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War in Gaza: a geopolitical perspective

October 25, 2023 at 2:09 pm

The USS Ponce warship transits through the Suez Canal in the Egyptian port of Ismailia [AFP via Getty Images]

The geopolitical landscape in West Asia is currently undergoing significant shifts and developments that extend beyond the confines of specific regional conflicts. In this paper, I will explore the various factors and dynamics at play, shedding light on the broader implications and potential consequences of these events.

The presence of American aircraft carriers in the region cannot be solely attributed to the situation in Gaza. While the ongoing Gaza confrontation captures international attention, there are other underlying motivations for the American presence. Similarly, the Russians find satisfaction in the Gaza confrontation as it diverts attention from Ukraine. However, it is important to recognise that both the Americans and the Russians are ultimately compelled to intervene due to their strategic interests in the region.

China, a major player on the global stage, relies heavily on West Asia for its oil supply. It perceives a sense of threat in the region, but it also benefits from the diversion of American attention from East Asia. This diversion allows China to continue its ascent while the United States is preoccupied in the Middle East. It may even embolden China to take actions against Taiwan, a long-awaited step in its geopolitical ambitions.

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Arab countries, on the other hand, have experienced a loss of confidence in Israel’s power. However, their greater fear lies in the rise of Islamist forces within the region. This complex dynamic creates a delicate balancing act for Arab nations as they navigate these competing concerns.

The Arab public, deeply angered by the ongoing conflicts and perceived injustices, poses a significant risk for further instability. The potential for a new wave of a more violent Arab Spring cannot be ignored, as public frustration reaches a boiling point.

Iran, a key regional power, faces a critical juncture. Its narrative and legitimacy are intertwined with its confrontations against the United States and Israel. Failure to intervene in regional conflicts, such as those in Syria, Iraq, Lebanon and Yemen, risks undermining Iran’s established narrative and potentially eroding its influence.

The Palestinian Authority finds itself losing local support and legitimacy, largely due to the failure of the peace process and the consequential loss of the West Bank, Jerusalem and the collapse of the two-state solution. The disillusionment among Palestinians has led to increased scepticism regarding the Authority’s ability to effectively represent their interests.

Furthermore, there is growing concern that Jews may no longer perceive Israel as a safe haven. This apprehension could lead to an exodus of Jewish populations, further complicating the already tense situation in the region.

Economically, the country faces a significant risk of collapse, rendering it an unsafe environment for investment. Israel’s struggle to protect itself and establish partnerships with other nations exacerbates the challenges it faces in navigating the geopolitical landscape.

Internally, Israel grapples with divisions and a loss of faith in its identity as a “modern democratic state”. These internal rifts weaken the country’s ability to effectively address external challenges and maintain stability.

The current blow, despite the substantial losses witnessed in Gaza, carries profound implications. It serves as a stark reminder of the fragility of the region and the need for a comprehensive re-evaluation of existing approaches and strategies.

We find ourselves at a historical juncture, witnessing the creation of a new world order. The outcome of these geopolitical developments in West Asia will have far-reaching consequences, not only for the region but also for the global balance of power.

The Palestinian Resistance Movement, in the aftermath of the current conflicts, is poised to emerge stronger. This resurgence has the potential to reshape the entire region and serve as a catalyst for liberty and self-determination.

While West Europe’s decline gradually unfolds, economic factors contribute significantly to its weakening. This decline creates a power vacuum, leaving more room for Chinese influence, as the United States loses focus and redirects its attention elsewhere.

For many, these events may mark the second phase of escaping the grip of colonialism. The pursuit of genuine independence, free from American and European dominance, gains momentum as regional actors seek to redefine their relationships and assert their sovereignty.

The current situation in West Asia could be the catalyst for the rise of the Muslim world and the realisation of its rightful position in the world. As events unfold and geopolitical dynamics continue to evolve, it is essential to closely monitor and analyze these developments, understanding their implications for regional stability and the global order.

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The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.