South Africa and the Middle East | Middle East Policy Council
The president's shift in policy has been portrayed as a surprise—but America's foreign-policy machinery was quietly tasked with preparing for it months ago. This paper attempts to provide evidence for the relationship that existed between East Africa and the Middle East from about the beginning of the first millennium. At the beginning of the s, just before the end of Apartheid, South Africa had diplomatic relations with no country in the Middle East except Israel, another.
During the next decade, South Africa was virtually barred from the United Nations while its military forces were engaged in combat in neighboring Angola, a campaign that had a degree of Western support.
However, by the s, South Africa faced trade embargoes implemented worldwide. Meanwhile, Israel lost a great deal of the goodwill that it had previously built up in Africa following the Six-Day War of Inin the waning days of Apartheid, South Africa signed the NPT, and sinceit has restructured its military and engaged in UN peacekeeping operations in Africa.
Economic ties have done well, however, and trade has usually prevailed over political differences.
InIsrael continued to be the second-largest export market for South Africa in the Middle East, after the United Arab Emirates, and the sixth-largest regional supplier of imports to South Africa. Turkey and Saudi Arabia are also members. A History New York: George Braziller,pp. The Afrikaner pro-Nazi Ossewabrandwag [OB] or Ox-Wagon Sentinel — which claimed a membership of at leastby — established a military wing, called the Stormjaers, or Stormtroopers, that engaged in a campaign of sabotage and violence against Jews and soldiers.
ByAllied victories and the detention of several hundred activists in the OB, including future prime minister and state president B. Vorster, deflated the movement. Malan, who instituted Apartheid. A Modern History Toronto: University of Toronto Press,pp. Yale University Press,p. Unlike other sources, Thompson claims that 5, South African soldiers were killed during the Second World War and that blacks were more than a quarter of this figure.
Jonathan Ball Publishers,pp. On May 16,two days after David Ben-Gurion declared the state of Israel, the government-owned South African Broadcasting Corporation presented full radio coverage of a special Sunday service to commemorate the aforementioned event at the Wolmarans Street Synagogue in Johannesburg. Cambridge University Press,pp. Simon and Schuster,pp, In SeptemberIsrael notified South Africa that it wanted to appoint a visa officer in Johannesburg.
The vote was 37 in favor, 12 against with 9 abstentions. The last broke off relations with the Jewish state under pressure from Arab countries in June Lynne Rienner Publishers, ], pp. Chazan is a professor emeritus of political science and African studies at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and a former member of the Israeli Knesset parliament from Pantheon Books,pp.
The Baghdad Pact was signed by Turkey and Iraq on February 24, ; Great Britain acceded to the agreement just over a month later, while Pakistan and Iran joined in September and October, respectively. France was not a member as it was engaged in a bloody war from against Algerian nationalists seeking independence.
The Philosophy of the Revolution Washington, D. Public Affairs Press,p. Israel Universities Press,pp. Penguin Books,p. Knopf,pp.
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A Documentary Survey London: Oxford University Press,pp. Strauss, on August 9,in Eayrs, Commonwealth and Suez, p. Relations in Perspective Boulder, CO: Westview Press,p. British Academic Press,pp. Transaction Books,pp. Also see Michael B. Harper Collins Publishers,pp. The Authorized Biography New York: Knopf,p. The Man and the Movement New York: Sisulu was released from prison in Quartet Books,pp. University of California Press,p.
This trade is confirmed by the Amsterdam-based Shipping Research Bureau. A later work, Embargo: University of Amsterdam, relies on those statistics. Maron of Brooklyn, N. For a brief history of Armscor, which was established in and split inwhen it became a procurement company and Denel was established to continue arms research and manufacturing, see its website: He identifies other causes of Arab resentment: Tweedy's accompanying recommendations for the UN, Britain and other powers mostly went unheeded, but his description of the region's refugee tragedy retains all its relevance at a time when Arab refugees from the region's many wars have generated grave humanitarian crises, placing burdens on neighbouring states and revealing the lukewarm commitment to humanitarianism of states further afield.
In contrast to the gloomy warnings above, no immediate tensions are foreseen in the subject matter of the next article on Kuwait, which not only envisages the ascent of that small state but also the emergence of the soon to be prosperous Gulf region. Written by the historian and regional expert Elizabeth Monroe, this piece offers a penetrating insight on the opportunities and challenges facing such a state, picked up again in the later article on Qatar.
