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ISRAEL-PALESTINE CONFLICT:

Towards Conflict Resolution


________________________________________

A Research Paper Submitted to the


Social Sciences Division
University of the Philippines in the Visayas
Cebu College
Lahug, Cebu City
___________________________________________

In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements


for Political Geography 171

Researchers:
Ferrer, Euvic M.
Pescadero, Cris Virgil M.
Tumulak, Karla Marie T.
___________________________________________

Adviser:
Ms. Mae Claire Jabines

October 06, 2008

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Chapter I
INTRODUCTION

This chapter discusses the essential background of the study, the problem and as well as
the scope of the problem and the limitations of the study being set upon by the researchers. This
chapter provides the essential preliminaries for this research paper and will serve as the
foundation of the study.

Rationale
For the contemporary student of political science, the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict is just
one of the geopolitical issues that are still unresolved. The conflict is tainted with religious
assertions, territorial disputes, and matched with conspicuous influence of external world powers
that made the matters worse. For such a long time now, the world has not seen any significant
change and developments with the conflict. Great empires have been built and destroyed, great
wars have been fought, agreements and resolutions have been drafted and approved, and a most
striking feature of such geopolitical issue is the fact that the boundaries, together with the wars
and agreements that were made, have been re-drawn. The Israeli-Palestinian border has been
changed dramatically from the area including Jordan during the British occupation to the recent
geography of the state of Israel. The political change within the territory has led to the constant
change in border.
The study of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict is a geopolitical issue that is worth taking
into consideration. Its span encompasses issues of nationalism and self-determination and the
imperial desires of external actors who have been huge contributors to the conflict. It is of
essence for a political science student to study such issues to widen his/her scope in geopolitics.
The researchers chose the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict as a topic for this research paper
because of its complexity. It is a conflict that rooted from a number of issues. Religious
contentions are conspicuous in every aspect of the conflict. The issue can even be attached to the
great empires of the Ottoman and the Roman. The interplay of different political participants is
also a matter to be considered in uncovering the mysteries of this issue.
Given the wide array of difference of the people involved in the conflict and considering
the level of atrocities and violence being employed to advance nationalistic gains, not to mention

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the different initiatives of ‘third-parties’, the conceptualization of a solution was foreseen as a
big challenge for the researchers as well.

Statement of the Problem


The concern of the research paper is to provide a background of the Israeli-Palestinian
Conflict and eventually come up with sound solution/s to the said conflict.
Specifically, this paper aims to answer the following questions:
1. What is the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict?
1.1 Who are the state-actors and how are they involved?
1.2 What are the internal and external causes of the Israeli-Palestinian
Conflict?
2. Based on employed Geopolitical Concepts and Theories, what are the
possible solutions to this conflict?

Objectives of the Study


1. To present a background on the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict
2. To present possible solutions to the conflict based on applied Geopolitical Concepts
and Theories
Significance of the Study
The following will benefit from the study:

Israelis and Palestinians. Thorough treatment of the conflict between these two parties will
be significant. Furthermore, being the main actors of the conflict
the study will be able to suggest solutions to the existing conflict.

Political and Social


Institutions and International
Organizations. The study will be significant for it will provide foundations for
appropriate and proper actions that are to be done in solving the
conflict.

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Students. The study is significant since it provides background on the said
conflict. More so, it provides in-depth treatment about the issue.

Researchers. The researchers will benefit from this study since they will be to
understand and know the causes of the Israel-Palestine conflict and
be able to render solutions that will help solve the conflict.

Scope and Limitations


The study was conducted to look into the issues surrounding the Israel-Palestine conflict.
The study will discuss the background of the Israel-Palestine conflict and will dwell on various
geopolitical theories and concepts that can be applied in understanding the conflict. The
geopolitical theories and concepts will serve as tools for understanding the conflict and also as
bases for possible solutions to the Israel-Palestine contention.
The aspects being looked into the research are internal and external causes of the conflict,
the state actors involved in the conflict, and the possible solutions for the conflict based on
geopolitical theories and concepts. Further, the study will only cover the background of the
conflict starting from the situation of Palestine under Ottoman rule until the recent events in the
Israel-Palestine conflict since tracing the ancient history of Palestine and its original settlers is
largely grounded on arbitrary evidences i.e. biblical records which can be traced back to the
ancient times of Abraham. Besides tracing the ancient history of Palestine would only complicate
the research and the important events that lead to the conflict are found in the recent history of
the Israel-Palestine conflict.

Definition of Terms

Zionism - movement aimed at “living in the land of the Jews and return to
Zion (www.mideastweb.org/briefhistory.htm).
-establishment of a Jewish homeland in Palestine ruled by the
Jews.

