Palestine: Katie De Jong

Summary/History:

Palestine has been a conflicted territory for thousands of years, and has been the scene of major political and military  conflict since the early 20th century. Many Jewish people were in search of shelter from persecution in Europe. These people were known as Zionists.  In order to establish a Jewish homeland, they started to migrate to Palestine. At first there was no significant problems with the immigration of the Zionists.  As more and more Zionists migrated to Palestine, it strengthened their desire for creating an independent Jewish state. The indigenous people of Palestine started to resist and this turned into lots of fighting over the territory that had historically been occupied by the Arab Muslim majority. The Muslim population of that region are traditionally known as Palestinians.  The major wars of that era stook place from 1948 to 1967. The wars were important because they gave Israel control of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. These two territories held large Palestinians populations. Today, the Palestinian Authority controls the West Bank, but Israel occupies the land. The Gaza Strip is controlled by Hamas. Hamas is an Islamist fundamentalist party. These two groups reconciled on creating a shared Palestinian government. The peace negotiations fell through and  in 2014 the conflict turned into a war between Hamas and Israeli.

 

Peace:

There are two common known approaches to solve this problem. One being the “two-state solution”. This would give Palestine the Gaza Strip and most of the west bank. Palestine would be an independent state. The rest of the land would remain with Israel. The second solution is the “one-state solution”. This would result in either all the land becoming Israel or all the land becoming  Palestine.

I think the “two-state solution”  would be the most effective and prevent future conflict. The most difficult challenges to this option would be the equitable distribution of land between the two states and adequate guarantees of security.  The “one-state solution (Palestine or Israel) would not work out because it would either require the dissolution of Israel as a Jewish state or the absorption of the Palestinians into Israel.  Both are unlikely to happen given the historic conflict between the two populations.  The notion of a hybrid “one-state” with a  central shared government, but semi-autonomous provinces of Jewish and Palestinian populations is another remote possibility.

Actor 1:

Israel wants to retain its identity as a Jewish state and homeland.  It has a strong desire for security and the ability to live at peace with neighboring states.

Actor 2:

The Palestinians want to the rightful return of their lands and self-determination for their people as part of an independent Palestinian state.

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