Semantics or Substance: Case 229

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Semantics or Substance: Case 229 The nations within the borders of the Middle East are no strangers to violent conflicts. They have been dealing with conflict since before the crusades, so it should come as no surprise that a tremendous amount of political discord has been aimed towards pacifying the region. With the history of hostility and the abundance of certain resources (oil) in the Middle East, it has been one of the primary interests of western nations to try and build a sustainable peace within the region. One of the issues at the heart of these Middle Eastern conflicts is the creation of Israel after WWII in 1947. The UN backed Resolution 181 partitioned Palestine and effectively left the Palestinian people without a homeland after Israel declared its independence. The Israeli/Palestinian conflict hit its peak on December 9, 1987 when the Palestinian uprising against Israeli occupation (known as the intifada) began. Approximately one year later the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) president Yasir Arafat made a speech accepting U.S. conditions to begin a political dialogue in hopes of attaining peace and a Palestinian state. Although the dialogue between the United States and PLO has yet to lead to the creation of a Palestinian state, it is important to realize the progress this resolution represents and to examine the factors that came together to create this resolution. Looking at this case, it is easy to see that that there are three primary players involved, Israel, Palestine, and the United States. When dealing with this case, it is crucial to examine how these different players interact with one another and why they act the way they do. In this case, the United States is represented primarily by Secretary of State George P. Schultz, while the Palestinians are represented by Yasir Arafat and the PLO. Israel is not really represented by any
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