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How Long Does It Take to Have a Peace Process? Essay

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Updated: Oct 10th, 2019

In spite of the fact that a conflict between Palestine and Israel is one of the longest ones which have ever existed in the entire world, even now it does not seem to lead anywhere nut the constant fight and the death of many people. Although many actions aimed at the peaceful solution of the conflict have been undertaken, none seems to lead to any constructive decision so far.

Either because of the specifics of the national character of both peoples, or because of the subjects of their struggle, the battle has been lasting for quite a time. Yet the solution is as distant as ever, with every possible action undertaken by the parties, as well as by the numerous peacemakers, aimed at hushing down the trouble, lulling it into a sleep, instead of providing sufficient solutions to the problems brewing for long time.

With three most dangerous spots to touch upon in the Israeli-Palestine conflict the situation gets even tenser. On the one hand, there is certain concern about the territories of the Israeli and Palestine dwellers, that is, the conflict concerning the territorial aspect. Whenever there is the question of settlement, the conflicts concerning the belonging to this or that race or nationality will inevitably rise, especially if the nations neighboring with each other are actually foes since the times immemorial.

Taking into consideration that the problem of belief makes the core of the disputes and conflicts between the Israeli and Palestine, it becomes clear that the peaceful solution of the problems between the two is no longer possible.

As long as the two nations are not able to restrict their own ideas about the religion and its ways, there is no possible way to make the two nations come to terms. Until the core problem has been settled, any kind of negotiations between the Israeli and Palestine is doomed to fail. It is the question of the two people finally finding a common language, and unless they do, the war will continue and it will take hundreds of people’s lives. As Said Noted, “History has no mercy.[1]

Settlement Dispute

Unless the Palestine and the Israeli realize that the question of settlement needs a peaceful solution, otherwise it is doomed to last forever. Since the conflict involves the unjust actions undertaken y Israel in relation to Palestine, the latter are continuously arguing against both violation of their rights and the methods which the Israeli have used to achieve a goal of theirs.

Accusing the Israeli of the military actions aimed against the Palestine people, the Palestine themselves maintain armed resistance to the aggressive actions of the Israeli, making it complicated for the Israeli soldiers to take the advantage of the occupied lands.

The conflict rooting from the distant 1948, it has all grounds to be called a free-fall jump into the state of war.

The political scientists tend to accept the position of the Palestine in this doubtful question of the property. Indeed, acting in the most aggressive way and creating the reasons for the Palestine to attack the intruders, the Israeli cannot argue that the actions of theirs are worth blaming. After all, it must be kept in mind that at the end of the 1948-1949 Arab-Israeli War over 750 000 Palestinians were displaced.[2]

One of the Palestine’s most urgent concerns is the constant growth of the colonies of the Israeli on the territory which belongs to the Palestine. They feel that the country which used to be a part of their belongs to them no longer, with the new traditions coming together with the new settlements, and the beliefs which are foreign to the very nature of theirs slowly growing into the soil of their land.

Indeed, the process of Israeli assimilation on the foreign land has taken not so long, and soon they have established the culture of theirs in full, which the Palestine considered a violation of Palestine traditions and almost a blasphemy.

As a result, the war erupted under the pretext of cultural difficulties. The result of the confrontation between the Israeli and the Palestinians was rather painful and dragging serious meditations concerning whether the territories in question wee really worth the losses which both sides suffered during the opposition of the Palestinians.

However strange this might sound, the Palestine themselves were never willing to settle the problem once and for all. It seemed as though they were aiming at having constant battles with the intruders, fomenting hated to the foreigners to the full, loathing the newcomers as hard as they could, since the people who had occupied the lands of their ancestors were infidel, the people of different faith and different picture of the world. As Cordesman noticed,

The most significant failure of the peace process from the Palestinian viewpoint was that no Israeli government ever halted the settlement process. The Oslo Declaration of Principles did not mention of the establishment of a Palestinian state, nor did it require the cessation of the Israeli settlement activity in the West Bank, Gaza, on the Golan Heights.[3]

As a result of such decision, which now was legal since it was approved by an authority and was supposed to be carried out immediately, a number of military groups emerged. Acting under the pretext of saving their land from the foreign invaders, they became known for a number of cruel actions and terrorist acts.

