Israel palestine conflict primer 101 final


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With the ongoing conflicts going on between Israel and the Palestinian Hamas, and the repeat invasion of Gaza, this presentation presents some historical context as well as areas to explore for a lasting peace.

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Israel palestine conflict primer 101 final

  1. 1. Israel Palestine Conflict 101 Primer: Path to peace in the Middle East July, 2014
  2. 2. Agenda • The Two Narratives • Dispelling the Myths • Side-by-Side Comparisons • Why is it in America’s interest to get involved? • How we resolve the conflict
  3. 3. Page 3 of 41 Recognizing the Two Narratives The Jewish Narrative: • History of Jewish Persecution • Holocaust • Israel as Jewish ‘Safe Haven’ • Spiritual connection to the Holy Land The Palestinian Narrative: • Fear of Dispossession / 20th Century Jewish Immigration • Nakba of 1948 • The 37-year Occupation (West Bank, Gaza, East Jerusalem) • Spiritual connection to the Holy Land
  4. 4. Geographical Contrasts ISRAEL THE PALESTINIANS What is it? A state A nation without a state What do they fear? Loss of territory, violence, oppression Loss of territory, violence, oppression GDP per capita $18,900 $1,500 West Bank $1,000 Gaza Strip Foreign aid, annual estimate (2000) $5 billion $121 million (2% of Israel’s aid total) Infant mortality rate 7 per 1000 24 per 1000
  5. 5. Page 5 of 41 Two Perspectives “I have spent a great deal of my life…advocating the rights of the Palestinian people to national self-determination, but I have always tried to do that with full attention paid to the reality of the Jewish people and what they suffered by way of persecution and genocide.” – the late Edward Said, leading Palestinian American intellectual, Professor of literature at Columbia University and well-known author “When Israelis ask me about the Palestinians, I tell them they live like us, they suffer like us, they laugh and cry like us. They are just like us, but they suffer more than us.” – the renowned Israeli immunologist, Dr. Zvi Bentwich, founder of Israel’s first and largest AIDS clinic and member of Physicians for Human Rights
  6. 6. The Composition of the Holy Land Source: 2003 CIA World Fact Book - Palestine data consists of the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
  7. 7. Military Comparison Main Battle Tanks – Combat Aircraft – Artillery – 2001 Military Expenditures – Official Active Forces – Source: Center for Strategic and International Studies Israel Palestine 3,950 438 1,542 $10.1 billion 167,600 0 0 0 $85 million 35,000 “We can argue with the Palestinians about who’s to blame; but about who is suffering worse – there is no argument. They are a destitute nation living in an elaborate prison under the guns of the Israeli army.” Jerusalem Post Editorial, March 3, 2004 Israel continues to maintain tens of thousands of troops in the West Bank and Gaza – Israel invaded and occupied those areas in the 1967 war
  8. 8. Economic Comparative Analysis Israel Unemployment 1 out of 10 Growth rate -0.8% Palestine Unemployment 1 out of 2 Growth rate -18% Sources: United Nations 2004 Human Development Index (HDI), 2003 CIA World Fact Book. A Palestinian has to work for 28 years to earn what an Israeli does in one year GDP Per Capita Annual Budget UN HDI Rank $117.4 Billion $19,500 $45.1 Billion 22 out of 177 GDP Per Capita Annual Budget UN HDI Rank $2.4 Billion $700 $1.2 Billion 102 out of 177 In the land between the Mediterranean sea and the Jordan river…
  9. 9. Zionism • In the late 1800s; Extremist European Jews decided to colonize Palestinian land • They wanted to create a Jewish homeland • As more and more Zionists immigrated the indigenous population became increasingly alarmed • Eventually, there was fighting between the two groups.
  10. 10. The Jewish Side: • History of Jewish Persecution • Holocaust • Israel as Jewish ‘Safe Haven’ • Spiritual connection to the Holy Land Recognizing the Two Sides
  11. 11. More history • 1917: Jewish- owned land 3-4 %, Jews were 7% of the entire population, Creation of the Protracted Conflict 1- Establishment of Zionist movement as part of the international colonial movement 2- The Western Colonial Movement in the Middle East: - Sykes-Picot Agreement 1916 - Balfour Declaration (1917) - British Mandate (1917-1948) 3- UN General Assembly Resolution # 181 Partition Plan 4- Creation of the state of Israel
  12. 12. Al-Awda and American Arab Anti- Discrimination Committee (ADC-SF) June 2002 12 Population: 1870-1946 1870 1893 1912 1920 1925 1930 1935 1940 1946 Jews Arabs 0 200,000 400,000 600,000 800,000 1,000,000 1,200,000 1,400,000 1,600,000 1,800,000 2,000,000 367,224 7,000 1,237,000 608,000
  13. 13. 1947 – The UN gets involved • In the aftermath of WWII and the Holocaust the UN gave 55% of Palestine to a newly created Jewish State – Israel – Zionist Jews were 30% of the population and owned only 7% of the land
  14. 14. Creation of the state of Israel = AL NAKBA (Catastrophe) • 1948 war: 78% under the Israeli Control • 22% divided into West Bank controlled by Jordan, and Gaza Strip administered by Egypt. • More than 750,000 Palestinians were displaced and became Refugees • More than 35,000 Palestinians Became internally Displaced persons in Israel. • 532 Villages and towns were destroyed partially or entirely.
