中東の戦後70年

2018年05月20日

Home Page: OCIN INITIATIVE

(Japanese Version)

(Arabic Version)

(Table of contents)

By Areha Kazuya

E-mail: areha_kazuya@jcom.home.ne.jp

 

Chapter 4: War and Peace in The Middle East

 

4-1(29) Brief tranquility: Peace between Israel and Egypt

 

The Yom Kippur (Ramadan) War ended on October 25, 1973. It was not as expected by Sadat who expected favorable cease-fire conditions on the Arab side with the victory in early stage. In any case a momentum of reconciliation was formed between Egypt and Israel.

 

Egypt and Israel had fought four times during the quarter century since the First Arab-Israeli War in 1948. Both countries were totally exhausted. War weariness mood had prevailed among the people. It was not only in the two parties that were tired with the wars in the Middle East. The United States, Israel's largest asylum, was besieged by President Nixon's international currency crisis in 1971 (Nixon shock). On the diplomatic front US could not escape from the muddy Vietnam War. US citizens were distressed deeply. The European countries that had to be taken a load of atonement for Jewish people after World War II bored the Israel’s arrogant behavior and had thought in the depth of their heart that it was enough. The mood of anti-Israel government began prevailing. Of course, it didn’t mean that Western people backed up Arabs or Muslims.

 

In Asia, most of countries had no deep concern and had pretended no relations with Middle East conflict. But when the Arab oil-producing countries forced the oil embargo in Ramadan War in 1973, Asian countries, especially Japan, were called up roughly from peaceful dream and affected heavily, They tried to get favor of Arab oil-producing countries.

 

The moment of avoidance of war was also the very thing that realist Sadat hoped. Some of other Arab leaders still kept crying out the reckless cheer calling "Beat down Israel to the Mediterranean!", But the Arab ordinary citizens felt it was a nonsense pipe dream. President Anwar Sadat shared the same feeling with ordinary citizens. An excellent army officer used to look at the reality calmly. Just a mere leader who was heated by his own speech would be defeated someday. It was acceptable that only leader himself would step down from the stage. But it would be the tragedy that thousands of soldiers had to die to make one hero. In this regard, Sadat was a wise man.

 

29キャンプデービッド会談
Sadat turned his stance towards the United States after the Ramadan War. His stance was contrasted with his predecessor Gamal Nasser who had been a close friend with the USSR. In the US, Henry Kissinger, Advisor for National Security and later Secretary of State, deployed Detente foreign policy with Nixon and the subsequent President Gerald Ford Jr. By Détente policy the reconciliation between the US and China was realized and the Vietnam war was over. Momentum for the peace was born all over the world. Sadat attempted to improve relationship with Israel. In 1977 he suddenly visited Israel. In 1978 the Democratic idealist James Carter took office as US President. Peace between Egypt and Israel has become real according to the change of US regime from the pro-Israel Republican Party to the liberal Democratic Party. President Carter invited two leaders of Egypt and Israel to Camp David in Washington in 1978. Both leaders agreed to sign a historical peace treaty. Accordingly, the Sinai Peninsula, which Israel occupied since the Six-Day War, was returned to Egypt.

 

In 1978, Egyptian President Anwar Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menahem Beguin were honored to receive the Nobel Peace Prize as the culmination of these activities. Since the Nobel Peace Prize started in 1901, Sadat was the first Arab recipient.

 

Taking these facts into consideration, there might be no question that Sadat would be regarded as a peace maker of Egypt and the Arab world, even though he was not a hero in any meanings. But the reality was quite the opposite. Egypt’s peace treaty with Israel has been highly appreciated by countries other than the Arab world. Among the Arab countries, however, his policy was taken as betrayal against Palestinian fellows. Sadat was isolated both at home and abroad. Military politicians like Sadat could be hero only by winning war. However, if the war was over under the condition of uncertainty whether winning or losing, and cease-fire was brought by diplomatic skill, the ordinary citizens blamed Sadat as a "traitor".

