Israeli-Palestinian Conflict Research Paper
The Israeli-Palestine conflict began in the mid-20th century. It can be traced to the Jewish immigration and the intercommunal conflict in the mandatory conflict. What escalated the conflict, even more, was the Israeli occupation of the Westbank region. Negotiations to end the conflict were at an advanced stage until the 1967 war begun, which returned the people to a zero-sum conflict situation which evolved around national identity and border conflicts. After that, new attitudes and realization of the need to have a structured negotiation geared toward arriving at a solution whereby two separate and distinct states emerged. The peace proposed to be mutual and led to the Oslo Agreement of 1993. The Oslo Agreement did not suffice there was a lack of commitment by the parties, and the use of reserve options rendered the agreement futile. The peace process anchored on the Oslo agreement eventually broke down in 2000. With the collapse of the Oslo agreement, violence escalated between the states. Mutual commitment, validation of the people’s national identity, and international commitment are crucial to solve the Israeli-Palestine problem, moving forward. This paper analyses the peace process and recommends basic elements that could comprise of a peace process leading to the ultimate solution regarding the Israeli-Palestine conflict.
The Israeli-Palestinian peace process that started with the Oslo accord in 1993 ended with the disappointment of the Camp David summit in the late spring of 2000 and the beginning of the second intifada in the fall of that year. Relations between the two parties have disintegrated consistently over the following years and have regularly been set apart by abnormal amounts of brutality on the two sides. As of now, the endeavors to come back to the negotiations table have been undermined by the decision of a Hamas-driven government in the Palestinian Authority and by the quest for unilateralist choices by the Israeli government. These endeavors have been significantly additionally underestimated by the war among Israel and the Hezbollah powers in Lebanon. What occurred in and to the Israeli-Palestinian peace process in these ongoing years? Why did a process that appeared to be so encouraging when it started with the Oslo accord in 1993 turn out badly, and what factors added to its definitive breakdown? Where do things stand today? What can and should be done to resuscitate the peace process? These are the issues this paper looks to address.
I approach these inquiries from a long-term understudy of the social-psychological aspect of international relations (Kelman, 1965, 1997c). The methodology gets from the spearheading work of John Burton (1969,1979,1984; see likewise Kelman, 1972). It is applicable in various distinctive clash circumstances, yet this methodology is uniquely centered specifically around the Israeli-Palestinian case (Kelman, 1979, 1995, 1997a, 1998b, 2005). The essential (however not restrictive) device in the act of intelligent critical thinking is the critical thinking workshop. A lot of social-mental presumptions underlie the structure, the procedure, and the substantive substance of workshops (Kelman, 2002; see likewise Kelman, 1997a). At the heart of this inquiry about, the connection among hypothesis and practice works in the two headings: Not just does social-mental hypothesis advise practice, yet the training is a rich wellspring of experiences about the elements of the specific clash at issue, about universal clash as a rule, and undoubtedly about an assortment of social-mental procedures including frame of mind development and change, gathering and intergroup procedures, and social personality (Kelman, 2000). My investigation draws, most importantly, on what I am ready to gain from the concentrated cooperations between the two gatherings throughout workshops. Also, I remain in close touch with the circumstance through movement in the locale, support in gatherings and meetings, individual discussions with noteworthy entertainers in and examiners of the contention, and close readings of the press and important expert writing. The majority of the perceptions I am ready to make by these different methods are put inside my social-mental system for conceptualizing universal clash. It ought to be focused on that, in building up my examination, I never purposely ask myself what can be gained from demeanor hypothesis or other social-mental methodologies that would help individuals comprehend and manage the occasions. Or maybe, I essentially ask myself how to comprehend best what’s going on and how to manage the circumstance productively. Unavoidably, the thoughts that strike a chord as I attempt to ponder these inquiries draw intensely on social-mental ideas and standards, because these are the terms where I contemplate social and political issues when all is said in done and, explicitly, about the worldwide clash. I dole out a significant job to the social-mental components of the global clash, even though I make it extremely certain that “a social-mental methodology is principally intended to supplement different methodologies as opposed to substitute for them. It centers around just a portion of the elements of what is a bigger, multidimensional scene” (Kelman. 1997c, p. 192). The present paper is written in the soul I have depicted. I will probably introduce an examination of the high points and low points in the Israeli-Palestinian harmony process. In my endeavor to address the inquiries raised toward the start of the paper, I present a few thoughts drawn from the frame of mind hypothesis and some other social-mental ideas as they become applicable to the story that I am attempting to tell, as opposed to building my story around a specific hypothetical model. My basic role is to introduce an examination that clarifies the Israeli-Palestinian harmony procedure and its prospects. An optional reason for existing is to exhibit that ideas drawn from a frame of mind hypothesis are possibly helpful instruments in this examination.
