When asked about when exactly the conflicts started many historians can’t give a specific date because of different opinions and visions that they have.Some say it started in 1948 when the Israel state was declared.Also opinions are being different if talking about what are the real motives of this war,is it religion,that fueled this conflict for thousands of years or just interest in the territory and a way to show the national expression of the people.It is important to accentuate that there was a jewish community that lived in the Middle East for thousands of years and that it coexisted with other arab neighbors in more peaceful relations than for example in Europe,where the anti-Semitism was being spreaded around by extremist leaders.Therefore now we have this dispute between the Palestinian nationalist movement and Israeli nationalist movement.called zionism,this dispute has as its main cause a very small area,the land between the Mediterranean Sea and the Iornan River.Both nations want to be proud and they want their nation-state to reflect their culture so I see why it is really hard to make comrpomises and divide the country.Conflicts that occurred over the years are the reason why an agreement wasnt reached.The international community and the majority of Israelis and Palestinians have spoken out in the last 20-30 years and were in favor of a two-state solution.Unfortunately we see that what has happened in the past years has been a setback in reaching a common goal so the negotiations failed.
Of course I was always wondering why did it happen,isnt it a reasonable solution,each country living within its own territory and with its own culture,why is there still a conflict going on?
Since 1917 Palestine was under the british ruling and with Hitler’s purges in Germany,the Jewish population there grew sharply,taking refuge in the area.Violence between Jews and Arabs took place in the early twentieth century.An arab uprising took place between 1936-1939,and this degenerated into a real civil war in 1947.Israel is declaring its independence on May 14,1948.
Right on the next day the armies of Egypt,Lebanon,Syria,Jordan and Iraq invaded Israel.This invasion was the one that set the tone for the next many Israeli-Arab wars,intifades,terrorist attacks and protests.
In december 1948,Israel controlled most of the territory of the west of Jordan,but the Gaza Strip was controlled by Egypt.Egypt imposed a blockade on the Tiran strait in the Red Sea so that no Israeli ship could reach the port of Eilat.Also in 1956,Egypt annexed the Suez Canal and did not allow Israeli ships to sail.With this I wanted to show how Israel’s relation with the arab countries was getting worse and worse,everyone wanting to gain more for their own country and people.Even now the majority of arab states dont recognize the right of the Israeli state to exist and continue to promote an aggressive policy against it,secretly arming Palestinian terrorist organizations.
As witten earlier In my essay I want to accentuate what is zionism and what stays at the bottom of it,well it is based on the idea that Palestinians were never a nation in its whole sense.In Theodor Herz’l short story,Altneuland (1902),the Palestinians are described as miserable arabs looking like bandits.It is this short story that will become one of the basic texts of Zionist thought.
An interesting aspect of this subject is why USA supports Israel in this conflict.America has consistently expressed support for the Israeli policy in Palestine,providing financial support and diplomatic assistance to the Israeli government.Also USA has blocked the adoption of a UN Security Council Resolution,that is condemning Israeli military actions in the Gaza Strip and other palestinian inhabited territories.
We dont need to forget that many Jews were holding leadership positions in labour movements in the early twentieth century,implemating left-wing policies of the Democratic Party,also contributing to the New Deal policies.In the international arena ,with the founding of Israel in 1948,the Middle East has become an area of interest for American foreign policy.With the cold war going on,Israel accepted a US foreign policy implementation In its region.Even after the collapse of USSR Israel continued to be the centerpiece of US strategy in the Middle East area.
Israel represented the perfect tool for the United States to restore the balance of power in the region.The jewish state became an important member of the anti-sovietic bloc,but of course the support wasnt coming only from the jewish part.Americans were giving their support,too helping the Tel Aviv government not only in a diplomatic way but also military wise,equiping it with modern weapons and improving the defense mechanism.Nowadays the Israeli army is considered to be one of the most powerful armies in the world in terms of the developed military technologies.
According to opinion polls,Israel enjoys great popularity among american voters,who have shown greater sympathy for jews than palestinians.Also we see this phenomenon being spread among the politicians.This opinion has been intensified since the 2001 terrorist attacks,in which arab terrorists were involved.