  15. 15. 1967 Six day War Lands Occupied by additional 22% of Palestine – The West Bank and the Gaza Strip • Israel occupied Sinai, Golan Heights and entire Palestine (OPT), • New wave of Palestinian refugees, about 400,000 Refugees, • Israel announced United Jerusalem as its Capital • Israel controlled over nature resources and imposed Restrictions on economic development
  16. 16. Al-Awda and American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC-SF) June 2002 17 Myth #1: Palestine and Palestinians Never Existed • If Palestinians never existed, why do Israeli leaders refer to the Palestinians in their derogatory, racist statements? • If Palestine / Palestinians never existed, why are there resources (Pre-1948) referencing Palestine and it’s people? • If Palestinians never existed, what people lived there when European Jews arrived?
  17. 17. Reality: The land of Palestine was inhabited by Palestinian Arabs 400,000 Muslims – 80% 75,000 Christians – 15% 25,000 Jews – 5% 1850 For centuries these groups had lived in harmony
  18. 18. Al-Awda and American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC-SF) June 2002 19 Myth #2: Palestinians Chose to Leave their Land in 1948 • Why would people want to leave their homes at their own will? Homes that have been in their families for generations! – “Oh, okay new-person-not-from-this-land, here’s the key to my house. Take it, it’s yours! I’ll just live in a tent.” • What causes masses to leave their land? • Would nearly 1 million people living peacefully on a land for hundreds and hundreds of years suddenly decide to pick up and leave because they felt like it? Where were they going?
  19. 19. Al-Awda and American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC-SF) June 2002 20 That’s about 4 villages destroyed per week! 419 Arab villages demolished and depopulated between 1947-1949
  20. 20. 1948: Arab Israeli War VS • 90,000 European-trained Zionist soldiers possessing modern weaponry • 30,000 ill-equipped, poorly trained Arab soldiers
  21. 21. • Israel conquered 78% of Palestine • Created nearly 1 million Palestinian refugees Nakba • Over 400 towns and villages were destroyed • Every city, river, and hill received a new Hebrew name • Denied the existence of Palestine
  22. 22. Al-Awda and American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC-SF) June 2002 23 Myth #3: A religious war that has lasted thousands of years • Why has there been relative calm before the colonist / Zionists arrived? • If it’s a religious war, how come we rarely hear about the Palestinian Christians? Where do they fit in? • If it’s a religious war, why isn’t it going on in Morocco, Iran, Iraq, Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Tunisia, Ethiopia, and many other countries were both Jews and Muslims live?
  23. 23. Christian, Jews and Muslims can Co- exist • If we look at recent history or focus only on conflicts it would be easy to forget that the 3 major Abrahamic, Monotheistic faiths have coexisted for hundreds of years. • This does not mean it has been a love-fest, but that it is possible. • The conflicts are less about religion and more about greed, power and conflicting interests of outside parties. • For lasting peace every people needs their dignity, identity and rights to be respected. • This is what all these faiths proclaim, it is part of the US and United Nations constitutions, but we have to make them a reality.
  24. 24. Al-Awda and American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC-SF) June 2002 25 Myth #4: Israel’s “Generous” Offer Palestinians get 95% of land• Why is there no territorial contiguity for the Palestinian state? • How can a Palestinian state have no borders surrounded on all sides by Israeli-held territory? • Why don’t Palestinians have control of its external borders and water resources? • Why is Israel NOT carrying out a FULL withdrawal as required by international law? • Why is there no Palestinian Right of Return? • Why is refugee compensation to be paid by “international community”? • Why do Palestinians need to “compromise” any more? – Already only left with 22%* of their original land!
