Title

Pursuing "Peace" in Israel/Palestine

Department

Political Science & International Affairs

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

Spring 2011

Abstract

Nine years after the outbreak of the second intifada (uprising) in September 2000 and sixteen years after the signing of the Oslo Accords in September 1993, Israelis and Palestinians seem as far as ever from a final status agreement. Diplomatic efforts by the George W. Bush administration - notably the Performance-Based Road Map to Peace and the 2007 Annapolis Conference - avoided the core conflict issues, and delayed such negotiations by emphasizing "provisional" borders. Not only do such tactics allow more time for consolidating "facts on the ground" that can prejudice final status negotiations, but the lack of a political horizon undercuts moderates working to "sell" peace to the public. Military approaches to solving the conflict have also failed to achieve results. Qassam rocket attacks from Gaza have resulted in dire poverty from an on-going siege of the Strip, while Israel's military attempts to secure the release of soldiers captured by Hamas and Hezbollah in 2006 have failed, bringing condemnation of the government's war effort. The intense conflict in Gaza and Southern Israel during Operation "Cast Lead" (December 27, 2008-January 28, 2009) resulted in over 1300 Palestinian deaths, four Israeli deaths, not to mention the thousands of Palestinians and scores of Israelis who were injured.

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