Thursday, April 06, 2006

The one that maintains we can establish a Jewish Home here through the suppression of the political aspirations of the Arabs, and therefore a Home necessarily established on bayonets over a long period – [is] a policy which I think bound to fail …The other policy holds that we can establish a Home here only if we are true to ourselves as democrats and internationalists…[where we] are eagerly and sincerely at work to find a ‘modus vivendi et operandi’ with our neighbours.
Judah Magnes 1930 in Desmond Stewart, The Middle East: Temple of Janus, New York: Doubleday and Co., 1971, p. 308.

Chapter 3
Practical approaches to resolving the Palestinian-
Israeli conflict

The creation of a sense of peace, as developed in chapter two, is obtained by meeting the eight fundamental needs, that is the attainment of the four rational needs: control, security, justice, rational stimulation; and the four emotional needs: esteem, meaning, identity and emotional stimulation.

The prerequisites for attaining these eight fundamental needs involve overcoming particular psychological and structural ‘obstacles’ that are present in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.[1] As the general model for conflict resolution shows certain ‘bridges’ such as hope, trust, empathy, cooperation, and an inclusive and nonviolent worldview enable the crossing of psychological and structural obstacles. Those structural obstacles that are in the process of reconciliation include those steps that have been made in the social, political, religious, legal and economic order which have promoted a system of empathy, inclusiveness and non-violence.

This chapter will outline practical approaches to resolving the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. This chapter will firstly identify five of the fundamental needs of Palestinian and Israeli Jewish people.[2] It will then identify issues related to the needs for meaning, identity, control, security and justice. Secondly, it will identify the progress of trust-building measures between Palestinian and Israeli Jewish people. This section will outline the agreed and contentious political positions on the issues of security, settlements, Jerusalem, refugees and water. Other positions to be discussed include religious, educational and economic issues.

What this chapter will demonstrate is the level of cooperation that existed at these negotiations. This chapter will analyse such recent political negotiations using the general method for conflict resolution and peace developed in chapter two. This chapter will focus on specific details of the conflict that are being discussed at the political level (track one), in particular the Taba negotiations of January 2001. These negotiations were conducted six months after the reputedly failed Camp David Summit of July 2000. Figure 10 a/b provides the reader a recent political context of Israeli and Palestinian relations.

To aid the reader appendices have been included to provide a historical, social, political and geographic content [in the thesis but not necessarily on this blog site]. These include:
· History of Israel/Palestine (Appendix B)
· Israel-PLO negotiation teams (1993-2001) (Appendix C)
· Population of ‘Greater Israel’/’Greater Palestine’ (1851-1995) (Appendix D)
· Geographic and Population Comparisons (Appendix E)
· Historical and contemporary needs of Palestinian and Israeli Jewish People (Appendix F)
· Reconciliation between Palestinian and Israeli Jewish people and their neighbours (Appendix G)
· Belief statements that are a source of conflict (Appendix H)
· Inflammatory statements to Palestinians (Appendix I)
· Inflammatory statements to Israelis/Jews (Appendix J)
· Maps of ‘Ottoman Syria/Palestine’, 1916 Palestine, British mandate Palestine, Peel Commission Partition Plan 1937, UN Partition Plan 1947, West Bank Settlements (1977-1984), West Bank after Oslo (1995), Gaza Strip (1988) (Appendices K-R).[3]

A. Requisites for Conflict Resolution
3.1 Understanding of Fundamental Needs

The requisites for conflict resolution are the attainment of the fundamental needs as outlined in chapter two. Those needs are control, security, justice, rational stimulation, emotional stimulation, esteem, meaning and identity. The following indicates some of the issues facing the Palestinian and the Israeli Jewish community regarding these fundamental needs. To begin an understanding of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, there deserves discussion on some of the basic fundamental needs. The following compares and contrasts the fundamental needs of meaning, identity, control, security and justice that are shared by both Palestinians and Israeli Jews.

Meaning and Identity need

Those meaning and identity needs analysed in the following section include a perception of a people, a perception of a birthright and a perception of historic heritage in the land.

Perceptions of ‘a people’

A primary belief for both Palestinian and Jewish communities is that there exists a Palestinian and Jewish ‘people/nation’. If this is the case then what are a ‘people/nation’? Are a people, or are the Palestinian or Jewish people, a monoethnic group…a multiethnic group? What happened to the ‘people’ who inhabited this region from 1400BCE to 1900CE—to the Canaanite, Phoenician, Hebrews, Babylonian, Assyrian, Persian, Syrian, Egyptian, Arab, Druze, European, Lebanese, Turkish and the other people who lived in the region over the last 4000 years? Who would have considered themselves as Palestinian (Falastin or Filastin) in 1850, 1900, 1917 or 1930? Who would have considered themselves as Syrian in 1917? Who would have considered their identity as the village of their ancestor’s birth? Was there ever a national home for the Palestinian people?

Similarly, who are Jewish people? Are the Jewish ‘people’ a monoethnic group…a multiethnic group? What is the relationship between Yemeni, Ethiopian, Indian, and East European descended Jews? Given the contrast in ethnic-ancestry how can one use ethnic-ancestry as a joining factor for the Jewish identity? Consider the ethnic-religion, what proportion of Israeli’s (Jewish Israelis) would say they were religious?

