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Arab-Israeli Conflict


Arab-Israeli Conflict Israel Becomes a Nation: May 14, 1948 David Ben-Gurion, 1st Prime Minister Chaim Weizmann, 1st President 1948 War of Independence 1948-9 Israeli ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Arab-Israeli Conflict

Arab-Israeli Conflict
  • Two conflicting sides over land, resources,
    sovereignty, religion, and culture.
  • Jerusalem/Temple Mount
  • Jordan River
  • Israelis Judaism, claim rights to Israel a
    recognized state of the UN
  • Palestinians Islam, claim the same land as
    Palestine, are not recognized by the UN, but
    have a central PNA
  • Both sides have contributed considerably to

Who are the Palestinians and Israelis?
  • Palestinians include Muslims, Christians, and
  • Currently a state-less nation and therefore
  • Israelis include Jews, Christians, Muslims, Druze
  • Became a political state in 1948
  • The Palestinian-Israeli conflict is not simply
    Jews vs. Muslims, though it is often represented
    that way

Wailing Wall (Jewish) and Dome of the Rock
Palestinians Today
  • Palestinians are Arabs Muslim, Christian, Druze
    with historical roots to the territory of
    Palestine defined in the British Mandate
  • 3 million live within this area divided among
    Israel, West Bank, and Gaza Strip
  • 700,000 are Israeli citizens
  • 1.2 million live in West Bank
  • 1 million in Gaza Strip
  • 3 million in diaspora
  • The diaspora community is without citizenship
    Jordan only Arab state to grant citizenship
The Issues
  • Palestinian Refugees and the Right of Return
  • Status of Jerusalem
  • Borders and the Occupied Territories
  • Israeli Security Concerns in relation to
  • Settlements in the West Bank

Claims to Land
Claims to the Land
  • Palestinians
  • Israelis
  • Ancestors lived in area nearly 2000 years ago
  • Jerusalem home to most important Jewish
    siteWestern Wall
  • Ancestors have been living in area nearly 2000
  • Jerusalem home to 3rd most important Muslim
    site-Dome of the Rock/Al-Aqsa Mosque

Jewish and Palestinian Claims to Land
  • Jewish Claims
  • Biblical promise of land to Abraham and his
    descendents begets Isaac, begets Jacob a.k.a.
  • Historical site of the Jewish Kingdom of Israel
  • Need for haven from European anti-Semitism
  • Palestinian Claims
  • Several hundred years of continuous residence
  • Demographic majority
  • Bible is not a legitimate basis for modern claim
    to territory

(No Transcript)
Israel The Western Wall
  • Jerusalem is the site of the holiest site in
    Judaism, remains of the earliest Temples.
  • The Western Wall is part of the retaining wall
    supporting the temple mount built by Herod in 20
    B.C. After the destruction of the Second Temple
    in 70 A.D., Jews were not allowed to come to
    Jerusalem until the Byzantine period, when they
    could visit once a year on the anniversary of the
    destruction of the Temple and weep over the ruins
    of the Holy Temple. Because of this, the wall
    became known as the Wailing Wall.

Palestine Homeland for Palestinians
  • Palestinians are the Arabic speaking people that
    live in Palestine.
  • Most Palestinians practice Islam which came to
    Palestine around 638 AD, although some are
  • Jerusalem is one of the most holy cities for
    Islam because Moslems believe that Muhammad
    ascended to heaven here

The Holy Land for Christians
  • Israel and Palestine has been a major site for
    Christian pilgrimage and Crusades
  • Jesus is said to have been born in Bethlehem and
    raised in Nazareth.
  • He is said to have been crucified and resurrected
    in Jerusalem

Anti-Semitism and Pogroms
  • 19th Century Palestine was a province of the
    Ottoman Empire.
  • In 1850 the population was around 4 Jewish, 8
    Christian and the rest Muslim. There was no
    conflict between the communities.
  • In Europe Jews faced anti-Semitism and pogroms.
  • In the 1880s over 200,000 Jews were murdered in
    state organised Russian pogroms.

  • As anti-Semitism in Europe increased leading
    Jewish figures came to the conclusion that
    without a state of their own Jews would always be
  • For the living, the Jew is a dead man for the
    natives, an alien and a vagrant for property
    holders, a beggar for the poor, an exploiter and
    a millionaire for patriots, a man without a
    country for all classes, a hated rival a people
    without a territory is like a man without a
    shadow something unnatural, spectral. Dr Leo
    Pinsker, 1882.

