Alpesh Patel’s Political Sketchbook: The Israel-Palestine Conflict - A Lesson from the Partition of India and Pakistan

Wednesday 25th October 2023 08:13 EDT

Theoretical Underpinning: Realpolitik

A Realpolitik approach to international relations emphasizes the importance of power and national interest over ideology. In the Israel-Palestine conflict, this would mean prioritizing stability and security over historical grievances or ideological stances. The two-state solution, often touted as the most equitable resolution, has proven to be a breeding ground for extremism and a perpetuator of instability in the region.

The British Policy with India and Pakistan: A Case Study

The partition of British India into India and Pakistan in 1947 led to one of the largest mass migrations in human history, involving approximately 10-15 million people. Despite the scale of displacement and the ensuing communal violence, India and Pakistan have largely moved on from demanding the annexation of each other's territory. The focus has shifted to economic development, regional stability, and tackling internal issues.

The British policy of partition, though painful at the time, created two separate entities that could pursue their own national interests. The lesson here is that sometimes a painful separation is necessary for two conflicting parties to move forward. While Pakistan was founded on theological lines, the proposed Palestinian state runs the risk of becoming a hotbed for terrorism, just as Pakistan has been.

The Native American Paradigm

The Native Americans, despite their historical grievances, do not claim the entirety of the United States. They have sought ways to integrate into the modern American state while preserving their cultural heritage. This is a testament to the idea that historical wrongs, while important to acknowledge, should not dictate the future of a nation.

The Middle Eastern Quagmire: Realpolitik in Action

Even Middle Eastern countries, rich in resources and political clout, are wary of the rise of jihadism within their borders. Israel, in many ways, acts as a buffer, engaging in counter-terrorism activities that benefit not just itself but the region as a whole. This is realpolitik in action: Israel serves the national interests of even those who publicly decry it.

The Information War: A Battle of Narratives

The conflict is not just fought on the ground but in the realm of public opinion. The anti-Israel narrative has found many takers in the West, often overshadowing the complex realities of the Middle East. This "information war" skews public perception, making a balanced discussion almost impossible.


The two-state solution, while idealistic, ignores the realpolitik of the Middle East. A more pragmatic approach may lie in a Israel state with strong counter-terrorism measures, much like how India has focused on internal security post-partition. But no Palistinean State which Hamas has proven it would easily overrun and control as a terrorist camp. The world must move beyond historical grievances to pragmatic solutions that ensure regional stability and security. This is not just a matter of justice; it is a strategic imperative.

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