This article addresses sectarian violence and discrimination against Egypt’s Coptic minority, including the January 2010 attacks in Nag Hammadi as well as other incidents during the previous years. It also points to the government’s failure to acknowledge the situation and take action or responsibility. It argues that rather than protecting its citizens, the regime’s first and foremost priority has been its own survival. In order to appease Islamist groups (its main contenders), the government has thus encouraged an Islamization of Egyptian society, which in turn has resulted in further discrimination against the Coptic minority.
Israel experienced no more than a mild recession as a result of the global financial crisis that began in 2007, a testament to policies adopted by the government over the previous decade. These policies emphasized fiscal restraint, as well as liberalization and increased competition across most of the economy while strengthening regulatory restrictions on the banking sector. Indeed, the only case of market failure in Israel came in the relatively unregulated non-bank credit sector. However, IsraelĂ?Ć?Ă?Â˘Ă?â??Ă?â?¬Ă?â??Ă?â?˘s recent policy successes by themselves are insufficient for ensuring long-term, sustainable growth for the economy. This article suggests that Israeli policy makers must now focus on measures that expand and deepen its knowledge-based industries–which are too reliant on high-technology start-up companies–and narrow the social and economic imbalances that have emerged since the 1980s.
While the international community is facing a nuclear stalemate with Iran and North Korea, China is increasingly emerging as a Great Wall in blocking the path towards sanctions and peaceful resolution of the Iranian nuclear crisis and denuclearizaton of the Korean Peninsula. While much recent literature has been written on the deleterious effects of a regional nuclear arms race should Iran become a nuclear power, there has been relatively little effort to explore why China persistently defends Iran by blocking or watering down UNSC sanctions and on the strategic partnership between Iran and North Korea in missile and nuclear collaboration. This paper explores the triangular strategic alliance between China, Iran, and North Korea and the attendant negative spill-over that poses a threat to East Asia and Middle East regional stability.
As former allies of the monarchy, the Muslim Brothers have played a key role in Jordanian political life at times when the regime has engaged in political openness. However, their moderation in domestic politics has been accompanied by a growing radicalization on foreign policy issues, as a result of their refusal to accept the peace treaty between Israel and Jordan and their staunch opposition to the military intervention in Iraq. Hamas’s victory in the Palestinian elections have prompted a change of attitude on the part of the government, which has opted to restrict the Brotherhood’s social activities and lessen its capacity for mobilization.
This article explains how women in the Gulf states have harnessed political and socioeconomic changes over the last decade to alter their standing at home and abroad. It argues that Gulf women have benefited from investments made by Gulf governments in higher education since the 1970s, the war on terrorism, the ever higher costs of employing expatriate workers, and the inability of their male colleagues to fill either skilled or unskilled positions. It also argues that the position of women today is consistent with their position historically in Gulf society, and that questions of gender are not limited to women.
For a half-century, Middle East politics were dominated by Arab nationalist regimes and movements, defined by the struggle among them for regional hegemony. Now the area has moved into a new era in which the central feature is the struggle between Arab nationalist regimes and revolutionary Islamist forces. Yet many Western policymakers have failed to understand this transformation. This article discusses the nature of the central conflict, including the identity of the Islamist side and the balance of forces.