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Conflicts - Essay Example

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Israel and Iran: Cold War Years Name Instructor 23 October 2013 ISRAEL AND IRAN: COLD WAR YEARS Iran and Israel do not have common borders, have not attacked each other in a war and have no problems with territorial claims, and yet they are now in a sensitive state of cold war years (Menashri 2006: 109)…
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Download file to see previous pages At present, newly-elected Iranian president Hassan Rouhani is supposed to be more moderate than hard-liners President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and the Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, but Ahmadinejad was recently quoted as saying: “Israel is a wound on the body of the world of Islam that must be destroyed” (Fisher 2013). The quote was later on changed by Iranian media. These circumstances underlie the historical conflict between Israel and Iran and how their leaders’ mindsets and biases can impact peace or war in the future. The paper explores the causes and consequences of the ongoing shadow conflict between Iran and Israel, also called its Cold War Years, and the consequences of the conflict on Israel’s broader Palestinian conflict and Arab conflicts. CAUSES OF CONFLICT Israel-Iran relations started with synergy and ended in years of shadow conflict. Before the rise of the Islamic Regime in Iran, Israel and Iran shared common ties. All that changed when in 1979, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini ousted the Shah from power and started Iran's Islamic Revolution. Fatah Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat helped bring about these political changes (Schanzer 2009: 30). As Khomeini remained in exile in France, Arafat’s Lebanon-based guerrilla network, the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) supported the former by giving military training and weapons (Schanzer 2009: 30). The first members of Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) received training and equipment from Arafat (Schanzer 2009: 30). Khomeini showed gratitude by closing the Israeli embassy in Tehran and flying a Palestinian flag overhead. The embassy building was turned into a place for an official PLO agency with its own ambassador (Schanzer 2009: 30). The Iran-Iraq War in the 1980-1988 disrupted ties between Arafat and Khomeini. The Palestinians supported Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, while Khomeini thwarted Arafat's efforts to mediate between Iran and Iraq. In 1988, Arafat decided to have peace talks with Israel during the United Nations congress, which punctuated his relationship with Khomeini. In 1989, Khomeini's descendant, supreme leader Ali Khamenei condemned Arafat as “a traitor and an idiot” (Schanzer 2009: 30). One of the main reasons that Arafat changed his disposition toward Israel is the outburst in 1987 of the first intifada, which refers to the aggressive Palestinian resistance effort in the territories that the Jewish state held. During this time, Arafat was in Tunisia, where he was exiled after his ousting from Lebanon in 1982. With the uprising spreading, Arafat gave orders to the Palestinians loyalists in the territories to control other groups, including the Unified National Leadership of the Uprising (Schanzer 2009: 30). Arafat had problems managing the conflict from Tunisia, however, which made it easy for members of the Palestinian Muslim Brotherhood to establish a breakaway organization called Harakat al-Muqawama al-Islamiyya (Islamic Resistance Movement), also called Hamas. On February 1988, Hamas spread leaflets that opposed the leadership of Arafat. Hamas worked with the Unified National Leadership of the Uprising in a propaganda war that enticed the faithfulness of West Bank and Gaza Palestinians (Schanzer 2009: 30). These organizations were not entirely at ease because they ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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