Essay about Ethnic Conflict in the Middle East

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Ethnic Conflict in the Middle East Ethnic conflicts are well rooted in the world's history and perhaps inherent in human nature. This type of conflict is difficult to resolve as is evident in the situation in the Middle East. The ethnic conflict theory explains that it is not territory, politics, or economics that prevents the achievement of peace between the Israeli and Palestinian peoples, instead, it is a deep-seated hatred of one another that neither group can overcome. The Camp David Summit in July 2000, the most recent attempt at fostering a lasting peace is a clear example of how ethnocentrism can prevents success. Contrasting with neo-realism, which says that states are unitary, the ethnic conflict theory goes…show more content…
Leonard Binder states, "Most observers see little good coming out of an ethnic narcissism that conduces to the demonization of the other." (p. 6) These conflicts often escalate to the point where the original crisis fades into the background, and the participants lose sight of it altogether. Each group believes that when one gains, the other loses automatically. Similarly, when one group compromises, it is also a loss. This is particularly difficult when religion is involved because groups will not compromise their beliefs and ethnic loyalties are very strong. Additionally, nation-states include ethnic strategies into their government, foreign policy, and politics in general. (Binder 8) The ethnic conflict in the Middle East dates back to biblical times as both the Israeli and the Palestinian nations claim territories in the area of Palestine from over two thousand years ago. Because of the religious significance of many of its sites to both religions and nations, Jerusalem is by far the most heavily disputed area. After World War II, with the help of Britain from the Balfour treaty, the Jewish state of Israel was founded in Palestine. The Jewish people were in dire need of its own state for the purposes of stability and protection. The formation of the state led to six wars between the Israelis and their Arab neighbors. Up until the Madrid Conference held in 1991, Egypt was the only Arab state to meet and negotiate peace with Israel. They had
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