The Nazis In 1933 the Nazis came to power in Germany. Immigration exploded as Jews sought to escape Europe. Between 1933 and 1936 140,000 new immigrants arrived. The Palestinians believed they were being swamped.
The Holocaust. Nazi Germany, and Hitler, perpetrated the worst ‘Pogrom’ in living memory by systematically trying to eliminate all Jewish people. The factory-like process by which Jewish men, women and children were identified, labelled, moved, stored, abused and finally killed became called the ‘Holocaust’. Over 6 million Jewish people died. The Germans did not succeed in eliminating the Jews however.
A German death camp at the end of World War II. German people are brought, by the Americans, to see the horror of Nazi brutality against the Jews in a concentration camp.
The Nazi Holocaust 6,000,00 Jews killed by the Nazis [1/2 in the concentration camps.]
World War II The discovery of Hitler’s death camps profoundly shocked the world and highlighted the case of the Jewish people who had survived. Many Jewish people began seeking refuge in Palestine. The Arab states near Palestine were, meanwhile, throwing off colonial rule and getting together to preserve Palestine for the Arabs.
World war II 1939-1945 The British Empire was severely shocked by the war and needed men fast. It was proposed that Palestine could be a recruiting base for Jewish soldiers. The government agreed and a Jewish Brigade was established. It was even allowed the Zionist emblem as its flag. By the end of the war the British sought to break up the Brigade. They confiscated equipment- but military knowledge they couldn’t erase.
Redemption---Post WWII After World War Two Holocaust survivors desperate to get out off Europe and with the gates of the world closed to them headed for Palestine. Most arrived as illegal immigrants and had to be smuggled into the country. The fate of the refugee ship The Exodus became an international scandal after the British beat its passengers on to prison ships and then returned them to camps in Germany. A US newspaper ran the headline, “Back to the Reich.”
The refugee ship ‘Exodus’. Meanwhile Jewish refugees continued to arrive from war-torn Europe. Many arrived with, or without, British permission to land. This was like adding petrol (gas) to a smouldering fire. It would make it burst into flame.
British “Detention” Camps in Cyprus : 1946-1948
Jewish refugees being stopped from entering Palestine by a British soldier.
British soldiers arresting refugees as they land illegally in Palestine.
Jews & Arabs in Palestine, 1920 × In 1920, there was 1 Jew to every 10 Arabs in Palestine. × By 1947, the ratio was 2 Arabs for every Jew. × In 1920, there was 1 Jew to every 10 Arabs in Palestine. × By 1947, the ratio was 2 Arabs for every Jew. The Arabs felt that they were loosing control of their “country!”
Terrorism---1947 UN Issue In Palestine Jewish paramilitaries waged a war to drive the British out. Notorious incidents were the blowing up of the King David Hotel and the hanging of two British soldiers. Britain unable to crush the revolt chose to hand over the problem of Palestine to the UN.
Jewish “Freedom Fighters” (or “Terrorists”?) Irgun Zvai Leumi [Natl. Military Org.] Avraham Stern & The Stern Gang
The United Nations Plan of 1947 The world was sick of war by 1945 and the prospect of another starting in the Middle East cheered no-one up. The United nations decided to partition Palestine as a way to separate the warring Arabic and Jewish peoples. Neither the British, nor the United Nations implemented this plan, and the cavalier way in which it was seen to be an outside imposition did not appeal to Jew or Arab. British limits on immigration also further angered Zionist groups. The idea of an ‘international’ city (Jerusalem) was also found to be unworkable. Neither side could recognise others’ control of their most special places. The rejection of the plan laid the path clear for the Arab-Israeli war of 1948
The UN Partition Plan In November 1947 the UN voted to partition Palestine. The Jewish State was to have 54% of the land, including the best land, even though: the Jewish Agency only owned between 6 -8% of the land; the Jewish population of Palestine was only just a third of the total population; the proposed Jewish State would only just have a bare majority of 15,000 over its non-Jewish inhabitants. The Zionist Agency again accepted the principle of partition, though not its borders. The Palestinians rejected it outright. Violence between the communities began the next day.
