Brief a Bishop: Making Sense of Libya and The Arab Spring

This week I posted a series of blogs in advance of a briefing I’m writing for bishops taking part in tomorrow’s House of Lords debate. The final briefing encompasses recent developments in Libya, the process of political change in Egypt and its impact on the Middle East Peace Process. Like the debate itself, the briefing I suspect risks being a pudding without a theme.

If you don’t have time to read the final briefing here are the main conclusions

  • Whatever the initial justness of the intervention, the allied coalition is now in danger of acting irresponsibly by employing a level of force that is disproportionate to the original aims of UNSCR 1973. Unless there is greater clarity as to the operation’s objectives then the prospects for a just and lasting peace in Libya is far from certain.
  • The process of political transition in Egypt is unlikely to remedy the initial grievances and concerns that spurred protesters to overthrow the Mubarak regime. More could and shoud be done to invest in conflict prevention measures such as investing time and resources in helping to build up those institutions that might usefully protect the democratic space in Egypt.
  • On the Middle East Peace Process the briefing suggests that the regional crises should be seen as an opportunity to press head with peace negotiations rather than as an excuse to defend the status quo. Negotiating in such a fluid environment poses short term risks to Israel, but these need to be judged against the long terms risks should a two state solution no longer prove viable.

As an experiment in blog writing the decision to post segments of the briefing was not a huge success. Good traffic but little interaction. That might have something to do with the length of the relevant blogs. Apologies.

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4 Responses to Brief a Bishop: Making Sense of Libya and The Arab Spring

  1. Stuart says:

    I’m going to link to this and your previous posts on this theme.

    Am I Ok to copy the ‘main conclusions’ above for those that can’t be bothered to read in depth.

    Good traffic but little interaction.

    I think in this instance, this is more to do with us not being as informed as you, consequently, we come to learn rather than being able to contribute something worthwhile.

  2. Thanks Stuart for your comments and your reassurance. Yes, please feel free to copy and pass on. Charles

  3. c2drl says:

    I agree with Stuart’s comments. Also there doesn’t seem to be an alert to comments made so you have to keep coming back to know if something has been added with which you can interact. Keep at it though, it is a good concept.

  4. Ian Clark says:

    SAT-7 is the main Christian satellite TV service broadcasting across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) in Arabic (24×7), Turkic and Farsi, regularly watched by 15 million people. It is supported by all the mainstream Christian churches in the region, including Copts, Orthodox, Catholics, Protestants and Pentecostals.

    They have just launched an informative website Wazala (Arabic for “to connect”) at with a monthly briefing on current issues in the region, news from churches, stories from local Christians and country briefings. This month there is an interview with the “Vicar of Baghdad” Canon Andrew White, news from Egypt and Libya as well as a profile of Iran.

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