Arab-Israeli Conflict

Arab-Israeli Conflict

Introduction

Arab-Israeli conflict has lasted for almost 100 years and remains unresolved. It is considered one of the world’s most protracted disputes by scholars and policymakers alike and has the reputation of being everlasting and unsolvable. In addition, the conflict is cyclical in nature: periods of peace are followed by periods of violence, which are then followed by new periods of peace. This paper will review the main events in the course of the conflict and attempts at resolution, as well as explain its importance and the implications it has for other actors.

The roots of Arab – Israeli conflict predate the first major waves of violence.  The preconditions for conflict emerged in 1897, when the first Zionist Congress took place. [1] At the congress, the members of the Zionist movement (which declared as its goal to protect Jewish interests around the globe) announced their aspiration to establish a Jewish State.

1915 – 1916 – Hussein-McMahon correspondence. Sherrif Hussein ibn Ali, ruler of Mecca and the Hejaz, and Sir Henry McMahon, the British high commissioner in Egypt, were exchanging letters, discussing the future of Arab territories in the Middle East. At the time the Arab lands were under control of the Ottomans, against whom Britain and its allies were fighting in World War I. Britain wanted the Arabs’ support against the Ottomans and McMahon promised that if the Arabs rebelled, then afterwards Britain would recognize Arab territories as independent states.

1916 – The Sykes-Picot agreement, negotiated between Britain and France, aimed at partitioning the post-war Middle Eastern territories into several zones of influence, with Palestine being under international control (Franco-British Occupied Enemy Territory Administration). The Arabs perceived this agreement as a betrayal.

1917 – The British Empire seized Palestine from the Ottomans. That same year, Arthur Balfour, the British foreign secretary, promised a land to the Jewish people in what came to be called the Balfour Declaration.

1920-1947 – San Remo Allied Powers conference granted Britain the Palestine Mandate, including the West Bank, Gaza Strip and Jordan. The mandate incorporated the language of the Balfour Declaration [2] In 1921, Britain created Transjordan as a subdivision of the mandate in the area east of the Jordan River. [3] In 1922, Britain barred Jewish settlement in Transjordan, reducing the area available for a Jewish homeland by more than 75%. Between 1933 and 1945, due to the Second World War and the Holocaust, many Jews began leaving Europe and coming to Palestine, where they gradually started forming settlements, trade unions, and other organizations. During the same period, the Palestinian Arab population doubled and Palestine became too small to encompass all the people living there. Arabs started expressing discontent with Jewish immigration, causing Britain to limit it. [4]

1947 – The UN decided on the partition of Palestine into an Arab state and a Jewish state, with Jerusalem designated as an international city. [5] Amid growing tensions between each other, neither the Arabs nor the Jews accepted it.

1948 – On 14 May 1948 David Ben Gurion, the leader of the Jewish working movement in Palestine, read out a Declaration of Independence and declared the creation of The State of Israel, becoming its first prime-minister. This caused a fierce reaction from the Arabs. That same day, armies from Egypt, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, and Iraq attacked the newly created state in the War of Independence. Despite its young age, Israel was able to not only effectively defend itself, but also managed to capture 20% more territory than it was supposed to have under the UN resolution. However, this war created the problem of Palestinian refugees, an issue that remains topical. Many Palestinians had to leave their homes because of the war, and were never allowed to come back. Jordan captured the West Bank and East Jerusalem (the Old City), later annexing them. Egypt took control of the Gaza Strip. [6] Under Jordanian control, Jews were prevented from accessing their holy sites in the Old City.

1964 – During a summit in Cairo, the Arab League initiated the creation of the Palestinian Liberation Organisation (PLO), which was meant to represent all Palestinian people. Its main aim was to destroy Israel and to achieve Palestine’s independence.

