Essay About The Arab Israeli Conflict

Modern World History

Mr. Hanover

Palestinian-Israeli Conflict Essay

Introduction:

The struggle between the Israelis and the Palestinians is one of the most enduring and explosive of all the world's conflicts.  It has its roots in the historic claim to the land which lies between the eastern shores of the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan river.  For the Palestinians the last 100 years have brought colonization, expulsion and military occupation, followed by a long and difficult search for self-determination and for coexistence with the nation they hold responsible for their suffering and loss.  For the Jewish people of Israel, the return to the land of their forefathers after centuries of persecution around the world has not brought peace or security. They have faced many crises as their neighbors have sought to wipe their country off the map.  The purpose of this essay is to determine which group is the rightful occupants of the Holy Land.

Question:

  1. What determines land ownership in the case of Israel/Palestine?

  2. Does either group have a right to claim the land?

  3. Why or why not?

Process:

  1. I.Brainstorm

    1. A.Using notes, our text and all handouts, write down all information you can about the different claims to the Holy Land on the sheet provided

    2. B.Done in class 3/11

    3. C.10 points

  2. II.Thesis

    1. A.After examining the different cases, state your opinion on who has the best claim of ownership in the area

    2. B.Done in class 3/11

    3. C.10 points

  3. III.Document Analysis

    1. A.Using the analysis sheets provided, analyze the primary sources pertaining to claims on the Holy Land

    2. B.Due Monday 3/14

    3. C.20 points

  4. IV.Outline

    1. A.Using the outline packet, write an outline for the paper that provides your planned structure for the paper

    2. B.Due Tuesday 3/15

    3. C.20 points

  5. V.First Two Paragraphs

    1. A.Write the Introduction and First Body Paragraph of your paper

    2. B.Due Wednesday 3/16 for Block 2; Thursday 3/17 for Block 1

    3. C.20 points

  6. VI.Rough Draft

    1. A.Write a complete draft of your paper with all elements of the final draft

    2. B.Due Friday 3/18

    3. C.20 points

  7. VII. Peer Editing

    1. A.Using the peer editing sheets provided, edit at least two classmates’ papers

    2. B.Done in class 3/21

    3. C.10 points

  8. VIII. Final Draft

    1. A.Write a final draft that is:

      1. 1.3-5 pages long, typed in Times font, 12-point, double-spaced

    2. B.Due Thursday 3/23 for Bloc 2 and Friday 3/24 for Block1

    3. C.50 points

Modern World History

Mr. Hanover

Arab-Israeli Conflict Essay: Brainstorm and Thesis

Introduction:

We will be writing an essay in which you must state your belief and support that statement. 

Questions:

  1. What determines land ownership in the case of Israel/ Palestine?

  2. Does either group have a right to claim the land?

  3. Why or why not?

Step one: Brainstorming. Fill in BOTH sides of the chart.


Step Two : Writing your thesis.  Take a minute to evaluate your evidence.  Write a thesis which answers the essay question. The easiest way to write a thesis is to use wording from the actual question.

    1. Example thesis:

      1. Land ownership is determined by a people’s ability to gain and maintain control of the land; through that reasoning, the Israelis have a better claim of ownership on the Holy land because of their take over and control of the area.

Write your thesis here:

Modern World History

Mr. Hanover

Palestinian-Israeli Conflict Essay: Document Analysis

Instructions:

Analyze the following documents using the analysis sheets provided. Answer the questions as  thoroughly as possible.  Some questions may not be answered.

The document analysis sheet is linked below:

http://www.archives.gov/education/lessons/worksheets/written_document_analysis_worksheet.pdf

Documents:

  1. Document A: The Sikes-Picot Agreement

  2. Document B: The Balfour Declaration

  3. Document C: Minutes from the meeting of the Eastern Committee of the British Parliament

  4. Document D: Churchill White Paper, 1922

  5. Document E: British White Paper, 1939

  6. Document F: United Nations Resolution, 1948

  7. Document G: Excerpt from The Lemon Tree, Palestinian Bashir’s visit to his home prior to Israeli independence

  8. Document H: Map of the Partition of Palestine, 1948

  9. Document I: Strangers in the House

  10. Document J:  Statement by Nasser

Document A

The Sykes-Picot Agreement : 1916

It is accordingly understood between the French and British governments:

That France and Great Britain are prepared to recognize and protect an independent Arab states or a confederation of Arab states (a) and (b) marked on the annexed map, under the suzerainty of an Arab chief. That in area (a) France, and in area (b) Great Britain, shall have priority of right of enterprise and local loans. That in area (a) France, and in area (b) Great Britain, shall alone supply advisers or foreign functionaries at the request of the Arab state or confederation of Arab states.

