String theory': Israel, Palestine, and the Knot of Narratives

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Political Science

Date of Award

Summer 2013


The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is considered an intractable conflict. This thesis argues that this intractability stems from the presence of six conflict narratives which compete with one another. Through the use of case studies, this thesis seeks to prove that these narratives exist and that they conflict with one another, resulting in a tense stalemate. In addition, this stalemate is set against a global struggle between two more competing narratives: Western secularism versus desecularization throughout much of the rest of the world. This thesis argues that these two global narratives also clash in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, causing fundamentally incompatible worldviews between the Israelis and Palestinians, and leading to misconceptions between the Israelis, Palestinians, and the West. These misconceptions lead to misguided policies which foment distrust between the separate parties. Correcting these misconceptions is critical to resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.


Jeffrey Herndon

Subject Categories

Political Science | Social and Behavioral Sciences