The assigned readings provide a better understanding of the conflict between Israel and Palestine, its history, and possible ways to avoid further violence. Martin Asser explores the key obstacles to establishing peace in the Middle East. According to Asser, since 1948 when Israel emerged as a state, it has consistently failed to draw permanent borders with the neighboring countries. Moreover, 78 percent of what currently belongs to Israel used to be Palestine (Asser). The ceasefire lines used by Israel to mark its borders with other states are highly unstable (Asser). BBC continues the topic, suggesting that the Gaza Strip is the most problematic point in the territorial disagreement between Israel and Palestine. It was occupied by Israel in 1967. Even though Israel has withdrawn most of its forces from Gaza, it retains formal control over much of its territory. Not surprisingly, Palestinians in Gaza are highly dissatisfied with their present status (BBC).
A new agreement among politicians emerges that organizing two states for two people could solve the problem. However, a two-state solution is likely to become a bitter pill for most Palestinians (Asser). Moreover, certain processes make such solution highly improbable. For instance, Rubinstein writes about the decline of the Palestinian nationalist movement and the growing number of Palestinian Arabs requesting full Israeli citizenship. These processes give Israeli a strong advantage in its fight for territorial domination. By contrast, John Bell highlights the benefits of a confederation and concludes that, eventually, both Palestine and Israel will arrive at the desired solution.
In my opinion, the conflict between Palestine and Israel has become too complex. Therefore, no simple solution is possible. On the one hand, it is Israel that has occupied much of Palestinian territory. On the other hand, the Israeli state is too firmly established to simply withdraw itself from what Palestine considers to be an occupied land. Moreover, Hamas that has leading all processes in Palestine since 2006 seeks to create a coherent Islamic state, which will certainly be the end of Israel’s history (Asser). Based on what I have learned from the assigned readings, it is high time for both communities to find a compromise and give up some of their territorial ambitions for the sake of peace.
I think that creating two states for two peoples is the best thing that can be done about the issue. The benefits of such solution are numerous, from providing the Israelis and Palestinians equal political rights and opportunities to making it possible to preserve Israel as the land for the Jewish people (Bell). I do not agree with Bell that, with time, Palestine and Israel will decide to be together “under the same roof”. Also, they will hardly agree to sacrifice their current influence and accept the two-state scenario. Still, there seems to be no solution other than creating two different states, and both Palestine and Israel should seriously consider it as a political option for themselves.
Asser, Martin. “Obstacles to Middle East Peace: Borders and Settlements.” BBC, 2 Sept 2010. Web. 23 Feb 2015.
BBC. “Gaza-Israel Conflict: Is the Fighting Over?” BBC, 26 Aug 2014. Web. 23 Feb 2015.
Bell, John. “Israel and Palestine: Two States and the Extra Step.” Al-Jazeera, 14 May 2014. Web. 23 Feb 2015.
Rubinstein, Danny. “One State / Two States: Rethinking Israel and Palestine.” Dissent, Summer 2010. Web. 23 Feb 2015.