That in the blue area France, and in the red area Great Britain, shall be allowed to establish such direct or indirect administration or control as they desire and as they may think fit to arrange with the Arab state or confederation of Arab states.

That in the brown area there shall be established an international administration, the form of which is to be decided upon after consultation with Russia, and subsequently in consultation with the other allies, and the representatives of the Shereef of Mecca.

The Avalon Project, Yale University

Document B

This Letter, to Lord Rothschild, by the British Foreign Secretary Arthur James Balfour, became known as the "Balfour Declaration". The letter was published a week later in The Times (London) of London.

Foreign Office
November 2nd, 1917
Dear Lord Rothschild:
I have much pleasure in conveying to you. on behalf of His Majesty's
Government, the following declaration of sympathy with Jewish Zionist aspirations which has been submitted to, and approved by, the Cabinet:
His Majesty's Government view with favor the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavors to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall 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.

I should be grateful if you would bring this declaration to the knowledge
of the Zionist Federation.

Yours,

Arthur James Balfour

Document  C     Extract fromMinutes of the Meeting of the Eastern Committee of the Cabinet (United Kingdom) of 5 December, 1918, in which Lord Curzon, the Foreign Secretary of the UK and  chairman of the committee, makes the following statement:

The Palestine position is this. If we deal with our commitments, there is first the general pledge to Hussein in October 1915, under which Palestine was included in the areas as to which Great Britain pledged itself that they should be Arab and independent in the future . . . Great Britain and France - Italy subsequently agreeing - committed themselves to an international administration of Palestine in consultation with Russia, who was an ally at that time . . . A new feature was brought into the case in November 1917, when Mr. Balfour, with the authority of the War Cabinet, issued his famous declaration to the Zionists that Palestine 'should be the national home of the Jewish people, but that nothing should be done - and this, of course, was a most important proviso - to prejudice the civil and religious rights of the existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine. Those, as far as I know, are the only actual engagements into which we entered with regard to Palestine.

Document  D    Extract fromthe British White Paper of June 3,1922 [also referred as the Churchill White Paper]:

[…] it is not the case, as has been represented by the Arab Delegation, that during the war His Majesty's Government gave an undertaking that an independent national government should be at once established in Palestine. This representation mainly rests upon a letter dated the 24th October, 1915, from Sir Henry McMahon, then His Majesty's High Commissioner in Egypt, to the Sharif of Mecca, now King Hussein of the Kingdom of the Hejaz. That letter is quoted as conveying the promise to the Sherif of Mecca to recognize and support the independence of the Arabs within the territories proposed by him. But this promise was given subject to a reservation made in the same letter, which excluded from its scope, among other territories, the portions of Syria lying to the west of the District of Damascus. This reservation has always been regarded by His Majesty's Government as covering the vilayet of Beirut and the independent Sanjak of Jerusalem. The whole of Palestine west of the Jordan was thus excluded from Sir. Henry McMahon's pledge.

Document  E     Extract fromthe British White Paper of May 17,1939

His Majesty's Government believe that the framers of the Mandate in which the Balfour Declaration was embodied could not have intended that Palestine should be converted into a Jewish State against the will of the Arab population of the country. [...] His Majesty's Government therefore now declare unequivocally that it is not part of their policy that Palestine should become a Jewish State. They would indeed regard it as contrary to their obligations to the Arabs under the Mandate, as well as to the assurances which have been given to the Arab people in the past, that the Arab population of Palestine should be made the subjects of a Jewish State against their will.

Document F

The resolution recommends that the United Kingdom (as mandatory power for Palestine) evacuate; armed forces should withdraw no later than August 1, 1948; independent Arab and Jewish States and the Special International Regime for the City of Jerusalem administered by the United Nations should come into existence;  the City of Jerusalem should preserve the interests of Christian, Jewish, and Muslim faiths.

