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Causes of the Six Day War

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What were the causes of Israel-Palestine war?
THE 1948 WAR
The notion of this research essay is to discuss the causes of the Israel-Palestine war. The first priority of the paper is to address the war in detail by describing the war. Another perspective that the essay will take in answering the causes of the Israel-Palestine war is to address the period of the war and how it emerged. The Israel-Palestine war is also denounced as the primary consequence that has formed the Israel-Arab war. The nature of the war is somehow a contagious form of war as it is fundamental in the creation of the upheaval of the Arab states conflict. The essay will also discuss the causes in the different sequence. This will be done by stating which cause took place before the following cause emerged. The principal ideology of the essay is to come to a founding cause that resulted to the war preceding other causes. Therefore the research paper will discuss the causes of the Israel conflict with the aim of establishing the causes that formed the Israel-Palestine war. The emergence of the Israel-Palestine war started when the Israel Declaration of the Establishment of the State of Israel on 14 May 1948, when the Arab League decided to intervene on behalf of Palestinian Arabs, filing their powers into previous British Palestine, this was the start of the main period of the 1948 Arab-Israeli War.

In demanding to comprehend the contemporary absurd situation, it is essential to look at the changing aspects of the stubborn conflict in which Palestinians and Israeli Jews are sheltered. According to Oren and Bar-Tal (2007:112), For a period of about 100 years, the two states have challenged one another over aims and interests such as social identity, geographic region, natural resources, the superiority, the core state, religious fundamentalism, economic prospects, private and shared security, as well as human values. These are the fundamental aspects that determine the nature of the war and what is required to solve it. The Israel conflict started in the mid-20th century until present. It is an ongoing debacle that has spurred other institutional arrangements. However the principal cause of the conflict is that both states are fighting over the peace of land. Both groups believe they have the right to the land given to them by God. Another fundamental aspect is that this claiming of land is based on the assumptions of religious fundamentalism founded on the bible. Another perspective is that Great Britain had control over the Palestinian land and decided to give the Jews consent to emigrate, however this notion was annulled as uprisings from the Arab people became progressively vicious and aggressive.

The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict as a Structural Asymmetric Conflict.
This conflict can be the origin of the conflict rests not in specific matters or issues that might split the gatherings, even though in the actual assembly of whom they are and the connection between them (Gallo & Marzano, 2009:43).
Suicide Terror in the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict:
On 16 April 1993, Tamam Nabulsi, a member of the Hamas organization (Islamic
Resistance Movement) committed one of the suicide bombings by bombing his car up nearby an Israeli bus parked near the settlement of Mechola, in the Jordan Valley and it was later discovered that two passengers were killed and five wounded. However this was the first suicide attack committed inside the borders of Israel by a Palestinian organization. Furthermore there was no answers about this attack would mark a new era of brutal terror: that is suicide bombing in Israel (Kimhi & Even, 2010:817).

Al Qaeda
Another key concept in the study of Israel-Palestine war is that of Al Qaeda which is an international terrorist organization more of an ideology than an organization. According to Burke (2004:1) in 1987, Abdullah Azzam, the forefront dialogue for contemporary Sunni Muslim fundamental advocates, instigated for al-Qaeda al-sulbah which is a frontline of the robust. The notorious leader envisioned an ideology about men acting autonomously, as the route that will lead the all of the Islamic society and therefore stimulate the umma which refers to worldwide community of believers against its oppressors. The al Qaeda endorses the general rule of terrorism.

Concept of delegitimization
According to Oren & Bar-Tal (2011:112), in broad, delegitimization refers to stereotypes with tremendously bad meanings that is used to label a particular instance of group categorization. Furthermore the scholar states that it is based on tremendously negative outgroup classification and targeted at depriving the other group’s humanity.

