What would you do if your brother, sister, or other family member came into the room later today and said that you have to make room for them and their stuff or find another place to sleep? Who should get the room? Suppose you got pressured? How could you solve the problem peaceably?
Palestine – Israel 101 At the heart of this conflict is a dispute over land and boarders.
The land of Palestine was inhabited by Palestinian Arabs 400,000 Muslims – 80% 75,000 Christians – 15% 25,000 Jews – 5% 1850 For centuries these groups had lived in harmony
Zionism In the late 1800s; Extremist European Jews decided to colonize Palestinian land They wanted to create a Jewish homeland As more and more Zionists immigrated the indigenous population became increasingly alarmed Eventually, there was fighting between the two groups.
1947 – The UN gets involved In the aftermath of WWII and the Holocaust the UN gave 55% of Palestine to a newly created Jewish State – Israel Zionist Jews were 30% of the population and owned only 7% of the land
1948: Arab Israeli War 90,000 European-trained Zionist soldiers possessing modern weaponry 30,000 ill-equipped, poorly trained Arab soldiers VS
Israel conquered 78% of Palestine Created nearly 1 million Palestinian refugees Nakba Over 400 towns and villages were destroyed Every city, river, and hill received a new Hebrew name Denied the existence of Palestine
1967: Six Day War Israel conquered more land by launching a highly successful attack Occupied additional 22% of Palestine – The West Bank and the Gaza Strip
Recognizing the Two Sides The Palestinian Side: • Fear of Dispossession / 20th Century Jewish Immigration • Nakba of 1948 • The 57-year Occupation • Spiritual connection to the Holy Land
Recognizing the Two Sides The Jewish Side: • History of Jewish Persecution • Holocaust • Israel as Jewish ‘Safe Haven’ • Spiritual connection to the Holy Land
The Composition of the Holy Land Source: 2003 CIA World Fact Book - Palestine data consists of the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
Economic Comparative Analysis In the land between the Mediterranean sea and the Jordan river… Israel Unemployment 1 out of 10 Growth rate -0.8% Palestine Unemployment 1 out of 2 Growth rate -18% GDP Per Capita Annual Budget UN HDI Rank $117.4 Billion $19,500 $45.1 Billion 22 out of 177 GDP Per Capita Annual Budget UN HDI Rank $2.4 Billion $700 $1.2 Billion 102 out of 177 A Palestinian has to work for 28 years to earn what an Israeli does in one year Sources: United Nations 2004 Human Development Index (HDI), 2003 CIA World Fact Book.
Military Comparison Israel Palestine Israel continues to maintain tens of thousands of troops in the West Bank and Gaza – Israel invaded and occupied those areas in the 1967 war Main Battle Tanks – Combat Aircraft – Artillery – 2001 Military Expenditures – Official Active Forces – 3,950 438 1,542 $10.1 billion 167,600 0 0 0 $85 million 35,000 Source: Center for Strategic and International Studies “We can argue with the Palestinians about who’s to blame; but about who is suffering worse – there is no argument. They are a destitute nation living in an elaborate prison under the guns of the Israeli army.” Jerusalem Post Editorial, March 3, 2004
Demographic Analysis The total population today between the Jordan river and the Mediterranean Sea is just under 10 million. This area includes Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories. In contrast, the census taken in 1931 shows a total population of 1,035,821. The 2004 population is: 4.9 million Jewish, 4.9 million Palestinian (Muslim & Christian) Sources: Israel Central Bureau of Statistics, American Jewish Committee. CIA World Fact Book. 1931 British Census.
The Conflict has taken 4,000 lives in 4 years From September 29, 2000 to January 5, 2005 Sources: Middle East Policy Council, The Guardian Unlimited
The Path of the Israeli Barrier The barrier’s path has been projected to annex between 7% – 45% of Palestinian land. This will: • Completely surround 100,000 people in 42 towns • Reduce the available water supply by 1 billion gallons • Confiscate hundreds of thousands of acres of land • Severely restrict travel to jobs, hospitals and schools • Adversely affect 4 out of 10 Palestinians
A Look at the Israeli Barrier from Space Before After CLOSE UP: Qalqilyah was a relatively rich Palestinian town, nicknamed the ‘bread basket.’ After the Wall was constructed around it the cost of shipping goods has tripled. Consequently, 600 stores have been forced to close and now 75% of the town’s 40,000+ residents depend on humanitarian assistance from overseas.
The Israeli Barrier on the Ground Archbishop Pietro Sambi, of Jerusalem said the wall, “cuts in half monasteries, convents, churches and cemeteries.” The pictures above are of the wall in Bethlehem
American National Interest Why is it in the U.S. interest to solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict? “Attitudes toward the United States have gone from bad to worse” “The bottom has fallen out of Arab and Muslim support for the United States” The Muslim World Population – 1.4 Billion This one example represents an 80% decline Q: “What can the U.S. do to improve relations with the Arab world?” A: Resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict Sources: Pew Research Study on Global Attitudes. Zogby International poll of Arabs attitudes, September 2002.
The U.S. Intelligence Community The official report on Current and Projected Threats to the National Security of the United States concluded that resolving the Israeli Palestinian conflict will: “Significantly reduce negative feelings toward the U.S. in the region,” “Without it, the U.S. should expect Arab and Muslim hostility to increase further, threatening prospects for the future.” It goes on to conclude that, “Why do they hate us?.. For the most part, you get one answer, over and over again, and with little variation. They hate us because of our policy toward Israel and the Palestinians.” An About-Face on America, The Washington Post, August 24, 2004 Sources: U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. Haaretz Daily 11/03/03. Against All Enemies by Richard Clarke 2004.
American Public Opinion Nearly 9 out of 10 Americans believe that a peaceful solution to the Israeli - Palestinian conflict is an important foreign policy goal of the United States and 64% favor making a major effort to be even-handed in order to combat international terrorism. But only 3 out of 10 Americans realize that the creation of a sovereign Palestinian State is necessary for a peaceful solution of the conflict Sources: Mar. 2002 Gallup Poll. Oct. 2001 Newsweek. Nov. 2001 U. Md. PIPA September 2004 Chicago Council on Foreign Relations Global Views 2004.