UN General Assembly Resolution 181 (II), August, 1948

Document G     Extract fromthe Lemon Tree by journalist Sandy Tolan, Bloomsbury, 2007, p. 207. This excerpt is from a Palestinian, Bashir, who is visiting what was, prior to 1948, his family’s home, and is currently being lived in by a Jewish family.

We were exiled by force of arms.  We were exiled on foot.  We were exiled to take the earth as our bed. And the sky as a cover.  And to be fed from the crums to those among the governments and international organizations who imparted their charity.  We were exiled but we left our souls, our hopes, our childhood in Palestine.  We left our joys and sorrows.  We left them in every corner, and on every grain of sand in Palestine. We left them with each lemon fruit, with each olive.  We left them in the roses and flowers.  We left them in the flowering tree that stands with pride at the entrance of our house in al-Ramla.  We left them in the remains of our fathers and ancestors.  We left them as witnesses and history.  We left them, hoping to return

Document H: United Nations partition of Palestine, 1948


Document I

Arab Palestinians began to leave their homes in cities in December 1947. The number of Arab Palestinians leaving their homes increased to hundreds of thousands by May 1948. During the last week of April in 1948, as the fighting came closer to their home, the Palestinian family in this passage left Jaffa for Ramallah. On May 14, 1948, Israel was established. This new country included the city of Jaffa. Ramallah was in the West Bank that became part of Jordan.

. . I grew up hearing the description of my father’s last visit to Jaffa, and it has left an indelible [permanent] impression on me. My father’s entire holdings were in and around Jaffa, the products of his own hard work. His father had left him nothing. How difficult it must have been to bid all this farewell. The image of my father, his every step echoing in the empty streets of the deserted city, still haunts me. . . .He moved on to the marketplace, empty except for a few shops that had somehow remained open. He walked passed Hinn’s, his barbershop, and found it closed. The courthouse was closed, as were the clinics, the nurseries, the cafés, the cinema. The place was deserted, prepared to be captured. What have we done, he wondered. How could we have all left? . . . Source: Raja Shehadeh,Strangers in the House: Coming of Age in Occupied Palestine,Penguin Books

Document J

Statement by President Nasser to Members of the Egyptian National Assembly. May 29, 1967

Then came the events of 1956-the Suez battle. We all know what happened in 1956. When we rose to demand our rights, Britain, France and Israel opposed us, and we were faced with the tripartite aggression. We resisted, however, and proclaimed that we would fight to the last drop of our blood. God gave us success and God's victory was great…Preparations have already been made. We are now ready to confront Israel. They have claimed many things about the 1956 Suez war, but no one believed them after the secrets of the 1956 collusion were uncovered- that mean collusion in which Israel took part. Now we are ready for the confrontation. We are now ready to deal with the entire Palestine question.

The issue now at hand is not the Gulf of Aqaba, the Straits of Tiran, or the withdrawal of the UNEF, but the rights of the Palestine people. It is the aggression, which took place in Palestine in 1948 with the collaboration of Britain and the United States. It is the expulsion of the Arabs from Palestine, the usurpation of their rights, and the plunder of their property. It is the disavowal of all the UN resolutions in favour of the Palestinian people..

Document K

Excerpts from the Hamas Charter

"After Palestine, the Zionists aspire to expand from the Nile to the Euphrates. When they will have digested the region they overtook, they will aspire to further expansion, and so on. Their plan is embodied in the "Protocols of the Elders of Zion", and their present conduct is the best proof of what we are saying."

"Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it." (The Martyr, Imam Hassan al-Banna, of blessed memory).

"The Islamic Resistance Movement believes that the land of Palestine is an Islamic Waqf consecrated for future Muslim generations until Judgment Day. It, or any part of it, should not be squandered: it, or any part of it, should not be given up.

Document L

The Bible. Genesis 17: 3-8

Abram fell facedown, and God said to him, 4 “As for me, this is my covenant with you: You will be the father of many nations. 5 No longer will you be called Abram[a]; your name will be Abraham,[b] for I have made you a father of many nations. 6 I will make you very fruitful; I will make nations of you, and kings will come from you. 7 I will establish my covenant as an everlasting covenant between me and you and your descendants after you for the generations to come, to be your God and the God of your descendants after you. 8 The whole land of Canaan, where you now reside as a foreigner, I will give as an everlasting possession to you and your descendants after you; and I will be their God.”

