Introduction• Two conflicting sides over land, resources,sovereignty, religion, and culture.– Jerusalem/Temple Mount– Jordan River• Israelis – Judaism, claim rights to ‘Israel’ arecognized state of the UN• Palestinians – Islam, claim the same land as‘Palestine’, are not recognized by the UN, buthave a central ‘PNA’• Both sides have contributed considerably toviolence.
The Issues• Palestinian Refugees and the Right ofReturn• Status of Jerusalem• Borders and the Occupied Territories• Israeli Security Concerns in relation tosovereignty• Settlements in the West Bank
Ancient History• Cultural Conflict goes back severalthousand years – mainly religious– Old Canaan conquered by Israeli tribes out ofEgypt (according to Torah) [1200 BCE]– Hebrew settlements/conquests of present-dayJerusalem under Solomon• First Temple Built in Jerusalem on “Temple Mount”• Later split into two kingdoms: Israel and Judea (bothlater fall to Assyrians) after Solomon’s death– Land referred to as ‘Palestine’ by ancientEgyptians and ‘Israel’ by the Jewish tribes• Same place, different language
Ancient History cont…– Control continuously changes from app. 530 BCE –61 BCE ending with control from Roman Empire• Christianity is founded around 4 BCE – 35 CE,followed by Islam in 622 CE– Non Jewish inhabitants of Israel/Palestine convertbegin to practice Islam/Christianity– Roman Empire Collapses after schism,Israel/Palestine is conquered by Persians in 614 CE– Then, conquered by Arab Islamic armies – Al-AqsaMosque is built in 715 CE on Temple Mount(considered Third Holiest site in Islam)
Ancient History cont…• European Christian crusaders begin theirattacks on ‘The Holy Land’ occupied bySaladin and his Kurds– Crusaders briefly occupy Jerusalem in 1229CE, retaken by Mameluke Muslims, laterdefeated at acre and evicted from ‘Palestine’– Ottoman/Turk conquest of area in 1517, partof official Ottoman Empire until 1917• Demographics in Jerusalem under Ottoman Rule:7120 Jews, 5760 Muslims, 3390 Christians
Modern History• World War I breaks out; Turkey (OttomanEmpire) fights against Allies– Balfour Declaration by the UK in Nov 1917• “His Majestys government view with favour theestablishment in Palestine of a national home forthe Jewish people, and will use their bestendeavors to facilitate the achievement of thisobject…” - British Foreign Policy during wartime– British control of Egypt extends itself to theIsrael/Palestine area under pressure from the‘Zionist Movement’ Dec 1917
Modern History cont…• Faisal-Weizmann Agreement – Jan 3, 1919; partof the Paris Peace Conference– Leader of the Zionist Commission (Chaim Weizmann)met with Emir Faisal (Kingdom of Hedjaz)– Encourage mass Zionist/Jewish settlements inPalestine, in exchange for an Arab nationencompassing present-day Iraq, Syria, and the FertileCrescent– Became irrelevant – Kingdom of Hedjaz wasconquered in 1923 and incorporated under theKingdom of Saudi Arabia
Modern History cont…• European Zionists continue to settle in Palestine– Britain begins to decolonize – grantsindependence to nearby Egypt and Transjordan• League of Nations – France and Britain dividethe Middle East into ‘Mandates’– Churchill White Paper (June 3, 1922) – clarifiesBalfour Declaration in response to anti-semetic riots inPalestine– Main Point: Europe dividing new nations for ‘self-determination’ – deconstruction of imperialism
Modern History cont…• Britain caught in the middle of appealing toPalestine and Israel – violence escalates– Racial profiling, religious desecration, segregation,power struggle within Palestine– Zionist immigration continues– British policy continually changes with pressure fromboth sides• Progress in Middle East halts somewhat asWWII begins in Europe– Britain is distracted, situation becomes even moreunclear, violence continues to escalate
Modern History cont…• WWII – large portion of Jewish population fleesNazism for Palestine, many join Zionistmovement, seek new life– Wounded Britain pulls out of Palestine completely by1948– Organized fighting with armies and weapons begins,bombings, massacres, spontaneous fighting fromboth sides– State of Israel declares independence May 14, 1948• Jordan, Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, and Saudi Arabia alldeclare war on Israel• United States immediately recognizes new state, followed byUSSR• Israeli War of Independence 1948 - 1949
