Bill Clinton has been described by Israeli newspapers as the best US president friend Israel has ever had. He followed the pattern of earlier administrations by supporting Israel's interests at the UN, by appointing major players in his administration with demonstrated sympathies with Israel, and by continuing economic and military aid to Israel, even when the uncooperative Benjamin Natanyahu was prime minister. Even so, President Clinton has taken major steps to promote peace and help the Arabs. The transition from Madrid to Oslo could not have happened without the US as a silent partner, as demonstrated by hosting the Handshake meeting between Rabin and Arafat at the While House in 1993 and the signing of the Declaration of Principles agreement between them. For the first time Palestinian and Israeli leaders were treated on equal terms and that experience has been repeated several times since then. Mrs. Clinton has taken the brave step of saying that the Palestinians deserve to have a state of their own; though the statement was disclaimed by the White House, the impact was obvious in terms of floating the idea from as close a source to the administration as could be. The US has also, since the Madrid conference, extended economic and technical aid to the Palestinians and urged other countries to do the same. Though aid to the Palestinians is minuscule compared with aid to Israel, its dispensation is critical for the survival of the Palestine National Authority, in spite of its being too closely controlled by the World Bank and other donor representative.
The causes for the war in 1967 were largely the same as they had been in 1956. The background for the 1967 war was Arab-Israeli rivalry in the region, as it had been eleven years earlier. Again, actions by the Egyptian President Nasser were important triggers for the conflict. However, there is an ongoing discussion whether these actions unintentionally set forth a development that inevitably led to a war nobody wanted, or if Nasser’s actions only were the pretext needed by Israeli hawks who favoured war over a diplomatic solution. Scholar and Israeli ambassador to the UnitedStates, Michael B. Oren, describes the 1967 war as a war no one wanted, but several incidents – notably those caused by Egypt – escalated the conflict until Israeli leaders felt forced to strike a pre-emptive attack. While many historians disagree that the 1967 war almost exclusively can be blamed on Nasser, there has in previous research largely been a consensus that the war was a result of a conflict spiral no one was able to control. Senior Researcher Roland Popp disputes this, arguing with backing in recently declassified archive material that the military leadership in Israel believed a diplomatic solution would not favour Israel, and thus convinced the civil leaders that a military strike was the best option for the Jewish state.
The first step for building new momentum for peace is to alleviate the suffering of Palestinians without compromising the security of Israel. This will require Israeli with- drawal from nearly all occupied territories as well as concomitant establishment of a security structure that will protect the Palestinian population, on the one hand, and prevent the ascendance of terrorist groups in the vacated areas (which will be in close proximity to Israeli population centers), on the other. This will require the deployment of forces drawn from the countries noted above, with an international mandate sup- ported by Arabstates. Although considered temporary, this presence might need to last a decade or more in order to protect Palestinians and ensure Israel that extrem- ists do not prevail. This key step could proceed before an agreement on permanent boundaries has been reached.
Survival and security constitute the totality of Israel’s domestic and foreign policies. State survival has been a very real issue for Israel for over sixty years. The numerous wars with its “Arab neighbors have only bolstered and contributed to legitimizing Israel’s self-declared status as a nation under permanent siege” (Jakobsen, 2012). In light of a widening range of threats to Israel from its neighbors and the growing interdependence of the stra- tegic alliance between the UnitedStates and Israel, it is not surprising that the Jordan Valley has become the lo- cation of intensified military proliferation. The Israelis insist that the Jordan River must be the basis for a “first line of defense against threats that may someday emerge east of the river” (Eisenstadt & Satloff, 2014). They in- sist on keeping early warning stations on the strategic hilltops of the West Bank and control of the electromag- netic spectrum in the Palestinian territories (Eisenstadt & Satloff, 2014).
The Israeli/Palestinian (I/P) conflict remains unresolved, and this political tension affects Arab young adults not only in Israel and Palestine but in the UnitedStates as well (Hahn Tapper, 2011). Arab college students in the U.S. are historically connected to this conflict in several different ways, through the binary system perpetuated by the conflict for those who are of Muslim or Christian descent, as well as for those who may be Arab Jews. Many Palestinians immigrated to the UnitedStates due to the difficulty of living in Israel, the West Bank, or Gaza (Abu El-Haj, 2007; Nassar-McMillan, Ajrouch, & Hakim-Larson, 2013; Suleiman, 1999). Expulsion of Palestinians from Israel, as well as persecution, brought refugees to the U.S. (Alfaro-Velkamp, 2011; Naber, 2008; Seikaly, 1999) and many youths continue to go back and forth between Palestine and the U.S. while growing up, maintaining strong connections to their homeland and aspirations for a national state (Abu El-Haj, 2007, 2010). Large numbers of Lebanese (including Palestinian Lebanese) also immigrated to the U.S. following the civil war and Israeli invasion of Lebanon (Ajrouch, 2000).