1967 – The Baath Party came to power in Syria and supported several attacks on Israel committed by the Palestinian movement Fatah. [7] In addition, Syria and Israel experienced clashes over water (Israel wanted to divert water from Lake Kinneret, to which Syria objected) and the control of three demilitarized zones between French mandatory Syria and British mandatory Palestine (both of which had been pursued by Syria). [8]

The above tensions prompted belligerent statements from Israel, in which it promised to undertake a military attack against Syria. In May 1967, the speaker of the Egyptian National Assembly, Anwar al-Sadat, [9] was warned by the Soviets (albeit falsely, as was later discovered) that the Israelis were moving their troops to the Syrian border. The Syrians had issued a similar report earlier, but Egypt had not paid much attention to it; unlike the USSR, Egypt did not consider Syria a trustworthy partner. [10] Egypt responded in three steps: it moved Egyptian forces into Sinai, requested the withdrawal of UN Emergency Force troops, and blocked the Straits of Tiran, which were perceived to be of “vital interest” [11] by Israel since any blockage would hamper the supply of key resources, such as oil from Iran. The Six-Day War started with success for Egypt and ended with a decisive victory for Israel, which had been able to accumulate military potential and strike back. While Egypt and its allies lost 15,000 men, Israel lost fewer than a thousand. [12] Moreover, Israel was able to capture the territories of East Jerusalem, all of the West Bank, Gaza, the Golan Heights, and Sinai, where in the same year construction of new Jewish settlements started under government approval. [13] The Egyptian army was destroyed and lost a significant number of modern arms that had been supplied by the USSR. [14] Syria, Jordan, and other Egyptian allies were also devastated. In general, the war had a terrible psychological effect on the Arabs.

The most serious consequence of the result, which still persists today, was the fading away of pan-Arabism as an ideology and its replacement by pan-Islamism. It should be noted, however, that this has not resulted in an undermining of the solidarity evident between states in the region. The Arab states even signed the Khartoum Resolution, declaring the principles of common policy towards Israel: no peace and no recognition.

1970 – Egypt started launching small-scale attacks against Israel along the Suez Canal. These were ongoing until Anwar Sadat became Egyptian president in 1970. At the same time, the PLO launched attacks on Israeli citizens, both military personnel and civilians, from bases in Lebanon, Jordan, Syria, and Egypt, as well as committing international attacks (e.g. plane hijackings). In the same year, PLO militants based in Jordan attempted to overthrow King Hussein. The king responded with attacks on PLO forces (“Black September” [15]) and managed to force the PLO to move its base to Lebanon.

1973 – On 6 October, joint forces from Egypt and Syria attacked Israel. This war was named the Yom Kippur War, since it began on the most sacred of Jewish holidays. It was initiated and conducted by Anwar al-Sadat, the new Egyptian president, who had succeeded Nasser after his death in 1970. It should be noted that, unlike the Six-Day War, the war of 1973 was a complete surprise for Israel and was indeed very well planned. In characterizing the war, Egypt had a perfect plan of deception aimed at catching Israel off guard. The plan involved regular military exercises aimed at creating a “business as usual” atmosphere and a “cry-wolf” syndrome in Israel, [16] preventing it from undertaking real preparatory actions. This tactic proved very successful. Scholars admit that during the pre-Yom Kippur period Israeli intelligence was at its worst – it was not only unable to understand the motive behind Egypt’s activities, but was also unable to uncover a double agent sent by Egypt to spread false information. Moreover, when King Hussein of Jordan warned the Israelis about the prospective joint Syrian-Egyptian attack, they failed to use this information sensibly and prepare for war. [17] All of this brought about initial losses for Israel; however, the Israeli Ministry of Defense managed to conduct a very quick mobilization of Israeli forces. In addition, though the Israeli army was smaller than the united Arab armies, it was much more advanced and better trained. This helped Israel to effectively repel the attack once the initial shock was overcome. The war ended with a ceasefire on 25 October 1973. However, the Yom Kippur War can be considered a great success for the Arab states as well. Even though Israel was able to repulse an Egyptian-Syrian attack in the end, its losses were terrific. As one officer witnessed, in three weeks Israel [18] lost as many people as the US lost in ten years of fighting in Vietnam. This had a very important effect on the Arab public since it showed them that Israeli invulnerability was simply a myth and that the state could be defeated. [19] In addition, the war had a great economic effect, launching economic growth [20] in Syria, Egypt, and other Arab countries.