 

There was another miscalculation thereafter. In 1979, the Islamic Revolution occurred in Iran. President Sadat accepted the exile of Muhammad Reza Shah Pahlavi of Iran on humanitarian consideration. However, the Shah trampled down Sadat's favor and skipped from Cairo to the United States. Egyptian people fiercely rebelled against this incident. They directed their condemnation to Sadat who had brought peace to the Middle East and got back the Sinai Peninsula. People were quite volatile.

 

In October 1981, when President Sadat has been on inspection tour of the military parade in commemoration of the Ramadan War, he was assassinated by squad of Egyptian army.

 

 

(To be continued ----)



drecom_ocin_japan at 09:36コメント(0) 

2018年05月13日

Home Page: OCIN INITIATIVE

(Japanese Version)

(Arabic Version)

(Table of contents)

By Areha Kazuya

E-mail: areha_kazuya@jcom.home.ne.jp

Chapter 4: War and Peace in The Middle East

 

4-8(36) East of Nakba(great catastrophe)

The Arab countries have been disastrously defeated by Israel in the First Arab Israeli War in which Israel aimed for Independence. That was the reason why Arab countries called this war "Nakba (Great Disaster)" and Israel called the War of Independence. The greatest victim was the Arab-Palestinians who lived in Palestine. Approximately 750,000 Jews flowed from all over the world into Palestine after the war. As a result, the same number of Arab-Palestinians were pushed out of the country and became refugees. More Palestinian refugees came in the later Arab-Israeli wars. The number of refugees reached approximately ten million in total. Most of them evacuated to the east neighboring country - Jordan. Jordan was "the east of Nakba".

 

Jordan, however, was the poor country from its foundation. Palestinian refugees had a difficult time in Jordan. Many of them had to migrate to the Gulf countries such as Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, where the oil boom began. They moved from the land of Nakba in Palestine to Jordan and thereafter toward to the east again. This time, Gulf countries became “the east of Nakba”. Palestinian refugees were the diligent workforce in the Gulf oil-producing countries. Palestinians were the same Arabs with inhabitants in the Gulf countries. They could easily communicate by speaking Arabic language. They believed the same religion of Islam as the same Sunni sect. The Saudis and Kuwaitis appreciated the excellent knowledge of the Palestinians.

 

In the Gulf countries, they called migrants coming from abroad as "guest workers" and called themselves as "host countries". Palestinian migrants who spoke Arabic and worshiped together at the mosque on Friday were the best "guest workers" for “host countries”. However, do not be misled by the softness of the word "guest". Palestinians coming to Gulf countries in search for getting a piece of oil wealth were merely migrant workers. Palestinians were given cold shoulder. Inhabitants in the Gulf countries were blind to own faults and abused the Palestinians. Children imitate their parents and teased Palestinian children irrationally.

 

Palestinians, however, had to endure remained silent, otherwise they might lose good salary which was pretty high than their home country. Their status was unstable. The employment contract was depended on the temper of their lords. The lords were easily dismissed migrants and expelled them. Migrants were exactly modern slavery.

 

It is necessary to point out that migrants are different from immigrants. Immigrants are those who emigrated from other countries and acquired the citizenship of that country. Although there might be social discrimination, immigrants have the same political rights and the right of social security same as the original citizens. But migrant “guest” workers are not given such a right.

 

The Palestinians were obviously more educated, experienced and diligent than the Kuwaitis or Saudis. But under the modern slavery system of migrant workers, they had to endure humiliation and continue their duties. They sent the most of their salary to their relatives at home. Someday in the future when they would retire and return to home, it might be their dream to build an apartment and become a landlord, or to open a small shop and become the owner of self-employed business.

 

Palestinians were also enthusiastic about giving university education on children. As refugees living in other countries it was necessary to have excellent knowledge and expertise. The Shatilas and Al-Yassins who were Palestine refugees from Turkam had been working in Kuwait as teacher or doctor, respectively. They were keen on education more than others. The second son of the Shatillas was sent to the United States for studying though their household spending was painful. The eldest son of the Shatillas who had been working at an oil company in Saudi Arabia handed over a part of his salary to his father to support his brother's tuition. The Shatilas expected that their young son got citizenship of the United States after graduating university. Furthermore, the family had hidden agenda that if something happened in the Middle East they would rely on him and migrate to the United States.

