In January 2006, the Islamic militant group Hamas won the Palestinian Parliamentary elections, with 42.2% of the votes. The election in Palestine of a group that remains committed to an armed struggle, the destruction of Israel and retaliatory attacks on Israeli civilians shows that nearly sixty years after the creation of the State of Israel, the co-existence of Palestine and Israel is still problematic in the Middle East. When did this Palestinian problem start to emerge and how did it become a more general conflict between Arabs and Israel? According to Cleveland, in the 1880s, "Zionist claims to the same territory inhabited by Palestinian Arabs lay at the root of the conflict over Palestine" . How did these conflicting claims over a territory cause the emergence of an Arab-Israeli conflict that spanned more than one century of political tensions and open hostilities with "Jordan, Egypt and Syria, whatever their mutual animosities, ... aligned against Israel" ? How did this conflict generate five wars and create over 1 million refugees? How did it produce misunderstanding and bitterness among the various parties involved and repercussions throughout the Middle East and the world at large? To answer these questions, we are going to study the main milestones in the emergence of the Palestinian problem and the Arab-Israeli conflict. We will explain the implications of the 1979 peace treaty between Egypt and Israel and why it can be considered at the end of the "emergence of the Palestinian problem and the Arab-Israeli conflict".
[...] Britain -even if it had agreed in 1954 to give up its Suez Canal base- and France thought this nationalization was undermining the West's position throughout the Arab world and collaborated secretly with Israel to attack Egypt, creating the second Arab-Israeli war, known as the Suez war. Israel's goal was destroy the fidaiyin bases in Gaza and to break the Egyptian blockade of the Gulf of Aqaba”. On October Israel attacked Egypt and France and Britain intervened on the 31. [...]
[...] “However gave the Palestinian movement room for manoeuvre: the regular Arab armies were discredited, while political mobilisation grew in the newly occupied West Bank and in the refugee camps of Jordan and Lebanon. The new leader of PLO, Yasser Arafat . used his own political organisation al-Fatah . to represent an independent Palestinian voice”. This organisation carried out guerrilla actions in areas under Israeli control, causing some casualties and property damage within Israel. the aftermath of 1967 war Arab states worked to recover lands taken by Israel in that conflict by both military and diplomatic means” : Egypt undertook a war of attribution from 1968-70, combating Israel across the Suez Canal. [...]
[...] that lasted until December 1948 and resulted in the defeat of the Arab forces, the enlargement of Israeli territory, and the collapse of the UN proposal for a Palestinian Arab state”. The Arab defeat was due to a lack of military coordination and to political divisions since they all placed their own interests first. On the contrary, the Israeli forces, which were more numerous and favoured by the US and the USSR, were “motivated by the belief that they were engaged in a life-and-death struggle for the very existence of a Jewish state”. [...]
[...] first century but this idea “found its modern, political expression at the end of the nineteenth century” when Jews suffered discrimination in Europe and that the active persecution of the Jewish community intensified, especially in Poland and Russia. In 1896, Theodor Herzl publishes Judenstaat in which he provides the ideological basis for political Zionism. For him, Jews constituted a nation but lacked a political state within which they could freely express their national culture”. Largely because of Herzl's efforts, the First Zionist congress was held in Basle, Switzerland, in August 1897 and the first inter- territorial gathering of Jews on a national and secular basis. [...]
[...] Many milestones of the conflict could have been evoked in this essay like the first intifada 1987 or the Gulf War in 1991, but we used the date 1979 as the period in which the Palestinian problem and the Arab-Israeli conflict were shaped in similar terms as we know them today. Bibliography Readings - Smith, Charles, Arab-Israeli Conflict' in Fawcett, Louise International Relations of the Middle East (Oxford : Oxford university Press 2005) - Cleveland, William L., A History of the Modern Middle East (Boulder : Westview Press, 3rd edition, 2004) Ch - Goldschmidt, Arthur and Davidson, Lawrence, A Concise History of the Middle East (Boulder : Westview Press, 8th edition, 2006) Ch. [...]
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