Women in Chechnya and Palestine do not become suicide bombers because they are Muslim.
Women in Chechnya and Palestine become suicide bombers because human security levels decrease
during long-term conflict and allow rogue collectives to gain power in the absence of authority. This
research explores how the experience of female suicide bombing is constructed as a response to
foreign occupation, how gender and religion are secondary concerns to supporters of violent
resistance, and how the history of human insecurity in Chechnya and Palestine has resulted in an
‘economy of conflict’ that has little stake in peace....
January 12, 2011 Institute for British-Irish Studies // University College Dublin
In this paper, I argue that the successful inclusion of women in the Northern Ireland
peace process and the world class commitments to human rights and equality enshrined
in the final peace deal have all been important (but often ignored) elements
of the peace in Northern Ireland. As well, the conservatism in the post-Agreement
period in Northern Ireland, which has thwarted some of the efforts to advance important
social policy issues, along with the poor representation of women in Northern
Ireland’s new political institutions more than a decade after the peace agreement
was signed are similarly unlikely to inform prescriptions for Middle East
peace. In my view, the experiences of women, who are located largely within the
informal sector, can offer important insight into how we come to understand and define
security and also how we come to assess the kinds of changes that will improve
security for “ordinary citizens” in a post-conflict period....
November 8, 2010 Weatherhead Center for International Affairs // Harvard University
Contemporary democratic reality is characterized by the growing role of courts in politics, as social activists regularly utilize the judicial process in an attempt to secure their values and interests as law. Observers of constitutional politics generally explain this phenomenon in the recent constitutional transformations worldwide, manifested primarily in the enactment of bills of rights accompanied by judicial review powers. These constitutional transformations enabled and simplified the ability of those with limited access to the majoritarian-led parliamentary process to challenge governmental policies through the courts. As a result, law has come to be perceived as a compelling mechanism to effectuate progressive change and facilitate authoritative resolutions to conflicts. In societies divided along religious lines, the appeal of litigation has been particularly strong, with secular and religious groups increasingly viewing it as a principal opportunity to mold the public sphere in accordance with their political and moral preferences.
This paper seeks to evaluate the efforts to achieve these perceived goals—of effectuating change and managing conflict—through the judicial process, by examining its effects in the context of the religion-based conflicts of India and Israel. By way of an empirical comparison the paper considers: (i) the judicial impact on the realization of fundamental rights, the rectification of existing discriminatory practices, and the advancement toward a more pluralist and egalitarian society; (ii) the judicial contribution to generating authoritative resolution to religion-based conflicts; and (iii) possible long term social and political implications stemming from judicial intervention in policy questions concerning hotly disputed religion-based conflicts....
October 5, 2010 Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Ending violent international conflicts requires understanding the causal factors that perpetuate them. In the Israeli–Palestinian conflict, Israelis and Palestinians each tend to see themselves as victims, engaging in violence only in response to attacks initiated by a fundamentally and implacably violent foe bent on their destruction. Econometric techniques allow us to empirically test the degree to which violence
on each side occurs in response to aggression by the other side. Prior studies using these methods have argued that Israel reacts strongly to attacks by Palestinians, whereas Palestinian violence is random (i.e., not predicted by prior Israeli attacks). Here we replicate prior findings that Israeli killings of Palestinians increase after Palestinian killings of Israelis, but crucially show further that when nonlethal forms of violence are considered, and when a larger data set is used, Palestinian violence also reveals a pattern of retaliation: (i) the firing of Palestinian rockets increases sharply after Israelis kill Palestinians, and (ii) the probability (although not the number) of killings of Israelis by Palestinians increases after killings of Palestinians by Israel. These findings suggest that Israeli military actions against Palestinians lead to escalation rather than incapacitation. Further, they refute the view that Palestinians are uncontingently violent, showing instead that a significant proportion of Palestinian violence occurs in response to Israeli behavior. Well-established cognitive biases may lead participants on each side of the conflict to under appreciate the degree to which the other side’s violence is retaliatory, and hence to systematically underestimate their own role in perpetuating the conflict....
July 27, 2010 Households in Conflict Network // Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex
We study the effect of the second Intifada, a violent conflict between Israel and its
Palestinian neighbors which erupted in September 2000, and the ensuing riots of Arab citizens of
Israel, on labor market outcomes of Arabs relative to those of Jewish Israelis. The analysis relies
on a large matched employer-employee dataset, focusing on firms that in the pre-Intifada period
hired both Arabs and Jews. Our analysis demonstrates that until September 2000 Arab workers
had a lower rate of job separation than their Jewish peers and that this differential was
significantly reduced after the outbreak of the Intifada. We argue that the most likely explanation
for this pattern is increased anti-Arab discrimination among Jews....
June 9, 2010 Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
The recent flotilla incident is the culmination of a steep decline in Israeli-Turkish relations that started with the Gaza war in 2008 and 2009. In a video Q&A;, Henri J. Barkey looks at Turkey’s response to the raid and the impact on Turkey relations with United States and Israel. Barkey warns that it will be very hard to restore the relationship. "As long as the AKP government is in power in Turkey, and they will be in power for a long time, the relationship with Israel will be hostile."
