Loading

In the context of the years 1897-2000, to what extent was Arab Intransigence as opposed to Israel’s Mismanagement of the Refugee Crisis responsible for the continued unrest in the Middle East?

Superficially, the Arab-Israeli conflict appears to be a victimisation of one state by another. However, this initial hypothesis is disputed by complexities such as interventions and mediations from global powers. Consequentially, the conflict has adapted to encompass more than the two nationalities it began with. Despite this, Arab intransigence and Israel’s mismanagement of the refugee crisis both instrument a significant role in the worsening of relations; perpetually generating more unrest in the region. It is possible to contend that Arab intransigence is responsible for continuing the unrest, as events in the conflict depict a refusal for peace. Yet, one could argue, this was justified by the negligence of the Powers to consider the Palestinian’s perspective. Indeed, their perspective was missing from most of the vital negotiations as, until the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) was established in the late 1990’s, there was a stunning lack of political representation. Although, continuity of the unrest beyond the years of PNA decree, indicates that this conflict is more complex than a simple lack of direct negotiation. Noticeably, there is a clear polarisation of opinion amongst traditional and revisionist historians on this topic, which is rather adept considering the religious and ethnic implications on either side. Some revisionist historians such as Ian Black, advocate that the refugee crisis was an inevitable occurrence, and marginalisation of the Palestinians, after the failure of the partition plan. Yet, it is Avi Shlaim who comments on the link between Israel’s apparent management of the conflict and the worsening in relations that thereafter occurs. Thus, Israel’s mismanagement of the conflict has contributed to the sate of hostility, warfare and refugees that traditional historians commonly substitute for Arab intransigence. Catalytic to the conflict is the frequent intervention of other global powers, endorsing opposite sides, increasing the divide. Thus, we realise that it is a conjunction of issues, entangled with cultural identities, that has created an irreconcilable conflict. General consensus amongst historians denotes that, the 1948 War of Independence was an immediate consequence of failures in the UN partition plan. However, there is dispute over how this shifted the dynamics, for instance Schneer contends that initially the fighting was declared by Arab nations, intent on destroying an ‘infant state’. Seemingly, this theory is more credible, considering primary documentations of the war depict the vulnerability of Israel’s new state, in contrast to the technological and military advancement of the Arab Kingdom. Yet, he displays awareness that this disparity was soon disbanded. Similarly, Avi Shlaim testifies that the IDF thrived with the assistance of Western powers, “The IDF significantly outnumbered all the Arab forces arrayed against it.”6 Shlaim’s theory, commenting on the conveniently timed UN interventions, appears more accurate in conjunction with the growth of the IDF. Potentially, the interventions elongated the IDF’s time to recover, yet this apparent international favouritism worsened relations with the Arabs. Historian Bard maintains, the core of this conflict is intervention, as conflict over monopoly for oil reserves intensified the stakes between global powers (Britain, America and Russia). Thus, with the feud for resources, the Middle East becomes a desirable commodity, and hence is born the ‘Arab Lobby’ and the ‘Israeli lobby’. This theory parallels entirely the Pikes-Sicot agreement in the pre-focus period, indicating that perhaps the reason for continued unrest is due to a repetition of mistakes in foreign policy: Particularly, the question of how to accommodate the Middle East. [This is a section of an answer to the Historical Enquiry coursework for A Level History)

Answered by Emily H. History tutor

111 Views

See similar History A Level tutors
A pair of laptops with a tutor displayed on one and a student on the other. The student is raising his hand to answer the teacher's question.
Need help with History?

Have a Free Video Meeting with one of our friendly tutors.

A pair of laptops with a tutor displayed on one and a student on the other. The student is raising his hand to answer the teacher's question.
Need help with History?

Have a Free Video Meeting with one of our friendly tutors.

A pair of laptops with a tutor displayed on one and a student on the other. The student is raising his hand to answer the teacher's question.
Need help with History?

Have a Free Video Meeting with one of our friendly tutors.