Description of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict in the Middle East
The prevailing instability in the Middle East is mainly due to the conflict that exists between Palestine and Israel. The Palestine-Israeli conflict has existed since after the Second World War in when the United Nations allocated land to all Jews in the world so that they could all live together and in peace. The land that was given to them includes holy places for Judaism which is the Jewish religion and is surrounded entirely by Muslim nations (Brown, 2004). Palestinian Muslims occupied this land at the time the United Nations allocated it to the Jews.
Parts of this land that was given to the Jews or which they took over after they defeated Arab states in wars are also holy places for Muslims. This conflict is mainly about Jerusalem which is controlled by Israel as portions of it referred to as East Jerusalem are considered by Muslims to be very important. Palestinian Muslims therefore believe that because of religious reasons they must be given control over East Jerusalem if any lasting peace in the area is to be achieved. Another contributing factor to the conflict is that the Palestinians perceive Israelis to be invaders who have forced and placed them under their military.
This is because the Palestinians believe themselves to be a people living in an occupied nation. In an effort to retaliate and fight the Israeli occupation of the land they consider to be theirs, the Palestinians have resorted to using terrorist networks that they have built to attack Israeli civilians who in essence are innocent. Israel on the other hand feels that in order to protect itself from attacks by Palestinians, it must continue to use military force to control Palestinians.
The conflict is such that each party is fighting to preserve their identity as they view the other party to be a threat to the existence of their identity which in this case is religion and nationality. Palestinians specifically view Jews as a threat to their religion and nation. They therefore aim at eliminating the entire Jews. This conflict has affected the entire world in which Muslim nations consider the other nations especially those that are allied to Israeli such as the United States to be an enemy.
The Israeli-Palestine conflict is a major contributor to the terrorism attacks that the United States has suffered in the past (Adams, 2009). The view of Palestinians Palestinians feel that they have no freedom due to the fact that Israeli soldiers have to stop and examine them at each of the checkpoints that are situated between Palestinian cities. Palestinians therefore feel that they must get approval from Israeli to go anywhere such as to work, hospital shopping, visit their friends and relatives who live far and to return home from these places.
Sometimes after a terrorist attack they are not allowed to go through the check points even to important places such as work or to hospital when sick. This increases the Palestinian infuriation. Israel also controls much of sources that supply water to the Palestinians and as such give Palestinians limited access to water that is not enough for to meet their needs (Alawshat, 2009). Palestinians are also angry at the fact that Israelis continue to illegally build and create settlements in territories that are known to be Palestinian hence reducing Palestinian territory as it is converted into Israeli territory.
Palestinians perceive the creation of these settlements to be one of the major signs that Israeli is not focussed on achieving peace (Al-Azmeh, 1993). In the year 2002 Israeli soldiers launched attacks on several of Palestinian large cities in their attempts to destroy and dismantle the Palestinian terrorist networks. These attacks destroyed a large portion of the Palestinian government including water and electricity supplies, records, roads, equipment amongst several other things. In 2008, Israeli attacks on Palestinian settlement in the Gazza strip also saw hundreds of innocent civilians and massive destruction to property.
Palestinians perceive these attacks to be attempts by Israeli to prevent them from ever having a state that is independent (Adams, 2009). Israel has therefore been accused of committing war crimes not only by Palestinians but by several other international relief agencies as well during these attacks. Demands of Palestinians Palestinians feel that Israel has violated international law and should comply by retreating to the boarders that were created in the year 1967. Palestinians have laid down conditions that must be fulfilled if a lasting peace is to be achieved.
These include the creation of a Palestinian state that will be separate with the same borders whose boarders will be the same as those ones that existed 1967 (Al-Azmeh, 1993). They also want East Jerusalem to be under the control of Palestine. Palestinians want Israeli occupation of territories that are Palestinian to stop and Palestinian refugees to be given the freedom to go back to their homeland (Alawshat, 2009). Israel has in several occasions concurred with the idea of creation of a separate and independent Palestinian state though it does not want it to be soon.
It is also perceived that because of security reasons Israel may not be willing to give up its control of Palestinian territory even in spite of the fact that the territory will eventually be an independent state. Israel has meanwhile continued to create and place Israeli settlements on land that is rightfully Palestinian hence expanding its territory at the expense of Palestinians. As a result of these activities, Palestinians perceive Israel not to be honest and sincere in their negotiations for an independent and separate state (Adams, 2009).
The fact that Israelis removed Ehud Barak from power after he had offered to give East Jerusalem to the Palestinians shows that Israel is not willing to give up control over the region (Al-Azmeh, 1993). Israeli’s however claim that Palestinians refused the offer through their leader Arafat and hence would never accept peace. Palestinians on the other hand claim that Israel was not sincere with the offer s it divided Palestine and would not have ended Israeli control over Palestinian territories.