Middle East Institute & Israel Policy Forum are honored to co-host Aaron David Miller to discuss his new book "The Much Too Promised Land: America's Elusive Search for Arab-Israeli Peace." For nearly twenty years, Miller has played a central role in U.S. efforts to broker Arab-Israeli peace. His position as an advisor to presidents, secretaries of state, and national security advisors has given him a unique perspective on a problem that American leaders have wrestled with for more than half a century. Why has the world’s greatest superpower failed to broker, or impose, a solution in the Middle East? If a solution is possible, what would it take? And why after so many years of struggle and failure, with the entire region even more unsettled than ever, should Americans even care? Is Israel/Palestine really the “much too promised land”?...
April 21, 2008 The Chicago Council on Global Affairs
As part of the Chicago and the World Forum series, on March 27, 2008, Martin Indyk, director of Saban Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution and former ambassador to Israel, discussed important lessons that will help the United States make progress with its engagements and objectives in the Middle East. According to Indyk, America first needs to learn about the region and stop acting naively without understanding the political nature of the region. This includes being sensitive to the connections among the countries in the Middle East and creating a strategy that uses these connections so achieve goals. To improve relations in and with the region, Indyk advises that the United States should pay attention to rare moments of change and movement, when leaders act against the status quo and America can use its great power and influence to effect change. He suggests abandoning the goal of “transforming the region,” pursued by both Clinton and Bush, and instead focus on other issues, like preventing Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons....
For decades, the effects of the Israel-Palestinian conflict have reverberated throughout the Middle East and the world. Understanding the origins of this dispute requires understanding its complex and often contested history.
The Century Foundation hosted a luncheon roundtable on Negotiating Arab-Israeli Peace: American Leadership in the Middle East, featuring the authors of an eponymous book, Ambassador Daniel C. Kurtzer and Dr. Scott B. Lasensky. The two offered both an insider's account of past negotiations and an incisive assessment of US involvement in the Arab-Israeli peace process, critiquing the approaches of the three most recent American presidencies and a way forward for Israelis and Palestinians toward a final status agreement is possible. Featuring: Daniel C. Kurtzer, S. Daniel Abraham Chair, Woodrow Wilson School, Princeton University and former U.S. Ambassador to Israel and Egypt and Scott B. Lasensky, Senior Research Associate and Middle East expert, United States Institute of Peace...
June 13, 2011 Combating Terrorism Center // West Point
The Combating Terrorism Center is an independent educational and research institution based in the Department of Social Sciences at the United States Military Academy, West Point. The CTC Sentinel harnesses the Center’s global network of scholars and practitioners to understand and confront contemporary threats posed by terrorism and other forms of political violence.
This volume contains the following articles:
- The Death of Usama bin Ladin: Threat Implications for the U.S. Homeland, By Philip Mudd
- Terrorist Tactics in Pakistan Threaten Nuclear Weapons Safety, By Shaun Gregory
- The Syrian Uprising: Evaluating the Opposition, By Mahmud Hasan
- Can Al-Qa`ida Survive Bin Ladin’s Death? Evaluating Leadership Decapitation, By Jenna Jordan
- Hizb Allah’s Position on the Arab Spring, By Benedetta Berti
- Israel, Hizb Allah, and the Shadow of Imad Mughniyyeh, By Bilal Y. Saab
- The Taliban’s Conduct of Intelligence and Counterintelligence, By Ben Brandt
March 7, 2011 Forced Migration Review // University of Oxford // Refugee Studies Centre
Militia, freedom fighters, rebels, terrorists,
paramilitaries, revolutionaries, guerrillas, gangs,
quasi-state bodies... and many other labels. In this
issue of FMR we look at all of these, at actors defined
as being armed and being ‘non-state’ – that is to say,
without the full responsibilities and obligations of the
state. Some of these actors have ideological or political
aims; some aspire to hold territory and overthrow a
government; some could be called organised groups,
and for others that would stretch the reality. Their
objectives vary but all are in armed conflict with the
state and/or with each other. Such actors, deliberately or
otherwise, regularly cause the displacement of people.
This issue of FMR
focuses more on the consequences of their violence and
its effects on people, and suggests ways in which these
might be mitigated. The articles included here reflect the
views of civil society groups and individuals in regular
contact with non-state armed groups, of academics and
governments, and of organisations that have years of
experience in engaging – creatively and productively –
with non-state armed groups.
This issue also includes a range of articles discussing
subjects as varied as the labelling of migrants, solar
energy in camps, gang persecution, and scoring states’
performance in respect of the rights of refugees....
September 7, 2010 Combating Terrorism Center // West Point
This issue includes the following articles: Riyaz Bhatkal and the Origins of the Indian Mujahidin, by Praveen Swami; Salafi-Jihadi Activism in Gaza: Mapping the Threat, by Benedetta Berti; The Virtual Jihad: An Increasingly Legitimate Form of Warfare, by Akil N. Awan; Internet Jihadists React to the Deaths of Al-Qa`ida’s Leaders in Iraq, by Abdul Hameed Bakier; The Kidnapping and Execution of Khalid Khwaja in Pakistan, by Rahimullah Yusufzai; The Sources of the Abu Sayyaf’s Resilience in the Southern Philippines, by Rommel C. Banlaoi....
Five actual or potential conflict situations around the world deteriorated and none improved in August 2010, according to the new issue of the International Crisis Group’s monthly bulletin CrisisWatch.
