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


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


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.



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


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 ( -establishment of a Jewish homeland in Palestine ruled by the Jews.



- 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.


- 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


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 IsraelPalestine 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.


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



Friedrich Ratzel’s “Organic State Theory”


Robert Strausz-Hupe’s “Power Urge” Theory

Analysis of the Conflict

Karl Wolfgang Deustch’s Theory of Integration and Disintegration

Right to SelfDetermination




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” ( The Zionists' advocacy could never be realized because they lack support from European and Ottoman governments. However, the First World War provided an opportunity. The Sykes-Picot Agreement of 1916. Source: History/sykesmap.html


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”. ( 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.


British Mandate over Palestine (1920) Source: eplyOnlineEdition/chapter-2.html

British Mandate over Palestine (1922) Source: 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.


“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 Source: 008/05/ g by the Egyptians. By the end of the 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: UN Partition Plan was not the last movement that changed the boundaries of Israel. Two more wars followed.


Source: 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.


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 agreements and solutions were also being 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 Oslo II agreement of 1995 Source:


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 Source: construction of the fence saying that it violates human 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


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.


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)


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


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 selfdetermination 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


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 selfdetermination 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


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.


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.


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.


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.



Pictures: Notes: • From books: McGraw-Hill. Flint, C. (2006). Introduction to Geopolitics. 270 Madison Avenue, New York: Routledge. • From internet: (Arab Israeli Conflict) - A brief history. Retrieved September 21, 2008, from :

Spencer, W. (2000). Global studies: the Middle East (8th ed). Connecticut:

Ami Isseroff (July, 2008). Israel, Palestine and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict


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