Cite: Newman, Israeli Attitudes Toward Conflict Resolution in the Post-Oslo Era

Newman, Saul. “Between Optimism and Pessimism: Israeli Attitudes Toward Conflict Resolution in the Post-Oslo Era.” Nationalism and Ethnic Politics18.4 (2012): 476-504.



The Oslo Accords failed to end Israeli-Palestinian violence and led to a final settlement of the conflict. This article examines Israeli attitudes toward conflict resolution and argues that the peace process, despite its setbacks, has increased Israeli support for certain concessions. While support for the “Oslo Process” may have declined, Jewish Israeli acceptance of the creation of a Palestinian state has risen dramatically. Israelis remain committed to continuing the peace process, they just remain highly skeptical that the process will succeed. The article examines the sources of this skepticism. Both lack of trust in Arab aspirations and religiosity are the primary determinants of Israeli unwillingness to make concessions for peace. Trust is tied to present conditions rather than past conditions of conflict. Thus, if trust could be rebuilt, Israeli Jews would be considerably better poised to make political and territorial concessions for peace than they were at the start of the “Oslo Process.” Although the relative fertility rates of Orthodox Jews, compared to secular Jews, might undermine long-term support for peace, this might be counterbalanced by the growing dovishness of young secular Russians socialized in Israel.

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