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Arab-Israeli Conflict In Perspective

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Chapter Summary

The Middle East conflict has been shaped by an array of complex historic events. The core of the Arab-Israeli conflict remains an open wound, and the main obstacle to a comprehensive Arab-Israeli peace. The Palestinian-Israeli conflict has come to condition inter-Arab and intra-Arab politics and is extending to almost all Muslim countries of the world, feeding into the growing populist Islamic nationalism. Israel's perception of its security needs dominates its foreign and domestic policy. Israeli military strategy after the 1948 war was essentially defensive, but the country took on an essentially offensive strategy with the 1956 war. Jerusalem and other areas of Palestine contain many Holy Sites of the highest religious significance to Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. The dehumanization and demonization of the Palestinian people and the destruction of the Palestinian economy and its social structure have bred extraordinary despair.

Keywords: Arab Jerusalem; Arab-Israeli conflict; Islamic nationalism; Palestinian-Israeli peace process

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