Bren Carlill

‘An Impossible Peace?: A Re-Examination of the Israeli-Palestinian Dispute’ (PhD in History, 2019).

This work argues that the Israeli-Palestinian dispute consists of multiple conflicts, and that each of these conflicts are one of two distinct types of conflict, either ‘territorial’ or ‘existential’. It discusses why many parties to and observers of the dispute are unaware that more than one type of conflict exists, and are therefore confused as to what type of conflict the parties are in, what needs to be done to manage or resolve the dispute, and that reacting to the only conflict they perceive themselves to be in often impacts negatively on other conflicts in which they are unknowing participants.

In sum, this thesis: proposes and defines a new paradigm (the territorial/existential dichotomy) that explains the intractability of the Israeli-Palestinian dispute; uses the dichotomy to examine the dispute’s history; and explores the failed attempts to resolve it, again through the lens of the dichotomy. The main objective of this work is to explain why many analyses of the dispute — and attempts to resolve it — are flawed. In doing so, this work will show that until policy makers see the dispute through the prism of the territorial/existential dichotomy, future attempts at peace will be all but certain to fail.

Supervisors: Dr Dvir Abramovich, Associate Professor Ziva Shavitsky.