When Do Hawks become Peacemakers? A Comparison of two Israeli Prime Ministers

in Israel Studies Review
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I analyze the actions of Israeli prime ministers in the long-standing conflict between Israel and the Palestinians, comparing one prime minister who remained hard-line and one who evolved into a peace maker. By examining their belief systems and individual characteristics, I hypothesize the types of hawks that are more likely to change their views of an opponent and convert into peace-makers. Although a change in both the opponent and the environment is necessary for a leader to change his image of an enemy, three additional elements make change more probable: (1) a weak ideological commitment, or a commitment to an ideology that does not have its components articulated as obstacles; (2) a present or future individual time orientation; (3) either a flexible cognitive system or exposure and openness to a significant advisor who has a different view of the opponent.