The situation in Somalia continued to deteriorate as al-Shabaab stepped up its attacks and fighting intensified in Mogadishu.
Kyrgyzstan’s provisional government was further weakened in August. The month began with an attempted coup and culminated with the mayor of the southern city of Osh – the epicenter of June’s pogroms – defying the President’s orders to resign.
In Kashmir, anti-Indian protests that began in June worsened in August with at least 40 demonstrators killed in clashes with the police, bringing the total death toll to over 60.
In Northern Ireland dissident Republicans launched a spate of bomb attacks throughout the month in an attempt to derail the peace process. Meanwhile, in Bahrain over 200 people, including high-level Shiite political leaders, have been reported arrested in a government crackdown ahead of October’s parliamentary elections, fueling almost daily clashes between security forces and Shiite opposition supporters.
CrisisWatch identifies a conflict resolution opportunity for Kosovo in September, as the EU makes intensive diplomatic efforts to produce a UN General Assembly resolution acceptable to both Serbia and Kosovo that could serve as a basis for a comprehensive settlement.
CrisisWatch also identifies a conflict resolution opportunity for Israel, as direct peace talks between Israel and Palestine – the first in almost two years – are due to restart in Washington on 2 September....
Four actual or potential conflict situations around the world deteriorated and none improved in May 2010. Israeli commandos killed at least nine people when they raided a flotilla of ships carrying humanitarian aid to Gaza on 31 May. Full details are not yet clear but the incident has already thrown into question recently launched proximity talks between the Palestinians and Israel. May also saw renewed violence in the streets of Bangkok. Clashes between anti-government Red Shirt protesters and security forces that resulted in scores of deaths in April escalated this month, leaving at least 54 people dead. Soldiers removed the Red Shirts from the capital on 19 May and the government has since lifted a curfew imposed on Bangkok and 28 other provinces. Tensions continued to mount on the Korean Peninsula after investigators announced that a South Korean ship that sunk in March had been hit by a North Korean torpedo. Pyongyang continues to deny responsibility for the sinking which killed 46 people. Security also deteriorated in India, where suspected Maoist rebels derailed a train on 28 May leaving at least 147 civilians dead. The Maoists have denied responsibility, but the incident has once again underlined the government's failure to curb escalating insurgent violence that has become increasingly deadly in recent months....
On Friday, I was joined at the White House by Prime Minister Netanyahu, and we reaffirmed -- (applause) -- we reaffirmed that fundamental truth that has guided our presidents and prime ministers for more than 60 years -- that even while we may at times disagree, as friends sometimes will, the bonds between the United States and Israel are unbreakable -- (applause) -- and the commitment of the United States to the security of Israel is ironclad.
A strong and secure Israel is in the national security interest of the United States not simply because we share strategic interests, although we do both seek a region where families and children can live free from the threat of violence. It’s not simply because we face common dangers, although there can be no denying that terrorism and the spread of nuclear weapons are grave threats to both our nations.
America’s commitment to Israel’s security flows from a deeper place -- and that’s the values we share. As two people who struggled to win our freedom against overwhelming odds, we understand that preserving the security for which our forefathers -- and foremothers -- fought must be the work of every generation. As two vibrant democracies, we recognize that the liberties and freedoms we cherish must be constantly nurtured. And as the nation that recognized the State of Israel moments after its independence, we have a profound commitment to its survival as a strong, secure homeland for the Jewish people....
President Obama: I outlined for the Prime Minister some of the issues that I discussed in my speech yesterday -- how important it was going to be for the United States to support political reform, support human rights, support freedom of speech, religious tolerance and economic development, particularly in Egypt, as the largest Arab country, as well as Tunisia, the country that first started this revolutionary movement that’s taking place throughout the Middle East and North Africa.
We also discussed the situation in Syria, which is obviously of acute concern to Israel, given its shared border. And I gave more details to the Prime Minister about the significant steps that we are taking to try to pressure Syria and the Assad regime to reform, including the sanctions that we placed directly on President Assad.
We continue to share our deep concerns about Iran, not only the threat that it poses to Israel but also the threat that it poses to the region and the world if it were to develop a nuclear weapon.
Prime Minister Netanyahu: Israel wants peace. I want peace. What we all want is a peace that will be genuine, that will hold, that will endure. And I think that the -- we both agree that a peace based on illusions will crash eventually on the rocks of Middle Eastern reality, and that the only peace that will endure is one that is based on reality, on unshakeable facts.
I think for there to be peace, the Palestinians will have to accept some basic realities. The first is that while Israel is prepared to make generous compromises for peace, it cannot go back to the 1967 lines -- because these lines are indefensible; because they don’t take into account certain changes that have taken place on the ground, demographic changes that have taken place over the last 44 years....
U.S. President Barack Obama has endorsed a long-standing Palestinian demand that the borders of any future state of Palestine be based on the lines prevailing before the 1967 war, when Israel captured the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu headed for talks with Obama in Washington on Friday saying a Palestinian state configured that way could leave Israel "indefensible."
Obama's stress on 1967 borders went further than before in offering principles for resolving the impasse between Israel and the Palestinians and put the United States formally on record as endorsing the historical borders as a starting point.
But he stopped short of presenting a formal U.S. peace plan or suggesting how talks should resume.
[This website contains] facts touching on the borders bequeathed by the 1948 war surrounding the creation of the Jewish state....
