The Middle East has been on the scene of numerous catastrophic events in recent years, including three confrontations since the year 1980: the eight-year Iran and Iraq war from 1980 to 1988, the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 1982, and the United States-led war against Iraq in 1991. These three confrontations not only inflicted heavy damage on the economic infrastructures of Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, and Lebanon, they also led to an important increase in the U. S. involvement in the region. (Amirahmadi ix) The Middle East remains the most incessant of global drawing catastrophic events.
In recent years, the relationship between the United States and of the Middle East has been everything but diplomatic as a result of bombings, high jacking, and the attack on the USS Stark which killed twenty marines. These incidents are quite distinguished in many parts of the world, not only does it strike terror and fear to humanity but in questioning when these cataclysmic events will stop seems tedious, if not, unattainable. President’s Bill Clinton and George Bush have had their chances of making peace with that part of map, so why is it that they have failed?
What did they do wrong that caused more trouble for the US? This thesis study aims to give clarifications to the Clinton and Bush administration policies to bring down Middle East’s uprising, how peace plan policy’s were formulated, How plans were made to bring down Saddam Hussein, and how everything president’s Bill Clinton and George W. Bush planned went downward. The conflict between Jews and Palestine’s is a modern phenomenon that began on the turn of the 20th century. Although these two groups have different religions, religious differences aren’t the cause of the clash.
It is a struggle over land. In 1948, the area that both groups claimed was known internationally as Palestine. But following the war of 1948 to 1949, this land was divided into three parts: the state of Israel, the West Bank of the Jordan River and the Gaza Strip. Jewish claims to this land are based on the biblical promise to Abraham and his descendants on the fact that this was the historical site of the Jewish kingdom of Israel. Palestinian Arabs’ claims to the land are based on unremitting residence in the country for hundreds of years and the fact that they stand for the demographic majority.
They reject the idea that a biblical-era kingdom make up the basis for a valid claim. In 40 years since the Middle East war of June in 1967, there have been many peace plans and many discussions. Some of these have been doing well, including those between Egypt and Israel, as well as those of Israel and Jordan, but a settlement has still not been reached in the central part of the conflict, the argument between the Israelis and Palestinians. The Declaration of Principles was based on mutual recognition of Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO).
It acknowledged that Israel would pull out from the Gaza Strip, Jericho, and further unspecified areas of the West Bank during a five-year temporary period. During this period, the PLO formed a Palestinian Authority (PA) with self-governing powers in the areas from which Israeli forces were redeployed. In January 1996, elections were held for a Palestinian Legislative Council and for the presidency of the PA, which was won by Yasir Arafat. The key issues were set aside to be discussed in final status talks. The process was to have been completed by May 1999.
There were delays due to Israel’s lack of enthusiasm to renounce control over the occupied territories, refusal to make the kinds of negotiations necessary to reach a final status accord, and periodic outbursts of aggression by Palestinian opponents of the Oslo process (especially HAMAS and Jihad. During the Likud’s return to power in 1996-1999) Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu avoided engaging seriously in the Oslo process, which he distrusted and fundamentally opposed. Final negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians begun in mid-1996, but only started in mid-2000.
Followed by, a series of painfully negotiated Israeli provisional withdrawals left the Palestinian Authority with direct control of some 40 percent of the West Bank and 65 percent of the Gaza Strip. The Palestinians’ expectations were not put up by the Oslo accords. The Oslo process required the Palestinians to make their principal compromises at the beginning, while Israel’s principal compromises of the PLO were to be made in the final status talks. The Bush administration’s default position is to ignore the Israeli-Palestinian conflict simply.
Bush has never sought the resumption of the Oslo process that became past its best. Nor has Bush seized the opportunities presented by succeeding iterations of the Saudi-drafted peace plan endorsed by the Arab League. Instead, Bush has ridden shotgun while Israeli Prime Ministers Ariel Sharon and Ehud Olmert have driven events, first with refusal even to meet Palestinian leaders and then with unilateral measures like the August 2005 “disengagement” from Gaza and four far-flung West Bank settlements.
