Prospects of a Isreali-Palestinian peace agreement in 2015


The Israeli–Palestinian conflict is the ongoing struggle between Israelis and Palestinians that began in the mid-20th century. The conflict is wide-ranging, and the term is sometimes also used in reference to the earlier sectarian conflict in Mandatory Palestine, between the Jewish and the Arab population under British rule. The Israeli–Palestinian conflict has formed the core part of the wider Arab–Israeli conflict. It has widely been referred to as the world's "most intractable conflict".
The peace process in the Israeli–Palestinian conflict has taken shape over the years despite the ongoing violence which has prevailed since the beginning of the conflict.[1] Since the 1970s there has been a parallel effort made to find terms upon which peace can be agreed to in both the Arab–Israeli conflict and in the Palestinian–Israeli conflict. Some countries have signed peace treaties, such as the Egypt–Israel (1979) and Jordan–Israel (1994) treaties, whereas some have not yet found a mutual basis to do so.
Despite a long-term peace process and the general reconciliation of Israel with Egypt and Jordan, Israelis and Palestinians have failed to reach a final peace agreement. The remaining key issues are: mutual recognition, borders, security, water rights, control of Jerusalem, Israeli settlements,[10] Palestinian freedom of movement, and resolving Palestinian claims of a right of return for their refugees. The violence of the conflict, in a region rich in sites of historic, cultural and religious interest worldwide, has been the object of numerous international conferences dealing with historic rights, security issues and human rights, and has been a factor hampering tourism in and general access to areas that are hotly contested.
Many attempts have been made to broker a two-state solution, involving the creation of an independent Palestinian state alongside the State of Israel (after Israel's establishment in 1948). In 2007, the majority of both Israelis and Palestinians, according to a number of polls, preferred the two-state solution over any other solution as a means of resolving the conflict.[13] Moreover, a majority of Jews see the Palestinians' demand for an independent state as just, and thinks Israel can agree to the establishment of such a state.[14] The majority of Palestinians and Israelis in the West Bank and Gaza Strip have expressed a preference for a two-state solution.[15][16][unreliable source?] Mutual distrust and significant disagreements are deep over basic issues, as is the reciprocal scepticism about the other side's commitment to upholding obligations in an eventual agreement.[17]
Within Israeli and Palestinian society, the conflict generates a wide variety of views and opinions. This highlights the deep divisions which exist not only between Israelis and Palestinians, but also within each society. A hallmark of the conflict has been the level of violence witnessed for virtually its entire duration. Fighting has been conducted by regular armies, paramilitary groups, terror cells, and individuals. Casualties have not been restricted to the military, with a large number of fatalities in civilian population on both sides. There are prominent international actors involved in the conflict.
The two parties engaged in direct negotiation are the Israeli government, currently led by Benjamin Netanyahu, and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), currently headed by Mahmoud Abbas. The official negotiations are mediated by an international contingent known as the Quartet on the Middle East (the Quartet) represented by a special envoy, that consists of the United States, Russia, the European Union, and the United Nations. The Arab League is another important actor, which has proposed an alternative peace plan. Egypt, a founding member of the Arab League, has historically been a key participant.
Since 2006, the Palestinian side has been fractured by conflict between the two major factions: Fatah, the traditionally dominant party, and its later electoral challenger, Hamas. After Hamas's electoral victory in 2006, the Quartet (United States, Russia, United Nations, and European Union) conditioned future foreign assistance to the Palestinian Authority (PA) on the future government's commitment to non-violence, recognition of the State of Israel, and acceptance of previous agreements. Hamas rejected these demands,[18] which resulted in the Quartet's suspension of its foreign assistance program, and the imposition of economic sanctions by the Israelis. A year later, following Hamas's seizure of power in the Gaza Strip in June 2007, the territory officially recognized as the State of Palestine (former Palestinian National Authority – the Palestinian interim governing body) was split between Fatah in the West Bank, and Hamas in the Gaza Strip. The division of governance between the parties had effectively resulted in the collapse of bipartisan governance of the Palestinian National Authority (PA). However, in 2014, a Palestinian Unity Government, composed of both Fatah and Hamas, was formed. The latest round of peace negotiations began in July 2013 and was suspended in 2014.
We have highlighted the reasons why the road towards peace, or at least a settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, seems to be reversible only at a high cost. In conflict resolution and peace-building, however, perceptions of the "other side" are often no less important than "facts," especially in a situation where contacts and interaction are unavoidable. The question is, whether the peace process can bring a stable peace. Peace can be properly called "stable" (which is not always a synonym of "just") only if the actors involved have no interest in choosing any other feasible (or perceived as such) strategy. Nevertheless, violent conflict is actually impossible if it becomes unthinkable, i.e., when violence is outside the realm, as among the countries belonging to the European Union. The reason lies not only in decision making procedures or in ideal affinities, but also in the interdependencies between societies, i.e., in the processes of integration between interacting democratic societies. This means that the existence of independent civil societies plays a decisive role in conflict resolution. In our context, an important role is thus played by the relations between Israeli and Palestinian civil societies.
A seemingly possible way out of this conflict could be zero interaction. A strategy of deconnection between Israelis and Palestinians does not, however, look feasible. First, the presence of a growing Palestinian minority in the state of Israel, would be a permanent stake for the future Palestinian or Jordan/Palestinian state. Further, no normal economic life in the area is thinkable if it is obstructed by reciprocal boycotts. A strategy of deconnection by not employing Palestinian workers has been pursued by the center-left government of Israel, but this is primarily a political strategy which is not economically or socially viable.
The question is how, after a final peace settlement, can the underlying conflicts be dealt with, both inside Israel (between Arab/Palestinian and Jewish Israeli citizens) and between Israelis and Palestinians, and generally Arabs. While there is a flux of Israeli tourists in Egypt, and Israelis with a second passport can visit Jordan, very few Egyptians visited Israel or even East Jerusalem and the West Bank. Moreover, Israeli interest in Egypt or Jordan seems to be purely touristic. If some form of inter-societal détente is to be achieved, this lack of mutual interest has to be overcome. The reasons seem to be different on the two sides, and are not the same for everyone in each "camp."
The Palestinians do not perceive their relationship with Israelis as a relationship between equals.25 Since the Israeli is at the same time the occupying soldier and - more rarely - the peace activist, (s)he will be usually perceived as the occupant. The creation of a Palestinian state and a period of separation could be basic steps in order to overcome this Palestinian perception. As far as Israelis are concerned, it appears that there is not - so far - a wide interest in knowing the Palestinian reality directly. That reality would confront each individual with the major problems concerning Israel's and Israelis' identity, and their relations with their neighbors.
Nevertheless, two more optimistic points can be made in conclusion. First, the hierarchic relations in Israeli society itself between groups originating from different areas seem to be weakening. The intra-societal integration could make relations with other groups easier. Second, and more important, the relations developed during the intifada between Israeli peace groups and parts of the Palestinian elite could develop into a permanent process of reciprocal understanding spreading beyond these small but important groups.
The future of a Palestinian/Israeli agreement in 2015 lies partially in the hands of the radical memberships of Hamas and the Palestinian people themselves. The masses have the power to demand peace with Israel from the Hamas led government and Hamas must decide how to proceed with Israel. Although more violent means have been somewhat effective in recent years in the Palestinian perspective, the desired end has yet to be achieved. Thus, one could intuitively argue that a greater concentration on more peaceful means to bring about a resolution to the conflict would be in the Palestinian’s best interest. Furthermore, self-empowerment by the Palestinian people could bring about pressure on the Hamas-led government from within, which could make peace with Israel more likely. Perhaps such a cultural change is occurring that will allow a resolution to this age-old conflict to be found./.
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All comments [ 10 ]