October 5, 2010 Integrated Regional Information Networks // UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
The refugee and displacement problem is one of the most complex humanitarian issues facing the Middle East, aid workers say.
Elizabeth Campbell, senior advocate at US NGO Refugees International, believes it is likely the Middle East hosts the highest number of refugees and asylum-seekers in the world. She underlined the need to find lasting solutions: "Any time that people remain uprooted and have not been afforded basic rights or pathways to durable solutions, it is a humanitarian crisis."
IRIN takes a look at the number of refugees, asylum-seekers and internally displaced persons (IDPs) in the region, and the main issues they face....
Israel "secured" its northern frontier by annexing the Golan Heights, which it occupied in 1967, and by occupying South Lebanon until May 2000. The 1923 borders and the cease-fire line between Israel and Syria are a central issue in the peace negotiations.
On Sunday, Israeli naval forces intercepted the ships of a Turkish nongovernmental organization (NGO) delivering humanitarian supplies to Gaza. Israel had demanded that the vessels not go directly to Gaza but instead dock in Israeli ports, where the supplies would be offloaded and delivered to Gaza. The Turkish NGO refused, insisting on going directly to Gaza. Gunfire ensued when Israeli naval personnel boarded one of the vessels, and a significant number of the passengers and crew on the ship were killed or wounded.
Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon charged that the mission was simply an attempt to provoke the Israelis. That was certainly the case. The mission was designed to demonstrate that the Israelis were unreasonable and brutal. The hope was that Israel would be provoked to extreme action, further alienating Israel from the global community and possibly driving a wedge between Israel and the United States. The operation’s planners also hoped this would trigger a political crisis in Israel.
A logical Israeli response would have been avoiding falling into the provocation trap and suffering the political repercussions the Turkish NGO was trying to trigger. Instead, the Israelis decided to make a show of force. The Israelis appear to have reasoned that backing down would demonstrate weakness and encourage further flotillas to Gaza, unraveling the Israeli position vis-à-vis Hamas. In this thinking, a violent interception was a superior strategy to accommodation regardless of political consequences. Thus, the Israelis accepted the bait and were provoked....
The fact that the Israel-Palestine conflict grinds on without resolution might appear to be rather strange. For many of the world's conflicts, it is difficult even to conjure up a feasible settlement. In this case, it is not only possible, but there is near universal agreement on its basic contours: a two-state settlement along the internationally recognized (pre-June 1967) borders—with "minor and mutual modifications," to adopt official US terminology before Washington departed from the international community in the mid-1970s.
The basic principles have been accepted by virtually the entire world, including the Arab states (who go on to call for full normalization of relations), the Organization of Islamic States (including Iran), and relevant non-state actors (including Hamas). A settlement along these lines was first proposed at the U.N. Security Council in January 1976 by the major Arab states. Israel refused to attend the session. The US vetoed the resolution, and did so again in 1980. The record at the General Assembly since is similar.
There was one important and revealing break in US-Israeli rejectionism. After the failed Camp David agreements in 2000, President Clinton recognized that the terms he and Israel had proposed were unacceptable to any Palestinians. That December, he proposed his "parameters": imprecise, but more forthcoming. He then stated that both sides had accepted the parameters, while expressing reservations....
The international summit on Afghanistan’s future held in London on 28 January 2010 produced three main outcomes: a very clear willingness to negotiate with the insurgents, the provision of substantial funding ($140 million) to lure elements of the insurgency from their campaign, and a focus on more rapid training of Afghan security forces. At the same time, it is reported that elements of the Taliban are already engaged in informal talks with United Nations officials.
These proposals represent a remarkable change from the policy of the George W Bush administration, driven by a search for clear military victory in Afghanistan. Barack Obama and his team take a different view: they recognise that the war cannot be won and that compromise is essential. But they also make a concession to the Bush approach in believing that a position of military strength is route to securing the best compromise possible - hence the military “surge” that is currently underway. There remains a large question over the effectiveness of this approach; the infusion of more foreign troops could provoke increased resistance by Afghans who see them as occupiers.
Behind the coalition’s shift in policy is the concern that public opinion in the United States and Britain is moving against the war, and that more people in both countries increasingly want their forces to leave. Many other Nato countries may be involved in Afghanistan, but these two states are pivotal: the US for its political and military leadership, and Britain for the size of its own involvement (it has more than twice the number of soldiers in Afghanistan as any other European state), which helps make it a marker for European attitudes as a whole....
"Obama welcomes Netanyahu acceptance of Palestinian state," the headlines blared. Well, at least that's settled. With the U.S. president having shown the Israeli prime minister who is boss, both are headed toward the same long-term goal of a two-state solution — or so it seems.
But the devil, as always, is in the details. Before anyone attacks all the messy political details on how to reach a settlement, there are the details of exactly what the two leaders have said in the past two weeks. A closer looks reveals rather less agreement than has met the media's eye. "Just as Israel's right to exist cannot be denied, neither can Palestine's," Barack Obama said in Cairo. A two-state solution is "in Israel's interest, Palestine's interest, America's interest, and the world's interest." No previous president has created such a strong image of an even-handed broker guiding the two parties to peace. No previous president has pronounced the once-taboo name "Palestine" in public.
