I will use a diagrammatic analysis of the conflict in which I identify all the players and their roles in the conflict. To finish I will build a platform to show the dynamics of the conflict from which I will use conflict resolution theory to provide options for the resolution of this deep seated and complex phenomenon that is the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict.


List of Actors in the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict

American Zionist Association: Unites States based Jewish nationalist organisation that is the financial supporter of the Likud Party.

Arab States: Various nations that neighbour Palestine. They support various groups political and religious organisations within Palestine. Includes Egypt, Libya, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Iran and Iraq.

Arafat, Yasser: Founder and former leader of the Fatah Movement. Former Chairman of the Palestinian Liberation Organisation. Spiritual figurehead of the Palestinian Liberation struggle.

Balfour, Arthur James: British Prime Minister 1902-05, First Lord of Admiralty, 1915-16. Foreign Secretary, 1916-19.

Ben-Gurion, David: Prime Minister of Israel 1948-53, 55-63. Born in Poland.

British Government: Gave the land of Palestine to the Jews as an attempt to deal with refugee problem resulting as a consequence of World War 2, supported the foundation of Israel as a Jewish state.

British Trade Unions: Provider of political support for Palestinians as well as sponsor of various aid projects in Palestine. Major provider of funds for British Labor Party.

British Zionist Federation: Organisation that lobbied the British Government to give the land of Palestine to the Jews. Financial supporter of British Labor Party.

Church of England: Provides political support for Palestinians as well as sponsor of various aid projects in Palestine. The official Church of the British State. Have several key Churches in the disputed territory.

Fatah: Co-founding organisation of the PLO and the major player in Palestinian politics. Financially and militarily supported by Egypt and Libya. A secular based political organisation with a strong support base in Sunni Islam.

Habash, George: Leader of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP). A Greek Orthodox Christian born in Lydda, Palestine.

Herzl, Theodore: Father of political Zionism. Born in Budapest.

HAMAS: An Iranian supported and sponsored Shiite fundamentalist Islamic movement that emerged during the early months of the Intifada in Gaza and then latter on the West Bank.

Irgun Zvai Leumi: Zionist terror organisation responsible for King David hotel bombing and numerous other acts of terror.

Israeli Labor Party: Political Party responsible for the founding of Israel has close links with the British Labor Party.

Likud Party: An ultra-nationist parliamentary block in Israel formed in September 1973, principally from the Herut and Liberal parties. Has strong links with US Republican Party.

Mossad: The Israeli intelligence organisation.

Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO): Both the PLO and its military wing the Palestine Liberation Army were founded in 1964. Chief political organisation of the Palestinian state.

Palestinian Nation Council (PNC): The Palestinian national Parliament made up of 379 members.

Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP): Founded in 1967 by George Habash, it is Marxist-Leninist in approach and is based in Damascus, was sponsored by the former Soviet Union and currently by Syria.

Rothschild, Lionel Walter: A leading British Zionist. Acted as intermediary between the British Zionist Federation and the British Government over the Balfour Deceleration.

Russia/Soviet Union: Chief supporter and sponsor of the Palestinian national liberation struggle and of the various Arab states opposed to Jewish occupation of Palestine.

Stern Gang: Zionist terrorist organisation founded in 1932 by Abraham Stern.

US Government: Main sponsor of Israel both military and economically.

Zionism: Jewish theocratic belief system that advocates violence to establish Israel as a Jewish nation with Jerusalem as its capital.

(ICT no date, Fraser 1995, Gerner & Schewedler 2004, Henry 2005, Ovendale 1992, Smith 1988)


Pre-Conflict 1917-1935
The first stage of conflict between the Palestinians and the Zionists was the Balfour Declaration of 1917. The Balfour Declaration of 1917 was the result of a drawn our process of discussion between the British Government and the British Zionist Federation (Isseroff 2001). The Balfour Declaration of 1917 forms the basis of justification for Zionism’s aggressive actions of occupation in Palestine. This document which forms the justification for Zionist aggression was the initiatory event in the Palestinian- Israeli conflict,
“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 favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the advancement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country.’” (Balfour 1917 cited Ovendale 1992).

This directly developed into a physical manifestation when on the 25th of April 1920 at the San Remo Conference. It was at this conference that the British Government was given the mandate over Palestine. Thos mandate contained a clause that the holder of the mandate had to implement the Balfour Declaration of 1917. It wasn’t long after this that the first conflicts broke out between Palestinians s and the Zionist settlers.

Confrontation 1935-1948
In the period from 1935-1948 a terrorists campaign was launched by Zionist extremists. This campaign of terror, with its manifest violence which claimed many innocent Palestinian lives and further fuelled unsavoury relations between the Israelis and the Palestinians. On June 22 1946 the Zionist terror group Irgun Zvai Leumi bombed the British owned King Davis Hotel. This hotel was home to the British High Commissioner and the majority of the 94 people killed were British citizens (Fraser 1995).
This attack led directly to a British sponsored UN General Assembly Resolution 181(II) (Steiner & Alston, 2000) that divide the Palestinian land into two separate areas, one for Jewish settlers and one for the Arabs people who have called Palestine home for the last 1,800 years. This resolution effectively transformed what was intrastate conflict into an interstate conflict.

