Significance of Ethical Issues for International Relations in the Middle East

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  • Topic: Israel, Palestinian National Authority, Palestinian territories
  • Pages : 7 (2382 words )
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  • Published : February 17, 2013
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Through Focussing On A Specific International Issue, Explain How Ethical Issues Are Significant For International Relations In The Middle East The Arab Israeli conflict is “one of the most bitter, protracted and intractable conflicts of modern times” (Atack, 2005), being a dominant theme of IR in the Middle East it posses a range of core principal levels that contain ethical issues used as reasons to justify positions from both sides of the conflict. The conflict in essence is a clash “Between Jewish and Palestinians national movements over the land of Palestine” (Fawcett, 2005) the searches for settlement is complicated by inter Arab relations, Western Nations, and more recently inter Palestinian fragmentation. The issue of Hamas being an illegal terrorist entity has been a source failure for many peace initiatives as well as a reason for escalation to the use of force within that conflict ever since they formed in 1989. With “Israel, the EU, the US and their allies” (Akhtar, 2008) deeming Hamas as a terrorist entity what this essay will attempt to analyse is; can Hamas’s position be justified by using the principles of the ‘Just war theory’, the essay will analyse the first section of the theory concerned with justice in going to war, and see whether Hamas as a non state actor can satisfy its criterion and what effects it has on international relations on a global stage. The just war theory is not a single theory but rather a tradition within which contains a range of interpretation. Its origins and principles originate “with classical Greek philosophers like Plato and Cicero and were added to by Christian theologians like Augustine and Thomas Aquinas” (Un-authored 1, 2009), while the latter two theologians had developed the theory within the framework of the church for a Christianised Roman Empire, the theory itself is in essence multi cultural, multi national and developed over long history. Plato, Cicero and Aristotle wrote about “the moral issues facing soldiers when going to war” (Valls, 2000), in China Mo Tzu and Mencius wrote “about the injustices facing the people and necessity, at times of taking up arms to remedy them” (Valls, 2000), while in India ‘The Laws of Manu’ and the Bhadvad Gita’ discuss the laws of war and role of ethics in times of hostility. The theory itself posses a certain amount of uniformity, and most contemporary followers agree on its structure and principles. Its purpose is to provide a guide to the way states should react in potential conflict situations, it is not intended to justify wars but rather to prevent them by implying “that war is always bad, A just war however is permissible because it’s a lesser evil but still an evil” (Un-authored 1, 2000). However when a conflict is inevitable what the theory provides is framework of morality and codes of ethical conduct if which an actor were to follow would conclude that reasons for going to war and its active participation within that war would be morally and ethically deemed as ‘Just’. Its structure is divided in to two sections jus ad bellum (Justice of war: six criteria’s) and jus in bello (Justice in war). The first section relates to ‘just cause’. A just cause for war is usually a defensive one. The right for a state to defend itself is the right of self determination, while the Just War theory relates to only states and not non state actors, the UN definition of ‘Just Cause’ recognizes the rights of people as well as states. In article 7 of the definition of aggression the UN refers to “the right to self determination, freedom, and independence as derived from the Charter, of peoples forcibly deprived of that right” (Khatchidoriun, 1998), therefore as the UN is generally considered to be the highest State institution that sets precedence on issues that its members should follow, then both legally and morally peoples or nations within or with out a state are granted a right to self determination.

Hamas was officially created...
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