Modern World History

Mr. Hanover

Arab-Israeli Conflict Essay: Outline Packet

Writing a paper should not be viewed as a one-step activity.  Rather, it should be a process that involves multiple steps that allow you to organize your thoughts in a way that helps you to write a clear, persuasive, and eloquent essay.

In this class, every time you write a paper, you will be asked to complete either an outline and/or a draft.  Both the outline and the draft will be handed in with the final draft for a grade.  I am not requiring you to do outlines and drafts to make your life miserable but rather to help you become a better writer. 

The structure of the essay is as follows:

Paragraph 1  (Introduction)

  1. The introduction should start broad and get more specific as it progresses. 

  2. The first thing you should do is to introduce the reader to the larger context of the essay.

    1. oThe first 1-2 sentences should contain background information (who, what, when, where, etc.)

    2. oFor example, if you are writing a paper on the Arab-Israeli Conflict, you need to provide some background; when it took place, who was involved, etc.  Do not dive right into the topic of the essay without giving the reader some sense of time and place (context).

  3. After you introduce the topic, you need to make the connection to your specific topic – transition from background information into what you will be writing about.

  1. The last sentence of the paragraph should contain a clear, concise thesis statement.

    1. oWhat is a thesis statement? 

      1. A thesis statement should illustrate an argument that you will prove over the course of the paper.

      2. A thesis statement should always contain brief mention of what the body of the paper will discuss in greater detail (i.e. it should summarize the topic sentences of the 3 body paragraphs.)

      3. If the question asks you to defend a particular point, the thesis statement will state the point as a fact and back it up with brief mention of 3 major reasons why it is true.  These reasons will then be the basis of the body of your paper.

Paragraph 2, 3, and 4  (Body Paragraph #1-3)

  1. Each body paragraph should start with a topic sentence to preview to the reader what the paragraph will discuss.

  1. Each body paragraph should contain three examples to support the specific point being addressed in the paragraph.

    1. oExamples should include quotations, facts, statistics, etc.

    2. oThis is where you will usually include quotations from texts and citations from readings and notes that you have.

  2. The body of your paper should be as specific as possible and should offer as clear and vivid illustrations as possible.

  3. The last sentence should not only bring the paragraph to a conclusion, but it should also serve as a transition into the next body paragraph (i.e. find a connection or relationship between the two paragraphs.)

Paragraph 5  (Conclusion)

  1. The conclusion should summarize the contents of the entire paper and should try and offer some additional insights (intelligent comments or observations) about the topic.

  2. Restate your argument – do not cut and paste the introduction verbatim or try to change one or two of the words from the introduction!

  3. Open the paper up.  It is here that you should try to do one of the following:

    1. oconnect your paper to the larger historical picture

    2. ostate its significance to the time period

    3. orelate it to later events or issues

    4. othink of other questions to ask (related to the topic)


What is the general topic of this essay?

What general information does the reader need about this topic?

(What is the topic being discussed?  What information is needed to give the reader enough background

to understand the topic?)

What will this essay explain and/or argue?

(What is your specific thesis?  Your thesis should contain the topics of your body paragraphs.)


What is the topic of this paragraph?

(What specific point will this paragraph illustrate with three examples?)

What are the three examples that illustrate the specific topic?

(What does each example show?)

[Summarize each example, and indicate citations of where the information is coming from,

including page numbers, etc.]

      1.)

      2.)

      3.)

What “signposts” help structure this paragraph?

(e.g.  First…, Next…, Finally…;  First of all…, In a later passage…, Finally…)

What statement wraps up this topic?

(What conclusion can be drawn from the examples from the examples in this paragraph?)

What phrase serves as a transition into the next paragraph?

(How does the topic of this paragraph connect to the topic of the following paragraph?


What is the topic of this paragraph?

(What specific point will this paragraph illustrate with three examples?)

What are the three examples that illustrate the specific topic?

(What does each example show?)

[Summarize each example, and indicate citations of where the information is coming from,

including page numbers, etc.]

      1.)

      2.)

      3.)

What “signposts” help structure this paragraph?

(e.g.  First…, Next…, Finally…;  First of all…, In a later passage…, Finally…)

What statement wraps up this topic?

