Globalization – The Middle East

Globalization is the interconnectedness of and the exchange of ideas between and among the various countries throughout the world.

So, let’s look at some examples of the interactions among countries in the Middle East in the past three decades or so. Globalization has really increased in that time period because we have had rapid advances in technology.


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Now, in some areas of the world that aren’t as prevalent, there has still been a great increase interconnectedness, and this overall globalization in the last 30 years or so. In 1987, Syrian troops entered Lebanon and stopped the Civil War. So, a different country stepped in to help Lebanon solve its own problem. In 1988, the Palestinian resistance, known as the Intifada, began in earnest against Israel.

So, sometimes, being more connected doesn’t mean that there’s going to be peace. So, there was continued unrest and conflict among Israel and some of the Arab nations, including the Palestinian groups.

Iraq invaded Kuwait in 1990. So, again, interconnectedness can lead to conflict. And after UN – United Nations – sanctions were levied, the United States invaded in 1991. So, the United Nations said it was alright for the United States to invade and help Kuwait. So, there, you see that this globalization has made friends of the United States and Kuwait, and the United States was able to go all the way there to help Kuwait against Iraq, and to help liberate them after Iraq invaded.

The Iraqi soldiers set fire to thousands of Kuwaiti oil wells while retreating, and that was going to have a big effect because lots of countries outside of Kuwait depended on that oil. In 1992, Arafat and Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin shook hands in Washington. So, again, you have the United States interceding, trying to broker some peace. And Arafat soon returned to Gaza after years of exile. And remember, Arafat was the leader of the Palestinian Liberation Organization that was sponsoring terrorist activities against Israel. So, the Israeli Prime Minister agreed to make peace with Arafat, and shake his hand, and he was allowed to return back to Gaza, which was like his home after years of exile. So, again, different countries working together to come up with a solution to a problem.

In 1995, the Israelis and Palestinians signed an agreement, giving the Palestinians autonomy in the West Bank and Gaza regions. That means they would have some control there. And since they were in control of this area, that should have made them happy, and Israel and Palestine thought if they had this agreement, conflict would resolve itself, conflict would at least lessen. But there was still continuing conflict and violence.

Despite continuing violence, another agreement was reached in 1998. So, three years later, they said, “Okay, let’s try another agreement.” This one’s stating that the Palestinians would be granted land in exchange for keeping the peace. So, now, Israel was saying,  “Alright, we’ll give you more land if you keep the peace,”  because in this situation, Israel had given autonomy or control of the West Bank and Gaza to the Palestinians, but there’s still had been conflict. Now, Israel was saying, “Alright, we will grant more land to you if you keep the peace.” But that didn’t happen. Violence continued, and in 2003, Israel began constructing a barrier between itself and the Palestinian territories. So, there are benefits to globalization. Different countries can become friendly and broker treaties, and trade goods and services with each other more easily as they are more interconnected. But that does sometimes lead to more conflicts than there were previously, and it can’t necessarily solve conflicts that have been going on for a while.