Presenting the Middle East peace process as an extension of US foreign policy, this book argues that ongoing interventions justified in the name of ‘peace’ sustain and reproduce hegemonic power.
With an interdisciplinary approach, this book questions the conceptualisation and general understanding of the peace process. The author reinterprets regional conflict as an opportunity for the US through which it seeks to achieve regional dominance and control. Engaging with the different stages and components of the peace process, he considers economic, military and political factors which both changed over time and remained constant. This book covers the US role of mediation in the region during the Cold War, the history and present state of US-Israel relations, Syria’s reputation as an opponent of ‘peace’ compared with its participation in peace negotiations, and the Palestinian-Israel conflict with attention to US involvement.
The End of the Middle East Peace Process will primarily be of interest to those hoping to gain an improved understanding of key issues, concepts and themes relating to the Arab-Israeli conflict and US intervention in the Middle East. It will also be of value to those with an interest in the practicalities of peacebuilding.
Table of Contents
Introduction 1. Introduction 2. Different Dimensions of Conflict and Peace 3. The U.S. Role in the Region 4. U.S-Israel Relations 5. America and the Syrian Track 6. The Palestinian 'Problem' 7. Conclusion
Samer Bakkour is Lecturer of Middle East Politics, Institute of Arabic & Islamic Studies University of Exeter.
"Bakkour presents an important and challenging analysis of the status of the Middle East peace process, presenting a counter-intuitive rationale for its creation and existence, and questions its relevance in a region and wider international security setting that are states of flux. It is essential reading for those interested in how the international relations of the Middle East have been structured, and how they may develop in the future."
Professor Gareth Stansfield, Exeter University Pro-Vice-Chancellor, College of Social Sciences and International Studies. Al-Qasimi Professor of Arab Gulf Studies, Professor of Middle East Politics.
"Samer Bakkour offers us an incisive and powerful critique on the so-called Middle East Peace process. Bakkour makes a compelling case when he exposes the sinister and manipulative role the USA has played in this process. This book provides the best explanation so far for the failure of the peace process. It ended since the USA has extracted from the process what it needed to secure its position in the region, regardless of the failure to achieve peace. This is a depressing conclusion but a necessary one for a region that is in a dire need for an alternative and genuine peace process."
Professor Ilan Papp, Professor of History, Director of the European Centre for Palestine Studies.
"The Middle East "Peace Process", sponsored and owned by the United States, has been in existence for some 50 years. Over this period, the chances for a realistic comprehensive peace in the Middle East have steadily diminished, ongoing wars have ruined the lives and well-being of many, and the dispossession of the Arab population of Palestine has become ever more acute. The Peace Process has, in practice, been a barrier to peace and not a path towards it. The failure to resolve the Palestine issue, moreover, has fed into the wider conflicts, which have drained the resources of the Middle Eastern region, increasingly taking the form of fractious internecine struggles stoked by outside powers. The political coherence of many of the states is now at stake. Yet, strangely, established opinion in the West still views the US-owned Peace Process as key to a settled and stable future for the Middle East region. It is not.
The key issue, which this book addresses, is how and why the Peace Process not only failed to lead to peace in the region but also in practice laid the basis for continuing conflict. The initiatives pursued by the US were defined and orientated strictly according to US interests, and those were closely aligned with the interests of one side of the conflict. The Peace Process enabled, and covered up, the steady expansion of Israel and the dispossession of the Palestinian Arab population – thereby making the problem ever more intractable.
While much has been written about the Palestine issue and the Arab-Israeli conflict, this book portrays more realistically and accurately than any other the dynamics which not only ensured the failure to achieve peace but made peace impossible. It is a must-read for anyone wanting to understand, or engage with, the Middle Eastern region."
Professor Tim Niblock, Emeritus Professor of Middle East Politics, University of Exeter, United Kingdom.
"Extensively documenting the role of the US in Palestine-Israel and the open-ended Oslo process, this work highlights in particular what Edward Said had predicted three decades ago: the utter failure of American foreign policy and diplomacy in the Middle East—an important addition to the critical literature on Palestine."
Professor Nur Masalha, Professor of religion and politics and director of the Centre for Religion and History and the Holy Land Research Project at St. Mary's University.