Thursday, April 06, 2006

Must the sword devour forever? Don’t you realize this will end in bitterness? For how long before you order your men to stop pursuing their brothers?
2 Samuel 24:26.

Chapter 4

The Coming of Peace and Future Concerns

Despite the present pessimistic situation in the Middle East, in the long term there is but one choice for this region—peace. There are too many lives at stake for there to be an alternative. However, in the short term the madness that is the Middle East will continue until each party separates their value needs, those traditional cultural values, from their fundamental needs, those universally present needs.

Research implications

This Master of Arts thesis has a number of implications and these are:

(1) Evidence is given for the value in continuing research into needs-based approaches to conflict resolution. Such continued developments are required at all levels within multi-track diplomacy. Especially a renewed effort is required to encourage research of track 1 (government to government) diplomacy (Hypothesis 1 and 2).

(2) The implications of the model for peace as developed in chapter two indicates that both Palestinian and Israeli perceptions of peace are fundamentally flawed. As the general model for peace shows, there are eight determinants of peace and the Palestinian rhetoric of ‘justice’, as important as it is, is just one criterion for peace. Similarly, Israeli rhetoric for ‘security’ is equally limited as it only addresses one dimension of peace. As such the Israeli government, like the Palestinian Authority needs to appreciate and incorporate this multi-dimensional approach of peace within its negotiation framework. Consequently, any such framework should foster the development of the eight criteria for peace—control, security, justice, rational stimulation, esteem, meaning, identity and emotional stimulation (Hypothesis 3 and 4).

(3) There is a serious gap theory and practice of the Israeli government on the issue of settlements in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. The Declaration of Principles signed in 1993 provided a sound cooperation based approach to resolving a need-based resolution. However, good-faith of the Israeli Government is questioned given the doubling of settler numbers in territory conquered from Jordan since 1967. Blame for this lies with both successive Labor and Likud led governments (Hypothesis 4d).

4) Renewed efforts are required for reform and further dialogue and exchange within religious groups (Hypothesis 5c).

(5) Renewed efforts are required to ensure Israeli and Palestinian state school text books and religious centres of teaching encourage peace, coexistence and acknowledge the positives and negatives of each national liberation struggle (Hypothesis 5a,b,c).

(6) There is a need to encourage legal reform to ensure fairness and equity of individuals regardless of ethnicity (Hypothesis 5d).

(7) There is a need to encourage dramatic economic improvement to the Palestinian economy given the prolonged misery of the Palestinian people. This would keep the vision that was Oslo, of a Marshall-like Plan, for the West Bank and the Gaza Strip (Hypothesis 5e).

(8) Lastly, to the Palestinian and Jewish groups in the diaspora there needs to be improvements in dialogue. For example bodies such as the Australian Palestinian General Delegation (APGD), the Australian Board of Jewish Deputies, and the Jewish Zionist Council need to:
(a) appreciate the desired need for justice of the Palestinian refugees.
(b) appreciate the desired need of security of Israeli Jews.
(c) ensure up-to-date access to reliable information on the progress that has been
made towards peace by Israelis and the PLO. Specific examples include:
(i) the deletions of those inflammatory articles within the 1967 Palestinian
National Covenant that called for a violent destruction of Israel.
(ii) the impact of continued settlement expansion within area conquered by
Israeli in 1967 (Hypothesis 5a-c).

Future Research

Further research will be required to give empirical verification for the general method of conflict resolution as proposed in chapter two.

Research will be required to identify further ways to attain fundamental human needs in terms of identity, meaning, control, security and justice. In relation to the need for identity, for the Jewish community, some questions useful to investigate include:
• Given in March 1948 the UN Security Council voted against the November 1947 UN General Assembly Partition plan what was the legality of the establishment in 15 May 1948 of a Jewish State?
• How could the originally proposed UN Jewish State have no ethnic discrimination given half the population was Palestinian Arab?
• Why was the process of democracy not used, and a plebiscite conducted to determine the fate of Palestine in 1947?
• For how long can one support the idea of a Jewish State given one fifth of the inhabitants of Israel (within the 1948 borders) are ethnic Palestinian, and 40% of the inhabitants within ‘Greater Israel’ are ethnic Palestinian?
• What are the consequences to the ‘Jewish’ state if the West Bank and Gaza Strip are annexed by Israel?
• What are the similarities/differences between the settlement expansion of Australia, New Zealand, the United States, Canada and South Africa with Israel?
• For how long can the West Bank and Gaza Strip be occupied?
• What is the threat of another Shoah/Holocaust?
• Is anti-Semitism as a form of cultural prejudice/racism? If so what impact will education have on combating such racism?

Similarly, questions of Jewish and Palestinians needs for security, control and justice could include:
• How can guarantees be set-up that ensure the Israeli Jewish community feels secure in the region?
• How can a social system be created which does not result in a mass exodus of Jewish people from the region if/when(?) a Palestinian state is created? (Remembering the consequence to Europeans following independence in Kenya, Zimbabwe and what is potentially happening in South Africa).
• What is a just response to the theft of residential, farming or industrial property stolen fifty years ago?
• What changes need to be made within the various Palestinian religious, political, economic and legal systems to ensure greater freedom and control?


This thesis has given an overview of conflict resolution theory, proposed a general method of conflict resolution and provided practical approaches to resolving the Palestinian- Israeli conflict. The primary thesis here advanced was that violent inter-group conflict, such as the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, would continue until fundamental psychological and structural obstacles are addressed.

It was determined that the primary psychological obstacles require addressing the fundamental needs and fears of each party at the individual level. Those fundamental psychological needs included four ‘rational’ needs: control, security, justice and rational stimulation; and four ‘emotional’ needs: emotional stimulation, esteem, meaning and identity.

It was determined that the prerequisites for attainment of these fundamental needs were a hope/ belief in the possibility of conflict resolution, the ability to empathise with ‘the other,’ the desire to develop more inclusive worldviews and the action of building trust, as evidence by cooperation and nonviolence.

Peace for Palestinians and Israeli Jews will eventuate when the necessary psychological and structural obstacles are overcome. Societies, like individuals require fundamental need satisfaction. This means that each state and non-state parties must continue to seek the necessary balance within their respective social, political, religious, legal and economic system for fundamental need satisfaction. Critical to find such a balance is empathising with the ‘enemy’.