Round 3: Arab-Israeli Conflict Since 1900 Events, Treaties, and People
Theodore Herzl – Founder of Modern Political Zionism • Jewish writer and journalist born in Budapest, Hungary • Assigned Paris post by Vienna Neue Freie Presse , 1891 • Impacted greatly by Dreyfus Affair, 1894 • Wrote Der Judenstaat, 1896 • First to call for immediate internationally recognized action to establish Jewish national state • Zionist Congress held in Basel Switzerland 1897 • Palestine chosen as the site and World Zionist Organization founded for financial base 1860-1904
Husein-McMahon Correspondence 1915-1916 • Husein ibn Ali, emir of Mecca and ruler of Saudi Arabia was the official leader of the Arab revolt against the Ottomans • Initially allied with the Ottomans, Husein received evidence that the Ottoman government was planning to depose him at the end of the war. • An exchange of letters with British High Commissioner Henry McMahon convinced him that his assistance on the side of the Triple Entente would be rewarded by an Arab empire encompassing the entire span between Egypt and Persia, with the exception of imperial possessions and interests in Kuwait, Aden, and the Syrian coast. • Henry McMahon was the British High Commissioner for Egypt at the time • McMahon's promises were seen by Arab nationalists as a pledge of immediate Arab independence. They also believed that the undertaking was violated by the region's subsequent partition into British and French League of Nations Mandates under the secret Sykes Picot Agreement of May 1916 and by the Balfour Declaration of November 1917 which favoured the creation of a Jewish national home in Palestine
The Balfour Declaration • Britain gained control of Palestine after World War I and endorsed Foreign Secretary Arthur J. Balfour's idea of a "national home" for the Jews. • The British also promised to respect the rights of non-Jews in the area, and to allow Arab leaders to have their own independent states. • There was a critical misunderstanding, however: The Arabs thought Palestine was to be an independent Arab state, which was not what the British intended.
1920 Mandate • Syria was part of the Ottoman Empire from 1516 until World War I. • Its border with what is now Israel was established in 1920 by France and Great Britain as part of the postwar division of Ottoman Syria. • If Israel were to retain control of land west of the 1920 border, it would control the eastern shore of the Sea of Galilee and key water resources.
A British police officer faces a crowd of demonstrators near a government house in Jaffa in 1933. Armed Conflict 1920-1930’s • The British began governing Palestine in 1920. They announced a Jewish homeland would be created in the region, but that it would exist within Palestine and not encompass the entire country. • The first Arab riots against Zionism took place that same year, and in 1929 a dispute at the Wailing Wall ignited an Arab riot and a call for an Islamic jihad. • Consequently, Jews began arming themselves, and both sides waged terrorist attacks.
Impact of the rise of Nazism • The rise of Nazism in Europe reinvigorated Zionism. • The British raised Jewish immigration quotas for Palestine from about 5,000 in 1932 to about 62,000 in three years. • Arabs launched a series of strikes and boycotts. • A British commission concluded that Palestine should be partitioned into Jewish, Arab and British states, something the Zionists accepted reluctantly. But the Arabs, enraged that they might be removed forcibly from the proposed Jewish state, rejected the idea. • For 12 years between 1933 and 1945, Adolf Hitler persecuted Jews and other minorities. The Nazis systematically killed an estimated 6 million Jews.
Impact of World War II • Jewish refugees from the Holocaust flooded into Palestine during World War II, their plight stirring support for a Jewish state. • Arabs formed the Arab League as a counterweight to Zionism, and in 1947 the United Nations voted to divide Palestine into Arab and Jewish states, the latter occupying 55 percent of the land west of the Jordan River. • Jerusalem was designated as an international enclave.
1947-48 Partition: UN Resolution 181 • In November 1947 the United Nations ordered the partition of Palestine into a Jewish state and an Arab state, and the end of the British Mandate by May 15, 1948. • The Arab powers of the Middle East rejected the partition plan, and hours after Zionist leader David Ben-Gurion declared Israel a state on May 14, the forces of Egypt, Iraq, Syria, Transjordan and Lebanon invaded the new country. • Bitter fighting ensued, but by July 1949 Israel had repulsed the invasion, established borders similar to Palestine under the mandate, joined the United Nations, and been recognized by more than 50 governments around the world
1949 Armistice • In a series of armistices with Egypt, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon in 1949, Israel established borders similar to those of Palestine during the British Mandate. • Jordan retained the West Bank of the Jordan River and Jerusalem was divided under Israeli and Jordanian rule.
