Has a Golden Age of Sunni Cooperation Dawned?

The Arab Spring has damaged non-Sunnis as much as Sunnis; to the latter, it has actually brought a newfound convergence.

Saudi-backed Yemenite troops, December 12, 2015. Abdullah al-Qadry/AFP/Getty Images.

Saudi-backed Yemenite troops, December 12, 2015. Abdullah al-Qadry/AFP/Getty Images.

Response
July 21 2016
About the author

Amos Yadlin served as Israel’s chief of defense intelligence and then, from 2011-2021, as executive director of the Institute for National Security Studies (INSS) in Tel Aviv.

Beginning in 2011 with the Arab Spring, the Middle East—as Ofir Haivry correctly observes—has undergone irreversible changes. In his judgment, these events marked “the crumbling of a century-old Sunni Arab regional order.” But this view ignores both the region’s history and its current trends. In fact, there never was a single Sunni Arab order; rather, there were numerous competing Sunni orbits. Nor has the Arab Spring done greater damage to Sunni Arab states than to non-Sunni ones (or to those affiliated with Iran). If anything, the current unrest has molded today’s Sunnis into a more unified bloc in the effort to maintain regional stability.

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More about: Arab Spring, Egypt, Middle East, Politics & Current Affairs, Saudi Arabia