Israel also is willing to end its occupation and settlement of Palestinian land but on condition that the Palestinian borders of 1967 are redefined and it continues to check and control Palestinian movements through the checkpoints. This is an implication that Israel wants to continue controlling Palestinians even after they pull out of the land is rightfully Palestinian. The fourth demand of Palestinian refugees being allowed to go back to their land has been hard for the Israelis to consider as it would mean Israel having more Palestinians that Jews (Adams, 2009). This would mean end to Israel as a Jewish state.
The refusal by Israel to consider this option has in fact intensified the conflict as some Palestinian movements have promised to fight until the Israeli complies with this wish. Negotiators and mediators propose that since the refugees can not be allowed to go back to Israel, they be allowed to go back to Gazza and the West Bank as they are Palestinian territories according to international law (Adams, 2009). Palestinian Compromise According to some Palestinian extremists such as Hamas terrorist movement, Palestine would not stop its terrorist attacks on Israel even if it retreated to the borders that were defined in 1967.
The leaders of the movement want destruction of Israel as they consider it part of Palestine; they have therefore vowed to continue fighting until Palestine returns to what it was before 1948 (Al-Azmeh, 1993).. The View of Israelis Israelis believe that Palestinian militants are just terrorists who are not ready and do not want to compromise for peace. Israelis have been most angered by terrorist attacks by Palestinians against innocent Israeli civilians when negotiations for peace between the two “seemed” to be proceeding fairly.
Because of the timing of the attacks, moderate Israel leaders such as Barak have been replaced by extreme ones who will not compromise. Israeli leaders feel they can not trust Palestinians to negotiate peace. They also feel that they would be unsafe if they reduced or completely withdrew control over Palestinian territories (Adams, 2009). The demands of Israelis Israeli wants terrorist attacks by the Palestinians to stop. Israeli’s conditions if peace is to achieved in the region include Israeli control of the whole of Jerusalem.
Israel also wants to be allowed some control so in the Palestinian territories so that it can be able to destroy terrorist movements and networks. Israeli also wants the Palestinian borders to be redefined so that they ensure that Israel would be safe from attacks by the Palestinians. Israeli’s fourth condition is that Palestinian refugees be prevented from going back to their homelands as it threatened the existence of Israel as a nation (Adams, 2009). Israeli compromise It has been observed that even if the Palestinians stopped launching terrorist attacks at Israel, Israel would not retreat to the boarders that were defined in 1967.
Israeli extremists believe that the entire Palestine should belong to Israel and have kept on expanding into the Palestinian territories. Israel wants an independent Palestine but with Israeli control which is not perceived to be independence by the Palestinians. By comparing these demands to those of the Palestinians, it is can be seen that they clearly contradict and are completely opposite of each other hence the two parties are unlikely to find peace unless each side makes some compromise.
In addition, there are some Israelis who believe that the entire Palestinian territory should belong to Israel. Because of this, every time negotiations seem to get to a compromise. Extremists from either side work to ensure that it does not succeed. These operations are usually accompanied with a lot of violence (Alawshat, 2009). The international law advocates for the two parties to share the land. However, the recent vicious violence against each points more towards seeking of revenge than peace for the two parties.
Analyzing the Conflict using Cognitive frame Theory Cognitive frame theory refers to how the mental structures of individuals organize and interpret new information by fitting it to what they already had stored in their memory about reality. When confronted by a new situation, the individuals select structures from memory which are the frames and apply them to the present situation. These frames are always remembered and adjusted to fit the any situation (Dewulf et al. , 2005). This theory can be used to analyze the Israeli- Palestinian conflict.
From the description of the conflict, it is clear that the confli8ct has been going on for decades implying that the participants (Palestinians and the Israelis) have frames that are stored in their memory which they use to react to situations that arise in the conflicts. They interpret situations such as actions by the other party based on these structures. The Palestinians for example interpret Israeli’s continued conversion of Palestinian territory to Israeli settlement as a sign that Israel is not committed to peace.
Israeli’s on the other hand interpret Palestinians continued terrorist attacks on them as a sign that Palestinians are terrorists who do not want ton compromise for peace. The cognitive frames have also played a great part in determining how the two nations make their decisions on the outcomes of the conflict. The choices made such as laying down the conditions, launching the attacks on each other are all based ion the cognitive structures. Both parties have revealed what their expectations are. They each have conditions that they expect to be fulfilled if the conflict is to come to an end.
The Concepts of Conflict interaction Goals and examples from the interaction of Instrumental, Identity and Relational. Specific discussion of concepts of power and face as manifested in the conflict parties’ behavior. One of the concepts of conflict interaction goals is the desired outcome by the parties involved in the dispute. This concept implies that a conflict exists because the parties have some conditions they want fulfilled at the end of the conflict. Another concept of these goals is change which the disputants seek to achieve through conflict interactions.
All conflicts exist because the involved parties are not comfortable with the prevailing situations hence seek to change. Conflict interaction goals are also well structured and clear so that everyone involved in the dispute understands what the disputants seek to achieve at the end of the conflict. Clarity is important as it makes it possible for the confl8ict to be well managed especially during negotiation. Disputants usually have a multiple of goals. Rarely do parties in a conflict seek to achieve just one goal.
