Arab -Israeli conflict 1945-1979 Crisis in the Middle East
Day one • Roots of the conflict 1900-1945
Geography • Modern day Israel and Palestine • Located on the Eastern side of the Mediterranean Sea • Approximately 10,000 square miles
Origins of the Conflict • Jews claim land back to 2000 BCE (Canaan) • For hundreds of years, the Israelites were invaded, exiled and conquered • Jewish Diaspora: Romans disperse Jews and raze Jerusalem (70 CE)
Ottoman empire • Ottoman Empire takes over in 1517: Palestine is now part of the Ottoman (Muslim) Empire
The break-up of the Ottoman empire • At the turn of the 20th century most of the ME was still under Ottoman control but the empire was imploding. • Young Turk movement • Arab Consciousness • Imperialism • European powers wanted influence in the crumbling empire.
The Zionist Movement (1898) • Zionism: the establishment of a Jewish state in Palestine: the ancient homeland of the Jews. • The movement was founded by Theodore Herzl in the late 19th century. • Because of Jewish persecution the Zionist movement was gaining popularity among Jews • Jewish settlers began to move to Palestine.
World War I • Ottoman Turkey joined the Central powers—UK and France began to plot the division of the Middle East. • Britain promises Palestinian Arabs an Arab state in exchange for their help in defeating the Ottoman Empire. • At the same time Britain also issued The Balfour Declaration • Issued in 1917; declared that a there should be a Jewish national home in Palestine. Free Palestine • Desire to encourage Jewish businessmen in America to support Wilson’s call for war loans.
The Mandate System: • An authorization granted by the League of Nations to a member nation to govern the former German or Turkish colonies, such as the British mandate in Palestine. (San Remo Conference) • The Balfour Declaration was included in the obligations for the governance of Palestine; thus binding Britain to Jewish interests.
The British Mandate in Palestine, 1922-1945 • Continued Jewish immigration, British support for the Zionist position, rejection of Arab demands for independence were met with resentment and led to several bloody clashes which created bitterness on all sides.
Chapter X. - ConclusionConsidering the attitude which both the Arab and the Jewish representatives adopted in giving evidence, the Commission think it improbable that either party will be satisfied at first sight with the proposals submitted for the adjustment of their rival claims. For Partition means that neither will get all it wants. It means that the Arabs must acquiesce in the exclusion from their sovereignty of a piece of territory, long occupied and once ruled by them. It means that the Jews must be content with less than the Land of Israel they once ruled and have hoped to rule again. But it seems possible that on reflection both parties will come to realize that the drawbacks of Partition are outweighed by its advantages. For, if it offers neither party all it wants, it offers each what it wants most, namely freedom and security. Source analysis 1922-1945 Peel Report 1937: Chapter X. - Conclusion: Considering the attitude which both the Arab and the Jewish representatives adopted in giving evidence, the Commission think it improbable that either party will be satisfied at first sight with the proposals submitted for the adjustment of their rival claims. For Partition means that neither will get all it wants. It means that the Arabs must acquiesce in the exclusion from their sovereignty of a piece of territory, long occupied and once ruled by them. It means that the Jews must be content with less than the Land of Israel they once ruled and have hoped to rule again. But it seems possible that on reflection both parties will come to realize that the drawbacks of Partition are outweighed by its advantages. For, if it offers neither party all it wants, it offers each what it wants most, namely freedom and security. To both Arabs and Jews Partition offers a prospect--and there is none in any other policy--of obtaining the inestimable boon of peace. It is surely worth some sacrifice on both sides if the quarrel which the Mandate started could he ended with its termination.
British White Paper- 1939 The Royal Commission and previous commissions of Enquiry have drawn attention to the ambiguity of certain expressions in the Mandate, such as the expression `a national home for the Jewish people', and they have found in this ambiguity and the resulting uncertainty as to the objectives of policy a fundamental cause of unrest and hostility between Arabs and Jews. His Majesty's Government are convinced that in the interests of the peace and well being of the whole people of Palestine a clear definition of policy and objectives is essential. 1. The objective of His Majesty's Government is the establishment within 10 years of an independent Palestine State in such treaty relations with the United Kingdom as will provide satisfactorily for the commercial and strategic requirements of both countries in the future 2. Jewish immigration during the next five years will be at a rate which, if economic absorptive capacity permits, will bring the Jewish population up to approximately one third of the total population of the country…of some 75,000 immigrants over the next five years. After the period of five years, no further Jewish immigration will be permitted unless the Arabs of Palestine are prepared to acquiesce in it.
6,000,000 Jews were killed as a direct result of the Holocaust Hundreds of thousands more were left homeless after World War II Many countries would not allow displaced Jews to live in their countries UK was looking for an honorable way out of the situation in Palestine. The impact of WWII on the British Mandate in Palestine.
