Peace and Conflict Studies: Core Unit.
Conflict resolution is one of the most powerful ways of making positive contribution to the field of international relations. Conflict, be it behavioural or based on attitude, is currently creating grave world inequalities and furthering deep rooted problems. Conflict resolution sets out to provide lasting just solutions to these often seemingly endless problems and lay the ground for a lasting peace. In the twenty first century one longstanding international dispute that continues is the known as the Middle East Conflict or the Arab-Israeli Conflict. This essentially is conflict over land between the Jewish and Arab peoples and has been in crises for nearly a hundred years, yet has roots that go back to ancient civilisations. The establishment of the Israeli state in 1948 has created a serge of violence in the Middle East and displaced the Palestinian people. Both sides lay claim to this land. Attempts at solving this conflict have been made with little success. This paper therefore will argue that new attempts to solve the Arab-Israeli conflict need to be made through a conflict resolution practice known as conflict transformation. This is practiced by Burton, Fisher and Ury and Galtung amongst others. Essentially it involves restructuring ways of looking at conflict in order to transform conflict into a positive force. A brief summary of the Arab-Israeli conflict that attempts to be neutral shall first be given to show some of the complexities of this conflict. This will then be countered with conflict transformation theories that will show how they can be used to create a just peace to this long conflict. Owing to the confines of this paper an emphasis will be on the Palestinians on the Arab side. .
The Arab-Israeli conflict dates back to ancient times when in 1250BC the Israelites began to conquer and settle the land of Cannan. In 70AD under Roman occupation the Jews were expelled from Palestine and beginning from 133AD were banished and sold into slavery throughout Europe.