(What conclusion can be drawn from the examples from the examples in this paragraph?)

What phrase serves as a transition into the next paragraph?

(How does the topic of this paragraph connect to the topic of the following paragraph?)


What is the topic of this paragraph?

(What specific point will this paragraph illustrate with three examples?)

What are the three examples that illustrate the specific topic?

(What does each example show?)

[Summarize each example, and indicate citations of where the information is coming from,

including page numbers, etc.]

      1.)

      2.)

      3.)

What “signposts” help structure this paragraph?

(e.g.  First…, Next…, Finally…;  First of all…, In a later passage…, Finally…)

What statement wraps up this topic?

(What conclusion can be drawn from the examples from the examples in this paragraph?)

What phrase serves as a transition into the next paragraph?

(How does the topic of this paragraph connect to the topic of the following paragraph?)


What phrase serves as a transition from the body of the paper?

What more can now be said about the ideas expressed in the thesis statement?

(Restate, in new terms, the thesis statement.  Then add further reflections.)

What thought-provoking statement concludes the essay?

(So what?  Why is the topic of this essay important?  How can you broaden the scope of your

discussion?  How does the topic of the essay relate to the larger historical picture?  How does it relate to

later events/issues?)



Conflict between the Arabs and Israelis in the Middle East is not just a modern day problem; it is a 5,000 year enmity with roots extending to Biblical times. After researching the history of the Middle East, I have come to the conclusion that peace in the region has not been achieved for several reasons. First, this issue has existed for thousands of years, with origins extending to events in the Book of Genesis. Secondly, there are modern day political dynamics involved between the Arabs and Israelis that make getting to the bargaining table difficult for the leadership of both sides. Additionally, Arab and Muslim aggression towards the Jewish State since its founding in 1948 is a leading contributor to hindrances in any peace process. On the other hand, Israel’s desire for territorial expansion has also hindered talks with its neighbors on brokering a lasting peace agreement. Lastly, there are the fluid self-interests of the United States and other nation states that must be taken into account when analyzing the stalemate in peace efforts in the region.

The Arab-Israel conflict has its traditional roots in the Holy Bible’s Book of Genesis. The issues began when two women, Sarah and Hagar, each gave birth to a son by the monotheistic patriarch, Abraham. In Genesis 16, Hagar gave birth to her son, Ishmael, and in Genesis 21 Sarah gave birth to Isaac. The God of Abraham tells the Patriarch in Genesis 17 that He will make his covenant through his son with Sarah and that Abraham’s descendants through Isaac will be given dominion over ‘all the Land of Canaan, for perpetual holding (Genesis 17:8).’ The Biblical ‘Land of Canaan’ encompasses the majority of modern day Palestine, giving way to the Jewish argument that all of the territory rightfully belongs to them since it was given to them directly by God. These events in Genesis reach their climax when in Genesis 21, at the orders of Sarah and with the consent of God, Abraham expels Hagar and Ishmael from his household. God tells Abraham not to worry about Ishmael because He would ‘make a nation of him also, because he is your offspring (Genesis 21:13).’
Ishmael and his offspring, known as ‘Ishmaelites,’ are traditionally considered to be the ancestors of today’s Arabs and Isaac and his offspring are the ancestors of modern day Jews. The great nations that God promises to each of Abraham’s sons are the modern Muslim and Jewish religions where Abraham is considered to be the ‘first Muslim’ and the ‘first Jew’ by the respective faiths. So it must be understood that discontent between these two peoples is not a modern phenomenon with its origins in 1948, but that this is an issue that has been occurring for thousands of years and that no lasting solutions for peace should be expected to happen easily. The famed Jewish writer and activist Elie Weisel sums up the ancient roots of the Arab-Israeli conflict in one of his writings, titled ‘Ishmael and Hagar,’ that ‘if only Sarah could have shared her love between Isaac and Ishmael! If only she could have brought them together instead of setting them apart! Maybe some of today’s tragedies would have been avoided. The Palestinian problem is rooted in the separation of these two brothers.’