Historical Background of the Palestine-Israeli Conflict
The primary source of the conflict is associated with the territory with conflict arising between the Palestinian Arabs and the Jews. Ideally, following the presence of the British as the colonizers, the Palestinian Arabs and the Jews of Israel sought to fight for the sovereignty of their people. Practically, the region contested for became one that would later be the source of armed conflict between the two factions. Essentially, as the Palestinians fought off the British, they still faced the challenge of having to deal with the Arabs who were also vouching for their sovereignty and the same region. The conflict, in essence, attracted more of the Arabs in the Middle East who stood in support of the Palestinians. In a bid to claim their positions, the Arabs ended up planning a series of anti-Jewish riots back in 1929 that witnessed several Jews losing their lives and evacuating the Hebron and Gaza regions (Spangler 161). This only led to the emergence of more armed attacks and in essence, resulted in more casualties.
Primarily, the core of the conflict being in relation to the occupation of the Gaza strip and the West Bank as well as the recognition of the sovereignty of Palestine and Israel, the nature of the conflict is thus subject to the two countries coming to an agreement that would cease the war. The involvement of Egypt in the conflict ceased following the Six Day War in 1967 that witnessed Israel gaining control of the Gaza strip and consequently creating a situation in which Israel gained control of the regions in dispute. Evidently, the issue of land and the occupation of the same has been the fuel behind the conflict resulting in the two countries failing to reach a common ground in which they can find an amicable solution to engage and in essence end the conflict that has been in place for over 50 years.
While there have been several attempts to try and reconcile Israel and Palestine, neither of the attempts and even pressure from the United States has sufficed in a suitable and acceptable solution. On the contrary, majority of the efforts brought forth to help resolve the situation have been bluntly rejected or faced silent rejection. Further, neither country has shown the relevant concerns or efforts to ensure that the dispute ends soon. Instead, there have been situations in which the consideration of peace was fully ignored and therefore rendered impossible to achieve. The wake of the 1967 war is what sparked off much of the resistance witnessed today. In addition, the inability of the leaders to reach a suitable agreement has further rendered the situation to be difficult to intervene. The efforts of the United States through the Peace Process involving the Oslo Accords of 1993, the Camp David Summit of 2000, Taba Summit of 2001, the Road Map for Peace and even the Arab Initiative which have been under the guidance and mediation of the United States different presidents from Bill Clinton through to Barrack Obama have continued to reflect the difficulty in dealing with the Palestine-Israel conflict (Oren 579).
The Peace Process for purposes of reconciling Palestine and Israel has been based on a two-state initiative which would consequently realize both countries as sovereign states as opposed to a one state position. The two-state approach is focused at ensuring that each country gets to have a portion of the contested areas and therefore be able to resolve the issue at hand in a reasonable fashion. In essence, the measures that have been put in place have faced a number of challenges and rejections that have fostered the emergence of more violence and further intensified the conflict between the Arabs and the Jews.
The contest for sovereignty and recognition hence maintains a solid foundation to the source and cause of the over five decade long conflict between Israel and Palestine. The Peace Process has so far involved the United States and witnessed Israel forming an alliance with the United States. This is a factor that creates a notion of bias even among the Palestine people. The offers rendered and put forth by Israel throughout the Peace Process during the Oslo Accords and even Camp David Summit have both been left without any reply or counter reply from Palestine. The leaders involved have remained adamant to accepting or considering Israel’s propositions which according to the Palestine remain to be oppressive and unjust (Spangler 161). Nonetheless, Israel continues to take over more of the region and consequently the conflict continues to propel civil unrest.
Subject to this understanding, the Peace Process in this directive will be categorized into two factions; before the Cold War and after the Cold War. It is during the Cold War period that alliances were being formed following the contest between the capitalist and communist worlds. In essence, the Cold War period created an ambience for peace following the devastation and number of casualties that resulted from the War. In using this period as a point of separation, the Peace Process may be understood and the steps taken to advance the peaceful co-existence from the time the United States was not involved to the point when it came into the mediation process.