Yasser Arafat
Arafat, President of the Palestinian Authority (PA), decided that the new State of Palestine should be drove in blood and fire thus he released Palestinian militants instead of accepting a discussed resolve of the encounter (Jansen, 2003:1). According to Jansen (2003:16), the Arafat and the Palestinian authorities wanted an outburst of viciousness the scholar further stated that the Palestinians were deprived of what they were after at Camp David, thus they vehemently understood forcefulness would bring upon Israel into further concessions. However another view is that this justification is that being seen as the leader of a new intifada would rescue Arafat from being viewed as a hindrance to reconciliation in the stir of the failed summit at Camp David in July 2000.
Ariel Sharon
Sharon, who was the commander in chief of the Israeli opposition, started the intifada by engaging on an deliberately challenging visit to the Temple Mount on 28 September 2000.

The First Intifada (1987-1993), in specific, caused tremendously significant developments as first, it was obvious that Israel and the Palestinians were the only two applicable characters of the conflict (Gallo & Marzano, 2009:41). It was further acknowledged that no solution was to be reached except the Israelis were eager to contemplate the Palestinians as a political community with state political rights and except the Palestinians would agree to take the existence of the state of Israel. Furthermore the scholar states that somewhat in response to the first Intifada and fairly because of prevention over the effectiveness of armed violence, an official Palestinian cooperate with position developed with the declaration made on November 15, 1988 by the PLO that was based in Tunis announcing an independent Palestinian state and indirectly recognizing the presence of Israel.

The initial outbreak of the conflict between Israel and Palestine is due to various reasons that caused the conflict. When Israel took over some of the land that belong to the indigenous people of Palestine that cause a catastrophic conflict between the two countries. According to Pressman (2003:114), he acknowledges that from 1993 to 2000 many facets of the Israel livelihood of the West Bank and Gaza Strip worsened instead of decreasing. This was a spur of more to cause the conflict as the Palestinians were imagining their lives to progress by means of freedom of movement and socio-economic standing. As the notion suggest that the Palestinians were discontent and this was more fueled by the failure of the Camp David summit in July 2000. Hence this laid the foundation for popular support for a more confrontational approach with Israel. Furthermore the scholar articulates his views by stating that organizing of both Israel and Palestine groups prepared for violence due to the opposing side also preparing for violence. The Palestine military however noticed that this may take longer and drag so they decided to instigate violence alarming Israel that if they do not barge to the negotiations then violence will follow suit.

The conflict further progressed as there was more than what meets the eye such as Sharon and Arafat helped shift the status quo from a tense situation to a violent one. There is also a perspective that Sharon’s visit stimulated the violence as it set the second intifada into motion (Pressman, 2003:115), also mentions that it was a match in a dry forest and should be regarded generally amid an array of distinct proceedings that assisted as initiations for key hostilities. However Arafat did not instigate the intifada, although he and a portion of other Palestinian leaders decided not to try to rein in the violence once it started. Hence when the intifada was instigated, Arafat wrongly presumed that he will have the chance to use the violence to improve the Palestinian position.

Another cause of the conflict was the dividing of the map. According to Wallach (2011:362), supporters of this basis claimed that the conflict can only be solved through regional cooperation. Hence the international community conceded that there will be a two-nation state that will be defined and established by borderlines. As this is the foundation of the conflict the notion is that no state wants to compromise their belief. Israel believed that they had a right to the land through the use of the bible connotations and Palestine believed that the land was rightfully theirs through natural creation. However the map they used was the same as they shared common geographic territories until the declaration in 1947. This was therefore complex as Palestine and Israel were a single state prior to the 1947 declaration.
As these were not separate countries the map that geographically describes and labels them was one. After the declaration they both used the same map and this led to the conflict of who is legitimate in the territories that are on the map.