 

Father himself did not lose hope to return to Turkam. He had a dream to open a private school in his hometown and spend the rest of his life to teach Palestine children. When he retired a teacher in the late 1970s, he left Kuwait and returned to Jordan. Around the same time Al-Yassin also sent his daughter Rania to American University in Cairo and the family returned to Jordan. He had a doctor's license, so he decided to settle permanent residence in Jordan and changed their nationality from Palestine to Jordan.

 

When the "Black September" incident took place in 1970, the PLO, Palestine Liberation Organization, moved its headquarter to Beirut, Lebanon. Jordan restored a peaceful condition under King Hussein. The Palestinians who emigrated to the Gulf countries returned to Jordan with various expectations in mind. Once the Palestinians had moved eastward from the land of "Nakba" to Jordan and again settled in Gulf countries in eastward. This time they moved westward and back to Jordan. Most of them waited for the day when they could return to Palestine.

 

(To be continued ----)



drecom_ocin_japan at 11:21コメント(0) 

2018年05月06日

Home Page: OCIN INITIATIVE

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(Table of contents)

 

By Areha Kazuya

E-mail: areha_kazuya@jcom.home.ne.jp

 

Chapter 3: The grace of Allah – Oil boom

3-5(27) Yom Kippur War and Oil shock(1) Resourceful General Anwar Sadat27サダト

Gamal Abdel Nasser who was defeated by Israel in Six-Day War in 1967 passed away by heart attack as incumbent President in 1970. Anwar Sadat, the vice president was the successor. Sadat was an ally of Nasser as a member of the Association of Free Officers who had overthrown King Faruq I. However, compared to Nasser being honored as a charismatic leader from Egyptian citizens and hero of the Arab countries, Sadat was always behind Nasser. People looked down Sadat who was promoted to the President by chance. Sadat was presumed as a short relief until someone else was elected president. But it became clear shortly that he was an excellent military strategist with forethought and at the same time a realistic politician.

 

Arab countries who had lost common goals after the Six-Day War, they devoted in internal conflicts. Immediately after the war, communist regime was established in Southern Yemen supported by USSR in November 1967. The bloodless coup followed in Iraq in 1968. In Libya, Colonel Muammar Gaddafi grabbed the power falling down the dynasty in 1969. In September 1970, Jordanian government and the PLO fought fiercely and the PLO was deported to Beirut in Lebanon (Black September). In addition, coup d'etat occurred in Syria and Fafiz al-Assad was appointed as president in next January.

 

In such circumstance, President Sadat looked for the chance of counterattack against Israel carefully. At first he expelled the USSR military advisory group. The USSR, which penetrated deeply into Egyptian organizations during the Nasser era, aimed to export the socialist revolution to the Arab countries. It was realized by the independence of Marxist South Yemen. But the socialist ideology did not take root among Arab countries. Before having been penetrated by socialist ideology, the Arab world had already been caught up by the bond of "blood" like a tribe or ethnic group and the bond of "religion" of Islam. There was little room for "ideology" to be acquired by learning after berth. It seems that it was impossible for Arabs to implant socialist ideology.

 

There was another reason why Sadat tried to dilute the shadow of the USSR. He was eager to modernize the armament of the Egyptian army with American weapons. By using USSR weapons, they could not compete with Israel at all. Sadat tried to approach the United States by expelling the USSR military advisory group. For the military personnel it was the greatest mission to win the war. Therefore, their way of thinking was more rational than non-military personnel.

 

Sadat thought the plan to scarce Israel in a rational and precise manner. The plan was to counterplot the enemy and terminate war within a short period of time. Israel, being surrounded in every corner of borders by enemies, stayed on its guard in any time. It was clear that once the war began and continued long there was no chance for Arab to win.

 

Sadat first took feint attack campaign to cheat Israel. When Egypt showed a swing of attacks, Israel quickly mobilized all the citizens. This was merely a show and Israel was stepped on in vain. This operation was carried out twice. The war weariness mood was born in Israel. In addition, Israeli citizens who had been winning the battlefield in the former wars had a sense of self-conceit and carelessness.

