At present, the Egyptian political scene sees the negotiations over its constitution as its primary struggle for the future. The political climate, nonetheless, that will emerge is not bound by new laws: It is an ethos that will characterize how the country expresses its pluralistic interests for years to come.
The short-term goal of halting Iran’s nuclear program can and should be coupled with the long term goal of fostering a more democratic, open Iran, if only because the sanctions that target those worth targeting and a diplomacy that offers Iran a path to legitimacy are ultimately the solutions to both these issues.
For progress to be made, Lieberman must get over his distaste for Abbas, who is Israel’s best chance for a peace partner, and continue to craft unprecedented proposals. Ultimately, Prime Minister Netanyahu must show a willingness to negotiate on West Bank settlements if he desires a comprehensive peace.
Only progress on the basis of strength can weather the severe geopolitical and socioeconomic pressures that Iran faces. The only reasonable policy reformulations are those that ensure an internally strong state able to coordinate and direct the instruments of foreign and domestic policy at the level of state bureaucracies, especially in the realm of security.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has been accused of many things throughout her political career. Yet until her visit to Egypt this past July, being a “Secret Islamist” was not one of them. Pulling up to the Four Seasons in Cairo, however, Clinton encountered a number of surprising allegations.
Benjamin Netanyahu’s rather literal interpretation the concept of a “red line” at the United Nations last month puzzled many, but it should draw as much worry as it draws laughter. It is no secret that Israel and the United States would prefer an Iran without nuclear weapons. Yet, the Obama administration’s disapproval of a unilateral Israeli strike and its lack of interest in initiating its own strike leave Israel in a rather awkward situation.
Just a little over a year has passed since the outset of the massive uprisings that shook Egypt and deposed one of the longest-ruling Middle Eastern leaders in modern history, and they are quickly passing from the realm of current events into history.
Offset against grey skies and the black uniform of an average Istanbulite bundled against the cold, the bright yellow and turquoise banners of the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) bring a hint of the Arab Spring to Taksim Square.
Perhaps the most critical and least acknowledged impediment to the negotiation of a conflict is the manipulation of language. No peace process can come to fruition when representatives from conflicting parties are embroiled in debates on semantics, yet individuals in both government and media inevitably employ strategic language at various stages in the process.
While these divisions, as evidenced by the racial and xenophobic violence in Libya, are real and destructive, they are not eternal. Rather, they are the result of a particular historical narrative that has constructed Arabs and Africans as intrinsically different and eternally divided.