Another major consequence that played a tremendous role, not only for the Arabs but also for the whole world, was the emergence of oil as a factor in the conflict. When Israeli troops started moving towards Cairo on October 18 1973, the Arab member states of OPEC, led by Saudi Arabia, used a very effective weapon against the move, colluding to raise oil prices by 20%  [21], prompting a real shock around the world, including among the great global superpowers. This move prompted the US and the USSR to interfere in the conflict and put pressure on both parties (for Egypt to accept the ceasefire and for Israel to cease its advance towards the capital) to launch a peace process. [22] This development empowered the Arab states, showing how easily they could influence other players with the careful manipulation of their resources.

1979 – Egyptian President Anwar Sadat and Israel’s Prime-Minister Menachem Begin signed a peace treaty in Camp David. Egypt became the first Arab country to recognize Israel. Israel returned to Egypt all territories in Sinai that were captured in the 1967 war and removed its settlements from there.

The Camp David accords became the first peace initiative that resulted in an actual peace treaty.  From this point of view, it was definitely a success for both parties and for the US, which was acting as a mediator between Israel and Egypt. However, this peace treaty did not turn into a comprehensive Arab-Israeli process.  Within three years, a new wave of violence started in the region in the form of the Lebanon-based PLO’s attacks on Israeli settlements and later in the Lebanese civil war, in which Israel later interfered.

There are several reasons that this initiative was only partially successful. The main motives of Egyptian President Anwar Sadat to start the deal with Israel were economic. After the two wars of 1967 and 1973, the Egyptian economy was in quite a difficult condition. Huge foreign debt, war losses, and a high inflation rate convinced Sadat that peace with Israel could lead to an economic improvement within the country. However, he decided not to limit himself with just settlement of bilateral relations. He included in his peace initiative points that were aimed at resolution of the Palestinian issue. This could be considered a serious mistake of Sadat’s. At first, it slowed down even the bilateral peace process, as Israel was not going to relinquish its holds on the West Bank and the Gaza strip. Only after the interference of US President Jimmy Carter and several days of negotiations in Camp David did the two parties sign the final document, A Framework for Peace in the Middle East. The document contained a plan for Palestine to achieve autonomy within five years. But in fact, this was a failure of Sadat’s initiative as the agreement gave Israel the right to deal with occupied territories as it saw fit. [23] In addition, it was vaguely worded, which made prospects for Palestine to become independent almost unachievable. Unsurprisingly, the Palestinians did not perceive this plan as worthwhile and continued their resistance, while Egypt was perceived as a traitor by other Arab states for signing the peace treaty.

1982 – PLO militants based in Lebanon, at the time in a condition of civil war, continued and increased attacks against Israel. Under this pretext, Israel invaded Lebanon in order to push the PLO out. The operation was successful, and PLO fighters had to relocate to Tunis. However, it severely exacerbated the situation within Lebanon, making internal tensions and clashes even more severe. Israeli  troops stayed in the country until 1985.

1987-1993 – The Palestinians began a series of uprisings against Israel in the West Bank and Gaza known as the First Intifada. They committed attacks on Israeli citizens, military and civilian, with improvised weapons.

1993 Oslo Accords – The Oslo Accords were a set of agreements signed by Israeli Prime Minister Itskhak Rabin and PLO Chairman Yaser Arafat, known as the Declaration of Principles, under the promotion of the United States. This was the first time that Israel and the PLO formally recognized one another and agreed on legally binding commitments.

This was not an actual peace treaty; rather, it was a framework whose aim was to facilitate favorable conditions for further negotiations and a final peace agreement. The document [24] implied the creation of two independent states in the future: Israel agreed to recognize the rights of Palestinians to national sovereignty, and Palestine agreed to limit this sovereignty within a certain territory and recognize Israel’s right to existence.