Orange marks Jewish settlers’ land. Yellow marks Arab Palestinian land.
UN Plan for Palestine (1947) Partition (separate) the area into 2 countries Israel (Jewish State) and Palestine (Arab State) 55% of land goes to the Jews 45% of land goes to the Arabs Total Population: 1.8 million 1.2 million Arabs living in area 600,00 Jews living in area Jerusalem:“international city” controlled by UN Accepted by Jews Rejected by Arabs No Arab on committee
25 Arab Claim the Partition Plan is Unfair The Jewish representative addressing the UN in 1947: “17,000,000 Arabs now occupy an area of 1,290,000 square miles, including all the principal Arab and Moslem centers. Yet the UN proposed to reduce it by one half and to eliminate Western Galilee from the Jewish State. That was an injustice and a grievous handicap to the development of the Jewish State.” Dr. Abba Hillel Silver, October 2, 1947 600,000 Jews now occupy an area of 10,000 square miles in Palestine. Area Population Arabs Jews
The Arab League 1947 The Arab states now combined together to form the “Arab league” The Arab league consisted of Syria, Egypt, Jordan, Iraq, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia and Yemen, and it became a formidable Arab force arranged against the Jewish settlers.
The Arab league today (in green) and Israel in blue. This huge imbalance between the Jewish settlers in 1947 and their Arab adversaries has changed little.
Post World War Two WWII – large portion of Jewish population flees Nazism for Palestine, many join Zionist movement, seek new life –Wounded Britain pulls out of Palestine completely by 1948 –Organized fighting with armies and weapons begins, bombings, massacres, spontaneous fighting from both sides –State of Israel declares independence May 14, 1948 Jordan, Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, and Saudi Arabia all declare war on Israel United States immediately recognizes new state, followed by USSR Israeli War of Independence 1948 - 1949
Deir Yassin and Plan Dalet--- 1948 In April 1948 Zionist/Israeli forces unleashed Plan Dalet to remove ‘hostile’ populations from around their communication routes. On the 9 April the peaceful village of Deir Yassin was overrun and its population massacred. News of the massacre led to panic and widespread flight amongst the Palestinian community. In other areas where the community refused to flee they were forced out; in Jaffa, Haifa and Acre literally pushed into the sea.
Israel Becomes a Nation: May 14, 1948 David Ben-Gurion, 1 st Prime Minister Chaim Weizmann, 1 st President
May 14, 1948-Israeli Independence Day. The Arabic Palestinians, led by the Arab Higher Committee, moved first. There was a wave of anti-Jewish protests, Jewish shops were looted, and Jewish people attacked. The Jewish provisional government decided that they had to act independently. They felt that they had to act for themselves- and not wait for the British to leave. May 14, 1948 The Prime Minister Ben Gurion declared the Independence of Israel,only one day before the end of the mandate, and in a climate of fear and violence.
David Ben-Gurion declares Israel’s Independence May 14, 1948 Israel was quickly recognised by the USA and Russia. They were powerful, and rich, friends.
1948-9 Israeli War of Independence. Arab League countries declared war on the new Israel immediately. Egypt, Iraq, Syria, Jordan and Lebanon all planned invasions. The idea was to crush Israel before it could become established.
1948 Arab Invasion plans of Israel ( in red.) From Lebanon and Syria From Transjordan and Iraq From Egypt
Israeli Defence Force. (IDF) Ben Gurion realised immediately that Israel needed to concentrate all her soldiers. All armed units- Zionist, or otherwise -were amalgamated into one force, the IDF. Arab forces were, conversely, dispersed and under separate control. To begin with the Israelis relied on what they had learned in WWII and from helping the British army. Equipment was scarce and usually old. In time, however, more supplies arrived and Israel’s military technology by 1949 was superior to the Arabs’. But before this happened the Israelis relied on sheer enthusiasm and superior military intelligence. Israel won the air war, for example, by better strategy, rather than better technology.
