The Arab-Israeli conflict has been one of the most dangerous confrontations in the Middle East. Many international actors, including the US, several European powers, the former Soviet Union, and the United Nations, have attempted to negotiate a solution to the conflict.
Why are the two sides so opposed?
Why has the conflict been so violent?
Why haven’t outside efforts been able to bring a lasting peace?
Reading assignment: pages 176 – 187 in the workbook, “Lesson 3, the Arab-Israeli Conflict”
Foreign Office, November 2nd, 1917. 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 favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours 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.
It had acquired territory that under the UN partition had been intended for the Palestinians … despite US pressure to return it, Israel kept the territory and forced more than 750,000 Palestinians to flee to other Arab countries
The Arabs accused Israel of EXPANSIONISM
The Arabs and Israelis would fight 3 more major wars
What about Jews living in Arab lands???
Jewish Populations of Arab Countries: 1948 and 2001 <6,500 758,000 - 881,000 Total ~200 1.0% 45,000-55,000 Yemen ~1,000 1.4-3.0% 50,000-105,000 Tunisia ~100 0.4-0.9% 15,000-30,000 Syria 5,230 2.8% 250,000-265,000 Morocco 0 3.6% 35,000-38,000 Libya < 100 0.4-1.5% 5,000-20,000 Lebanon ~200 2.6% 135,000-140,000 Iraq ~100 0.4% 75,000-80,000 Egypt 36 0.5% 550-600 Bahrain ~0 1.6% 140,000 Algeria ~0 8,000 Aden Estimated Jewish population 2001 Jewish % of total population, 1948 1948 Jewish population Country or territory
Israel now occupied land that was (and had been for thousands of years) unarguably Arab
Thousands of Palestinian refugees flooded into Arab countries
Israel controlled territory in which thousands of Palestinians lived
Many Palestinians now accepted the radical Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) and its leader, Yasser Arafat , as their spokesman
Many Palestinians turned to terrorism in response to what they perceived as Israeli expansionism
1974 1993 1968
Map of Israel and the Disputed Lands Years before the war, hostilities between the Arab nations, and the Jews had already been at a high point. The Arab nations refused to accept the fact that Israel could be a Jewish state, and so, President Nasser of Egypt called for the destruction of Israel. At first, there were just attacks on civilians once and a while, but the attacks became more and more ferocious, until it came to Israeli villages being heavily shelled by Syrian troops from the Golan Heights. Israel had warned Syria, but Syria came to Egypt for help, and by then, Egyptian forces were packed into the Sinai Peninsula. Nasser then closed down the Strait of Tiran, which was a very important trading link between Israel and the other countries of the world. Such an act was an act of war, but what they didn't know was that Israel would react with full force. Israel's victory was extremely devastating to the Arabs, who expected victory for themselves. The fact that the war took only 6 days shows that Hashem is with Israel. The Arab forces lost almost their entire air forces, and much of their armed weaponry. 10,000 Egyptians were killed in Siniai and Gaza alone, compared to the 300 Israeli casualties on that front. In all, Egypt lost about 11,000 troops, Jordan lost about 6,000, Syria lost about 1,000, and Israel lost about 700. Israel gained all of Jerusalem, The Golan Heights, Sinai, the Gaza Strip, and the West Bank. This is an Israeli point of view
Taken off-guard, Israel suffered heavy losses and was almost overwhelmed
A massive US airlift of materials and supplies averted the disaster
Within days, Israel recovered and launched a fierce counter-attack
US diplomacy once again constructed a cease-fire, and an uneasy truce fell over the Middle East
In retaliation for US airlift support to Israel, Arab oil-producing states temporarily stopped shipping oil to the United States
Part 1 of a 4 part series on the Yom Kippur War
Cairo-Egyptian air defense commanders are puzzled by an episode that occurred late in the October, 1973, War when an Israeli Phantom was shot down in Sinai and the pilot ejected and parachuted safely into no-man's land between the two armies. The Egyptians routinely sent a jeep and two soldiers to pick up the pilot and were driving back toward their lines when an Israeli helicopter appeared. It disgorged a commando team who captured the Egyptians, spirited the pilot into an armored personnel carrier and sped off. "They never made that much of an effort for any other pilot during the whole war," an Egyptian commander noted. "it must have been very important to them. Could it have been one of their American pilots?"
Another example of how the Egyptian air force applied the lessons it learned from the Israelis during the war of attrition was told by a 32-year-old deputy MiG-21 regiment commander who has been flying since he was 15. "During the war of attrition, the Israeli air force had a favorite ambush tactic, he told AVIATION WEEK & SPACE TECHNOLOGY. “They would penetrate with two aircraft at medium altitude where they would be quickly picked up by radar, We would scramble four or eight to attack them. But they had another dozen fighters trailing at extremely low altitude below radar coverage. As we climbed to the attack they would zoom up behind and surprise us. My regiment lost Migs to this ambush tactic three times. But we learned the lesson and practiced the same tactics. In the final fights over Deversoir, we ambushed some Mirages the same way, and my own 'finger four' [formation] shot down four Mirages with the loss of one Mig."
US diplomats led by US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger engaged in “shuttle diplomacy” for several years, flying back and forth between Washington, Israel, and several Arab states trying to arrange a more permanent peace
2 significant interim agreements
The disengagement of hostile forces in the Sinai and in the Golan Heights
Between January and August 1993, Israelis and Palestinians met 14 times in a series of extremely secret two- to three-day meetings in Oslo, Norway
August 20 th – an agreement was finalized and signed by the negotiating teams
August 27 th – the Israelis briefed the US about the course of events
September 9 th – Israel and the PLO exchanged letters recognizing the legitimacy of each other
September 13 th – Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat signed the agreement on the White House lawn in Washington … Declaration of Principles … also known as the OSLO ACCORDS