Since the Israelis and Palestinians believe that they have equal rights to the land that they live in, violence keeps erupting between the two groups. This is because the Palestinians argue that the Israelis chased them from their land while the Jews argue that the land belongs to them based on historical terms (Gunderson 2004, 82).
Various analysts argue that the historical perception involving the breakout of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is one of the critical factors that have made the conflict to be more severe and uncontrollable. The various historical experiences that the two states have gone through have influenced them to make claims as well as justify their own side on why they should be at war with their neighbor (Matthews 2011, 43).
Though the two states have shown their desire to reach a peaceful resolution, a permanent solution has not been attained. The two states practice different cultures and their official languages also differ. This condition has made it difficult for the two states to reach a peaceful agreement (Fraser 2008, 76).
Many people have written different accounts regarding the causes of the conflict between Israel and Palestine. However, most of the information that has been given out by people especially in the internet have only convinced people about the causes of the conflict rather than giving people the right information regarding the real causes of the war (Matthews 2011, 26).
Since there are very many people who have written different accounts about the exact causes of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, there are those people who say that it is not possible for a single person to write a summary that details all the causes of the conflict. As a result, the various summaries that have been written regarding the causes of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict are not fully accepted by everyone who reads them.
However, the various factors that have been attributed to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict include; historical encounter between the Jews and Arabs, occupation and settlements, influence of the Palestinian State, the issue of Palestine refugees, Palestinian Terror groups, repression of the Israelis, and the security of Israel (Abunimah 2007, 98).
The goal of this study therefore is to conduct a detailed analysis about the various factors that started the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
The conflict between the Israelis and the Palestinians is attributed to the cultural differences that the two societies have with each other. In addition, the two societies fight for the same resources thereby making it difficult for them to come into a peaceful resolution with each other.
The violence in the country has also interfered with the positive relations that Israel and Palestine have with other nations. Any efforts that have been applied to end the conflict between the Israelis and Palestinians have only made the conflict to be more severe (Gelvin 2007, 35).
Description of the Problem
The conflict between the Israelis and the Palestinians has been a subject of discussion by many international organizations. This issue has attracted the attention of various superpowers such as the United States. The US is concerned about ending this conflict because it has made the standards of living of the residents in the region to be unpleasant.
Various International Organizations such as the UN believe that there are certain people who are legitimate and who would be willing to do anything so that the violence between the two societies comes to an end (Ross 2005, 78). The conflict between the Israelis and Palestinians is a big problem because it has negatively affected the economic performance of the two states.
No investor would be willing to invest in a region that is politically, socially and economically unstable. In addition, very many people live very desperate lives in their country because of the instability that is present in the region ( Nitzan and Bichler 2002, 102).
The international community is concerned about the welfare of the innocent people in the two states. In order to ensure that the lives of such people are not put at stake, the international community is intervening by facilitating peaceful agreements between the Israelis and the Palestinians.
The purpose of this study is to analyze the various reasons that led to the conflicts between the Israelis and the Palestinians and the various consequences that the residents of these two states have had to cope with as a result of the conflict.
It seeks to identify the critical issues that have made it difficult to end the conflict between the two states. It will also provide possible solutions that can help end the conflict that has made the standards of living between the two states to deteriorate.
This study seeks to answer the following questions
- Is the cultural difference between the Israelis and Palestinians responsible for the conflict that exists between the two states?
- Is there any relationship between the conflict and the attitudes of the two states?
- What role does the history of Israelis and Palestinians play in worsening the conflict between the two states?
- What measures can be implemented in order to facilitate the attainment of peace between the two states?
- Are there any measures that can be implemented in order to positively impact on the attitudes of the Israelis and Palestinians?
- What role do the terror groups play in promoting violent behavior between the two states?
Culture plays a very important role in influencing how nations relate with each other. It serves as a very important variable for determining why clashes between states occur. Different societies clash because of greed for power and to satisfy their own self-interests.
There are those societies which believe that being powerful makes a society to be stable. However recent studies have shown that culture is an important variable in terms of facilitating or retarding peaceful reconciliations between societies.
It has been observed that the only way in which stability between nations can be achieved is when societies understand each other’s’ culture and appreciate it (Milton-Edwards 2009, 34). Culture also has a great influence in politics. The political stand of a particular society is governed by the culture of that society.
It is because of this that different societies have different political stands regarding how they wish their countries to be governed ( Nitzan and Bichler 2002, 106). For example, a Muslim dominated society is not ruled in the same way a Christian dominated society is ruled. This indicates that religion also has a strong role to play in influencing the way a society is governed.
