Academic journal article Arab Studies Quarterly (ASQ)

The Underlying Realities of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict after 11 September

Academic journal article Arab Studies Quarterly (ASQ)

The Underlying Realities of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict after 11 September

Article excerpt

AFTER DISCUSSING THE OPPRESSION of Palestinians in the Occupied Territories and the developing Palestinian intifada from 28 September 2002, until 11 September 2001, Camille Mansour, professor of international relations at the Universities of Paris and Versailles, noted in his Journal of Palestinian Studies article (Winter, 2002) that the impact of 11 September upon the Israeli-Palestinian conflict consisted mainly of a shift by the Bush administration. (1) Mansour explained, as have other scholars and journalists, that the Bush administration moved from being passive to becoming more active after September in attempting to influence Palestinians and the Israeli government to end their violence against one another. Mansour pointed out that friendly nation-state governments attempted to convince Bush to push Sharon into ending Israel's use of excessive force against Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza and agreeing to a cease-fire. Even though faced with pressure from the Israeli government and its backers to support Israel in its fight against Palestinian suicide bombers and other alleged Palestinian militants and terrorists, Bush, concerned with maintaining a coalition of supporting, friendly Arab nation-state governments in his war against terrorism, obviously decided that his administration would try to hasten a cease-fire between Palestinians and the Israeli government. In his article, Mansour expressed the hope that the United States government would do this and would initiate peaceful negotiations between the Israeli government and the Palestinians in a manner that followed the norms and principles of international law. Mansour ended his article by striking a pessimistic note. He predicted that in the immediate future the domination of one people (Palestinians) by another would most likely continue to what he labeled a colonial impasse.

The events of 2002, following publication of Mansour's article, have demonstrated that his prediction, although correct in essence, was understated. By the end of June, 2002, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict was more violent, dangerous and critical than at any prior time during the fifty-four year existence of the state of Israel. The impact upon this conflict of the tragic happenings in the United States on 11 September seemed nine months later to be negligible at most. The underlying realities of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict rested, as they had for over one-half century, upon the steadily escalating dynamics of occupation and oppression of one people by another.

By the middle of 2002 the stark realities were clear. Almost every week, sometimes every day, Israeli Jews, the great majority being innocent civilians, were killed and wounded by Palestinian suicide bombers, hostile about the Israeli oppression of their people. Likewise, Palestinians, the majority being innocent civilians, were killed and wounded by Israeli soldiers during repeated Israeli military incursions into the Occupied Territories, mainly in the West Bank. The Israeli military incursions were not limited to killing and wounding. During March and April, 2002, for example, Israel essentially destroyed the ability of Palestinians in the West Bank to run their own affairs. Across the West Bank schools were wrecked, as were banks, postal services, hospitals, transportation, law enforcement and basic commerce. The Israeli government made a deliberate effort to eviscerate Palestinian civilian institutes. From Jenin to Nablus, Ramallah to Bethlehem, water and sewer pipes were damaged. Banks were shelled by tanks. At the Ministry of Finance, computer servers were blown up and hard discs of desktop machines stolen. Taxation records were destroyed, as were marriage registries and birth records. The Ministry of Education was laid to waste, its computers taken; records of grades were dumped on floors and in toilets; graduation papers were carted away. Many of the 1459 schools in the West Bank were damaged, some beyond repair. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.