David Ben-Gurion (1886-1973) • Israel’s first Prime Minister • Organized single national military defense Israel Defense Forces • Encouraged Jewish immigration to Israel • 1952 secured reparations from West Germany for Holocaust victims • Menachem Begin, opposition leader not invited into coalition government • Retired to a kibbutz in 1953 • Returned to public life as Minister of Defense and then Prime Minister to lead Israel during the Suez Crisis • Resigned as Prime Minister in 1963 and from politics in 1970
Suez Crisis 1956 • In late October 1956, instigated by Britain and France during the crisis over Egypt's seizure of the Suez Canal, Israel invaded the Sinai Peninsula to destroy military bases. • Israel captured Gaza and Sharm el Sheikh at the tip of the Sinai Peninsula that controls access to the Gulf of Aqaba. It also occupied most of Sinai east of the canal. • According to plan, the British and French intervened in the conflict to enforce a U.N. cease-fire. The crisis ended in December when the United Nations stationed a peacekeeping force in Sinai. • Israel withdrew in March 1957 after access to the Suez Canal was guaranteed by the UN. A political crisis centered around the Suez Canal in 1956.
1960’s Growth of the Palestine Liberation Movement • Former Palestinian activist and Egyptian army soldier Yasser Arafat and Abu Jihad (Khalil al-Wazir) founded Al Fatah -- an acronym for the Palestine National Liberation Movement. • It grew rapidly through the 1960s to become the biggest and richest Palestinian force. • In 1969, Arafat became chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization, a group formed in 1964 as an umbrella for a number of Palestinian factions engaging in guerrilla warfare against Israel. • The U.N. General Assembly voted to grant observer status to the PLO in November 1974.
Six-Day War 1967 • Egypt, Syria and Jordan mobilized their forces in spring 1967; Egypt closed the Gulf of Aqaba to Israeli shipping • Israel launched a preemptive strike June 5, . • Israeli air force destroyed Egypt's planes on the ground; Israeli tank columns and infantry overran the Golan Heights, the West Bank of the Jordan River, including the Old City of Jerusalem, Gaza and the Sinai Peninsula. • The war was over June 10, ended by a U.N.-arranged cease-fire.
Palestinian Refugees During the Six-Day War of 1967, Israel captured territory from surrounding Arab nations. Thousands of Palestinian Arabs living in those areas fled to refugee camps administered by the United Nations, like this one near Damascus in southwestern Syria
Yitzhak Rabin, Israeli Chief of Staff • Rabin would later serve as Israel’s prime minister and sign the 1993 Accords crafted by Oslo’s foreign minister Johan Holst • Rabin was assassinated in September 1995 after signing an agreement expanding Palestinian self-rule and giving the Palestinian Authority control over six large West Bank towns
PLO activity in the 1970’s • PLO was founded at a meeting of the Arab League in Jerusalem 1964 to form a body to focus various Palestinian nationalist groups • Fatah is one of the first groups to join • Artillery duels between Israelis and Palestinians based in Jordan, along with airline hijackings by Palestinian guerrillas, led to fears that Jordan might be taken over by the PLO. • Jordanian troops drove the PLO out of the country in 1971, and the PLO relocated to Lebanon. • In September 1972, a militant faction known as Black September killed 11 Israeli athletes at the Olympic Games in Munich, Germany.
Yom Kippur War 1973 • Egypt and Syria attacked Israel October 6, 1973 (during Yom Kippur, the Jewish holy day). • Intended to regain territories lost in the Suez and Golan Heights in 1967 • Israel suffered heavy casualties but managed to repulse the attacks. • It even pushed Egyptian forces back across the Suez Canal and occupied its west bank before the belligerents agreed to another cease-fire arranged by the United Nations. • In a series of 1974 agreements Israel withdrew its forces back across the canal into Sinai and came to cease-fire terms with Syria. Israeli troops question a captured Syrian soldier in the 1973 Yom Kippur War.