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Self-determination - the concept wherein people of the same cultural contents move
for their independence and for them to own a territory where they
can enjoy civil and political rights without external control.

Organic State Theory - theory explaining the expansion of lands of states as organic
likened to that of an organism.
- the state needs to “eat up” lands to survive.

Power Urge - came from the urge of self-assertion, which is the urge of the
state due to quest for prestige, gratification, desire to profit from
other people’s work and even personal ambition.
- the need to stress the rights of the states to exist and their urge to
self-assertion

Theory of Integration - political integration as a condition that is attained by a group of


people—sense of community and strong practices and institutions
that will ensure the peaceful change among its population.

Nationalism - ideology of the nation-state


- it asserts the right of a nation of people to be served by a state
that complements their interests

Theoretical Framework
The following geopolitical theories and concepts will serve as guide for the study
especially in understanding the essential issues involved in the Israel-Palestine conflict.
Furthermore, these geopolitical theories and concepts will serve as bases in the formulation of
possible solutions for the Israel-Palestine conflict.
The Jews, for a long time have suffered persecution for centuries spread throughout the
world in Diasporas. They were dispersed in different places throughout the world yet they were
able to retain their religion and cultural identity. With the occupation of Jews in Palestine fuelled

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by the desire for the consolidation and establishment of a Jewish state, a great number of original
Palestinian settlers were eventually displaced from their homeland.
Friedrich Ratzel’s Organic State Theory is essential in understanding Israel’s
territorial expansion to its neighboring borders and conquering majority of the Palestinian lands.
Ratzel’s organic state theory explains that states were seen as living organisms that occupies
territorial space. Furthermore, states would strive to extend their territorial frontiers since the
vastness of a state’s land area is tantamount to its power position.
The concepts of Nationalism and the right to Self-determination can be applied in
understanding the growing conflict between the Jews and the Palestinians. The core of the Israel-
Palestine contention is rooted on the nationalist movement of both people claiming the same
land. Nationalism asserts the right of a nation of people to be served by a state that complements
their interests. Nationalism played a major role in the events leading to the Israel-Palestine
conflict since both parties ground on the dream of recovering their sacred homeland.
International law recognizes the state’s right to self-determination to ensure its survival. The
principle of the right to self-determination can be applied in the continuing Israel-Palestine
conflict since both parties claim the establishment of a sovereign state i.e. Palestine state and a
Jewish state on grounds of recovery of ancestral domain.
The “power urge” exercised by states has been the source of conflicts affecting the
international community. Robert Strausz-Hupe’s concept of “power urge” explains Israel’s
territorial expansion and its defensive stance on its acquired territories from Palestine. The
unresolved conflict between the two nations started from the urge of self-assertion of both parties
each claiming the land for themselves.
Karl Deutsch’s Theory of Integration and Disintegration defines political integration
as “a condition in which a group of people have attained within a territory a sense of community
and of institutions and practices strong enough and widespread enough to assure, for a long time,
dependable expectations of peaceful change among its population”. Deutsch’s theory of
integration and disintegration can be applied in understanding the differences between the Jews
and the Arab population in Palestine. Furthermore, Deutsch added that integration is a means
wherein people seek peaceful settlements of their disputes instead of resorting to war. Deutsch’s
theory provided conditions in formulating amalgamated and pluralistic securities communities.

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As for this study, his conditions for a pluralistic security community are favourable for the
solution of the Israel-Palestine conflict.

Conceptual Framework
The researchers used five Theories and Concepts of Geopolitics in treating the subject
matter. Three of these theories were used to analyze the conflict and two of which were used to
determine possible solution/s for the conflict. Basically, the methodology of study is patterned
from the conceptual framework.
Figure 1 shows the Conceptual Framework of the study. The researchers will follow this
framework in dealing with the study. Constant reading and matter loading, and theory
application is indispensable in this study.
Understanding the conflict is the very first task of the researchers.
To matter load on the issue, the researchers looked for books and articles on the internet
(see Bibliography). A lot of sources presented different angles of the issue. Different angles were
necessary to come up with a balanced study of the conflict. Discourse within the group was
necessary to maintain understanding among the researchers.
To understand more the issue researchers employed different theories of Geopolitics. The
conflict was treated with three different concepts and theories. As discussed in the Theoretical
Framework of the study, these concepts helped the researchers in dissecting the topic and
provided the researchers with a better way of looking at the issue.
A comprehensive analysis of the conflict is necessary to come up with possible solutions
for the problem. Two other theories and concepts of Geopolitics guided the researchers to come
up with appropriate solutions.
After matter loading and application of the theories, the researchers have achieved their
objectives

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Conceptual Framework

THE ISRAELI-PALESTINIAN
CONFLICT

Friedrich Ratzel’s Robert Strausz-Hupe’s


“Organic State Theory” Nationalism
“Power Urge” Theory

Analysis of the Conflict

Karl Wolfgang Deustch’s Right to Self-


Theory of Integration and Determination
Disintegration

Solution/s

THE ISRAELI-PALESTINIAN CONFLICT


AND POSSIBLE SOLUTION/S

Figure 1. The Conceptual Framework of the Study

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Chapter II
PRESENTATION, INTERPRETATION AND ANALYSIS OF DATA

This chapter presents the background of the conflict, the application of the theories and
the analysis of the data. In addition, this chapter discusses the solutions of the conflict based on
the data gathered and the theories being employed.

