Origins of Arab-Israeli Conflicts in the “Greater Middle-East”

Authored by: Marco Rimanelli

The Ashgate Research Companion to War

Print publication date:  January  2012
Online publication date:  March  2016

Print ISBN: 9780754678267
eBook ISBN: 9781315613741
Adobe ISBN: 9781317041115

10.4324/9781315613741.ch9

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Abstract

Since Antiquity the geo-strategic role of the “Greater Middle-East” region (from Morocco in the West to Arabia and Iran in the East) has grown in world trade with its vital land-, sea- and air-bridges to Europe, North Africa, Central Asia and India via the Straits of Gibraltar to the Suez Canal and Turkish Straits. Also, the geo-economic importance of the Middle-East as the energy “life-line” of the global economy has skyrocketed since the 1960s, as it is the main oil/gas source with two-thirds of all oil reserves and 50 percent of oil imports by the United States (US) and West (Europe, Japan, Canada, Australia). Thus, the old vague geo-political term of “Middle-East” has slowly expanded from its traditionally narrow historic “Green Crescent/Middle-East” (Israel, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and Iraq) to the geo-strategic “Middle-East/Gulf” of the Cold War (1946–90) and the current “Greater Middle-East” (2004 G-8 Summit) now encompassing the entire “Arab World” from North Africa’s Maghreb to oil-rich Arabia/Persian Gulf (or “Gulf” since 1980) and regional non-Arab Muslim states (Iran, Turkey, Afghanistan), plus Israel.

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