 

In 1973, Sadat called Syria in secret and decided to do a surprise attack on October 6. There were two major religious meanings on that day. First, this day was "Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement)" which was the most sacred day for Jewish. Second, it was also the sacred "Ramadan (Fasting)" for Muslims.  Mossad, the most famous Israeli intelligence agency in the world, did not anticipated at all.

 

On October 6, 1973, the battle began at two frontiers of Egypt and Syria. This war was called the Yom Kippur War in Western countries, and in the Arab world it was called Ramadan War. It was a religious war between Islam and Judaism. There had been four wars between Israel and Arabs during 1948 and 1973. The first Arab Israeli War in 1948 was the "Israel Revolutionary War". The second war in 1956 was the "Suez War", and the third war in 1967 was "Six-Day War". The last war in 1973 was the first time to bring out the religious meaning. It was important both for the Arab and Israel side to remind the religious belief respectively. Especially the Israelis who faced the surprise attack on the day of Yom Kippur seemed to have been enough to inspire the citizens. It was similar to the surprise attack to Pearl Harbor on Hawaii Islands in USA by Japanese army. US President inspired citizens saying "Remember Pearl Harbor !".

 

The joint Egypt-Syrian army force of the surprise attack was irresistible success so far. But Sadat understood that predominance by Arab side would be over sooner or later. That's why he made another strategy. It was to involve the Arab oil producing countries and to use their oil as a weapon against the consuming countries in Europe, the United States and Asia. It was also the strategy to drive a wedge between Israel and the West.

 

(To be continued ----)



drecom_ocin_japan at 10:54コメント(0) 

2018年04月29日

Home Page: OCIN INITIATIVE

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By Areha Kazuya

E-mail: areha_kazuya@jcom.home.ne.jp

 

Chapter 3: The grace of Allah – Oil boom

3-4(26) Searching for wealth – Migrants rushing into Gulf countries

 26出稼ぎ

In the 1960s oil consumption was rapidly increased, resulting in oil development rush in oil-producing countries in the Middle East. According to the OPEC data, oil production in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Iraq during 1960 and 1970 increased as follows: In Saudi Arabia its production was increased 2.9times from 1.3 million B/D in 1960 to 3.8 million B/D in 1970, in Kuwait it was increased 1.8 times from 1.7 million B/D to 3 million B/D, and in Iraq, increased 1.8 times from 950,000 B/D in 1960 to 1.55 million B/D in 1970 respectively.

 

Increase of the production volume meant the increase of state revenues. The coffers of each country became abruptly enriched. The rulers of the countries put the money in their wallet and poured it into their families, but oil money was too much abundant to consume by themselves. The money has been used for the modernization of their countries including infrastructure development, education and medical improvement. Before the discovery of oil, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait were extremely poor. It was a pre-modern society where education and medical care were not existed at all. But both countries began to be modernized.

 

By money, it was not difficult to construct infrastructure such as buildings, roads, bridges, harbors and the like. They asked the European consultant to design the building, ordered the construction works to the companies in Turkey and Egypt, and brought the cheap labor from India and Pakistan. The same was for schools and hospitals. The necessary teaching materials or medical equipment also imported from foreign countries paying by oil dollars.

 

Social capital was able to be prepared by money. The problem was human resources. Human resources such as school teachers or hospital doctors were inevitable. In Saudi Arabia and Kuwait there were too few teachers and doctors to operate schools and hospitals. Even in Iraq the absolute numbers of teachers and doctors were insufficient due to the rapid increase of needs.

 

It was essential that teachers and doctors, who are important to communicate with students or patients, could speak Arabic. Arabic speaking talents were required not only in the fields like education and healthcare, but also in business field where the boom also began along with economic development.  Saudis and Kuwaitis, however, could not keep the books nor handle cash register. Supply source of manpower were from Egyptians, Palestinians, Lebanese and Jordanians. Oil producing countries had the huge demand on manpower. On the other hand, there were many job-seekers in non-oil producing countries. The demand and supply of both parties matched each other. The job-seekers rushed to the Gulf oil-producing countries like Iraq, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia.