As a result, the two-state solution, identified by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice in 2006 as a “personal goal,” has faded further and further from view, overshadowed by expanded settlements and the 25-foot concrete wall in East Jerusalem and parts of the West Bank. At the same time, and unlike the Clinton administration, the Bush administration has participated in what appears to be an international body supervising the Israeli-Palestinian file—the Quartet of the United States, the United Nations secretariat, the European Union and Russia.
Notably, the White House joined the Quartet before “multilateralism” and “working with our allies” became Democratic and realist talking points in the foreign policy establishment’s feeble campaign to stop the invasion of Iraq. So the Quartet cannot be dismissed as a mere sop to domestic critics, but it certainly has been a representation of internationalization. It is often said that the Quartet is a tool for sanding the rough edges off US policy preferences, in particular through the moderating influence of the UN and the EU.
In practice, however, the Quartet has mostly served to cloak the Bush administration’s unilateral peace-blocking policy in the garb of international legitimacy. The Bush administration has continued its Clinton’s policy of providing weaponry and funds to Israel, thus directly fueling the conflict and supporting the occupation. Also like Clinton, the Bush administration banned a U. N. Security Council resolution that would have put observers on the ground in the Occupied Territories because Israel doesn’t like the idea. Long-standing U. S.
policy has been to oppose the building of settlements, and various administrations have referred to them as “illegal” and as “obstacles to peace. ” (Masra) To understand the Al-Aqsa Intifada, we must understand the context: a people fighting for liberty from military occupation. To seek an end to the violence-the vast majority which is perpetrated against Palestinians. The Al-Aqsa Intifada started in September 2000 in reply to Ariel Sharon’s trip to the Temple Mount in Jerusalem on September 28th. The Temple Mount is also the site of the Al-Aqsa Mosque, from which the rebellion takes its name.
This trip was seen by many to be a confrontational motion intended at inciting the Palestinians because the mosque is considered the third holiest site for Muslims. Many Israelis viewed Sharon’s trip as an in-house political move against Prime Minister Ehud Barak. Some sources contend that the Intifada was planned by the Palestinian Authority. In addition, the Israeli administration received some guarantees from the Palestinian administration that Sharon’s trip to the Temple Mount would not cause hostility. Contrary to some reports, Sharon did not enter the mosque itself.
Regardless, violent Palestinian demonstrations occurred on September 29th. Israeli police used rubber-coated metal bullets and live bullets to break up the stone-throwing protesters and in the process killed four and wounded two-hundred Palestinians. Following these demonstrations, similar protests broke out across Israel. The hostility in September 2000 was preceded by the collapse in peace talks at Camp David in July 2000. Israelis and President Bill Clinton blamed Yasir Arafat for disrupting the negotiations and refusing to allow them to proceed.
Debate at Sharm-el-Sheikh in October to end the violence produced considered an authoritative report on Al-Aqsa Intifada. The aggression reported was blamed on both the Israelis and the Palestine’s. Both sides vowed to put an end to the violence. At an Arab League summit in Cairo though, Arafat and other Arab leaders commended the Intifada. Shortly, a suicide bombing in Jerusalem distended apprehension and diminished the hopes of finishing the aggression. No accord was reached during the conference in Washington in December of 2000, also.
President Clinton’s proposal called for Palestinian control of the West Bank, full control over Gaza, of West Bank airspace, an international force in the Jordan Valley to replace the Israeli Defense Force (IDF), and control over Arab neighborhoods in Jerusalem and the Haram as Sharif. The Israelis accepted Clinton’s pitch with worries and the Palestinians did not react before the cut-off date. Negotiations at Taba in January 2001 failed to produce an agreement either. Violence continued over the course of 2001.
All the way through 2002-2003, Israel used targeted shootings to take action and the violence continued. The Israeli administration during 2003 began construction of a security fence to disconnect the West Bank from Israel. The fence was initially planned to run along the Israel’s pre-1967 border but under Sharon’s plan, the fence would take in some Israeli settlements within the West Bank. In addition to the safety measures fence plan, Sharon began to sponsor for independent Israeli detachment from the Gaza Strip settlements and some settlements in the West Bank.