The agreement did not last for long. It was not perceived favorable by either Israelis or Palestinians. Both considered the results of the agreement, if not humiliation and betrayal of their interests, definitely a very unfortunate move. The main factors that contributed to the failure of the agreement were the following: First, there was an imbalance of power between the two sides which was to Israel’s advantage. Second, the United States failed to serve as a tough but impartial mediator, being completely on Israel’s side. Third, the influence of opponents of compromise – settlers on the Israeli side, Hamas (a Palestinian fundamentalist organization, founded in 1987 as a rival to the PLO) on the Palestinian side – had grown. Finally, there was a gulf between the maximum Israel was willing to offer and the minimum that Palestinians were willing to accept – Israel was not really ready to offer Palestine independence, and this was the main issue [25] for the PLO.

1994 – An American-Israeli citizen, also a member of the Israeli far-right Kach movement, opened fire on large number of Palestinians in Hebron. This caused massive anger in the Arab population. A year later, an Israeli radical assassinated Israeli Prime Minister Rabin. In addition, Hamas began carrying out bomb attacks on civilian targets.

1994 – Israel-Jordan Peace Treaty. Under US patronage, a series of negotiations were held and Jordan became the second Arab country to recognize Israel and established with it full-fledged diplomatic relations. It became possible because of severe economic losses Jordan had suffered after the 1967 war when it supported Egypt. Since then, Jordan’s preference was to stay out of Arab conflicts with Israel and the two countries started looking towards easing relations and signing a peace agreement. The first attempt to sign an agreement was taken in 1987, but was not approved by Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir. In the same year, Jordan decided to recuse itself from claims to the West Bank, which allowed negotiations to resume in 1994.

2000 – Camp David Summit – American President Bill Clinton once again invited Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak and PLO leader Yasser Arafat to the negotiations table in order to discuss a final peace agreement between parties. Ehud Barak made Arafat a very serious and generous offer that went far beyond all possible ‘red lines’ Israel would have ever had. 97% of the territory previously captured by Israel would go to the Palestinians and East Jerusalem would become the capital of the Palestinian state. Refugees would have been granted with the right to return to Palestine (though not to Israel) and would have been compensated $30 thousand to cover the expenses of repatriation. [26] UN peacekeepers would have been deployed in the Jordan Valley to ensure security. [27]

In return Arafat would have recognized the sovereignty of Israel over the Western Wall that would encompass all places of religious significance for Israel. [28] Arafat rejected this proposal. According to former US Middle East envoy Dennis Ross, who participated in the summit: Arafat “rejected the idea on the refugees. He said we need a whole new formula, as if what we had presented was non-existent. He rejected the basic ideas on security. He wouldn’t even countenance the idea that the Israelis would be able to operate in Palestinian airspace.” [29]

2002-2005 – In September 2002, new Israel Prime Minister Ariel Sharon visited Palestine. This was perceived by Palestinians as a provocation and led to mass riots – beginning the Second Intifada. Palestinians started attacking Israel civilians and committing terrorist acts, killing about 900 civilians in three years. Israel’s police responded with counter-terrorism operations and retaliatory blows. In order to protect civilians from suicide bombers, Israel built a security barrier in 2002 on the Palestinian border in the West Bank. This measure was effective against suicide attackers, however, Israel was criticized for dividing some Palestinians from their land or work/study places.

2002 Arab Peace Initiative – At the Beirut summit of the Arab League, Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia Abdullah proposed a peace plan for Israel that was supported by all member states of the Arab League. The proposal implied that Israel would leave all the territories captured in 1967, recognize Palestine as an independent state and ensure a ‘just solution’ for Palestinian refugees. In return, Israel would receive peace guarantees from all Arab states. Israel agreed to discuss the plan but did not accept all of its demands [30], such as withdrawal from the territories it gained in the 1967 war. Moreover, it pointed out that this initiative violated UN resolutions prescribing bilateral negotiations between Israel and PLO (without the Arab states). However, in general Israel didn’t object to further discussing this plan, and preparations for full-fledged international forum started.

2003 – The so-called Quartet – the US, Russia, the EU, and the UN – offered a “Roadmap for Peace.” The document was aimed to ensure the security of Israel on the one hand, and the independence of Palestine on the other. This implied a three-stage process. The first stage would have involved the cessation of Palestinian violence and the reform of Palestine’s political institutions, the withdrawal of Israel’s settlements built after March 2001 and of Israel troops from occupied territories, the next stage would have been the creation of an independent Palestinian state. The last stage would have involved a final agreement [31] on borders and the status of Jerusalem and of Palestinian refugees.