THE 1948 WAR
After Israel declare itself as state fighting between Jews and Palestine erupted in Palestine right after the United Nations partition plan was approved in 1947. This is confirmed by Van Evera, (1996:2), where the scholar states that the Arab neighboring states Palestine--Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Iraq, and Lebanon all attacked Israel quickly on its declaration of statehood on May 15, 1948. Their motives were mixed as some felt that Jordan should only extend the Palestine state. However these neighboring countries also fueled more violent as they also attacked Israel with the perspective that Palestine had the rightful stake of the land.
The declaration by Israel as statehood marked the beginning of the conflict and this led to many persisting events that followed the 1948 war. The Israel was earlier not recognized as a state when Palestine was then a state. This also another notion why there has been popular calls for two-nation state.

According to Halper, Johnson and Schaeffer, (2009) they acknowledged that for the past 1400 years, the country “belonged to” the Muslims, Arabs for the greatest share, even though a lot of people came and went. The scholars also state that the Jews have no superior nor a limited right to live in the land than all the other groups who occupy it. However with the Zionism’s assertion that the Jews are the “returning natives,” the Palestinians claim that they signify the combined total of all the native populace who have lived there in an continuous stability. Therefore there is a claim from each side and both claims are valid and have a significant premise to what they believe is rightfully theirs.
The Palestine’s are rooted on the belief that they are the natives of the land thus the land belong to them as the legitimate occupiers.

Israel’s claim that it has no Occupation and that the territories it took in 1967 are merely “disputed” or “administered” is supported neither by international law nor the international community (Halper, Johnson and Schaeffer, 2009). According to the scholars Israel contends that occupation only happens when one sovereign country overcomes the land of another sovereign country, and since there was never a sovereign power over the West Bank, East Jerusalem or Gaza (Jordan and Egypt also having taken them in 1948), no one has a claim. Hence therefore this notion puts Palestine in a dead end situation as the connotation does not favor them when it comes to the international community and the accepted definition of occupation. Therefore Palestine do not have effective control of territories beyond their recognized borders.
Israel denies that it occupies the land it took from Palestine and states that the land initially belonged to them. Israel justifies themselves by means of Jerusalem connotation in the bible as the founding stance on why they took the land and declared themselves as a state.

There is also another fundamental cause which is that of social conflict that breeds between Arabs as they are all fond of terrorism which will make it impossible for terrorists to share territory. However Halper et al. (2009) denounces this notion as they acknowledge that these Arab groups are found in almost all countries, then how can this be a problem when they share land. Another perspective is that in other countries they may operate under the rule of that sovereign state, however in their territories there might be a clash of who is the ruler and whom is ruled. Therefore this perspective can have some weight when considering of contemporary conflicts between homogenous groups

The religion fundamental can thus be propelled as the main culprit in the notion of these groups being in conflict with one another. However the general consensus on the issue is that the conflict is on the basis of politics not merely on civilization grounds. Therefore the ideology of common social context should be overlooked as it is unfound that these natives cannot occupy the same land. This could apply when the groups are heterogeneous as in the case in South Africa and U.S.A. who are both tolerating their indifferent races.

The issue of the wall is also another perceived aspect of the causes of Israel-Palestine conflict. Helper et al. (2009) also mentions that the wall prevents the Palestinians from accessing roads, schools, hospitals, places of employment, government services, family members, holy sites and their capital, Jerusalem. Hence this wall has become one of the major causes as it is a subsidiary of a land dispute between the two states. Furthermore, this very same fence has been built in order to remove huge sectors of land from the Palestinian Territories, in breach of international law. Therefore the declaration has not brought any solution rather than a paradox of continuous upheaval that these states fight for. The use of the term fence is somehow misleading as it breeds connotation of protection whereas the use of barrier should be more suitable as this is a form of stopping the Palestines from access of the means they need.

