The recent geopolitical shifts in West Asia and their impact on the Israel-Palestine conflict. It...
The recent geopolitical shifts in West Asia and their impact on the Israel-Palestine conflict. It explores the strategic realignments of major powers like the United States, China, and Iran, and how these shifts have affected the dynamics of the region.
The United States had been shifting its strategic focus in West Asia to more conventional rivals like Russia and China.
To maintain its hold over the region, the US sought to bring Israel and the Gulf Arabs closer together through the Abraham Accords.
The Abraham Accords aimed to create a common Jewish-Arab front in West Asia, allowing the US to allocate resources elsewhere.
Gulf Arabs made their own tactical changes in foreign policy to establish a more predictable and stable relationship in the region.
China saw an opportunity to play the role of a peacemaker in the region and had good ties with countries across the Gulf.
This led to the Iran-Saudi reconciliation agreement, which was a result of China's involvement.
The US responded to the Saudi-Iran détente by doubling down on the Abraham Accords and investing in talks between Saudi Arabia and Israel.
The Biden administration unveiled the India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor (IMEC) proposal, which relied on Arab-Israel peace and was presented as an alternative to China's outreach in the region.
However, the October 7 Hamas attack on Israel disrupted the progress made in the region.
Hamas sees the recent alignment between Iran and Saudi Arabia differently.
Hamas welcomes the alignment between Iran and Saudi Arabia, as Iran has been its patron for years.
However, Hamas sees Saudi Arabia normalizing ties with Israel as a setback.
The signing of the Abraham Accords by the UAE, Bahrain, and Morocco in 2020 showed that Arab countries were ready to delink the Palestine question from their engagement with Israel.
This boosted Israel's efforts to treat the Palestine issue as a security nuisance and continue the occupation without consequences.
The goal of the recent Hamas attack was to break the walls of localization and re-regionalize the Palestine issue.
The attack aimed to scuttle the Saudi-Israel peace bid.
Israel's retaliatory attack on the Gaza Strip resulted in the death of at least 11,500 Palestinians, mostly women and children.
Hamas has achieved its goal of re-regionalizing the Palestine issue, at least for now.
The Palestine issue has regained importance in the West Asian geopolitical landscape.
Israel's attack on Gaza has sparked protests across the Arab Street, putting pressure on Arab monarchs and dictators.
Iran has increased its pro-Palestine rhetoric and called for collective action against Israel, causing a dilemma for Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries.
Saudi Arabia has convened an Islamic summit on Gaza and reiterated its call for the creation of a Palestine state based on the 1967 borders.
This development is a setback for both America and Israel.
Mr. Netanyahu's endgame in Gaza is unclear, raising challenges for the U.S. in rebooting the Abraham Accords.
Israel may reoccupy Gaza, despite the U.S. proposal for the Palestinian Authority to take over.
The Iran-Saudi reconciliation, mediated by China, has been a setback for the U.S.
Arab countries, such as the UAE and Saudi Arabia, have shown autonomy and defied American requests.
China's role in the Gulf is increasing, including plans for a military facility in the UAE.
The current crisis is accelerating changes in regional dynamics, highlighting the limitations of the Abraham Accords and the influence of the China-brokered Iran-Saudi détente.
The situation in Gaza is similar to the pre-2005 days, but the geopolitical reality has changed.
Russia and China are emerging as great powers in the region.
The U.S. has a significant military presence in West Asia.
The Biden administration's support for Netanyahu's war on Gaza has put the U.S. in a difficult position.
The region is already in a state of flux.
The recent summit meeting between the U.S. President and the Chinese President and the efforts to stabilize their relationship. It highlights the concrete agreements reached and the importance of high-level engagement and open channels in preventing conflict.
The summit meeting between US President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping in San Francisco is unlikely to resolve major differences between the two countries.
The summit has offered the promise of stabilizing the relationship between the US and China, which has recently been in free fall.
Concrete agreements were made during the summit, including the restart of military-to-military direct dialogue and discussions on artificial intelligence risk and safety issues.
The summit is seen as establishing a floor to the relationship, building on the previous Bali consensus that was disrupted by the "spy balloon" incident.
The upcoming Taiwan elections in January 2023 and the US elections in November 2024 could potentially disrupt the stabilizing efforts.
Both China and the US reiterated their stands on Taiwan, with China cautioning against interference and the US opposing any change in the status quo.
The US election season is expected to bring heated rhetoric on China.
Mr. Xi and Mr. Biden have different views on the future of their relations, with Mr. Xi criticizing the U.S. framing of the relationship as competitive.
Mr. Biden emphasized that the U.S. and China are in competition and the challenge is to manage it responsibly.
Both leaders agree that high-level engagement and open channels are important in preventing competition from turning into conflict.
This offers lessons for the India-China relationship as they face a crisis along the Line of Actual Control.
Dialogue is not a concession and building a floor is the first step in stabilizing ties between major powers.