The Israeli negotiation strategy under Netanyahu: Settlement without reconciliation

Mohanad Mustafa, As'ad Ghanem

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: This article aims to analyse the Israeli negotiation strategy in reference to the theoretical frameworks of reconciliation and settlement. It focuses on the Israeli-Palestinian negotiation experience over the past three years, or since Netanyahu was elected Prime Minister of the Israeli Government in 2009. Design/methodology/approach: Theoretical literature provides two hypothetical frameworks for resolution of conflicts: a political settlement; and reconciliation between parties to the conflict. This article argues that Israel's vision of conflict resolution effectively attempts to integrate both hypothetical frameworks by proposing a political settlement for Palestinians in return for obtaining reconciliation from them. To analyse this strategy, this article explores the Israeli political discourse over the past three years, as well as Israel's vision of the conflict resolution as is manifest in this discourse. Findings: The article argument is based on the indication that willingness of a party to reach a settlement is met with reconciliation from the other party to the conflict. A party's insistence on offering a settlement and attaining reconciliation is associated with power relations between both parties. To maintain its powerful position, the stronger party usually demands reconciliation from the weaker party, at the same time presenting a settlement that implies a political, not moral, recognition of the weaker party with a view to dispossess it from its moral logic in the conflict. Originality/value: An assessment of the Israeli political discourse over the past three years indicates that Israel is implementing a compound negotiation strategy to resolve the conflict. The strategy entails settlement and reconciliation components. Israel wishes to deal with Palestinians through a political settlement. On the other hand, Israel wants the Palestinians to deal with it through the reconciliation process.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)265-283
Number of pages19
JournalInternational Journal of Conflict Management
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2013


  • Conflict resolution
  • Conflict settlement
  • Israel
  • Negotiation strategy
  • Netanyahu
  • Palestine
  • Palestinian-Israeli conflict
  • Reconciliation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • Strategy and Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


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