BERLIN – Since its establishment in 1948, Israel has fought seven wars against its neighbors, including the recent war in Gaza. If you add the Palestinians’ first and second Intifada in the occupied territories, the total rises to nine.
From a military perspective, Israel eventually won all of these wars – or at least didn’t lose them. But neither have these wars changed much for Israel in strategic terms. Indeed, the core conflict between Israel and the Palestinians has remained almost unchanged throughout the past 60 years.
The United Nations’ Partition Plan of 1947, which split the former British Mandate of Palestine between both peoples, was not and still is not accepted until this day. Sometimes one side rejects it; sometimes the other. This is why, to this day, people on both sides are dying.
Of course, Israel made a “cold peace” with Egypt and Jordan, and also established diplomatic relations with a few other Arab countries, but nothing has really changed at the core of the conflict, despite the Oslo peace process of the 1990’s and other treaties and agreements with the Palestinians. The central question for both sides remains unanswered: where does Israel end and Palestine start?