Background
Under the Ottoman Empire at about 1880, there were 24,000 Jews living in Palestine out
of the 400,000 population. By 1914, the total population of Palestine reached 700,000;
approximately 88% of which were Arabs and the remaining 12% were Jews. There was no Israel
state then. Jews and Arabs coexisted in Palestine under Ottoman rule.
The later part of the World War I
signalled a victory for the Allied Powers
against the Central Powers and its allies.
Moved by their imperialist ambitions in the
Middle East, France and Britain planned to
divide the Middle East territories between
them through the Sykes-Picot Agreement of
1916. The agreement gave a portion of
Palestine to the British, another part under a
joint Allied government, and Syria and
Lebanon went to the French.
By then, there was an ongoing
movement called Zionism aimed at “living in
the land of the Jews and return to Zion”
(www.mideastweb.org/briefhistory.htm). The
Zionists' advocacy could never be realized
because they lack support from European The Sykes-Picot Agreement of 1916.
Source:
and Ottoman governments. However, the
http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/
First World War provided an opportunity. History/sykesmap.html

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Chaim Weizmann, a British Zionist chemist, had developed an explosive that was indispensable
for Britain's war against Germany. Weizmann and his colleagues convinced the British
government to provide a homeland for the Jews in Palestine. Fortunately, the British leaders
were sympathetic. Then Foreign Secretary Arthur Balfour wrote a letter to Lord Rothschild
supporting the establishment of a Jewish homeland in Palestine. Since then, this document has
been referred to as the Balfour Declaration. A part of the declaration is as follows:

“His Majesty's Government view with favor the establishment of


Palestine as the National Home for the Jewish people and will use the
best endeavors to facilitate the achievement of this project, it being
clearly understood that nothing should be done which may prejudice the
civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine
or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country.”
(Spencer, 2000, pp. 28)

The Balfour Declaration was seen by the Jews as a step towards building the Jewish state
in Palestine. On the other side, the declaration received opposition from the Arab nationalists
who refused the establishment of a Jewish national home fearing for the displacement of the
native Arab population.
The World War I ended and the Ottoman Empire was divided into mandated territories by
the League of Nations. Britain petitioned for the transfer of mandate of Palestine to them to make
sure the implementation of the Balfour declaration and to keep France away from the area. The
British received the provisional mandate over Palestine in 1920. The original British mandate
included the area of Palestine and Trans-Jordan (present Jordan). The mandate tasked the British
to help the Jews in creating their homeland in Palestine and come up with self-governing
institutions necessary for a Jewish state. To realize this mandate, the Jewish Agency for Palestine
was instituted to “represent Jewish interests in Palestine to the British and to promote Jewish
immigration”. (http://www.mideastweb.org/briefhistory.htm)
The agency was considered to be the de-facto government of the Jewish community in
Palestine. In 1922, Trans-Jordan was given independence by British and the rest of the area from
the west of Jordan River to the east of the Mediterranean Sea as Palestine.

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British Mandate over Palestine (1920) British Mandate over Palestine (1922)
Source:http://www.mythsandfacts.org/R Source:http://www.mythsandfacts.org/Reply
eplyOnlineEdition/chapter-2.html OnlineEdition/chapter-2.html
Conflict broke out between the Jewish community and the Arab community who opposed
the Balfour declaration, the British mandate and the large-scale Jewish immigration to Palestine.
The British tried to resolve the conflict between the two parties through issuing the Passfield
White Paper which attempted to stop the Jewish immigration to Palestine and recommended a
self-governing Arab state.
Despite the British attempts to reconcile both parties, Jewish and Arab antagonism
continued, aggravated by the unimpeded Jewish immigration especially during the Holocaust.

“The Zionist movement resorted to violence defined as terrorism,


resistance, or national liberation, depending upon the political vantage
point.”
(Flint,2006, pp. 140)

The bombing of the King David Hotel, the center or British rule in Palestine, perpetrated
by the violent Zionist movement forced the British to let the United Nations handle the situation.
The United Nations formed the United Nations Special Commission on Palestine
(UNSCOP) which recommended for the division of Palestine into a Jewish and Arab state.