Day 2: 1945-1948 • The last years of the British Mandate, UNSCOP and Partition.
Key Terms: • Haganah: An underground Jewish group created in 1920, Haganah became a countrywide organization that involved young adults. • Irgun: An extreme Jewish organization founded in 1931 after a split within Haganah. They were more militant and advocated armed insurrection against the British and Arabs. • Lehi: Radical armed Zionist group dedicated to the creation of a Jewish state in Palestine. Lehi was responsible for the assassination of the UK’s top official in Palestine. • United Resistance: In 1945 these three underground groups joined together with the aim of creating an independent homeland ASAP. • UN SCOP: United Nations special Committee on Palestine.
Britain and the post-war ME • Following WWII UK had significant holdings in the ME but faced financial difficulties. • In Palestine the UK had to figure out what to do with the mandate. Key issues: • Growing US interest in Palestine • Cold War: Soviet interests in Palestine. • Actions of Arabs and Jews during the war = increased violence. • Pro-Jewish support following the Holocaust • Displaced Persons
Developments in Palestine 1945-46 • Arabs and Jews were unhappy to see the return of the British post WWII. • Arabs suffered from a lack of political structure and leadership and were in a poor position to represent their own interests. • Jewish Agency—Jews were in a better political position. The agency led by David Ben Gurion continued to represent Jewish interests to the British. • Zionist Underground activity had begun to increase.
Diplomacy and the role of the United States • Committee of Enquiry was set up in November 1945 to resolve the Arab-Israeli situation. • Final recommendation= partition was rejected as unworkable and not in the best interest of the population. • Meanwhile, President Truman supported the Zionists and supported increased Jewish immigration into Palestine—this angered the British government.
King David Hotel • Hotel was the headquarters of the British Mandate government and military command center.
King David Hotel bombing 7/22/46 • The Causes: • After WWII the British decided to enforce tough measures to regain their authority—they were frustrated with the actions of sabotage and violence carried out by the underground resistance groups. • The British launched a campaign to search for weapons and imprisoned Zionists. • The bombing: • The King David Hotel bombing was an attack carried out by the militant Zionist group Irgun. • Telephoned warnings were sent to the switchboard by the hotel's main lobby, the Palestine Post newspaper, and the French consulate. • No evacuation was carried out. • 91 people were killed and 46 were injured. • Controversy has arisen over the timing and adequacy of these warnings and the reasons why the hotel was not evacuated. • The effects: • Jewish Agency condemned the attack • Worsened relations between the British and Palestinian Jews • Britain desired to turn over the mandate to the UN.
Towards Partition • UNSCOP is established in May of 1947. • 11 man committee toured Palestine. • Palestinian Arabs refused to cooperate fully—believed the committee was weighted against them. • Jewish groups offered full cooperation and promoted their interests. • Event that influenced their decision • Exodus • A ship that carried Jewish emigrants, that left France on July 11, 1947, with the intent of taking its passengers to Palestine. • Most of the emigrants were Holocaust survivor refugees, who had no legal immigration certificates to Palestine. • Following wide media coverage, the British Navy seized the ship, and deported all its passengers back to Europe. • Realizing that they were not bound for Cyprus, the emigrants conducted a 24-hour hunger strike, refusing to cooperate with the British authorities. • But the British government had no intention of backing down or relaxing its policy. Were sent to Germany. • During this time, media coverage of the human ordeal intensified and the British became pressed to find a solution. • The matter came to the attention of UNSCOP and helped influence their final decision.
UNSCOP Report, August 1947 • End to the mandate • Partition plan • Co-operate in an economic Union and share currency. • Jerusalem would be governed under an international trusteeship • Jewish state would be larger than the Arab state.
The UN vote for Partition, November 1947 • 2/3 vote was needed • GA vote • 33 supported • 13 against—ALL Islamic countries voted against the Partition. • 10 abstained
Final plan approved by the UN • 3 “cantons” each, connected at points
Day three: From partition to war 11/47-5/48 • Key Terms: • Fatah—a radical Palestinian organization founded in the 1950’s, including Yasser Arafat, to liberate Palestine. • Arab League—Organization started in 1945 to promote Arab affairs and cooperation.
Partition • The UN decision was met by outrage in the Arab world. • The Arabs had no clear political strategy to pursue—they were suspicious of each other and some Arab leaders had their own self interest in mind. • The Arab League proclaimed jihad against the Jews which gave them a bad reputation in much of the world. • The Jewish movement had superior leadership and organization. They also had experienced soldiers many who had fought during WWII. • Plan D • Gain control of vital areas of the Hebrew State and defend its borders from attack.