Driven to the final stage of despair by the unjust decision, the Palestinians finally decided that they could manage the problem on their own, without making the rest of the world participate in their opposition. Gelvin admits that this has driven to the creation of numerous Islamic organizations which were confronting the Palestine Liberation Organization, or PLO:

Among the various organizations that emerged during the intifada was one that came to challenge the dominance of the PLO over the Palestinian national movement: the Islamic Resistance Movement, better known by its acronym, Hamas.[4]

The first organization to use suicide bombers for their purpose of liberation, Hamas actually introduced the modern image of a terrorist organization. Driven to insanity, the people were seeking the means to escape the unwanted regime.

Indeed, with such disregard of the rules of the Palestinian land and the Palestinian people, there could be no compromise achieved. The main fault of the conflicting nations was that they had a wrong start, which was laid in the basis of the relationships between the two.

If the newcomers had not neglected the traditions of the Palestinian land, and if the Palestinians themselves had displayed friendlier attitude towards the settler, many political problems acute as for today agenda would have been easily avoided or had not emerged at all. As Segev put it,

Starting in the mid-1960s, Fatah, the Palestinian National Liberation Movement, began attacking military and civil targets in Israel, seeing these actions as a direct communication of the Palestinian defeat in 1948. [5]

Unfortunately for Palestine, Israel and the rest of the civilized world involved into the dispute, the national peculiarities of different cultures were never taken into account. Thus, it becomes clear not that, unless the necessary steps towards mutual understanding are made, there will be no possible solution for the conflict as it is today.

However hard it is to admit, “many if those who planned and carried out the attacks of September, 11, or those who guided it, led, taught and supported them, were not so very long ago the welcome allies of the United States and various Middle Eastern regimes to which it is closely linked.[6]

The Right of Return

With regard to the historical events that have led to the problem of the right of return, one can say that the problem of refugees has always been one of the most topical problems of all times, disregarding the fact where or in what times it takes place.

The cast of refugees ahs always been treated as the people of the lowest mould, with the according attitude to those outcasts. Unfortunately, in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the issue of the right of return is one of the three pillars which carry the war between the two nations.

Historically, the war of 1948, when a great number of Palestinians and Jews perished, resulted in refugees of both Palestine and Israel appearing in the scope of the politicians of both countries. Since the war was held no longer, and the peace was finally settled, the governments of both countries suggested sending refugees back to their homes, where they belonged. However, there were a number of “buts” and all kinds of contradictions which did not allow putting this idea into practice.

While the UN Great Assembly Resolution called the foes to provide the political refugees safe transportation to the homeland. However, in spite of the fact that the conflict seemed to have been tackled, Israel still considers the resettlement of the refugees as the political demands, but not as the indefeasible right of the nation.

In accordance with the idea of the right of return in the Israeli understanding of the term is that any refugee from Israel has the right to return to his or her homeland in case they feel the urge to. Thus, the law practically makes it possible for the people once escaping the state to restore their citizenship and become a part of the Israeli culture and society.

Such humane approach, worth appreciating, is one of the touchstones of the Israeli culture and the grounds for the people of the Israeli to feel the decent children of their land. Indeed, the abovementioned law reminds of the Biblical understanding of people belonging to the City of God, wherever they might be.

With the approach of taking every single man of the Israeli descent as the brother to those living in the Promised Land o the Jews, the Right of Return acquires a specific shade of meaning as the right to become a part of the familiar society once again, without any reproaches or looks or sidelong glances.

Meanwhile, the Jewish concept of the Right of return is a double-sided sword, for it presupposes that the Palestinians do not have the right to return to their homes over pre-borders with Israel of 1948, which results in multiple arguments and conflicts with the Palestinians:

The ‘right of return’ is a powerful concept for Palestinian refugees and is often posited or countered against the ‘right of return’ principle that any Jew enjoys in respect of Israel and citizenship[7].