The parties welcomed this proposal at first, but in 2006, Hamas, a terrorist organization whose main goal is Israel’s complete destruction, was elected. This significantly hindered any progress on the Roadmap, as Hamas would act as spoiler and block any peaceful initiatives of the Fatah and increase the number of terrorist attacks, both on Israel and on Fatah members.

2005 – Israel decided to withdraw its troops and settlements from the Gaza Strip and the West Bank as a part of a larger policy of “disengagement” that would allow Palestinians to govern their territories themselves. [32] This process was controversial, as Israeli soldiers were ordered to force populations to leave if people were not willing to do so voluntarily. Despite this decision, the level of terrorist attacks from Palestinians actually increased. [33]

2006 Israel-Hezbollah War/Second Lebanon War – Hezbollah is a radical Islamist organization whose main goal is to destroy Israel. On 11 July 2006, its fighters attacked an Israeli military unit, killing eight soldiers and kidnapping (and later murdering) two more. At the same time, Hezbollah members started attacking Israeli cities with rockets. Israel responded with counter strikes, significantly damaging Lebanon’s infrastructure and cities. The hostilities officially ended on 11 August 2011 after the UN adopted a ceasefire resolution.

2007 – Palestine’s President Mahmoud Abbas dissolved the government that was under the control of Hamas after they began killing members of his party (Fatah).  From this time there are two governments in Palestine Hamas controls Gaza, and Fatah controls the West Bank. [34]

2007 Annapolis Conference – On 27 November US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice organized a peace conference for Israel, Palestinian authorities (Fatah), and other Arab states.

The result of the conference was the so-called Joint Understanding. [35] According to the Understanding, parties committed to continue engaging in negotiations in order to achieve a final agreement by 2008. They also committed to implementing the provisions of the Roadmap.

However, this agreement remained on paper. The parties did not proceed with actual implementation of its provisions (such as the seizure of settlements built by Israel). There are several reasons for this. First, the unstable political situation in Palestine precluded success. Hamas did not accept the results of the conference and made efforts to sabotage it. Second, there was a lack of trust, both among Israeli and Palestinian citizens, as to whether the agreement would work, as President Abbas was too weak to force them to abide by its provisions. Third, the Israeli government was also fractured, and many of its members did not support the agreement either, viewing it as too big a concession. Prime Minister Olmert was also quite weak and did not manage to consolidate opinions and ensure the fulfillment of the agreement.

The current situation can be characterized with the metaphor of a ‘smoldering flame.’ While there are no ‘big’ incidents, and even certain positive developments, there are still many micro conflicts and clashes, which serve to gradually worsen the existing fragile status quo, and could lead to another serious military conflict in the near future.

2008-2009 – Israel continued fighting Hamas in Gaza, in order to prevent further terrorist attacks. Hundreds of militants were killed, however, there were large numbers of civilian casualties, as Hamas was normally based in urban areas. Gaza’s transportation system and infrastructure were also significantly damaged.

2011 – Israel and Hamas made a deal over an Israeli soldier, Gilad Shalit [36], kidnapped by Hamas militants in 2006. Parties agreed on exchanges – Israel got Shalit back and in return released 1027 Palestine prisoners, including those accused of terrorism. Israel introduced and used for the first time the Iron Dome missile defense system aimed at protection it from Hamas’s rockets. [37]

2012 – Hamas increased the number of rocket attacks. In response, Israel launched a week-long military campaign [38] which involved attacking rocket launch pads, weapon depots, and Hamas military and government facilities.

2013-2014 – US Secretary of State John Kerry suggested organizing another round of peace talks between Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestine’s leader Mahmoud Abbas. Hamas did not participate in the talks. While in the beginning the talks were going quite well, later they were completely disrupted as Hamas and Fatah managed to form a united government. Israel saw Hamas as being pure terrorists, and Fatah’s alignment with them was perceived as a deal with an enemy. Israel thus suspended the peace talks.

