If You Can’t Do Them All…Do One Well

Hello World!

Remember that ambitious girl three weeks ago that thought she could make a cohesive research paper formed on these four ideas?

  1. Ambassador Friedman’s declaration that settlements as part of Israel (September 2017)
  2. American Embassy move to Jerusalem (December 6th 2018)
  3. Halt on UNRWA aid budget (June 24th 2018 )
  4. Humanitarian economic plan to Gaza (future, hopefully before I finish!!)

That girl grew sanity these past two weeks.

As I was writing, I realized the translation and rhetorical analysis section of my paper was far too large to handle all four, or even two of these topics. I chose to instead focus on the most influential and controversial of these actions, the Embassy move to Jerusalem.

I finally developed my thesis: Despite United States’ rhetorical advocacy for the two-state solution, President Trump continues a historic trend by implementing policies that advance prospects of a one-state solution.

I begin my research paper with a historical continuity analysis, showing that the trajectory of Israeli support throughout every presidency has increased the strength of Israel at the expense of Palestinians. I argue that Trump’s embassy move to Jerusalem falls into this path of Israeli support, and actually is a fulfillment of a promise made in 1995. I consider this section to be Trump’s “Action” which is then followed by the Israeli and Palestinian “Reaction” as analyzed through newspapers and public opinion polls. Through American policies, presidential actions cause local Israeli and Palestinian reaction therefore impacting the prospect of one or two-state solution. I then collected news articles and translated many of them in order to develop themes within newspaper companies. I then compared the rhetoric and tone of Israeli papers to Palestinian papers. I conclude with my personal analysis of what this means for the future of peace. I argue that despite presidential rhetorical support of the two state solution, presidential actions push Israel and Palestine closer to a one state solution. I then discuss the risks of a one-state solution if the current power inequity continues, and the ability for America to still positively impact the future prospects of peace.

Although I cut my research significantly down from my initial concept, I feel that I developed this one idea very thoughtfully through an interesting lens by incorporating media and public opinion poll reactions. I have hit 22 pages of my research and will stop writing. I hope to spend the next week editing my paper, and I will be done! It may not look at all like what I had intended, but I am proud of it. I feel that focusing on one issue strengthened my argument and allowed me to fully develop an analysis of the reactions rather than fill the paper with quantity.

I better be done with this paper by my next blog post.


  1. lcwaddill says:

    Hi Emma, it sounds like you started with some really interesting ideas, and ended up with a really interesting paper. As a student researcher myself, I know what it’s like to start with too wide a scope, and it seems like you made the right choice in narrowing your topic. An in-depth study of a specific topic is always better than a generalizing survey of several, and you seem to have a great grasp of the American Embassy move and its implications now.

    I’m curious about the media and public opinion poll reactions you mentioned, especially the part where you said you were translating newspaper articles. As far as I can understand, these sources are from Israel and Palestine, and I’m curious if you are translating these from Hebrew or Arabic yourself. Have you studied these languages, or are you getting help from a person or translating website? Or are there articles in English that you’re able to access too? Are you also reading “reactions” from American news sites? I’m impressed by your study of these articles, and I’d be interested to know more of your method and how challenging or time consuming it was.