U.S. Special Relationships in the Middle East
U.S. policy in the Middle East has for decades pivoted on two countries: Saudi Arabia and Israel. Washington is the guarantor of both states. They are heavily armed by the Pentagon. Saudi Arabia, aggressively promoting its own brand of fundamental Islam, Wahabism, has supported extremist groups starting in Pakistan and Afghanistan in the 1980s. Today, rich Saudis stoke sectarianism in Syria and Iraq. Saudi armies invade Bahrain. Its air force bombs Yemen. As for Israel, it occupies a privileged position in Washington’s worldview. No matter the administration, Democrat or Republican, no other country has received as much diplomatic, military and financial support. The Palestinians? Sorry, you’re not special. Palestinians have always been marginal to the geopolitical concerns of U.S. policymakers. They are invited to so-called peace processes, which may lead to Bantustans with a few casinos and malls.
This event was presented by the Lannan Foundation.
Richard Falk is professor emeritus of international law at Princeton. He is the recipient of the UNESCO Peace Education Prize. He served as special rapporteur for the United Nations from 2008-2014 on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories. He is the author of numerous books including The Great Terror War, Unlocking the Middle East, Palestine: The Legitimacy of Hope and Chaos and Counterrevolution: After The Arab Spring. He is the co-author of Protecting Human Rights in Occupied Palestine.