2014 – Three Israeli teenagers were kidnapped and killed by Hamas militants. This caused mass anger in Israeli society. A couple of days after the dead bodies of teens were discovered, a group of extremist Israelis kidnapped and killed a Palestinian teenager for the sake of revenge. Israeli police arrested the kidnappers and they were sentenced to prison; however, it caused a furious reaction from the Palestinians and mass rocket attacks by Hamas on Israel. Israel launched strikes aimed at destroying Hamas’s terror tunnels leading from Gaza to Israel.  Over the course of the operation 2100 Palestinians and 70 Israeli citizens were killed. On August 26, the parties agreed on a ceasefire.

2015 – On 1 October Hamas killed two more Israelis – a husband and a wife who were driving past the town of Beit Furik. They were killed right in front of their children, who were also in the car. Hundreds of Israeli security forces were sent to arrest the perpetrators of the attack. After this incident, Israelis began committing so called ‘lion wolf’ knife attack on Palestinians. Palestinians responded with protests and similar knife attacks.

United States

The US has and always has had the biggest involvement in Arab-Israeli peace processes, trying to reconcile the parties. Most of the peace initiatives that took place over all years the conflict was ongoing have been conducted under the US’s patronage or direct pressure. The reasons for the US desire to resolve the conflict are the following:

  1. Security – As Israel is one of the closest allies of the US, various terrorist groups aimed at Israel’s destruction also perceive the United States as an enemy [39], and target its citizens as well;
  2. Political
  3. As Israel is one of the US’s closest ally, the US is interested in stability and prosperity there;
  4. Resolution of Arab-Israeli conflict would also allow the US to form stronger ties with other current or potential partners that do not recognize Israel’s right to existence (e.g. Saudi Arabia, Iraq);
  5. Economic – Conflict resolution would ensure a more stable Middle East, which would provide better opportunities for US business. In addition, it would help the US in stopping or significantly cutting down on spending on security assistance to Israel and humanitarian assistance to Palestinian refugees.

Russia

Russia is another important player in the field of Arab-Israeli conflict resolution. Its interests have the following aspects:

  1. Increasing its own influence in the region (mainly in economic and security spheres) and – ideally – decreasing the influence of the US;
  2. Fighting against terrorism (both international terrorism and domestic) –There are still militants in the Chechnya region who do not recognize the region as part of Russia and continue to commit terrorist attacks. They are known to get funding from Middle Eastern terrorist groups. Russia is therefore eager to cut off this funding [39];
  3. Protection of the Christian population [41] living in Jerusalem that are victims of ongoing violence.

EU

  1. Security concerns – Decreasing the level of terrorism in the region;
  2. Historical memory – Europe was the creator of the Middle East as we know it, and it still considers itself responsible for it on the one hand, and on the other does not want to lose its historic influence there and give it up to the United States [42];
  3. Economic – EU businesses are extremely interested in a stable Middle East for its extremely rich resources of oil and gas and for its potential as a large and promising market for European goods.

China

  1. Economic – Interested in the Middle East as a large energy and consumer market;
  2. Geopolitical – Wants to extend its influence further outside the East Asian region.
Predictions

The victory of Donald Trump (known for his firm support of Israel) in the 2016 US election presents Israel with a good opportunity for strengthening its positions in the Middle East, and in its relations with the Arabs and Palestinians in particular. Israel is likely to become more assertive in his policies towards the Palestinians – building of new settlements in the West Bank are quite likely. In its turn, it is likely to cause new protests and violent incidents from the Palestinian side. Recent developments in the Israel-Lebanon relations increasing of number of violent incidents, militarization of both parties, plans for civilian evacuation also give a reason to expect a new violent conflict to break out.

Recommendations

Mr. Avi Melamed, the fellow at the Intelligence and Middle East Affairs in the Eisenhower Institute at Gettysburg College has offered a solution to the conflict which he presents as “the most realistic” for now.