In responding to these questions, this author regards the Palestinian identity as a modern collective identity, just like American, Australian, or Jordanian national identities. Those who are included within this identity include Palestinian Israeli’s[4] (who make up a fifth of the Israeli population) and Palestinians of—the Occupied Territories; Palestinians in refugee camps in the surrounding countries of Syria, Jordan and Lebanon; and Palestinians in diaspora in other parts of the Middle East, Europe, North America, Australia or elsewhere.

Although a contentious issue the awareness of one’s identity as Palestinian may be regarded as a consequence and in opposition to the rise of Jewish nationalism in the Middle East in the twentieth Century. Palestinian nationalism was initiated by those Arabic speaking persons who were non-Jewish who lived in the historical region of Palestine. These people unlike their Arabic speaking neighbours did not receive autonomy as did the people in the newly set-up states in Syria, Transjordan (Jordan), Lebanon, Iraq and the Gulf Arab states.[5]

Palestinian nationalism resulted from those people in this forgotten region who felt increased disempowerment, discrimination, and ethnically motivated violence towards themselves. These people collectively became known as Palestinian (English), or Falastin/Filastin (Arabic) an ancient reminder of earlier people of this land (the Philistines). The Philistines, their descendants and the many subsequent ’nations’ that conquered or lived in this region intermarried resulting in a community with diverse origins.[6]

Of equal or greater contention is what defines a Jew? This thesis holds that the Jewish people are considered as a collective identity based on historical factors which range from hereditary, to religious to personal choice. The culture whether secular or religious, formed from these lines and is presently still embroiled in the shadow of the Shoah (Holocaust). This author found from his informal interviews that present fears included the ever-present danger of group persecution; and the belief that safety is guaranteed by the existence of a Jewish state.

Control need

Perceptions of a ‘land right’ and a right to self-determination

A second basic belief is that both Palestinian and Jewish people would argue that they have a right to land in this region. This leads to the following question, how does one argue a birthright to land? Palestinian people have a birthright to land. Jewish people have a historic right to the land. What does this mean? How long does a land claim remain? Is it enough to say I was born here, my parents were born here, and their parents were born here? Is that enough to say I have the right to land?

How do indigenous people from around the world argue their case for land rights? If the Jewish community can initiate 2000 year-old land claims, what land claims can those descended from the Zulu, Native Americans, Celts, the Inuit, the Sami, the Mosquit, the Hawaiians and the Maori claim? What was the percentage of Jewish to non-Jewish people at the time of Balfour Declaration (1917) in this region? How many non-Jewish people lived in this region in 1917? For how long had this region been predominantly a Muslim region? For how long had there been a minority Christian, Druze and Jewish population?

In responding to these questions it can be seen that both the Jewish and Palestinian communities can argue for land rights based on their ancestry. Although there is great diversity in the ethnicity of Jews (for example compare the ethnicity of Indian, Yemeni, Egyptian, Russian or Black Hebrews) and Palestinians (for example compare the ethnicity of Circassian, Turkish, Levantine Arab and Bedouin) both cultures have historic heritage to the land.

However, consider a comparison of Palestinian (Non-Jewish) to Jewish people over the period from 1851-1948 (Table 2). From Table 2 one can see:

Ÿ The indigenous Jewish population in 1851 was 4% whilst the indigenous Palestinian population was 96%.
Ÿ At the time of Britain’s acceptance of ‘Palestine’ as a Jewish homeland in 1917 (Balfour Declaration) the local Jewish population was about 10%, with a 90% non-Jewish population.

Year Non-Jewish (%) Jewish (%) Total population
1851 96 4 340,00

1895 92 8 569,0000

1914 87 13 760,000

1922 89 11 816,000

1936 7 3 27 1,373,000

1948 67 33 1,969,000

Table 2. A comparison of non-Jewish to Jewish peoples from 1851-1948 in ‘Greater Israel’/‘Palestine’ - based on McCarthy (1990), Shama and Iris (1977).[7]

Consider also the question of land ownership. How did land ownership change following the Balfour Declaration? An appraisal of Jewish land purchases by Stewart shows the following:

In the thirty one years from the Balfour Declaration to the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948, the Jews were only able to increase the proportion of Palestine they owned through purchase from around two to around seven per cent of the total.[8]

Similarly according to the Palestine Government in 1945 the proportion of land ownership in 1945 was:

Ÿ 15% Jewish land
Ÿ 19% Public land
Ÿ 66% non-Jewish Palestinian land.[9]

From looking at the demography of the period from 1851-1948 and land ownership from 1917-1945 can one not acknowledge the legitimacy of the Palestinian birthright claim?

Security and justice need

Those security and justice needs analysed in the following include a perception of a
land right; a perception of victimization; a perception of violence against another;
and a perception of one group acting in contrast to international law.

Perception of victimization (and being the greater victim)

A third basic belief common to both Palestinian and Jewish people is that they have undergone demonisation, deportations, imprisonment and murder as a result of their ethnicity. This leads to the question of what insights does history provide in looking at this issue of persecution and discrimination of ethnic groups? The evidence, sadly would suggest that such persecution is universal. That is in general ethnic groups rise and fall; the exception is for ethnic groups to remain. History shows that new ethnic identities are formed, through intermarriage and the like, following invasion and war. Table 3 indicates such changes and reformations of ethnic groups. The table indicates the modern day ‘survivor’ as well as a variety of potential ancient ethnic possibilities.

