3. The Arab-Israeli Interstate Wars

The red-line charts the trend in general level of interstate war in the global system; that measure includes all wars of independence from the Colonial System and has remained fairly constant at a low level through the Cold War period. We can see from the graph that the UN System, that was designed to regulate inter-state war, has been reasonably effective in providing inter-state security. However, the UN System has not been effective in regulating societal (or civil) warfare. The level of societal warfare increased dramatically and continuously through the Cold War period. Separate research indicates that the increasing level of societal war results from the protractedness of societal wars during this period and not from a substantial increase in the numbers of new wars. for a brief description of the methodology used to create the trend graph.

3. The Arab-Israeli Interstate Wars

Over the course of the last 50 years, the tides have changed. At present, war between nations is now a very rare event. For example, since the end of the Second World War, the number of ongoing interstate conflicts involving at least 25 battle casualties has ranged from zero to six. Moreover, the trend has been one of decline. In the 1990s, only one or two interstate conflicts were fought each year, with the conflict between Eritrea and Ethiopia involving the highest number of casualties. From 2003 to 2008, no interstate wars were fought. This interlude ended in 2008 with the onset of an interstate conflict between Djibouti and Eritrea (Harbom and Wallenstein 2009: 577).


USA invading Irak wasn’t an interstate war?! a 10 years long war.

What is an interstate war?

Despite all of this, blood is still being shed in Israel/Palestine. The geographical unit defined by the British Mandate as Palestine still remains a permanent source of local and international instability. I argue that by discontinuing their war against Israel, the surrounding Arab states made room for the resumption of a different, new/old war, which, as I explain below, first erupted prior to the Arab-Israeli interstate war: the civil war between the Jewish-Zionist settler society and Palestinian Arabs, a war over Palestine.