No Israeli leader has pronounced it yet — and certainly not the current prime minister. As he publicly bowed to the politically inevitable, Binyamin Netanyahu chose his words very carefully. He used the word "Palestinians" 27 times, but "Palestine" not once. He would go only so far as to say: "In my vision of peace, there are two free peoples living side by side." One of those free peoples is absolutely certain to live in a state named Palestine. So why not come out and say it?
The answer, for a politician heading up a rather precarious coalition, may lie buried in a survey conducted by Israel's independent Institute for National Security Studies (recently named that nation's top think tank). Among Israeli Jews, acceptance of a "Palestinian state" has grown astonishingly, from 21% in 1987 to 53% in 2009. But fully 64% support the concept that their prime minister now supports too: "two states for two peoples."...
With a renewed focus in Washington on Middle East peace, many here have re-ignited the longstanding debate as to which track of the Israel-Arab peace process has greater promise: the Palestinians or Syria and Lebanon. Although there is no such thing as low-hanging fruit in this quest, and it is easy to be tempted into thinking that each new chapter signifies a watershed or a crisis, the Obama administration is conducting the current peacemaking efforts prudently. While a holistic approach to Middle East peace is important--indeed, crucial--it is worth considering whether there is greater potential for progress on the Syria and Lebanon track than with the Palestinians.
Many dynamics have markedly changed in the years since the US last seriously focused on the Israel-Arab peace process. To name but a few: there is a substantial US military presence in the region; most of the Gulf countries, Jordan and Egypt share the same threat perception as Israel (a well-justified fear of Iran); Syrian suzerainty over Lebanon has been substantially diminished; Iraq has been altered radically; the Palestinians waged a second intifada and failed; Hamas' de facto control over Gaza has been formalized; and there has been slow progress--but progress nonetheless--on democratization. These dynamics define the strategic context in which the latest effort to reach Middle East peace is being pursued.
The key issues under consideration on the Israeli-Palestinian track--security, refugees, Jerusalem and settlements--remain visceral in a way that the Golan Heights is not. The integrated nature of Israeli and Palestinian operating space makes this track extremely complex, as daily friction between Israelis and Palestinians creates numerous obstacles and setbacks that are difficult to overcome. Furthermore, the lack of a legitimate Palestinian state and broadly functioning state institutions, and a fragile PA leadership, make this track infinitely harder because it is less likely that a pseudo-state can deliver on its promises....
Marsad is the Palestinian security sector observatory. Marsad gathers news items, analyses and reports relevant to Palestinian security sector governance (SSG) and security sector reform (SSR) in Arabic and English language.
Gisha is an Israeli not-for-profit organization, founded in 2005, whose goal is to protect the freedom of movement of Palestinians, especially Gaza residents. Gisha promotes rights guaranteed by international and Israeli law. Since the 1967 occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, Israel's military has developed a complex system of rules and sanctions to control the movement of the 3.4 million Palestinians who live there. The restrictions violate the fundamental right of Palestinians to freedom of movement. As a result, additional basic rights are violated, including the right to life, the right to access medical care, the right to education, the right to livelihood, the right to family unity and the right to freedom of religion. Gisha, whose name means both "access" and "approach," uses legal assistance and public advocacy to protect the rights of Palestinian residents. Because freedom of movement is a precondition for exercising other basic rights, Gisha’s work has a multiplier effect in helping residents of the occupied territories access education, jobs, family members and medical car...
Peace Now is the largest extra-parliamentary movement in Israel, the country's oldest peace movement and the only peace group to have a broad public base. The movement was founded in 1978 during the Israeli-Egyptian peace talks. At a moment when these talks appeared to be collapsing, a group of 348 reserve officers and soldiers from Israeli army combat units published an open letter to the Prime Minister of Israel calling upon the government to make sure this opportunity for peace was not lost. Tens of thousands of Israelis sent in support for the letter, and the movement was born. The basic principles of the movement from the outset were the right of Israel to live within secure borders and the right of our neighbors to do the same, including the right of Palestinians to self-determination. In time the movement became convinced the only viable solution to the conflict was the creation of a Palestinian state in the territories adjacent to Israel, which were occupied as a result of the 1967 war. In 1988, upon PLO acceptance of UNSC resolution 242 and the principle of the two-state solution, Peace Now led a massive demonstration of 100,000 persons calling on the government to negotiate with the PLO. Fully supporting the break-through represented by the 1993 Oslo Accord, Peace Now has consistently supported any and all steps promising to promote a resolution to the conflict, in addition to pressing all Israeli parties in power to initiate steps to bring about an end to the occupation and negotiations for peace....
SAI seeks to bridge the gap between conflict management - as embodied in humanitarian assistance, development work and peace operations - and conflict resolution, which demands a greater investment of political will. Toward that end, SAI runs three innovative programs that link on-the-ground practicalities with the broader political concerns of the major stakeholders. By tying together the practical and the political, the theoretical and the real, and the scholarly and the applied, SAI fills a neglected niche in the policy world....
Established in March 2005, Yesh Din is comprised of volunteers who have organized to oppose the continuing violation of Palestinian human rights in the Occupied Palestinian Territory. Some of us have long been active in defending human rights, and others have just recently joined the struggle. We have different personal, professional, and political backgrounds but are united by our deep concern over the serious damage the occupation is inflicting on both Palestinian and Israeli societies.