 

As mentioned before, Palestinian refugee teacher Shatilas moved to Kuwait in 1956 with his son Amin. The family of Zahra was escaped from Elat in Israel to the Jordanian town Aqaba in the same year. In 1963, Zahra was sent to Kuwait when he was only 15 years old because the life in Jordan was not easy at all. He became a clerk of a microscopic shop.

 

Kuwait accepted large numbers of Palestinians under the humanitarian principle to support refugees. However, the Kuwaiti people did not sympathize with refugees at all, They abused Palestinians as a labor force working with cheap wages. It was like a modern slavery. Kuwaiti people who moved to flourishing urban area from shabby tent life in desert was illiterate and barbarous. They treated the migrant Palestinians who came to Kuwait in search for wealth with cruel and tyrannical behavior. Zahra stood still and remitted most of his cheap salary to his family in Jordan. In the same year,  Khatib, the son of merchant in Amman, came to work in Iraq when he was 24 years old with the knowledge of accounting learned in his family business. He had similar experience as that of Zahra.

 

At that time, Japanese companies which started developing oil in the neutral zone of Kuwait and Saudi Arabia also needed manpower. The company advertised for recruitment several times. Amin Shatila was adopted in the first recruitment in 1961, and then Zahra in 1968. Both were Palestinian refugees, but the Amin Shatila’s nationality in the application documents remained as Palestine, and the nationality of Zahra was changed to Jordan. As Amin's father was proud of being a Palestinian, he did not change the nationality. He dreamed one day to return to his home town Tulkarm and work as teacher again.  Meanwhile, the Zahra’s family realized that it was no longer possible to regain farmland in hometown. They changed their nationality to Jordan to make it even more advantageous to get a job. They were called Palestinian Jordanian since then.

 

Khatib, Jordanian national, also applied to Arabian Oil Company. Petroleum companies in the Middle East had good reputation. Its salaries and social status was better than any other companies. When Khatib sent a letter to the parents in Amman that he changed jobs to oil companies, they were very much appreciated. In the meantime, his father had felt uncomfortable a little bit because the said company was unfamiliar. But his father took into consideration that both Arab and Japan had been trampled on by the Western countries after the World War II, and then Japan revived from the ruins like a phoenix. The parents felt sympathy to Japan, its company and its people.

 

Led by destiny three Arabs settled in a small town on the Persian Gulf Coast. They were one Palestinian who believed in the reconstruction of homeland, one Palestinian Jordanian who changed the nationality for new life, and one Jordanian who had dream of a prosperous future. They worked together as employees in the same office of a Japanese oil company.

 

 

(To be continued ----)



drecom_ocin_japan at 08:44コメント(0) 

2018年04月22日

Home Page: OCIN INITIATIVE

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By Areha Kazuya

E-mail: areha_kazuya@jcom.home.ne.jp

 

Chapter 3: The grace of Allah – Oil boom

3-3(25)  Saudi Arabia has emerged on the front stage of history

25アラビア半島
 

Saudi Arabia is the monarchy state of the Arabian Peninsula dominated by the Saud family. "Saudi Arabia" means "Arabia of the Saud family". Saudi Arabia was a relatively new nation state established in 1932 by Abdul Aziz Al-Saud, who was the head of the Saud family living in the desert ‘Sahar an-Nafud’ in the central part of the Arabian Peninsula.

 

In the Arabian Peninsula until then, there were Islamic Holy City Makkah and Madinah in the western region alongside of Red Sea coast and in the eastern region there were small

villages flourished in trade spreading on the coast of Persian Gulf. They were ruled by Ottoman Empire. Inland desert areas where living only nomads Bedouin was out of the scope of interest of Ottoman Empire.

 

The thing moved when the British Empire clashed with Ottoman Empire. It was the opening of the Suez Canal in 1871. Through Suez Canal, the British Empire has greatly improved access to colonies scattered in the Indian subcontinent and Southeast Asia. It resulted the confrontation with the regional power Ottoman Empire. When the two empires fought each other in the World War I, UK made allied with Bedouin in the Peninsula. In addition, discovering of the Dammam oil field in 1940, Saudi Arabia has emerged on the front stage of history. Giant oil fields like Ghawar and Safania were discovered soon in the onshore and offshore. These findings guaranteed the future of Saudi Arabia as the world energy power.

