The Middle East Peace Process Essay

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'For too long, the citizens of the Middle East have lived in the midst of death and fear. The hatred of a few holds the hopes of many hostage. The forces of extremism and terror are attempting to kill progress and peace by killing the innocent. And this casts a dark shadow over an entire region,' President George W. Bush in his June 24, 2002 address to the nation.

The conflict between Israel and Palestine is just one of the many facets that have shaped modern day politics in the Middle East. It is a conflict rooted in generations of violence, discrimination and prejudice that is complicated by a history older than any of the modern day superpowers. Ever since the creation of the state of Israel by the 1947 UN partition of Palestine
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Keeping these thoughts in mind I will investigate some key issues that affect the progress towards peace in the region including the relationship that exists between the United States and Israel; the 2002 Road Map to Peace and why it failed; and finally the effect of Arafat?s death and the implications for the future.
The Relationship between Israel and the United States. The idea of ?special relationships? between two countries has been used throughout history to describe the relations between the United States and various other countries. Winston Churchill popularized the term in his ?Iron Curtain? speech in 1946, describing the ties between the United States and Great Britain as a ?special relationship.? Any number of diplomatic alliances and relationships could be considered a special relationship; however politicians and scholars tend to agree that the most special relationship in the international system is the one that exists between the United States and Israel. President Jimmy Carter once noted that ?we have a special relationship with Israel. It?s absolutely crucial that no one in our country or around the world ever doubt that our number-one commitment in the Middle East is to protect the right of Israel to exist.? The nature of such a