Diakonia's website "Easy Guide to International Humanitarian Law in the occupied Palestinian territory" is part of the information component of the International Humanitarian Law (IHL) Program.
The goal of the website is to provide basic information about international humanitarian law in general, and specifically analyze the situation in the occupied Palestinian territory from an IHL perspective in easy language for non-lawyers.
The target groups are Swedish as well as English speakers who are interested in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, generally familiar with the facts on the ground but are seeking to familiarize themselves with the legal tool in their advocacy messages and analysis. ...
Yasir Arafat's long career as a crucial player in the modern history of the Middle East is finally coming to a close. For decades Arafat has been synonymous with the Palestinian struggle, leading his community in war, peace, and the nebulous realm in between. For perspective on how much has changed over the years xe2x80x94 and how much has not xe2x80x94 Foreign Affairs offers this selection of pieces on Arafat and the Palestinians from its archives.
October 26, 2004 International Humanitarian Law Research Initiative // Program on Humanitarian Policy and Conflict Research // Harvard School of Public Health // Harvard University
This web portal focuses on issues surrounding the application of international humanitarian law (IHL) to the conflict in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT). The portal provides concise policy briefs on the most critical issues, offering in-depth and accessible legal analysis. Additional policy briefs will be posted regularly. Furthermore, the portal also includes an extensive database of relevant legal instruments, arranged topically, including UN resolutions, Israeli jurisprudence and military orders, links to Israeli and Palestinian government organizations and websites, and maps.
The goal of this service is to provide policy makers, practitioners, journalists, and researchers with access to objective, unbiased analysis, as well as the key texts relevant to the issue of the application and interpretation of IHL....
In late 2006, the European Union awarded Oxford Research Group, the Middle East Policy Initiative Forum (MEPIF) and Conflicts Forum €500,000 over two years under its Partnerships for Peace programme. This project is designed to help develop more inclusive and legitimate approaches to transforming the Middle East conflict. The landscape of conflict and security is shifting across the Middle East. This project aims to support a new, inclusive approach to the Arab-Israeli conflict by opening new space for consultations among legitimate yet opposed stakeholders through civil society-brokered dialogue, analysis and engagement. The goal is to explore accommodations grounded in real support in the societies. The action will engage rooted elements of Palestinian and Israeli societies and stakeholders from the wider region, including faith-based movements....
June 22, 2006 Massachusetts Institute of Technology // Center for International Studies // Department of Urban Studies and Planning
Jointly sponsored by MIT's Department of Urban Studies & Planning and the Center for International Studies, with the participation of Palestinian and Israeli scholars, activists, business leaders, youth and others, Jerusalem 2050 is a uniquely visionary and problem-solving project. It seeks to understand what it would take to make Jerusalem, a city also known as Al Quds, claimed by two nations and central to three religions, "merely" a city, a place of difference ad diversity in which contending ideas and citizenries can co-exist in benign, yet creative, ways.
The Project produced two types of publications: thematic reports and case studies. Together, these papers make up an integrated package of materials. Thematic reports provide readers with an overarching understanding of general issues relating to environment, population, and security. Case studies examine in considerable detail these linkages in specific countries of interest to policymakers. These two types of reports complement each other: the thematic reports provide theoretical insights that can be explored in the case studies; the case studies provide illustrations of crucial theoretical points raised in the thematic reports. Each thematic report and case study was reviewed by several leading authorities before dissemination....
This is a transcript of an event held on 5 October at Chatham House. The panellists, drawn from the Middle East and North Africa Programme's regional experts, examined the latest round of negotiations aimed at resolving the Israel-Palestine conflict.
As the latest round of negotiations aimed at resolving the Israel-Palestine conflict was embarked on in September 2010, the regional ramifications of the much-interrupted peace process have never appeared more important. State actors close to the conflict such as Egypt, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon, and non-state actors such as Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in Gaza, all have a stake in the outcome of the peace talks. Together with the wider Arab League membership and Iran, not all of them wish the process to succeed, or succeed on the terms envisaged by the US and its allies in the European Union.
This panel drawn from the Middle East and North Africa Programme's regional experts will examine what is at stake for the regional neighbours of Israel and the Palestinians. What influence have they had over the initial progress of the negotiations? Are their actions critical in helping or hindering the outcome of the bilateral talks? What alternatives or reactions might they envisage should this latest attempt at peace fail?...
July 27, 2011 International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation
A popular anecdote in the Middle East, coined by former U.S. Secretary of State
Henry Kissinger in the 1970s, is that ‘no war is possible without Egypt, and no
peace possible without Syria’ - Daoudy, 2008:215 -. This paper will focus mainly
on the prospect of peace between Israel and Syria.
