Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Research Paper on Middle East Conflicts

Research Paper on Middle East Conflicts

Why have initiatives for peace in the Middle East been so difficult to achieve?
The problem of unrest of the Middle East remains one of the most urgent in today’s geopolitics. Middle East is a very frail region was nearly none had experienced peaceful life and life without violence. Conflicts between Arabs and Israelites, Muslims and Jews, Arab Christians and Zionists and other conflicts caused by religious and ethnic intolerance became a usual thing and had become a shameful way of life in Israel and states that border with it. Probably none could even image that UN resolution of 1948 about Israel state and its territorial borders would bring such violence, sufferings to both Arabs and Jews.


There are lots of premises for the nature of violence and terror in the Middle East, which are caused by historical and ethnic particularities of the region. For centuries the lands of Syria, Lebanon and Palestine were dependent territories starting from the first centuries AD. After Roman Empire collapsed, they were captured first by Arabs, later ruined in the time of Crusades and then captured by Ottoman Empire.  The status of Palestine was undefined nearly for 80 years since it appeared under the protectorate of British Empire.  Middle East has a very important strategic location as it’s a gateway to Asia and Northern Africa; its location in the Mediterranean region makes it real close to Southern Europe, and promotes its economical and political interaction with various neighbors.   It explains a high interest of super-powers in this region: of great Britain, France and czarist Russia in the nineteenth century, and North Atlantic Alliance and Soviet Union in the second half of the twentieth century. Frail peace and relatively peaceful coexistence of different ethnic diverse groups, of representatives of different confessions was once broken with establishment of Jewish state on the territory populated for centuries by Arabs, representatives of another culture and another religion. For conservative Eastern societies and eastern cultures it means a lot, as they are used to keep to traditions and customs that have been static for centuries.
The seeds of future violence were planted by unconscious and short-eyed politics promoted by the UN, who wanted to solve “Palestine question” at once and never refer to it, as it one of the most urgent especially after the end of WW2 and horror of Holocaust.
Besides historical particularities, ethnicity and religion played a key role in the development of conflict and spread of violence seeds all over the Middle East. Arabian population has predominantly common language, common culture and common values. Among them a special place is devoted to hospitality and self-dignity or pride. The last one is very common for Arabian culture as well as custom of deep offence and revenge, tied bonds between families and relatives promote the spread of revenge to the whole family and its friends, so if one becomes an enemy to someone of Arabian origin, he will remain an enemy for a long time. This people values and remembers everything good, but for sufferings and evil they have a longer memory. So to explain historical particularities and historical right of Jews on Palestine territories was impossible to Arabs as they were more than historically attached to the Holly land as well. It was the land of their fathers and ancestors as well, that why the single-valued solution of this uneasy geopolitical question caused multi-valued future problems that seem to be never solved as they live in minds and hearts of those who suffered from violence of Middle east eternal unrest. Besides it’s important to outline that there exist no premises for religious hatred and anti-Semitism origins in the history of middle east before the partition of Palestine territories. Moreover Muslims acknowledge the connection between Koran, Old Testament, Talmud and Torah, and there are similarities in moral aspects of both religious. No true followers of Islam in Palestine support the ideas of vakhabism or Islam fundamentalism, which has a purpose of a holly war against “unfaithful”. It’s very different. It takes it roots from the times of Sallah-ad-Dyne or Salladyne the Great and is spread on the territory of modern Palestine, Lebanon and Egypt- the territory of the ancient Islamic civilization. They follow the ideology of “Muslim brothers” which is based on the religious unity of all Arabian nations: Palestinians, Egyptians, Syrians, Iranians, Iraqis. Muslims are in very good terms with Christians who live in these countries, even call them “brothers” and it explains religious diversity in this part of the Muslim world: Lebanon population is 54% Christian, Syrian population is 30% Christian, Iraq and Iran have an impressive number of Christian and Jewish minorities for Muslim world as well. And there are no burning religious conflicts or issues on religious soil in none of these countries. Peaceful terms with Jews had existed always in Islamic world. For example in Morocco (Muslim country in Northern Africa, where Jews were immigrants and had no natural rights, because they were in minority only 10% of population) there were never serious religious and ethnical conflicts.

1948 was a turning point of Jewish history: Jewish nation created its state on their historical land – Israel. “The aspiration of returning to their homeland was first held by Jews exiled to Babylon some 2,500 years ago - a hope which subsequently became a reality”.

After this great event in the history of Jewish people the main task of Zionism was proclaimed to be “strengthening of Israel, repatriation of exiles of the land of Israel and care about the unity and prosperity of Jewish nation”. Only strong country could let “Jews be safe from the waves of oppression which had occurred in virtually every country in which they had lived, especially in the West”.