Secondly, peace in the Middle East has not been attained due to modern day political dynamics between the Arabs and Israelis that make even getting to the bargaining table difficult for the leadership of both sides. Most of these political dynamics, while religious sentiments may be underlying issues, seem to stem from disagreements based on land and security. The idea of a Jewish state started in the latter part of the nineteenth century when rising anti-Semitism in continental Europe became a catalyst for the Zionist movement, which advocated for global Jewry to return to the land of their ancestors and create a Jewish state in the Holy Land. During this time period, the Holy Land was under the control of the Ottoman Empire, which would cease to exist after World War I due to its alliance with the Central Powers. After the Great War, the Holy Land came under the authority of the British Empire and became known and the Mandate of Palestine.
In their periodical on the past and present issues concerning the Arab-Israeli conflict, scholars Joel Beinin and Lisa Hajjar note that after the war, ‘the British foreign minister, Lord Arthur Balfour, issued a declaration announcing his government’s support for the establishment of a Jewish national home in Palestine’ (Beinin and Hajjar 3). Beinin and Hajjar go on to explain the details of the Sykes-Picot Agreement, which was an arrangement between Britain and France to divide the former Ottoman Empire’s Arab provinces in an effort to split control of the region. After World War I, the League of Nations granted France a mandate over Syria and created a separate state, Lebanon, which contained a Christian majority. Britain obtained a mandate over Iraq and the present-day area of Israel, the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and Jordan (Beinin and Hajjar 3). Other events that contributed to the twenty first century disagreements in the conflict include the 1948 Arab-Israeli War and the Six Day War in 1967. As a result of these two wars, Israel greatly expanded its territory into Arab majority areas such as the West Bank, Gaza and the Sinai Peninsula up to the Suez Canal.
Presently, the top, political priorities for the Arabs are the creation of an independent state of Palestine that is comprised of the West Bank, Gaza, and other settlements within the current borders of Israel. Arab interests also include the return of the Golan Heights to Syria, the removal of Jewish settlers in Arab majority territories and the Palestinian national capitol being located in East Jerusalem. Israelis want a country where they feel safe and secure, access to their ancient, holy sites and for the Arabs in Palestine to live peacefully within the Jewish state. Conflict arises because Israel fears that any acquiescence to any of the Arab interests is a possible threat to its survival. For example, Israel will not give back the Golan Heights because it feels that they do not want to provide Shiite terrorists based in Syria the high ground to launch attacks. Additionally, the Israeli government is afraid that if the Palestinians are given complete sovereignty over the West Bank, Jewish citizens would be cut off from their holy sites in Jerusalem and the surrounding areas. Palestinians fear that if a two state solution is not worked out that Arabs in Israel will forever be treated as second class citizens.

Another impediment to peace in the Middle East has been Arab/Muslim aggression towards the Jewish state since its founding in 1948 and Israel’s desire for territorial expansion from its original partition borders. Modern violence first broke out in Palestine in late 1947, after the announcement of the United Nations Partition Plan that called for an Arab and Jewish State to be created in Palestine. The Jews accepted this UN plan while the Arabs did not. For the next few months, while under continuous attack from the Arabs, the region’s Jews were regularly on the defensive with the occasional offensive retaliation (Morris 2008). When the hostilities of the 1948 War came to an end between the Jews and Arabs, the State of Israel still controlled all of the territory that it was granted during the partition along with a large portion of the land that was set aside for the Arab state. Despondent about the outcome of the 1948 War, the Arabs were insistent on two major demands: that Israel withdraw its forces back to the original UN Partition Plan boundaries and allow Palestinian refugees to return to Israel. These demands were both rejected because Israel argued that the new borders were created on account of war and that the UN lines did not take into consideration the defense needs of the Jewish state. Israel also rejected the Arab requests for Palestinians to be allowed to return to Israel because doing so would alter the Jewishness of the new country (Sela 2002).
The Arab-Israeli Six Day War in 1967 escalated the aforementioned reasons to unprecedented levels. The Six Day War broke out on June 5, 1967, when Israel preemptively attacked Syria and Egypt and destroyed a significant amount of their air and ground forces. This caused the Kingdom of Jordan to enter the fray, but they too were soundly defeated by the Israeli armed forces. Within the next five days, Israel had taken control of the West Bank and the entire holy city of Jerusalem from Jordan, the Golan Heights from Syria and the Sinai Peninsula and Gaza from Egypt (Beinin and Hajjar 7). In the aftermath of the War, Palestinian nationalism, increased Arab hatred toward the Jewish state and Israel’s unwillingness to disengage from its newly occupied territories made the region even more of a powder keg. Since the 1967 Six Day War, there have been several more conflicts between Israel and its Arab neighbors such as the 1973 Yom Kippur War in which Israel was attacked on its religious Day of Atonement. Other conflicts have taken place in Lebanon between Israel and terrorist groups such as the Iranian backed Hezbollah group in the last decade and Yasser Arafat’s Fatah organization in the 1980s.
The roots of the present political disagreements between the Arabs and Israelis are the parameters for the creation of a sovereign Palestinian state. Also, the aftermath of the 2015 Israeli national elections have probably made things harder for peace talks with the reelected Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu saying on the eve of the election that if he were to be reelected he would not be supportive of the two-state solution compromise with the Palestinians. This has led to tensions with the leadership of traditional allies of Israel such as the United States led by President Barack Obama.