The Pogrom.
  • This is the name given to a racist attack,
    particularly on a Jewish community.
  • Pogroms, as a term, came from Russia in the
    19th century. It means to destroy.
  • Jewish communities had long suffered from pogroms
    even as long ago as Roman times.
  • As a close-knit group they were small, easily
    identifiable and as a result were easy to
    scapegoat (blame for others problems ).
  • Jewish people had no specifically Jewish country
    that would defend their rights or allow them a
    place to flee.
  • They were uniquely vulnerable, sustained only by
    their faith and traditions.

A Jewish house after a pogrom.
1905 Jewish victims of a pogrom in Odessa.
  • GOALS The spiritual and political renewal of the
    Jewish people in its ancestral homeland
    of Palestine.
  • Freedom from Western anti-Semitism.

Theodore Herzl 1860-1904
Zionism-Late 1800s
  • Zionists are a political group of Jewish people.
  • They argued for a homeland for all Jewish people,
    a place where Jews would not fear pogroms, and
    where they could live safely.
  • Zion is a Biblical name for Israel.
  • They received a huge amount of support towards
    the end of the 19th century when many Jews were
    being displaced from around the world.
  • Zionists looked particularly at the land of their
    Jewish ancestors in Palestine, the land that had
    been called Judea and had given its name to
    Jew.Capital city Jerusalem.
  • This land was already occupied, however, by
    Arabic peoples called Palestinians.
  • Many Jewish people were anti-Zionist however
    despite the pogroms.
  • They felt that a small country would make them
    easy targets and in any event their Jewishness
    did not make them any less Russian, or German or
    American. Judaism, they argued, was a religion.

A land without a people for a people without a
  • Theodor Herzl was the founder of modern Zionism.
    He advocated mass Jewish immigration to
  • Herzl initially did not consider the indigenous
    people, when he realised they existed he
    advocated transferring them.
  • We shall try to spirit the penniless population
    across the border by procuring employment for it
    in transit countries, while denying it employment
    in our country. The property-owners will come
    over to our side. Both the process of
    expropriation and the removal of the poor must be
    carried out discreetly and circumspectly.
  • Before they left however the indigenous
    population would be put to work exterminating
    snakes and wild animals.

First Zionist Conference, 1897
  • Herzl writes Der Judenstaat, or The Jewish State
    in 1896.
  • Met in Basel, Switzerland.
  • Creates the First Zionist Congress.
  • Becomes an international Jewish organization.
  • Next Year in Jerusalem!

Aliyah (Ascension)
  • From 1882 onwards mostly eastern European Jews
    seeking a new life free from persecution began
    arriving in Palestine.
  • The first arrivals quite often mixed with the
    Palestinians, after 1900 they increasingly
  • Around 60,000 arrived between 1882 and 1914.

  • Write for three minutes about BOTH of the
    following questions.
  • If you were Israeli, why might you think you
    should live on the land that is now Israel?
  • If you were Palestinian, why might you think you
    should live on the land that is now Israel?

Role of the British
Hussein-McMahon Letters, 1915
....Britain is prepared to recognize and uphold
the independence of the Arabs in all regions
lying within the frontiers proposed by the Sharif
of Mecca....
Hussein ibn Ali, Sharif of Mecca
Sykes-Picot Agreement, 1916
The Arab Revolt 1916-1918
World War One
  • World War I breaks out Turkey (Ottoman Empire)
    fights against Allies
  • Balfour Declaration by the UK in Nov 1917
  • His Majesty's government view with favour the
    establishment in Palestine of a national home for
    the Jewish people, and will use their best
    endeavors to facilitate the achievement of this
    object - British Foreign Policy during wartime
  • British control of Egypt extends itself to the
    Israel/Palestine area under pressure from the
    Zionist Movement Dec 1917

The Balfour Declaration
  • In 1917 Britain, at the height of World War One,
    agreed for its own imperial reasons agreed to
    sponsor the creation of a Jewish homeland in
  • Palestinians were not consulted, Lord Balfour
  • in Palestine we do not propose even to go
    through the form of consulting the wishes of the
    present inhabitants of the country. The Four
    Great Powers are committed to Zionism. And
    Zionism, be it right or wrong, good or bad, is
    rooted in age-long traditions, in present needs,
    in future hopes, of far profounder import than
    the desires and prejudices of the 700,000 Arabs
    who inhabit that ancient land In short so far
    as Palestine is concerned, the powers have made
    no statement of fact which is not admittedly
    wrong, and no declaration of policy which, at
    least in the letter, they have not always
    intended to violate.

