Operation Protective Edge and a Fragile Regional Arena
INSS Insight No. 578
Operation Protective Edge and the talks that are supposed to end it have brought the political and ideological fault lines in the Middle East into sharp relief. The mediation attempts demonstrate the extent to which the countries involved in the ceasefire negotiations have different political agendas, as well as opposing ideologies and interests. While firmly held ideologies and weighty interests are not an obstacle per se to success in mediation, it seems that they are complicating the current efforts of the regional players as they attempt to achieve a ceasefire. Indeed, the upheavals in the Arab world of recent years have seriously eroded its ability to come together, even on an issue where in the past consensus was the easiest to achieve – criticism of Israel in the context of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Operation Protective Edge has not only highlighted the rifts in the Muslim world, but appears to have aggravated them further.