UN Resolutions 242 and 338 • After the 1967 and 1973 wars between Israel and the Arabs, the United Nations passed two measures: Resolution 242 (November 22, 1967) and Resolution 338 (October 22, 1973) . The resolutions called for Israel to withdraw its troops from territories it had occupied during those wars. In turn, the Arabs were to recognize the right of Israel to exist. • Israel agreed to the resolutions, along with Egypt and Jordan, but the Palestinians refused until November 15, 1988, when Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat made the dramatic announcement that he accepted the resolutions as the basis for a political process. • By recognizing Israel's right to exist, the Palestinians hoped that the United States would lift its ban on talks with the Palestine Liberation Organization. But the United States added another stipulation for lifting the ban -- that the PLO renounce terrorism. In December 1988, Arafat issued a statement dictated to him by the U.S. State Department that the PLO "condemns individual, group and state terrorism in all its forms, and will not resort to it."
Camp David Accords, March 1979 • In the Camp David Accords of March 1979, Egypt and Israel finally ended the war between them. Israel returned the Sinai Peninsula to Egypt, and Egypt recognized Israel's right to exist. • Sinai was partially demilitarized • Israel and Egypt opened official diplomatic relations for the first time in 30 years • Nothing was done to address Syria’s claims to the Golan Heights • Arab League expelled Egypt • Anwar Sadat assassinated 1981 U.S. President Jimmy Carter with Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin, left, and Egyptian President Anwar Sadat at Camp David, Maryland, in 1978.
War With Lebanon 1982 • Just a few weeks after withdrawing from the Sinai, Israeli jets in early June bombed PLO strongholds in Beirut and southern Lebanon in retaliatory raids. • The Israeli army invaded Lebanon and surrounded Beirut, halting negotiations with the PLO. • After 10 weeks of intense shelling, the PLO agreed to leave Beirut under the protection of a multinational force and to relocate to other Arab countries. • The episode precipitated an intense leadership struggle among PLO factions. Israel had withdrawn from most of Lebanon by 1985, but it continued to hold a buffer strip along its border that it seized in 1978. • Israel withdrew from southern Lebanon in May 2000.
Palestinian Intifada, 1987 • After 20 years of occupation, friction peaked again when Palestinians living in Gaza, the West Bank and Jerusalem rioted against the Israelis in what came to be known as the intifada, or "uprising." • The demonstrations continued for years, and Yasser Arafat proclaimed that the PLO was the government in exile of a "State of Palestine." • The PLO formally recognized Israel's right to exist in 1988. • When peace talks began at Madrid Conference in 1991, following the Persian Gulf War coalition of Arab-Western nations, however, the PLO was excluded. Palestinians carry the body of a fellow Palestinian suspected of collaborating with Israel during the intifada in 1987.
1993 Oslo Accords • Under the guidance of Norwegian Foreign Minister Johan Holst, Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization negotiated secretly in Oslo a "Declaration of Principles," signed in Washington on September 13, 1993, by PLO chairman Yasser Arafat and Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. • Israel agreed to eventually withdraw troops from Gaza and the West Bank, except for the city of Hebron, and to Palestinian self-rule of those areas. • In accompanying "Letters of Mutual Recognition," Israel recognized the PLO as the legitimate representative of the Palestinian people and the PLO recognized Israel's right to exist.
Arafat and Rabin’s Historic Handshake • Rabin, Arafat and Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres won the 1994 Nobel Peace Prize for their efforts. • Negotiations between Israel and the PLO today are based on the principles set down in the 1993 accords. • In February 1994, an extremist Jewish settler killed 39 Palestinians as they prayed in a West Bank mosque. Tensions were high. • Israel withdrew in May 1994 from Jericho on the West Bank and from Gaza. • In July 1994, Arafat entered Gaza and swore in members of the Palestinian Authority, which took control of education and culture, social welfare, tourism, health and taxation.
Oslo Accords: A Summary • The Oslo accords are the foundation on which current peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians are based. • Officially called the "Declaration of Principles," the accords were negotiated secretly by Israeli and Palestinian delegations in 1993 in Oslo, Norway, guided by Norwegian Foreign Minister Johan Jorgen Holst. • They were signed at a Washington ceremony hosted by U.S. President Bill Clinton on September 13, 1993, during which Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat and Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin shook hands, ending decades as sworn enemies. • The accords laid out the long-term goals to be achieved, providing that issues of final borders, the status of Jerusalem, Israeli settlements and refugees would be negotiated in the "permanent status negotiations." • On September 28, 1995, at another White House ceremony, Israelis and Palestinians signed another deal known as the "Interim Agreement" or "Oslo 2." The 400-page pact allowed for a second stage of autonomy for the Palestinians, giving them self-rule in the cities of Bethlehem, Jenin, Nablus, Qalqilya, Ramallah, Tulkarm, parts of Hebron and 450 villages, while allowing Israeli-guarded Jewish settlements to remain.
