Mitrani, Mor, and Galia Press-Barnathan. “The (De)Construction of ‘Economic Peace’: ‘Economic Peace’ Strategies in the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict. Between Theory and Reality.” In Regional Peacemaking and Conflict Management: A Comparative Approach (ed. Carmela Lutmar and Benjamin Miller; Abingdon and New York: Routledge, 2016): 200-18.
Our review of the several economic policies that Israel considered and partially pursued regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict over the years, as well as their overall failure, demonstrated not only the Gordian knot between the Commercial and Capitalist Peace, but also the need to think about the scope conditions that enable the Economic Peace arguments to play out. This case suggests that such arguments are less likely to be relevant for the resolution of asymmetric conflicts. In terms of power asymmetry, as we explain before economic interaction generates either concern and fear in the weaker party, or a temptation to be used as leverage by the powerful party. Such broad disparities also mean lack of significant mutual economic gains that may push both parties toward an agreement. In terms of actor asymmetry, the Palestinian case demonstrates that for a non-state actor fighting for recognition, economic considerations will always be trumped if and when they imply cooperation with the other side at the expense of the broader political-national goal of achieving political independence.