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Between the crescent and the star: British policy in the Israeli-Palestinian arena in the wake of 9/11

Greene, T.B.; (2011) Between the crescent and the star: British policy in the Israeli-Palestinian arena in the wake of 9/11. Doctoral thesis, UCL (University College London).

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Abstract

The 9/11 attacks brought greater urgency to the debate within Europe and the United States over the role of Western foreign policies in contributing to hostile feeling towards the West among Muslims. In analysing different American policy responses to political Islam prior to 9/11, Fawaz Gerges provided a framework by identifying two broad categories. The first is confrontationalist and the second is accommodationist. Confrontationalists tend to see Israel as an ally in containing Islamism as an anti-Western threat. Accommodationists reject the idea of a unified Islamist threat, and tend to see the Israeli-Palestinian issue as a grievance which exacerbates tensions between Islam and the West. This thesis explores this debate in the British context. It looks specifically at the impact of 9/11 and the associated developments in international affairs on the Blair government's policy in the Israeli-Palestinian arena. It builds on existing accounts by analysing interviews with key personnel in the Blair government, conducted by the author, as well as official records, statements and documents. It also examines the impact of the domestic counter-radicalisation agenda on policy making in the Israeli-Palestinian arena, drawing on previously unpublished material released to the author under the Freedom of Information Act. It is argued that the heightened awareness of the challenge of Islamism created a new situation, whereby the Israeli-Palestinian arena became linked by policy makers to Britain's national security. Applying the accommodationist-confrontationalist distinction to the UK context clarifies the difference in view between Blair and others in his party, and in the government, over the role played by the Israeli-Palestinian issue in the relationship between Islam and the West. Sections of the Labour party and the Foreign Office tended towards the accommodationist approach. Blair's position, however, became increasingly confrontationalist over time, leading to major rifts within government.

Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Title:Between the crescent and the star: British policy in the Israeli-Palestinian arena in the wake of 9/11
Language:English
Additional information:Permission for digitisation not received
UCL classification:UCL > School of Arts and Social Sciences > Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Hebrew and Jewish Studies

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