Brotherhood”). Several countries have listed the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization (e.g., Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Russia, etc.), but the UnitedStates, Israel’s closest ally, has not yet acknowledged the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization. Congresswoman Michele Bachmann introduced a bill this past July called the “Muslim Brotherhood Terrorist Designation Act of 2014.” The purpose of this bill is to not only label the MB as a terrorist organization, but to also “impose sanctions against persons who knowingly provide material support or resources to the Muslim Brotherhood or its affiliates, associated groups, or agents, and for other purposes” (“H.R. 5194”). This bill has not been passed by Congress, but it may be reintroduced in the near future in light of the recent 2014 election gaining Republican control of the House and of the Senate.
Perhaps owing to the passage of time, the attributes of Kissinger’s shuttle diplomacy have clearly found a home within the contemporary scholarly literature on mediation bias and conflict resolution, including champions of biased mediation like Saadia Touval. At least initially, America’s pro-Israel bias did stimulate cooperation among Arabstates, particularly Egypt, which sought to drive a wedge between the US and Israel (Touval). US-Egyptian relations did improve drastically. Kissinger set as a goal the American ability to deliver Israeli concessions to the Arabs—i.e., acceptance of ceasefires, withdrawal from their occupied land based on international law and UN Resolutions 242 and 338. In the end, Kissinger did demonstrate America’s ability to trade on its special relationship to convince Israel to do just that.
course difficult to determine, and none of the authors who discuss the removal of UNEF as a deterrent move actually try to. W hat is im portant here is th at Nasser’s move is described as defensive and not belligerent. As for pressure from other Arab regimes, Nasser had been described as merely posturing by moving troops into the Sinai and, in the words of two authors, in order “[t]o free himself from criticism by Arab radio - especially in Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Syria - th at he was hiding behind the skirts of the United Nations Emergency Force (UNEF), he decided to remove UNEF from Sinai and tackle the Israelis.”2? Although some authors m ention that domestic pressure also led to Nasser’s decision, details about this pressure is left out and it is therefore not clear as to w hether it was exerted mostly by other high Egyptian officials or by “the m an on the street.” That Nasser held a desire to improve his stature in the Arab world and (once again?) assume its leadership has been nam ed as another aspect of why Nasser ordered UNEF to be withdrawn. This point is naturally connected with the deterrent aspect of the removal (assisting another Arab state in danger) but also with responding to criticism from some of the other Arabstates.
Arabs within Israel and occupied territories are mostly indigenous to the land and those who are not, most likely come from the eastern part of the Middle East (mainly Iraq) and are Jewish; these Arab-Jews are referred to as Oriental. The religion of the indigenous Arabs are mainly Muslims, Druze, and Christians. Yet, the Jewish people (referring to race and religion or both) come from multiple cultures with only very few being indigenous. The Ashkenazi, who are the majority, are Jews that came from mainstream Europe, Eastern Europe and the UnitedStates. The Sephardic are Jews are from Spain or Morocco (and other North African countries) though they are sometimes confused with the Oriental Jews from the East. The Ethiopian Jews are another minority group within Israel and their immigration to the country has transpired over the last twenty-five years. The Jews who came from Russia make up the second largest majority in the country. The Messianic Jews who are Jewish by race and Christian by faith are a very small minority. A couple of other Christian minorities live in Israel, but they are a very small group. The Jewish people also can be classified somewhere between ultra-orthodox to secular. These main people groups within Israel have multicultural backgrounds, leaving much room for diversity as well as potential conflict.
especially European countries and the UnitedStates, not to make the same mistake they made "the last time," and would recognize the results of the election [i.e., even if Hamas won]. He said not recognizing the results could lead to a repeat of the scenario of 14 years ago, when Hamas won the elections but the world did not rush to recognize a government headed by Isma'il Haniyeh (Filastin al-Yawm, January 11, 2021).
