The Significance Of The Arab-Israeli Conflict In Middle East Politics

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In the following essay I will claim that the Arab-Israeli conflict has been one of the central themes in Middle East politics since 1948. The creation of the state of Israel and subsequent claims of territory has been the cause of many wars in the region. The displacement of the Palestinian population has caused resentment among the Palestinians and aggravated neighbouring states that were the recipients of the displaced populace. Backing by the imperial power of the United States of America only further serves to frustrate the region as it is forced to deal with the imposition of a state the Arab nations all voted against.

The state of Israel is the fulcrum in a much larger debate concerning nationalism – Arab nationalism (Pan-Arabism) and Jewish nationalism (Zionism). Both nationalistic movements regard the lands of Palestine as their own and while both movements continue to exist it is difficult to imagine a peaceful coexistence.

The Balfour declaration in 1917 set the wheels in motion for the conflict by committing Great Britain to
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174). Israel gained new territory in the 1967 war and ever since the occupied land has been used as either a bargaining chip in peace negotiations, or as justification for more violence. The Yom Kippur War was also significant as it was used as justification for massive increase in OPEC oil prices which had ramifications around the world (Gelvin 2007, p. 181). The invasion of Lebanon reflects the manner in which neighbouring countries become dragged into the conflict. Palestinian guerillas were fighting to reclaim their lands from Jordan, but were expelled by King Hussein in order to regain favour with Israel. The rebels fled to Lebanon which instigated the invasion of that country (Own 2006, p.

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