The Palestinians have never the Jewish version of history and desire to have all the land returned to them. This conflict is intractable and there is little hope of a resolution in the immediate future.
In applying Reinhold Niebuhrs Christian realism to the conflict summarized above it should be noted that Niebuhr was a Zionist who strongly supported the right of Israel to occupy the land and defend itself. His Christian realism combines there elements of realism, political realism, moral realism and theological realism (Moseley 23). Thus, the conflict must be understood firstly as a problem on sin in the lives of the inhabitants of the area. The groups involved will firstly need to understand their action as a product of a sinful experience (Inboden). They should be prepared to act in moral and right way toward their fellow men. The Jews should be prepared to live peacefully with the Palestinians as an expression of this moral position. Unfortunately, the Palestinian position may not allow this to occur so that a pragmatic decision must be made as to how to live in that situation.
Each party in the conflict is motivated by self-interest (Hodges). The self-interest is corrupted by the politics of power and the exigencies of sin. Thus, the position taken by Israel or the Palestinians is driven by self-interest that is counter to the interest of the other nation. This type of conflict is very difficult to resolve because it requires groups to act in ways that is against what they may consider to be in their best interest. Additionally, Israel has the benefit of military and political power on its side. Israel will not relinquish this advantage.
The loss of the advantage places the country in a subservient, powerless position. This is unacceptable to the Israeli people. The powerful must be forced to relinquish power they will not relent voluntarily.
The conflict can be resolved if the parties are able to get beyond their entrenched differences which impede the progress toward a resolution. Each nation is required to examine its moral position on the matter and consider what is of true benefit to its people. The use of the term true benefit is a signal that the continued conflict is a disadvantage to both parties. The loss of life and the disruption of life are horrendous. The true benefit will occur when the parties are able to recognize that peace is a win for both sides. The powerful must begin to be concerned about the powerless. This change may be the product of new political leadership, as an initial step. Each group should consider what are the right thing, and the beneficial thing to do. It is highly possible that in this case they will be the same.
. Works Cited
Hodges, Sam. “Niebuhrs Christian realism.” The Dallas Morning News Feb. 10, 2006. Web
Inboden, Will “Putting the Christian back in Realism: A response to Steve Walt” Foreign
Policy December 21, 2009. Web
Moseley, Carys “Reinhold Niebuhrs Approach to the State of Israel: The Ethical Promise and Theological Limits of Christian Realism” Studies in Christian-Jewish Relations
King Jr. Martin L. “Letter from a Birmingham Jail 1963” Retrieved from.