A Better Future for the Middle East

Smaller and internally more homogeneous political units may offer a brighter prospect for stability in the region than the forcible unification of decomposed Arab states.

A Syrian man holds bullets he picked from the wall of a damaged house in the town of Atareb, on the outskirts of Aleppo. AP Photo/Khalil Hamra.

A Syrian man holds bullets he picked from the wall of a damaged house in the town of Atareb, on the outskirts of Aleppo. AP Photo/Khalil Hamra.

Last Word
July 25 2016
About the author

Ofir Haivry, an Israeli historian and political theorist, is vice-president of the Herzl Institute in Jerusalem and the author of John Selden and the Western Political Tradition (Cambridge). He served as chairman of the Public Advisory Committee for Examining Israel’s Approach regarding Worldwide Communities with Affinity to the Jewish People, appointed by Israel’s ministry of Diaspora affairs.


I greatly appreciate the three responses to my essay, “The Great Arab Implosion and Its Consequences.” Although David Pryce-Jones, Martin Kramer, and Amos Yadlin come from different directions, all three raise fundamental objections to my main thesis—namely, that the Sunni Arab regional hegemony has irretrievably collapsed—as well as to my main conclusion that, rather than attempting to resurrect that hegemony, or allowing Iranian or Turkish dominance, it would be better to let the region’s various nations, sects, and tribal confederations pursue a path toward self-definition.

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More about: Foreign Policy, Middle East, Politics & Current Affairs, Sunni