Despite some brief interludes of optimism in the early 1990s, the history of
conflict and mistrust between Israel and Syria, the ongoing occupation of the Golan
Heights, and periodic hostilities mean that a durable peace between them remains
a distant prospect. Throughout the last two decades of official and unofficial peace
talks between Israel and Syria, the position and concerns of each party to reach
peace have become evident. The Syrians insist on a full Israeli withdrawal from the
Golan, captured in 1967, down to the 4 June 1967 line, which would allow Syrian
access to the Sea of Galilee/Lake Tiberias. Israeli leaders have stated their demand
of keeping the Syrians off the water of the Lake and their intention to withdraw along
the international border line of 1923, although it seems at least some of them do
realise that the Syrian pre-condition of full withdrawal has to be fulfilled. Indeed,
the stumbling block obstructing the implementation of an Israeli-Syrian peace deal
is the disputed area between the 1923 international borderline and the 1967 pre-war
- 4 June 1967 - line. Although small in size, this area carries a most significant and
strategic position involving water access, sovereignty and control. This has been
regarded as the sticking point through the two-decade period of negotiations
- Muslih, 1993:613; Renger, 1998:49 -
Recently, the American administration had taken up the idea of creating a
peace park in the Golan Heights as a way of resolving the Israeli-Syrian conflict
particularly in the area between the 1923 and 1967 lines in the north-eastern
sector of Lake Tiberias.
This paper will explore this idea, which in the past has been put forward
by government officials and political analysts alike as a possible means to
accommodate Syrian and Israeli concerns. In order to determine the viability of
this project I shall analyse the literature regarding the utilisation of natural resources
both for conflict propagation and as catalysts for lasting cooperation and conflict
resolution. Then I will present a brief history of the Syrian-Israeli peace process and
describe why previous peace talks have failed. Finally, I shall describe the status
quo in the Golan Heights today and the discourse of environmental peace-building
through the suggested proposal of a peace park along the shores of Lake Tiberias.
I will argue that while a peace park is not the panacea to the conflict
existing today between Israel and Syria, within a context of comprehensive peace
agreements such a project can ameliorate the concerns of both parties and provide
a platform for confidence building and a way to overcome the problem of sovereignty
in this particular area....
July 27, 2011 International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation
This paper assesses the United Nations’ role and potential in resolving the
Israeli Palestinian conflict. In its charter, conceived in 1945, the United Nations
set high standards and espoused lofty principles which enshrine its primary
responsibility: to maintain peace and security. Since then the geopolitical situation
has changed enormously. Yet, its performance since its inceptions has been weak,
and the UN has rarely been able to enforce its Charter’s principles into desired
This has been most obvious with respect to the conflict in the Middle East.
The United Nations played a decisive role in the establishment of the state of Israel
and has always had an indirect mediation involvement especially as some of its
Resolutions are the basis for any plausible accord.
To become a credible third party mediator, the United Nations has to amend
parts of its conduct regarding the situation in the Middle East. Israel has long argued
that the United Nations is inherently biased with an anti-Israeli agenda within its
corridors and organs structure. Palestinians however believe that the dominance of
the United States prevents the decision process from being utterly compelling.
Notwithstanding this paper argues that having exhausted previous alternatives
at third party mediation, US, EU, Quartet, the United Nations should undertake a
sincere leading mediation effort by granting Israel incentives such as normalisation
and indisputable international recognitions and to the Palestinians viable statehood
endorsed by the international community, not just as means of politicisation but as a
Hamas and Fatah surprised all with their announcement of a reconciliation accord. What had been delayed since Hamas took over Gaza in 2007 and Palestinian Authority (PA) President Abbas asked Salam Fayyad to form a government in the West Bank was done in Cairo in hours. Shock was matched by uncertainty over what had been agreed and the course it would take. Would the factions produce a national strategy and unify fractured institutions? Or would the agreement codify the status quo? Even some of the more pessimistic scenarios were optimistic. Reconciliation stumbled at its first hurdle, naming a prime minister – though that is not the only divisive issue. Neither side wants to admit failure, so the accord is more likely to be frozen than renounced, leaving the door slightly ajar for movement. Palestinian parties but also the U.S. and Europe need to recognise that reconciliation is necessary to both minimise the risk of Israeli-Palestinian violence and help produce a leadership able to reach and implement peace with Israel.
The reconciliation accord signed on 4 May, is several agreements in one: the Egyptian Reconciliation Document, signed by Fatah in October 2009 but rejected by Hamas, which claimed it did not accurately reflect prior discussions; an additional five points, agreed on 27 April – the “Understandings”, which reflect many of Hamas’s reservations about the Egyptian Document; and unwritten, informal understandings, some of which undo provisions of the signed agreements. Taken together, they would alter politics in two ways. First, they provide for a single Palestinian government, with limited functions, of technocrats or independents, charged with unifying institutions and preparing for legislative, presidential and Palestine National Council elections in a year. Secondly, they call for a newly constituted, temporary leadership body operating in ambiguous partnership with the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO). The key was the decision to delay security reform until after the elections....
From the beginning of 2005 to the end of 2010, at least 835 Palestinian minors were arrested and tried in military courts in the West Bank on charges of stone throwing. Thirty-four of them were aged 12-13, 255 were 14-15, 546 were 16-17. Only one of the 835 was acquitted; all the rest were found guilty.
Palestinian minors charged with criminal offenses are tried under the military legislation applying in the West Bank, which grants them very few of the special rights relating to persons their age. These protections, such as separation from adults during detention and imprisonment, are not always maintained. The same is true regarding protections prescribed in the military legislation for all suspects that are especially important in the case of minors, such as the right to consult with an attorney. The military legislation dealing with minors does not conform to international and Israeli law, which acknowledge that the minor’s age affects his criminal responsibility and the manner in which he experiences arrest, interrogation, and imprisonment, and which assume that these experiences might harm the minor’s development. Consequently, under international law and Israeli law, suspected offenders who are minors are given special protections, their parents must be allowed to be present during their child’s interrogation, and their arrest and imprisonment are viewed as a last resort.
