Globalization and the Middle East
Globalization can be defined as an interconnectivity between nations. This can result in harmony, or discord. In the Middle East, many nations have to deal with globalization due to the close proximity of the nations in that area. In 1987, A Lebanese civil war was taking place. Syria decided to place troops in Lebanon and end the civil war. In 1990, Iraqi forces attempted to take control of Kuwait. Unfortunately for them, the UN sanctions were levied and the U.S. was allowed to enter Kuwait and help the Kuwaiti people drive Iraqi troops out of Kuwait. Palestinian and Israeli relations had been tense since 1988. In order to stop this conflict, the Israelis and Palestinians signed an agreement allowing the Palestinians to have control of the West Bank and Gaza. This happened in 1995, but conflicts continued among the two nations and in 1998, Palestine was given more land to keep the peace. This was not effective, and Israel had to start constructing a barrier between themselves and Palestine in 2003.
Globalization is the interconnectedness of and the exchange of ideas between and among the various countries throughout the world. Let’s look at some examples of the interactions among countries in the Middle East in the past three decades or so. Globalization has really increased in that time period, because we have had rapid advances in technology.
In some areas of the world, that isn’t as prevalent, but there has still been a great increase in interconnectedness and this overall globalization in the last 30 years or so. In 1987, Syrian troops entered Lebanon and stopped the civil war. Different countries stepped in to help Lebanon solve its own problem. In 1988, the Palestinian resistance, known as the Intifada, began in earnest against Israel.
Sometimes, being more connected doesn’t mean that there is going to be peace. There was continued unrest and conflict among Israel and the Arab nations, including the Palestinian groups. Iraq invaded Kuwait in 1990. Again, interconnectedness can lead to conflict. After U.N. (United Nations) sanctions were levied, the United States invaded in 1991.
The United Nations said it was all right for the United States to invade and help Kuwait. There you see that this globalization has made friends of the United States and Kuwait, and the United States was able to go all the way there to help Kuwait against Iraq and to help liberate them after Iraq invaded. The Iraqi soldiers set fire to thousands of Kuwaiti oil wells while retreating.
That was going to have a big effect, because lots of countries outside of Kuwait depended on that oil. In 1992, Arafat and Israeli Prime Minister, Yitzhak Rabin, shook hands in Washington. Again, you have the United States interceding, trying to broker some peace. Arafat soon returned to Gaza after years of exile. Remember, Arafat was the leader of the Palestinian Liberation Organization that was sponsoring terrorist activities against Israel.
The Israeli prime minister agreed to make peace with Arafat and shake his hand. He was allowed to return back to Gaza, which was like his home after years of exile. Again, different countries working together to come up with a solution to a problem. In 1995, the Israelis and Palestinians signed an agreement giving the Palestinians autonomy in the West Bank and Gaza regions.
That means they would have some control there. Since they were in control of this area, that should have made them happy. Israel and Palestine thought if they had this agreement, conflict would resolve itself. Conflict would at least lessen. There was still continuing conflict and violence. Despite continuing violence, another agreement was reached in 1998.
Three years later they said, “Okay, let’s try another agreement.” This one stated that the Palestinians would be granted land in exchange for keeping the peace. Now, Israel is saying, “All right, we’ll give you more land if you keep the peace,” because in this situation Israel has given autonomy, or control, of the West Bank in Gaza to the Palestinians, but there had still been conflict.
Now, Israel is saying, “All right, we will grant more land to you if you keep the peace.” That didn’t happen. Violence continued, and in 2003, Israel began constructing a barrier between itself and the Palestinian territories. There are benefits to globalization.
Different countries can become friendly and broker treaties and trade goods and services with each other more easily as they are more interconnected. That does sometimes lead to more conflicts than there were previously. It can’t necessarily solve conflicts that have been going on for a while.