The conflicts in the Middle East are the results of a natural collision of cultures and values or the results of Western imperialist meddling in the region has been a contentious topic of discussion. On the opposite end of the spectrum, this essay contends that the “clash of civilizations” debate is an effort to defend Western dominance in the Middle East and acts as a self-fulfilling prophecy that causes further unrest in the region. Ethnic, national, historical, and religious motives all play a part in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
This article concentrates on the religious aspect of the struggle, which both historical and contemporary occurrences indicate is its fundamental cause. That much is practically a given. Less frequently acknowledged, however, is the extent to which religion shapes the identities of those involved in the conflict, the practical concerns at hand, the pertinent legislation, and the attitudes of participants on both sides who are not religious.
First, the aforementioned argument will be looked at three times in this essay. Secondly, comprehend Huntington’s theory and determine which elements of the Israel-Palestine conflict mirror those of a “clash of civilizations.” Then, show how the disputes have been misrepresented as the result of differences between Western and Middle Eastern ideals, which justifies Western supremacy as the outcome of a clash between the two cultures. Finally, discuss why this false depiction of warring civilizations is a potent political tool employed by the West and a perilous self-fulfilling prophecy that might come to pass and alter the course of modern politics.
The Arab world is engulfed in unrest and bloodshed. During several cross-continental conflicts, a clear pattern emerged. States gathered assistance from neighboring states that were nearby.
These governments increased public support by highlighting shared culture and identity. Fundamentalism grew as a result of the area. These characteristics resemble the “clash of civilizations” theory put forth by Samuel P. Huntington. Conflicts are unavoidable in a world with two civilizations of comparable economic and military power, according to Huntington. Clash of Civilizations. The dominant civilization will feel pressure to hold onto power and defend its fundamentally distinct values and interests.
Yes, on a broad scale. Particularly in Sheikh Jarrah, the controversy dates back to the 19th century, when Jews who had left what is now Israel started to return and began purchasing real estate from local Palestinians. Between 1948 and 1967, the land was occupied by the Jordanians. Israelis are once again claiming ownership of it. Because Sheikh Jarrah is located in East Jerusalem, which many Palestinians want to be designated as the capital of a future Palestinian state, the dispute there has greater political significance. Regardless of their opinions on a Palestinian state, many Israelis think that all of Jerusalem must stay under Israeli authority.
The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is mostly a land dispute. The conflict, which pits different ethnicities and religions against each other, is frequently represented by religion. It should come as no surprise that tensions tend to increase during Jewish and Muslim religious holidays. But Israel, which occupies territory that Hamas believes to be naturally Palestinian, is where Hamas wants to go to war, not with Judaism. Colonialism.
If we look more closely at the issues related to the permanent status of Israel—borders, security, reciprocal recognition, refugees, Jewish settlements in the West Bank, and the question of who has control over Jerusalem—we discover that the last two are closely related to the worldwide religions of Jews and Muslims. Because the city contains holy places for Christians, Jews, and Muslims, the original ownership and sovereignty over Jerusalem are seriously disputed.
Jerusalem has been assaulted fifty-two times, captured and recovered forty-four times, besieged twenty-three times, and destroyed twice during this struggle. Israel-Palestine.
So, what seems to be a straightforward antagonism between the West and the Middle East based on philosophical differences is profoundly ingrained in the narrative of Western intervention in the Middle Eastern region. For instance, Britain’s fulfillment of three commitments about the division of Ottoman Palestine after World War II precipitated the alleged theological conflict between Israel and Palestine. The British gave the Zionists the 1917 Balfour Declaration, the French gave Sharif Hussein, the ruler of Mecca, the 1916 Sykes-Picot Agreement, and the League gave mandates. So, the fight that purports to be a clash of civilizations is a conflict over land that was triggered by the British imperialists’ “imaginative geographies.”
The “clash of civilizations” thesis is essentially a self-fulfilling prophecy that acts as a potent political tool. It supports imperialism by the West in the Arab countries. Politicians acting in their interests have turned Huntington’s prediction that people of different races and religions will eventually clash violently as a result of irreconcilable differences into reality. The clash of civilizations thesis thus acts as a self-fulfilling prophecy that feeds the vicious cycle of distortion and hatred, as well as a weapon for the West to manipulate others.
The extent to which Western dominance permeates modern politics was understated by Huntington’s argument. The challenge of allowing non-Western nations to influence and make history alongside influential Western players was simultaneously understated. Although certain elements of Huntington’s concept may be reflected in the various conflicts in the Middle East, these conflicts are considerably more complex. This demonstrates the significance of validating these nations’ historical narratives. Conflicts in the Middle East.
The Israeli-Palestinian conflict cannot be categorized as a fault line war according to Samuel P. Huntington’s definition of such a conflict.
A clear and succinct definition of civilization is one of the issues if we carefully consider the provided civilizational criteria. This issue is most prevalent in Western civilization, although it can also be found to some degree in Islamic civilization, African civilization, and other civilizations. The question that now emerges is whether states that belong to particular civilizations meet all of Huntington’s definition’s requirements.
The second issue resulting from his concept is the potential standards for identifying which group belongs to a specific civilization. The classification criteria for the fault line battle, which, according to Huntington, are as follows, raise a similar query: the close vicinity of two different civilizations, as well as their own cultures, religions, social systems, and historical memories. The application of these criteria to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict reveals that these criteria are rather nebulous, require further explanation, and provide a sizable amount of room for various writers’ interpretations. The Culture of Conflict.
The geographic proximity of the fighting parties is undeniable, but as has been previously mentioned, it is unclear whether this is the conflict’s inescapable origin. In contrast to simple geography, it appears that elements like nationalism and Palestinians’ discontent with the status quo are more important. The fact that two Muslim countries—Egypt and Jordan—have direct borders with Israel and have been coexisting in peace for many years despite a history of animosity and wars might serve as a suitable illustration for such a claim. Indeed, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is a political one with elements of nationalism and religious passion. The Huntington theory tries to defend Western imperialist attitudes.
The author is an MPhil Scholar at the School of Politics and International Relations, Quaid I Azam University Islamabad. Her areas of interest are Middle East and South Asia, International Law, and Gender Issues. The author can be contacted at email@example.com. She Tweets: @maria_mansab