Palestine-Israeli Peace Process before the Cold War
The period before the Cold War in relation to the Palestine-Israeli conflict was one that was marked with more violence than peace considerations. Ideally, the period before the Cold War constitutes of the time from the onset of the conflict to the point before the intervention of the United Nations and the United States as well. In this timeline, the conflict between the native Arabs as they had not adopted the name Palestinians until later in the 20th century and the Jews was sparked mostly due to the fact that the Jewish immigration into the Palestine region was rather too much for the native Arabs (Oren 579). The occupancy on the regions that were ideally controlled by the British by the Jews and the influx of Jews that were moving into Palestine with the intention of establishing a Jewish nation was in essence a threat to the statehood of the native Arabs. In 1933, there were massive protests against the immigration of the Jews into Palestine which sparked a series of more protests that were witnessed in 1936 for a full six months where the native Arabs protested against the Jewish immigration. The first attempt to peace was in 1937 when the PEEL Commission recommended that Partitioned and have the Palestinians transferred from the land that had now been allocated to the Jews. 1938 marks the period when the Zionists began their attacks against the Arabs. Primarily, the armed Zionist group Irgun thus launched the series of attacks against the Palestinians before Britain brought an end to the Arab revolt in 1939. This led to the Zionist Conference of 1942 held in New York that began to solidify the U.S- Zionist relations.
The nature of the relations in the period before the Cold War cannot be pointed out to be a period in which the peace process had begun. On the contrary, it is in this period before the Cold War in which the nature and definition of the conflict may be traced back to and its origins are duly understood. The native Arabs were highly against the immigration of the Jews into their region and hence, they contested severely and attacks against the Jews were many (Tessler 718). The Jews were on a mission to establish a Jewish nation which in essence would have been the first in 2000 years. This evidently was a factor that did not augur well with the native occupants of the region. The Jews were bound to cause a displacement of the native Arabs without due consideration of where the natives would have to relocate to. The immigration of the Jews was one that was aimed at taking over the region in which Jerusalem was based and in essence, their immigration rendered many of the Palestinians to be displaced even as the Jews occupied Gaza and the Palestinians forced into the West Bank region. The peace process that could have ensued could have been facilitated by the British. However, being the colonial power in place, its interests had to be protected and hence by stopping the revolt in 1939 in which the Zionists had launched a series of attacks against the Palestinians, the British were in one way ensuring that the region remained fit for its occupation and rule.
The Zionist Conference that was held in New York in 1942 may be described as the starting point of the Peace Process. Primarily, throughout the entire phase of the conflict prior to the Cold War, the statehood status of the Palestinians and the Jews had yet to be determined and therefore, Israel was not yet a recognized state. Essentially, the contest of the region thus was to ensure that neither party lost control of the region so as to dominate it and in essence have it either as Palestine or Israel. Nonetheless, the Peace Process may have been estimated to have begun following the Zionist Conference in New York where the solidification of the relations between the U.S and the Zionists must have begun. The PEEL Commission back in 1937 ideally only served to recommend a possible solution to the occupation of Palestine by both the Arabs and the Jews. However, its practicality remains questionable following the fact that the Zionists still revolted and attacked the Arabs in a bid to gain dominance over the region. The Peace Process before the Cold War was an idea yet to be realized or implemented. However, the events that took place between Palestine and Israel prior to the Cold War are the same factors that necessitated the need of the Peace Process. Practically, it is the events and violence that emanated following the immigration of the Jews that made it imperative to initiate a peace process that will ensure that the Arabs of Palestine and the Jews of Israel are able to live peacefully (Spangler 161). However, with the onset of the Cold War, the realization of Peace became a difficult task.
Palestine-Israeli Peace Process during the Cold War
The Cold War is stipulated to have begun in 1947 through to 1991. The war in essence was based on trying to curb the influence of the Soviet Union and therefore reduce the spread and influence of communism throughout the east and in Europe. The Cold War brought in an economic divide that rendered the world divided along the lines of capitalism and communism. The Soviet Union and the United States thus emerged as the global superpowers and therefore majority of the countries allied themselves with the United States following its growing technologies and overall influence and ability to primarily manage difficult situations and win wars. Allying with the United States made it easy for some countries to combat the effects of the communism that had been imposed on them by the Soviet Union.