Inter-personal and Inter-group interactions also influence the manner in which a society is governed. If the members of a society do not relate positively, it is difficult to attain stability in such a society.
The inter-group interactions between the Israelis and Palestinians can therefore be said to play an important role in promoting the violence that is prevalent between the two states. In order for a community to be stable, it needs to ensure that the mode of social communication between the members of the society is positive (Gunderson 2004, 67).
This ensures that the members of the society relate with each other peacefully. A society therefore needs to focus on the quality of its interpersonal communication.
In order for a society to ensure that its members communicate effectively, all the members should be given equal status in order to ensure that they cooperate in all of their daily activities (Caplan 2011, 78).
In a society where people believe that they are superior to the others, it is not possible to reach an agreement thereby making it difficult to achieve peace. Since this is the case between Israelis and Palestinians, it is therefore difficult for the two societies to live peacefully.
Background/ Literature Review
The historical issues that that have prevailed between Israel and Palestine have played a major role in aggravating the conflict between the two states. For example, it is said that Judea used to be the home of the Jews initially.
The Romans then inhabited the region and called it Palestine. The Arabs later conquered Palestine and declared it as their home for many years. A movement referred to as the Zionist movement was later introduced by the Jews whose goal was to enable the Jews return to their homeland.
This movement did not put into consideration the large Arab population which had occupied the region at the time. In 1917, the British government required the Arabs to ensure that the Jews who had been chased out of the land found a place to live ( Nitzan and Bichler 2002, 107).
However, the Jews did not take this issue lightly and they were not willing to welcome the Jews into the land. The Arabs therefore engaged in riots with the Jews thereby making the two nations to become enemies.
Because of the severe enmity that emerged as a result of the immigration of the Jews into Palestine, the British decided to stop the immigration process in order to stop the conflict that resulted from the immigration ( Nitzan and Bichler 2002, 108).
However, the conflict between the Jews and the Arabs did not stop and the number of Jews who were killed in the conflict reached approximately 6 million. This made the British government to increase pressure and allow the Jews to migrate into Palestine forcefully.
To end the conflict between the Arabs and the Jews, the United Nations decided to divide the land into Jewish and Arab lands in 1947 ( Kershner 2004, 47). However, this move only made the situation worse leading to a war breakout between the two states.
The Jews emerged victorious and therefore decided to increase the size of their state. This led to the displacement of very many Palestinian refugees. As a result, the Arabs were not willing to reconcile with the Jews at all. This then led to the eruption of wars in 1956, 1967, 1973, and 1982 (Ross 2005, 67).
The Israelis therefore engaged in a series of reprisals thereby worsening the conflict between the two countries. Since these two countries have different believes about their land, it has not been possible to bring the two states together and reconcile them. The two states argue that the origin of the conflict is the fault of the other state. There is no state that agrees to be the cause of the conflict. They blame each other.
The occupation, settlements and land issues have also played a major role in the war between the Palestinians and Israel. The Gaza strip and West bank have been occupied by the Israel people. This region is estimated to be approximately 2,200 square miles.
The Jews are said to have occupied this region during the 6 day war of 1967 when they decided to settle in the region. This region had the capacity of holding approximately 220,000 people. The Jews mostly occupied the West bank region. However, the Palestinians have always demanded that any land which had been conquered in 1967 belongs to them and that the Jews should evacuate the region (Matthews 2011, 78).
However, this was not the case as Israel continued to increase the size of its land. The Jews concentrated on expanding their settlements even during the period when they were engaging in a peace process exercise with the Palestinians in 1993. The peace process continues even today and the Israelis have concentrated their efforts on increasing their settlements even more.
Throughout the peace process exercise, Israel agreed to offer 97 percent of West Bank land and the entire Gaza region to the Arabs (Klein 2007, 23). However, the Palestinians did not accept the offer thereby making the peace process unsuccessful.
The Palestinian state was formed to enable the Arabs reclaim the whole of Palestine. In 1988, the Palestine Liberation Organization indicated that it was willing to accept the solution whereby two states would be formed in order to facilitate the peace process.
However, the Oslo records whose goal was to facilitate the attainment of a peaceful agreement between the two states continued to settle the Jews thereby making violence between the two states erupt again in 2000.
The Palestinians have always demanded for the state of Gaza and West Bank but the Jews have not been willing to let the land off their hands.
The Jews are against the creation of a state in Gaza and West bank because they argue that it will act as a region whereby terror groups will reside (Kershner 2004, 13). Israel has also required that Palestine should be a state which does not have a military in order to limit the control that the state has over its resources and borders.
Palestinians have however received support from the UN and the United States so that they can have their own Palestine State. However, various Palestine extremists do not support the idea of Oslo accords and they are concerned with idea of achieving a fully-fledged Palestinian state.
