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Shifting Dynamics of the Middle East, Israel, and Its Neighbors with Michael Sharnoff

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Date(s) - 11/09/2020
1:00 pm - 2:30 pm

Presented by Little Falls Village in Partnership with the Little Falls Library of Montgomery County Public Libraries and in collaboration with COFFE (Council of Former Federal Executives & Associates)

Registration Through Little Falls Village Required. Link:  www.littlefallsvillage.org/Sharnoff

This program, featuring Dr. Michael Sharnoff of the National Defense University, will provide a historical context of Israel’s relations with its Arab and non-Arab (Turkey and Iran) neighbors and analyze how recent trends have shifted regional priorities. It will conclude with observations about the latest agreement between the UAE and Israel, and how it will impact the region.

The United Arab Emirates’ (UAE’s) willingness to normalize relations with Israel is a natural outcome of recent trends in the Middle East. During much of the 20th century, the key centers of power in the Middle East were Egypt, Syria, Iraq, and Saudi Arabia. Israel was perceived as the main enemy and several wars were fought in the name of defending Palestine. However, the 1979 Iranian Revolution, the 2003 Iraq War, and Arab Spring uprisings shifted power centers and regional priorities. For many Arab states, curbing Iranian influence, focusing on economic and political domestic issues, and countering violent extremist organizations have taken precedence over confronting Israel. Indeed, some Arab rulers have come to perceive Israel as a potential ally to tackle these challenges.

MICHAEL SHARNOFF is Associate Professor at the National Defense University’s Near East South Asia Center for Strategic Studies. Dr. Sharnoff holds a Ph.D. in Middle East Studies from King’s College, London, and is the author of “Nasser’s Peace: Egypt’s Response to the 1967 War with Israel”.