Delegitimization, as a severe case of negative stereotyping, it does not appear in every intergroup conflict. According to Ore and Bar-Tal (2011) this process inclines to arise especially in all violent conflicts when the disputed objectives are apparent as far-reaching, unfounded, and compromising the important goals of the group. With this notion it is approved that this can be applied in the case of the Israel-Palestine conflict as there is also conflicting ideologies about who is legitimate to occupy the land. Furthermore, the scholars state that the two groups involved in conflict are substantially and on a social basis detached, regardless that they live in the same territory, such as the Israel Jews and Palestinians in the Middle East. This might be found as the contributing factor of the conflict even though it cannot be singled out as a primary cause as it emerged from social civilization rather than political civilization. Israel and Palestine are fighting about who is legitimate by what and therefore each group is trying to delegitimize the other.

Therefore delegitimization can be identified as the cause of the conflict as each state is fighting over legitimacy of occupying land lawfully. Therefore each group does not want to concede to the other as the delegitimizing but instead use religion and geographic territories as the excuse of the legitimate occupation of the land. The manner in which these groups are negatively fighting each other on the basis of native history and faith is also another form delegitimizing.

According to Benoliel and Perry (2010) on January 22, 2009, the Palestinian National Authority filed a declaration identifying the authority of the Court with detail to acts that were orchestrated on the territory of the Palestinian Authority since July 1 2002, without indicating the Gaza Strip in particular. This was noted as one other particular cause for the conflict as they were denied as the first of these quarrels is that from 1988 there has been a Palestinian state, following the Palestinian Declaration of Independence and its worldwide acknowledgement by states worldwide. Furthermore the second stance is that the statehood declared by the Palestine National Council in 1988 was not of a new statehood instead it was a declaration of an existing state. Moreover the scholars further argued that Israel never demanded sovereignty over its occupied Palestinian territories, hence its sovereignty is not affected by the existence of a Palestinian state. One other argument is that of Israel it has acknowledged the Palestinian state. Finally the fifth claim is that Israel’s recognition was unspoken and in agreement with the accustomed rule where a state recognition need not be expressed in a formal document was not accounted for. Therefore this statehood declaration also caused the conflict between these two groups.
The self-declaration of statehood has also entrenched some further uneasy on Israel who have managed to take a portion of the land from Palestine. This is due to that Palestine might gain authority that will lead to acknowledgement by the international community. Therefore Israel did not accept the declaration by Palestine to avoid the forthcomings that involves the international community.

With the state of natural resources in the Middle East the scarcity of water as another contributing cause to the war cannot be overlooked. Even though it might not be the main cause the association of the importance of water and how they have been recharged from the Jordan River is hard not to consider. This notion is also further entrenched on Jordan River watershed that is included inside the borders of countries and territories each of whose water intake is presently potentially at a crisis (Wolff & Ross, 1992:921). Another factor is that the area is also predominantly unstable politically, with five Arab-Israeli wars since 1948, and many persistent issues yet unsolved. Therefore every aspect that is found to be associate with the territory of these countries can cause a conflict as these are sensitive issues to these constituency. Hence the region is identified as a volatile due to its notorious upheavals and conflict that took place in the past.

Considering that natural resources are very much the pro focus on the Middle East’s wealth and survival it is inevitable that water can be excluded as the cause of the conflict even though it is not the founding cause. The Jordan River forms part of the territory that these groups fight about hence water from the Jordan River are also important to consider.

It is also founding feature that the Camp David failure to reach a final arrangement at the Camp David summit in July 2000 also added to the view on both sides that the parties were bound to resort to a military path. (Pressman, 2003:130), hence for Israelis, Arafat rejected a generous Israeli offer because the Palestinians opted for a violent, not a subtle, solution. Thus for Palestinians, the many restrictions of Israel’s offer at Camp David strengthened the notion that Israel was using the final status negotiations to make the occupation of land permanent. Therefore neither representation was precise, however they imagined that the diplomatic route has been exhausted so military was the sole remaining option left.