CH 34 Section 4 The Early Stages Text p.
901 Packet p.
How did the Treaty of Versailles change the world
1918 - Ottoman Empire is defeated in World War I
igniting widespread Turkish
nationalism leading to the creation
of Turkey. The League of Nations
asks Britain to oversea Palestine
as a mandate a territory to be
controlled by the League of Nations
until ready for independence.
T. Loessin Akins H.S.
CH 34 Section 4 The Early Stages Text p.
901 Packet p.
How did the Treaty of Versailles change the world
1918 - Ottoman Empire is defeated in World War I
igniting widespread Turkish
nationalism leading to the creation
of Turkey. The League of Nations
asks Britain to oversea Palestine
as a mandate a territory to be
controlled by the League of Nations
until ready for independence.
  • Arabs were concerned
  • about the increased immigration
  • of Jews to Palestine.
  • Jews were making requests for
  • a homeland to be carved out of
  • the region when the war ended.

1. Britain issues the Balfour Declaration.

Unable to settle the matter after World War II,
Britain decides to turn the issue over to the
T. Loessin Akins H.S.
Violence in the 1920s
  • Palestinians demanded representative
    self-government but Britain ignored their calls.
  • Tensions between the Palestinians and the new
    immigrants rose throughout the 1920s and 30s as
    Palestinians feared for their future.
  • Violence broke out in 1920, 1921 and 1929. The
    worst single incident was the murder of 67 Jews
    in Hebron in 1929.

Arab Riots and Violence Against the Jews
The Western Wall- a flash point in 1928-1929
  • In Jerusalem, is the Western Wall of the old
    temple of Solomon. It is sacred to Jews who pray
    there regularly.
  • Above the wall is the Al Aqsa Mosque which Arab
    Muslims revere as the sacred place where Muhammed
    (PBUH) ascended to heaven.
  • The two sides angrily watched each other here for
    the slightest sign of an infringement onto their
    territory. This duly came in 1928-9.

Armed and organised Arab fighters launch an
attack on a Jewish settlement.
1928-29 Events
  • September 1928. Jewish people were seen putting
    out chairs (!)in the area of the Western Wall.
  • The Arab Muslims were furious because the Jews
    had never been allowed to build anything in this
    sensitive area.
  • This was seen as Jewish people marking out
    territory, a deliberate provocation.
  • 1929. Jewish Zionists met at the wall shouting
    that it was theirs!
  • This infuriated the Arab Muslims who began
  • Many Jews were killed by the Arabs who, in turn
    were shot by the British police who came to
    restore order.
  • The British police were vastly outnumbered
  • There were merely 300 to cover the whole
  • They just couldnt control the fighting
  • In nearby Hebron over 60 Jews were murdered in
    other riots.
  • The single policeman could only telephone for
    assistance and watch helplessly.


1929 Arab Riots
IZBAH AL-YAHUD! Slaughter All the Jews!
Immigration Immigration
1931 4,075
1932 12,533
1933 37,337
1934 45,267
1935 66,472
1936 29,595
1937 10,629
1938 14,675
1939 31,195
1940 10,643
1941 4,592
Jewish Jewish
1919 1,806
1920 8,223
1921 8,294
1922 8,685
1923 8,175
1924 13,892
1925 34,386
1926 13,855
1927 3,034
1928 2,178
1929 5,249
1930 4,944

The British Response 1929
  • Over 20,000 soldiers were sent to Palestine. The
    main Arab leaders either fled, or were expelled.
  • 120 Arabs were executed. Houses were demolished.
    People were arrested without trial.
  • The British began cooperating with the
    rudimentary Jewish forces Haganah to restore
  • Some of the Jewish settlers decided to launch
    revenge attacks of their own however. The
    fighting was often indiscriminate and this made
    the conflict nasty for men, women and children
  • Some historians take 1929 as the time when Israel
    actually began functioning as a state independent
    of Palestine.