Another thing I want to talk about in this essay is the life in the ,,palestinian ghetto’’.With the proclamation of the jewish state,the palestinians came to live in territories that over the years have shrunk more and more in size due to the establishment of new jewish settlements.It is called ghettos due to the way the living spaces are looking.On august 30 ,2003,an Israeli security wall began to be built along the borders of the West Bank under the de facto control of the palestinian authority,this was made because of a wave of palestinian terrorist attacks in Israel,also called ,,Intifada 2’’.Palestinians call the wall the ,,appartheid wall’’.This wall stopped the freedom of movement and started a wave of violance and abuses.
In this part of the essay I want to show the palestinian issue from the perspective of Israel.From the multiple articles that I read online I have understood that Israel has repeatedly stated that it is ready to negotiate with the palestinians leaders to form an independent Palestinian state,but the terrorist attacks that came from the palestinians have blocked any move that might have lead to peace between the two parts.Relations with the surrounding arab states are still frozen,due to the fact that Israel is still not being recognized internationally by them.
We can see how the arab states were against the independece of the new formed country also in the fact that they formed an alliance to annihilate the now independent state.From the arab side,only Egypt and Jordan agreed to officially recognize the existence of Israel.The coalition of arab states was also a reason for the outbreak of the Six Day War (1967) and the Yom Kippur War (1972).Some arab states such as Iran ,have been actively involved in financing and training terrorist movements operating in Israel (Hamas,Islamic Jihad and Hezbollah).The political situation in the Palestinian territories has been further complicated by Hamas victory in the 2006 elections legislative and presidential elections.Fatah,the palestinian political group organized by Yasser Arafat,has become the target of Hamas attacks to seize full power in Palestine.In the context of arab spring,Hamas has managed to enter into new agreements with arab governments,expanding its arms trade in the Gaza Strip.Another important issue in the resumption of the peace of the negotiations was the abolition of the jewish settlements in the palestinian territories.Israel has agreed to demolish these settlements in the Gaza Strip,which are considered illegal by the international community.Since 2014 Israel has decided to build another 14.000 jewish settlements.At the same time 500 palestinian houses were destroyed,including those in the village of Khirbit Makhoul.
The formation of a coalition between Fatah and Hamas made Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas to face a decisive choice:peace with Israel or peace with Hamas,terrorist organization that seeks to destroy Israel.Prime minister Netanyahu finally decides to introduce economic sanctions on palestinians and suspends construction of palestinians homes in West Bank zone C.
For Israel the signing of the Oslo Accords (1993) was a hope for the maintaning of the peace between israelis and palestinians.But violence continued and it was a disappointment for the Israeli diplomacy,that agreed to give 95 percent of the territory requested by the palestinians.
Then the second Intifada (palestinian uprising) ended all the left negotiations aimed at finding peaceful solutions.Since then,Israel has been forced to intervene militarly whenever Hamas or other terrorists organizations have launched attacks on its territory.
An important aspect of this on going conflict is the Hamas and the Islamic jihad.This organizations has been catalogued as terrorist by countries like:Israel,USA,Canada,Jordan,Egypt and Japan.But there are countries that didnt catalogue them as so like for example:Russia,Iran and China.These countries classified the organizations as just being resistance movements.The wave of suicide bombings and assassinations in Israel by Hamas and Islamic Jihad are the main reasons why some think of them as terrorist groups.The assasination of Israeli prime minister Ithak Rabin by an extremist was what led to compromise of Israeli-palestinian peace talks.Hamas rockets over Israel territory has become one of the many reasons why Israel is launching military operations in the Gaza Strip,but sometimes the targeted areas are not very well determined leaving behind people that have no fault in what is happening and the situation.
I was searching on the internet what is the opinion of some historians and political specialists I stumbled upon the book ,,The case against Israel’’ written by Michael Newmann.The book is based on the idea that the first step into creating an independent Palestinian state is the withdrawal of all jewish people from the occupied palestinian territories.Israel is willing to accept the existence of an independent Palestinian state,but of course with this comes a request from their side,too it being keeping the entire historic Palestine under occupation.
