Resolving peace in the Middle East

By: Kaylee Courtney

Big Question (Overall question referring to the general topic- Middle East)

What challenges did the Middle East encounter in terms of the resolving peace?

What oppositions create the most conflict within the Middle East preventing peace from being established?

  • The U.S. has tried for decades to get Israel and the Palestinians to reach a peace deal

  • During the struggle to establish the State of Israel, David Ben Gurion once told his colleagues, "Five years are nothing next to eternity, but not all years in history are alike, and in the next five years the fate of our generation may be decided, if not the fate of generations." A year later, Ben Gurion confided in his diary, "There is no greater danger to political thought than inertia. The world is never static, and certainly history is not."

  • These messages are a fitting description not only for the tumultuous events surrounding the birth of Israel, but for the five years that began to unfold in 1989 with the peaceful revolutions in Eastern Europe that led first to the end of the cold war, and then to the end of the Soviet Union itself.

  • The Middle East has been, as all of us know, a different matter. Its vocabulary has been one of violence, terror, and wars which were anything but cold.

  • No longer is it naive or dangerous for us to speak of optimism, hope, and peace in the Middle East. Issues may have proven to be intractable for decades, but Ben Gurion was right. The world is never static.

  • For seven weeks this summer, the Palestinian militant group Hamas fired rockets into Israel and Israel launched airstrikes against Gaza

  • Israelis and Palestinians have been fighting since the founding singe the founding of Israel in 1948.

  • The United States has tried for decades to get Israel and the Palestinians to agree of a peace settlement, which would result in the creation of a Palestinian state alongside Israel.

  • The two sides remain apart on many issues including

    • Security for Israel and the status of Jerusalem, which both Israelis and Palestinians claim as their capital.

    • The division of Palestinians into two factions: Hamas, which the U.S considers a terrorist group, controls Gaza while the more moderate Palestinian Authority controls the West Bank.

Words to Know (Merriam Webster Definitions)

  • Inertia: Lack of movement or activity especially when movement or activity is wanted or needed

  • Static: Showing little or no change, action, or progress

  • Tumultuous: Loud, excited, and emotional

  • Intractable: Not easily managed, controlled, or solved

  • Faction: A group within a larger group that has different ideas and opinions than the rest of the group

Why can’t conflict be solved between Israel and Palestinians in order to reach a peace deal?


  • The Israelis and Palestinians claim the same land. The conflict between them cannot be resolved until they find a way to divide until they find a way to divide up that land into now-states: Israel and Palestine

  • In September 1993, Israelis and Palestinians formally recognized each other for the first time as part of the Oslo peace accords

  • President Bill Clinton, chief negotiator for Arab- Israeli peace from 1993 to 2001, he helped negotiate several interim agreements between the Israelis and the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank and Gaza, which created self-government for Palestinians for the first time in part historic Palestine

  • None of these agreements succeeded in producing an independent Palestinian state, ending Israeli occupation in Palestinian territories, or settling the conflict, they did produce tangible results that many would have considered unachieveable even a few year earlier

  • Because it’s been more than 2o years since the beginning of the peace process and there's still no peace, many despair and believe peace can’t be achieved

  • The biggest obstacle to reaching those solutions is the deep distrust that Israelis and Palestinians have about each other's aims and motives
  • To make peace, you need strong leaders who are ready to take risks
  • Five main issues that the gaps on the core issues are very wide: