The situation in the Middle East region has influenced security issues in most parts of the world. Whatever happens in this region at any particular time is likely to have a greater impact in several parts of the world. When this part of the world is experiencing upheavals almost every part of the world feels the effects of such a conflict. Most of the conflicts that are being experienced in most parts of the world have in one way or another some connections with the situation in Middle East. The Middle East crisis between the Palestine and Israel on one hand and the Arabs on the other has been in existence for over half a century. This region has never experienced peaceful moment for a long period; war has been the order of the day as the two sides battle it out for reasons which do not seem end. The security situation in this region has impacted the international security. It has given rise to international problems which are currently facing the world. It seems the issues of Middle East crisis have affected almost every region of world.
To understand the situation of the Middle East crisis and its impact on the international security, it is important to explore the history of the conflict that has ensued for close to sixty years. The genesis of the cirisis in the region can be traced way back way back in the late nineteeenth century when the under the banner of the Zionist movement Europens Jews started to buy land in the Ottoman Empire.The founder of the movement appealed to the Ottoman leader to allow them to purchase land and in the process the authorities will be in a position to get money to finance its activities.The European Jews established farms and founded cities which came to be occupeid by both Arabs abd Jews. (Bilgin,P 2005)
In 1917 the infamous Balfour decalration was issued by the British government which supported the establishment of the Jewish nation in Palestine.This declaration was issued under the premise that the support of the Jewish population was very neccesary for the winning of the war.This decalration was not welcomed by the people in the Arab world.It caused a lot of conflict between the two sides ,a conflict that has ensued for a long period than anyone at this time would have preciptitated.After the First World War was over the area came to under the British rule,this area included what is today known as Jordan,Gaza,Isreal and West Bank. (Inbar,E and Frisch,H 2008)
The Jewish people continued to migrate to Palestine,the population of Jews in the country increased where in 1931 seventeen percent of the population were Jews.By the time the Nazis were coming to power the population had increased further as more Jews continued to enter the country as they fled Germany and other European nations.The Palestinian Arabs started to feel the influx of these migrants as a threat to their future existence in this region.They felt that their identity as a people was at a greater risk if the Jews continued to come in to their territory.The policies of the Jews to buy land and preventing the Arabs to work in industries which were owned by the Jews greatly angered the Palestinians communities.Arabs started to hold demostrations protesting against the unfair practices of the Jewish immigrants and the open preference of the immigrants by the British authorities.These demostrations and open resentment led to the outbreak of violence in the region.In 1929 sixty seven Jews were murdered by the Arabs in the city of Hebron in what came to be knonw as the Massacre of Hebron.The escalating violence led to the eruprtin of the 1936 -1939 Palestine revolt.
The hostility between the two sides continued to grow,this led to increased violence as both sides made their points through attacks on each other.The anti semitism sentiments spread in Middle East.There was a great link of the anti Jews sentiments to the rise of the Nazi movement in Germany.On the same note anti Arabs sentiments were also growing steadly among the populations in the Jewish areas.The British authorities bowed to the pressure from the Arabs and decided to reduce the number of Jewish immigrants to the region.The restrictions remained for sometime until the time when the British withdrew from the region.This period coincided with the period when the Nazi Holocaust was beginning in Germany leading to the influx of the Jewish refugees into the region.As a result of this development most of the Jewish who were entering Palestine at this time were illegal immigrants.This led to more tension between the two groups who occupied the same region.( Inbar,E and Sander,S 2005)
There were several attempts as has been happening in the recent future to solve the problem diplomatically but no gainful steps were made despite the concerted efforts.At is at this period when British asked the United Nations to intervene and come up with a solution to the escalating situation.A committee was appointed to look into the issue and come up with recommendations.After five weeks the commission recommended the creation of two states through the partitioning of the territories where the Jewish and the Arab states were to be created.The resolution was supported by majority of the members from the other parts of the world.The Arab nations were opposed to such a move.This explains why the league of Arabs have been supporting the withdrawal of Israel from the occupied region.The hostility between the Arabs and Israel has its genesis on the creation of the Jewish state having been carved out of the region that was originally occupied by the Arabs. (Inbar,E and Frisch,H 2008)