Syrian conflict was optimistic that the future of the Syrian Assad regime would be limited under the challenge of the opposition, and it regarded pushing for the unconditional resignation of President Assad as its important interest in the Syrian conflict. In addition, from the perspective of power politics, since Syria is an important part of the so-called Shiite Crescent, the collapse of the Syrian Assad government will undoubtedly weaken the regional influence of Iran, the arch-enemy of the UnitedStates. Russia also has close political, military and security relations with the Syrian Assad government, which is the pivotal country for Russia to exert its influence in the Middle East. Therefore, toppling Bashar al-Assad can also weaken the influence of Russia, America‟s strategic rival. In short, if the Syrian Assad regime is overthrown, it will help the UnitedStates to build new international relations and realize the interests of the UnitedStates. Moreover, in the context of the great changes in the Middle East, Turkey tries to play the role of an institutional model, and at the same time, to a certain extent, like the UnitedStates, wants to weaken Iran‟s influence, thus actively pushing Assad to step down. Saudi Arabia and other Gulf Arab countries had been even more bitter about the close relationship between Syria and Iran, and wanted to get rid of it quickly after Bashar al-Assad did not agree to draw a line with Iran. Western allies of the UnitedStates, such as Britain and France, have also been actively pushing Assad to step down in order to consolidate the normative logic (if a government represses its own civilians, it loses legitimacy and should be overthrown) on which they overthrew Libya‟s Gaddafi regime. In short, both regionally and internationally, the demand for the overthrow of the Bashar al-Assad regime in Syria is considerable. In other words, the UnitedStates regards the overthrow of the Assad regime as an important interest, which is guaranteed on the basis of power, so this interest is not illusory. But the UnitedStates and its Allies argued that Mr. Assad must go, with the grand reason that he is not only a criminal who has lost legitimacy, but also an obstacle to an international political settlement and as long as he is in office, there can be no real reconciliation between Syria‟s political factions in a broad sense.
The book’s novelty lies in it’s use of new information, data and facts revealed in the last twenty years to update the legal analysis of events. This is especially evident in the chapter about the refugee problem and the chapter about 1948 war. In the latter, Kattan observes that international lawyers tend to overlook the armed conflict of 1948, instead of analyzing the chronology of events leading up to and during the war, thus creating a gap in the literature. Kattan takes international lawyers to task for adhering to a simplistic and inaccurate characterization of the 1948 war, and proceeds to fill the gap by providing new analysis that closely examines the course of the 1948 conflict and the atrocities that took place during the war. Kattan does so to “challenge the prevailing view in legal scholarship that the Palestinian Arabs and the Arabstates were the aggressors of 1948 who wanted ‘to throw the Jews into the sea.’” 7
Given this widespread surge of interest in nuclear energy, which potentially threatens nuclear nonproliferation efforts, the question posed earlier now comes into play: why do the Arabstates of the Middle East see Iran’s nuclear program as more of a threat than Israel’s was in the 1960s? As with the Israeli program, the important factor to consider is how the rest of the Middle East perceives Iran’s nuclear activities in terms of the regional power dynamics. Since the end of World War II, the Middle East has been plagued by constant power struggles and armed conflict: the Suez crisis, the Six Day War, the Yom Kippur War, the Iran-Iraq War, the 1991 Persian Gulf War, and the 2003 invasion of Iraq have kept the entire region unstable and perennially on the brink of chaos. Additionally, as the central nexus of world oil production and transshipment, the region is a key nerve center for the global economy. With so many of the Gulf states dependent on the security of the oil market for their revenue, there is a strong vested interest in maintaining stability. In this climate, there are five principal ways in which Iran’s nuclear program represents the danger of a regional power imbalance that would prompt its neighbors to rush to hedge their nuclear bets.
However, the lack of an EU special representative at that time hampered the EU's ability to coordinate its response between key actors (O’Donnell, 2016). Concerning Israel, the EU still had an intense relationship on the economic and scientific level, resulting in the same limitations as elaborated in the analysis of the previous confrontation. The critical difference is the Treaty of Lisbon coming into force and with it the ‘Concept of Strengthening EU Mediation and Dialogue Capacities' becoming a crucial "component of the EU's conflict prevention and peace-building toolbox for the conflicting countries" (Item Note 15779/09, 2009). The establishment of the EEAS aimed at maximizing the impact of EU's foreign policy tools by centralizing its resources in one common institution, enhancing coherence and consistency (O’Donnell, 2016). The presence of the figure of the HR lead also to the EU being able to use its resources in a more political way (O’Donnell, 2016). Nevertheless, the Union remained still unable to use its ‘Association Agreement’ with Israel as leverage, since Israel remained a lucrative market. Such an approach is called ‘conditionality approach’ and can work if the opposing party is significantly weaker. Especially because Israel's strongest ally are the USA, its position vis-á-vis the EU is enhanced, making it less likely to apply a ‘conditionality approach’ concerning the economic cooperation between the EU and Israel. Further, as explained in the chapters above, the CFSP remains a highly intergovernmental policy field, making the role of the EU Member States central. The Member States are inconsistent on their approach toward the conflict in general, but also toward the deployment of political measures (O’Donnell, 2016).