Most of the time not all these goals can be achieved as compromise is always necessary during negotiations. Another concept of conflict interaction goals is that they can conflict hence cause a lot of tension amongst parties from either side of conflict. A perfect example of this concept is the conflict discussed above between Israel and Palestine in which the demands of either side conflict. This has caused a great tension in the Middle East. In terms of instrumental type of interaction, the concepts are seen in the way parties involved in the conflict characterize each other hence develop attitudes.
These attitudes are instrumental in the way they behave towards each other in the conflict. In the event they develop negative depictions towards the other disputants like it is in our case study then the conflict becomes more intense and at times it may turn violent. Instrumental interactions therefore drive the parties in the conflict to act in the way they do as they seek to achieve an outcome n the conflict. In terms of identity type of interaction, these concepts are seen in the way individuals who perceive themselves or their social group to be victimized by another.
These individuals frame themselves as champions for certain cause that seeks to bring change or some outcome for themselves or for the group. The concepts are seen in the way these individuals or groups have goals that are clearly stated, seek to achieve change for their cause through conflict, have a desire for an outcome from the conflict and usually will have multiple goals. In the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, identity interaction is seen the way extremists from both sides believe that their nations deserve to occupy the entire Palestine region hence have vowed to fight on until this is achieved.
They believe in a cause that they are ready to fight for until it is accomplished. We see the way challenge to the identity of both the Israelites as Jews and Palestinian as Muslims generates vigorous defence from the two parties intensifying the conflict and making it more complicated (MacLachlan &. Reid, 1994; Gray, 2004)) In terms relational of interactions, an example of the concepts of conflict interaction goals can be seen in a conflict that results because one party feels that the other party which it views to be more superior exploits it.
The party that feels exploited may get into a conflict and seek to have changes may be in the way the superior party treats it (Donhue, 2001). Usually it has a number of goals it wants accomplished and desires the conflict to have an outcome that is beneficial to it. In the Israel-Palestine conflict for example, the Palestinians feel that Israel as a more powerful nation is unfair in the way it exercises its control over it. In an attempt to change this, Palestinians have a multiple of demands that they seek to have changed and met if peace is to be achieved.
The Israelis on the other can not trust the Palestinians to negotiate for peace hence are reluctant to comply with some of the demands in spite of the fact that Palestinians rightfully deserve some of them. In the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the concept of power is can be seen in the way Palestinians consider themselves to be inferior to Israel which has more resources, better technology, support of powerful nations such as the United States and sympathy from non-Islamic countries and the international community.
The Palestinians believe that the reason the Israelis continue to control and expand their settlement into territories that are rightfully Palestinian is because they are more powerful. Palestinians only way of fighting back is by carrying out terrorist attacks as they do not have any other way of defeating the Israeli. The Palestinians main goal in the conflict is achieve freedom and independence from the Israeli. The Israeli on the other hand consider themselves as the more superior party and want to continue exercising their control over the Palestinians even in the event Palestine becomes an independent.
Israeli being superior has continued to violate international laws and expanded their territory at the expense of the Palestinians. It therefore be concluded that the concept of power plays a very major role in this conflict as the two nations behave the way they do because of how they perceive themselves and each other in terms of superiority (Lewicki, Grey & Elliot, 2003). The face concept is a relationship framing that involves the parties in a conflict either saving or attacking each other’s face.
It also involves the parties putting on a desirable face for each other so as to achieve outcomes of the conflict. In the Israeli-Palestine conflict, neither of two parties tries to save the other one’s face. None of them also puts on a desirable face for the other one. The conflict is characterized by both sides attacking each other’s face trying to make the other one bad so as to get sympathy from the international community. Palestine especially has taken to displaying itself as an inferior nation whose freedom has been taken away by the powerful Israel that uses its power to exploit.
Israel on the other hand displays Palestinians as terrorists who do not want to compromise anything for peace. Recommendations and alternative Approaches for Potentially Rectifying the Palestine- Israeli Conflict and their Ramifications . As mentioned earlier, the instability in the Middle East is mainly because of the conflict between Israel and Palestine. Most negotiation efforts are directed towards convincing Israel to withdraw from Palestinian territories that have prevented the creation of an independent Palestine.
The methods used to convince Israel do not seem to be effective as they have born no fruits and instead Israel continues to invade Palestinian territories converting them to Israeli settlements. Stronger methods such as sanctions and withdrawal of support by the United States and other powerful nations should be attempted. The international community should be more firm ion Israeli in spite of it being a powerful nation. Israel should also respect Palestinian rights over East Jerusalem and give its control back to them as they value it for religious reasons. This would make the Palestinians stop viewing Jews as religious enemies.
A mechanism that would ensure that security is maintained by both Israel and Palestine could be developed and adopted and be signed by both sides so that no party takes advantage of its military or economic superiority and attack the other one. The reason should be freed from weapons especially those of mass destruction in order to enhance security and reduce the frequent attacks on each other. This framework if signed by both parties would enhance cooperation between the Israel and Palestine and promote peace stability that is essential and would be very beneficial to the civilians in the region.
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