In 1948,only a few months before the British withdrawal from the region Israel declared its independence.It declared itself as a soveriegn state something that angered the Arab league promoting the countries to issue a formal complaint to the United Nation.The armies from the Arab nations mainly from Iraq,Syria,Egypt nad Jordan invaded the territory starting the Arab- Israel war on the same year.Israel defense force fought fiercely repulsing the Arab League army from the territory and even extending beyond the lands that have been allocated to the Jewish state.Many palestinians fled the region a situation that has been debated up to know as Israel used it as a propaganda tool where they claimed that the Arab leaders asked them to move to other regions.Israel took advantage of the fleeing Palstenians to take over the lands that were being left behind.These are some of the lands that have caused tension up to this time as the Arabs have always been claiming the return of these lands and withdrawal of the Isreal army from the occupied areas. (Art,R and Walts,K 1988)
There are several massarcres which took place being conducted by the Israel gangs with an aim of causing distress among the Palestinian population.The gangs wanted the Arabs to have a good reason to leave their homes so that they can occupy their lands.The war came to an end after the two sides signed a treaty where an armistice line was created forming what is today the recognized international border for the state of Israel.The Israel Prime Minister at this time accepted the rsolution of the two states in the region but in a letter to his wife he expressed the Israel ambition to occupy the whole region through expanding the territory.He was planning to expand his military force which will be used to force the Arabs to give away their lands to pave way for the expansion of the Jewish state.
The adoption of the resolution 181 in 1947 gave way to the formation of the state of Israel.This did not go down well with the Arab nations prompting the war in 1948.This is the first war in the region that involved the Arab nations.They started advancing policies where the Jewish population were discriminated against.They were deprived of their rights in countries such as Iraq and their properties were looted.This propmted the local Jews to flee these countries and moved to the newly created state of Israel.It is estimated that close to one million Jews left the Arab countries where they were leaving behind their property. (Art,R and Walts,K 1988)
Following Israel victory and declaration of its independence the Arabs were caught on the wrong side,they were blocked in Israel being unable to return to their lands.On the same note the Jews who were on the West Bank and Gaza were exiled to Israel.The Arabs in Israel were allowed to stay and gain citizenship in Israel whereas the Jews who were in the Arab states were exiled .The Palestinian refugees in Israel today are direct descendants of those who left their lands following the fear of attack from the Israel army.
The war between the Arab nations and Isreal was just the beginning of the series of conflicts that ensued between the two sides.The region has never known peace since this moment.The Arab nations were angered by the move to recognize Israel independence and its occupation of the Arab lands.This led to continued conflict between Israel and its neighbors.Egypt was determined to punish this young nation and it did everything possible to frustrate its effort to gain more territories especially its expansion towards her border.The two countries engaged themselves in several conflicts where Israel got assistance from European nations.The situation in this region was threatening the security situation in the region and the world at large as the region was very important since it was a major shipping route.Western nations had to intervene as their interests were threatened by the ensuing conflict between the two sides. (Art,R and Walts,K 1988)
United Nation intervened on several occassions to control the situation through signing of agreements with the warring sides.Most of these agreements were violated and the conflict between the warring nations continued.The tension in the Middle East was not in isolation,it affected the security situation in other region too.Other nations could not just sit and watch the two sides tear each other apart.They had to intervene in one way or another to bring the situation under control.Many are the times when the United States had to persuade Isreal to honor the agreement to avoid a situation where a full scale war erupted further complicating the matter.On the other hand the Western nations came into the aid of this tiny middle east nation when its interests were threatened with the attack of the Arab nations
In 1967 Egypt had acquired weapons from Soviet and was confident that this time they will successfully overrun Israel and expel all the Jews from the region.One hundred thousand soldiers were deployed in Sinai peninsula and at the same time the Straits of Tiran were closed to block the paassage of the Israel ships .The Egyptian leader by then marshalled the support of the other Arab nations to line up for a cause of conquering Israel once and for all.The media relentlessly called for the support to the war cause ,this enthusiasm spread far and wide to all the Arab capitals where the people braved themselves for a war which they described as one which will throw away a nation that has occupied their territory.The Arab nations were ready for the war but they were caught unawares by the Israel troops as they moved in to counter the preparations made by the Arab side.The Israel air force launched a massive and surprise attacks on her enemies making broad moves which led to the defeat of these nations.The war lasted six days with Israel destroying key points in Egypt at the same time giaining control of the Sinai region as well as the Gaza strip.The effects of this war came to change the geo politics of the region for a long time with its outcome being felt up to this day. (Warren,C 1998)
