The Conflict Between Iran and Israel: Why is it so Difficult to Reach an Agreement?


All last time the Arab-Israeli conflict was discussed by politicians, political analysts, journalists far from the reality of the context. In their opinion, the key problems are: the problem of the borders between Israel and inhabited by the Arabs of the territories of Judea and Samaria, the status of the Golan Heights and the problem of the Arab refugees.

However (and it is) a brutal conflict began long before the creation of the State of Israel and to the problem of refugees, when the first Jewish immigrants settled in nobody lands of Palestine or land lawfully acquired from their owners. Jews started their development and each of their success attracted Palestine and another group of Arabs in search for work. It was at that time began cruel massacre of the most famous, but not the only and exclusive, became a massacre in Hebron[1], 19 years before the creation of the State of Israel. The massacre was accompanied by mass killings.

War with its Arab neighbors after the proclamation of the State of Israel continued, not because of disagreements over the borders. Openly proclaimed the goal of aggression was not just preventing the creation of a Jewish state as such, but the “final solution” – the extermination of the Jews from Palestine. For a smooth implementation of this task, the Arab leaders have offered all Arabs to leave the territory, on which were planned mass murder that they “won’t be underfoot” during the planned mass murder of Jews[2].

They were promised that they then will return to “liberated” territory and returned to their lands and property together with the land and property of the Jews. The plan originated the problem of Arab refugees. And today the most outspoken Arab leaders say that their ultimate goal is not to establish acceptable to the borders with Israel but the elimination of the state of Israel and throughout the Jewish presence in Palestine.

And even so-called “moderate” leaders of the Palestinian Arabs, as Mahmoud Abbas[3], consider unthinkable accommodation with Jews, even a single Jew in the Arab state, which is planned to be built in Judea and Samaria.

Many researches have been made to identify what is going on with Israel and its neighbour Iran, but anyway everything is confined in the history of these countries.

Historical roots

History of the Jewish people originates about 4000 years ago (17-th century BC) from the epoch of the patriarchs – Abraham, his son Isaac, and grandson Jacob[4]. In Mesopotamia were founded the documents relating to 2000-1500 years BC, which confirm that the Jews in those days, had a nomadic life, as described in the Bible.

The Book of Genesis tells how Abraham was sent from the Sumerian city of Ur in the land of Canaan, to initiate a nation which believes in one God. In the Torah, Pentateuch of Moses, which is the Holy book of the Jews, Christians and recognized by the Muslims, Ismail, Isaac, and Jacob are not just sons of the prophet, but the ancestors of the whole peoples.

The first son of Abraham was Ishmael, born of the maid Hagar which was Egyptian. Hagar despised her barren mistress Sarah what causes a dislike and prosecution in relation to herself and her son. And the Lord gives Sarah a blood child, which was to inherit God’s promise, Isaac. For this child of Hagar and her son Ishmael was necessary to expel.

From here begins the story of the descendants of Ishmael-the Arabs and the descendants of Isaac-Israelis. Remote together with his mother in the wilderness of Paran, Ishmael grew in freedom, married on Egyptian woman [5], and of him there came twelve sons[6], who became the ancestors of the small Bedouin tribes who conquered the desert, lying between Canaan and Egypt (Sinai Peninsula). Local Arabs attributed its descent to Ishmael, and even the genealogy of Muhammad dates back to him.

According to the Bible, son of Isaac, Esau sold his birthright to his brother James for a mess of pottage. From the times of Abraham birthright was very important because the first-Born son was endowed with greater rights and authority than the younger which must be subordinated to the senior.

Dying Isaac blessed Jacob instead of the eldest son Esau, who sold his birthright for a mess of pottage. Esau hated brother and even wanted to kill him, so that Jacob had to go away from their family. On the advice of his parents, he went to Mesopotamia, the land of Babel. And Lord God, under some mysterious circumstances after having experienced the power of Jacob, gave him a new name “Israel”, which means “struggled with God”[7]. And Jacob and his 12 sons became the founders of the nation of Israel, or Jewish nation. Since those times the enmity between Israelis and Arabs continued.

To more deeply understand the reasons for disagreement, I decided to learn a little more about those lands that were populated by the descendants of Jacob and Ishmael.

