As the author of your text has argued, terrorism is the foundation of conflict between Israel and Palestine. Although terrorism has expanded over the past 30 years beyond the Middle East, it remains at the center of the continued conflicts between Israel and its neighbors. Ever since its founding in 1948, the state of Israel has faced the threat of terror attacks from rejectionist organizations such as the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, and Hezbollah. Because these groups haven’t been able to defeat Israel on the battlefield, they’ve targeted Israeli citizens in an attempt to subvert the national will.
As we’ve learned, terrorist violence aims to undermine the personal security of civilians, to sow fear and trepidation, and to sap public morale in order to pressure decision makers to make political concessions. The primary goals of Israeli counterterrorism strategy are to prevent terrorists from influencing the national agenda and to preserve the psychological resilience of the civilian population.
On the other hand, Israel has been accused by its critics of using tactics that are nothing short of inhumane. Some of these tactics can be found listed on page 218 of your text and others may be reviewed in this article by Sami Kishawi: “Controversial, Illegal, and Documented: Israeli Military Strategies in Gaza.”
Your assignment for this project is to compose a five- to six-page essay that discusses and analyzes these complex issues in terms of justice and political policy. You should touch on the following:
- Are the tactics used by Israel a form of terrorism similar to that being used by its enemies? If so, why, and what are the implications for future negotiations? If not, why not? What explains the difference between the two policy positions?
- In terms of the extremists found on each side of the conflict, what steps should be taken to lessen the influence of the extremists? Why?
- Is compromise a desirable solution? If so, why? What appearance would reasonable compromise take in this region of the world?
- If compromise isn’t an option, should the conflict be resolved by military victory of one side over the other? Why or why not?
- What role should the United States and other Western nations play in this controversy and why?