The Age Old Conundrum

The current state of affairs in the Middle East is, yet again, disinheriting to say the least. The conflict, anger, and hate within this region has plagued news outlets for years and seeing the developing horizon of further conflict between Israel and Palestine is disappointing to be accustomed to hearing. Currently, this blight is being referred to as a “Gordian Knot” or an incredibly deep and complex conundrum. Given the current political  climate of the states involved  and interactions between the countries’ leaders as well as accompanying allies this reference to being a Gordian Knot is all too accurate. As of now the projected means of easing tensions in this region is a meeting between U.S. Secretary of State, John Kerry, and the Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, the information being discussed can only be speculated. Palestinian involvement is incredibly problematic in this particular situation; aside from these two countries’  ruthless hatred for one another there is also a shift in future plans for region partitioning. The collective goal is to forego the establishment of “two state solution partitioned lands” in favor of a “unitary state” so as to have each state maintain their full power and the upper hand in their own way. On top of all this, Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas is on the path to press charges against Israel in the International Criminal Court for their Gaza Campaign in 2014.

This is an incredibly important topic for people to, at the very least, be familiar with. The Middle East is always a region of extensive tension and strife and it could be rather regular and desensitizing to hear that the Middle East (especially Israel and Palestine) has erupted in conflict; despite this it involves one of the United States’ greatest allies and being familiar with our  brothers and sisters overseas is incredibly important. As well as the many lives being lost and injustices occurring at any and all times. This conflict is shrouded by much grey area and the innocent civilians caught in the crossfire, on both ends, are paying for this conflict with their lives.

This news article can be roughly tied to two readings consulted in class, Do Alliances Deter Aggression? The Influence of Military Alliances on the Initiation of Militarized Interstate Disputes by Leeds and Interests, Institutions, and the Reliability of International Commitments by Leeds, Mattes, and Vogel. This situation can be compared to these readings in the sense that the U.S. and Israel are in a military alliance and have been helpful to one another over the years of working together. However this ideal of working together has recently hit a point of much difficulty due to  the increased lack of support from Israel because of the recent Iranian Nuclear deal. Will we find out if military alliances lead to peace and deter aggression? Or will fundamental differences on foreign policy evoke conflict  

Main Article

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-34574958

Supporting Articles

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-34513693

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-18008697

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-20033995

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-29123668

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-29362505

Consulted Readings

Leeds, B.A. (2003)  Do Alliances Deter Aggression? The Influence of Military Alliances on the Initiation of Militarized Interstate Disputes. American Journal of Political Science

Leeds, B.A., Mattes, M., and Vogel, J.S. (2009) Interests, Institutions, and the Reliability of International Commitments. American Journal of Political Science. 

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