As seen in the title of this paper I wanted to accentuate on what are the cause of this on going conflict,well another important reason is the water supply.If Israel give us the West Bank it means that they lose the control over the mountain springs,which are a great provider of water needs.If this thing happens Israel would have to buy water from the Palestinians so we see how apart from culture and religion there is always the money interest being in the middle of all.
But taking the cultural differences into account we see that there are a lot of them too,for example lets take the army in both states,as we all know in Israel the youth (even girls) join the army (3 years the boys and 2 the girls),on the other part there are the palestinians,in their state they dont have the right to have an army.So there are no bridges of communication even between the young people living on both sides.
One of the biggest causes of the war is of course religion.The main battle is for Jerusalem,the holy city for jews,muslims and christians.Neither the Israelis nor the palestinians want to give up Jerusalem.The palestinians want to form a state consisting of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip,with its capital in Jerusalem,but Israel says that Jerusalem is its capital only.
The religious aspect of the subject is very interesting for me,if looking back in history there is in Jerusalem the Dome of Rock,a mosque built over a rock where Muhammad’s hand could be seen.And this is built above the Holy Temple of the Jews,destoyed in the end by the romans almost 2000 years ago.
So what is the statute of Jerusalem right now?well I want to answer this by saying that the UN has never recognized the annexation of the West Bank,which also includes east Jerusalem.In the West Bank there is the city of Hebron,which is holy both to to israelis and muslims,but also Bethlehem (the birthplace of Jesus).This thing brings problem into the international arena,too.The issue is so pressing that most countries have their embassies in Tel Aviv,it was just recently when the US decided to move their embassy to Jerusalem.
In this part of the essay I want to talk about another interesting aspect of the topic it being the financing help from different banks around the world.For example there is ABP ,a Dutch pension fund,that is investing in Israeli banks and helps to finance the colonization of Palestine.Important banks such as Barclays are investing in Israel’s arms suppliers.The British company G4S provides security equipment used by the Israeli armed forces and the French company Veolia is offering transport services to Israeli settlers living on Palestine territory.IT giant Hewlett-Packard provides modernized surveillance systems to monitor Palestinian movements.The company Caterpillar provides bulldosers used to demolish Palestinian homes and farms and factories.
Another thing that I was questioning before writing this essay is the topic of citizenship and how can you get it,knowing the complicated situation.The government is willing to give the israelian citizenship only to those who sign a declaration of allegiance to the Israeli national flag amd anthem and are prepared to follow the military service.Those eho refuse to sign it,can only remain as permanent residents,still having the right to vote or hold local offices in Jerusalem.In general though they are excluded to vote for national elections as well as from the right to be elected for national office.
Before writing the conclusion I want to mark some tragic events that happened that were ruining the peace between the 2 states more and more.In 1972 the Munchen Massacre happened.After 1967 Palestinian terrorists attacked Israelis in every corner of the world.The Black September group took as hostage and killed 11 of the members of the Israeli Olympic team at the Munich Olympics of 1972.It was known that terrorists were part of Yasser’s Arrafat faction.In 1994 another tragedy happens:the first suicide bombing in Israel.Eight civilians were killed on a bus.This tactic will be used more and more often by the Islamists all over the world.
The consequence of all this wars apart from many deaths and sufferings,were the refugees.If arab leaders had accepted the partition plan proposed by UN ,instead of starting a war,today there would be an independent Arab-Palestinian state alongside Israel.But still we cant say who is right and who is wrong.
In conclusion I wanted to say that in this paper I wanted to show this conflict from both points of view and also not just write about the order of events but dig deeper in what has happened.Maybe in many years they will find a compromise where both sides will be pleased and maybe people will forget about the many tragedies that happened,the only thing remaining would be the history books that will keep it.And even if the conflict will end at one point,what is the key for freedom?How will the people that lost members of families forget everything that has happened?How can religion (the subject that teaches us of loving and protecting each other) be the cause of so many wars and hate between individuals.I hope that in this paper I accentuated all the important events that have happened throughout the years on the 2 sides:the side of modern weapons and the side of kamikaze on the other part.