One attitude is that Jewish people have been persecuted throughout history. An alternate reading of history is that group persecution—Jewish or otherwise, is evident throughout history. Where for example are the Aztec, Babylonian or Hittite ‘people’.
Social groups tend to form and disperse following invasion, colonization and warfare. Defeated groups ally with other subjected groups or are absorbed into the dominating group. The presence of the Jewish community is an example of the resilience and robustness of Jewish culture.

Regardless, in the Western world the Jewish people have been treated as politically expedient scapegoats. Bases for persecution varied from the label ‘killers of Christ‘, to a perceived global Jewish conspiracy. The conventional Jewish view is that Jewish survival depends on their possession of a Jewish land, which can be a place of refuge for those Jews who choose to live outside Israel.

Palestinian resistance was a result of perceived favouritism to the Jewish community by the international community. Those decisions included the Balfour Declaration (November 1917), the San Remo Conference support of the Allied Supreme Council (April 1920), the creation of Transjordan[10] in eastern British Palestine (1921), the League of Nations British Palestine mandate approval (1922), the Peel Partition Plan (July 1937) and the United Nations (General Assembly Partition Plan Resolution 181 (II), November 1947).

In the neighbouring countries of British-mandate Palestine there was a gradual increase in ‘Arab’ autonomy. Meanwhile in British-mandate Palestine political, geographic, economic, social and religious control was taken from the non Jewish Arabic speaking ethnic majority. Instead the international community favoured the Jewish community over the Palestinian. This is evident given a predominately Arabic speaking and Muslim cultural region was transformed into a Hebrew speaking and Jewish cultural region in less than 30 years (i.e. 1919-1948).

Surviving ethnic
Examples of potential hereditary origins of the surviving ethnic group

Arab, Bedouin, Druze, Turkish, German[11], Circassian, Egyptian, European crusader, Byzantine, Roman,
Greek, Persian, Babylonian, Assyrian, Canaanites (who included Hittites, Philistines, Phoenecians, Amalekites, Perizzites, Jebusites, Ammonites, Moabites,
Midianites/Ishmaelites [12])

European or North
American Jews
German, English, Polish, Russian, Hungarian, [13] Hebrew, same as for Palestinian
Afro-Asian Jew
(Mizrahim: includes

Arab, Spanish, Falashas (Ethiopian), Cochin (Indian), [14] Hebrew, same as for Palestinian
English, Vikings (Danish and Norwegian), Romans, Celts, Angles, Picts, Scots and Bretons[15]
French, Vikings (Danish, Norwegian), Angles and Saxons (Germany), Romans, Celts, [16] and Icenii
Arab, Kurd, Bedouin, Turkmen, Assyrians, Armenians, Yezidis,[17] Persian, Babylonian and Sumerian
Mexican (Mesitzo: Spanish-American Indian), American Indian, European and African groups,[18] Aztec, Mayan, Anasazi and Olmec
Spanish, Other European, Mestizo, Indians, Japanese, Chinese, African,[19] and Inca

Table 3. Contemporary ethnic groups and examples of potential hereditary origins.

Great Britain acting on behalf of the ‘international community’[20] enforced decisions of land redistribution by force when resistance to these laws was evident. This was especially common during the 1936-39 anti-British and anti-Jewish settlement revolt (Arab revolt, or Arab disturbances). Jewish resistance groups developed in response to offensive and defensive reasons. Those groups included: Hashomer (1909-1920); Haganah, and its special operations group Palmah (1920-48); the Stern Gang and Irgun (led for a time by Menachem Begin, subsequent Prime Minister of Israel 1977-1982).

B. Prerequisites for Conflict Resolution

The requisites for conflict resolution are the attainment of the eight fundamental needs, as discussed in chapter two. The prerequisites for conflict resolution (as a consequence of fundamental needs attainment) include those measures that build hope, build trust and give evidence of non-violence, cooperation and inclusiveness.

3.2 Trust-building Measures and Cooperation

There have been positive developments in relationships between Israeli and Palestinian negotiators since official negotiations began in 1991. The signing of the Declaration of Principles on Palestinian Self-Rule in the Occupied Territories gave evidence (on face value at least) of the willingness of the Israeli and PLO leadership to recognize that each shares common needs of security, control, identity (as well as meaning) and justice. An example of developments in the building of personal relationships included between Yossi Beilin and Abu Ala (Ahmad Qurai’).

However, there still exists a stalemate as the Israelis continue to hold the upperhand on security, control, identity and justice needs. This has been on the negotiating table and on the military and economic field. The Israelis continue to operate more effectively than the PLO in bargaining on conflicting issues as they had “better knowledge…more experience…and better bargaining skills”.[21]

According to the model developed in chapter two, failure to meet all the psychological needs of an individual will exacerbate conflict. As such the Israeli government as the more powerful party may find benefit in ensuring a return to a needs-based conflict resolution system, as it is only through attainment of fundamental needs that peace is found. The Israeli government must recognise that security is only one criterion of the eight needs for peace, as identified in chapter two. Similarly the Palestinian leadership must recognise that justice too is only one criterion of the eight requisites for peace.

