Second Research Seminar of Unit 1, Group B

The Peace Process in the Middle East and the Changing

Arab-Israeli Relations

TATEYAMA Ryoji (National Defense Academy)

held on November 29, 1997


The first half of this presentation sketches the historical development of the Arab-Israeli relations. The second half analyzes the impact of the Islamic movement on the peace process in the Middle East. First, in the history of Arab-Israeli relations, what kinds of ideologies and actions have shaped the diplomacy of the Arab countries? Up until the third Middle Eastern War in 1967, the Arab countries challenged the status-quo by pursuing anti-colonialism, the non-alignment movement, nationalism, socialism and so forth. Since the war, in contrast, they shifted gears toward the maintenance of the status quo as was seen in new-Arabism. In the background of this change seem to lie the new conditions such as the multipolarization of the Arab World since the rise of oil producing countries and the emerging threats of Israeli military forces. Indeed, the more and more Islamic countries have established diplomatic relations with Israeli in recent years.

Second, how does Islam affect the peace process in the middle process? In a sense, religious nationalism has emerged to replace secular nationalism, which has been characterized by the recent tendency to support the status quo. The examples of this shift include the opposition to the Sadat's leadership toward the peace process in Egypt (Muslism Brethren), Iran's rejection of the peace process after the revolution, and the intifada in Palestine (Hamas).