Israel and Jordan Make Peace 1994 • July 1994 Israeli prime minister Yitzhak Rabin, right, and King Hussein of Jordan, left, sign a peace agreement ending 46 years of war and tension between their countries. • This initial agreement paved the way for a full peace treaty, signed in October 1994 on the Israeli-Jordanian border. • The treaty settled long-standing disputes over land and water rights, and pledged cooperation in areas including trade and tourism.
First Elections of the Palestinian AuthorityJanuary 20, 1996 • In the first-ever elections held by Palestinians, Arafat was the overwhelming choice as president of the Palestinian Authority. • 88 others chosen to sit on Palestinian Legislative Council; cabinet chosen by Arafat was approved by the Legislative Council • In Israel, a massive bus bomb set off by Islamic extremists killed 25 and wounded dozens in the run-up to the prime minister election. • Hard-line Likud Party leader Benjamin Netanyahu defeated Shimon Peres in a close race. • Netanyahu and Arafat pledged to work toward a final peace treaty. • The Israeli government decided later that year to end a freeze on construction in the occupied territories. • Clashes continued between Palestinians and Jewish settlers.
Hebron vs east Jerusalem, 1997 • The West Bank town of Hebron was returned to Palestinian control after 30 years under the Israelis. • But Netanyahu approved a large new Jewish housing project in eastern Jerusalem. • New violence broke out. Among the incidents were the detonation of suicide bombs in an outdoor market in Jerusalem that killed 15 and wounded 170. • An extremist Palestinian group called Hamas claimed responsibility, and the Israeli Cabinet insisted the peace talks would continue only when the terrorism ended.
Wye River Accords 1998 • After a yearlong stalemate and a marathon 21-hour session mediated by U.S. President Bill Clinton, Netanyahu and Arafat signed a land-for-peace deal October 23 at Wye Mills, Maryland. • Netanyahu froze the deal two months after signing it, saying that the Palestinians failed to meet their security commitments. • It called for • a crackdown on terrorists, • redeployment of Israeli troops, • transfer of 14.2 percent of the West Bank land to Palestinian control, • safe passage corridors for Palestinians between Gaza and the West Bank, • the release of 750 Palestinians from Israeli prisons and • a Palestinian airport in Gaza.
Wye River Memorandum: A Summary • A security plan to crack down on violence by terrorists. • Israeli troop redeployment from an additional 13.1 percent of West Bank land, to take place over a 90-day period. • A 14.2 percent transfer of West Bank land from joint Israeli-Palestinian control to Palestinian control. • The revocation of clauses in the Palestinian National Charter that are hostile toward Israel. • The guarantee of two corridors of safe passage between Gaza and the West Bank. • Israeli commitment for third-phase troop redeployment from the West Bank. • The release of 750 Palestinian prisoners in three phases. • The opening of a Palestinian airport in Gaza.
Ehud Barak, Labour prime minister, 1999 • Moderate Labor candidate Ehud Barak unseated Netanyahu in the May prime minister election, winning by a record margin. • Israel released 200 Palestinian prisoners and began transferring West Bank land to Palestinian control as part of the terms of the Wye accords. • In May 2000 Barak ordered the pullout of Israeli troops from the nine mile security zone along the Lebanon border • UN had called for pullout since 1978
Ariel Sharon Likud/Kadima Prime Minister 2001-2006 • A former soldier and brigadier general, Sharon was known for his hardline approach to Israeli-Palestinian issues • 1990s Sharon advocated Jewish settlement in the Occupied Territories (the West Bank, Golan Heights, and Gaza Strip). • In 2001 advocated unilateral withdrawal from Gaza and West Bank territories • December 2001 In response to Palestinian suicide bombings destroyed and confined Arafat in his compound at Ramallah until he sought medical help in France shortly before his death in November 2004 • Broke with Likud Party in 2005 to form Kadima Party • Suffered stroke January 2006 succeeded by Ehud Olmert
Mahmoud Abbas: First Prime Minister of the Palestine Authority, 2003 • Mahmoud Abbas appointed new cabinet ministers, and his government was approved by the Palestinian legislature. • Arafat retained the final say over negotiations with Israel. • Four months later, Abbas resigned, accusing Arafat of undermining his authority by refusing to give him control of the Palestinian Authority's security organizations. • After Arafat died in November 2004, Abbas was elected as chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization. • Arafat's Fatah movement also picked Abbas to be its candidate in the race for Palestinian Authority president. In January 2005, Abbas, also known as Abu Mazen, 69, claimed victory in the vote to replace Arafat.