[Not shown Figure 10 a. Timeline in the Post-Oslo Environment 1991-1999. See also the BBC timeline].

The most challenging political issues related to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict are:

· Security and Borders
· Settlements
· Jerusalem and
· Refugees.[22]

Structural reconciliation requires looking for changes in ideology such as political positions. Such changes will affect the issues and strategies of negotiation with the PLO and with the wider regional community.

The principal ‘moderate’ parties which have a stake in the current political situation are the Labor, Likud and Fatah (Yassir Arafat’s party) political parties. Other more radical political parties to be taken into account include Shas (the part of the Oriental Haredim; the religiously most extreme),[23] Gush Enumin (a significant party amongst the settlers); as well as Palestinian influential groups like Hamas (most influential in Gaza) and Islamic Jihad (most influential in the West Bank).

Shamir’s Likud party arose out of Menachem Begin’s Herut Party which arose from Jabotinsky’s Revisionist Party which advocated an ‘iron wall’ between ‘Eretz Israel’[24] and her Arab neighbours. Ariel Sharon was the first Likud PM not a Revisionist.[25]

The first change is to adopt a truly needs-based conflict resolution process rather than insisting on the force-based approach which is based on positional bargaining and
military resolve. This force-based approach has been grounded in an ideology of the ‘Arabs’ desire to drive the Jews into the sea which is reinforced by terrorist attacks.

1. Security/Borders

a. Territory

Moshe Brawer asserts that the issue of security and borders is “among the most difficult if not the most intractable problems” of the Arab-Israeli peace process.[26] Present positions on security range from advocating no Palestinian state and a Greater Israel[27] on one extreme (the Israeli extremist/maximist position), to a religious pan-Islamic state or a secular Historic Palestine state on the other (the Palestinian extremist/maximist position). Within this spectrum there is Labor and Likud which has a minimal redeployment stance of Israeli troops.

The Likud Party historically was opposed to relinquishing even a minute amount of occupied territory. During the 1980s under Shamir the Likud dominated government heavily subsidised houses for settlers.[28]

Moshe Brawer advises against rigid adherence to past borders—either “colonial boundaries” prior to 1948 or the lines established post 1948-49. Brawer argues that both were “dictated by practical considerations of the time, which were largely mindless of the needs of the local inhabitants”.[29]

At the Taba negotiations[30], both the Palestinian and Israeli delegations agreed that: “in accordance with the UN Security Council Resolution 242, the 4 June 1967 lines would be the basis for the borders between Israel and the state of Palestine”.[31]

Some of the sticking points included “No-Man’s Land” (a region just west of Jerusalem, for example Latrun) that has strategic value as it provides a ready access from the coastal plains to an important mountain access to Jerusalem.[32]

b. Security

At the Taba Negotiations, the Palestinian side agreed to allow “continued operations of early warning stations but subject to certain conditions”. The Palestinian side was “prepared to accept limitations on the acquisition of arms and be defined as a state with limited arms”.[33] Other issues of concern were air-space control, the timetable for Israeli army withdrawal, the location of emergency deployment locations in the Jordan Valley, cooperation in fighting terror, international crossings and electromagnetic sphere (e.g. telecommunication) sovereignty.[34]

2. Settlements/Colonies[35]

The issue of settlements provokes a similarly wide range of responses, ranging from dismantling all the settlements, to a continued expansion of settlements. One position lying within the continuum includes dismantling some settlements but keeping those annexed within East Jerusalem.

An argument for dismantling settlements includes the need to have a homogenous Palestinian territory.[36] This is in contrast to the greatly divided proposed region (called bantustans by Palestinian apologists). An argument against dismantling settlements includes the political will/fear of the Israeli government, given the sheer number of people that would have to be removed. There is a total of 370 000 settlers in the West Bank, 170 000 settlers in annexed East Jerusalem, and 200 000 within the remainder of the West Bank. [37] The Israeli government fears internal division and conflict between the vocal and active settler (colonialist) movement.

Evidence of potential settler action against the government includes what happened following Baruch Goldstein’s massacre of 30 Palestinians at a Hebron mosque on 25 February 1994. As a consequence the Israeli government considered evacuation of seven Jewish families living in Tel Rumeida, located on a small hill in central Hebron. This small number of very radical Jewish families was guarded by an entire army company. The news of possible evacuation “stunned” settler leaders. Four prominent rabbis, namely Rabbis Shlomo Goren, Abraham Shapiro, Shaul Yisrael and Moshe Tzvi Neria issued several Halakhic (Jewish religious law) rulings categorically prohibiting evacuation of Jewish settlements in Eretz Israel, given the special significance of Hebron to religious Jews.[38]

Rabbi Goren even called for people to be ready to “be ready to die rather than allow the destruction of Hebron”.[39] The latter three made an address to the soldiers of the Israeli Army (Israeli Defence Force/IDF), stating that all evacuation laws were “illegal” and “must be disobeyed”, and plans were made to bring tens of thousands of supporters to obstruct any removal.[40]

Fifteen months later, 15 prominent rabbis including again Rabbis Shapiro and Neria made a similar rabbinical statement. In response, Rabin declared that “soldiers who did not obey…would be instantly court-martialled”.[41]