  25. 25. Future Palestinian promised State The best Israeli offer was: - 93% of the West Bank cut off by settlements and bypass roads - Excluding Jerusalem (Israeli sovereignty) - 87 settlements with 35% of settlers (there are about 250,000 settlers in West Bank and 200.000 in Jerusalem) - 3% in exchange of the 7%
  26. 26. Bypass Roads Israeli Bypass roads is about 800 Km about 3 % of historic Palestine • To ease the construction of Settlements The Israeli bypass roads in the Palestinian Territory were erected to ease the construction of the illegal Israeli settlements of the West Bank • To limit the development of Palestine was planned and paid by the Israeli Governorate, aiming to limit any kind of construction and development in the Palestinian communities • To Prevent the establishment of Palestinian state bypass roads in the occupied Palestinian territory as a part of its policy to coerce facts on the ground; ultimately affecting the outcome of negotiation with the Palestinians; including the establishment of a viable contiguous Palestinian State
  27. 27. The Wall • More than 700 Km in length • 54% of the West Bank will remain after the wall (Less than 12 % of Historic Palestine • 85% of the Water wells and resources are controlled by Israel Palestinian affected directly by the wall • More than 160,000 of Palestinians are Isolated in cantons behind the wall • About 200,000 are separated from the cultivated land 115,000 Palestinians have been displaced as a result of the wall
  28. 28. The Path of the Israeli Barrier The barrier’s path has been projected to annex between 7% – 45% of Palestinian land. This will: 1. Completely surround 100,000 people in 42 towns 2. Reduce the available water supply by 1 billion gallons 3. Confiscate hundreds of thousands of acres of land 4. Severely restrict travel to jobs, hospitals and schools 5. Adversely affect 4 out of 10 Palestinians
  29. 29. Israel retains control over all sources of water in the West Bank and retains significant control over water resources in Gaza Israel extracts close to 90 per cent of the water from the aquifer underneath the West Bank Palestinians have no access to the Jordan River CONTROL of Water
  30. 30. The Settlements The hill top pictured above is Abu Ghneim mountain. The second picture was taken during the construction of the Har Homa settlement. Israeli settlements in the Palestinian territories increased 35% in 2003 even though population growth was just 5.32% over the same period. That is almost 7 times higher than “natural growth” thereby illustrating the high vacancy rates found in settlements. 1997 2003
  31. 31. Al-Awda and American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC-SF) June 2002 32 Myth #5: Israel’s a democracy • How can you be democracy and an exclusive state for Jews? That’s blatant racism. • How can you call a country a democracy when it doesn’t even have a constitution or defined borders? • Why does Israel grant citizenship to a Jew from Russia but not to an indigenous Palestinian who was born on that land? • Why does US provide unconditional support to an overtly exclusive, racist state?
  32. 32. -Myth: the climate in Israel/Palestine is arid; Israel is « making the desert bloom» -Reality: the region is rich in water; the water shortages in the OPT are the result of Israeli policies Myth #6:It was a desert
  33. 33. Myth #7: US is an honest broker of peace in the Middle East • Unfortunately that is not how it is perceived in the rest of the wordld. See next slide. • The US gives over $3.5B Aid to Israel the largest aid per capita and total. • APAC is the 2nd largest Lobby in Washington DC after ARRP. • We provide the latest military hardware and technologies to Israel that allow it to not only occupy Palestinian and Arab territories but also be the regional super power.
  34. 34. Page 35 of 41 How is Current U.S. Policy Perceived?
  35. 35. American Public Opinion Nearly 9 out of 10 Americans believe that a peaceful solution to the Israeli - Palestinian conflict is an important foreign policy goal of the United States and 64% favor making a major effort to be even-handed in order to combat international terrorism. But only 3 out of 10 Americans realize that the creation of a sovereign Palestinian State is necessary for a peaceful solution of the conflict Sources: Mar. 2002 Gallup Poll. Oct. 2001 Newsweek. Nov. 2001 U. Md. PIPA September 2004 Chicago Council on Foreign Relations Global Views 2004.
  36. 36. The kind of images we see most often, mideast3/9.html Ali Hashisho, Reuters,
  37. 37. Images we don’t often see in the US media Father carrying injured Palestinian boy 11.htm Mother with dead Palestinian girl: hive/PhotoThumbs.asp?topic=palestine
  38. 38. How do we describe this encounter?
  39. 39. Different media perspectives • Personal vs. impersonal stories • Visual vs. textual accounts • Judgmental vs. non-judgmental terminology (attacked/responded, seized/defended, brought chaos/reasserted control) • Normal & natural vs. abnormal & unnatural
  40. 40. Terms used in the media and US public debates • What is a soldier? • Are there Palestinian soldiers? • What is a militant? • Are there Israeli militants? • What is a patriot? • What is a terrorist? • What is an extremist? • Imbalance in economic power and military technology creates the basis for many differences in terminology
  41. 41. Page 43 of 41 Additional Palestinian Public Opinion • 78% believe that the current Israeli measures, including the building of the separation barrier reduce the chances for the establishment of a Palestinian state. • 85% support a mutual cessation of violence. • 59% support taking measures by the Palestinian Authority to prevent attacks on Israelis if an agreement is reached on a mutual cessation of violence. • 86% of the Palestinians believe that they cannot count on Arab States to support them in regaining their rights. Source: Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research, October 2003. Oslo Accords, 1993. The 1993 Oslo Accord marked an historic turning point for Palestinians – they formally recognized, “the right of the State of Israel to exist in peace and security.” Furthermore, they reduced their claims to just 22% of the land of historic Palestine (West Bank, Gaza Strip & East Jerusalem).