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“The UN drew up a partition plan in November 1947. Under the
plan, a Jewish state would control 56 percent of the existing Palestine
mandate, and an Arab state would control 43 percent. The city of
Jerusalem would be a UN-administered, internationalized zone.”
(Flint, 2006, pp.140)
The Zionists accepted the partition plan despite
disappointment of not having the entire Palestine.
The Arabs, on the other hand, rejected the partition
plan because of the unfair partition of the territory
i.e. greater part of Palestine was given to the Jews.
By 1948, war broke out as Arab states invaded
Israel as an actualization of their rejection of the UN
partition plan. Israel turned out as the victor of the
war because all of the lands allotted for the Jewish
state by the UN partition plan and plus half of the
areas allotted for the Arab state ended up with Israel.
The West Bank of the Jordan River was held under
Jordanian forces while the Gaza Strip was captured
UN Partition Plan of 1947 by the
Source: Egyptians. By
http://charlie180.files.wordpress.com/2
008/05/un_partition_plan_palestine.pn the end of the
g war of 1948,
the de-facto boundaries of Israel was established and
eventually led to Israel’s declaration of its independence
on May 14, 1948 which was recognized by the United
States and the Soviet Union. However, the proclamation
of East Jerusalem (then under Jordanian control) as a
capital was not recognized internationally.

Israel 1948-1949
Source:
The UN Partition Plan was not the last movement thathttp://www.warchat.org/history-middle-
changed the boundaries of Israel.
east/arab-israel-war-1948-1949.html
Two more wars followed.

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Source: http://www.planetware.com/map/israel-6-day-war-1967-and-yom-kippur-war-map-
isr-isr12.htm

After capturing the Gaza Strip, Egyptian forces moved up its military defenses towards
Israel and blockaded the Gulf of Aqaba. This movement led to the Six Day War of 1967 which
then proved the then-elusive nature of the Israeli army as it became victor again and managed to
snatch the Gaza Strip from the Egyptians, the West Bank, the Sinai Peninsula and the Golan
Heights. This demarcation led to uprisings from the neighboring Arab states and to another war
that would change the territory of the Jewish state, the Yom Kippur War of 1973.
Neighboring Syria and Egypt launched attacks against the Israeli state during a Jewish
religious holiday. Syrian forces were then defeated by the Israeli army and the Egyptian forces
were eventually held captive by the Jews.
This war ushered peace talks between Israel and Egypt. President Anwar Sadat of Egypt
veered away from the violence and took the chances in fostering peace with Israel. At the same
time, UN tasked Israel to slowly move out of the Sinai Peninsula. The result of such peace
negotiations was the “Camp David” peace agreement of 1978 that paved the way for US aid to
rush into Egypt and Israel.

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At about that time, the UN issued two separate resolutions, numbers 242 and 338, signed
and passed after the Six Day War and the Yom Kippur War respectively. The two resolutions
revolved around the idea of Israel giving up their newly-subjugated territories (West Bank and
Gaza Strip) and for the other states to recognize Israel as a sovereign state ergo, an end to the
conflict between the states. However, the
fate of the Palestinian refugees was not
explicitly provided provisions in the said
resolutions.
The UN Partition Plan of 1947
stated that the West Bank and Gaza Strip
was intended for an Arabic state. With the
resolutions numbers 242 and 338, and the
UN Partition Plan, the claim of
Palestinians for the West Bank and the
Gaza Strip only became stronger.
Recognition was an unheard cry for
the Israeli state. Violence was a mainstay
in areas of Israel and Palestine. Different
organizations in Palestine and the
sophisticated Israeli military fought for
each other’s nationalistic desires. Despite
of these bloody confrontations, peace
Oslo II agreement of 1995
agreements and solutions were also being
Source: http://mondediplo.com/maps/westbankoslo2
considered by both parties.
First of these peaceful solutions is for Israel to honor the resolution number 242 and 338
stipulating that Israel should withdraw their forces and give up West Bank and Gaza Strip.
Giving this up would mean that the Palestinians would take over the West Bank. A Palestinian
authority of the West Bank would mean recognition of the Israelis state and this could
successfully foster peace with neighboring Arab countries for Israel. However, the control of the
West Bank, according to the Oslo II Agreements of 1995, only three percent (3%) of the West
Bank will be under total Palestinian Control while 70% would be under Israeli rule and the

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remaining 27% is under a mixed control. Technically speaking, the Palestinians are at a
disadvantage.
The Gaza Strip is currently governed by the agreements provided in the Oslo peace
process. Israel’s authority over the Gaza Strip is mostly transferred to the Palestinian National
Authority. Despite efforts of peace negotiations, widespread violence continues in the Gaza Strip
intensified by terrorist attacks and Al-Aqsa Intifada by the Palestinian Arabs. Little progress has
been made towards mutual and perpetual agreement on the status of the Gaza Strip. Israel
continues to guard the external borders for the security of the Jewish settlements in the Gaza
Strip.
The ‘Road Map’ for peace was initiated by
the United States under the Bush administration in
2003 which initiated for the disarmament of
Palestinian Arab terrorists groups e.g. Hamas, Islamic
Jihad groups and called for the security of Israel
against terrorist attacks.