UN ratified Jews’ decision for self-determination and legalized their new state- the state of Israel on the territory of Palestine. The UN’s resolution about Israel got positive feedbacks from different states all over the world but I don’t think some of them were really sincere, for example Soviet Union. As Paul Starobin wrote in his article Rethinking Zionism: “The establishment of a Jewish state even won support from the Soviet Union, a Communist nation and Cold War rival” but I would note that the real plan of soviets was the established of communism in Israel and of a puppet-state in hands of “Red threat”.

For many reasons the year of 1947 was a year of great hopes and the year that gave the birth to radical Arabian anti-Semitism and to a continuing conflict between Israelites and Palestinians. Let’s have a closer look on the historical and political background that led to this conflict.   The partition of the Palestinian territory on a state for Jews (Israel) and a state for Palestinian Arabs was the main task of UN’s Middle East commission.  There existed different plans about partition of the territory, but the only one was realized one that set the borders of the sate of Israel (according to the UN’s resolution of 1948). According to this plan Jews had got 88 percent of Palestine, while Arabs only 12 percent rest. There were to many sides who had no personal interest in the establishment of Palestinian state both among Zionists, British administration and neighbouring Arab states. As Walid Salem writes in the article The paradox of the 1947 Partition plan:

“1)The plan, in its written version, set up a Jewish state that would be bi-national in structure, in which Palestinians would represent 46 percent of its population4 (498,000 Jews and 407,000 Palestinians).In reality, however, Plan Dalet contemplated removing Palestinians from that state.
2) While the plan talked about two states, the Zionist leadership worked (with British support) to divide Palestine between Israel and Jordan and to prevent the establishment of a Palestinian state (see later).
3) Jerusalem, according to the plan, was to be governed as an international city (Corpus Separatum), while Plan Dalet set out a strategy for occupying half of it by Zionist forces. External evidence confirms this.”

Jewish political and Zionist leaders as Ben Gurion even insisted on annexing the whole city of Jerusalem and the maximum of Palestinian territories:

“Jerusalem as the capital of the Jewish Nation ... it must be, not only a great and expanding centre of the Jewish settlement, but also the centre of all Jewish national and international institutions, the centre of the Zionist movement, the centre of Knesset Israel, which will embrace every Jew in the land of Israel, as well as those residing outside the Jewish state, the centre of world Jewry…We know there are no final settlements in history, there are no eternal boundaries, and there are no final political claims and undoubtedly many changes and revisions will yet occur in the world.”

If most of western and Jewish historians insist that the failure to create a state for Palestinians was resulted by their undemocratic form of government and lack of democratic institutions, than real historical facts witness oppositely:

“the Palestinians asked the Arab League to establish a Palestinian government on July 10, 1947, but the Arab League refused. The request was repeated in February, 1948, and was again refused.”

The reasons are obvious: Egypt and Jordan had their own territorial interests in solution of this uneasy territorial question. The strange decision of the UN can be also explained by the pressure of the USA and British empire, who supported Zionism and saw allies in Jews as well as they considered Israel to be the instrument for the realization of their strategic plans in the region. Those plans mainly included control of Arabian oil, control over Suez canal territories and bridge-head for communism resistance in developing third world countries.

So UN’s declaration made the solution of the Palestinian problem turn into a new conflict. Now it was Palestinian struggle for right to self-determination. The results of partition for the following: Israel was acknowledged to be a state, both by UN and by its neighbours, and Palestinians were left without sovereignty, without land and appeared to be refuges on their motherland:

“Crudely put, the root of each (hatred) has been the instability created by the territorial split: either an Arab wish to destroy the state of Israel or an Israeli wish to extend its boundaries into Arab populated areas. Egypt and Jordan made peace deals with Israel but the instability has persisted. Fears of a regional, or wider, conflagration over Israel have receded but only to be replaced by the view that the conflict is a spur to Islamist terrorism, or stirs up hatred towards Israel’s mainly western backers.”

The years of prolonged conflict, several years of peaceful life and the start of the conflict prove once again: the UN’s resolution about Palestine was not perfect and there remains a lot of space to work on in order to protect the main human right to live peacefully and to live in tolerance. Israel’s administration had made concessions by allowing Palestinians to create autonomy. Here Zionists also have to make concessions and allow Arabs to participate in Israel’s public life on equal rights. According to Hertzberg(2002) discrimination takes place and is a matter of concern of world community:

“How many Arab officials have we installed in our banks? Not even one. How many Arabs have we brought into our schools? Not even one. What commercial houses have we established in company with Arabs? Not even one.»

It’s a well-known fact that inequality is being observed for decades in Israel and this issue has to be solved as soon as possible in order to return the trust of Arabian minorities.

Zionists have to review its programs that proclaim the superiority of Jews and Jewish dominance in the region. Some of nationalist principles have to be changed as well. The main role of it  is given to Jewish media,  media of Israel’s allies: the USA and the U.K. If Palestinians would see that Jews change their attitude to them, they would act in the same way.

  Modern Jewish society, which was raised in Zionist propaganda already changes it’s views and want peaceful solution for the question as well as mutual quest of alternatives for peaceful existence of two different cultures and community groups. The fact that more and more Israeli high school students choose Arabian as a foreign language, serve as a good argument and evidence for their desire to solve this uneasy question.