The Bible describes that Jacob lived in the land of his father’s travelling, in the land of Canaan. In biblical times, it was a country that stretches to the West from the North-West bend of Euphrates and from the Jordan to the Mediterranean Sea. Currently is divided between Syria, Lebanon, Israel and Jordan.[8]

As for Ishmael, the same States that the descendants of Ishmael lived from Havil to Sura[9] , i.e. in the Western and Northern parts of the Peninsula of Arabia, spreading through the wilderness to the Persian Gulf[10], introducing the core of the Arab people. The Arabs have always been enemies of their Israeli brethren, spread to the East and West and currently they remained unconquered, and only certain parts of their country for a short time were under foreign power.

The first king of Israel was David who gave the Board to his son Solomon. During the reign of Solomon, the Jewish nation was divided into Israel and Judah. The Kingdom of Israel, with its capital in the city of Samaria lasted more than two centuries and survived 19 kings. Judah and Jerusalem as its capital lasted 400 years, and it was ruled by the same number of monarchs – the descendants of King David.[11]

But with the expansion by the Assyrian and Babylonian Empire, Israel and Judah appeared in the hands of foreigners. The ruins of Babylon are localized in Iraq near the town of al-Hilla, Babil governorate. Euphrates River divides the monument into two parts – Western and Eastern. [12]

Over the next four centuries Jews have experienced different periods of self-government under the rule of the Persians (538-333 years BC to BCE), and then fell under the power of Hellenists (the Ptolemy’s and the Seleucids 332-142 years BC).[13] After the conquest of the ancient world by Alexander the Great (332 BC) in the Land “of promise” preserved Jewish theocratic state under the rule of the Seleucid Syria.

Also there was the conquest of Persia by Alexander (now Iran). Darius king of the Persians, with his friends escaped from Ekbatan in Eastern Iran, where he was killed by Bactrian Satrap.[14] Persian state ceased to exist, and all its possessions became part of the Empire of Alexander.

In 19th century medieval backwardness began to recede before the first signs of progress. For spheres of influence in the region fought many Western powers, often through missionary activity. Gradually improved the position of Jews in the country, and their number constantly began to grow.

In December 1917 in Jerusalem entered the British troops under the command of General Allenby, putting an end to the age-old domination of the Ottoman Empire. In July 1922, the League of Nations granted Great Britain a mandate over Palestine (so then called the Land of Israel).[15] Recognizing the historical connection of the Jewish people to their land, Britain promoted the creation of Jewish national home in Eretz Israel (in Hebrew – “the Land of Israel”).

The authorities of the British mandate granted the Jewish and Arab communities to manage their internal Affairs. But the Jewish national revival and the efforts of communities to build their country encountered fierce resistance of the Arab nationalists. Efforts to enter into a dialogue with the Arabs, taken at the dawn of the Zionist movement, led to nothing and only have increased the gap between Zionism and Arab nationalism, which at any moment could create an explosive situation.

Recognizing radically opposing goals of these two nationalist movements, the British recommended in 1937 to divide the country into two States, Jewish and Arab.[16] The Jewish leaders accepted the idea of separation and authorized the Jewish Agency to enter into negotiations with the British government to discuss various aspects of the proposal.

The Arabs, on the other hand, were strongly opposed to any partition plan. The continuing Arab riots forced the British to publish the White book, which imposed strict restrictions on the entry of Jews into the country. On November 29, 1947 UN General Assembly voted for recommendation to divide the territory into two parts, Jewish and Arab.[17]


 Differences: Iran and Israel

The difference between two countries is not only in the territory they inhabit, but also can cause such differences as a governmental structure of each state, religion and economy.

Governmental structure

The symbol and the foundation of the existence of the state of Israel is the Declaration of independence. In the Declaration is justified historical necessity of the rebirth of Israel and the agreed principles of existence of a Jewish and democratic state based on freedom, justice and peace, as it was bequeathed to the biblical prophets. It also calls for peace with the neighboring Arab States in the name of development and prosperity to the entire region.

Israel is a parliamentary democracy consisting of Legislative, Executive and Judicial branches. There is the institution of the presidency, the Knesset (Parliament), the executive (Cabinet of Ministers) and the judiciary.[18] The President’s duties are mostly ceremonial and formal in nature and are defined in the law. Among them – opening of the first session of the new convocation of the Knesset; specifying a member of the Knesset to form a new government; receiving the credentials of foreign envoys; signing treaties and laws adopted by the Knesset.