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While the Kuwait of is a far cry from the prosperous emerging city of the late twentieth century, Monroe hails the successes of its leaders and the enthusiasm of the people for purposefully converting their new-found oil wealth. She also points to the upcoming challenges: The Iraq invasion of Kuwait inleading to international intervention the following year, provided an answer.
International relations and regional crises States like Kuwait or Qatar, discussed below were evidently not key players in international relations though their roles would come to have an impact on the behaviour of other regional states, whether in the Gulf War, Iraq War or Arab uprisings.
The next two pieces reflect more directly on regional dynamics and the challenges facing external powers, and their ultimately mixed record in supplying regional order. This was a key Arab nationalist moment—one that saw the temporary union of Egypt and Syria. Issawi, an Egyptian-born economic historian, examines the challenges facing the region at the time and highlights what he views as the huge disconnect between Arab and western policies.
Issawi's advice to the West was to stop opposing nationalism, to concede its major objectives, and reduce its dependence on Arab oil, pointing to the huge untapped shale resources in the US pp. In the end, the UAR failed as much because of internal contradictions as external pressures, but his core argument is powerful nonetheless. Issawi's warnings to the West about its failure to gauge regional politics and lack of positive engagement with the Arab world may have been accurate, but his predictions of western weakness were premature, as revealed in the next article.
Rostow's take on the Middle East is that it is primarily a stage on which superpower rivalries are played out, and in that rivalry the US dominated.
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This is a straightforward realist account about the contemporary balance of power to which International Relations scholars can readily relate—one which envisages the US playing a leading role to counter Soviet expansionism. If Rostow's appreciation of the Soviet threat is overstated, his understanding of the USSR's extensive and longstanding interests in MENA is particularly convincing in the light of the actions and influence of Russia in the region today, the subject of Roy Allison's article below.
One prescription for lowering regional tensions is to address the central issue of peace between Israel and its Arab neighbours, working within the UN framework with US or NATO guarantees offering Arab states an alternative to Soviet protection pp.
Fast forward twenty years: It's a far cry from Rostow's world: Sayigh portrays this as a failure of Arab regional order p. He describes how the old Arab order—one based on Arab solidarity of the kind illustrated by Issawi, which had helped to supply a regional balance of power—is no longer in place, enabling the expansionist ambitions of Saddam Hussein p. His is also an indictment against individual Arab states, against a new generation of Arab leaders, whose selfish and divisive policies have undermined the security of states and any sense of a collective regional security system pp.
Though the s would see important steps towards addressing the longstanding conflict between Israel and the Arab states, these efforts were ultimately frustrated. Nearly two decades on there is still no sense of any functioning regional security system and no immediate prospect of developing one. Arab politics remain characterized by division and the pursuit of self-interested policies. Bush—an order with MENA at its heart. The revamped European Union was part of this afterglow, rolling out a set of policies designed to enhance its new global status and reach.
However, from the perspective ofneither the US nor the European powers—the most active exponents of the Bush vision—could claim any durable successes. The next two articles describe the frustrations and disappointments of European and US policy in the Middle East and the spaces thereby created for the rise of other actors.
The first article under this heading captures Europe's enduring Middle East dilemma and projects it into the twenty-first century. Despite a rich if complex history of engagement with the region, European powers, neither singly nor collectively, have been able to successfully implement a new set of regional policies. The article by Kristina Kausch and Richard Youngs 18 takes a critical look at European policies in the Middle East from the perspective of Obama's policy is characterized by continuity over change: In a changed regional and global environment, no longer reflective of a unipolar order, US policy is increasingly challenged by states for whom deference to the West is no longer the norm.
Gerges likens the end of America's moment in MENA to the end of Britain's moment nearly fifty years earlier; the Arab world no longer holds the Americans in awe: Whether or not one accepts the full weight of this argument—the above article was written before the Iran nuclear deal and the election of Donald Trump in —it is hard to disagree on the general discrediting of western policies, the pivoting away from MENA or on the emergence of new regional and extra-regional actors who increasingly vie for influence.
In respect of extra-regional powers, the one to note is, of course, Russia—in many ways the beneficiary of western indecision over the Syrian conflict and the prior fallout from the Libyan intervention.
A certain Iambulus, while in southern Arabia, is reported to have been captured and transported to the Horn of Africa where he was forced to sail southward following the coast of eastern Africa to the islands on the Equator where he lived for seven years.
From there he then travelled to north-west India Oldfather Another is a report by Eudoxus.