In giving the leading arguments to Zionism when solving the problem with Palestinians right to self-determination it’s important to remember the international legislature which gave the priority to Zionist movement in occupying the territories of modern Israel in Middle East. It’s important to remember the right of nation on being sovereign, especially on its historical territory. Zionism, even being nationalist, sometimes chauvinist movement, succeeded in achieving these very purposes of Jews. And now Jews have the full right to set their own conditions to the Palestinians. From historical point of view it looks in the following way. Zionists accepted Balfour declaration of 1917, which had one of its articles to protect the rights of Arab minorities and guarantee them decent conditions for national and cultural development. Zionists also agreed to the more moderate possessions in Palestine, when partition plan was just a project. They agreed on creation of Palestine state, as Walid Salem writes in his article. Besides as The Guardian writes today’s the attitude of Israelites towards Arabian neighbours is more tolerant:

“This inner battle is not to be disregarded. Israel is torn inside and hopefully as close to a civil war as it will ever get. It is not an easy thing to evict your fellow citizens from their homes, especially for the sake of someone who is still, for many Israelis, `the enemy’. If there is a good thing to be said about the Oslo Treaties, it is that they were the turning point in the way Israelis viewed Palestinians and Palestine. The moral and realistic inevitability of the Palestinian state is widely recognized by the Israeli public. This need to recognise the ‘other side’ and its rights, is just as crucial on the Palestinian side.”

But pan-Arabian policies of neighbouring states of Israel rejected any of these plans, which suggested compromise decision. They wanted to possess Palestinian territories and as well as people who inhabited them. This was a betray from the side of Palestinians’ “supporters” and “spiritual brothers”. Certain circles in Arabian world knew that they would use those refugees from Palestine as war units in resistance to Jewish and American expansion in the Middle East. Any conflict has specific mercantile interests of certain groups of people, who cover their real faces under the mask of struggle for freedom, rights and justice. The interests of Arab oil producers expand froim year to year, as these countries with relatively small population, economical and industrial potential had turned into a significant power is some few decades. Their will defines the oil and gas price policies round the world, in fact they have control over the engine of modern life because they have fuel, fuel which makes world infrastructure work. The process of centralisation of Arabian states into an integral superpower will definitely create a threat of war and threat to world stability if to take into consideration religious fanatism of Islamic fundamentalists and aggressive ambitions of some of Arabian countries (for example of former Iraq). The existence of the Jewish state in the centre of Arabian world has historical, political and just explanations.  Israel is realization of dream about a sovereign state of Jewish people; Israel is outpost of American and European interests in the region and the guarantee of fair oil-price policies and protection of Western business interests in the region. 
The people of Palestine have to understand it and force their leaders to look for dialogue with Israel. Modern realities show that progress in solution of this geopolitical problem is in the process as “A democratic and modernising wave appears to be sweeping through the Middle East, mired for so long in autocracy and social backwardness.”

Israel has a lot of arguments for its dominant position in the region, but will make new concessions as well. The only thing that has to occur is that Palestinians have to recognize the rights of Israel state, its people and political dominance. Political power, sovereignty of Israel is undisputable and it remains and will remain forever. Only the dialogue and compromises will solve these issues.  Another serious problem is that “the return of three and a half million Palestinians would likely worsen rather than solve the problem of Jewish-Arab violence, for it is hard to imagine that two peoples who have been at war with each other for so long could suddenly live in peace and harmony” (Slater, Jerome Can Zionism be Reconciled with Justice for the Palestinians?) as well as “…The return of so many refugees would inevitably mean the displacement of many Jews”.

So the best on achieving solution and compromise is to leave things as they are and start from the gradual reforming process. If Arabian world community recognizes the rights of the state of Israel on it’s sovereignty and recognizes its failure to “help” Palestinians as Arabian leaders mostly had a pursuit of their private interests in the Arab-Israelite conflict, then the people of Palestine will accept Israel’s conditions for peace as well. The role of Zionism is essential in this process as it firmly stands on the positions that protect Israeli people and their state. Zionists act according to the laws, according to the principles that make them protect their nation and their freedom. No concessions from this point are permitted; the sovereignty of the state has to be protected by power, by military and by adequate “strikes back” on each attack from the side of Palestinian terrorists. 
The government of Palestinian autonomy goes on dialogue with official Tel-Aviv in order to find the most optimal way to avoid a new conflict and reduce existing tension. Last events looks more optimistic both for Arabs and Palestinians who are tired from pro-longed conflict   and the latest events “ When Mahmoud Abbas clasped the hand of Ariel Sharon yesterday the gesture carried with it the hope of millions that this time the years of bloodshed would be over.”

Warning!!! All free online research papers, research paper samples and example research papers on Middle East topics are plagiarized and cannot be fully used in your high school, college or university education.

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