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Which New Middle East?

BERLIN – Regardless of whether democratization in the “new Middle East” succeeds or authoritarian forms of government prevail once again, one fundamental change has already become clear: no one will be able to govern without taking into account domestic public opinion.

This change will shift the foreign-policy parameters of the Middle East conflict (understood as both an Israeli-Palestinian conflict and as a conflict between Israelis and Arabs more generally). Despite wars in Lebanon and Gaza, and the intifadas in the occupied West Bank, these parameters have proven surprisingly stable for decades, anchored by the peace agreements with Egypt and Jordan and the Oslo accords with the Palestinians.