Hamas victory in Legislative Elections 2006 • Hamas’s charter calls for Israel’s destruction, and Hamas has engaged in terrorist activities. • Entered the political arena for the first time in 2005 by participating in municipal elections in Gaza and the West Bank. • In the 2006 legislative elections Hamas found significant support among Palestinian Arabs residing in the West Bank, Gaza Strip, and East Jerusalem and won 76 of 132 seats in the Legislative Council. • Present members include religious leaders, sheikhs (Arab chiefs), intellectuals, technocrats, businessmen, young activists, and paramilitary fighters. • Hamas has provided social services to the needy in the 11 refugee camps in Gaza. • Providing social welfare and education through clinics, kindergartens, summer camps, medical services, sports programs, and job programs • Mosques and Islamic religious organizations have been Hamas’s most important vehicles for spreading its message and providing its services. • Most funds come from sympathizers abroad. • European Union (EU) and the United States have labeled Hamas a terrorist organization; funds raised for Hamas in Europe and the United States have been seized; and the organization’s fundraising ability has been curtailed.
Outstanding Issues • Jerusalem • Palestinian State and Jewish Settlers • Palestinian Refugees and the Right of Return
Palestinian Refugees (1998) Two U.N. refugee organizations track the number of Palestinian refugees -- those seeking asylum in other countries or those living in traditional refugee camps. Many other Palestinians, whom the United Nations does not classify as refugees, have integrated into new societies and may hold passports from other countries. It is therefore difficult to determine an accurate population count of Palestinians living around the world. During 2000, some 900 Palestinians applied for asylum in more than 40 countries, with the highest number of applicants received by Denmark (260) and Australia (130).
Road Map to Peace - April 30, 2003 • Designed by the “quartet”powers: EU, UN, US and Russia • First time an Israeli government accepted the principle of a Palestinian State • Three phase plan with completion dates • End to violence and terrorism • Final, comprehensive settlement of conflict by 2005 • Creation of an independent, viable, democratic Palestinian State
Palestinian Authority accepts Israel’s right to exist Palestinian Authority dismantles terrorist capabilities and infrastructure. Gains control over security Ends incitement against Israel Drafts a Constitution and holds free and fair elections Implements humanitarian recommendations including access to relief organizations Israel confirms commitment to a free and viable Palestinian State Israel calls a halt to the building of Jewish settlements and dismantles all illegal settlements built since March 2001 Israel withdraws from zones reoccupied since September 28 2000 Upholds trust by not deporting or destroying Palestinian property Implements humanitarian recommendations Phase 1 Highlights: Completion Date May 2003
Arab states restore pre-intifada links with Israel Palestinian constitution is finalized and approved An “empowered reform cabinet” is established Issues such as water resource, refugees, economic development discussed multilaterally Israel moves to ensure territorial contiguity for Palestine Issues such as water resource, refugees, economic development discussed multilaterally Phase 2 Highlights: Completion Date December 2003
Phase 3 Highlights: Completion Date 2005 • Stabilization of Palestinian institutions • Sustained Palestinian security performance • Resolution of the status of Jerusalem • Realistic resolution of Palestinian refugee problem • Resolution of Israel’s settler community issue (200,000 in West Bank and Gaza)
Current Events: Last Weekend • Gaza erupts in street fighting between Hamas and Fatah • 22 dead in fighting since last Thursday • Has broken down talks of forming a Palestinian national unity government necessary to qualify for foreign funding • Saudis have called fighting a disgrace and invited both Palestinian groups to Mecca for talks