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The Arab-Israeli Conflict

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Presentation on theme: "The Arab-Israeli Conflict"— Presentation transcript:

1 The Arab-Israeli Conflict
Ch and 15.2

2 I. The Problem of Palestine
Historical Roots Jewish claim to Israel dates back 3,000 years Muslim Arab claim dates to the exile of the Jews in the 1st century AD Modern Factors: 1890s pogroms against Jews in E. Europe created Zionist movement; Zionists wanted to create a homeland for Jews in Palestine 20th century anti-Semitism in Europe, especially in the 1920s – 30s (Nazi Germany) increased migration to Palestine Rising value of oil in Middle East

3 C. The Balfour Declaration, 1917
After WWI, Palestine (freed from Ottoman rule) became a mandate of the British British Foreign Minister, Arthur Balfour issued a declaration of support for the creation of a Jewish homeland in Palestine, but without infringing on the rights of the “existing non-Jewish communities” Tensions grew as more Jews immigrated to Palestine & after WWII, the British turned over the mandate to the UN

4 The Balfour Declaration
The British Foreign Secretary, Arthur James Balfour, wrote to Jewish leader Lord Rothshild, to assure him that his government supported the ideal of providing a homeland for the Jews. The British hoped thereby to win more Jewish support for the Allies in the First World War. The "Balfour Declaration" became the basis for international support for the founding of the modern state of Israel. The letter was published a week later in The Times of London as reproduced here. Foreign Office November 2nd, Dear Lord Rothschild: I have much pleasure in conveying to you. on behalf of His Majesty's Government, the following declaration of sympathy with Jewish Zionist aspirations which has been submitted to, and approved by, the Cabinet: His Majesty's Government view with favor the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavors to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country. I should be grateful if you would bring this declaration to the knowledge of the Zionist Federation. Yours, Arthur James Balfour

5 D. Israel UN recommended a partition of Palestine into separate Jewish & Palestinian states, with Jerusalem as an “international” city: Arab countries rejected the partition, which was favorable to the Jews, a minority of the population May 14, 1948 David Ben-Gurion becomes the 1st Israeli Prime Minister 1948 War of Independence: Six Arab states (Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria & Saudi Arabia) invade the next day, but lose the war & Israel takes ½ Palestinian territory Egypt took control of the Gaza Strip, Jordan annexed the West Bank Palestine never came into being

6 E. Suez Crisis, 1956 Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser seized control of the British-French operated Suez Canal after losing financial support of the US & GB (to get Nasser’s cooperation in Arab-Israeli conflict) in building the Aswan Dam (due to Nasser’s recognition of Communist China) British-French-Israeli troops attacked Egypt & re-took the Canal, but joint US-Soviet support of Nasser forced them to withdraw Nasser began to promote Pan-Arabism, but wealthy Arab nations were distrustful of his motives & did not wish to share revenues w/ poor countries

7 F Six-Day War Nasser & Arab allies (with Soviet arms) mobilized against Israel at the Gulf of Aqaba Israel responded by attacking airfields in Egypt, Iran, Jordan & Syria while ground forces struck on three fronts Within 6 days, Israeli military occupied Jerusalem, the Sinai Peninsula, the Golan Heights & the West Bank Palestinians living in Jerusalem could become either Israeli or Jordanian citizens, those in other areas remain stateless

8 PM Golda Meir did not launch a pre-emptive strike, not wanting to lose US support for starting the war G. Yom Kippur War, 1973 Egyptian soldiers crossing the Suez Canal After the 1967 war, the UN adopted Resolution 242; a proposal for Arab-Israeli peace, which possibly included Israeli withdrawal from territory gained in the 6-Day war Egyptian President Anwar Sadat suggested he would make peace w/ Israel if they followed the UN resolution & returned land; this did not materialize 1973: Sadat launched a joint Arab attack on the holiest day for Jews; caught by surprise, Israel initially lost 1967 territory, but re-gained it in a counter-attack UN Security Council forces came in to rescue Egyptian forces & imposed a cease-fire agreement in 1974: Resolution 338 President Anwar Al-Sadat, Operation Nickel Grass: US supplied the Israel Army

9 H. OPEC Oil Embargo, 1973 OPEC (Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries) announced an embargo of oil to any nation that supported Israel in the Yom Kippur War; in addition this was used to increase & control the price of oil, rather than allow 65% of profits to go to foreign owned oil companies instead of the countries that produced the oil OPEC was founded in 1960 as a cartel, but by 1973, gained political and economic power as a result of the oil embargo launched by the Arab members of OPEC (OAPEC) against the US & the Netherlands Effects: price of barrels of oil quadrupled by 1974 (from $3 to $12/barrel) while shortages occurred as a result of the embargo: in the US no gas was sold on Sundays, people could only buy 10 gallons & go on designated days based on license plates causing long lines at the stations (Price of oil, 5/08: $135/barrel) The embargo was lifted in May, 1974 but the dependency on foreign oil has only increased

10 I. Camp David Accords, 1979 1977: Sadat promised peace, but Israel had to recognize the rights of Palestinians & withdraw from 1967 territory US President Carter met w/ Sadat & Israeli PM Menachem Begin at Camp David to set terms for peace Egypt agreed to recognize Israel (the 1st Arab state to do so) Israel returned the Sinai Peninsula Sadat was assassinated in 1981 by Muslim extremists, but new Pres. Hosni Mubarak maintained the peace settlement

11 II. Palestinian Struggle for Peace A. The Intifada
Palestinians resented Israeli rule as Jews began building settlements in the West Bank & Gaza Strip PLO (Palestinian Liberation Organization) led by Yasir Arafat began an armed struggle in the 1987 – 1991 & again in 2000 known as “the uprising” or intifada Tactics included boycotts, demonstrations, violent attacks & suicide bombings

12 B. Oslo Accords & the Palestinian Authority, 1993
Peace talks began b/w Palestine & Israel in 1991 & by 1993, Arafat & Israeli PM Yitzhak Rabin met in Oslo, Norway w/ US Pres. Clinton: Israel agreed to grant Palestinians self-rule in the Gaza Strip & West Bank: Declaration of Principles created the Palestinian Authority led by Arafat; in return the PLO recognized Israel Rabin & Arafat won the 1994 Nobel Peace Prize for their efforts Despite these talks little change occurred as people on both sides refused to cooperate Rabin was assassinated by Jewish extremists in 1995 & Palestinians continued to carry out attacks in Israel Arafat, Shimon Peres, Yitzhak Rabin accepting Nobel Prize

13 C. 2nd Intifada, 2000 – 2005 & the Road Map to Peace?
Second intifada began as Ariel Sharon (soon to be elected PM – 2001) visited the Temple Mount, but roots of violence lie in failure of the peace process 2003: Red Sea Summit included the US, Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, the Palestinian Authority & Israel to discuss the “Road Map to Peace” and establishment of a Palestinian State by 2005; in return, Palestinians must abandon use of terrorist attacks & implement democratic reforms Arafat died in 2004, Mahmoud Abbas was elected as his successor A mutual cease-fire was signed in 2005 and Sharon began withdrawing Israeli troops from Gaza

14 D. Election of Hamas & Stall in Peace, 2006
Elections in the Palestinian Authority in Jan led to a majority victory for Hamas, an Islamic militant organization, labeled a terrorist entity by both the US, Israel & the European Union – all of whom refused to deal w/ Hamas In addition, Israel continued to build Jewish settlements in the West Bank despite promises to halt construction; and building of a concrete security fence to protect Israelis from attacks in Jerusalem

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