Re-Analyzing the Links Between Terrorism and Poverty: The Palestinian-Israeli Conflict
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CitationRustigian, Natalie. 2021. Re-Analyzing the Links Between Terrorism and Poverty: The Palestinian-Israeli Conflict. Master's thesis, Harvard University Division of Continuing Education.
AbstractThis thesis investigates the exclusion and persecution of Palestinians, as well as poverty among the Palestinian people, to determine if those factors have become secondary to politics, revenge, and an often-violent supreme ideology among those who engage in terrorism in Palestine. I examined previous scholarly research on this topic and investigated themes of persecution against Palestinians. I conducted a grounded theory analysis on themes that motivate actions taken by low-ranking versus high-ranking members of terrorist groups and organizations. I also conducted a statistical analysis of possible relationships between poverty and terrorism using GDP, HDI, unemployment measurements, and persecution as measured by standards of political freedom and civil liberty.
The thesis hypothesizes that there is a connection between persecution and exclusion, and terrorist attacks. The results of the analyses showed: (1) poverty, persecution, and exclusion are not primary factors inducing terrorism, and (2) there is no direct connection between terrorist attacks and persecution and exclusion, nor is there a direct connection between poverty and terrorist attacks.
The findings also indicated that a significant quest for power among high-ranking terrorists is a primary motivation. Lower-ranking members become mostly foot soldiers for terrorist groups; hopeless young people, driven by anger and desperation, become easy to recruit and eager to join such terrorist groups. An obsession with death and promises of Paradise made to them, as well as the terrorists’ skewed version of Islam, motivate young people to commit suicide attacks and die as “martyrs.” The ease with which suicide becomes an accepted means for committing violent attacks invites further research to better understand the motivations of terrorists of all ranks.
Citable link to this pagehttps://nrs.harvard.edu/URN-3:HUL.INSTREPOS:37367615
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