final paper

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The Israeli Palestinian conflict can be looked at through a number of different lenses. In Political Science, theoretical lenses are usually considered to be important tools for understanding or generalizing conflict through a constant point of reference. The problem itself extends back to the 1948, when Israel declared its independence form Mandatory Palestine, a British protectorate. The Jews within Israel, Judaism's ancestral homeland, wanted to establish a Jewish state, and would grant citizenship to Jews from anywhere in the world in Israel. This policy, known as the “Law of Return,” came at the expense of the Arab Palestinians, who represented the majority of Mandatory Palestine's population. Many Palestinians fled Israel during the Arab Israeli War, when Egypt, Transjordan, Syria, and Iraq, invaded Israel in order to prevent the establishment of a Jewish state in the Middle East, and to ensure the sovereignty of the Palestinians. However, these Palestinians, after Israel won this war and secured its independence, were forbidden to return to Israel, and their property became occupied by Jewish refugees from the Holocaust, the Soviet Union, as well as much of the Middle East. The problem was further metastasized, when in 1967, after Egyptian provocation, the Israelis launched preemptive strikes against Jordan, Egypt, and Syria. This conflict demonstrated a clear Israeli military superiority, and the Israelis annexed the Sinai peninsula, the Golan Heights, the Gaza Strip, and the West Bank. Incidentally, this resulted in Israel annexing many of the Palestinian refugees it had denied access to twenty years prior, many of whom were living in these territories, especially the Gaza Strip and West Bank. This outraged many Palestini... ... middle of paper ... ... state that was friendly to Israel, and Egypt realized that it could prevent strikes against PLO targets in Egypt, which had been problematic in Jordan in the late 1960s. Rational actor theory also does a very effective job of explaining why the negotiations between the Israelis and the Palestinians have been so drawn-out. Because of the security dilemma faced by Israel, and the intrusion onto Palestinian sovereignty perceived by the Palestinians, both sides, at present time, have fundamentally different views as to what is in their best interest. Several of these vies, such as the release of political prisoners and the status of settlers in the West Bank are in opposition to each other, Because neither side is willing to act against what it perceived to be in its own best interest, the frozen conflict over negotiations has remained stagnant for some time now.

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