TheMiddle East conflicts
TheMiddle East is a geographical region that lies between Iran and thePersian Gulf in the east, as well as, Egypt and Turkey in the west.The region extends from Turkey and Iran in the north to Oman andYemen in the south. It is also known as the FertileCrescent (Ong21).The region has been associated with wars since the post-ottomanperiod in the year 1918. One of the historical conflicts in theMiddle East is the Arab – Israeli conflict between Israel and theArab countries. The conflict arose at the end of the 19th centuryafter the rise of Arab nationalism and Zionism. The conflict was dueto territorial disputes where the area regarded as the homeland ofthe Jews in the Bible was also considered as the homeland of Muslimsin the pan-Islamic context. The conflict began in the 20th centuryand escalated into full war in the year 1947. It later developed intothe first Israeli-Arab war in the year 1948 after the establishmentof the state of Israel (Ong22).
Afterthe year 1982, the nature of the war has shifted with years from thelarge scale between Israelis and Arabs into a regional conflictbetween Palestinians and Israeli. In the same year, a peace accordwas reached between Jordan and Israeli that led to a cease-firebetween Baathist and Israel. In the year 2006, a further cease-firebetween Israel and Lebanon was created. The development of theSyrian war led to confrontation in the northern part border betweenSyrian opposition and Hezbollah of the Syrian Republic. The warcreated a complex relationship between Syria and Israel. Despite thevarious peace agreements between Jordan and Egypt, as well as, thepeace accords with Palestine and ceasefires, the Arabic world remainsat odd with each other (Ong34).
Thecontemporary conflict between Israeli and Arabs is due to theirreligious beliefs, and their views of the notion of the chosen peoplein their policies concerning the Promised Land, as well as,the selected city of Jerusalem. The constant conflicts have led tophysical and mental injuries of the Palestinian people. Besides, ithas created the existence of refugees as most Palestinians wereexpelled from their homes (Ong36).
Theopportunity cost of the conflict is 12 trillion United StatesDollars. In terms of human cost, the first conflict led to 92,000deaths comprised of 74,000 military men and 18,000 civilians betweenthe years 1945 to 1995. In terms of the Gross domestic product, thecountries have lost the potential to produce approximately 1, and 5trillion dollars of output for Palestine, and Israel respectively.Had there been peace and cooperation between the Arabs and Israel,the average Israeli citizen would be earning a total of 44,000 UnitedStates Dollars compared to 23,000 United States Dollars in the year2010(Ong39).
Thefirst Arab-Israeli war led the displacement of a majority ofPalestinian Arabs. Thousands of Arabs fled from their homes, or wereexpelled, during the Jewish war of independence. The United Nationsestimated that approximately 726,000 refugees escaped from theIsraeli-controlled territories. The figure represents a majorityseventy percent of Palestinians. It remains impossible to establishthe exact number of Arab refugees living in Palestine after the war(Ong33).
Theconflict has demoralized both the Israeli and Palestine citizens.More than 51,000 Palestinians have been injured and 3, 0000 werekilled. A majority of the casualties were children under the age of18 years, where 1,000 were injured and 14,000 were killed. A majorityof the Palestinian children suffer from permanent disability withinjuries in the upper part of the body including the head and theeyes. Besides, there are nutritional health problems for Palestiniansliving in the West Bank and the Gaza strip. A majority 42% ofchildren aged six years to 39 months are anemic. Other childrensuffer from acute to chronic malnutrition (Ong 31).
Theconflict impacted negatively on the psychological well-being of thechildren. Most of them have acquired physical disabilities whileothers have developed mental impairments. A majority of the childrenare diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (Ong 42).
Thekey short-term effect of the war was the destruction of thePalestinian villages after the expulsion of Palestinian Arabs.Consequently, it disrupted the organization of the Arab society aswell as their economic activities. Property worth millions of dollarswas destroyed. The war disrupted the way of living of the Palestinianpeople, and specifically, transformed them into refugees (Ong 42).
Thewar led to the displacement of Arab Palestinians. The fate of thePalestinian refugees was similar to that of other war victims allover the world, who fled or were driven from their homes, in EasternEurope and the Indian subcontinent after the end of world War II.However, the Palestinian Arabs were never resettled consequently,they remain in the refugee camps to date (Ong 51).
Thesubsequent conflicts after the war between the Arabs and the Israelishave led to a higher rate of unemployment among the Arabs.Specifically, statistics indicate that 45% of the Arabs remainunemployed compared to 6% of the Israeli citizens. The constantconflicts have led to the loss of jobs for approximately 30,000 Arabsin the Gaza region. Besides, the war has led to the loss of more than200 million United States dollars that has resulted in the collapseof the Palestinian economy for the first time since the year 2006(Ong 67).
Thefundamental solution to ending the conflict between the Arabs andIsrael involves the creation of democracies in the Arabic countries.The use of dictatorial leadership in the countries has led to the useof violence to solve territorial disputes. The uses of democraticleadership not only provides the solution to the conflict betweenIsrael and the Arabs, but also for the conflict between inter- Arabicspeaking countries (Ong 79).
Ong,Michael. TheMiddle East Crisis: Losing Control? Canberra:Dept. of the Parliamentary Library, 2000. Print.