Arguments in favour of dismantling settlements include public approval after appropriate political actions from Israeli and PLO leadership. For example, during the withdrawal of settlements in Sinai, surveys of Israeli public opinion suggested “most voters expressed negative attitudes towards a full withdrawal” of the Sinai Peninsula. However, this “changed with Anwar Sadat’s visit to Jerusalem”. After the peace agreement with Egypt, “a vast majority supported the withdrawal”.[42]

At the Taba Negotiations Israeli maps identified annexation of “approximately 80 per cent of the settlers”. The Israeli side maintained that it is “entitled to contiguity between and among settlements”. The Palestinian side states that “Palestinian needs take priority over settlements”. [44] The implication at Taba was all settlements will be evacuated in Gaza.[45]

Figure 11. The creation of Har Homa settlements, post Oslo Accords.
(source: Applied Research Institute of Jerusalem, 2003).

Figure 12. ‘Greater Jerusalem’ (2003).[43]
(source: Applied Research Institute Jerusalem, 2003)

3. Jerusalem

Positions on Jerusalem include partition, where at one end of the spectrum both East and West Jerusalem fall under full Israeli sovereignty, with Palestinian extraterritorial rights and a Palestinian capital in a Jerusalem suburb (Abu Dis); and at the other end of the spectrum full Palestinian sovereignty over East Jerusalem with Israeli extraterritorial rights in the Old City.[46]

Moderate arguments against Israeli control of East Jerusalem (including the Old City) include the PLO leadership, who argue that the Palestinian people have already given major concessions to Israelis, given that 60 % of Jerusalem was Palestinian owned prior to 1948. Arguments for Israeli control of East Jerusalem (including the Old City) include mistrust of a Palestinian controlled Jerusalem.Radical arguments against Israeli control of any part of Jerusalem include Islamists who argue that Israel and Jerusalem (as the third holiest city to Islam) must be controlled by Muslims.[47] Similarly, arguments by Jewish fundamentalists require the inclusion of Eretz Israel, and Jerusalem, ‘the city of David’, to be under Jewish control. [48]

Evidence against partition includes Diskin’s analysis of voters attitudes to the 1996 elections. Diskin recorded that most Israelis thought Peres was better qualified for prime minister than Binyamin Netanyahu. Nevertheless, it seems that basic suspicion of Israel’s Arab partners to the peace process and Netanyahu’s slogan “Peres will divide Jerusalem” may have resulted in Peres’ loss of the 1996 election.[49]

Arguments for shared sovereignty of Jerusalem demonstrate a more optimistic approach to the dilemma. The most well-known of these shared sovereignty plans was made by Yossi Beilin and Abu Mazen, where Abu Dis would be renamed Al-Quds, while leaving full control of Jerusalem to Israel.[50]

At the Taba negotiations 21 to 27 January 2001, both sides accepted in “principle the Clinton suggestion of having a Palestinian sovereignty over Arab neighbourhoods and an Israeli sovereignty over Jewish neighbourhoods”.[51] Both sides accepted the idea of an “open city”.[52] The sticking points included Israeli sovereignty over Ma’ale Adumin and Givat Ze’ev; Jabal Abu Ghunaym (Har Homa), Ras al-Amud and Haram al-Sharif/Temple Mount.[53] In April 1995 Rabin supported a further 7000 new homes in East Jerusalem and announced plans to “confiscate 130 acres of Arab lands to facilitate the project”.[54] The UN Security Council voted 14 to 1 to rescind this new housing construction. However, the one vote in the negative was the US, which used its veto to block the resolution. This was the thirtieth time since 1972 that the USA had used its veto to prevent censure of Israel.[55]

4. Refugees

According to Geoffrey Watson, international law with respect to Palestinian refugees “does not provide a decisive answer to the question, although the rights and principles discussed” potentially provide the framework for a solution to the conflict and the situation of the refugees.[56] Positions on refugees range from a Palestinian right to return to Israel and to repossess property there, up to no general right to return to Israel or repossession, but a right of compensation and a right of Palestinian immigration to a Palestinian entity.[57]

The most frequently articulated Palestinian position is for the right of return for refugees and their repossession of lost/stolen property. The Head of the Palestinian General Delegation to Australia, Ali Kazak, holds that a just and lasting solution to the refugee question must firstly be accepted by the Palestinian refugees. This solution requires the Israeli government to accept the principle of a right of return and a generous compensation for property loss and emotional suffering. This principle, Mr Kazak argues, is based on international law and repeated UN resolutions including UN General Assembly Resolution 194 (1948). Mr Kazak suggests that if an acceptable settlement was determined the overwhelming majority of Palestinians would remain in their present location.[58]

Opposition to a ‘right of return’ include Geoffrey Watson, a leading scholar on international law in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, who regards this right as unacceptable due to the “unmanageable social unrest or worse,” a situation it would undoubtedly bring.[59]

A former Israeli Prime Minister, Yitzhak Shamir, made his view clear on the right of return, arguing that “the term ‘right of return’ is an empty phrase that is absolutely meaningless…it will never happen in any way shape or form. There is only a Jewish ‘right of return’”.

