"We are willing to pay for settlements but not for health care"

Gidon Eshet on the Economic Crisis

by Joel Beinin
published in MER157

One key to understanding how the Israeli economy (malfunctions is that the Histadrut (The General Federation of Workers in Israel; up to 1965 the “Jewish Workers in Israel”) was never simply a trade union.

Gulf Juggernaut

by Karen Pfeifer
published in MER263

Adam Hanieh, Capitalism and Class in the Gulf Arab States (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2011).

Economic Impact of the Crisis in Egypt

by Marsha Pripstein Posusney
published in MER168

Egypt was facing a severe foreign exchange shortage when the Gulf crisis broke out. Its debt arrears were piling up and it was finding it more and more difficult to obtain new loans. The Gulf crisis threatens to make this situation even worse. Here’s how:

Remittances sent home by some 1 million Egyptian workers in the Gulf amounted to at least $4.25 billion in 1989. About half of these workers have returned home, causing an estimated annual loss of $2.4 billion.

Suez Canal tolls were $1.38 billion in 1989. The government expects a 10-20 percent drop over a year due to the loss of Iraqi and Kuwaiti oil tanker traffic and the decline in shipments of goods to those two countries.

Iraq Since 1986: The Strengthening of Saddam

by Marion Farouk-Sluglett , Peter Sluglett
published in MER167

In June 1986, we wrote that the situation in which Iraq found itself “underlines the vital need for the establishment of democracy...however broadly this may be defined.” Four years later, this plea has become more urgent; the regime has become even more powerful and repressive and has now extended its rule to Kuwait, initiating a crisis whose possible consequences for the region, if not the world, are fearful to contemplate.

As If There Is No Occupation

The Limits of Palestinian Authority Strategy

by Nu'man Kanafani | published September 22, 2011

For many months, the streets of downtown Ramallah, seat of the Palestinian Authority (PA), have literally been heaps of earth. Workers have labored intensively to replace water and sewage pipes, repave roads, lay beautiful carved stones at roadsides and install thick chains along the edges of sidewalks in order to better separate pedestrian and automotive traffic. Shopkeepers have been told to reduce the size of their storefront signs; specially designed electricity poles jut skyward. Not every town resident is impressed. As they navigate the mounds of dirt, cynics joke: “The PA is covering the road to self-determination in asphalt.” “We have the sewers; all that’s left is the sovereignty.” “The streets of Ramallah are paved with white stones -- who needs Jerusalem?”

Kuran, The Long Divergence

by Roger Owen
published in MER260

Timur Kuran, The Long Divergence: How Islamic Law Held Back the Middle East (Princeton, 2011).

Readers looking at the title of Timur Kuran’s new book might be forgiven for thinking it had come from some pre-Orientalism time warp where it was still possible to make essentialist generalizations about Islamic law and Middle Eastern backwardness. And they would be mostly correct.

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A Tale of Two Families

Change in North Yemen, 1977-1989

by Sheila Carapico , Cynthia Myntti
published in MER170

Virtually every aspect of life in North Yemen has changed dramatically since 1977, including those aspects of Yemeni society which represent continuity with the past: tribalism, rural life and use of qat. [1] The driving force for change has been economic. By 1975, Yemen was caught up in the dramatic developments that affected all Arab countries. Rising international oil prices generated enormous surpluses in the producing countries, enabling them to initiate ambitious development plans and forcing them to import workers.

On the Way to Market

Economic Liberalization and Iraq's Invasion of Kuwait

by Kiren Aziz Chaudhry
published in MER170