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Israel and Palestine - a physical anthropology approach


FredParisFrance 61 / 7  
Nov 14, 2007   #1
Hello,

Could you please read my essay and give me some feedback? Thank you very much!

The prompt is:

In late 1947, the United Nations voted to create a separate Jewish state and Arab state in what was then British Palestine, and, after a short but brutal conflict with the surrounding Arab countries, Israel won its independence. However, independence did not bring peace to the region, and one of the world's most enduring conflicts remains the ongoing conflict between Arabs (and Muslims) and Israel. If you had the ability to impose a solution, how would solve this seemingly insolvable problem?

Thank you in advance
Frederic

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Since 1947, and the United Nations' vote approving the creation of separate Jewish and Arab states in what was then British Palestine, not a single year elapses without fights between proponents of one of the two entities. Every year, lots of seasoned political analysts have provided numerous frameworks and schedules to settle the conflict, but, in the end, no viable solution has ever been accepted in the long term. The international stage considers that the current situation in Israel must be allayed. However, the crux of the matter may lie in the fact that there is no problem at all. It seems that political leaders and their cohorts of political advisers do not intend to consider the idea that conflict could be part of the human nature and that, therefore, wars cannot be prevented. I would defend a biological approach based on physical anthropology that asserts that human's behaviour is the result of the influence of the Darwinian theory of evolution on humankind, in the same way as any other primate species, to demonstrate that multidisciplinary solutions could be implemented.

Although the current tension between Israel and Palestine is mainly rooted in more or less recent political decisions, it is constantly reinforced by demographic pressures. From an evolutionary perspective, Jews and Arabs are now competing for resources in order to survive and, thus, ameliorate their reproductive success. Besides, Israel welcomes thousands of new migrants from abroad on its territory. Palestinian families are rather large and often live in abject poverty because of the seclusion imposed by the Israeli authorities, which hampers their daily commute to work. Consequently, demographic policies aiming at curbing the aggregate populations of Jews and Arabs should be implemented. For instance, the current demographic expansion of the Israeli and Arab populations could be curtailed thanks to the implementation of a limitation of the influx of new migrants in Israel and a policy of birth control in Palestine, on the one hand, and a policy deterring Palestinians who fled their homeland from coming back in the country, on the other. Accordingly, policies reducing the demographic pressures could minimize the competition for resources between Israeli and Palestinians, and thus establish a more serene climate for the settlement of the conflicting relations between those two nations.

The Palestinian economic plight severely impairs the resolution of the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians. From an evolutionary viewpoint, given that policies focusing on decreasing the demographic pressures are not implemented and that their potential effects could not be immediate, the competition for resources is not only fierce but also frequently detrimental to the Palestinians. Indeed, hardly any company can pursue its commercial, industrial, or financial activities in Palestine because of the combats and bombing that recurrently occur in the area. Moreover, the Palestinians seriously suffer from the severe restrictiveness imposed by Israel at the checkpoints, which either put a stop to the Palestinians' commute or dissuade potential investors and entrepreneurs from setting up their businesses in Palestine. Therefore, policies fostering the economic recovery of Palestine should be implemented. For example, at the system-level of international relations, the World Trade Organization could publicize the advantages of the low-cost workforce in Palestine in the agricultural sector while, at the state-system level, Israel and Palestine could provide subsidies for businessmen who would set up companies in Palestine and hire Palestinians . Consequently, policies curbing the economic pressures could downplay the competition for resources between Israeli and Palestinians. Palestinians would not be badly in need of food and daily necessities and, therefore, they would be less eager to air their resentment against the Israel's policy of security through violent acts of retaliation such as bomb attacks. The appeasement created by the implementation of such economic policies could greatly facilitate the necessary peace talks for a resolution of the conflict.

Palestinian and Israeli cultures seriously damage the relations between the two peoples because they are used as means of propaganda, which are utilized to maintain the pursuit of the conflict. From an evolutionary standpoint, that conflicting climate exacerbates the Israeli and Palestinians' respective perception of excessive selective pressures of their allegedly inhospitable environments. Actually, the Jewish and Islamic religions have always played a significant role as an excuse for substantiating the opposition between the Israeli and Arab positions. Furthermore, although Israeli and Arab arts share common topics such as the disillusionment of modern life or the women's role in society, as a large, and in private life, in particular, they are also means of manipulation to fuel violent behaviours thanks to the amplification of negative, destructive emotions, such as derogatory drawings or songs calling to hostility. Accordingly, policies furthering cultural rapprochements between Israeli and Palestinians should be implemented. For instance, ecumenical study groups could develop the archaeological and literary heritage of the area in order to demonstrate that those two peoples share more common points and values as regards religion than moot points. In addition, both states should persuade their own citizens to learn and speak the Arabic and Hebrew languages to facilitate the communication between them. Finally, scholarly works in fields, such as sociology and psychology, laying emphasis on the sociability of those cultures should be published and advertised. As a consequence, policies curtailing the cultural pressures could lessen the perception of social and ethnic contrasts between Israeli and Palestinians. Therefore, that intellectual step in the direction of pacification could prove to be a valuable stage in the laying of the foundations for peace.

The settlement of the conflict between Israel and Palestine clearly highlights the importance of politics, demography, economy, and culture as individual agents of change and as components of a core of stimulus-response processes. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is an epitome for behavioural ecologists because it allows them to stress the evolution of behaviours and behavioural patterns in the direct-opposition type of conflict. This war perfectly exemplifies the interactions of ecological factors as agents of natural selection that have been favoured because they augment the individuals' reproductive fitness. In the specific environmental context of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and at a macro-level, cohesion and aggressive interactions that are present in the area illustrate the significance of those social behaviours in those types of human societies. Consequently, it could be interesting to fall beyond the framework of the physical anthropology to enlarge the scope of such a study to the whole world and to a far much larger time scale in order to corroborate or reject the evolutionary psychology paradigm claiming that aggressive interactions are inherent to the Homo sapiens sapiens species because humankind has inherited that trait from its first hominid ancestors. Such a discovery could greatly influence the field of applied social sciences, from international political counsellors to marriage and family therapists, because it could open new vistas in the management of aggressive behaviours.

EF_Team2 1 / 1,708  
Nov 14, 2007   #2
Greetings!

Here are some tips for your excellent essay:

I would defend a biological approach based on physical anthropology that asserts that human behaviour...

Israelis and Palestinians - correct throughout essay

Besides, Israel welcomes thousands of new migrants from abroad on its territory.

Palestinians would not be badly in need of food and daily necessities and, therefore, they would be less eager to air their resentment against [delete "the"] Israel's policy of security through violent acts of retaliation

Furthermore, although Israeli and Arab arts share common topics such as the disillusionment of modern life or [delete "the"] women's role in society, as a large, and in private life, in particular, they are also means of manipulation to fuel violent behaviours thanks to the amplification of negative, destructive emotions, such as derogatory drawings or songs calling to hostility. - I'm not sure what the phrase "as a large" was meant to say here; also, although it is not technically a run-on sentence, you should consider shortening it.

Consequently, it could be interesting to fall beyond the framework of [delete "the"] physical anthropology to enlarge the scope of such a study to the whole world and to a [ delete either "far" or "much"] larger time scale in order to corroborate or reject the evolutionary psychology paradigm claiming that aggressive interactions are inherent to the Homo sapiens sapiens species because humankind has inherited that trait from its first hominid ancestors. - Again, this sentence is too long; the reader becomes lost (and somewhat breathless) by the end.

Good work!

Thanks,

Sarah, EssayForum.com


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