What role do third parties play in the Arab-Israeli conflict, and to what extent do domestic political constraints shape this role? Answering these questions has important ramifications for understanding the interplay between domestic and international politics. One useful tool to conduct this research is the two-stage decision-making framework, Poliheuristic (Ph) Decision Theory, which eliminates options from the choice set that do not meet domestic political requirements. This paper applies Ph theory to a case study from the conflict’s infancy, the British decision in 1922 to affirm the policy of a Jewish national home (based on the Balfour Declaration 1917) despite violent Arab opposition. It argues that the decision was based solely on domestic political needs and did not attempt to address tensions in Palestine. It concludes that Ph theory provides a highly effective theory of decision-making for assessing motivations and policy decisions of third parties in the Arab-Israeli conflict.
The Palestinian UN bid has the potential to enhance Palestinian claims for respect of human rights and international law and mobilise international opposition to Israel’s unlawful conduct. Participation in international organisations and ratification of treaties fortify Palestine’s legal and political status within the international legal order, enabling it to call for the non-recognition by third states of unlawful Israeli conduct in the context of their inter-state relations with Israel. The UN bid also facilitates access to international courts, including the International Court of Justice and International Criminal Court, which may deter Israel’s unlawful conduct and contribute to the production of normative assessments of situations under Palestinian jurisdiction.