The Middle East has long been the battleground for conflicts over key natural resources, turning its past into a narrative of imperialist invasions and ideological clashes fuelled by religious differences, powerful militias and national interests. The resolution of entrenched hostilities is largely dependent upon agreements to share the region’s land, oil and water more equitably as a first step towards establishing lasting peace.
Countries in the Arab region are particularly vulnerable to the fallout
of the global economic crisis as a result of dependency on food imports, widespread conflict
and political insecurity, and vulnerability to the impacts of climate change. A report by the Arab NGO Network for Development.
Political separation of Israelis and Palestinians, where both have the right to settle within a unified territory, may be the solution to their ongoing conflict. Such shared stewardship could bring both sides security, international recognition and legitimacy, argues Russell Nieli.
Six months after Israel's 'Cast Lead' offensive on Gaza, restrictions on imports are making it impossible for Gazans to rebuild their lives. Public health and food security are at risk and poverty is increasing, say reports by Amnesty International and the Red Cross.
As US troops withdraw from Iraq, they leave behind the remnants of failed reconstruction efforts and a highly corrupt political class. Clean and efficient Iraqi institutions built from the bottom up are needed to
fill the legal and regulatory breach that the occupation has caused, says Zaid Al-Ali.
In Iran social networks and new electronic technologies have given people the courage to collectively express their dissent. The new media's ability to limit state control over communication may become an important tool in democratising global politics, argues Henry Giroux.
Lack of international action against Israel's war on Gaza illustrates the grand hypocracy of human rights rhetoric. But civilian groups can now use international law to show
the 'legitimacy gap' of Israeli government tactics in the Palestinian territories, argues Richard Falk.
In the aftermath of the Israeli military operation in Gaza, there is little evidence to suggest that Israel will find greater security, that the Palestinian question is closer to resolution, or that Hamas will silence their rockets, says Paul Rogers.