In other circumstances, other countries were liberated from communism and made Free states to govern themselves such as Kazakhstan and Latvia. Therefore, the Cold War period was one that witnessed a number of countries being targeted by the United States and the Soviet Union in a bid to create and develop a form of dominance over the world. In reference to the Palestine-Israeli conflict, the Cold War period is one that attracted the intervention of the United Nations in a bid to restore Peace and stability in the region. Ideally, both the United States and the Soviet Union took note of Israel in 1948 after Israel was finally recognized as a country. This recognition in essence led to the involvement of the United States later after the Cold War in trying to resolve the conflict between the Palestinians and the Jews.
The Peace Process during the Cold War ideally served to try and ensure that Israel stopped its invasion to territories that were initially Palestine territories. Typically, issues surrounding boundaries were in question and the invasion and creation of a Palestinian refugee crisis was among the issues during the Cold War that pushed the Peace Process. In 1948 the Zionists ideally attack and carry out an ethnic cleansing attack against the Arabs sparking regional conflict (Pappé 2). The conflict is further enhanced when the State of Israel was created. In a bid to restore peace, the United Nations passes Resolution 194 in the December of 1948 which granted the refugee Palestinians their right of return that had been stripped away by the Zionists who had taken over the region. Armistice agreements were signed between Israel and its neighboring Arab countries such as Lebanon, Jordan, Syria and Egypt thus reducing the overall scope of the conflict. However, this did not reduce the cause effect of the Palestine-Israeli conflict. The 1967 war marked a period in which the conflict between Palestine and Israel took a turn for the worst with many Palestinians being massacred and Israel taking over the regions of Gaza, the West Bank, the Syrian Golan Heights and the Egyptian Sinai (Morris 253). This sparked more violence between Israel and Palestine which led to the United Nations Security Council passing Resolution 242 calling for Israel to withdraw from these territories in the same year of 1967. In 1973, the United Nations Security Council further passes Resolution 338 following the October war calling for a ceasefire and demanding that Israel vacates the territories it invaded in 1967. The ceasefire was necessary after Israel attacked the Palestinian fighters.
The Peace Process during the Cold War was inevitably affected by Israel’s adamant nature to consider maintaining a peaceful co-existence with Palestine. Having being the group that invaded the region and forcefully obtain the land and massacre the Palestinians, the Zionists were essentially the primary contributors to the escalation of the conflict to levels of civil war. The Palestine side received support from other Arab countries that believed that the region rightfully belonged to the Palestine Arabs who had been forced to refugee status and their land grabbed to their disadvantage. The United Nations witnessing the injustice accorded to the Palestinians in 1982 stood in solidarity with the people of Palestine. In 1988, the PLO which was recognized as the sole and legitimate representative of the Palestine people accepted the United Nations resolutions 242 and 338 in which they recognized Israel as a State. This essentially was the first milestone to the Peace Process during the Cold war. However, it was not an assurance that the Palestinians would gain their status of statehood.
The Peace Process in 1991 thus involved the Madrid Peace Conference that was initiated with the aim of resolving the conflict between the two factions. While Palestine had recognized the statehood of Israel, it remained to be in a position in which it remained to be rather stateless. The affected regions of Gaza and West bank were still in contest and both Israel and Palestine recognized Jerusalem as their capital. The conflict therefore was of territorial claims in which, Israel was adamant to withdraw from the regions it had acquired forcefully from the Palestinians creating a refugee crisis. Therefore, without any possible amicable solutions in place, the Madrid Peace Conference ended without any breakthrough in place between Israel and Palestine. The intervention of the UN was essentially overlooked by Israel as it failed to consider the resolutions passed. In effect, Palestine was left in a state of its statehood nature being debatable. In the long term, this only further led to the growth of the conflict that was to be resolved.
The United Nations during the Cold War served to restore peace within the region being contested for by the Palestinians and Israel. However, Israel proved to remain in violation of the resolutions passed and continued its quest to acquire more territory so as to establish a Jewish nation. Its acquaintance with the United States in this period nonetheless would serve as a point of turning things around and therefore render Israel to reconsider its position and seek peace with Palestine (Oren 581). However, during the Cold War period, the Palestinians were the primary losers as they not only lost control of the Gaza strip but also the West bank. In addition to this, many Palestinians who resided in Israel had to live under military rule and were denied their right to return. The land of the Palestinians was forcefully acquired and many were massacred in Israel’s quest to clean out ethnicity (Pappé 3). Therefore, the efforts of the United Nations in trying to establish peace were to a given extent futile during the Cold War. However, after the Cold War, the United States took over and different approaches have been implemented in the quest of pushing for peace between Palestine and Israel.