It is clear that the law acting in favor of the Jews turns out to be very unfavorable for the Palestinians, and the urge to have the right of return which will feature the rights of the Palestinian refugees as well as the Israeli ones makes one of the hardest reasons for conflicts between Israel and Palestine even more complicated. Now it is absolutely certain that unless the Palestinians obtain the right of return which they have been longing to for so much time, they will not calm down, and there will be no peace between the two nations.

As previously outlined in Chapter 4 of this book the Jewish ‘Law of Return’ allows Jews and those of Jewish descent to settle in Israel and acquire citizenship. This right – given under Israel law – to Jews worldwide is exercised at the same time that Palestinians (and their descendents) are not permitted by Israel to return to their homes and lands over the pre-1948 borders with Israel.[8]

However strange that might seem, the Israeli government refuses to admit that the Palestinian refugees have the same rights as the Jews. Thus, an unjust and disputable issue has resulted in a number of aggressive actions aimed at obtaining the rights which the Jews already have. The injustice of the state of affairs in which the Palestinians have been trapped into is aggravated by the fact that the nation which they are continuously conflicting with has already obtained the sought right of return and now enjoys its being set into motion.

The Problem of Occupation

Among one of the most urgent problems on the Israeli-Palestinian agenda is the problem of occupation. As a matter of fact, the Israeli occupation of the Palestine territories is registered as the longest one in the entire history. Lasting for about 43 years, it aims at taking the conflict between Palestine and Israel to be solved in favor of the latter.

Considered a branch of terrorism actions, the occupation leads slowly to the people degrading and finally dissolving in the national conflict. Since it harms both the aggressors and the victims of the occupation, it has to be stopped somehow.

Still it is desirable that the occupation was halted with help of humane methods, not involving military actions. Despite the numerous negotiations which have been held to solve the unceasing problem and all the efforts of the peacemakers from different countries sympathizing with the state of Palestine and Israel, the occupation is still going on and does not seem to end anywhere.

In the circumstances of the occupation, people face the problem of reaching certain places of the country. Even the distant districts of one and the same city can be a problematic place to reach of the Palestinians who have been caught in the iron grip of the occupation.

Some of the politicians see the occupation as a result of the racial discrimination which the Israeli demonstrate in respect to the Palestinians. The exaggeration of the importance of Jewish rights in contrast to the rights of the Palestinians must not take place in the civilized society, yet it exists.

Considered by some political scientists as an extreme form of Zionism, it has gained the necessary momentum to continue fighting for the rights of the Jews impairing the rights of the Palestine, which cannot but result in another conflict and military actions.

This never-ending search for the golden mean between the rights of the native and the foreign citizens is the cornerstone of the confrontation of the Jews and the Palestinians.

If the Jews had not started diminishing the rights of the Palestinians, the conflict would have never erupted – or, perhaps, it would have found another reason to inflame. As Dowty emphasizes, the difficulties connected with the extreme form of Zionism have been foreseen and the political bodies have been well informed on them:

The following month Yasir Arafat was invited to address the UN General Assembly, and in November 1975 the General Assembly, in a vote of 93 to 18 with 27 abstentions, approved a resolution that listed Zionism as “a form of racial discrimination.” The dominance of Third World post-colonial nations in the United Nations had created a much more sympathetic forum for the Palestinian cause; by this time the PLO had diplomatic relations with more states than recognized Israel.[9]

Since the idea that the treatment of the Palestinians is a mild form of discrimination has been sounded and the accusations seem to prove completely correct, there is the suggestion that one of the key points in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict seems to be possible to tackle. However, taking into consideration the moods which are brewing in the Israeli society and the aggressive attitude which the Palestinians display in respect to the Israeli citizens, the problem is far from being solved or even approaching the possible solution.

Since the population of the Palestine has always tended to concentrate[10], there is no use trying to apply to them the measures of the European world. The occupation tactics has already been accepted by the government of Israel as the one and only possible way to control the probable mutinies and revolts taking place in the occupied territories.