After the war the Arab leaders met in Khartoum to discuss the outcome of this war and also come up with the way forward after the humuliating defeat by a tiny nation which has forced herself into their territory.The leaders reached a consensus where they vowed never to recognize Israel as a nation,.They also resolved that they will not enter into any negotiation with Israel and no peace will prevail in the region as long as this Jewish nation contiune to occupy the territories in this region.Failure to recognize Israel as a sovereign nation has led to continued conflict in the region further jeopardising the security situation in the region and the world at large.The success of Israel on the six day war did not deter Egypt ambitions to overrun Israel,it was still determined to prevent the Jewsih nation from expanding as well as force it out of the Sinai region.This led to the War of Attrition in 1969 where Egypt aimed at exhausting Israel forcing it to surrender the Sinai Peninsula.The war ended 1970 following the death of President Nasser.The surprise attack by Syria and Egypt on Israel almost caused a confrotation that would have resulted onto a full scale war in the region and also in other parts of the world.This was at the height of cold war between the two super powers,United States of America and the Soviet Union.United States was wary of a nuclear war therefore she did everything to her powers to secure a ceasefire between the warring nations as the Soviet Union was threatening to intervene when Isreal turned the tide of the war.The conflict would have taken a new turn as Soviet apart from aiding the Arab nations with weapons it would have brought into the picture weapons of mass destruction leading to massive loss of life and properties. (Israel,R 2004)
The threat of weapon of mass destruction has been real in the region and the world at large.The crisis surrounding the issue is directly attributed to the situation in the Middle East.These weapons pose a real threat to the international security especially when they are in the hands of nations which are in the record threatening to wipe the state of Israel out of the world map.The war in Iraq was partly due to the prevailing situation in the region.This war involved several countries in the region and out of this region.The Iraq dictator did not hide his hostlity and resentment of the state of Israel.He was on the record on several occassions threatening to attack Israel with weapons of mass destruction.Such threats were not taken rightly by United States of America as it took intiatives to help in removing the dictator and bring on board a leadership which will be accountable to the people and further prevent the situation from worsening further.
The tension in this region has taken different twist and angles with every turn of the decade new issues arising.Intially the conflict was between the Arabs and the Israel where the fight was over occupied terrotory.The conflict has assumed a religious persepective where it has been perceived as a war between the Jews and Muslim.This turn of the events further complicated the matter as the entire Muslim population in the world has come to believe this perspective.They have lined behind the cause of fighting Israel as a nation as they perceive it as the enemy of their religion and their people.The war has precipitated other related conflict all over the world leading to deteoriation of the international security.Amassing of the weapons of mass destruction by different ations including Iraq and Iran is directly related to the Middle East crisis as these nations sought to defend themselves as well as aim at forcing Israel to wtihdraw from the occupied territories. (Bilgin,P 2005)
Terrorism activities that have been meeted out in different parts of the world have a direct link to the situation in the Middle East.One example is the September the Eleventh attack on the United States soil.The group that claimed responsibility of the attack has its history linked to the crisis in Middle East.This conflict has led to formation of many groups which purport to support the Palestinians in their quest to fight for their rights in the region.These groups has been a real threat and a danger to international security as they have carried out attacks and still contiue to threaten actions if their request are not met.It is in line to conclude that the situation in the Middle East region gave rise to the emergence of groups which are threatening to make the world a hell on earth due to their unprecendented attacks. (Linden E 2006)
The Iran nuclear program has emerged as the lastest issue which has threatened to blow matter out of proportion This issue has been seen as a threat to the security situation in the region as other nations might also pursue the course further complicating the situation altogether.Iran has contiued to enrich its nuclear program bringing rife the fears that the country might be in possession of the nulcear weapons.This has been described as a dangerous situation which could give rise to more conflict in the region as well as ignite fires in other parts of the world.World leaders have been very concerned with the situation and have been busy trying to come up with the ways of trying to stop the country from continuing with its program.Analysists believe that Iran has the scientific and industrial capacity to make nuclear weapons therefore if the authorities decides to make these weapons nothing will deter them from doing so.
