1983 年 1983 巻 73 号 p. 1-8,L5
This special issue is devoted to the study of not only political changes in the Middle East but also to the implications of these changes in regard to the global international system of the 1970s. We can observe that through the 1970s, there developed a growing interdependence between the Middle East, the global system as a whole and other regional systems. This interdependence has had far-reaching effects on other regions. In retrospect, the Third Arab-Israeli War of 1967 caused the following political changes in the Middle East in the 1970s:
(1) The change of power in the Arab World
As a result of the War, the power balance of the Arab World changed radically in favour of the conservative and oil producing regimes which came to aid the defeated hardliners. Nasser's Pan-Arabism disappeared from the Arad political scene. Each Arab state chose her foreign policy based on her geopolitical position and the national interest. This has split the Arab World and led to multipolarization.
(2) The re-emergence of the Palestinian liberation movement
In the aftermath of the Six Day War, the Palestinians started their armed struggle against the Israeli forces. The PLO was reborn with Arafat as its chairman. The Palestine question has come to international recognition as a fundamental element in the Middle East conflict.
(3) The politicization of oil
The oil producing states enhanced their position vis-à-vis the international oil companies and the consuming states in the 1970s. Arab states exploited their oil resources as a political weapon for settling the Arab-Israeli conflict in favour of their cause in 1973.
(4) The activation of Islam as a political force
In August 1969 arson caused damage to the al-Aqsa mosque, Islam's holy place in Jerusalem under Israeli occupation. This matter was taken up in the first Islamic Summit the following month. Furthermore, the psychological impact upon the Muslims caused by Israeli liberation of Jerusalem and the socio-cultural impact resulting from the rapid modernization of the oil producing states have made domestic politics more fluid, to the extent that a crisis of identity has occurred.
(5) Israel as a regional power
Israel's survival is no more in jeopardy. With security unchallenged and nationalistic sentiments heightened, Israel has been more concerned about the internal developments of neighbouring Arab states. This can be seen, for example, by Israel's strong reaction to Jordan's crisis of 1970, Lebanon's civil war after 1975, and the arms build-up of Arab neighbours.
In the global international system, both the United States and the Soviet Union, which began putting the Middle East under their control after World War II, are steadily on the decline. In the late 1960s, when both powers reached an impasse in their military-economic positions, the global international system was transformed in the direction of multipolarization as a consequence of the loosening of ties in their own camps. The above-mentioned phenomena of the Middle East from 1967 onwards, created a major impact in the global system.
The October War of 1973 is an example. During the War the Arab oil producing countries imposed the “oil weapon” on the industrial countries urging pro-Arab policy statements. This accelerated the multipolarization of the global system. The Western countries, which depended increasingly on Arab oil, differed sharply on how to formulate policies on such issues as oil and Palestine in the face of Arab blackmail. The United States could no longer dictate to the EC and Japan concerning Middle East issues. Moreover, in the early 1980s, the United States and the Soviet Union respectively lost military prestige in Iran and Afghanistan. In Iran angry Iranians took the American Embassy staff hostage. But the United States could do nothing for more than a year with the exception of one attempted rescue operation.