Crisis 1948-1987
The next stage of the conflict came on the 14th of May 1948 when Ben-Gurion out aloud the Israeli Declaration of Independence. This declaration signalled the transformation of the conflict from a terrorist campaign into a full scale military conflict between the Jewish settlers and the Arab inhabitants. This conflict broke out into full scale regional warfare in 1967 in the Six Day War in where the British and American supported Israel occupied Arab East Jerusalem, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip (Ovendale 1994). This in effect gave the Zionist’s full control over all of the Palestinian homelands. As a result of the manifests conflict between Palestinians and their Zionist occupiers effectively became an unmanifest conflict, that’s was until 1987 and the launching of their Intifada.

Outcome 1987-Present
The Intifada was an organised uprising led by Yasser Arafat and the Palestinian Liberation Organisation which was a coalition of diverging Palestinian freedom groups. In December of 1987 organised riots broke in Arab East Jerusalem and quickly spread across all the Palestinian territories. This popularly became known as the Intifada (Fraser 1995). This PLO led uprising made manifest the conflict between Palestinian patriots and their Zionist occupiers. It was a struggle for freedom and national liberation by the Palestinians to regain there rightful homeland. As apart of this Intifada, Yasser Arafat on behalf of the Palestinian National Council proclaimed the foundation of a new Palestinian State on the justification of UN Resolution 242, with its capital in occupied East Jerusalem. Arafat also led changes to the landscape of the conflict by announcing that PLO recognised the right of Israel to exist and this led to conflict with several partner organisations with the PLO (Gerner & Schewedler 2004). This firmly established the conflict as an interstate conflict but one in which many of the grounds of conflict remain unmanifest.


The Israeli View of the Conflict
The Israeli view of the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict is one that is based on history and religion. Whilst there are many views within the Israeli community in relation to there conflict with the Palestinians I shall outline what is the overwhelming Israeli position as exemplified by the Israeli Government. Through this I shall attempt to show the Israeli justification for participation in the conflict.

The main issues that lie at the heart of the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict from the Israeli perspective are centred on a theocratic philosophy known as Zionism (Yaroslavtsev 1985). Zionism is based upon the theocratic philosophical writings of Theodore Herzel who 1897 established in Europe a Jewish political organisation, whose key objective was to establish a Jewish state in Palestine with Jerusalem as its capital. The four key principles of Zionism is outlined for us by United States based Jewish academic Mitchell Bard (2005),
The Jewish people base their claim to the Land of Israel on at least four premises: 1). the Jewish people settled and developed the land. 2). the international community granted political sovereignty in Palestine to the Jewish people. 3). the territory was captured in defensive wars. 4).God promised the land to the patriarch Abraham.
These four principles of Zionism form both the subjective ideology of Zionism and its objective manifestation in the State of Israel. They form the basis for Israeli’s historical claim and religious justification for the occupation of Palestine.

The status of Jerusalem is also another key component of the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict. The Israelis see Jerusalem as their key political and religious centre in there theocratic Zionist beliefs. This notion of Zionist exceptualism can be seem by a statement from the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs (2004) when they state,
The Status of Jerusalem is unique politically; Jerusalem was, is and always will be the capital of the Jewish people.
The Zionist theocratic system of belief lies at the heart of the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict. In the Zionist world view God has given his people, the Jews, the land of Israel, from which to rule and dominant the world. This is the dominant view of the people of Israeli state. Those ideas whilst not based on the logic of science need to challenged and overcome if there is to be any peace achieved in the land of Palestine.

The Palestinian View of the Conflict
In examining the Palestinian view of the conflict I will look at the view of the Palestinian National Council in relation to the conflict. From this standpoint I will examine what is the in Palestinian view of the key component of the conflict, the status of Jerusalem. From this I will attempt to examine the basis of conflict between the Palestinians and the Israelis.

According to the Palestinians there struggle is a struggle for justice and freedom. They have vehemently opposed the resettlement of Jews from Europe and the United States as they equate Zionism, justifiably, with fascism because of its belief of Jews as a superior race. The Palestinian National Authority (2001) has published a list of grievance which is a good guide to the Palestinian view of the conflict,
Israeli policies and practices under various governments over the past four decades have been characterized by a) Confiscation of land; b) Construction of settlements and movement of settlers into the OPT (Occupied Palestinian Territory); c) Crushing of Palestinian resistance movements- politically and military; d) Violation of human rights and international law; e) Annexation of Jerusalem in order to establish it as the capital of the Israeli state.
The Zionist occupation of Palestine has had a disastrous affect on the Palestinian people. It was through their aggressive actions of the Israeli’s that the Palestinian people both Muslim and Christian felt compelled to rise up and fight for justice and freedom. The quest for justice and freedom focus on establishing of a Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital.