The intention by the Iranian government to build up its nuclear program and eventually make nuclear weapons may start an arms race in the region.The neighboring countries will definitely aim at consolidating their arms program and eventually using their nuclear programs to develop weapons of mass destruction.This is a real situation which might bring more problem and further complicate the peace process which have been underway in this region.The arms race will stretcth to the whole region as more nations in this region have the capacity to biuld up nuclear programs.Arms race in the region as volatile as middle East makes the matter worse for the security situation in the world.This region has the most concentration of the so called rogue states which pose a real threat to international security even without the capacity to build up weapons of mass destruction.These are the same nations which are known to support terrorists groups which have caused much suffering to innocent people around the world.Iran has been on the record threatening to attack Israel and can do so with the help of its nuclear weapon program.This is an issue that have made America wake up to the call of halting this development in the region.
The war in Iraq brought issues which have made the region a hot point for the terror groups.The insurgency in Iraq after the toppling of Saddam Hussein has reached a critical point where many people have died as a result of attacks by the groups which are thought to have a direct link with one of the most notorious terror group,the al Qaeda.The situation has been such grave to an extent of forcing the withdrwal of the American and allies forces from parts which are prone to these attacks. (Chomsky,N 2004)
The war on terror has its genesis from the crisis in the Middle East,most of the groups which are advancing the terrorism course claim to be fighting for Islam.They believe that Israel is a threat to the existence of their religion therefore attack o this nation and all those who support her cause is a justified move.These groups have brought a new dimension in the international security as they have been using new tactics to attack their perperted enemies.The situation in the Middle East has only given these groups a reason to continue with their activities. Any region that is purported to be an ally and support Israel and American interset has and can be a target to these groups making their activities international security issue which should be addressed by every nation whose interest of peace in the world is at heart. (Bilgin,P 2005)
The situation in the middle East has been a concern for many nations for a long period,the more it takes to resolve the issues at hand the more the security situation in the world continue to reach a critical point.Every effort should be made to resolve the problem once and for all.The crisis does not only affect the security of the region but also its economic aspect.This region has been the largest producer of oil in the world,therefore when the conflict in the region reaches some levels the economic in many parts of the world is affected as the oil prices rise.The situation becomes worse with each wake of violence in the region.Solving the crisis in the Middle East will not only bring hope to the people in the region but will also go along way in ensuring that international peace prevails.
International security is a matter of great concern to many nations,the Middle East crisis can not pass unnoticed as they have affected almost all the parts of the world.Attempts to get a lasting solutions should aim at involving all the parties involved in the conflict.Such efforts should be hailed as they are aiming at bringing peace in the globe.The situation has been on the limelight for such a long period such that the people involved have become weary of the situation.All efforts should be geared at resolving the conflcit through addressing the most pressing issues.It is only through such efforts that the international security will be guaranteed.
Linden E (2006) Focus on Terrorism,Nova Publishers
Israel,R (2004) War Peace and Terror in the Middle East,Routledge
Warren,C (1998) In the Stream of History,Stanford University Press
Art,R and Walts,K (1988) Use of Force,University Press of America
Chomsky,N (2004) Middle East Illusions,Rowman and Littlefield
Inbar,E and Frisch,H (2008) Radical Islam and International Security,Routledge
Inbar,E and Sander,S (2005) Middle Eastern Security,Routledge
Bilgin,P (2005) Regional Security in the Middle East,Routledge