At Taba negotiations both sides suggested as a basis:

That the parties should agree that a just settlement of the refugee problem in accordance with UN Security Council Resolution 242 must lead to the implementation of UN General Assembly Resolution 194.[60]

This is a momentous decision given UN General Assembly Resolution 194 of 1948 that:

The refugees wishing to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbours should be permitted to do so…and that compensation should be paid for the property of those choosing not to return and for the loss of and damage to property.[61]

In sum, the Israeli side from the Taba negotiations suggested a three-track fifteen year absorption program with priority given to the Palestinian refugee population in Lebanon. The first track would have seen the absorption in Israel of anything from
25 000 to 40 000 in the first five years. The second track would include transfer to territory within Palestinian sovereignty and the third track would include family reunification.[62]

5. Water

Positions on water range from complete Israeli control of water resources in the Occupied Territories, to Palestinian control of the water. Arguments for Israeli control of water are based on Israel’s mistrust of Palestinian administration of their water resources.[63] Water in Israel is a matter of “national security”[64] and, as such, Israel has already strict limits in place on water bores in the West Bank which could interfere with normal flows of groundwater to coastal plain within Israel proper.[65] No mention of water was made in the Taba Negotiations, given its absence in the Maratinos “nonpaper” on the Taba Negotiations report.[66]

b. Religious interpretations

Structural reconciliation seeks to encourage more tolerant outlooks in religious positions. Improvements in ecumenical and interfaith dialogue are a basis for such inclusiveness. Such religious pluralism should be encouraged with the exception that religions which show intolerance or call on the villification of another on the basis of their religious beliefs cannot be tolerated. Kurt Lewin, in coming to terms with the horrors of Nazism, made issue of the need for the new world to develop tolerance of difference; however, Lewin called for “intolerance of intolerance”.[67]

There is concern at the increase in support of the Hamas political party. Part of this support is due to the significant social welfare arm provided by Hamas, especially to people in Gaza. Israeli and Palestinian authorities need to consider countering the popularity of Hamas by compassion in contrast to brute force. Peace as demonstrated by fundamental needs theory is developed by loving the other more, providing security and justice for the other and developing the additional five fundamental human needs. Lessons may be learnt from the ancient philosophy of Jesus Christ who argued the advantages of being known for love rather than aggression.[68]

The Israeli government’s immediate reaction to the 25 February atrocity by Goldstein in Hebron was to outlaw Kach and Kahana Chai[69] Parties such as these groups continued to preach anti-Arab violence and praised the actions of Goldstein. President Ezer Weizman demanded rabbinical ruling be cancelled and stated his intention to try the rabbis for incitement.[70]

c. Educational positions

Structural reconciliation requires change within the educational systems, in particular with respect to history textbooks of the Israeli government and Palestinian Authority. The teaching of history and the use of history textbooks serve as prime instruments for “nation-building” and “socializing young people to society’s dominant values”.[71] As such history teaching shapes “the worldview of the young generations,”[72] which, as discussed in chapter 2, are significant in determining an individual’s needs and fears.

In 1907, Itzhak Epstein documented the presence of prejudice in Jewish history teaching, such as implying Arabs were inferior, lazy and ignoring their historical connection to the land. Epstein urged schools to eliminate prejudices, avoid “the narrow-minded and mean-spirited nationalism which sees nothing but itself,” and seek “to understand the country’s indigenous people”. [73]

Elie Podeh has produced one of the most significant books on the Palestinian-Israeli (and the wider Arab-Israeli conflict). Podeh talks of the “battle of the textbooks” that leave “no physical damages”, but which have lasting psychological impact”.[74]

Podeh identifies three main stages in the evolution of the attitude of the education system towards the Arab-Israeli conflict as “childhood (1920-1967), adolescence (1967-mid 1980s), and adulthood (since then).[75] The first stage entails “implanting Zionist values”, denying the Arab rights to Eretz Israel.[76] The second stage is less overtly prejudicial, however this period was still categorized by “implicit negative messages,” which may be more “dangerous than the overt since the former unconsciously affect the student and may last longer”.[77]

The third stage occurred as a consequence of the Ministry of Education’s guidelines for a new program, titled ‘Education for Jewish-Arab Coexistence.’ This period has a “fairly balanced presentation of the image of the Arab and the Arab-Israeli conflict. Although the prevalence of negative images of the Arab in textbooks is certainly declining, it is not yet dead.[78]

Podeh notes that unfortunately, there are almost no academic studies of Arab school textbook. He does, however, mention several “politically motivated” studies that were published by private institutions for example work by Wurmser.[79]

d. Economic conditions

Structural reconciliation seeks to overcome inequality in economic conditions. Firstly, this requires greater economic cooperation as integral aspect of peace and security in the region. Proponents of greater economic cooperation include Shimon Peres, Abu Ala (Ahmad Qurai’) and Abu Mazen (Mahmoud Abbas).[80] The Oslo Accords set up a framework for such greater cooperation.

Within the Oslo Accords greater forms of cooperation are listed in the areas of trade, customs duties, investment, banking and loans. However, there is a need to ensure these are mutually beneficial to the Palestinian and Israeli people. Given the sheer poverty, malnutrition, and psychological misery of Palestinian people, greater concessions would be required from the Israeli government, the economically stronger neighbour.


