State-Society Relations And The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

AuthorLucian Balanuta
European Integration - Realities and Perspectives. Proceedings 2018
State-society Relations and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict
Lucian Balanuta1
Abstract: It has been argued that president Donald Trump’s decision to recognise Jerusalem as the ethernal
capital of Israel lead to a complete freezing of an Israeli-Palestinian peace process. Judging by the internal
dynamics of both actors, the prospects of an agreement, established on mutual agreed land swaps, have long
been diminished. The theory of neoclassical realism, based on the frame structure by Norrin Ripsman,
Jeffrey Taliaferro and Steven Lobell, provides the mechanism for conceptualizing the factors influencing
decisions on this subject. In such a complex regional envinroment, the external stimuli, translated through
an intervening variable, has a causal effect on the dinamics of reconciliation. Thus, the range of domestic-
level arrangements can interweave responses to systemic and sub-systemic pressure and have a significant
impact on the strategic behavior of a decision factor. This study analyses the determinants of state-society
relations, both in Israel and t he Palestinian Territories, underlining the way they ha d conditioned domestic
leaders’ foreign policy options before and after Trump’s decision. The paper aims to indicate which of these
interactions have causal potential in order to include them inside an explanatory scheme that highlights the
current freezing status of the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.
Keywords: Middle East; Israeli-Palestinian conflict; internal dynamics
1. Theoretical Frame Setup
Since the conclusion of the Oslo Accords (1993) and so far, the talks between Israel and t he
Palestinian Authority have gradually evolved into a deadlock in the matter of conciliation. Often
overshadowed by the current wars in the Middle East, the Israeli-Palestinian case falls into a status of
division that finds increasingly difficult the political perspectives of compromise and peace
The decision of US president, Donald Trump, to recognise Jerusalem as the ehternal capital of Israel,
though it was not considered “takТng a position on any final status Тssues” (The White House, Office
of the Press Secretary, 2017), underlined, at most, the current status-quo where both sides have already
given up the diplomatic opening for a gradual evolution in territorial concessions. The geographical
area delimited by the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River is still disputed in order to satisfy
national aspirations. The lack of dialogue between the two actors amplifies the divisions as time
passes, “dТrect talks have not been organized since t he failure of John Kerry's efforts in April 2014”.
(Black, 2016, p. 459)
Territorial control is seen as a connection with the aspirations of the two actors for stability. Hence the
appreciation of the land, that theoreticians like Joshua S. Goldstein and Jon C. Pevehouse (2008) assert
that due to their association with the integrity of states, territories are cited much more than the
economic or strategic value they Сave.” (p. 240)
1 PСD Student, “Al.I.Cuгa” UnТversТtв of IasТ, RomanТa, Address: 11 Carol I Blvd. Ia si 700506, Romania, E-mail:

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