Another major issue that must be analyzed and understood when discussing the lack of progress towards mediating the Arab-Israeli Conflict is the fluid self-interests of other nations including the United States and Iran. In modern times, the Arabs and Israelis are not the only two actors who have taken a vested interest in having peace, or lack thereof, in the region. Ever since the end of World War I when the British Empire took control over Palestine from the defeated Ottoman Empire, foreign nations have tried to impose their initiatives to establish a peaceful solution for living situation of the diverse groups of people living in such a small geographic location. As far as Great Britain is concerned, while present-day relations between Israel and the government of Prime Minister David Cameron are close, this has not always been so. After the Arab-Israeli War of 1948, Britain was seen as being pro-Arab by its maintaining of close ties to various Arab states (Black 2002).
Another example is the once-cordial relations that the State of Israel had with the Iranians when Iran was under the rule of the moderate Mohammad-Reza Shah of the Pahlavi Dynasty. Now, under the rule of the Ayatollahs since the Islamic Revolution of 1979, Iran is widely considered to be Israel’s greatest antagonist, perhaps the largest sponsor of terrorism against the Jewish state. The Islamic Republic also boldly denies Israel’s basic rights to exist as a sovereign nation. Since Israel’s founding in 1948, the United States has undoubtedly been the most influential foreign actor in its brief history. The United States was the first country to recognize Israel and has contributed billions of dollars in foreign assistance (Mark 2002). American Presidents from Harry Truman to George W. Bush have always advocated for policies that seemed to be pro-Israel and support for Israel always seemed to be an issue that crossed partisan lines. Today, however, support for Israel seems to be dependent on the political party with which a person affiliates with. Republicans tend to be more in favor of Israeli causes due to its policies of ‘hawkish’ foreign policy and its social conservative wing being pro-Israel for religious reasons. The Democratic Party tends not to let the religious dynamics be a part of its approach when dealing with the Arab-Israeli conflict, they have a more moderate outlook on foreign policy and like to take the viewpoint of the Arabs into account as part of the process for finding a solution to the ongoing dilemma. These differences of opinion between the political parties in the United States has contributed to why the peace process has stalled in the last few years.
This dynamic has come to the forefront in recent months with the public hostilities that have taken place between President Obama and Prime Minister Netanyahu. Along with his election eve statement about not wanting a Palestinian state, a couple of weeks before the election Prime Minister Netanyahu spoke to the Republican-controlled American Congress about his opposition to the Obama administration’s policies towards reaching a nuclear deal with the government of Iran. This see-sawing of self-interests by foreign states, which is dependent on the policies of the present government or party in power, has had destabilizing effects on the region due to a lack of having a consistent plan for peace.

Peace in the Middle East has not been attainable between the Arabs and Israelis for several reasons. First, this issue has been going on since Biblical times with its roots taking shape due to events that take place in the Book of Genesis. There are also many modern day political dynamics that began in the late nineteenth century involving the Arabs and Israelis that make getting to the bargaining table difficult for the leadership of both sides. Also, Arab and Muslim aggression towards the Jewish State since its inception is a leading contributor to hindrances in any peace process, along with Israel’s desire for territorial expansion that have also hindered talks with the Arabs on brokering a lasting peace agreement. The fluid self-interests of the United States and other nation states such as Iran must also be taken into account when analyzing the stalemate in peace efforts in the region. This dilemma has a lot of serious variables and it is going to take a lot of compromise on the side of all parties to establish a lasting peace in the region.

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