Month: May 2016

Why Wider War is Leaving Israel Behind

Israel is waiting and watching to see how the crisis in the Middle East is unfolding.

Violence persists on a domestic front. A suicide bombing sponsored by Hamas on a bus in the Talpiot neighbourhood of Jerusalem injured 21 people on the 18th of August on the 18th of August 2016.

In the region, the Mediterranean country – with a economy on the way up – is forming new alliances with other states as old enemies are distracted by intractable conflicts. Turkey and Israel are moving towards a reconciliation that would end a six year impasse, spurred on by the discovery of huge gas deposits in the nearby sea.

The two countries froze relations after Israeli commandos stormed a Turkish flotilla protesting against conditions in the Gaza Strip in 2010. A report headed by Geoffrey Palmer had found that Israel’s blockade against the flotilla breached international human rights conventions.

The Flotilla off the Coast of Israel, 2010


In a sign of improving ties with Egypt, Israel is set to return stolen antiquities over 3,000 years old to Cairo.

Traditional foes such as Iran have succumbed to the pressure of the international community, suspending their nuclear program for a decade or more. Syria is divided by a Civil War which may last decades.

The roadmap to peace, however,  has all but collapsed as Israel moves closer to the right. Avigdor Lieberman – recently named as Israel’s defence minister – has long publically refuted a two state solution for Palestine. However, there is wider apathy in the region, with the Economist reporting that “these days conversations about the state of the Arab world can go on for hours before the word “Palestine” is uttered”.

Given the unpredictability factor of the Middle East, how long the respite from conflict with other states will last – however – is anyone’s guess.