Sunday, February 15, 2009

The Zero-Sum Game

Eretz Yisrael and Filastin, by most definitions, are the same exact piece of land by borders that were created by the British Mandate of Palestine after World War I. Thus, Jews and Arabs are fighting for the same piece of territorial land to make their own state.

The winner will claim ALL of the land and the loser faces the threat of being left stateless. "Just as two objects cannot occupy the same space at the same time, so two sovereign states cannot govern the same territory at the same time" (Dowty). Game theorists refer to this as the zero-sum game: whatever one side gains comes at the expense of the other (gains and losses total at a zero).

Without territorial compromise there will never be a win-win outcome where both sides will benefit. Due to the fact that this is a situation of total conflict where co-operations and negotiation between these two people is very difficult, it will result in a zero-sum outcome.

Unfortunately, there is still no winner nor a loser for this conflict that has been going on for years. If anything, the winner and loser sways back and fourth. There is yet to be a concrete winner.


Dowty, Alan . Israel/Palestine. 2nd. Cambridge, UK: Polity Press, 2008.

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