The status of Jerusalem is also a key component of the conflict for the Palestinians. They also see Jerusalem as the historical political capital of Palestine. Along with this they also claim that Jerusalem is the centre of the national cultural and as such is their rightful capital of their state. The historical association of the Palestinians with Jerusalem is given as,
Jerusalem has been a predominantly Arab city since it was established by the Yabousyyun, who were one of the Arab tribes migrating from Arabia with the Canaanites to Palestine in 3000 BC (Suleiman 2001).
It is through this historical association with the land of Palestine that the Palestinians also claim Jerusalem as their rightful capital of an independent Palestinian state.
Not only do the Palestinians claim it as there political centre, but it is also a prominent site for all Muslims which make up the majority of Muslims in Palestine,
the city has intimate connections for Muslims. It was their first Qiblah; it was the location of Al-Isra’ (the Night Journey) of our Prophet Mohammed…Jerusalem has been an Arab Islamic city until the advent of the Zionist Movement, when the city became a strategic target to establish the Jewish national State in Palestine with Jerusalem as its capital. In the process of realizing this objective, many Zionist aggressions have been carried out against the Arab and Muslim rights in the city. (Suleiman 2001).
It is through these beliefs that Palestinians fight what they believe to be a struggle for human rights and national sovereignty. They believe that the giving of there land to a fringe group of religious extremists from Europe and the United States was unfair and unjust. This position has been backed up by numerous resolutions of the United Nations.

The Palestinian-Israeli conflict is a conflict that centres on history and on religion. Both sides claim historical ownership of the land of Palestine and both sides see Jerusalem as there political and spiritual centre. This conflict with deep rooted hatred and bigotry on both sides is one that has been ongoing for many centauries and will continue to go on unless leaders frown both sides can put away there superstitious religious bigotry and work out a just settlement that can help both sides prosper into a democratic future.


Diagramic Representation of the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict

Dynamics of the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict.

1. A manifest interstate territorial conflict between Palestinians and Israelis that has developed from an intrastate conflict.

2. An interstate conflict sometimes manifest sometimes unmanifest between Israel and its Arab neighbours.

3. A world view inter-state conflict between outside nations that manifest its conflict within the Palestinian, competing to further their national interests in the region.

4. An unmanifest group dysfunctional conflict between various groups and individuals within the Israeli Zionist community.

5. Manifest displaced external conflict between Palestinians refugees and the Arab hosts.

6. Power conflicts that remain unmanifest within the Palestinian community in how to deal with the conflict with the Israeli Zionists.

7. A series of unmanifest interstate conflicts between Arab states on the issue with dealing with the Palestinian –Israeli conflict.

8. Unmanifest conflicts within British, American and Russian societies over their government’s support that is provided for the different sides of the conflict.

(Tillet 2005, Henry 2005, Isseroff no date, Fraser 1995, Ovendale 1992, Roskin 2004)

Options for Constructive Responses to the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict

The Palestinian-Israeli Conflict is a conflict that is fought simultaneously on many levels. This is a long-lasting conflict and there is a strong need for an international Multidimensional Peacekeeping Force (MDF) to intervene in the conflict. To achieve this international intervention successfully an international intervention force under Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter (Steiner &Alston 2000) is essential to help resolve this ongoing conflict. It is seen in our modern world that statehood is conditional upon the respect for human rights (Taylor & Curtis). The three stages of conflict resolution peace keeping, peace making and peace building (Goulding 1999) offer a proven path to resolution for this difficult conflict which needs to be implemented with a serious attitude.

To establish a process that would bring about a cessation of hostilities in Palestine there would first need to be a United Nations Security Council (UNSC) sanctioned mandate for intervention by the international community. This intervention could set in place a legitimatised role for the international community to take on the external functions of these two deformed states. These forces should be equipped with heavier them usual armoury than usual peacekeeping forces, so that they can assure a successful achievements of there humanitarian aims. This MPF equipped with UNSC approval to intervene in the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict would keep apart physically the two conflicting sides militarily. This MPF would insure that the conflict would not spread any further than outside the disputed territory than it already has. The international community through its MPF could then diplomatically assume the external roles of these dysfunctional states, including the roles of customs, border security, ports both sea and air, the stock exchange, diplomatic missions, the issuing of passports, and currency. This would effectively set the stage for post-conflict peacebuilding efforts that would insure the future peaceful prosperity of the new democratic state.

To aid in the democratisation process a Liberal Institutional approach to domestic governance would provide the best avenue for peaceful relationships to be established between the two conflicting parties. This would involve a Democracy Building Program (DBP) that would establish a series of new transitional domestic institutions that provide a cultural basis for domestic harmony. The MPF would address what Taylor & Curtis (2005) calls the basic rights of citizens, “individual, political and civil rights, as well as the right basic provisions like food, water, health care, and accommodation”. This would establish both a way and a means for the non-violent resolution of the conflict in Palestine.

These programs would effectively help build a new model reformed state out of the current collapsed states of Palestine and Israel. It would establish a democratic and peaceful environment so both Palestinians and Israelis would be able to participate without violence in the international community. To effectualise a resolution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict will no doubt be a long and drawn out process. I am of the opinion that after decades of peacemaking attempts by the international community that a Multidimensional Peacekeeping Force is essential to force a lasting and substantial peace on the warring parties of Palestine and Israel by the international community via a United Nations Security Council resolution

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