The Israel Palestine Conflict Essay
The Israel-Palestine Conflict
The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is a part of the greater Arab-Israeli
long-running conflict in the Middle East. The main point of this
conflict is the existence of the state of Israel and its relations
with Arab states and with the Palestinian population in the area. The
idea and concept of Israel was born in the mid 19th century. Jews of
Europe and America wanted a place for their homeland, where they could
go and be with others of the same race and religion. Palestine was
chosen because of its religious routs from The Bible as the “promised
land” from God, and the motherland of Jews fled, known as the
Diaspora. By the late 19th century there was a significant number of
Jewish activists, calling themselves and the movement Zionists. The
movement was established by journalist Theodor Herzl who declared the
aim of Zionist movement to establish Jewish home in Palestine.
(http://www.teena.org.il) But at the beginning of 20th century, the
Ottoman Empire controlled Palestine, so it was virtually impossible to
establish the independent state there. The First World War became the
turning point in the history of the Middle East for Jews and Arabs. It
brought Britain onto the stage. In July 1915 the promise was made
between Sherif Hussein and Sir Henry McMahon and was called the
McMahon Promise. Arabs were promised independence, which they desired
so much. But two years later the Balfour Declaration was established
on 2nd November 1917, as a “declaration of sympathy”. Britain needed
help with the war to win. Without consulting the Palestinians, the
British government offered to support the establishment of a Jewish
national home in Palestine while "it being understood that nothing
shall be done that may prejudice the civil and religious rights of
existing no-Jewish communities in Palestine" and preserving the rights
of Europe's Jews in their countries of origin
By 1918 both Jews and Arabs believed that they had the right to rule
themselves in their own land – Palestine. However, at the end of war
Britain regretted to give independence both Arabs and Jewish.
Palestine became a territory governed by Britain. Increased Jewish
immigration led to the worsening of the relations between communities.
Jews were purchasing land and would not employ Arab workers, who may
have been working on that land for their whole life. Britain tried to
restrict the immigration of Jews, but because of the strong Jewish
lobby in it’s own and US governments could do nothing. And with the
massive increase of Jewish immigrants following the Nazi persecution
in Europe, the idea of restricting immigration lost its sense.
Palestine became a refuge from the dictatorship of the Nazis for
After the end of...
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Israeli-Palestinian conflict: Who’s to blame?
DHP Final Project
Fighting between Israel and Hamas has left much of Gaza City damaged from heavy shelling by the Israel Defense Forces. The conflict broke out on July 8 of 2014, when Israel launched “Operation Protective Edge” in response to Hamas launching rockets toward Israel. Since the conflict began, 1,423 Gazans have died and 8,265 have been injured while 59 Israelis have died. (bbc.com) It is hard for these two regions not to get into conflict seeing as they are so close together with such different beliefs.
The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is one of the world’s longest standing conflicts. Many people feel that resolving this conflict is the key to resolving the various conflicts throughout the Middle East. Some observers see this conflict creating Arab resentment towards the “West” and fueling radical Islamic terrorism. The disturbing conflicts between Israel and Palestine started long before the violence that is currently happening. Although Israel’s oppressive control over the Palestinians was worsening over time, the treaty was signed by both parties. The Palestinians grievance doesn’t compensate for a rebellion.
(This picture is Palestinians protesting at an Israeli checkpoint. It represents the conflict that is going on in Israel not only right now but in years past as well.)
In 1948, the United Nations declared that the British territory known as Palestine would be divided into two independent countries: Israel and Palestine. Arab leaders rejected the declaration and invaded Israel to maintain a unified, independent, Arab Palestine. They lost, and by the time fighting ended, Israel controlled even more of the land than the U.N. declaration had granted the new country. One of the areas still under Palestinian control was the Gaza Strip. Israel occupied the territory in 1967, after another war with Arab states but withdrew its troops and settlers in 2005. (Fisher) So, even though Israel won the war after being attacked by the Arabs – they still gave the Arabs the Gaza strip. And in 2005, Israel pulled out its troops and settlers giving the control to the Palestinians. The Palestinians should be thankful that they even have any land and that Israel gave up their control in 2005. Instead, Hamas is still shooting rockets towards Israel.