Since the native dwellers of these lands do not treat the invaders in the moist hospitable way, arranging numerous risings, the corresponding response from the occupants has driven the nations to the state of the unceasing war. Still going on, the war is slowly draining all the power out of both the people who are fighting the oppression and those who are trying to take their toll on the territories which the Israeli consider their own property.

The territorial question is of utter importance for both Palestine and Israel. As Carter said, “Developments in the Middle East can be easily understood if the history of the region is reviewed.[11]” In spite of the numerous attempts to help the foes to come to terms and sign up the peace treaty, the Israeli, as well as the Palestinians, do not seem willing to cease the military actions and cannot stop the raving hatred inside them.

The great conflict which the world is witnessing now is rather a collision of two different viewpoints, different cultures and traditions, which can never understand each other.

While political questions are the temporary problems which will be solved sooner or later, probably, in the next century, but still they will be, the conflict based on the specific national teats and features, the culture whose traditions strikingly contrast to the opponent’s one is doomed to last forever.

However sad this night sound, there is hardly anything that can bring the two nations together. It must be well remembered that, despite the question of politics and economics, there is also the issue of religion, which is another pretext under which the constant fight will continue.

Unless the two countries themselves want to solve the problems which they have created themselves, there is no peace-making organization which can help them. The reluctance to contact with each other is supposed to fade away as time passes, and there is certain hope that the conflict between Israel and Palestine will finally be solved.

Reference List

Carter, Jimmy. Palestine: Peace not Apartheid. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2006.

Cordesman, Anthony H. and Jennifer Moravitz. The Israeli-Palestinian War: Escalating to Nowhere. Westport, CT: Greenwood Publishing Group, 2005.

Dowty, Alan. Israel/Palestine. Boston, MA: Polity, 2008.

Gelvin, James L. The Israel-Palestine Conflict: One Hundred Years of War. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007.

Khalidi, Rashid. The Iron Cage: the Story of the Palestinian Struggle for Statehood. Boston: Beacon Press, 2006.

Milton-Edwards, Beverley. The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: A People’s War. New York, NY: Taylor and Francis, 2009.

Morris, Benny. Righteous Victims: a History of the Zionist-Arab Conflict, 1881 – 1999. New York: Knopf, 1999.

Pappé, Ilan. Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine. Oxford: Oneworld, 2006.

Said, Edward W. The End of the Peace Process: Oslo and After. New York: Pantheon Books, 2000.

Segev, Tom. 1967: Israel, the War, and the Year That Transformed the Middle East. New York: Metropolitan Books, 2007.


  1. Edward Wadie Said, The End of the Peace Process: Oslo and After (New York: Pantheon Books, 2000), 16
  2. Ilan Pappe, Ethnic cleansing of Palestine, (Oxford: Oneworld, 2006)
  3. Anthony H. Cordesman and Jennifer Moravitz, The Israeli-Palestinian War: Escalating to nowhere, (Westport, CT: Greenwood Publishing Group, 2005), 10.
  4. James L. Gelwin, The Israel-Palestine Conflict: One Hundred Years of War, (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007), 221
  5. Tom Segev, 1967: Israel, the War, and the Year That Transformed the Middle East. (New York: Metropolitan Books, 2007), 13
  6. Rashid Khalidi, The Iron Cage: the Story of the Palestinian Struggle for (Statehood. Boston: Beacon Press, 2006), 16
  7. Beverley Milton-Edwards, The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: A People’s War (New York, NY: Taylor and Francis, 2009), 108
  8. Beverley Milton-Edwards, The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: A People’s War (New York, NY: Taylor and Francis, 2009), 108
  9. Alan Dowty, Israel/Palestine (Boston, MA: Polity, 2008), 124
  10. Benny Morris. Righteous Victims: a History of the Zionist-Arab Conflict, 1881-1999. (New York: Knopf, 1999), 4
  11. Jimmy Carter, Palestine: Peace not Apartheid (New York : Simon & Schuster, 2006), 1
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