According to him, the breakthrough in the peace process could be achieved through 3 premises. “First, – Mr. Melamed says – it is time to cast aside the concept of an Israeli-Palestinian agreement in favor of an Israeli-Arab agreement as the only way to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Jordan, Egypt and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) must be partners to the agreement. Second, the two-state solution is the end objective, but achieving this goal is unrealistic in the near future. Third, the only realistic goal at this juncture is to create interim arrangements to set the ground for a final agreement. In order to move forward, it’s crucial to form a joint Palestinian National Authority (PNA)-Jordan-Egypt-GCC team, formally authorized by the parties involved to negotiate with Israel on all aspects of arrangements, as well as the final agreement. Agreements must formally be approved by the parties involved, including the UN General Assembly and Security Council.” [43]

April 2017 – Palestinian prisoners launched a 40-day hunger strike to demand better conditions inside Israeli jails. It raised tensions with Israel as protests in support of the strikers spilled over into clashes in the occupied West Bank and along the Israel-Gaza border.

27 May 2017 The strike was suspended after a deal with Israel.

May 2017 – Some 15,000 people rallied in Tel Aviv on Saturday in support of the two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

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Matthew Abraham is Associate Professor of English at the University of Arizona, USA. This unique work examines how the knowledge-power nexus is shaping the discourse around the Israel-Palestine conflict and restricting academic freedom. Beginning with a discussion of American Zionism, the work proceeds to explain why scholars working on the question of Palestine are often denied standard academic freedom

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Fouad Ajami is a research fellow at Center of International Studies at Princeton University. This essay examines some of the fruits of Nasserism, both as a source of particular policies and choices throughout Nasser’s political career and as a legacy which impinges upon political choices in post-Nasser Egyptian and Arab politics.

Bar-Siman-Tov, Yaacov, The Arab-Israeli Conflict: Learning Conflict Resolution,    Journal of Peace Research, February 1994, Vol.31 (1): 75-92.

Yaacov  Bar-Siman-Tov was the Giancarlo Elia Valori Professor of International Relations at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. This paper is dedicated to the process of management of the Arab-Israeli conflict.

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CrisisWatch is a monthly early warning bulletin designed to provide a regular update on the state of the most significant situations of conflict around the world/

Gavison , R. The Two-State Solution: The UN Partition Resolution of Mandatory     Palestine; Analysis and Sources, . Bloomsbury (New York:, 2013).

Ruth Gavison is Haim H. Cohn  Professor Emerita of Human Rights at the Faculty of Law at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel and the Founding President of Metzilah, a center for Zionist, Jewish, Humanist, and Liberal Tought. Her book explains the crucial events in the history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that led to the UN resolution to partition Palestine into two states on November 29, 1947.

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James L.Gelvin is an American scholar of Middle Eastern history.[1] He has been a faculty member in the department of history at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) since 1995 and has written extensively on the history of the modern Middle East, with particular emphasis on nationalism and the social and cultural history of the modern Middle East. His book the book traces the struggle from the emergence of nationalism among the Jews of Europe and the Arab inhabitants of Ottoman Palestine through the present, exploring the external pressures and internal logic that have propelled it.

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Fawaz A. Gerges is Professor of International Relations at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), and holder of the Emirates Professorship in Contemporary Middle East Studies. He was also the inaugural Director of the LSE Middle East Centre from 2010 until 2013. This article is a contribution to Wm. Roger Louis and Ave Shaim’s  book “The 1967 Arab-Israeli War: Origins and Consequences”. Prof. Gerges indicates the main trends in the Arab world emerged after 1967 and persisited till nowadays.

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Caroline Glick is an American-born Israeli journalist, newspaper editor, and writer. In her article she looks at the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement which considers the flagship of the diplomatic war against Israel.

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Laura James is a College Lecturer at St Edmund Hall, Oxford University. This article argues that Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser neither blundered into the Six-day War, nor did he make deliberate plans to provoke conflict. Instead, in early 1967, he  took actions aimed at reaping political gains, which he knew carried a high risk ofprecipitating military hostilities.

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Herbert C. Kelman is Richard Clarke Cabot Professor of Social Ethics, Emeritus, Harvard University. In his article he tries to answer a question whether the leadership on either side has the capacity to make the concessions required for a final-status agreement.

