Why We Keep Getting the Middle East Wrong

(Fathom-BICOM) Mordechai Kedar - Arab nationalism as an ideology never really succeeded in replacing the traditional loyalties. In Iraq, Syria, Libya and Yemen today, people remain loyal to their tribe and to their traditional ethnic and sectarian identities. The borders of these countries were not defined by the local people; they were defined by colonialists. So when we talk about "Arab states," we must take into account that these states are totally different in terms of the basic legitimacy of the state in the eyes of those who live there. The writer, who served for 25 years in IDF military intelligence, is director of the Center for the Study of the Middle East and Islam at Bar-Ilan University.

2014-10-29 00:00:00

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