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Conflict Middle East


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  • 1. Conflict in the Middle East                                                      
  • 2. Learning Objectives
    • Understand the historical roots of the Middle East Conflict.
    • Describe the outcome of each of the wars fought by Israel and her neighbors.
    • Describe the terms of the various peace accords signed by Israel and her opponents.
  • 3.  
  • 4.  
  • 5. Background
    • Ground Zero for Judaism, Islam, and Christianity.
    • Judaism: Israel = Biblical “Promised Land”
      • Occupied by Moses and Hebrews around 1000 B.C.
    • Invaded and occupied by Philistines
      • Greeks and Romans call it “Land of Philistines”, which becomes Palestine.
    • Region of Jesus Christ’s birth, ministry, and death.
    • “ Ownership” changes hands frequently.
    • Muslims capture in 640
      • built Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem in 691
        • Spot where Mohammed stopped on his way to heaven.
          • Holiest site in Islam outside Saudi Arabia.
    • Ottoman Turks control from 1500’s-1900’s.
  • 6. Balfour Declaration
    • European Jews face persecution in late 1800’s.
      • Founded movement called Zionism to establish Jewish homeland in Palestine.
        • Begin establishing communities in Palestine prior to World War One.
    • British Foreign Secretary Balfour supported the idea of a “national home” for the Jews.
      • Hoped to gain Jewish support for World War One.
      • Balfour Declaration endorses this homeland as well as an independent state for Arabs.
        • Arabs interpret the independent state clause to specify Palestine; Brits say that isn’t what they had in mind.
  • 7. The British Mandate
    • Ottoman Turks on losing side of WW I; British gain control of Palestine in 1920.
      • 90k Jews
    • Palestinians and Jews begin arming themselves and conducting terrorist attacks against their counterparts.
    • Rise of Nazism brings flood of new Jewish settlers to Palestine from Europe in 1930’s.
    • UN votes to divide Palestine into Jewish and Arab states in 1947, giving the Jews 55% of the land west of the Jordan River and designating Jerusalem as an international enclave.
  • 8. Arab-Israeli War of 1948
    • 14 May 1948: Zionist leader David Ben-Gurion declares that Israel is an independent state.
    • Egypt, Syria, Transjordan, Lebanon, and Iraq invade on 15 May.
    • Fighting continues until Jan 1949.
    • Israel prevails and gains territory in Galilee to the north and the Negev Desert to the south.
    • Jerusalem is divided between Israel and Jordan.
    • Fate of 700k Palestinian refugees is left undecided.
  • 9.  
  • 10. Arab-Israeli War of 1956
    • USSR signs arms agreement with Egypt in 1955.
    • Israelis feel threatened by arms build up and launch pre-emptive strike against Egypt.
      • Attack and seize the Sinai and Gaza Strip.
        • Relinquished in 1957.
    • French and British retake Suez Canal which Egypt had seized several months earlier.
    • UN establishes peace keeping force in Sinai that is still in place today.
  • 11. Arafat and the PLO
    • Arafat forms Al-Fatah (Palestinian National Liberation Front) in 1959.
      • Goal was to liberate Palestine from Israel through guerilla warfare.
    • Variety of Palestinian factions form the Palestinian Liberation Organization in 1964.
      • Arafat becomes chairman in 1969.
      • Charter calls for elimination of state of Israel.
    • Hussien feels threatened and expels PLO from Jordan in 1970.
      • Arafat moves HQ to Lebanon.
      • PLO driven out of Lebanon by Israel in 1982.
  • 12. Six Day War
    • 5-10 June 1967
    • Egypt, Jordan, and Syria begin military mobilization.
    • Israel launches surprise pre-emptive strike.
      • Destroys most of Egyptian Air Force on the ground.
        • Knocked out 350 aircraft in first three hours.
      • Armored forces supported by air and infantry quickly take Sinai, Golan Heights, West Bank (including Arab portion of Jerusalem, and Gaza.
        • Destroyed over 200 Arab tanks in two days.
    • UN arranges cease-fire, but terms did not specify exactly what land Israel was required to give up.
  • 13.  
  • 14.  
  • 15. Yom Kippur War
    • 6 Oct 1973 Egypt and Syria launch surprise attack on holiest day of Jewish year.
    • IDF not fully mobilized and is initially pushed back.
    • Arab integrated air defenses and anti-tank missiles take heavy toll on IDF.
    • 10-14 Oct IDF pushed Syrians out of Golan and entered Syria.
    • 15-24 Oct IDF pushes Egyptians back across the Suez.
      • Soviets threaten to intervene when Egyptians are surrounded.
      • Kissinger/US convince Israel to accept truce.
    • Israeli invincibility brought into question; Arabs emboldened.
      • OPEC doubles oil prices and embargoes Israeli supporters.
  • 16. Lebanon
    • Israel launches air strikes against PLO positions in Lebanon in retaliation for terrorist attacks.
    • Subsequently invades Lebanon and surrounds Beirut in 1982.
      • US-led UN coalition establishes presence ashore to keep the peace.
        • Departs after bombing of barracks.
      • PLO agrees to leave Beirut.
    • Israel completes withdrawal of its troops from Lebanon in May 2000.
      • Nearly 1k IDF soldiers killed during 22 year occupation.
  • 17. Peace Accords
    • Camp David 1979
      • Egypt recognizes Israel’s right to exist.
      • Israel returns Sinai to Egypt.
      • Leads to Sadat’s assassination in 1981.
    • Oslo Accords 1993
      • Israel and PLO accept each other’s right to exist.
      • Allows limited Palestinian self-rule in Gaza and Jericho.
      • Establishes framework for settlement of Gaza and West Bank issues.
      • Leads to Rabin’s assassination in 1995.
  • 18. Peace Accords
    • Wye River Accords 1998
      • Arafat agrees to crack down on terrorists.
      • Israeli will pull troops back from occupied territories.
      • 14.2 percent of the West Bank land will be transferred to Palestinian control.
      • Safe passage corridors will be established for Palestinians between Gaza and the West Bank.
      • 750 Palestinians will be released from Israeli prisons.
  • 19.  
  • 20. Where Do We Stand?
    • Israel has begun implementing its provisions from Wye.
    • Many blame Arafat for terrorism; he argues it is beyond his control.
    • Both sides constrained by hard-liners among their backers.
    • Former Israeli Prime Minister Sharon visits Temple Mount in Jerusalem in Sept 2000, spurring a rash of riots and terrorism by Palestinians.
      • Israel responds to riots with force.
        • Guns beat rocks…
      • Status of Jerusalem and religious sites is the critical issue for both sides, and the issue that is least open to compromise.
        • Both sides claim as their capital.
    • Boundaries of Palestinian state also still at issue.
  • 21. For Further Study
    • From Beirut to Jerusalem Friedman
    • A History of the Middle East Mansfield
    • Six Days in June Hammel
    • No Victor, No Vanquished: Yom Kippur War O’Balance
    • The Root Hammel
    • The Haj Uris