Lê Tín 13/1/15 18:51

Palestinians have held diverse views and perceptions of the peace process. A key starting point for understanding these views is an awareness of the differing objectives sought by advocates of the Palestinian cause.

Quốc Cường 13/1/15 18:55

The 1967 war is particularly important for today's conflict, as it left Israel in control of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, two territories home to large Palestinian populations.

Huy Lâm 13/1/15 18:59

Hope in the new year 2015, the world will witness peace between them.

Quân Hoàng 13/1/15 19:01

The primary approach to solving the conflict today is a so-called "two-state solution" that would establish Palestine as an independent state in Gaza and most of the West Bank, leaving the rest of the land to Israel.

Huy Quốc 13/1/15 19:09

The Israel-Palestine conflict is not just about land. It’s a bitter religious war.

Phạm Hiếu 13/1/15 19:11

The violence of the second intifada and the political success of Hamas have convinced many Israelis that peace and negotiation are not possible and a two state system is not the answer.

Quốc Kiên 13/1/15 19:14

This is what a religious war looks like, and we should stop kidding ourselves that this is not what has been happening in the Middle East.

Hùng Quân 13/1/15 19:16

A common theme throughout the peace process has been a feeling that the Palestinians give too little in their peace offers.

Hoàng Lân 13/1/15 19:17

Religion was always a significant motivating force on both sides.

Vân Nhàn 13/1/15 19:20

Most Israelis still want to believe they are fighting only for their security and have nothing against Muslims, while many Palestinians still want to blame the occupation for all violence. So sad, I don't see any solution or hope for peace.

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