Analysis of the Israel-Palestine Conflict
The conflict between Israel and Palestine has evolved from a historical event, to a modern phenomenon. That area, especially where the holy city of Jerusalem is located, has always been, and continue to be, a focal point, to the broad masses of the people. There are of course a number of aspects to look at this conflict.
The Israeli-Palestinian conflict has been taking place for decades and has various somewhat complicated causes, but the main issues at the core of it are land and borders. About 2,000 years ago, the Jews in this area were forced by the then ruling Roman Empire in an exodus called “The Diaspora” to leave their homeland, until after the WWII ended. Having experienced the Holocaust, the remaining Jews returned began calling themselves “Israelis” after their old name for their ancient homeland of Israel, and the Arab population of the area who were mostly known as “Palestinians”. Their abrupt arrival had caused the dominant ethnic group Palestinians to worry about becoming a minority in a country they regarded as their own. The birth of Zionism further influenced many Jews from around the world to move to Palestine to reclaim their ancient “homeland” of Israel. It gained important British help with Britain’s Balfour declaration in 1917, which announced that Britain would look with favor on creation of a Jewish home in Palestine. Early Zionist leaders foresaw that Palestinians would resist Zionism by force if they pressed ahead, and prepared for this possibility. The rising tide of European Jewish immigration, land purchases and settlement in Palestine under the British Mandate, generated increasing resistance by Palestinian peasants, journalists and political figures. Palestinian resistance to British control and Zionist settlement reached its height with the largely peaceful Arab revolt of 1936-39 which was brutally suppressed. And then there was the 1947 Partition Plan devised by the UN, that divided Palestine into two states: a Jewish state on 55 percent of Palestine, an Arab state on 42 percent, and 3 percent forming an international zone including Jerusalem. However, the Zionist leadership publicly accepted the UN partition plan, while the Palestinian Arabs and the surrounding Arab states rejected the UN plan. In the year of 1948, which Israelis refer to as the ‘Year of Independence’, Palestinians refer to as ‘al nakba’, meaning ‘the disaster’ or ‘the catastrophe’, fighting intensified between the Arab and Jewish residents of Palestine days after the adoption of the UN partition plan. In 1949, after the war between Israel and the Arab states ended, the country once known as Palestine was divided into three parts. The State of Israel encompassed over 77% of the territory. Of the remainder of Palestine, the larger part—the West Bank—became part of Jordan and Egypt took over the administration of a small area on the Mediterranean coast, the Gaza Strip. Over 750,000 Palestinians fled for their lives, leaving behind their homes and becoming refugees. Not long, UN Resolution 194, passed by the General Assembly in 1948, defends the right of all Palestinian refugees to return, and the right of the people who do not wish to do so to receive compensation. Yet this right was denied by Israel. Later in 1967, Israel declared war, later known as the Six Day War, as a response to threats from Egyptian President Nasser. In response to the outcomes, Security Council adopted Resolution 242, which brought about further conflict because of the wording inside of the Resolution. Until 1993, Israel rejected the establishment of a Palestinian state, persisting on the call that Palestinians should be incorporated into the existing Arab states. This state of affairs ended when Israelis entered into secret negotiations with the PLO(set up in the early 1960s), which led to the Oslo Declaration of Principles. All of these events contributed to the ongoing crisis between Israel and Palestine nowadays.
A part of the center in this political crisis is competing claims over land. When it comes to their determination of the claim to the same land, events date back to centuries ago. Palestinians’ claims to the land are based on the existing residence in this state for centuries and the fact that they were more of the majority. They repel the idea that a kingdom in biblical times can be the basis for a valid modern claim. Also, they do not believe that they are the ones to give up their homes to compensate Jews for Europe’s crimes committed against them. Jewish claims to the land, on the other hand, are based on the biblical promise to Abraham and his descendants and on the fact that this has always been the site of the Jewish kingdom of Israel. They regard it a homeland for the Jews as the only possible haven from European anti-Semitism.
This conflict has been going on for too long, but it’s still going on now with no end in sight. A common feature of all attempts to find a road that might lead to peace is the fact that promises to execute “good will measures” were not executed by both sides more often than not. Furthermore, negotiations to reach agreement on the “final status” have been hindered because of outburst of hostilities. The consequence is that both Israelis and Palestinians have grown weary of the whole negotiating process. Israelis point out that the Gaza Strip is entirely controlled by the Hamas who have no desire for peace with a Jewish state. In the Israeli view, this sets restrictions on the ability of the Palestinians to make peace with Israel and bring it into force over the long term. Additionally, according to the Israeli, a violent strike on the West Bank by the Hamas as a result of the creation of an unstable new state is very possible to happen. Lastly, rhetoric from high-ranking Fatah officials promising a complete, literal Palestinian right of return into Israel (a status that no Israeli government can accept without eliminating the Jewish character) makes peace talks harder for both sides. The Palestinians point out to the extensive and sustaining Israeli effort in settlement in the area of West Bank, limiting the area available to the Palestinian state.
That said, substantial progress has been made in reaching peace for both sides. In the peace process, the USA has played a huge part as well. In 1991, a breakthrough took place, when US president George H.W. Bush called a conference in Madrid between Israel and the Arab nations which was “to serve only as a preamble to direct bilateral and multilateral talks between Israel and its neighbors”. Negotiations continued in Washington, DC, but with few results. The Oslo Accords, which is a continuing American-mediated effort to broker a peace treaty between Israelis and Palestinians, was signed in hopes of establishing a Palestinian state in Gaza and the West Bank in exchange for Palestinians undertaking permanently end attacks on Israeli targets — a formula often called “land for peace”. Despite its failure, the general Oslo “land for peace” framework remains to be the dominant American and international solution in resolving the conflict. In 2000, US President Bill Clinton convened a peace summit between Palestinian President Yasser Arafat and Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak. Later, the Bush administration pushed its own update on Oslo, named the “road map,” and the Obama administration let the peace process become a significant foreign policy priority. The Trump administration has not formally forsaken this formula, but has yet to take any concrete actions to carry it forward. Not to mention that, on 13 December 2017, during an extraordinary Organization of Islamic Cooperation meeting held in Istanbul after the United States recognition of Jerusalem as Israeli capital, more than 50 Muslim majority countries rejected and condemned US President Donald Trump’s decision by declaring the Istanbul Declaration on Freedom for al Quds (Jerusalem in Arabic) and advocating for the global recognition of “an independent Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its occupied capital”, which means that the United States could no longer intervene so much in this peace process.
With all that had been done, the Israel-Palestine conflict probably will not end in the near future. However, it is the wish of both people and the world, that the four core issues that have plagued the peace process be resolved, which include West Bank borders/settlements, Israeli security, Palestinian refugees, and Jerusalem. That way, both countries can regain true prosperity in all relevant fields.
Analysis of the Israel-Palestine Conflict