Blood dripping down steps after the massacre in
Hebron 1929.
The Haganah- the Jewish settlers self-defence
1930s Events
  • Britain caught in the middle of appealing to
    Palestine and Israel violence escalates
  • Racial profiling, religious desecration,
    segregation, power struggle within Palestine
  • Zionist immigration continues
  • British policy continually changes with pressure
    from both sides
  • Progress in Middle East halts somewhat as WWII
    begins in Europe
  • Britain is distracted, situation becomes even
    more unclear, violence continues to escalate

Palestine Arab Revolt
Their Goals
  • An end to Jewish immigration to Palestine.
  • An end to the transfer of lands to Jewish
  • A new general representative government.

The Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin
al-Hussani, with Adolf Hitler.
1936-9 Arab Revolt.
  • The British tried in vain to compromise between
    the two sides.
  • 1936, an Arab leader suggested a general strike
    as a protest to Britain against giving Jewish
    immigrants permission to settle and buy land in
  • Elsewhere Palestinian Arabs became more organised
    and deadly. Outlying Jewish areas were attacked,
    buses bombed and the oil pipeline blown up.
  • A British Commissioner was assassinated.
  • Still the Jewish immigrants arrived.

The Arab Revolt
  • In April 1936 the Palestinians rebelled. Their
    demands were representative government leading to
    independence and an end to unlimited immigration.
  • The revolt continued until 1939 before the
    British eventually managed to crush it. Around
    5,000 Palestinians were killed.

Zionist Violence
  • A number of Jewish paramilitary groups also
    became active during the Arab Revolt these were
    the Stern Gang, the Irgun and the Haganah.
  • Ostensibly these groups sought to protect the
    Jewish settlements but they also engaged in
    terrorism the speciality of the Irgun being the
    placing of bombs in Arab marketplaces for maximum
  • Zeev Jabotinsky, an influential leader amongst
    these groups was under no illusion about the need
    to use violence
  • Every indigenous people will resist alien
    settlers as long as they see any hope of ridding
    themselves of the danger of foreign settlement
    We must either suspend our settlement efforts or
    continue them without paying attention to the
    mood of the natives. Settlement can thus develop
    under the protection of a force that is not
    dependent on the local population, behind an iron
    wall which they will be powerless to break down.

The Peel Partition Plan
  • In 1937 the British Peel Report investigated the
    reasons behind the outbreak of violence, it
    recorded, the Arabs have been driven into a
    state verging on despair and present unrest is
    no more than expression of that despair.
  • Nevertheless it recommended partitioning
    Palestine, a solution that was completely
    unacceptable to the Palestinians.
  • The Zionist leadership however accepted the
    principle but not the actual size to be granted
    to the Jewish state.
  • In the face of Palestinian resistance the
    partition plan was dropped.

The Peel Commission Partition Plan, 1937
British White Paper of 1939
  • Limited Jewish immigration to Palestine to
    75,000 over the next five years.
  • It ended Jewish land purchases.
  • Independence for Palestine within 10 years.
  • It is NOT British policy that Palestine become
    a Jewish state.

The 1939 White Paper
  • In 1939 Britain, fearing war with Germany,
    reversed its policy regarding Palestine.
  • It agreed to grant Palestine independence within
    10 years and to limit Jewish immigration to
    15,000 a year for the next five years after which
    it would be at the discretion of the Palestinians
    whether it would continue.
  • David Ben Gurion said, We shall fight the white
    paper as if there were no Hitler and we shall
    fight Hitler as if there were no white paper.
  • Many Israelis still harbour bitterness towards
    Britain believing that at the time the Holocaust
    was about to be launched Britain closed the only
    remaining escape route.

World War Two and Holocaust
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.

World War II
  • The discovery of Hitlers death camps profoundly
    shocked the world and highlighted the case of the
    Jewish people who had survived.
  • Many Jewish people began seeking refuge in
  • 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 couldnt 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.

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.

The Arabs felt that they were loosing control of
their country!
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.

The Arabs felt that they were loosing control of
their country!
UN Partition Plan 1947
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

(No Transcript)
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
  • 600,000 Jews living in area
  • Jerusaleminternational city controlled by UN
  • Accepted by Jews
  • Rejected by Arabs
  • No Arab on committee

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.

Israel Becomes a Nation May 14, 1948
David Ben-Gurion, 1st Prime Minister
Chaim Weizmann, 1st President
1948 War of Independence
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.

The war itself.
  • It was a disaster for the Arabic nations. The
    Israeli forces were far stronger than any of them
  • Many Jews had fought in World War II and they had
    reasonable weaponry-mostly also from World war
  • 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!

Palestinian Refugees
  • Right of Return

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

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.

Perspectives on Partition and 1948 War
  • 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