While the Israeli–Palestinian conflict has raged for decades, in all of its ramifications there has never been a totally structured or scientific approach to the conflict with all of its details. The Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP) approaches the problem along these lines. There are a plethora of reasons why the traditional face to face negotiations have broken down over the years. This paper identifies a significant number of those impediments and indicates how the AHP can productively address them. A summary of the highlights of the AHP approach precedes how it has been applied to the Israeli–Palestinian conflict. To date, the participants, significant members of both communities, have derived and agreed upon a solution that includes all the major issues, except for the refugee problem. That problem is currently being worked on, but will take an extended period because of the unique factors involved. What has been provided is an agreed upon solution to virtually all of the issues impeding past negotiations, including borders, settlements, the status of Jerusalem, the Holy Places, security and expectations of each side.
The Israeli demand that Palestinians recognize Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people and the Palestinian demand that Israelis recognize the Palestinian refugees’ moral right to return express the two peoples’ need to have their respective causes affirmed by the “other side.” Yet, the two causes are irreconcilable as are the core political narratives that give them meaning. The question then arises as to whether an end to the conflict can even be conceptualized, let alone implemented, with the two peoples adhering to their core narratives and expecting affirmation of their respective causes. This paper’s argument is that John Rawls’ later work contains resources that allow for such a conceptualization. An overlapping consensus over a list of common acknowledgments is possible between adherents to the two peoples’ core narratives. In that list, which is proposed in the paper, each of the two peoples can see its cause implicitly affirmed and its need for recognition met, without having to abandon its core narrative or to explicitly grant the demand for recognition made on it by the other side. Thus, the irreconcilability of narratives does not present an insurmountable obstacle to conceptualizing potentially just and stable relations between the two peoples.
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This paper examines theoretical propositions regarding the social mechanisms that produce hostility and discriminatory attitudes towards out-group populations. Specifically, we compare the effect of perceptions of socio-economic and national threats, social contact and prejudice on social distance expressed towards labour migrants. To do so, we examine exclusionary views held by majority and minority groups (Jews and Arabs) towards non-Jewish labour migrants in Israel. Data analysis is based on a survey of the adult Israeli population based on a stratified sample of 1,342 respondents, conducted in Israel in 2007. Altogether, our results show that Israelis (both Jews and Arabs) are resistant to accepting and integrating foreigners into Israeli society. Among Jews, this is because the incorporation of non-Jews challenges the definition of Israel as a Jewish state and poses a threat to the homogeneity of the nation. Among Arabs, this is probably due to threat and competition over resources. The meanings of the findings are discussed within the unique ethno-national context of Israeli society and in light of sociological theories on ethnic exclusionism.