The construction of the Israel security fence


along the borders of the Green Line has aroused
criticisms from the Arabs. The security fence was
erected to prevent illegal immigration of the Arabs
into protected Jewish settlements and to prevent
terrorist attacks. The Palestinian Arabs opposed the
The Green Line construction of the fence saying that it violates human
Source: http://www.gush-
shalom.org/thewall/ rights. The UN General Assembly passed a resolution
stating that the Israel security fence violates
international law. The case was brought up to the International Court of Justice and reprimanded
Israel for the erection of the security fence. Israel did not abide its international obligation and
instead modified the path to which the fence is to be erected.
By February 2004, Israel Prime Minister Ariel Sharon announced the disengagement
plan which supported for the complete Israeli withdrawal from the Palestinian claimed territories
in Gaza Strip and West Bank. The disengagement plan was viewed as a unilateral action of

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Israel which received disapproval from some advocates of Zionism fearing that it would indicate
Israel’s surrender to the demands of terrorist groups. Further, the repeated failures of diplomacy
and negotiations due to suicide bombings and massive terrorist attacks against Israel, urged the
Israeli government to take action and finally put an end to the conflict. However, the plan was
still a failure as it was not able to prevent the escalation of suicide bombings and Arab
antagonism against Israel.
The death of long-time PLO leader Yasser Arafat with the succession of Mahmoud
Abbas as president of the Palestinian National Authority in 2005 left the situation in uncertain
future. Also, tension began to rise between the two Palestinian political parties, the Hamas and
the Fatah which was intensified by the victory of Hamas as a majority in the Palestinian
Legislative Council in 2006. Matters turned worst as UN censured the Hamas-lead government
in the Gaza Strip for its non-recognition of Israel as a state.
The on-going dispute between Israel and Palestinian Arabs continue to persist in the
Middle East as conflict had included the neighboring Arab countries such as Syria, Lebanon and
Jordan. Israel and Palestinian Authority have remained vigilant and armed against antagonisms
coming from both sides as the peace between two people both claiming the same land is yet to
be discerned.

Friedrich Ratzel’s Organic State Theory


It has been quite obvious that the map of the Israeli state has changed dramatically over
time. Geographically speaking, the declared Israeli state during the 1940’s can be found right in
the middle of Arab countries who have been very aggressive in taking back what was once the
possession of their Arabic Palestinian brothers and sisters. Israel, geographically, is at a
disadvantageous position; making Israel insecure.
In every war, since their war for Independence, Israel has emerged as winner. Israel’s
army have proven for years that they are equipped and at the same time, convinced that they
should fight for their ‘lands’. Israel has managed to train an army that is ready to fight the
enemies amidst geographic disadvantages.
Ratzel’s organic state ate up all the surrounding territories because the state needs to
grow. It is to be remembered that a remarkable goal for both Jews and Arabs is to have their
own, recognized territory for their growing population.

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The Jewish state of Israel needs to eat up the lands. The larger Israel becomes, the more
optimal the environment will become for the Jews.

Nationalism
The Israel-Palestine conflict is viewed as the struggle for territory and establishment of a
Jewish or Arab state in Palestine. The conflict is rooted on the disparity of two peoples claiming
the same land. Both sides struggle for achieving the same end: the establishment of a Jewish
state (for the Jews) and an Arab state (for the Palestinian Arabs). Both sides are geared for the
actualization of opposite and absolute ends. Nationalism is used as lens in understanding the
Israel-Palestine conflict.
Nationalism is the core of the Zionist ideology. Originally, Zionism was an organized
movement which aimed for the Jewish return to their biblical homeland (Palestine). Eventually,
Zionism has evolved into a major political movement working for a main purpose: the
unification of the Jewish Diaspora which has suffered persecution for centuries, weaving
together of the traditional Jewish faith and culture, and the establishment of a Jewish state in
Palestine. However, ideology alone won’t make this dream possible. The Jews are struggling for
national liberation and have suffered centuries of persecution i.e. Holocaust perpetrated by Nazi
Germany. The establishment of a Jewish state in Palestine is near to its realization if backed with
arms struggle and strong Jewish nationalism. The strong Jewish nationalism can be traced back
to the centuries of Jewish exile from their promised land. The Jews, despite being detached,
distributed in Diasporas and severed by Jewish persecutions, were able to retain their traditional
Jewish faith and culture. That sense of nationalism is a tool for survival for the Jewish
community. The following is an excerpt from Nobel Peace Prize-winner Elie Wiesel:

