The Relationship Between the West and the Middle East: Recipe for a Better Future

Nazmi Al-Shalabi, Raja Al-Khalili, Kifah Umari, Marwan Obeidat


It is claimed that the relationship between the Middle East and the West (the USA included) has been marked by intervention, stereotyping, and misunderstanding, and that it has been, unfortunately, changing for the worse because of the double standards employed by the West and the unconditional support for Israel. Despite this situation, a better relationship can exist if Westerners go beyond stereotypes, adopt a balanced policy in the Middle East, and treat Arabs and Muslims as peers. The discussion demonstrates that the West-Middle East relationship has been lacking balance, and, thus, it has been bringing about tension and violence, impeding understanding, furthering separation, fuelling mistrust, and thwarting any attempt at achieving rapport. It also shows that the way to ease tension is by Westerners’ tolerating diversity, renouncing superiority, reconsidering their double standards, and recognizing Arabs and Muslims as central parts of the social fabric. It has been shown that the Western policy in the Middle East has been biased, and that Westerners’ recognizing Middle Easterners as they are,adopting a balanced policy, and tolerating diversity constitute a recipe for a better future relationship.

Key words: Stereotyping; Double standards; Hypocrisy; Rapprochement; Policy; Mistrust; Confrontation; Bias; Violence; Bitterness


Stereotyping; Double standards; Hypocrisy; Rapprochement; Policy; Mistrust; Confrontation; Bias; Violence; Bitterness



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