Date of Award/Publication

4-2005

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.S. in International Studies

Department

International Studies

Abstract

This thesis will examine the polarization of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict that continues to deepen and that makes peace extremely difficult to achieve. In order to navigate this extremely complex issue I have chosen to look at one extremist group from each side of the conflict. On the Palestinian side I have chosen the group Hamas. On the Israeli side I have chosen the group Kahane. Kahane and Hamas have effectively polarized their societies by pulling the mainstreams further away from an effective resolution. These groups prey upon the fears of their societies and perpetuate the conflict by continuing to pursue violence as a method for resolution. The mainstream, unable to make effective strides towards peace as a result of these violent actions, has increasingly come to accept violence as the only solution to end violence, thereby creating a vicious circle. It is this issue which is at the heart of the continued conflict over Israel and Palestine.

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