This chapter has outlined practical approaches to resolving the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. This chapter firstly, identified five of the fundamental needs of Palestinian and Israeli Jewish people.[81] It identified issues related to the needs for meaning, identity, control, security and justice. Secondly, it identified the progress of trust-building measures between Palestinian and Israeli Jewish people. This section identified agreed and contentious political positions on the issues of security, settlements, Jerusalem, refugees and water. Other positions identified included religious, educational and economic. These positions in the short term present a pessimistic picture.

Whilst a watershed occurred with the signing of the Declaration of Principles in September 1993, and initial Israeli withdrawals appealed promising old habits have remained. There continues to be mistrust by the mainstream Israeli Leadership towards the Palestinian Authority as evidenced by the failure to complete their withdrawal schedule. Events since the second Intifada have created such deprivation for the Palestinians and fear for the Israelis that undoubtedly a whole generation has been scarred. Such a result means the psychological obstacles of despair, mistrust, antipathy, domination, exclusive worldviews and violence are greater now than any time in the last decade. The process of building psychological ‘bridges’ of hope, trust, empathy, cooperation, inclusive worldviews and non-violence remain a challenge, which look to be further compounded by the present escalation of the United States and her alliance in the Middle East. Empathy for one’s enemy, in the main, is still a dream.



[1] There is a trend to distinguish the conflict in the Middle East into the Palestinian-Israeli conflict
(between Israel and Palestinians from the territories occupied since 1967) and the Arab-Israeli
conflict (between Israel and those Arab neighbours who have yet to sign a peace treaty following
any of the wars since Israel’s foundation).
[2] This chapter did not look at the fundamental needs for esteem, emotional and rational stimulation.
[3] The historic claims of ancient Israel and of the modern Palestinian movement prior to 1988. The area includes approximately the region of British mandate Palestine, post creation of Transjordan in 1921; also see Appendix C.
[4] Israeli Arabs is the conventional term. See Appendix A.
[5] Baruch Kimmerling, and Joel S. Migdal. Palestinians: The Making of a People, Cambridge Ma: Harvard University Press, 1994, p. 53.
[6] ibid., p. xvi.
[7] See Appendix C for full table and complete references. For a contrasting view see Joan Peters’ From Time Immemorial: The Origins of the Arab-Jewish Conflict Over Palestine. Baruch Kimmerling (1994, p. xvii) regards Peters work as “not supported by the historical record, being based on materials out of context and on distorted evidence.”
[8] Dennis Stewart, 1972, p. 289.
[9] Palestine Government, Village Statistics, 1945—as cited in Walid Khalidi, Before the Diaspora:
A photographic history of the Palestinians 1876-1948. Institute for Palestine Studies.
Washington DC, 1984, p. 237.

