Five reasons why an Israel-Palestine peace deal can’t be struck

The conflict for the Holy Land of Jerusalem has fiercely persisted since 1948, and there are five reasons why it’s unlike any other war.

DISCLAIMER: This post contains content that may be objectionable. It represents the personal observations of the author and is mainly purposed for competitive debate education. It should not be taken as professional advice.

With the ultranationalist party leader Naftali Bennett replacing Benjamin Netanyahu’s seat as Prime Minister of Israel, the world turns its eyes on the country once again.

It’s sadly exhausting, how the conflict seems never-ending. Every now and then, we hear about the brutality and the number of victims it has caused. The conflict for the Holy Land of Jerusalem has fiercely persisted since 1948, and there are five reasons why it hasn’t ended; five reasons why it’s unlike any other war.

1. Israel’s right-wing majority

Israel has a multiparty system, and a lot of the parties that make it to parliament each year are right-wing. Out of the 12 major parties in Israel, more than half of them have always been right-wing parties. This is why when Benjamin Netanyahu agreed to give Palestinians just 40% of the West Bank, factions quit his coalition and he had to toughen his stance on the conflict.

The new Prime Minister, Naftali Bennett, has an even more hardline stance on Palestine. Leading the ultranationalist and religious party Yamina, he sees no possibility for a peace agreement and wants ultimate Israeli control over Palestinians.

2. Death threats

Israel had a left-wing, pro-peace prime minister back in 1995. The man was called Yitzhak Rabin, and he conducted the negotiations that resulted in a 1974 ceasefire with Syria and the 1975 military disengagement agreement between Israel and Egypt.

Rabin was walking to his car when he was shot in the arm and the back by Yigal Amir, a Jewish law student who had connections to the far-right Jewish group Eyal. Israeli police arrested Amir at the scene of the shooting. He later confessed that he killed Rabin because the prime minister wanted “to give our country to the Arabs”.

Since then, Israel’s left-wing party hasn’t had another leader with substantial pro-Palestinian policies. Despite Shimon Peres getting a Nobel Prize for the time he worked alongside Rabin, his reign was a dark time. As prime minister, he ordered the shelling of a UN facility housing refugees in Qana, Lebanon, and killed 100 civilians.

3. Hamas’ popularity

Hamas, Palestine’s fundamentalist militant group, doesn’t recognize Israel as a state. From the time of its creation, the purpose of Hamas was to contrast Fatah/PLO by fighting Israel using armed resistance. When this party is more popular in Palestine, a peace deal is virtually impossible.

Why is Hamas so popular then? There are mainly two reasons. The first is that when Palestine is under constant threat of displacement, Hamas is more able to take assertive stances. The second is that Hamas is less corrupt than Fatah, and is able to ensure access to fuel and money. Because this fundamentalist group is more dominant, negotiating for peace deals becomes very difficult.

4. Complexity of territorial dispute

The way Israel expands control in the region is that it builds houses on disputed territories. Palestinian houses have been demolished and replaced with Israeli settlements many times, sometimes with human casualties in the demolition. After decades of this strategy being implemented, Israel has settlements on multiple swathes of land in the West Bank, and the numbers keep rising. This makes it hard to divide the area fairly between Israeli and Palestinian land.

5. Iran’s fundamentalism

Let’s go back to Yasser Arafat’s visit to Tehran in 1979. Khomeini, Iran’s supreme leader at that time, wanted Arafat to embrace revolution for his country. Although he disagreed, some of his followers thought he was being too moderate and formed Hamas.

Since then, Iran has provided Hamas with financial, military, and political support. When fundamentalist beliefs keep being sponsored in this way, it enables continuous conflict.

Related motions

  • This House believes that Palestinians should prioritise striving to consolidate a Palestinian state in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip as opposed to seeking the right to return to Israel.
  • Assuming Israel will accept, as Palestinian Authority, This House would let go of the Gaza Strip in exchange of Palestinian independence in the West Bank
  • This House believes that Jerusalem should be permanently ceded to and managed by a neutral, international body

Further reading

The information in this article is a compilation of several sources, which are listed below. We recommend you read them for further understanding of the topic.

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