Mediation is one of the oldest forms of conflict resolution and has been used extensively worldwide by individuals, states and organisations to bring about peaceful resolution to interstate and intrastate conflicts. While definitions of, and approaches to mediation vary, it is commonly understood as the intervention of a third party in the dispute of two or more parties, for the purpose of improving the nature of interaction between the disputants (Kressel and Pruitt, 1989). Mediation is a distinct form of third party intervention. It is initiated and performed on a voluntary and non-violent basis, and its proposals or recommendations are non-binding. As a conflict resolution tool, mediation has proved to be the most popular form of contemporary conflict resolution, present in nearly 60 percent of international and intrastate disputes between (Bercovitch and Fretter, 2004: 29), while nearly half of all post Cold War crisis were mediated by third parties (Beardsley et. al., 2006: 59). However, despite the prevalence of mediation in contemporary conflicts, the academic literature is surprisingly modest in its attempts to provide tangible hypotheses about the linkage between certain mediation characteristics and the likelihood of a successful outcome. Whereas some studies of mediation tend to be overly generic and lack rigorous testing of their propositions, others are insufficiently driven by systematic case-study analysis, thus reducing the treatment of cases to descriptive footnotes.
The UN Commission for Human Rights, whose members represented some of the most repressive regimes in the world, dedicated such disproportionate efforts to criticizing Israel at the expense of other causes that it was dismantled and replaced, with UN Secretary General Kofi Annan stating that "the politicization of its sessions and the selectivity of its work [...] cast a shadow on the reputation of the United Nations system as a whole”. Its replacement, the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC), turned out to be even more biased than its predecessor, and has dedicated overwhelming attention to Israel, while ignoring and blocking criticism of human rights abuses of equal or greater severity – often committed by the council’s own members. Massacres committed by Palestinians against their own population, and war crimes routinely perpetrated by Palestinians against Israelis, are similarly ignored.
Rapoport’s theorization of ‘Us against Them’ captures the hostility-aggression relations in the Arab-Israeliconflict, and posits that reciprocal antagonism escalates the conflict to societal levels that go beyond governmental institutions. Conflict in this perspective appears as intercommunal and existential, in which one society perceives the other as a fundamental thereat to its existence (Kelman, 2005). The psychological and behavioral aspects of the Arab-Israeliconflict fit the ‘fight- enemy-aggression’ categorization. Israel has refuted Palestinian nationhood and at best reduced the Palestinians to mere Arabs. Similarly, Arabstates initially negated the right of Israel to exist and Muslim and Arab masses continue to reject normalizing relations with Israel. Muslim, Arab, and Palestinian maximalist stances advocate the destruction of the state of Israel, and Israel is mindful of the importance of securing its existence amidst hostile Arab and Muslim sentiments.
In the eighth chapter, “Strategic Decisions Taken During the Israeli-Palestinian Peace Process as Barriers to Resolving the Conflict,” Ephraim Lavie and Henry Fishman argue that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict can be resolved through negotiations, provided that certain strategic barriers impeding or preventing its advancement are overcome. The strategic barriers responsible for the failure of the Oslo process were located in discrepancies between the opposing parties’ perceptions of what strategic decisions were needed at different stages of the negotiations. Whereas Israel understood the negotiations to be centered on the outcomes of the 1967 War, the Palestinians believed the negotiations to be about the outcomes of the 1947-1949 War. The discrepancy between these two approaches was of critical importance because the Palestinian view included the Palestinian “right of return” as a solution to the Palestinian refugee problem and implied that without such a solution, the conflict could not be settled. It became clear afterwards that neither side was prepared to make historic strategic decisions that would entail substantive concessions on the issues of borders, refugees, or Jerusalem, and that they treated the process as a tactical maneuver, rather than a strategic endgame. Furthermore, the negotiations were severely mismanaged, primarily in three areas: (1) the decision to advance incrementally, stage-by- stage, moving from lighter to heavier disputes, and from an interim agreement to a permanent status agreement; (2) the assumption that trust relations would develop between the interlocutors during the process itself; (3) the ambiguity surrounding the real meaning of the process, i.e., the nature of the permanent agreement to be reached. To these, one might add both sides’ violations of the Oslo Accords and the lack of public support for the Accords as major factors that caused the failure.
Russia and the U.S. were both willing to invoke the ICC in the case of Libya. The U.S. will very likely be at least as willing to invoke the ICC in the eventual cases that will arise out of the events transpiring in Syria. One can, however, wonder how Russia would react to a request for referral by the ICC regarding cases in Syria. Russia has steadfastly resisted any effort to oust Syria's leader Assad: "Many thousands of people have died in Syria since the uprisings began in March last year. Yet despite months of discussions, the Security Council Member States have failed to agree on a solution. The ceasefire plan sponsored by former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan has proved an unmitigated failure, leading to his resignation, while Russia and China continue to block efforts to refer the matter to the International Criminal Court (ICC) or launch military intervention." 113 The U.S. clearly wants to hold the Assad regime criminally liable. [Former] "Secretary Clinton has said, 'there must be accountability for senior figures of the regime.'" 114 However, without Russian support, or at least abstention, it is unlikely that an ICC referral would issue from the Security Council. Part of the negotiation of the transition in Syria should include the question of whether and how to invoke the ICC.
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