyahu government that the Knesset’s decision to annul some articles of the 2005 disengagement or separation law, related to the northern West Bank, is counterproductive to calm efforts, and hinders the possibility of pursuing confidence-building measures and creating any political horizon for dialogue.
And the most dangerous thing remains for me, according to my reading and analysis of the scene, is the possibility of displacing the Palestinians from their lands by the extremist government of Netanyahu, which has already been monitored, through the Israeli occupation authorities taking several steps to expel the Palestinians in (Silwan neighborhood) in the West Bank in preparation for the establishment and establishment of new settlements, and thus with the expansion of the process of forced displacement of the Palestinians from their lands, we will be facing ethnic cleansing operations, and confrontations will occur that must be dealt with inevitably. And with the placement of Islamic and religious sanctities under the Hashemite tutelage and King Abdullah bin Al-Hussein of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, the stern warning by King Abdullah bin Al-Hussein of Jordan came to warn against crossing the “Israeli red lines” in the city of Jerusalem, with direct confirmation by King Abdullah bin Al-Hussein With his personal readiness for conflict in the face of the Netanyahu government and its extremist policies, if the status of the holy places in Palestine changes. There is also widespread Jordanian concern about those who are trying to pressure Israel and Netanyahu’s extremist government to introduce changes in his guardianship over Islamic and Christian holy sites in occupied East Jerusalem, and this is what King Abdullah bin Al Hussein warned of that he has “red lines” that Israel must pay attention to, and not to go beyond it at all, which Washington fears of wider regional unrest with the Netanyahu government and its hard-line policies towards the Palestinians and the neighboring Arab region, especially Egypt and Jordan.
Netanyahu’s hard-line government has also caused an escalation of American, international, and regional concerns about the possible development of Israeli-Palestinian violence, and questions about the future of Israel’s relations with its Arab neighbors and Western allies themselves, especially since this year has already been the bloodiest for the Palestinians and Israelis, which brings to mind the specter of a new Palestinian uprising, and this is what Washington and the “Joe Biden” administration fear most in the region.
Hence the US administration’s endeavor to get rid of the Netanyahu government, despite its confidence in the Israeli Knesset, due to a state of fears and warnings, whether Western or Arab, against forming a government that relies on the extreme right led by “Benjamin Netanyahu”, with the increasing American accusations against the new government of Israel, describing it as the most strict and extremist in the history of Tel Aviv, with the Israeli Prime Minister “Benjamin Netanyahu” relying in its formation on a group of the most extremists within the occupied entity, amid expectations of an intensification of the situation in the West Bank and Gaza Strip and fears of the outbreak of a Palestinian uprising. New because of his government’s policies against the Palestinians, especially after the Netanyahu government announced its new agenda regarding settlement expansion in the West Bank, and its disrespect for the decisions of Washington, the international community and the neighboring Arab region in particular, which arouses the anger and fears of the Americans and all neighboring parties, for fear of Situations ignite. This is after the decision to expand settlements and settlement units of the Netanyahu government violated all resolutions of international legitimacy, most notably Resolution No. (2334) issued by the UN Security Council, which confirmed that settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories, including East Jerusalem, are illegal and contrary to United Nations resolutions and international legitimacy. Hence, the expansion of Israeli settlements during the Netanyahu era ignites the Palestinian front and the entire region, and makes resistance and unity a first priority for the Palestinian people in the face of the priorities of the new Israeli government led by “Netanyahu” by escalating the resistance, expanding its area, and applying pressure with all available means to uproot and expel the Jewish settlers.
The United States of America expressed its concern about the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s new settlement policies, coinciding with Washington’s opposition to any measure that contradicts the principle of the two-state solution. Therefore, American calls increased for Netanyahu to meet with Biden to discuss peace opportunities with the Palestinians, especially after approval The Knesset over the Netanyahu government in January 2023. Here, the administration of US President Joe Biden finds it difficult to deal with the Netanyahu government, especially since most of it is from the extreme right, especially Itamar Ben Gvir, the Israeli Minister of National Security. Hence, the United States of America sought to find a way to deal with members of the extreme right in the Netanyahu government, in order to avoid problems with its close ally, Israel. Especially with the Netanyahu government’s hard-line orientations regarding the settlement expansion plan in the West Bank at the top of its list of priorities, as well as building more settlement units, and this was explicitly announced by Netanyahu’s Likud Party, with its emphasis on “development and expansion of settlements throughout the land of Israel, specifically in The cities of Galilee, the Negev, the Golan Heights, Judea and Samaria,” which are biblical names for the West Bank.
On the other hand, hard-line members of the Israeli Knesset responded to US criticism of the Netanyahu government regarding the expansion of settlement construction, by warning the US administration not to interfere in Israel’s security policy in the West Bank. Rather, the Israeli justification came to Washington through a number of Knesset members and the extremist Israeli government, that the allegations about building settlements in Area “C” will increase tensions between Israelis and Palestinians is a fundamental error from the Israeli point of view, warning of the increasing pressure of the US government on the issue of canceling the separation law in North of the West Bank, because Washington’s pressure on Israel in this context constitutes damage to Israel’s security, according to the current Israeli perception. This constituted fundamental and strong reasons for Washington to try to completely get rid of the provocations of the Netanyahu government and its strict policies towards the Palestinians and the region, and its non-compliance with any previous decisions reached regarding the settlements and the Jordanian Hashemite guardianship over religious sanctities in East Jerusalem, and others.
On the other hand, the American concern has become about the relationship between China and Israel during the era of the “Benjamin Netanyahu” government, in light of the role that Tel Aviv played in transferring some advanced Western military technologies to Beijing. The most numerous plane in China is the (J-10), whose design is believed to have been based initially on the Israeli plane project “Lavi”, which Tel Aviv secretly presented to Beijing during the eighties, noting that the Israeli plane, in turn, is influenced by the design of the American “F-16”. And that was after Washington had provided some of its information and technologies to the Israeli project, meaning that American technology had infiltrated Beijing through Tel Aviv.
Hence, we arrive at a conclusive and final analysis that states the extent to which the Chinese are able to benefit from the strained relations between Washington and Tel Aviv to achieve their interests, either by pressuring the hard-line Netanyahu government to expel illegal Chinese workers from the Israeli settlement lands, or by obtaining advanced Israeli advantages and technologies provided to them mainly from Washington. It is the same thing that threatens US national security in terms of fear of growing relations between China and Israel, especially during the Netanyahu era, which ultimately leads to the success of the Chinese in exploiting those tense relations between the United States of America and Israel The current Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, is at the helm of power in the Jewish state. This is what makes Tel Aviv very angry with Washington in favor of rapprochement with the Chinese, who – in my opinion – have read the scene well and planned for it to achieve their interests at the expense of the Americans, and to enter as a reliable mediator and sponsor of peace between the Palestinians and the Israelis to resolve the Arab-Israeli conflict on the one hand, and to plan for a China obtains advanced American technologies from the Netanyahu government, whose relationship is already tense with Washington, in light of the United States’ efforts to expel “Netanyahu” from the Israeli authority, and also to create increasing Chinese pressure on the Netanyahu government to renew its request to expel illegal Chinese workers, mainly from working in the construction sector. And construction in Israeli settlements and settlement units. In my belief and my final analysis, China is the primary beneficiary in all circumstances and circumstances from the strained relations between Washington and Tel Aviv.
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