To gain more understanding on the topic I wanted to look at the early history of the conflict. I found a great article in the Boston Globe titled ‘How we got here’ that has to do with the history building up to Israel’s conflict with Palestine. One section I focused on is how the British were involved. As the Jewish immigration rose, Arab anger grew and erupted into riots and outbreaks of violence in the nineteen thirties. In response to this the British were aggressive with their military; there were many arrests and some executions. Politically, Britain made a significant gesture to the Arabs in 1939 by issuing a white paper which said its commitment to a Jewish national home in Palestine and restricted immigration of Jews to the area to 75,000 over five years. This angered the Jewish inhabitants, who turned increasingly toward political and military self-governing institutions. I didn’t know that the British played a role in Israeli conflict.
(This picture is an Israeli women soldier taken in 1948 proving that Israeli conflict with other countries goes a long ways back)
In the book, “The Palestinian-Israeli Conflict” by Martin Bunton, the author goes through the last 120 years of the different facets of the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict. He talks about how one of the biggest issues between the two comes from sharing the land. The book is in chronological order dating back to 1897 and up to 2007.
This conflict goes back a long ways beginning in 1897: “In 1897, at the World Zionist Organization meeting held in Basel, Switzerland, Zionist leaders identified Palestine as the land in which to build a Jewish national home and secure for Jews their own state”. (Bunton xiii) Eretz Israel,was the name of the territory in Palestine. Other regions offer their support. “Since 1937, various Arab regimes and ideological movements have offered their support to the Palestinian national cause.” (Bunton xvi) Also, the British were involved in this conflict for a while. “Britain’s rule over Palestine lasted three decades, 1917-1948.” (Bunton xvi)
(This picture shows the borders of Israel, Gaza, etc.)
The article “Living along the seam: Israeli Palestinians in Jerusalem” by Alex Weinrod, does a good job at explaining the relationship between the two regions. He explains how it is hard for these two states to get along seeing as they are so different. “Indeed, Israeli Palestinians often discover that they are “doubly marginal”- they are not entirely accepted by either Palestinians or Israelis…”(Weinrod) So even if you try to get along with one culture or the other – you are frowned upon by others.
Israeli Palestinians in Jerusalem had conflicting desires, expectations, and identifications. This has been a continuing process and he believes a major conflict was bound to happen at some point. For some, who can’t handle the pressure of the two regions’ conflict, it is too much and they choose to leave Jerusalem. Even If the two ethnic groups didn’t want any issues, they still had issues because of how different they were. For the people who lived on the “seam” (which is the border between Israel and Palestine residents) it was much worse. They have to live near the opposite culture all the time.
Another article: “Palestine before the Coming of Israel” explains life in the Middle East before the existence of Israel. The author is Dr. George A. Barton and the article was published in 1906 and it is a peer-reviewed journal. The intended audience is anyone trying to learn more about the Israel and Palestine conflict. The historical context was that Israel was not a nation yet and it was the era when it was just Palestine.
(This picture shows Hamas militants in battle against Israeli forces. The Israeli government has stated that the operation is a defensive response to increased rocket fire from Gaza by Hamas militants. Most pictures show Israel forces being brutal to the Palestinian citizens, but this image portrays the violence on both sides.)
Given Israel’s military and technical capabilities, if they wanted to eliminate the Palestinians they could have done it and would have done it by now. Even after looking at the history of the two regions it still seems to me that the Palestinians are to blame for no peace between the two regions.
“Palestinians protest” by Ben Lynefield – Monday, July 14th, 2014
Barton, George. Palestine before the Coming of Israel. The Biblical World, Vol. 28, No. 6 (Dec., 1906), pp. 360-373Accessed October 26, 2014. http://www.jstor.org/stable/164266
Bunton, MartinThe Palestinian-Israeli Conflict, A Very Short Introduction. 1st ed. United Kingdom: Oxford University Press, 2013.
Fisher, Max. “questions about Israel/Gaza” website http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/worldviews/wp/2012/11/21/9-questions-about-israel-gaza-you-were-too-embarrassed-to-ask/
Rastogi, Nina. “Gaza: The Basics” http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/explainer/2008/01/gaza_the_basics.html
“Pro-Israel, Pro-Peace: J Street.” Pro-Israel, Pro-Peace: J Street. Accessed November 17, 2014. http://jstreet.org/blog/post/proisrael-propeace_2.
Weingrod, Alex. “Living along the seam: Israeli Palestinians in Jerusalem” International Journal of Middle East Studies(2012): 369-386Accessed October 6, 2014. http://www.jstor.org/stable/164266