The Arab-Israeli Conflict
in David Malone, Bruno Stagno Ugarte, and Sebastian Von Einsiedel, Eds., the United Nations Security Council: From the Cold War to the 21st Century (Boulder, Co: Lynne Rienner, 2015, Forthcoming).
31 Pages Posted: 13 Apr 2015
Date Written: December 31, 2015
One of the first United Nations mediators called the Middle East “the sort of problem for which no really satisfactory solution is possible.” Indeed, for seven decades, the “situation in the Middle East,” particularly the “Palestinian question,” to use its own terminology for the interlocking issues related to the Arab-Israeli conflict, has presented the Security Council with one of the most vexing problems on its agenda: “No issue has been on the agenda of the Council as long as that of the Middle East; nor has any issue generated as many resolutions [...] or as many vetoes.” […]
In this chapter, the Security Council’s involvement in and on the Middle East is explored in more detail. The picture that emerges is profoundly mixed: While the Council has addressed acute crises and ensured a degree of stability through the instruments at its disposal, it has all too often been unable to play a leading, decisive or norm-setting role. Divisions within the Council, particularly between the United States and the rest of the Council, have run deep. All too often, the Security Council has remained mired in discussions over issues that, albeit important, are but facets of the bigger conflict, rendering it less and less likely (or possible) that the Council could contribute decisively to settling the Arab-Israeli conflict.
Keywords: Arab-Israeli conflict, Middle East, United Nations, peacemaking, Security Council, peacekeeping
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