Modern History cont…– Result: app. 800,000 Palestinians are displaced(PALESTINIAN REFUGEES)– Yasser Arafat founds the Palestinian LiberationOrganization (PLO) 1964• Six-Day War (Jun 5–11, 1967)– Israel aquires West Bank, Gaza Strip, and the GolanHeights – OCCUPIED TERRITORIES• Fighting causes many Palestinians to flee into neighboringArab countries, especially from the Golan Heights• OC’s under martial law – not represented by MP’s• First Intifada – 1987-1993 : Violence moves fromorganized to massive civil warfare– Triggered by Palestinian students : boycotting Israeligoods, strikes, graffiti, barricades, planned terrorism,resistance of authorities
Modern History cont…• Oslo Accords (Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements)– GOI and PLO meet, sign accords on September 13, 1993)– Sets up the Palestinian National Authority• Mutual recognition between PNA/State of Israel• Government over the ‘Occupied Territories’ gradually phased overin a period of 5 years to PNA– IDF (Israeli Defense Force) to withdraw from the areas, eventualsovereignty given to PNA– Failed• Only addressed borders – no status of Jerusalem, refugees• No provisions for a permanent Palestinian state• OCT still under Israeli military control• Cultural violence continues (Israeli anger at Palestinians/vice versa)
Modern History cont…• Second Intifada (Al-aqsa Intifada) – response to failedOslo Accords : suspended all-out civil war returns– Triggered by a MP visiting temple mount with over a thousandpolice guards, leading to violence– Response: International inquiry• Mitchell Report of 2001 by UN, EU, US, Egypt, and Jordan– Camp David Negotiations – US President Clinton facilitates talkswith Israeli PM Ehud Barak and PA Chairman Yasser Arafat• Tried to negotiate final status of Israel and Palestine• Israel agreed to a partial two-state solution, rejected by Palestinians• Ultimately failed – neither side reached an agreement• Israel uses the complete Palestinian rejection of this plan as anexample of unwillingness to seek peace on the part of thePalestinians• Palestine uses the unfair ‘compromises’ presented by Israel as anexample of Israeli greed; especially disliked the ‘Israeli Securityprovision’
Modern History cont… (final I promise!)– League of Arab States conference in Beruit –Saudi Arabia pushes movement to normalizeArab-Israeli relations• Arab Peace Initiative – March 28, 2002• Israel would withdraw from the Golan Heights,Gaza Strip, and West Bank completely• Israel would finance the return of the Palestinianrefugees to Palestine, or give them compensation– Israel basically ignores the Initiative’sexistence, no formal mention of it orresponse.
Right Now• Palestinians live in OCT’s under Israelimilitary occupation– Human Rights Violations– Access to education, healthcare, even basicnecessities is sporadic– Some representation under PNA - Parliament• App. 4.5 million Palestinian refugees today– Original number: 800,000 in 1947
Israel and the UN• Israel is a nation with ‘special status’ in the UN– They are active members in the Western Europeanand Others Group (WEOG) in NY– Are not part of UN operations in Geneva – barredfrom standing in elections, participating in Genevacommittee debates, etc.• Many accusations of Anti-Semitism in the UN byIsrael and US– Israel tends not to trust the UN resolutions, does notalways comply with peacekeeping forces based inIsrael/Palestine Territories• Government of Israel says that it must have equal rights toequally honor the wishes of the General Assembly
Palestine and the UN• ‘Palestine’ is not a recognized state of theUN, but representatives from the PNAspeak as guests– ‘Observer’ status in the UN – PalestinianNational Authority is responsible for providingrepresentation for the ‘Palestinian’ peoples– Given because there is no legitimate nationalgovernment for Palestine
Previous UN Action• Britain refers issue to the UN May,1947– UNSCOP (UN Special Committee onPalestine) : Resolution GA 181• Two State: Arab and Israeli• Establishes ’47 Borders• Jerusalem would be internationallyadministered – part of neither state,temporarily run by UN– Never fully implemented• Geographic puzzle made navigation difficultfor the still-fighting populations• Neither side would accept compromise,Israelis wanted all of it, Palestinians wantedall of it• Furious at Jerusalem plan
Previous UN Action cont…• General Assembly Resolutions – calls forviolence to end, continued relief to aidPalestinian refugees– 1949 - UNRWA: provides food, education, aid, andtemporary shelter – continues• Security Council Resolutions– 1967 – UNSC242 - Israeli withdrawal from OC’s,peace– 1973 – UNSC338 – Demand for peace, continutedconflict negotiation– All bark, no bite.