The Camp David Summit was supposed to provide the two groups in conflict with a diplomatic platform of negotiating and compromising their subsequent decisions on the issue of land sharing. However instead it brought upon meaningless solutions that led to misconception of counter analyzing each other’s decision. This also manifested the role of violence being inflicted as the primary solution to either side.

The predominant popularity of the Arab and Middle East countries as the instigators of terrorism is not far from linking Al Qaeda as contributing cause in the Israel-Palestine conflict. According to Burke (2008:3), the roots of contemporary Sunni Islamic militancy cannot be reduced to any form other than Al Qaeda’s religious fundamentalism in the justification of fighting against western ideologies of government. As Israel is pro-western ideologies Al Qaeda will deem necessary to protect the Arab countries by ensuring that Palestine is not overthrown or defeated due to the US and UK foreign policy that supports Israel as the legitimate state to occupy the land.
When US and UK are involved as in the case of Israel support the militants in the Arab countries will feel that the umma is under attack. This will lead to Al Qaeda to instigate violence and terrorism on Israel as they are western most obvious outposts. It is inevitable that Al Qaeda will back the pro-Arab state which in this case is the Palestine.

In sum the Israel/Palestine conflict emerged when Israel Declaration of the Establishment of the State of Israel on 14 May 1948, the Arab League decided to intervene on behalf of Palestinian Arabs, marching their forces into former British Palestine, beginning the main phase of the 1948 Arab-Israeli War. This conflict is founded on territorial boundaries however it has emerging sub conflicts that followed as the causes through which the Israel and Palestine were trying to reach an agreement. The process of compromise by means on negotiations has fallen through in several times. Even with the aid of the international community there has not been much results that can be announced as the initial outcome of the negotiation process. The negotiation process on its own does not yield any prospects as both parties’ refuses to compromise on their initial stance. The causes of the Israel/Palestine conflict are complex as some paint a grey picture due to the nature of their undertakings. Every tried peacemaking process does not bring upon the prospect of agreement between the two groups instead it causes more upheavals. From Camp David summit to statehood declaration none seems to be the ideal solution of the conflict. The 1948 war through to the Occupation, Zionism and “Wall of Israel” all these were some of the upheaval that took place during the ongoing conflict. The Al Qaeda terrorism ideology is also drafted in as it stand to fight against western ideologies by US and UK. US and UK foreign policies supports Israel as the legitimate occupation in the conflict. It is up to date that all platforms and forms of resolutions have reached a stalemate with either state refusing to compromise. Therefore the contemporary identification of the Israel/Palestine conflict has led to the use of the “two-nation state” labeling which states that the Israel has never compromise in giving Palestine what they claim as theirs. Hence


Burke, J. (2004). “The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict Is Central to the Militants' Cause”

Benoliel, D., & Perry, R. (2010). Israel, Palestine and the ICC.

Even, S., & Kimhi, S. (2004). Who Are the Palestinian Suicide Bombers? Terrorism and Political Violence, Vol.16, No.4 (Winter 2004), pp.815–840

Gallo, G., & Marzano, A. (2009). The Dynamics of Asymmetric Conflicts: The Israeli-Palestinian Case. Journal of Conflict Studies

Halper, J., Johnson, J., & Schaeffer, E. (2009).The Israel-Palestine conflict: Challenging Slogans Through Critical Reframing

Oren, N., & Bar-Tal. D. (2007). The detrimental dynamics of delegitimization in intractable conflicts: The Israeli–Palestinian case. International Journal of Intercultural Relations

Pressman, J. (2003). The Second Intifada: Background and Causes of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict. The Journal of Conflict Studies

Van Evera, S. (1996). Causes and Prevention of War. World Social and Military Expenditures. Washington DC: World Priorities

Wallach, Y. (2011). Trapped in mirror-images: The rhetoric of maps in Israel/Palestine. Political Geography 358-369

WOLF, A., & ROSS J. (1992). The Impact of Scarce Water Resources on the Arab-Israeli Conflict. Natural resources.…...

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