“Jewish history, flooded by suffering but anchored in defiance,


describes a permanent conflict between us (Jews) and the others. Ever since
Abraham (the father of Judaism), we have been on one side and the rest of the
world on the other.”
(Spencer, 2000, pp.75)

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The strong urge of Jewish nationalism has led to the formation of Jewish extremists
groups like the Kach, Irgun and the Haganah which are militant Zionist organizations that use
arms struggle for the realization of the Jewish state. These militant Zionist organizations have
perpetrated anti-Arab, anti-Palestinian violence and have taken into the extremes the Jews’ right
to self-determination i.e. the Irgun was the perpetrator of the bombing of the King David Hotel in
Palestine.
Nationalism is also the cohesive factor of the Palestinians’ clamour for the retrieval of
their ancestral homeland and their struggle for the creation and recognition of a sovereign
Palestinian state. Palestinian extremism has resulted from the Palestinians’ frustrations of the
peace process between Israel worsened by the anti-Palestinian violence. The main extremist
Palestinian group is the Hamas which has declared its non-recognition of the state of Israel. The
goal of this extremist group is the retrieval of the sacred homeland of the Palestinian Arabs from
Jewish invasion. The Hamas and the Fatah (another Palestinian organization) decided to reach an
agreement of formal unity in the Palestinian National Authority however preceded by the death
of Yasser Arafat, tensions grew between the two militant belligerents. The growing tension was
intensified after Hamas won majority seat in the Palestinian Legislative Council. The UN
together with the US government considers the Hamas like the Hezbollah as terrorist group
therefore cutting off their aid to the Palestinian government. Foreign aid would resume only if
the Hamas-lead government would recognize Israel’s existence as a state, stop the violence and
adhere to the Road Map to peace process. These stipulations are up to now inconceivable for
Hamas to abide to.
Further, the Palestinian Arabs have showed their resistance against Israeli rule through
the Intifada in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. The stone-throwing of the Palestinians shocked the
Israeli soldiers as well as the Israeli public. It was a massive uprising against the Israeli control
of the West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem. The rebellion ranged from civil disobedience
to violence e.g. strikes and boycotts. Violence continues to swell in these disputed areas.

Robert Strausz-Hupe “Power Urge” Theory


Robert Strausz-Hupe presented the concept of power urge as source of conflicts among
states, further creating confusion and turmoil in international scene. The notion of power urge, as
Strausz-Hupe conceptualized, came from the urge of self-assertion, which is the urge of the state

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due to quest for prestige, gratification, desire to profit from other people’s work and even
personal ambition. As presented, there is the need to stress the rights of the states to exist and
their urge to self-assertion. Power urge are being revealed in several conflicts; territorial claims,
psychological differences, conflicting security interests, and even population pressure. Results of
power urge are also being equalled to the objectives of the state; this includes (1) redrawing of its
own borders, (2) modification of another state’s political, social and cultural system, (3) increase
in its security by removing possible threats, and (4) establishing its own superiority.

Israel-Palestine conflict can be explained using David Strausz-Hupe’s theory of power urge.
Power urge is evident in both parties due to their claims on territories. The present unsolved
conflict between these two parties started from the urge of self-assertion. Due to their stand on
self-assertion, both parties each claim land for themselves. There occurs Israel’s continuous
expansion to Palestine’s territories, and Palestine is facing defensive stance from Israel over its
acquired territories. The territorial expansion of Israel backed with the unrestrained Jewish
emigration to Palestine is seen as a political maneuver of Israel to regain its dominance and
maintain control over Palestine. Israel justified its captivity of Palestinian territories i.e. West
Bank and Gaza Strip as part of its Zionist aim which is to establish a Jewish State. Territorial
claims prove the power urge of Israel to self-assertion. Palestine, on the other hand, proves to be
in line with the situation, creating actions to acquire territories that were once of their control.
Palestinians want to redraw their borders, an objective for Palestine in asserting its rights.
Apparently, conflicts between both parties are due to power urge—that is, both parties assert
their right to existence.