 

Four American oil companies consisting of Socal and Texaco (later merged into Chevron) and Esso and Mobil (later also merged into ExxonMobil) found the oil in Saudi Arabia. But due to World War II, full scale development and production did not start until end of the war. Immediately after the Yalta Conference US President Roosevelt met the King Abdul Aziz (See Prolog 1. "Summit at Great Bitter Lake of The Suez Canal "). It was shown that oil was an important factor to get the hegemony of postwar world.

 

At that time, however, Abdul Aziz Al-Saud, the first king of Saudi Arabia and his son Saud bin Abdulaziz, the second king were unaware of the true value of petroleum. They were satisfied only with the concession fees paid by US oil companies. They overlooked the fact that the companies pocketed the oil wealth many times bigger than their wallets. Concession fees were enough to enrich the king and his family. It was not necessary for the king to distribute oil wealth to the ordinary citizens. Especially King Saud wasted lots of money for his extravagant life and put the state finance in crisis.

 

In 1964, Saud was abdicated by force and his brother wise Faisal reigned to the third king. King Faisal tackled modernization of infrastructure such as roads, harbors, urban planning, education and medical treatment in order to change Saudi Arabia into a modern state. Around this time, the world economy began to follow the path of post-war reconstruction era. The consumption of petroleum increased rapidly as essential energy resource. The power of oil producing countries has increased.

 

King Faisal realized the necessity to increase the oil revenue as much as possible which was the only financial resources. He made the confident Oil Minister, Ahmad Zaki Yamani to negotiate with oil companies. Negotiations with Seven Sisters were impossible by Saudi Arabia alone. Yamani who got a degree in law from Harvard University negotiated with oil companies as the centerpiece of OPEC. At the beginning Seven Sisters paid no attention for the demands of oil producing countries. Negotiations on revision of the contract terms was extremely difficult. But through tough negotiations, OPEC could change the concession fee into the cost at General Meeting in Jakarta in 1964. And then at General Meeting in Kuwait in 1966, OPEC set the tax base as the posted price. OPEC has steadily got the fruits.

 

Saudi Arabia promoted another strategy in addition to direct negotiations with Seven Sisters. It was to give the concession of undeveloped fields directory to oil company other than Seven Sisters. It might be the oil company of consuming countries who needed large amount of oil. Almost all of the fields had been occupied by US-based Seven Sisters. Only one undeveloped field remained. It was spreading in the Neutral Zone between Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. Burgan oil field was already in production in Kuwait. And in Saudi Arabia, there were also operating world largest Ghawar onshore oil field and Safaniya offshore oil field respectively. Sandwiched between them, the possibility of finding oil in the Neutral Zone was extremely high.

 

It was Japan that came forward the development of the offshore field. Entrepreneurial spiritful Taro Yamashita asked for prominent businessmen Taizo Ishizaka and Ataru Kobayashi as co-founders. In 1958 he acquired the concession of oil development. Arabian Oil Company was established. The company built production facilities in Khafji on the Persian Gulf coast, and two years later hit the oil successfully.

 

In order to operate the production facilities, it was necessary not only construction workers, but also a large number of local staff such as clerks, engineers, etc. The company widely recruited Arabs. Amin Shatila, who was the eldest son of the Palestinian family migrated from Jordan to Kuwait was one of the newly recruited staff by the company. He was graduated from college and was a young man of 24 years old. Not only the Shatila’s family, most of Palestinians who were swept away from their homeland moved to oil-booming Gulf countries like Kuwait, Iraq and Saudi Arabia. Palestinians were very much confident that education was the only one inheritance for their children. They were enthusiastic about education. Amin applied for job of Arabian Oil Company and joined in 1961. He moved to Khafji as a bachelor apart from his family in Kuwait.

 

(To be continued ----)



drecom_ocin_japan at 09:35コメント(0) 
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