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Actors in the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

Interests, Narratives and the Reciprocal Effects of the Occupation

SWP Research Paper 2018/RP 03, 08.06.2018, 59 Pages Research Areas

The study examines the ways in which the Israeli-Palestinian conflict shapes and transforms the interests, narratives and options of relevant actors, in light of the failure of peace talks and the continuing occupation of the West Bank. The first contribution examines the Israeli discourse, laying out how the absence of resolution creates a paradoxical situation where majorities exist both for a two-state solution and against a Palestinian state. This translates politically into growing paralysis in relation to possible peace talks.

The second contribution analyses how the Palestinian leaderships in Ramallah and Gaza City relate to the Israeli occupying power, within a spectrum of negotiations, resistance rhetoric and direct and indirect cooperation. The contribution also elaborates how the leaderships unintentionally became accessories to the occupying power. The third contribution explores how the EU’s engagement suffers a discrepancy between stated objectives (two-state solution, Palestinian development) and achieved outcomes. It proposes concrete measures for resolving the conundrum. The fourth contribution examines the humanitarian organisation UNRWA, which operates under conditions of occupation and – inevitably but unwillingly – becomes a party to the conflict.

The fifth and last contribution examines the Israel lobby in the United States. Whether the occupation of the West Bank lies in Israel’s interests is found to be increasingly controversial among American Jews, and creating divisions within the Israel lobby.

Table of Contents

Map: West Bank, Gaza Strip and Golan Heights
p. 4

Issues and Recommendations
p. 5–7

Peter Lintl
Repercussions of the Unresolved Conflict on Israeli Power Constellations and Actor Perspectives
p. 7–20

Muriel Asseburg
The Palestinian Authority and the Hamas Government: Accessories to the Occupation?
p. 21–31

René Wildangel
The European Union and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: From Declaration to Action?
p. 32–42

Birthe Tahmaz
Why the Permanent Tensions between UNRWA and Israel?
p. 43–50

Lidia Averbukh
Actor in Flux: The Jewish Israel Lobby in the United States
p. 51–57

p. 58

p. 58

p. 59