The Israeli’s action and immediate assembly of the safety measures resulted in a quick decrease in the number of suicide attacks performed by Palestinian rebel organizations: there were sixty (60) suicide attacks in 2002; while in 2003 their number decreased by more than 50% to twenty-six suicide attacks. There was also a substantial reduce in the number of losses: from 452 Israeli’s killed in 2002 to 214 in 2003. The detachment plan of Israel was put into place in August 2005, withdrawing settlers from Gaza and four settlements in the West Bank.
Sharon suffered a massive stroke in January of 2006 and control of the Israeli administration fell to Ehud Olmert. Hamas, was triumphant in Palestinian elections held in January of the same year and Olmert’s Kadima Party retained power in Israeli elections in March of 2006. Hamas did not stop from commencing missiles from the Gaza Strip and on June 25, 2006 25th they captured an Israeli corporal after killing two other Israeli soldiers in an attack on an Israeli boundary post near Gaza. Hamas’s actions led to Operation Summer Rains, one of the major events on Gaza.
The killings continued and on July 12th, Hizbullah activists killed three Israeli soldiers in the north and captured two others. This left Israel no choice but to launch Operation Just Reward, a continued bombing movement against southern Lebanon. The Al-Aqsa Intifada on no account authoritatively ended and it has been arguable whether the proceedings after February of 2005 should be considered part of the revolt or as an autonomous event. From September of 2000 until February of 2005, roughly around 3,300 Palestinians were murdered and roughly 950-1010 Israelis were murdered.
If there’s one thing nearly all experts have the same opinion on is that Yasser Arafat’s negative response of the land-for-peace offer made by Ehud Barak at Camp David in the summer of 2000 was undefended. This conventional wisdom has been a great asset to Ariel Sharon (Israel prime minister 2001-2006). The implication that Arafat was never really concerned in a two-state solution to begin with has turned many former Peace Corps in both Israel and America into hard-liners.
An example is San Francisco’s Rabbi Martin Weiner, president of the Rabbinical Association of Reform Judaism. “For most of us Prime Minister Barak’s proposals seemed so generous,” he explained. He can’t understand how Arafat could have rejected the Palestinian state that was offered to him in the summer of 2000. Given this rejection, and Arafat’s subsequent sponsoring of terrorism, Weiner is approaching belief that Yasser Arafat’s goal may have always been the destruction of Israel. (Wright) The Clinton administration’s essential strategy was to maintain sanctions on Iraq.
The policy was thoroughly insufficient to the nature of the risk that was posed, particularly as it became known after Hussein Kamil’s defection. But, the peace and prosperity America enjoyed during the nineties rounded popular feelings about the survival of risk from Iraq. This general smugness was reinforced by a strong tendency among the Iraqi policy-making circles to modify their work to hold the Clinton administration’s position. The administration will inherit not so much a policy on Iraq, as eight years of neglect.
If the new administration continues on the path laid then it will find that the risk Saddam posed will rise during its term in office. The option is to decide on undertaking a dynamic policy toward Iraq that would entail reestablishing the goal of the administration that fought the Gulf War: ousting Saddam. If the new administration were to make a serious and credible commitment to that goal, it would have support from a significant number of states in the region, including Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan and Turkey.
However, the second Bush administration, like the first, may see itself surprised by another major act of Iraqi aggression and it will probably be significantly different from the previous Gulf War. Above all, it will probably not be limited to predictable weapons. In fact, it may prove to be the shocking but influential event, that ends the satisfaction, egotism, and overpowering consensus that led to the recurrence of the Saddam threat to begin with. WORKS CITED ? Reynolds, Paul. ” History of Failed Peace Talks. ” BBC News Monday, 21st of May 2007, http://news.
bbc. co. uk/2/hi/middle_east/6666393. stm ? Weizmen, Steve. Israel threatens Hamas political leaders”. Yahoo News Monday, 21st of May 2007 http://news. yahoo. com/s/ap/20070522/ap_on_re_mi_ea/israel_palestinians ? Ross, Dennis B. “Think Again: Yasir Arafat. ” Foreign Policy July, 2002 ? Isseroff, Ami. “Israel and Palestine– A Brief History”. Mideastweb. 19th of February 2007 ? Fisk, Robert. “Assad and Clinton fail to come to agreement on resuming talks. ” The Independent (London). March, 2000 http://findarticles.
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