Because of the different interests between the Arabs and the Jews therefore, it has not been possible for the two states to come into an agreement further making it difficult for the two states to devise an effective mechanism of resolving their conflicts (Gunderson 2004, 24).
During the war that led to the creation of Israel in 1948, approximately 726,000 Palestinians were declared homeless. There were additional Palestinians who were made to free their state in 1967 (Klein 2007, 45).
Today, there are more than 4 million Palestinians who are living as refugees. Most of these refugees live in very poor conditions. They are living in very crowded camps.
These camps are located in West bank, Jordan, Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, and Gaza (Kershner 2004, 35). Most of the Palestinians therefore keep demanding that the refugees should be allowed to return to their homes where they can be provided with proper living standards. The Palestinians are supported by the UN General Assembly Resolution which advocates that the refugee Palestinians should be allowed to return to their home in Israel.
However, the Israelis also argue that an equal number of Israelis went to the Arab lands in order to run away from the war which erupted when Israel was being created.
The Israelis therefore oppose the return of the Palestinian refugees because they claim that this condition would create an influx of Arabs in Israel thereby making Israel an Arab state and remove it from the hands of the Jews.
However, there are certain Palestinian groups which argue that when Israel requires that Israel refugees should also be made to return to Israel, Israel would come to an end because fighting would never end between the Jews and the Arabs.
Most Palestinians do not have the interests on Israel at heart. Most Palestinian groups were formed in order to bring an end to Israel. The Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) also announced that Palestinians are mostly concerned about how they can participate in terrorist activities effectively.
The Oslo Declaration of Principles together with PLO therefore signed an agreement in 1993 which said that Israel has a right to exist. As a result, the activities that Palestinians engage in should ensure that they do not interfere with the usual activities of the Israelites.
In order to ensure that the Palestinians agreed to the signed agreement, Israel allowed Palestinian to take control of most parts of Gaza strip and West bank (Said 2001, 98). However, there was a group extremist Palestinians who were not willing to abide to the agreements and they instead started planning on how they would carry out suicide bombings in Israel.
In order for the Israelis to cope with the violence that the Palestinians had initiated, the Israelis started to limit the number of Palestinians who came to work in the Israel. The aim of this process was to prevent the accumulation of terrorist groups into the region. Israel also ensured that there were strict checks at its borders in order to further limit access of terror groups into the region (Dershowitz 2006, 67).
When the border between Israel and Palestine and Israel was closed, the standards of living of the Palestinians started to deteriorate. The workers who were not working in Israel would often be subjected to embarrassing searches. Such people were also made to wait for a very long time at the checkpoints.
Because the Israelis did not want to take any chance at the checkpoints, the Israeli Army and Israeli Defense Force (IDF) used to pen fire on any vehicle that they suspected in order to prevent any incidences of suicide attack (Said 2001, 102). However, this nervousness made the Army and the defense force to open fire even on innocent people.
The strict checks that were imposed on the borders therefore made it very difficult for the Palestinians to secure jobs in Jerusalem. However, after September 2000, the retaliations that Israel imposed to guard itself from the terror attacks by the Palestinians were made be more intense. Israel also went to an extent of assassinating those terrorists who the Palestinians were not willing to arrest.
The Palestinians therefore carried out a series of bombings on March 2002 thereby forcing Israel to launch an operation aimed at occupying most of the regions in the West Bank which were being occupied by the Palestinians. This state of affairs forced Israel to further increase its checkpoints and its periods of curfew.
This activity made it difficult for people to carry out their daily activities such as schooling or going to work. Many ditches were dug to surround towns thereby preventing people from leaving or entering towns (Dershowitz 2006, 78). In addition, houses of the terror groups were demolished and Olive groves were also uprooted in order to try and minimize the bombings.
However, a study by the Israeli Defense Force has shown that the demolitions of the terror group houses did not prevent them from bombing their target areas. As a result, the IDF discontinued the destruction of the houses where suicide bombers used to live.
To further tighten the security measures in the region, many Israelis are harassing the Palestinians by destroying their property and killing them whenever they find themselves in uncertain situations (Abunimah 2007, 78).
Israel is a rather small country and almost all of Israel’s cities are in the range of any Palestinian state thereby making Israel an insecure country. This makes Israel to insist that Palestine should not have any military forces. West Bank is described as very important and any country would be willing to attack Israel to get West bank.
In order for a peaceful coexistence to prevail between Israel and Palestine, Israel insists that Palestine should assure Israel that it would not allow any foreign army to enter its borders so as to ensure that Israel remains secure (Abunimah 2007, 67).
