Position Paper / White Paper

LEGACY Spain UNSC 1994 - Topic 4

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Thomas Romanchek

Lake Forest High School

Historical Security Council 1994


Topic IV: Arab and Israeli Conflict


The relationship between Israel and Palestine has always been mired by the conflicts the populations have weathered through in the name of attaining and maintaining nationhood. Since the United Nations charter for creating Israel was completed in 1948, surrounding arab states, infuriated Israel’s incursion on historically Palestinian land, have attempted to put down and prevent its expansion. The First, Second, and Third Israeli-Arab wars all were conducted to prevent and reverse this, but ultimately resulted in the opposite at the cost of Egypt, Jordan, and, most particularly, Palestine. The conflict between Israel and Palestine has caused thousands of Palestinian Arabs to migrate to neighboring countries and beyond. In wake of the failure of the Arab states to reprieve Israeli control over the region, the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) was established to work towards enabling and liberating Palestine from Israeli encroachment. The Oslo Accords of 1993, however, represent a chance for the Israeli government and the PLO to reorganize their relationship and interactions, hopefully negating the need for settling disputes through violence. How these Accords are implemented will very well affect the future of both Israeli and Palestinian governance and policy in the region. The margin for risk is high, considering a violation of the Accords could lead to conflict between those who support an Israeli state, those who support a Palestinian state, and those who advocate for peaceful co-existence.

The Kingdom Spain did not initially recognize Israel and the two nations experienced a sour relationship due to Israeli anger toward the Franco regime’s sympathy and material support for the axis powers during the Second World War. Furthermore, Spain was pro-Arab in the stance on Palestinian nationhood and denied Israel’s right to exist while violating another country’s sovereignty. However, a change in leaders to President Felipe Gonzalez was accompanied by a more amicable policy to Israel and, finally, an opening of diplomatic relations between the two in 1986. Spain also kept a friendly relationship with the PLO at the same time, demonstrating their cross recognition of both states and desire to achieve a peace settlement between the two that would benefit both.

The government of Spain hopes to mediate the tensions between Palestine and Israel, as it did at the Madrid Peace Conference of 1991. It hopes the dimensions pursued and consolidated will include fair and equitable governing roles, an end to state-sponsored violence against one another, and the resettlement of refugees displaced by the wars over the issue. Furthermore, Spain wishes to establish a strong tradition of cooperation and friendliness between the two, and a resounding willingness to uphold both international law and regional agreements concerning human rights.