Arab-Israeli Peace ProcessIsraeli- Palestinian conflict has raged on for long since that state of Israel was formed in 1948.
the various attempts to find lasting solution and thaw the impasse have been futile. This has gone into history as one of the longest conflicts in history and also one of the deadliest. The various groups brokering the peace have tabled different solutions on the table but they are yet to be accepted, there are raging disagreements centering on the nature of the final agreement and the situation is characterized by mutual suspicion and claims of lack of mutual commitment.
There are a number of obstacles to finding peace in the Palestinian-Israel conflict. One of the core obstacles to peace lies in the raging prejudice that is expressed both by the Jews and also by the Palestinians. This is one of the hardest obstacles that analysts indicate will take long to eliminate. The two sides are convinced that they are rightfully entitled to what they are claiming while denying the demands of the other side and also its very continuation. This prejudice has led to a corrosive effect where each side seeks to rationalize its claim and justify its stand through the use of violence.
Such prejudice is held not only by the two players but also by those that back them. The public has become contaminated by such negative sentiments and thy have become exploited by both sides to fuel either anti-Palestine or anti-Semitic hatred.The Israel state led by Benjamin Netanyahu voted overwhelmingly never to allow a Palestine state; likewise the coming of Hamas into power has complicated the debate and has maintained there would be no peace as long as the Israel state continues to exist. A look at how this conflict has progressed indicates that it has become a sensitive issue in the Middle East with most Arab states unanimously backing Palestine with some such as Iran advocating for the decimation of Israel. This has also given rise to a number of terror organizations that mete out violence against Israeli’s interests to compel its withdrawal from Gaza. Western nations and the United States are seen as being sympathetic to Israeli’s cause and have been accuse of dishonesty in their pursuit to peace. It is this mutual suspicion and raging prejudice that have been a major impediment to the peace process (Levitt 66).
The issue of Palestinian refugees also continues to create a thorny debate between the two sides. This is a debate largely exacerbated by the extremist views held by some factions in both sides. The initial record of the number of refugees that escaped form the conflict or were expelled upon the creation of Israel numbered close to 700,000. This number has swelled especially due to the large number of the descendants. Palestinian leaders have maintained that these people must be returned to their homeland. Yasser Arafat set this as a precondition to any peaceful agreement. This is a position that has been backed by a number of scholars from Middle East as these refugees were expelled rather than walking away willing-fully.
This is also a stance that has been backed by the UN Resolution 194 which allows refugees to return to their homes and be granted compensation by the authorities responsible. Further UN resolutions have pushed for a just settlement without clarifying what such just settlement would be. While a number of Israelis may be willing to compromise, extremists maintain that this would jeopardize the peace process and the possible annihilation of the Israel state. Those Jewish refugees that fled the war due to anti-Semitic conflicts were also not compensated (Karsh 54). The current impasse is on whether to establish a single state or two states to end the deadlock.
The Obama administration and indeed the Israel and the Palestinian leaderships are pushing for a two state solution where both the Jews and the Palestinians would have separate governments. This is an option that has been largely criticized by a growing traction in the Middle East and is not seen as the amicable solution, violence is bound to continue.The two-state solution is driven by the raging fear and suspicion that has prevailed in the Middle East. It is based on the assumption that Jews and the non-Jews cannot be governed by a single democratic government. A look at both Israel and Palestine indicates there is a growing wing of extremism that is likely to jeopardize efforts of the two-state approach. The Likud party and a number of allied parties and individuals in Israel are gaining ground and becoming vocal in the Israel’s political front. They are bent on opposing the two state solutions.
Likewise the Hamas in Palestine has grown in strength. Establishing two-states is likely to continue with the impasse as it will not have settled the underlying problems. The two sides have grievances that go beyond governance and lie deeply in the territories. A one-state solution will go along way in opening a door for compromise where there will be a high likelihood of formation of a popular coalition government that draws support from both sides (Tilley 276).In theory, the two-state option is workable, but putting into consideration the situation on the ground, the one-state solution is the most viable. The reality is that there exists hundreds of thousands of Palestinians that occupy the territory regarded to be a preserve of the Jews.
Israel has continued to expand its territory into the Palestinian territory and currently there are over 150,000 Jews residing in east Jerusalem at the behest and subsidy of the Israel government. A two state solution hence will mean that Israel has to evict thousands of its citizens from the Palestinian land and compensate the Palestinian state. The sheer stubbornness and influence wielded by these settlers indicates that this is impractical and will impede on any efforts to the creation of a Palestinian state. The intricacies of the creation of the two states will take long and might be difficult to work out. The Gaza occupation by Israel is likely to remain and indeed Israel might opt to violently drive Palestinians from the territory (Bligh 17).The claims that a two-state solution is the most viable as it ensures that the two distinct groups do not exist together and hence minimizing chances of conflict does not hold water.
The two groups may have distinct cultural values but a look at many states indicates that they are comprised of multi-ethnic factions and this does not impede on their peaceful co-existence. The solution hence lies on the integration of both sides and establishing a system of political powers sharing and mutual economic integration under one state.Works CitedKarsh, Efraim.
Between war and peace: dilemmas of Israeli security. Routledge, 1996.Levitt, Matthew. Negotiating under fire: preserving peace talks in the face of terror attacks. Rowman & Littlefield, 2008Tilley, Virginia. The one-state solution: a breakthrough for peace in the Israeli- Palestinian deadlock.
University of Michigan Press, 2005Bligh, Alexander. The Israeli Palestinians: an Arab minority in the Jewish state. Routledge, 2003