In November 2009, the Military Youth Court was established in the West Bank. The court was empowered to hear offenses committed by minors under age 16. The military judges, on their own initiative, expanded the jurisdiction of the court to cover all minors, i.e., up to age 18. A few judges expressed, in their judgments, their belief that the military justice system should try minors in accordance with the standard practice in juvenile courts around the world. The president of the Military Court of Appeals added that the military courts must operate in the spirit of the Israeli Youth Law, even though the Youth Law itself is not incorporated in the military legislation. Despite these declarations, institution of the Military Youth Court has brought limited change, and serious infringement of the rights of minors appearing before it continues.
In preparing this report, B'Tselem interviewed 50 minors, who described the events from the moment they were arrested to the time they were released from jail....
September 28, 2010 B'Tselem: The Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories
Casualties in the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians (29.9.2000 to 26.9.2010)
Israeli security forces killed 6371 Palestinians, of whom 1317 were minors. At least 2996 of the fatalities did not participate in the hostilities when killed. 2193 were killed while participating in the hostilities. For 694, B’Tselem does not know whether they participated in the hostilities or not. An additional 248 were Palestinian police killed in Gaza during operation Cast Lead, and 240 were targets of assassinations.
Palestinians killed 1083 Israelis in Israel and the Occupied Territories. 741 of the fatalities were civilians, of whom 124 were minors, and 342 were members of the security forces.
B’Tselem Executive Director Jessica Montell: “Palestinian and Israeli Civilians have paid a terrible price due to the conflict. At the close of the decade, we hope to start a new chapter, in which both sides do all they can to adhere to their obligations and protect civilians from the impact of hostilities.”...
September 28, 2010 B'Tselem: The Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories
6,011 Palestinians were held in Israel as of the end of August 2010, the vast majority in facilities of the Israel Prisons Service, and a small number in IDF facilities. 189 of them were held in administrative detention, without trial. The figures are provided by the government authorities.
March 4, 2010 Chicago Project on Security and Terrorism
The Chicago Project on Security and Terrorism maintains a searchable database on all suicide attacks from 1981 to 2001 and additional years will be added. The database includes information about the location of attacks, the target type, the weapon used, and systematic information on the demographic and general biographical characteristics of suicide attackers. The database expands the breadth of the data available in English using native language sources (e.g., Arabic, Hebrew, Russian, Tamil) that are likely to have the most extensive relevant information. The database allows filtering by location, group, campaign, target type, weapon and gender....
The report "Exceptions: prosecution of IDF soldiers during and after the second Intifada,
2000-2007" (hereinafter: "Exceptions"), published by Yesh Din at the end of
2008, provided complete data about the success and failure rate of the Military Police
Criminal Investigations Division (MPCID) investigations into suspicions that IDF soldiers
and commanders committed criminal offenses against Palestinian civilians and
their property in the occupied territories. This datasheet updates the figures published in "Exceptions." The datasheet provides
up-to-date data about the investigations since the beginning of the second
intifada, including data on the results of the investigation files that opened in the
years 2008 and 2009. As we will show below, the figures showed that even after
publishing the serious data about the failure rate of the military legal system to
protect the population of the occupied territories from crimes committed by members
of the security forces, as required by the provisions both of international and
Israeli law, there doesn't seem to have been any improvement in the rate of investigations
that produce sufficient evidence to serve indictments against suspects....
September 29, 2008 Minorities at Risk Project // Center for International Development and Conflict Management // National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism
The Minorities at Risk Organizational Behavior (MAROB) dataset is a subsidiary of the
Minorities at Risk (MAR) Project. The purpose of this project is to answer fundamental
questions focusing on the identification of those factors that motivate some members of ethnic
minorities to become radicalized, to form activist organizations, and to move from conventional
means of politics and protest into violence and terrorism. Focusing initially on the Middle East
and North Africa, the MAROB project provides information on the characteristics of those
ethnopolitical organizations most likely to employ violence and terrorism in the pursuit of their
perceived grievances with local, national, or international authority structures. The project has
identified 118 organizations representing the interests of all 22 ethnopolitical groups in 16
countries of the Middle East and North Africa, operating between 1980 and 2004. The project developed a set of criteria for the inclusion of organizations into the MAROB dataset. These are as
• The organization makes explicit claims to represent the interests of one or more ethnic groups and/or the
organization’s members are primarily members of a specific ethnic minority.
• The organization is political in its goals and activities.
• The organization is active at a regional and/or national level.
• The organization was not created by a government.
• The organization is active for at least three consecutive years between 1980 and 2006.
• Umbrella organizations (coalitions/alliances) are NOT coded. Instead, member organizations are coded.
Organizations were selected on the basis of their basic longevity. This was operationalized in the following manner:
The first year that an organization is mentioned in a source as being active, it is put on a “watchlist” for potential
inclusion. Once the organization is mentioned in sources for three consecutive years, it is included in the dataset,
coded from the first year of the three consecutive years. If an organization included in the dataset disappears from
source material for five consecutive years, it is no longer coded for following years. If after that time, it is again
mentioned for three consecutive years, it is again included but as a separate organization....