Naseer H. Aruri (7 January 1934–10 February 2015) was an internationally recognized and renowned scholar, activist and expert on Middle East politics, US foreign policy in the Middle East and human rights. He was Chancellor Professor (Emeritus) of Political Science, having served on the faculty of the University of Massachusetts (UMASS) – Dartmouth from 1965 to 1998. In 1993, he received the College of Arts and Sciences ‘Distinguished Research Award'. His papers have been preserved and are on display at the Claire T. Carney Library Archives and Special Collections at UMASS-Dartmouth. This text is based on an earlier version of a speech delivered by the author at the Memorial for Naseer Aruri held on 12 April 2015 at UMASS-Dartmouth.
In the modern history of the Arab East, there has never been a time when wars were waged on three Arab societies at once. Nowadays, Palestine lives in a state of low intensity warfare; Iraq continues to experience a systematic process of devastation that has entered its fifth year; and Lebanon is suffering the repercussions of one of the most unrelenting and intense military campaigns ever mounted on a civil society this century. Is this a chance occurrence or is there a common thread that explains the causes, perpetrators, features and future settlement prospects of the three wars? This article will demonstrate that all three wars, notwithstanding their particularities, are impacted by similar forces. Consequently, an approach that attempts to deal with each conflict separately and without regard to the others will have little prospect of success. More alarming is the fact that there is a chance the region may witness the flare up of new wars if the present situation is left to fester.