In Israel there is a system of universal, direct national elections. Elections are secret and conducted on an equitable and proportional basis. The entire country constitutes a single constituency, and all citizens who are 18 years old, have the right to vote. In all the elections that were held, voted 77 to 90 percent of the registered voters, this means that the majority of the Israelites are concerned to the external and internal policy of their country. [19]

According to Constitution of 1979, Iran is an Islamic Republic. Islamic Republic of Iran (IRI) was founded on 1 April 1979 as a result of the Islamic revolution of 1978-1979.[20] Iran is one of the few real theocracies in the world. Constitutionally was fixed rule of not only the Islamic principles in the organization of the legislative, Executive and judiciary, but the rule of the Islamic clergy in the structures of state power.

The embodiment of monopolization of the clergy of political power was those powers which granted to the Rahba (head) – the head of the country.[21] The spiritual leader is recognized faqih – religious man of law. Rahba controls the activities of all branches of power.

Defines the main directions of internal and foreign policy, appoints the head of the judiciary; the commander of the armed forces and internal troops, the commander of the army of the guardians of the Islamic revolution, signed the decree on appointment of the President, who is elected by means of universal, direct and secret ballot. He has the right to declare war and conclude peace, declare Amnesty or commutation of the sentence at the proposal of the head of the judiciary.

According to the Constitution, the highest after the spiritual leader of the state is the President. The President as head of the country represents Iran on the official level, especially in relations with foreign States. According to the Constitution of 1979, the Foundation of all the sides of life of Iran was based on the principles of Islam.[22] So to manage the country could exceptionally well-versed in Islam face – Ulema.


Jewish society in Israel today consists of religious and non-religious population – from ultra-orthodox to citizens leading completely secular lifestyle.[23] Nevertheless, between them there is no clear difference. But Israel was conceived as a Jewish state, and so the Sabbath (Saturday) and all the Jewish festivals and Holy days are considered national holidays and in varying degrees, celebrated by all the Jewish population of the country.

Because religion in Israel is not separated from the state, different communities are divided among themselves in opinions on how the country should be manifested in its Jewish religious entity. If Orthodox layers of the population seek to extend the application of religious laws beyond the personal status, where they have exclusive jurisdiction, the secular residents consider it a religious dictatorship and violation of democratic character of the state.

About 1.7 million people, comprising approximately 24 percent of Israel’s population, are non-Jews.[24] They are called the Arab population of Israel, but this is actually different groups of population, though speaking, mainly in Arabic they have their own way of life, traditions and history. Arab Muslims (almost one million), most of which are Sunnites, live mainly in small towns and villages, over half of which is in the North of the country.

Declaration on the establishment of the State of Israel from 1948 guarantees complete freedom of religion.[25] Every religious community has the right and the opportunity to freely follow the laws of their religion, to observe its holidays and rest days, and manage their internal affairs.

The religion held by the majority of the Iranian population is Shia Muslim (89%). Sunni Muslims in Iran constitute about 9% of the population and the remaining 2% of Iranians are from ‘other’ religions – primarily Zoroastrian, Christian and Jewish. What makes the religious beliefs in Iran so interesting is that although almost 90% of Iranians are Shia Muslims, globally the percentage of Shia Muslims is only 10%.[26]

Iran recognizes Zoroastrian, Jewish, and Christian religious minority, and other religious minorities. The continuous presence of the country’s pre-Islamic, non-Muslim communities, such as Zoroastrians, Jews, and Christians, had accustomed the population to the participation of non-Muslims in society.

U.S. Department of State claims Iran’s government actions create a “threatening atmosphere for some religious minorities”,with claims of “imprisonment, harassment, intimidation, and discrimination based on religious beliefs”.[27] Judaism is a recognized religion in Iran. The government does not directly attack Judaism. But what interesting is that non-Muslim owners of grocery shops are required to indicate their religious affiliation on the fronts of their shops.


The most amazing economic achievement of Israel is a stable growth of its development on the background of constant problems, requiring enormous expenditure: national security; at present time Israel spends on defense 8 percent of its GDP (compared with 25% in the 1970s and 23% in 1980).[28]

Even in a period of relative peace in the country it should be supported by a powerful deterrent capability of the enemy. A wave of mass immigration, created the modern infrastructure and the economy from scratch, fought in four wars, and provide security for their people. It is considered as a real “economic miracle”.