Palestine-Israeli Peace Process after the Cold War
The failed attempts by the United Nations to achieve peace between Palestine and Israel prompted for further attempts to bring the two groups to a peaceful ground in which both would be duly satisfied. Primarily, the period after the Cold War marked a potential turning point in the Peace Process for the Palestine-Israeli conflict. This is such that, more conventions and talks in regard to trying to establishing a peaceful co-existence between Palestine and Israel were held after the Cold War with the United States being at the core of the mediation process of the Peace Process. The alliance between the United States and Israel in essence becomes more evident and solidified during this period after the Cold War and the interaction between the two countries in reference to the Peace Process is advanced.
Israel appears to be more responsive towards achieving peace and has offered several approaches to Palestine in which unfortunately have yet to be sufficient to resolve the conflict in between the two countries. Nonetheless, there have been several attempts to achieve peace after the Cold War. The involvement of the United States primarily set ground for the establishment of various initiatives and talks aimed at putting forth an amicable approach for the two countries to use to settle their differences. The attempts by the United States have been witnessed since 1993 under the presidency of Bill Clinton before the same was taken over by former Presidents George Bush and Barrack Obama to the current state of affairs.
The period after the Cold War revealed several engagements that were led by the United States to reconcile Palestine and Israel. The Oslo Accords were the first in 1993 and 1995 which were mediated under Bill Clinton’s presidency (Quandt 35). In the 1993 Oslo agreement PLO and Israel signed the declaration of principles on interim self-government while the 1995 Oslo II agreement was based on PLO and Israel signing interim agreements that granted the Palestinians some autonomy in some parts of the Gaza strip and West Bank. The Camp David 2000 Summit was held in the year 2000 in which the PLO and Israel renewed the final status negotiations. Primarily, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu offered Palestine the entire Gaza strip and 95% of the West Bank region on condition that 69 Jewish settlements estimated to be 85% of west Bank’s Jewish settlers to be ceded to Israel. Further, based on the negotiations, Israel was to maintain an upper hand in the dominance of the region in that, majority of the resources that are Palestinian would still remain under the authority of Israel. Consequently, Yasser Arafat who was leading the Palestinian faction ideally rejected the offer and did not present any counter offers to the same (Karsh168).
In 2001, the Taba Taba Talks and the Beruit Summit further proved to be unfruitful following incomplete negotiations and Israel’s reluctance to fully withdraw the 1967 borders and acknowledge the right of return for the Palestinian refugees respectively (Pressman 16). In 2002, following the failed negotiations at the Camp David Summit, Israel reoccupied Palestinian cities in West Bank as they initiated the second Intifada (Pressman 17). The death of Yasser Arafat in 2004 rendered Palestine to have to consider new leadership. Israel on the other hand in 2005 conducted its disengagement from Gaza only to later engage in a series of attacks against the Gaza strip in different times in 2008, 2012 and 2014. The 2014 Gaza attack was considered to be the largest assault against Gaza since 1967 under the recognition ‘Operation Protective Edge’.
The Cairo Address of 2009 under the leadership of former president Barrack Obama also reflected Israel’s demands to not granting the Palestinians their right of return as well as maintaining ground that Jerusalem would remain the united capital of Israel. In essence, Israel has throughout the Peace Process demanded to have its authority recognized against the consideration of the sovereignty of the Palestinians (Slater 176). As a consequence, arriving at an amicable decision of a peaceful resolution has been difficult for the parties involved. Further direct talks were recommended under the Abbas peace plan on 2014 which also was rejected by Israel following Abbas decision to have the International Criminal Court and the United Nations Security Council involved in resolving the Israel Gaza conflict.
Overall, the period after the Cold War witnessed more efforts being put in place to ensure that peace is achieved between Israel and Palestine. However, the efforts have so far been futile following the fact that not much has been achieved. The beginning through the Oslo Accords revealed some hope but the death of Yasser Arafat dimmed the possibility of hope for the Palestinians following the massive attacks on Gaza from Israel. The conflict remains unresolved as the new American administration under President Trump has yet to provide further approaches or initiatives to resolve the Palestine-Israeli conflict.
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