Essay: Palestinian issues

Washington had been frightened by the 1973 war and hurt by the subsequent Arab oil embargo; strategists worried that continued turmoil in the region would allow the Soviet Union to make trouble with the West’s energy supplies. For the Beltway consensus held that Israel should give up the territory it had seized in the 1967 war in return for a comprehensive peace with its neighbors and security guarantees. The Palestinian leadership had been moving steadily towards acceptance of the two-state solution. Washington had sought a resolution of the Palestinian refugee problem since Eisenhower’s time.
The occupation is growing stronger, and the threat to Palestinian rights and Palestinian lives grows stronger, too. Despite this occupation that violates United Nations’ resolutions, which the United States affirmed. With its military and economic subsidies from Washington, amounting to a quarter of the entire U.S. foreign aid budget from U.S. taxpayers. That money would help sustain Israel’s illegal occupation. Under this occupation, Palestinian civilians suffer under curfews. Israeli settlement expansion continues.
The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) came into being in 1960, in an effort to regulate Palestinian nationalism. The Arab defeat in 1967 enabled the more militant Palestinians to take over the PLO, and to gain some independence from Arab regimes. Yasser Arafat, chairman of Fatah, PLO’s largest political group, became PLO chairman in 1968. Though initially based outside of Israel, the PLO engaged in militant activities within Israel. There were more militant Palestinian groups that also carried out acts of violence against Israeli soldiers and citizens which included the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine, Jihad and Hamas. The latter, whose name in Arabic is an acronym for ‘Islamic resistance movement,’ which was initially enabled by Israel to undermine the PLO and its leadership and to divide the Palestinians.
Israel’s political history since its establishment in 1948 is one where the political power oscillates from the Labor to the Likud, with sporadic periods of unity governments. The Labor Party tends to be largely left-wing, seeking compromises with the Palestinians and curbing Jewish settlements in contentious regions. But the Likud Party is right-wing, likes taking a more hard-line stance against reciprocity toward Palestinian attacks and prioritizing security over negotiation. Israel’s general political stance on the Arab-Israel conflicts is varied depending on the leadership of the time and the general popular sentiment following certain events like wars or peace accords. However, the Israeli’s overall stance, whether it be the Labor, the Likud, the national unity, or the Kadima governments is that it seeks security and peace while at the same time trying to keep face and general support through retaliation to strong Palestinian attacks. It is this general stance that the single political entity of Israel is defined as in the following political analyses.
The side of the Arabs can be seen on levels: the Arab nations and the Palestinians. The Arab nations, those nations on the Arab League, are generally for the Palestinian cause, but they adhere first to their own national interests. This caused the inefficiencies of the Arab League in the late decades of the twentieth century. The Palestinian Liberation Organization, however, was created by the Palestinians whose life and homeland is intimately tied to the opposition to the state of Israel and thus has more the reason to devote resources to the cause. Even within this PLO however, there are different factions; there are factions more open to negotiation and compromise like Arafat and also more radical hard-line standing factions like that of Hamas. This issue is to be dealt with in explaining the logic of the conflict and for the analysis concerning the political game theory, the Palestinians will be one entity as the Israeli also will be.

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