The war itself. It was a disaster for the Arabic nations. The Israeli forces were far stronger than any of them expected. Many Jews had fought in World War II and they had reasonable weaponry-mostly also from World war II. The Jewish army also greatly increased in size, whereas the Arab forces grew only slowly..
Results of the war. Only the Jordanians and the Egyptians made any real gains. The Jordanians grabbed East Jerusalem and the ‘West Bank’ land. The Egyptians gained a strip of coast-line called the ‘Gaza strip’. Elsewhere the Arabic forces were all pushed back. 1949 the United Nations declared a cease-fire on the ‘Green Line’. Israel signed armistice agreements with all the Arab states. Israel had expanded by another 25%!
‘West Bank’-Jordanian Gaza Strip-Egyptian Israel
Nakba ‘disaster’ Up to ¾ of a million Arab Palestinians lost their homes in the war and fled South or East. Massive refugee camps sprang up and conditions were horrific. These camps proved ideal places for Arab resistance movements to begin recruiting members.
Nakba (The Catastrophe) As Plan Dalet continued more and more of Palestine was ethnically cleansed. Over half of the Palestinian refugees had already been forced out before Israel declared its independence. Even after this, despite promises of equal citizenship, Palestinians continued to be expelled.
Nakba “We walked outside, Ben Gurion accompanying us. Allon repeated his question: ‘What is to be done with the population?’ Ben Gurion waved his hand in a gesture which said, ‘Drive them out.’ The population of Lod (Lydda) did not leave willingly. There was no way of avoiding the use of force and warning shots in order to make the inhabitants march the ten or fifteen miles to the point where they met up with the Legion.” Yitzhak Rabin. Nakba statistics: Approximately 750,000 Palestinians expelled; 400 villages completely destroyed; All the major cities in what became Israel ethnically cleansed; 78% of Palestine incorporated into Israel
Divergent Narratives: Nakba and Redemption For Israelis the creation of the Jewish State and the successful conclusion of the first Arab-Israeli War meant redemption and a country free of persecution for Jews world wide. Chaim Weizmann called the Palestinian expulsion: “A miraculous clearing of the land.” David Ben Gurion said of the refugees: “The old will die the young will forget.” For Palestinians it meant dispersion, dispossession and homelessness.
Nakba As Palestinians began life in refugee camps UN General Assembly Resolution 194 affirmed their right of return. A right also affirmed in Article 13 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights: “Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his own country.” Today there are 7.2 million Palestinian refugees, 4.7 million of them still living as registered refugees in camps.
The Right of Return The Right of Return remains the central demand of the Palestinian people. A right Israel absolutely refuses to acknowledge. Speaking before the UN General Assembly, PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat put the Nakba and the refugees at the heart of the conflict. In 1948, he explained, the Israelis “occupied 524 Arab towns and villages, of which they destroyed 385, completely obliterating them in the process. Having done so, they built their own settlements and colonies on the ruins of our farms and our groves. The roots of the Palestine question lie here. Its causes do not stem from any conflict between two religions or two nationalisms. Neither is it a border conflict between neighbouring States. It is the cause of people deprived of its homeland, dispersed and uprooted, and living mostly in exile and in refugee camps.”
Palestinian Arab refugees. The seeds of years of future discontent ?
More refugees….. Meanwhile Jewish people fled in the opposite directions- into Israel or back to Europe, or even to the USA. Israel’s population doubled as Arabic states all expelled their Jewish population.
Point of principal. For now, Israel had won her right to exist. The Arab league had to think again before challenging this right. Palestinians who had lost homes were a strong voice of protest against the new state. Ben Gurion was a national hero.
Israeli Palestinian Creates state of Israel War of Independence Holocaust and other periods of violence against Jews throughout the past centuries might not have happened if there was a Jewish Homeland They had no input Nabka: “Catastrophe” Land set aside for Palestinians now under control of Arab countries or Israel Perspectives on Partition and 1948 War
Reflection Write for three minutes about BOTH of the following questions. –If you were Israeli, how might you feel about the creation of the state of Israel and the war that began the next day? –If you were Palestinian, how might you feel about the creation of the state of Israel and the war that began the next day?