The terms peace and conflict are two contradictory terms that define the opposite of each other. Peace is a state of tranquility and calmness, in this situation, peace is the state where there is no war. While conflict is a protracted disagreement between two or more parties that may end up becoming armed violence. Other terms that involve peace and conflict; they include peacemaking, peacekeeping, and peacebuilding.
Peacemaking is a practical attempt to give equitable power to all parties involved in a disagreement in an attempt to prevent future conflicts (Immel & Thomson Gale (Firm), 2011). Peacemaking aims at attaining a mutual reconciliation among parties in a conflict. Peacekeeping, on the other hand, is a process that comes in a post-conflict situation; it involves the deployment of peacekeeping troops and peacekeeping observers who play a critical role in monitoring and observing the peace process. They assist ex-combatants in the implementation of peace agreements. This involves helping in social and economic development, ensuring that there is electoral justice by providing necessary assistance in the electoral process and strengthening the rule of law. Peacebuilding seeks to ensure that there is durable peace, it focuses on the causes of conflicts and addressing them, peacebuilding also concentrates on reconciliation among conflicting parties and those affected by conflicts, it also focuses on economic transformation, strengthening institutions and political change which ensures that there is a durable peace.
The focus here is the conflict between Israel and Palestine. The creation of the Jewish state is the point of contention. The idea of the creation of a Jewish state is rooted in the cultural and religious beliefs of the Jewish people. The Napoleonic war led to the rise of movements among this was Zionism that set out the idea for a homeland for the Jews (Ellis, M. H. 2002). In 1917 the Balfour Declaration by the United Kingdom endorsed the establishment of a home for the Jews in Palestine. In 1922 the British government accepted this by agreeing to the British Mandate for Palestine. In 1920, 19-26 April during the San Remo Conference, the European powers mandated the establishment of a Jewish homeland. And later in the year 1948, the state of Israel was established.
The conflict that began as an intercommunal conflict in Mandatory Palestine between Arabs and Jews from the year 1920 fully erupted in 1948 after the establishment of the state of Israel (Slavicek, L. C. 2009). After the six-day war of 1967 where Israel took control of the Gaza Strip and West Bank from Egypt and Jordan respectively where Palestinians sought refuge after the establishment of the state of Israel, the war brought a new dimension.
Critical issues in this conflict are the control of the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, the mutual recognition of borders (Shoshan, M. 2010), the power of Jerusalem. Both Israel and Palestine want to control the city that holds cultural and religious significance to both parties, water rights; access to clean water, an Israeli settlement, Palestinian to have freedom of movement and the right for their return. The above fundamental issues are the reasons for the intractable war between Israel and Palestine.
Efforts have been made over the decades of the conflict to try and find a peaceful solution to it. Peacemaking, peacebuilding, and peacekeeping have been used to try and resolve the conflict and maintain peace in the region (Abd H. M. & PASSIA. 2005). Here we focus on the efforts made by the United States of America and their support of the creation of the Jewish state in Palestine.
The Balfour Declaration and the British Mandate were drafted in both Britain and the USA, a judge in the US Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis helped in the drafting. Because the US supported the establishment of the Jewish State, they, therefore, are concerned with the conflict between Israel and Palestine. Without a doubt, the US is directly involved in the dispute. They have shown efforts to find a mutual understanding between the parties to try and end the violence.
The United States as a member of the quarter on the Middle East through its envoys and in partnership with other members of the quarter, they have made efforts through mediation to find common ground between Israel and Palestine. The United States through its president Bill Clinton witnessed the signing of the Oslo Agreement on 13th September 1993 between Israel and Palestine. The agreement stipulated for the withdrawal of Israeli troops from West Bank and the Gaza Strip and that an interim self-governing authority should take place within a transitional period of five years that was to lead to a permanent settlement by resolutions 242 and 338.
Another effort was made by the US to help achieve peace between Israel and Palestine after the Oslo Agreement was rejected by Hamas and other Palestinians rejectionists, who launched bombs into Israel. The Camp David negotiation hosted by Bill Clinton to try and fix this failed.
The Roadmap, a framework drafted by the quarter, the US, Russia, the EU and the United Nations. It was a follow-up by the US senator George Mitchell continue the peace process between Israel and Palestine. President Bush preceded the plan by calling for a Palestinian state in 2002. The plan had a timetable that had phases; these phases were: both parties will have to give statements supporting the idea of a two-state solution. Palestine was to hold an election, prosecuted participating in terror, draft a constitution and Israel should not continue with the settlement activities and that they should stop military action. The next phase was the creation of a Palestinian state with stipulated borders at an international conference and the final period which will involve final agreements. President Bush and his predecessor Obama made efforts to try and reach an agreement between Palestine and Israel they witnessed the signing of different protocols and peace accords during their tenure as US presidents. However, though the US has made efforts to try and find a solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict, there is the ever-present reality that the US is partially responsible for the intractable conflict.
The US recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel is a clear indication that the US is not an impartial party in trying to resolve the conflict. The US is also culpable for supplying weapons used in the conflict; the US is the primary supplier of weapons and military equipment to Israel.
In conclusion, the war between Israel and Palestine is an intractable conflict that has decades. It is my opinion that the settlement and common ground should be achieved by the two without any foreign interference.
Immel, M., & Thomson Gale (Firm). (2011). Israel. Detroit: Greenhaven Press.
Shoshan, M. (2010). Atlas of the Conflict Israel-Palestine. Rotterdam:010 Publ.
Slavicek, L. C. (2009). Israel New York: Chelsea House.
Abd, -H. M., & PASSIA. (2005). Palestinian-Israelis Impasse: Exploring Alternative Solutions to the Palestine Israel Conflict. Jerusalem: PASSIA.
Ellis, M. H. (2002). Israel and Palestine out of the Ashes: The Search of Jewish Identity in the Twenty-First Century. London: Pluto Press
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