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It has also been speculated that Arabia obtained some of its spices from eastern Africa Jones ; Rackham ; Miller ; Casson This could explain why Iambulus was forced to sail to East Africa: Map 1 illustrates Iambulus' itinerary. The Roman era began with the Romans trying to break barriers established for centuries by Arabs in the Red Sea and in the Indian Ocean that hindered the Mediterraneans in their access to the Indian Ocean for trade.
The Arabs had been making much profit by selling goods, including spices of the Indian Ocean seaboards, to the Mediterraneans for exorbitant prices. Accessibility to the Indian Ocean markets by Mediterraneans would have adversely affected the economy of the Arabs. In entering the Indian Ocean, the Romans discovered a secret kept by the Arabs for a long time: The same could be done between southern Arabia and western India Journal des Africanistes 72 2 As the Romans used the trade winds for the first time to trade in Azania, they found that the Arabs had already been in East Africa.
They had been involved in trade affairs in the emporium of Rhapta Casson How long had these Arabs of the Red Sea and its interior been trading with Azania? It was noted earlier that Strabo and Pliny reported that cinnamon and cassia were found in the interior of East Africa.
The movement of Arabs to Rhapta therefore aimed to redirect goods from there to the north Indian Ocean and the Red Sea. Notice that when the Romans controlled the Red Sea-India and Azania route, they also checked to make sure that the interior route was not functioning. This was the purpose of Nero's expedition to the Marshes of the Nile, which reported back that the route had ceased to function and that it had shifted to the Red Sea Welsby ; Chami Probably, this was also the purpose of Diogenes' visit to the source of the Nile in the last part of the first century or second century AD.
The Periplus Maris Erythreai Casson reports that the Arabs who were found trading in the town of Rhapta could speak the local language and had intermarried with the Rhaptonoids. These reports suggest that the East Africans were not only trading with the Arabs but that they also had cultural links with them.
It is obvious that the Romans also wanted to control Rhapta as they did for other emporiums elsewhere in the north. Consequently, the Arabs found their trade monopoly at Rhapta threatened.
They had to find justifications for their struggle to maintain the status quo. Hence the following remark: Observe the interlacustrine-Nile route Journal des Africanistes 72 2 These sites have been found to contain remains of trade goods including beads and pottery from the Mediterranean world, the Middle East and India Chami ; Chami a, b and c.
This list adds to what was reported by the Periplus as goods imported and exported from Azania Casson Map 2 shows how the situation was in Greco-Roman times. Observe the presence of iron working cultural complexes including Limbo, Urewe and Meroe Chami Only one early 6th century document, that of Cosmas bidicopleustus, is known to have reported an interior trade route between the Axumites and East Africa Freeman-Grenville It should be noted here that the Sasanian power began in AD when the first Sasanian ruler, Ardashir, overthrew the last of the Parthians.
On their side, Ethiopians based at Axum started controlling the Red Sea from the fourth century. It is likely that while the Ethiopians used the interior route to trade with East Africa, as reported by Cosmas, the people of the Middle East may have used the Indian Ocean to access East Africa. Cosmas mentions the town called Sasu, which was the trade center of East Africa, as trading with Axumites. Sasu is reported to have been located in the interior, but near the ocean.
Gold was the main item of export. It is not known if Sasu was formerly Rhapta which had changed name. Ptolemy reported that Rhapta was located a bit to the interior Journal des Africanistes 72 2 There could have been another town emerging to the north of Rhapta which had greater connections with the Sasanian Persian Gulf. As it will be noted later, this could be Lanjuya and hence the site of Unguja Ukuu in Zanzibar.
If the historical data is not clear, one thing is obvious from the archaeological record regarding the coast of Tanzania from to AD. The EIW tradition, which was the cultural tradition of the Azanian, split into two separate sub-traditions. What is known today as TIW tradition developed in the area of the Zanzibar Channel, the island and the interior. What is called Mwangia tradition developed on the coast south of the Zanzibar Channel, with the core at the Rufiji region of the EIW tradition.
The largest known site of the former is that of Unguja Ukuu in Zanzibar Juma The sites of the TIW tradition seem to have benefited more from international trade as they have many artefacts from the northern Indian ocean, especially from Persia Chami ; Juma So far, no artefacts of external trade have been found at the Mwangia sites.
This tradition expanded to cover the Mwangia area as far south as Mozambique and as far interior as the borders of modern Tanzania. However, the Kenya and Somali coasts seem to have been little affected by the Early TIW phase as no site of this tradition dating back to before AD is presently known. The archaeology of the early phase TIW tradition has been reported elsewhere Chami Beads and glass from the north Indian Ocean also occur very frequently.