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Title: OPEC and the Arab-Israeli conflict
Author: Erakat, Sa'eb Mohammed
ISNI:       0000 0001 3448 5788
Awarding Body: University of Bradford
Current Institution: University of Bradford
Date of Award: 1983
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Prior to the Second World War, oil fields of the Middle East were relevant primarily to the governments and oil companies of Europe. In more recent years, the United States government and oil companies have been more significant. While OPEC originated and developed in strength in partial response to the-control of oil production by intefnational companies, it was an organisation concerned primarily with economic rather than political relationships, especially in relation to the Arab-Israeli conflict, where co-ordinated action was and is largely prevented by the diverse political nature of the membership. External to OPEC, efforts to use oil supplies as a political instrument by Iran and Egypt in the 1950s were unsuccessful but served to increase the concern of western governments with security of supply, a concept relevant to relations between those governments and the Middle East for several decades. Security of supply has formed a motivating force in attitudes to Zionism and the development of the State of Israel. Within OPEC, the period 1960-1980 witnessed considerable efforts by Israel and by Palestinian organisations to influence member states as a major part of their foreign policy orientations. There is little evidence supporting the idea that non-Arab member states of OPEC changed their attitudes to the Arab-Israeli conflict in any fundamental way. While the OPEC group of nations had considerable influence on international attitudes in the 1970s, and while this influence effectively changed the orientation of some western governments towards the Arab-Israeli conflict, this was not the result of any co-ordinated action by OPEC as a whole, and was secondary to the economic effects of OPEC's actions. The wealth accruing to Middle East countries has, in some cases, resulted in increased financial commitments to Palestinian territory under occupation by Israel, and this has certainly been significant in the context of the Arab-Israeli conflict. Thus the effect of the actions of OPEC on the Arab-Israeli conflict has been, at most, indirect and unintended by the organisation as a whole.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Political science