A month before the declaration of the state of Israel an number of Arabs were killed by Jewish paramilitaries in the village of Deir Yassin near Jerusalem—100-254 were killed. The event encouraged Arab states to unite and intervene in 1948, against the creation of the state of Israel. Deir Yassin
Israel is Born! • May 14, 1948 in Tel Aviv, the state of Israel was declared. • President—Chaim Weizmann • PM—David Ben Gurion • On the same day, Arab forces from neighboring forces invaded.
The Arab-Israeli War (1948) • On May 15, 1948, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia and Syria invaded the newly formed Israel—combined population equals 40 million (Jewish state 750,000). • Arab countries committed less than 30,000 men while the Jews had over 65,000 in the field. • The Arabs were not prepared for conflict and often pursued their own political and territorial objectives. • Israel was able to import heavy weaponry.
Armistice • With support from the United States, Israel was able to not only defeat the Arabs, but expand their territory. • Negotiations began in January 1949 on the Greek Island of Rhodes and an agreement was signed in February.
Israel after the 1948 War Israel occupied 20% more than she had been promised in the Partition plan
Consequences of the war • 1948 Exodus • 750,000 Palestinian Arabs were expelled or fled. • Most have still not been able to return and are scattered in neighboring countries. • Military defeat split the Arab League • Jordan gained territory • Great Britain lost all influence in the region • Replaced by the US
Day four: • Demographic shifts: The Palestinian Diaspora, Jewish immigration and the economic development of the Israeli state
Key terms: • Diaspora—dispersion, scattering or forced exile. • Intifada—Arabic for “uprising”. Name given to the period of Palestinian resistance to Israeli occupation from 1987.
The origins of the Palestinian Diaspora, 1947 • Palestinians claim that the Israelis followed a conscious policy of expulsion that started under the British Mandate
The role of the UN in the refugee crisis • Majority of Palestinians fled to neighboring countries. • UN passed a resolution calling for a return of Palestinians to their homes and compensation if they choose not to return. • Israel would still have control of the land they gained in the 1948 war. • Plan was rejected by the Arab states.
UN role continued: • UN relief and Works agency (UNRWA) helped set up camps in neighboring countries. • Irrigation projects, healthcare and schools were also established. • Approximately 35% of Palestinian refugees are still under UN control—the remainder have become part of the population of other Arab countries.
Jewish immigration (Aliyah) • Israel passed laws forbidding the return of Palestinian refugees to claim land and property—many new Israeli settlements were built in the West Bank. • Law of return (1950) • Right of every Jew to settle in Israel • Citizenship Law (1952) • Immediate citizenship to immigrants. • Ashkenazim—Jews from France, Germany and Eastern Europe. • Sephardim—Jews from Spain and Portugal • Oriental—Jews from Iran, Iraq and Morocco.
Economic development • Within 30 years Israel became an industrial economic power in the region. • Initially, Israel had to import raw materials and relied on outside help via loans in order to advance transport, aid agriculture and build the basic infrastructure in order to sustain the new nation.
Day 5 • The Suez crisis of 1956
The Egyptian Revolution and the emergence of Nasser • Egyptian army officers (Free Officers Movement) during the War of Independence of Israel plotted to over through the monarch of Egypt because he was corrupt and incompetent. • The Egyptian Revolution eventually resulted in Gamal Abdul Nasser as prime minister and president. • Land redistribution program • Aswan Dam project • Control flooding of the Nile • Loans were initially scheduled to come from the US and UK through the World Bank
Relations deteriorate • Nasser started to look for more sophisticated weaponry. • Chinese and Russians were willing to sell arms • Russians offered to lend money for the dam. • Nasser aids Algerians against France. • Nasser supported the dismissal of Jordan's pro-British head of Army. • Egypt’s diplomatic recognition of Communist China • In retaliation the US, UK and France refuse to loan money for Aswan Dam.
Crisis to war • Arab-Israeli conflict becomes intertwined with the Cold War. • Nasser nationalizes Suez canal. • Cut off UK sea links • Tripartite talks—US, UK and France announced that that the Suez canal was to be an international waterway whose board would report to the UN. • Egypt rejected
Operation Muskateer • Secretly military preparations were started by the UK and France. • The plan included an Israeli invasion of Egypt. • UK and France would intervene, occupy the canal zone and remove Nasser.
October –November 1956 • War lasted one week • War worsened Arab Israeli relations. • 1. Israel quickly captured most of Sinai and Gaza • 2. Anglo-France ultimatum to both sides to withdraw. • 3. Egypt rejected and appealed to the UN. • British and France aircraft attack Egyptian airfields. • America orders a ceasefire • Results handout
1956 Suez Crisis • Israel withdrew fully within a year, and the original border was restored
Day 6 • The development of Arabism and the emergence of the PLO