In recent years, more than 85% of the total imports, which in 2006 amounted to 47,2 billion dollars accounted for manufactured goods and fuel.[29] Israel is the world’s leading centre for the production and sale of diamonds. The diamond industry in Israel is a world leader in advanced technology and skill of the processing that provides minimal losses during polishing of rough diamonds and turning them into real diamonds. The main buyers in 2006 were the United States (63 per cent), followed by Hong Kong (14 percent), and Switzerland (11 percent).[30]

Iran’s economy is the fifteenth in the world in terms of national production (according to the CIA) and the largest among the States of Western Asia and OPEC. In 2007, Iran overtook Turkey in terms of GDP, thus becoming the largest economy in the Islamic world. The volume of the GDP in 2007 was $852, 6 billion, growth of GDP – 5, 8 %. Iran has the second largest after Saudi Arabia’s oil reserve (18 billion tons) and takes 5, 5 percent of the global market of oil products trade. Since 2008, Iran sells its oil on its own stock exchange in Euro and materials.[31]

The natural desire of the Iranian leaders to reduce the dependence of economy on oil, and therefore the dependence of political dependence on the external market. This task was during the shah government, and It is now. To solve this is difficult, as it is obvious that for the financial basis for the restructuring of the economy the easiest way is to use oil revenues. [32] Being the main earner of diamonds Israel is a very important object for Iran.


Political conflict: What Iran wants?

Subsequently, in public speeches Ahmadinejad has repeatedly affirmed its position regarding Israel. His statements were as from the traditional rhetoric of the legacy of Khomeini and new elements.

For example, the President of Iran quickly realized that denial of the Holocaust is one of the most light and resonance methods to attack Israel. The most important feature of anti-Zionism for Ahmadinejad became attempts to link the Holocaust and problems of the Israeli – Palestinian interaction.[33]

Revisionism of the Holocaust is still very limited went beyond the limits of scientific circles, has now become a full-fledged member of the international relations of the sovereign state, the Islamic Republic of Iran.

The idea of the denial of the Holocaust for Ahmadinejad was not only strategic, but even more of a tactical nature. At the stage of its origin in the Israeli political discourse purpose of Holocaust denial was to distract attention from the Iranian nuclear program, which at that time was the focus of attention of the world community.[34]

The Iranian press of those years claimed that under the influence of such approach to the problem of the Holocaust, the West is ready to make concessions in negotiations on the nuclear program, trying to get Iran to stop. With the advent of Ahmadinejad to power the delicate balance in the Iranian-Israeli relations, periodically going to mutual rejection, completely collapsed.

Iran has embarked on a path of open hostility with Israel, and hostility beginning to be expressed not only in the claims to the present policy of Israel, but in the denial of the Holocaust, which is crucial moment for Israel, and immediately influenced the foreign policy of Iran.[35]

Ahmadinejad lashed out at Israel and the United States, noting that all the serious problems that afflict humanity, is the result of «’godless’ regime in the US and ‘villainous Zionist regime’». He added that the uncivilized «Zionists» destroy mankind «under the heavy wheels of their own egoism, capitalism and materialism» for the sake of satisfying their own whims.[36] He also pointed out that, nowadays, everywhere there is corruption, crime or humiliation, «we are faced with the ‘Zionist regime’, the USA or their accomplices»

The Iranian President reiterated that the USA and its allies have used the events of September 11 to justify its penetration in the middle East and complete freedom of action in this region. He also demanded from the USA to answer hundreds of questions associated with the events of September 11 (note that he made a similar statement in his speech at the UN General Assembly).

He said that the USA started the game “to attack our region”,[37] and added that Washington wanted to steal natural resources and to seize control over the entire region. He demanded that the US should stop their crimes and withdrew [forces] from the region, before local country will do it by force. [38] Is it war of Iran and Israel, or may be US and Iran?! Barack Obama spoke in Jerusalem with the statement that the cooperation between the two countries will continue until the power of the Israel defense complex reaches the level at which the Jewish state will be able to protect their own people from any threat. [39]

  Last thoughts..

The Arab-Israeli conflict in the minds of the world is gradually transformed into a war of civilizations. Maybe from it beginning it was a part of such a war?…But war of which civilizations? Whether East and West, as they say? two directions of development of society. Western civilization is mainly focused on changing and improving the external world in which we live, its adaptation to the needs of man.