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Henry Laurens is a French historian, and author of several reference works about the Arab-Muslim world. He is Professor and Chair of History of the Contemporary Arab World at the Collège de France, Paris. He looks at major strategic and tactical faults of Egypt that brought the 1967 war to the results it had.

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Wm. Roger Louis is the Kerr Professor of English History and Culture at the University of Texas at Austin and Honorary Fellow of St. Antony’s College, Oxford. Avi Shlaim is a Fellow at St. Antony’s College and Professor of International

Relations at the University of Oxford. Two veteran scholars of the Middle East bring together some of the most knowledgeable experts in their fields to reassess the origins of the war and its regional reverberations. Each chapter takes a different perspective from the vantage point of a different participant, those that actually took part in the war, and the world powers – the United States, Soviet Union, Britain, and France – that played important roles behind the scenes.

Makovsky, D. “Consequences of 1967 war”. The Washington Institute, 2004. Accessed 22 November 2014. http://www.washingtoninstitute.org/policy-analysis/view/consequences-of-the-1967-war.  

David Makovsky is the Ziegler distinguished fellow at The Washington Institute and director of the Project on the Middle East Peace Process. He offered his look back at the consequential conflict of 1967 at a 2004 State Department conference.

Mor, B. Nasser’s Decision-Making in the 1967 Middle East Crisis: A Rational Choice Explanation. Journal of Peace Research 28, no. 4 (1991): 359-75.

Ben D. Mor is University of Haifa, School of Political Sciences, Faculty Member. Studies International Relations, Conflict, and Foreign Policy. His paper offers an alternative, rational-choice explanation of the crisis of 1967. It argues that when the focus of inquiry is shifted from Nasser’s failure to his objectives and perception of the strategic context, the crisis decisions of the Egyptian leader can be shown to have been consistent with strategic rationality.

Musu, C. European Union Policy Towards The Arab-Israeli Peace Process. Palgrave            Macmillan (London:2010).

Costanza Musu is Assistant Professor, Graduate School of Public and International Affairs, University of Ottawa, Canada. The book takes a look at the achievements, the limits and the failures of the EU’s involvement in the Arab-Israeli conflict by analyzing the development of European policy towards the conflict over the last forty years.

Nets-Zehngut, R., The Origins of the Palestinian Refugee Problem, Journal of Peace Research, March 2011, Vol.48 (2): 235-248.

Rafi Nets-Zehngut is Lecturer at Tel Aviv University International School and at Bar-Ilan University. In his article he takes a look at The major historical issue in the Israeli—Arab/Palestinian conflict is the causes for the 1948 Palestinian exodus through two major Israelis narratives – the Zionist one and and the critical one.

Pressman, J. Visions in collision: What happened at Camp David and Taba?          International Security , 28(2), 2003: 5-43.

Jeremy Pressman is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Connecticut, Storrs, Connecticut. In this article he takes a look at the Palestinian and  Israeli versions of the events at Camp David and subsequent talks and argues that none of them were wholly accurate.

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[3] Ibid.

[4] Ibid.

[5] Ibid.

[6] Ibid.

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[20] The War in October.

[21] Ibid.

[22] Baumann. Opt.Cit.

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[24] The War in October.

[25] Ibid.

[26] Dennis Ross on Fox News Saturday, Fox News, 21 April 2002,           http://www.foxnews.com/story/2002/04/21/dennis-ross-on-fox-news-            sunday.html, accessed 15.07.2016.

[27] Ibid.

[28] Ibid.

[29] Ibid.

[30] Israel Profile.

[31] Jeffery, S. “ The Road Map to Peace”, The Guardian, 4 June 2003, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2003/jun/04/israel.qanda, accessed 30.05.2016.

[32] Ibid.

[33] Ibid.

[34] Israel Profile.

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[38] Israel Profile.

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[41] Ibid.

[42] Steinberg, G.M, The European Union and The Middle East Peace Process,     Jerusalem Centre For Public Affairs, No. 418, 15 November 1999,   http://www.jcpa.org/jl/vp418.htm, accessed 30.05.2016.

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