However, since Palestine has not been able to honor its agreements with Israel, various conflicts keep erupting because Israel is committed to protecting its borders and would not allow any foreign state to take advantage of it (Caplan 2011, 56).
Both Israel and Palestine have a right to the eastern part of Jerusalem. Jerusalem is described as a place where one of the holiest temple is found. The Al-Aqsa mosque is regarded as the holiest mosque by the Islam. This mosque therefore joins together the Jewish and Arabs thereby making them inseparable.
The conflicts between Israelis and Palestinians have therefore made some Palestinians and Israelis to vacate the region (Kershner 2004). This condition has further worsened the conflicts between the two groups because each of the groups wants to be associated with the temple.
The Israeli-Palestine conflict is an issue that has attracted the attention of international organizations and some world superpowers such as the United States. It is also difficult for investors to perform their activities in these countries successfully.
To ensure that the peace process exercise is successful, it is important for the International Community to help bring an end to the internal political stalemate between the two countries ( Ler 2008, 78).
Without the interference from the International Community, it would not be possible for the two states to achieve any progress in their peace process exercise. However, it is not recommended for the two states to engage in any form of negotiations.
This is because these negotiations are said to have a zero percent chance of enabling the two states to reach an agreement that would help bring the conflict to an end (Said 2001, 12).
It is feared that any peace process which is characterized by open-ended consultations would result to fresh conflicts. However, these states should devise a mechanism that would enable them to reach agreements that would facilitate the success of the peace process exercise.
The US has a significant influence on political stalemate that exists between Israel and Palestine. In order to ensure that these states become peaceful, the US can put in measures to ensure that prohibitions between the two states do not exist ( Ler 2008, 33). However, since the violence between the two states has been felt by the international community, the two states should try and exchange territories.
In addition, since Jerusalem is of great importance to the two states, it should be left to act as the capital of the two cities (Ross 2005, 56). The Palestinian refugees who are willing to go back to their home should also be allowed to do so. The various political leaders in the region have also played a major role in fueling the conflicts between the two states.
In this perspective therefore, any leader who does not show interest in facilitating the peace process between the two states should be removed from power. Such a person should be removed from power he was brought into power through the ballot box. Using force to remove the politicians from power could further make it difficult to achieve peace between the two states.
The economic peace of any country has a very critical role to play in encouraging investors to visit a given country. It is therefore important for the two states to focus on the manner in which they can improve their economic performance and forget about the differences that they have.
Most of the Palestinians and Israelis would love peace to prevail in the region (Gunderson 2004, 82). However, they are in a state of uncertainty on whether the other party would be willing to reconcile. This state of uncertainty is brought by the politicians and the Israel and Palestinian extremists who believe that the two states should operate independently and not interfere with the activities of the other state.
It has been noted that majority of the Israelis and Palestinians would agree to the idea that would seem effective in ending the conflict between the two states (Said 2001, 56).
They would even go against the will of their political leaders to ensure that peace prevails between the two states. The only limiting factor in this case is that most of the Israelis and Palestinians do not believe that there is a real partner for peace on the other side.
There is a group of experts which stipulates that countries such as the United States and major International Organizations should employ diplomatic tools which would be effective in enhancing peace between the two states. However, these bodies should take caution because there are certain unplanned events which can occur when the diplomatic tools are used.
The tools used can further aggravate the situation in these two states if they are not implemented in the right manner (Abunimah 2007, 15). The tools might also fail to work because the violence between the two states is characterized by uncertainty. Powerful nations and the international community need to ensure that the intolerable behaviors of the Israelis and Palestinians are put to an end.
The legitimate Palestinians and Israelis should be allowed to live in peace and feel secure (Matthews 2011, 79). The international community therefore needs to provide ample security in Palestine and Israel in order to ensure that usual activities within the region are conducted smoothly.
From the analysis therefore, it is true that the conflict between Israel and Palestine is an issue that that has attracted the attention of the international community. These states are said to have engaged in the conflict in order to liberate themselves from the challenges that they were facing.
The conflict is so intense in that the United Nations has not been successful in its efforts aimed at ending the conflict. Instead, the situation keeps getting worse between the two states (Matthews 2011, 78). The conflict has made the living conditions of the residents in the area to be intolerable.
The hopes of reaching a peaceful resolution between the two states are fading slowly because the two states are ever suspicious of each other. Since it is true that peace talks would not be effective in ending the conflict between the two states, the International Community should come in and help reduce the conflict between the two societies (Ler 2008, 25).
It can do this by addressing the negative attitudes that the two groups have towards each other. It should also deploy security personnel in the two states whose goal would be to protect the interests of the legitimate people in the region.
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