have held diverse views and perceptions of the peace process. A key starting point for understanding these views is an awareness of the differing objectives sought by advocates of the Palestinian cause. 'New Historian
' Israeli academic Ilan Pappe
says the cause of the conflict from a Palestinian point of view dates back to 1948 with the creation of Israel
(rather than Israel’s views of 1967 being the crucial point and the return of occupied territories being central to peace negotiations), and that the conflict has been a fight to bring home refugees
to a Palestinian state
Therefore this for some was the ultimate aim of the peace process, and for groups such as Hamas
still is. However Slater says that this ‘maximalist’ view of a destruction of Israel in order to regain Palestinian lands, a view held by Arafat
and the PLO
initially, has steadily moderated from the late 1960s onwards to a preparedness to negotiate and instead seek a two-state solution.
The Oslo Accords
demonstrated the recognition of this acceptance by the then Palestinian leadership of the state of Israel’s right to exist
in return for the withdrawal of Israeli forces from the Gaza Strip
and West Bank
. However there are recurrent themes prevalent throughout peace process negotiations including a feeling that Israel offers too little and a mistrust of its actions and motives. Yet, the demand for the "Right of Return" (ROR) by descendants of Palestinian refugees to Israel has remained a cornerstone of the Palestinian view and has been repeatedly enunciated by Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas who is leading the Palestinian peace effort.
There are several Israeli
views of the peace process. The official position of the State of Israeli is that peace ought to be negotiated on the basis of giving up some control of the disputed territories
in return for a stop to the conflict and violence. Israel insists that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas be her negotiating partner for peace, not Hamas due to its continued attacks on the Israeli civilian population. The Oslo Accords
and the Camp David 2000 summit
negotiations revealed the possibility of a two state system being accepted by Israeli leadership as a possible peace solution.
However, the violence of the second intifada
and the political success of Hamas
(a group dedicated to Israel's destruction) have convinced many Israelis that peace and negotiation are not possible and a two state system is not the answer. Hardliners believe that no territorial concessions should be given to Palestinians and want to maintain an Israeli sovereign state over the whole area it currently occupies, or if it does negotiate with territory in the peace process only with the Gaza Strip
. Israelis view the peace process as hindered and near impossible due to terrorism
on the part of Palestinians and do not trust Palestinian leadership to maintain control. In fact, Pedahzur goes as far as to say that suicide terrorism succeeded where peace negotiations failed in encouraging withdrawal by Israelis from cities in the West Bank
. A common theme throughout the peace process has been a feeling that the Palestinians ask for too much in their peace demands and offer little in return. Read more...