Right to Self-Determination
Both nations (Jewish and Palestinian) claim for the recovery of their sacred homeland
with each wanting the establishment of a sovereign state i.e. Zionist state or Arab state. It is an
inherent right of the state to assert it self-determination to ensure its survival. The right to self-
determination has been lead to the death of former empires and birth of new nation-states.
The Israel-Palestine conflict is grounded on the territorial claims of two peoples (Jews
and Palestinian Arabs). The struggle for self-determination is evident in the growing conflict
between the Zionist Jews and the Palestinian Arabs both wanting to establish an independent

19
sovereign state for its own people. The Jews are fighting for the establishment of a Jewish state
in Palestine while the Palestinians are struggling for national liberation. The different perspective
of the struggle for self-determination (Jewish perspective and Palestinian perspective) continues
to create a rift between these two nations.
Understanding the issues surrounding the conflict and grounding on the struggle for self-
determination of both nations (Jews and Palestinian Arabs), a two-state solution is the nearest
possible solution to the conflict. Since both nations are fighting for national liberation, the
creation of an independent sovereign Jewish state and an Arab state. Currently, there are two
governments existing in Palestine: the Israeli government which controls the Israeli territories
and the Palestinian National Authority which controls the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Despite the
international recognition of the state of Israel, there are still ongoing oppositions on recognizing
the establishment of a Jewish state coming from Arab nations and Palestinian extremist groups
who remain hostile to Israeli advances.
The establishment of a Jewish and Arab state would require the mutual recognition
coming from both parties each adhering to the demilitarization of their forces.

Deutsch’s Theory of Integration and Disintegration


Karl Wolfgang Deutsch presented the notions of integration and disintegration. He
viewed political integration as a condition that is attained by a group of people—sense of
community and strong practices and institutions that will ensure the peaceful change among its
population. He asserted that integration is a matter of settling disputes rather than resorting to
war. He also introduced two kinds of security communities—amalgamated and pluralistic
security communities. Conditions must be met for the formation of these communities. In
forming pluralistic security communities, for instance, compatibility of values among decisions,
mutual predictability of behaviour among decision-makers of units be integrated and mutual
responsiveness should be met.
In presenting solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict, Karl Wolfgang Deutsch pluralistic
security communities would be the best approach. Pluralistic security communities, as Deutsch
defined, are communities that have separate government that retain legal independence. In this
manner, Israel and Palestine is faced into the consequences of independence with each other.
However, this can’t be realized directly. Steps must be undertaken to attain the legal

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independence that Deutsch has presented. Conflicts arouse because of the assertion that
territories belong to two contending parties. Deutsch’s idea of pluralistic security communities
cannot be made into full realization without reconsidering occurring scenarios. Firstly,
demilitarization of both parties is important for the realization of the end. This will provide
security for both parties, and eventually would lead to the mutual responsiveness between them.
When mutual understanding is realized, then it will be easier for the formation of legal
communities to exist. Deutsch’s notion of pluralistic security communities is an effective
solution to the existing conflict. When conditions are met, easier mutuality between parties is
possible to exist.

Summary
The conflict between Israel and Palestine can be traced back to ancient times but the
researchers opted to start during the fall of the Ottoman Empire because it was after that time
that there was really an advocacy and at the same time, an active movement aiming for the
establishment of a Jewish homeland in Palestine.
The British have been mandated, after the World War I to take charge of Palestine and to
make sure that the Balfour Declaration (initiated by Zionist British leaders) will be implemented.
Opposition from the external Arab states were becoming obvious in all areas of the Israeli
border.
A UN Partition Plan of 1947, followed by the Independence of the state of Israel (only
recognized by US and the Soviet Union) has demarcated the then-territory of the Jews.
The Six Day war and the Yom Kippur War were actualizations of obvious Arab
oppositions and these wars have also changed the boundaries of the Jewish state.
Status quo tells us that the West Bank and the Gaza Strip are currently governed by the
provisions of the Oslo Peace Process. The control of the two territories is gradually given to the
Palestinian National Authority. However, Israel continues to defend the external borders of Gaza
Strip to protect the Jewish settlements.
As a solution to the conflict between Israel and Palestine, the researchers employed the
theory of Deutsch and the concept of self-determination. Self-determination and Deutsch’s
theory, as explained above would advocate for a state for the Jews and a different state for the
Arabs in Palestine. From this theory, the researchers came up with a two-state solution.