[10] Jews were excluded from settling here, although some European Jews were permitted including those who were involved with the hydro-electric and chemical industries. See Avi Shlaim, Collusion Across the Jordan.
[11] Note the heterogeneity of those people who identify themselves for example as English, German or Italian. Observation of each of these such as ‘German’ history shows a diverse origin of ancestors including: Goths, Saxons, Teutons, Franks, Prussians, Bavarians and Hanoverians. Similarly ‘English’ history shows a diverse origins of ancestors including Celts, Picts, Romans, Angles, Saxons, Welsh, Scots, Danes and Normans to name a few.
[12] Hebrew Bible
[13] David Levinson, Ethnic Groups Worldwide: A Ready Reference Handbook, Phoenix: Oryx Press,
p. 235.
[14] ibid.
[15] ibid., p. 94.
[16] Prior to World War II, the United Kingdom was an ethnically homogenous society, with less than 1% of the population not of English, Irish, Scottish and Welsh origin—ibid., p. 93.
[17] ibid., p. 233.
[18] ibid., p. 365.
[19] ibid., p. 372.
[20] Palestine was mandated to Great Britain by the League of Nations in 1922.
[21] Cecelia Albin, Justice and Fairness in International Negotiation, Cambridge: Cambridge University
Press, 2001, p. 151.
[22] Helena Cobban, ‘Israel and the Palestinians: From Madrid to Oslo and Beyond’, in Robert O.
Freedman (ed.) Israel Under Rabin, Boulder, San Francisco, Oxford: Westview Press, 1995, p. 107.
Acts of violence by the Israeli army, settlers and by Palestinians would be a fifth issue to consider.
[23] Consider also Kahane.
[24] The popular biblical perspective of the land covenanted to the people of Israel.
[25] Colin Schindler, “Likud and the Search for Eretz Israel: From the Bible to the Twenty-First
Century”, Israel Affairs, 8(1&2) Autumn/Winter 2002, pp.91–117.
[26] Moshe Brawer, in Efraim Karsh (ed.), Peace in the Middle East: The Challenge for Israel, p. 41.
[27] The ‘biblical’ version of Israel, a state which extended from Dan to Beersheba and from the
Mediterranean to the Jordan.
[28] Don Peretz and Gideon Doron, The Government and Politics of Israel, 3rd ed., Boulder: Westview
Press, 1997, p. 105, 110.
[29] Efraim Karsh, “Introduction,” in Efraim Karsh (ed.) Peace in the Middle East: The Challenge for
Israel , p. 3.
[30] See figure 10b and Appendix B ‘Israeli and PLO Negotiation Teams.’
[31] Miguel Angel Moratinos, “The Taba Negotiations (January 2001)”, Journal of Palestine Studies,
31(3) Spring 2002 Issue 123, p. 81.
[32] Moratinos, op. cit., 2002, p. 83.
[33] ibid., p. 87.
[34] ibid., p. 88-89.
[35] Gershon Shafir, “Zionism and Colonialism: A Comparative Approach,” in Ilan Pappe (ed.) The
Israel/Palestine Question: Rewriting Histories, London and New York: Routledge, 1999, p. 81
[36] Miguel Angel Moratinos, op. cit., p. 82.
[37] Palestine Liberation Organisation. A Crisis of Faith: Second Submission of the PLO to the Sharm El-Sheikh Fact-Finding Committee, December 30, 2000, pp. 14-15—as cited in The Mitchell Report: Report of the Sharm el-Sheikh Fact-Finding Committee, May 2001.
[38] Ehud Sprinzal “The Israeli Right and the Peace Process,” in Sasson Sofer (ed.) Peacemaking in a Divided Society: Israel after Rabin, London, Portland OR: Frank Cass, 2001, p. 78.
[39] ibid., p. 78.
[40] ibid., p. 79.
[41] ibid., p. 79.
[42] Abraham Diskin, “Voters’ Attitudes on the Arab-Israeli Conflict and the 1996 Elections”, in Sasson
Sofer (ed.)Peacemaking in a Divided Society: Israel after Rabin, London, Portland OR: Frank
Cass, 2001, p. 55.
[43] Applied Research Institute of Jerusalem, 2003,
[44] Miguel Angel Moratinos, “The Taba Negotiations (January 2001)”, Journal of Palestine Studies, 31(3) Spring 2002 Issue 123, p. 82.
[45] Miguel Angel Moratinos, p. 83.
[46] Geoffrey Watson, 1999, pp. 267-280.
[47] Meir Litvak, “The Islamization of the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict: The Case of Hamas,” Middle Eastern Studies, 34(1), January 1998, p. 157.
[48] Israel Shahak and Norton Mezvinsky, Jewish Fundamentalism in Israel, 1999, p. 5.
[49] Diskin, op. cit., p. 65-66.
[50] Ze’ev Schiff, “Beilin and Abu Mazen Drafted a Document on Final Status; Agreed to Establish a
Palestinian State,” Ha’aretz, 22 February 1996—as cited in Watson, op. cit., 2000,p. 274.
[51] Moratinos, op. cit., 2002, p. 83.
[52] ibid., p. 84.
[53] ibid., p. 83.
[54] Paul Cossali, “Arab-Israeli Relations 1967-2001”, in David Lea (ed.) A Survey of Arab-Israeli Relations 1947-2001, First Edition, London: Europa Publications, 2002, p. 167.
[55] Cossali, op. cit., p. 168.
[56] Takkenberg, op. cit., p. 272.
[57] Watson, op. cit., pp. 280-290.
[58] Head of the Palestinian General Delegation to Australia, Mr Ali Kazak, pers. comm. (telephone interview) 3,5 February 2003. also see Lex Takkenberg, The Status of Palestinian Refugees in International Law. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1998, p. 230. Takkenberg joined the Dutch Refugee Council as a legal officer in 1983 and worked firstly with UNHCR in Beirut and then with UNRWA in Gaza. During the Intifada he wrote this book for his doctoral thesis.
[59] Watson, op. cit., p. 285.
[60] Moratinos, op. cit., p. 85.
[61] See Quigley, “Displaced Palestinians”—as cited in Watson, op. cit., p. 281.
[62] Moratinos, op. cit.., p. 86.
[63] Albin, Justice and Fairness in International Negotiation, op. cit. p. 162.
[64] Albin, op. cit., p. 161.
[65] Moshe Brawer, “The Boundaries of Peace”, in Efraim Karsh (ed.) Peace in the Middle East: The
Challenge for Israel, Ilford, Essex: Frank Cass and Co. Ltd, 1994, p. 58.
[66] See Maratinos, op. cit., pp. 79-89. Note Ambassador Maratinos, was the European Union (EU)
Special Representative to the Middle East Peace Process. The ‘non-paper’ signifies the absence of
a joint Palestinian/Israeli publication of the Taba negotiations.
[67] Kurt Lewin, Resolving Social Conflicts, 1948, p. 36.
[68] John 13:35
[69] Kahana/Kahane Chai (Kahana Lives) was formed by Meir Kahana’s son see Peretz and Doron, op.
cit., p. 13.
[70] Ehud Sprinzal, p. 86.
[71] Podeh, op. cit., p. 21.
[72] ibid., p. 143.
[73] Ithak Epstein, “The Hidden Question,” Hashilo’ah, no. 17, 1907, p. 205—as cited in Podeh, 2002,
p. 27.
[74] Podeh, p. 143.
[75] ibid., p. 143.
[76] ibid., p. 144.
[77] ibid., p. 148.
[78] ibid., p. 149.
[79] M. Wurmser, Palestinian Authority School Textbooks, New York: Centre for Monitoring the Impact
of Peace, 1999—as cited in Podeh, p. 152.
[80] Albin, op. cit.
[81] This chapter did not look at the fundamental needs for esteem, emotional and rational stimulation.