Arab-Israeli Conflict: Frightening fall-out

The violent collapse of Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations revealed how exclusive and narrowly focused the US-brokered process had become. The fall-out across the Middle East shows how much America’s standing and leverage in the region has come to depend on its ability to deliver on this core issue. In short, the whole multi-faceted crisis provides food for thought on the extent and limits of US influence in the region.

The World Today Published 1 November 2000 Updated 28 October 2020 4 minute READ

Rosemary Hollis

Former Director, Olive Tree Israeli-Palestinian Scholarship Programme, City, University of London

Arab support for the US-led coalition that expelled Iraq from Kuwait in 1991 with UN blessing was based on an understanding that the international community in general and the United States in particular would turn to comprehensive peace-making on the Arab-Israeli front.

This task was indeed embraced, beginning with the Madrid conference of November 1991. It was convened on the basis of the relevant UN resolutions, and under the joint patronage of Washington and Moscow, with the Europeans in attendance.

The following eighteen months saw tortuous negotiations conducted simultaneously between Israel, its Arab neighbours and the Palestinians. Meanwhile, multilateral talks allowed broad regional and international involvement.

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