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The two-state solution of the researchers would entail demilitarization of Israel and allies
and the other camp and its allies to foster an environment where both camps are not insecure of
one attacking the other. This is very essential in providing the perfect environment for peace
processes that would last for as long as the two states exist independently. Israel then would be
recognized by Palestine and the Arabs of Palestine, being given a territory, should be recognized
as a sovereign state by Israel and the world.
Mutual recognition is very essential for both would-be states. Though Palestine,
especially Hamas, is not open to recognition of an Israeli state, providing Palestine with
conditions such as recognition, sovereignty for that matter, Palestine, might, give in.
Recognition of Israel’s sovereignty by Palestine could be an advantage for the Palestine given
that Palestine’s territory (West Bank and the Gaza Strip) are separated by a vast expanse of
Israeli governed land. A not-so-good environment, brought about by non-recognition of Israel,
for a would-be growing Palestine would be obviously disadvantageous because of geographical
advantage of Israel (surrounding Palestine). A Palestine recognizing a sovereign Israel would
eventually come to an Israel recognizing Palestine. This recognition would eventually defeat the
purpose of demilitarization. Mutual recognition is essential for a two-state solution since this
would foster better relations for both territories. Furthermore, mutual recognition would also
entail the recognition of a Jewish state by its neighboring Arab countries at the expense of an
independent sovereign Palestine.
The United Nations was a failure as a neutral party in building amicable agreements
between the Jews and the Palestinian Arabs during the 1940’s. The vague demarcations of the
envisaged territory for a Jewish state have contributed to the rift between Israel and the
Palestinian Arabs.
The enforcement of demilitarization and mutual recognition shall be facilitated by a
neutral party with representatives from the Israeli government and the Palestinian National
Authority. Despite the disparities in the nationalist and extremist beliefs of both sides, eventually
both parties would give in to the proposed peace process i.e. mutual recognition and
demilitarization since a lot of blood has been spilled at the expense of fighting for a Jewish and
Arab state and both sides would eventually want an end to the conflict.

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Chapter III
CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

This chapter presents the conclusions and recommendations of the researches after
analyzing the data gathered and the issues surrounding the Israel-Palestine conflict.

Conclusion

The Israel-Palestine conflict is rooted on the conflict between two peoples i.e. Jews and
Palestinian Arabs both claiming the same land and fighting for national liberation of their people.
Prior to the status quo, external forces have been intervening the said conflict. These
interventions worsened the situation and by then created more confusion between the concerned
nations.
The failure of the UN to act as a neutral party in the conflict has contributed to the
worsening conflict between the Zionist Jews and the Palestinian Arabs intensified by the vague
demarcations of the territorial boundaries of the proposed Jewish state in Palestine.
The researchers came up with the proposal of a two-state solution for Israel and Palestine.
The two-state solution adheres to the establishment of an independent sovereign Israeli state and
an Arab state in Palestine. The said solution entails the mutual recognition of an Israeli and an
Arab state which will further promote amicable relations between the warring nations, thus,
achieving the path towards the conclusion of the conflict. However, this cannot be put into full
realization without demilitarization of both sides, together with the allies of both parties. Mutual
recognition would also mean the recognition of the state of Israel by its neighboring Arab
countries.

Recommendations

After thorough analysis of the study, the researchers have seen that the conflict in
between Palestine and Israel has been brought about by both external and internal factors.

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As a supra-international congregation of nations, the United Nations should see to it that
the peace processes and all agreements between Israel and Palestine should be free from
imperialistic desires of the external actors. This is to avoid the danger that had happened in the
past where Britain, France and USA and their hidden desires had detrimental effects to the status
of Israel and Palestine. The UN, as a neutral party for all states, should make sure that
circumstances will not aggravate the already dangerous status of both territories.

As for this moment, reconciliation for both Jews and Arabs is essential to promote and
eventually maintain peace. A neutral party was being advocated by the researchers for the
establishment of two healthy states but that party must not act as a governing body, rather, a
monitoring committee.

The Arabs and the Jews in Palestine know what they really want. A compromise would
be the nearest road to peace. Hopefully, both parties would consider settling amicably.

As an issue, the Israeli Palestinian conflict has lasted for a long time. Peace has long been
desired. For political scientists, the researchers recommend for them to come up with sounder
solution/s that will only consider the interests of both parties. As of this moment, the intervention
of other states is being put in doubt, either altruistic or egoistic and by that, dependence on their
judgment is not healthy, yet, for Israel and Palestine.

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BIBLIOGRAPHY

Pictures:

http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/History/sykesmap.html
http://www.mythsandfacts.org/ReplyOnlineEdition/chapter-2.html
http://www.warchat.org/history-middle-east/arab-israel-war-1948-1949.html
http://www.planetware.com/map/israel-6-day-war-1967-and-yom-kippur-war-map-isr-isr12.htm
http://mondediplo.com/maps/westbankoslo2
http://www.gush-shalom.org/thewall/

Notes:

• From books:
Spencer, W. (2000). Global studies: the Middle East (8th ed). Connecticut:
McGraw-Hill.
Flint, C. (2006). Introduction to Geopolitics. 270 Madison Avenue, New
York: Routledge.

• From internet:
Ami Isseroff (July, 2008). Israel, Palestine and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict
(Arab Israeli Conflict) - A brief history. Retrieved September 21, 2008, from :
http://www.mideastweb.org/briefhistory.htm

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