World Congress for Middle Eastern Studies

Barcelona, July 19th - 24th 2010


Perspectives on the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict (380) - NOT_DEFINED activity_field_Panel

· NOT_DEFINED date: THU 22, 5-7 pm

· NOT_DEFINED language: English

· NOT_DEFINED description: Chair: Mohey Mowafy (Professor, Northern Michigan University)

Discussant: Omar Shaban (Head-PalThink for Strategic Studies)

Paper presenter: Amir Khalil (PhD Candidate, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Belgium), “The Right of Self-Determination in International Law, Case Study: Palestinian Right to Self-Determination”
The right of people to self-determination is a well-known old-human right recognized by every people. Human beings can be engaged or, alternatively, passive and alienated, largely as a function of the social conditions in which they develop and function, and through the right of self-determination they can claim their logical needed autonomy, competence and recognition by the international community. Self-determination is a relatively recent phenomenon with a dubious historical origin. This also explains the fact that this right is potentially easy to manipulate and suffers from a high degree of practical and normative confusion. In fact, self-determination can refer to the outside (related to the phenomenon of colonisation) as well as to the inside (related to the phenomenon of democratisation).
The main research question concentrates on the Palestinians’ right to self-determination through investigating, and inquiries if the Palestinians are entitled to the right of self-determination. Moreover, if they are, then do they have the right to establish their statehood in the sovereign state? Is the legal basis of Palestinians right of self-determination (which is constituted by a foreign military occupation) recognized by international law? Has the right to self-determination played a cardinal role in the international community? Also, is the right of self-determination a fundamental principle of international law? Is the separation wall/fence hindering the right of self-determination? Are the international customs, international conventions, general principles, the development and acceptance of doctrines and judicial decisions confirmed to be demands related to the right of self-determination?

Paper presenter: Aviel Attias (Research Student, Tel Aviv University, Israel), “’Sloganeering' the Conflict: A decade-long glimpse over lingual terminology and its effects on the Israeli- Palestinian Conflict”
Almost a decade has passed since the second Intifada had erupted setting the course for a period of bloodshed and instability between the Palestinians and the Israelis. The ramifications on both sides were far-reaching, as to economic degradation, international criticism and personal insecurity, yet another significant implication was not well introduced in the context of this conflict, the aspect of cognitive influences on both sides. This aspect had been marked, among others, by linguistic tools to describe and explain events [and their causes], in the course of this period. This research will demonstrate how violent events that took place in the course of the conflict, had marked and characterized the nature of it, and it will be done through slogans and proverbs, which described them by the media, policy-makers and common citizens on both sides. In this paper, I will analyze 10 to 15 main catchphrases and platitudes that were used [in a chronological sequence] in order to describe the reasons, outcomes, of the main events, which have marked the public discourse with regard to the perceptions and understandings of the other on each community. Furthermore, it will show how a part of these proverbs ‘bounced-back’ to the political decision-making process, having a great influence on the outcome of the negotiations so far. This paper's conclusions will layout the possible framework of a future analysis of on of the most important outcomes of the conflict; the memory-building process in both sides, which will eventually reflect on future relations between them.

Paper presenter: Asma Bahurmoz (Professor, King Abdulaziz University, Saudi Arabia), “A quantitative Based Solution for the Palestinian Israeli Conflict Conformed to King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia Initiative”
The title of this paper reflects both the process and the outcome of the current undertaking. Frustrated with the current state of the Middle East but encouraged by earlier attempts at modelling complex problems, the authors participated in a panel discussion assembled to address the conflict and propose a possible road-map to peace. However, the participants of this project did not come to a single course of action that will result in peace in the Middle East but did reach a consensus agreement about a resolution that needs to be managed. This paper explores the process, the outcome and the factors that influence the decision as well as potential pitfalls. The Analytic Network Process (ANP), a well known multicriteria decision making approach, applied frequently in recent years to examine conflicts around the world, is used in this analysis. It provides a framework for synthesizing judgments on the diverse aspects of the problem represented in the structure of the decision. It pieces together these judgments in a holistic and logical way.
This is a joint research: Asma Bahurmoz (King Abdulaziz University); Mohammed K. (Millersville University); Marcel Minutolo (University of Pittsburgh); Thomas Saaty (University of Pittsburgh); Jerry Zoffer (University of Pittsburgh)

Paper presenter: Avi Raz (Research Fellow, University of Oxford, UK), “Perish the Thought: Israel and the Search for a Peace Settlement Following the June 1967 War”
When Israel launched the Six Day War in June 1967, its leaders empathically stated that they sought no territorial gains, and that the war’s only aim was to break the suffocating ring around their beleaguered country. But with the magnitude of the military victory and the vast lands occupied from Egypt, Syria and Jordan, the Israeli government reneged on its previous pledges. The territory the Israelis desired most was Jordan’s West Bank, including the Arab sector of Jerusalem. Relying on recently declassified archival records covering the immediate aftermath of the war, this paper argues that Israel - facing strong American pressure to trade land for peace with King Hussein of Jordan - resorted to a foreign policy of deviousness and deception in order to keep the territorial acquisitions while establishing a fait accompli. Thus the annexation of Arab Jerusalem immediately after the war was presented as a mere administrative measure; a programme to repatriate the Palestinians who had fled the West Bank in June, reluctantly announced as a result of international outcry, was in fact designed to admit only a negligible number of the 170,000 applicants; new civilian Jewish settlements were established in the occupied territories under the guise of ‘military outpost’. But most significant was the double game vis-à-vis Jordan and the West Bank Palestinians the aim of which was to make it appear that Israel was weighing its options for resolution - the Palestinian option versus the Jordanian option. While attempting to create the semblance of Palestinian autonomy, Israel held secret talks with Jordan’s King Hussein. The former track was intended to lead to an Arab civil administration, run by local collaborators and devoid of power. The latter was aimed at warding off American pressure to reach an accommodation with Washington’s other ally, Hussein, by putting on a show of serious negotiations. Israel offered Hussein a peace plan which it knew to be unacceptable. Its real goal, to keep the futile contacts going and maintain the status quo, was successful.