  42. 42. In the 1980’s Palestinians began the Intifada, or war of sticks and stones. Israeli soldiers did not know how to react to the Palestinian civilians without looking like bullies. Intifada – “Uprising”
  43. 43. • 8/15/05 – Israeli’s evacuated the Gaza Strip and 4 West Bank settlements. • Gaza is an area similar to Mtn. View to the Freeway, then to the Boise River. • There are 1.2 million Palestinians living there.
  44. 44. 2000 – today: Will it ever end? • 2006 – Israeli settlers move out of the Gaza Strip • 2006 – Israeli govt. began to build a wall around the West Bankfor their security zone • 2006 – Hamas (a local Political/Social organization) wins elections in the Gaza Strip and there is a split with Palestinian Authority (Fatah) who rules the West Bank. • 2007-2008 –Hamas and forces loyal to Arafat’s successor, Abbas. • 2008-2009 – Operation Cast Lead: Israel bombs and invades Gaza Strip, Hamas retaliates with non-effective Rockets. – Lives, homes, and infrastructure destroyed – Between 1,166 and 1,417 Palestinian and 13 Israeli deaths (4 from friendly fire) (Source Wiki) • 2012: Operation Pillar of Defense: Repeat Israel bombs, invades, and does mass arrests, targeting Hamas and in process impacting civilians and infrastructure • 2014: Operation Protective Edge: Repeat of 2012. Iron Dome system provided by US makes rockets totally ineffective.
  45. 45. Results of Occupation • Collective punishment • Destruction of infra structure – Demolition of homes • Lack of information / Market access • Limited Communications:15 yrs for a phone line!!! • Psychological trauma • Unfair competition – dumping • Racism and discrimination • Obstruction of effective institutions • Under-developed judicial system
  46. 46. Palestinian Needs • Independent, viable Palestinian State within 1967 borders • East Jerusalem as the capital of the Palestinian State • Fair solution for the Refugees issue according to UN resolutions
  47. 47. Page 49 of 41 How Do We Resolve the Conflict? The Formula for a Two State Solution: Israel and Palestine based on 1967 borders with a shared & open capital in Jerusalem and a just settlement to the refugee problem I. A new state of Palestine, viable and independent, consisting of the West Bank and Gaza Strip with Arab East Jerusalem as its capital. II. A state of Israel, secure within its borders, fully recognized by all 22 Arab countries along with peace agreements with each Arab country resulting in normalization of relations and an official end to the Arab-Israeli conflict. This will result in the following:
  48. 48. Faith • How can we make a difference? • Become better informed through sources that tell the whole story – Become an active seeker of information and don’t wait for it to come to you – Think of creative ways that the underlying issues can be resolved – Send prayers and be a will wisher for humanity
  49. 49. • Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions – Boycott - products made in West Bank settlements [not Israel] see: for a list – Divestment – from corporations profiting from Occupation & human rights abuses • e.g. Caterpillar, Motorola, Hewlett-Packard – Sanctions – international sanctions against nations violating international law Socially Responsible Investing & BDS
  50. 50. Page 52 of 41 Final Goal – Peace in the Middle East The Future State of Palestine
  51. 51. Further reading/resources • My Promised Land: The Triumph and Tragedy of Israel by Ari ShavitThe Iron Cage by Rashid Khalidi (and other books by author) • This Time We Went Too Far: Truth and Consequences of the Gaza Invasion by Norman G. Finkelstein • The Question of Palestine by Edward W. Said (and other books by author) • The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine by Ilan Pappe • Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid by Jimmy Carter • We can have Peace in the Holy Land by Jimmy Carter • Against the Wall: The Art of Resistance in Palestine by William Parry • Occupied Voices by Wendy Pearlman • One Country by Ali Abunimah
  52. 52. Further reading/resources • Arabian Plights by Peter Rodgers • Weapons of Mass Deception by Sheldon Rampton & John Stauber • Growing up Palestinian by Laetitia Bucaille • Understanding the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict by Phyllis Bennis • Let me Stand Alone by Rachel Corrie • Fast Times in Palestine by Pamela J. Olson • The New Intifada by Roan Carey • •