Escalating to Nowhere: The Israeli-Palestinian War - Peace with Violence versus Violence without Peace
January 13, 2005
In late September 2004, the Israeli-Palestinian War will enter its fifth year. The conflict that began in September 2000 is much more than an uprising. It is a low-intensity war, in which asymmetric warfare has replaced the peace process, and politics have become an extension of war by other means. Both sides attempt to exploit sympathies in the international media, both have received support from outside actors, both have proved willing to use international law, human rights and civilian casualties to legitimize their individual position, while demonizing their opponents. Despite efforts to achieve peace, the conflict has remained bitter, the opposing sides polarized, and the attainment of real, lasting peace distant.
Escalating to Nowhere: The Israeli-Palestinian War examines the historical, political and security dimensions of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. It explores major events and issues; causes and consequences of the use of asymmetric tactics; the capabilities, tactics and motivations of each side; the relationship between settlements and suicide bombers; and issues that have been the most significant obstacles to peace. In addition, the study considers the potential cost of "peace with violence" if and when a settlement is achieved.
This study is a work in progress. Updated chapters will be made available as they are completed. This draft represents the working views of the author. It will change substantially over time as comments and suggestions are received, and it does not reflect final conclusions or the views of the CSIS.