Israel and the Arab Middle East—A New Geopolitical Architecture

Uzi Rabi, the director of the Moshe Dayan Center for Middle Eastern and African Studies, has published an article in The Jerusalem Strategic Tribune, analyzing the changes in the Middle East’s regional architecture and the evolving blocs and alignments.

"The Middle East has gone through tumultuous change throughout the last decade, from the aftermath of the Arab Spring to the signing of the Abraham Accords. The superpowers’ changing conduct, new regional power dynamics, as well as geo-ecological developments have served to change the Middle Eastern panorama. For Israel, these developments have heralded the creation of a new framework of relations with the wider region, including North Africa in the West, the Arabian Peninsula in the East, and the neighboring states at peace with Israel, Egypt and Jordan—as well as in the Eastern Mediterranean. This article will analyze the changes in the Middle East’s regional architecture and the evolving blocs and alignments. In addition, it will also elaborate on Israel’s changing position in the region.

In the geopolitical context, the term “architecture” implies a stable and robust system of interrelations and cooperation between significant players—one that reflects as well as shapes the expectations and the choices both of those who dwell within it and of the adversaries and onlookers from without. In that sense, it is possible to speak of an architecture that brings together under one strategic roof the forces who stand for stability and reject the deadly variants of Islamist totalitarian subversion in the region—the key Arab states of the Gulf (except Qatar), Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, and Israel as a member of good standing—in a manner unimaginable even a few years ago. To some extent, Greece and Cyprus serve as the Eastern Mediterranean anchor of this structure, while Turkey seeks to shift from being a “frenemy” to a friend."