I think the game peacemaker is very useful tool that allows individuals to understand the complex political nature of Israel and Palestinian Authority. After playing as Prime Minister on both sides I really learned how hard it must be to come to agree on staring negotiations. As prime minster you have to really juggle different interests, in some cases extreme ones like Hamas and the Yesha. I started off by playing as the Palestinian Prime minister and failed the first two times. I played on the tense level setting for both as Israeli PM and Palestinian PM.
I started off the game as the Palestinian Prime Minister and quickly started the third Intifada. Then I decided on a strategy of to negate or reduce the political sway of Hamas by funding social services like health care and education. Sounded like a good plan until I realized that I needed to get funding from the UN, US, EU, the Arab states or Israel, and it was difficult get funding sometimes. Another strategy that I attempted to use was to use the least amount of force as possible, so I would send police officers but just to patrol. Of course when I did get funding I would fund different education, health care, infrastructure programs. In addition to all that I would also try to pressure Israel from a third party such as Jordan or the UN. Some how I managed to reach a peace agreement, I was pretty happy! At the end it said I had an average violence score of 67. That kind of reminded me of what we had discussed in class that to reach a peace agreement both sides need to feel the pressure to push forward the negotiations.
Playing as the Israeli Prime Minister was far more difficult. I read someone else’s post saying that it was really easy, i’m not sure how. But there were so many more ways to respond to an incident. The biggest problem I had was figuring out a way to keep both sides happy. I felt like it was just impossible for me to find a way to increase points on both sides. I played several games and it swirled out of control into the third intifada. So at the start of my like 7th game I decided to build new settlements that increased my score on the Israeli side by only +8 while that dropped my score on the Palestinian side to -71. After the violence started I felt like I couldn't find anything at all to make the Palestinians happy, If I attempted to give aid it wouldn’t pass or the Palestinians would just respond by saying maybe Israeli shouldn’t use violence. After trying to play as the Israeli PM for like 10 times I gave up. I came out of the game feeling like it would be impossible to satisfy the wide spectrum of Israelis. This reminded me how we had discussed that most government in Israeli are made up of coalitions.All in all I think the game is a great learning tool, allows people to really understand how difficult it is to maneuver towards a peace agreement.