This scientific and technological progress in all directions. This progress is based on the intellectual abilities of a man himself and extends them in accordance with the principle of positive feedback. This is a creative task, which requires a constant search – search for new ways. Eastern civilization (more precisely, the far East, originated in India and China) is more oriented not to change the world, but on the adaptation of man to the world in all its complexity and contradictions.[40]

In this regard, for the improvement of the inner world of a person to achieve harmony with the outside world. This is also a very creative task, requiring constant search for its solution for centuries developed methods and philosophical bases of psychological development.

I think that the variant of many explanations can be that the basis of the aggressiveness of Islam and the Arab society is more fundamental socio-psychological and even psycho-biological reason. Humans, like the animals has the most important biological needs – the need for search an activity. This requirement should be implemented, its implementation saves physical health and resistance to stress, and if it cannot be done in a constructive behavior, it manifests itself in destructive behavior, aggression.

While the Jews were in a subordinate and untenable situation, to practice tolerance and patronage attitude, but today the Jews, and especially with its prosperous state, represent to Arabs all the advantages of a prosperous Western culture and cause a sense of inferiority. What you cannot catch up, overtake and subdue, must be destroyed. The so-called war of civilizations is a ruthless war against civilization, and the Arab-Jewish conflict is only its best line.


[1] Jewish Library. The Hebron Massacre of 1929

[2] Арабо-израильский конфликт – конфликт цивилизаций … с чем?

[3] Арабо-израильский конфликт – конфликт цивилизаций … с чем?

[4]Факты об Израиле. Доклад Министерства иностранных дел Израиля. Печать:2010. Иерусалим

[5] Bible. Genesis 21:21

[6] Bible. Genesis 25:13

[7] Bible. Genesis 32:28

[8] Факты об Израиле. Доклад Министерства иностранных дел Израиля. Печать:2010. Иерусалим

[9] Bible. Genesis 25:18

[10] Факты об Израиле. Доклад Министерства иностранных дел Израиля. Печать:2010. Иерусалим

[11] Факты об Израиле. Доклад Министерства иностранных дел Израиля. Печать:2010. Иерусалим

[12] Факты об Израиле. Доклад Министерства иностранных дел Израиля. Печать:2010. Иерусалим

[13] Факты об Израиле. Доклад Министерства иностранных дел Израиля. Печать:2010. Иерусалим

[14] Поход Александра Македонского на Персию.

[15] Факты об Израиле. Доклад Министерства иностранных дел Израиля. Печать:2010. Иерусалим

[16] Факты об Израиле. Доклад Министерства иностранных дел Израиля. Печать:2010. Иерусалим

[17] Факты об Израиле. Доклад Министерства иностранных дел Израиля. Печать:2010. Иерусалим

[18] Факты об Израиле. Доклад Министерства иностранных дел Израиля. Печать:2010. Иерусалим

[19] Факты об Израиле. Доклад Министерства иностранных дел Израиля. Печать:2010. Иерусалим

[20] Государственный и политический строй Ирана.

[21] Государственный и политический строй Ирана.

[22] Государственный и политический строй Ирана.

[23] Факты об Израиле. Доклад Министерства иностранных дел Израиля. Печать:2010. Иерусалим

[24] Факты об Израиле. Доклад Министерства иностранных дел Израиля. Печать:2010. Иерусалим

[25] Факты об Израиле. Доклад Министерства иностранных дел Израиля. Печать:2010. Иерусалим

[26] Religion in Iran.

[27] Freedom of religion in Iran.

[28] Факты об Израиле. Доклад Министерства иностранных дел Израиля. Печать:2010. Иерусалим

[29] Факты об Израиле. Доклад Министерства иностранных дел Израиля. Печать:2010. Иерусалим

[30] Факты об Израиле. Доклад Министерства иностранных дел Израиля. Печать:2010. Иерусалим

[31] Экономика Ирана.

[32] Экономика Ирана.

[33] Как Иран и Израиль перестали быть партнерами.

[34] Как Иран и Израиль перестали быть партнерами.

[35]Как Иран и Израиль перестали быть партнерами.

[36] The Israel Project. Iranian TV, October 3, 2010

[37] The Israel Project. Iranian TV, October 3, 2010

[38] The Israel Project. Iranian TV, October 3, 2010

[39] США готовы спонсировать Израиль.

[40] Арабо-израильский конфликт – конфликт цивилизаций … с чем?


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