ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Iran and Arabs

Iran and Arabs Surendra Bhutani MOHAMMED SHAFI AGWANI has all the proper credentials to walk on the oily path of the Persian/Arabian Gulf, though he has been a little too cautious in his assessment of the developments in the area during the past three decades. The author's approach to the Gulf politics is realistic. The energy crisis indeed brought the Gulf into international prominence and consequently it has become one of the focal points of superpower competition for political influence and economic gains.

Arabs, Israel and the World

Arabs, Israel and the World Surendra Bhutani The Arabs and the World of Seventies by Galal El-Rashidi; Vikas, New Delhi, 1977; pp 142; Rs 35. WEST ASIAN politics is a nightmare for students of this area. It is so fastchanging, that few books remain useful and the present book has become rather stale within a year of its publication. Second, Galal El-Rashidi, an Arab diplomat still in service, has many constraints and thus lacks objectivity in his presentation. While in his preface he aknowledges himself as a true Arab, he completely ignores the personality of Gamal Abdel Nasser in his narration. In the era of de- Nasserisation of Egypt how can a serving Egyptian diplomat talk about Nasser? Third, the title of the book is rather misleading.

ISRAEL-The South African Connection

September 3, 1977 ISRAEL The South African Connection Surendra Bhutani RECENTLY a monograph entitled "Collaboration between Israel and South Africa, Its Roots and Development", by Elisabeth Mathoit, has been published. A militant fighter for justice, Mathoit fought against the Nazis during their occupation of France, then against the French imperialists during the wars of Indo-China and Algeria, and later on against apartheid Zionism. Her earlier studies include "Zionism and Apartheid", "Zionist Colonisation in the Occupied Territories Since 1967" and a number of articles on South Africa as well as on the question of Palestine.

WEST ASIA- Will There be a New US Initiative

December 18, 1976 WEST ASIA Will There be a New US Initiative? Surendra Bhutani THE news that the US president-elect Jimmy Carter will, at least during the early clays of his administration, concentrate on domestic issues has forced Arab leaders to launch a vigorous drive to once again focus US attention on the Arab-Israeli conflict. The Arab leaders were disappointed over the defeat of Gerald Ford. It was not that they regarded Ford in high esteem or that he was more sympathetic to the Arab cause; it was only because the Arab leaders knew and "trusted'' Henry Kissinger. On the other hand they have had virtually no contact with Carter or by of his top foreign policy advisers. The irony sharpens when one recalls the gratuitous support extended by Anwar Sadat to Ford during the US election campaign. Sadat had even pleaded that the new US administration should retain Kissinger to negotiate in West Asia. The Israeli leaders on the other hand have always regarded Kissinger as a "traitor'' to the Zionist cause and no tears are going to be shed in Israel on his departure. The Israelis expect that the victory of Carter means the end of

WEST ASIA- Soviet Union on the Sidelines

Soviet Union on the Sidelines ACTORS in international relations prefer to deal with optimal conditions: low risks, minimum costs and high potential benefits. The problem is that these conditions seldom obtain. International relations in general have become increasingly complex, and in specific adversary relation there are risks of crises and, ultimately, risks of war. As a superpower, the Soviet Union's position on regional conflicts is inevitably linked, less with its relationships with the parties directly involved or its intentions vis-a-vis the region in question, than with considerations of global strategy. The broader Soviet foreign policy perspective indeed provides this explanation for the two major components of the Soviet stand on the Arab- Israeli conflict: on the one hand, the constant desire to have a say in every agreement or settlement that may be reached; and on the other, the influence of extraneous factors and trends that forces Moscow to adopt a defensive position or more over to the offensive. It is these outside influences which explain the frequent contradictions in the implementation of Soviet policies.

WEST ASIA-Reactionary Regimes, the Main Enemy

August 28, 1976 ween creation of liquidity and development finance. The conference felt that only a confident spirit of collective self-reliance on the part of developing countries could guarantee the emergence of the New International Economic Order. Self-reliance implied a firm determination on the part of developing countries to secure their legitimate economic rights in international dealings through the use of their collective bargaining strength. It meant willingness to explore and pursue the im- WEST ASIA mense possibilities of co-operation among themselves in financial, technical, trade, industrial and other fields. The conference adopted an Action Programme on economic co-operation in raw materials, trade, monetary and financial matters, industrialisation, food and agriculture, fisheries, transport, telecommunication, insurance, public enterprises, health, technical co-operation and consultancy services, research and information system, private foreign investment, nuclear energy and international co-operation.

Cold War in the Arab East

THE recent Syrian invasion of Lebanon and its attacks on the Palestinians do indeed seem puzzling and incomprehensible. Syria, which had sponsored a Palestinian organisation (al- Saiqa), is now dead set against the Palestinian resistance; Syria, which once supplied arms to the leftists m Lebanon is now collaborating with the rightists. To understand these actions of the pre- sent leadership in Syria, one has to scrutinise the past record of President Assad.

ISRAEL-Elections in the Occupied Area

IN the recent (April 12) municipal elections held for the first time under Israeli supervision, Palestinian nationalists gained control of the main West Bank towns in stunning election victories, and have thus raised yet another challenge to the Israeli government troubled by growing Arab unrest. "Nationalist Fronts" demanding the creation of a Palestinian state won majorities on the municipal councils in every major town in the Israeli occupied West Bank, except Bethlehem. In 1972, the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO), had tried unsuccessfully to boycott the elections, but this time its supporters actively participated in order to demonstrate PLO influence in the West Bank by winning as many seats as possible. Of the 205 councillors in 24 towns and villages, almost seventy five per cent are new faces

WEST ASIA-The Yom Kippur War in Retrospect

of a promising manifesto, there is developing instead a tendency to live with what Wilson and Healey call the facts of economic life. The Labour left has, under Wilsonian manipulation, which keeps Benn in the Cabinet and secures agreement from the powerful, old men in charge of the unions at every step, become a protest pressure group whose every demand is flouted by the moves that its government in power makes. If the Labour left is to recover its image of a few months ago, of a credible group with an economic programme for the country, its best bet is to return MORE than two years have elapsed since the surprise Arab attack on Israel, and defence experts and political analysts of all nations have had time to draw their conclusions. Recently, the Israeli Strategic Institute, Tel Aviv, organised an internationl symposium in Jerusalem on the military aspects of the Arab-Israeli conflict. The whole show was obviously arranged to impress upon the Western experts that Israel had come out more or less un- scratched from the Yom Kippur War and there was nothing wrong with the Israeli strategy of politics, so that the same intransigent policy towards the Arabs could go on. The symposium began with Israeli and Western, notably American, experts talking about the possible application elsewhere of what had been learnt from the Yom Kippur War; it ended with boasting accounts of Israeli generals.

WEST ASIA- Syria s Challenge to Interim Accord

Classes and Denotified Tribes Debt Relief Act to extend its scope to all farmers and other rural households owning five acres of land or less. The amended Act is expected to bring relief to small farmers, marginal fanners, agricultural labourers and rural arti sans. According to official sources, the amended Act will also provide for severe punishment to the moneylenders who use coercion in realising loans from the debt-freed rural poor. Coercion by moneylenders would be made a cognisable and non-bailable offence.

WEST ASIA-Sadat and the Palestinians

there to enable its 650,000 people to decide the future they would like for themselves, but after giving the pro- Indonesian parties working there enough time to influence the people to cast their vote in favour of joining Indonesia.

ISRAEL-Inspired Speculation

too do not inflict physical torture or. the victims but use other methods to extort money. Many of them possess a licence. But quite a few operate as unauthorised moneylenders and use all kinds of methods to extort money.

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