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September 20th: Participation, Independence, Nakba

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Political Science
POLI 347
Julie Norman

THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 20, 2012: Partition, Independence, Nakba News:  The Palestinian Authority is going to push forward in the UN for non-member state status  New documents were released on the 1973 Yom Kippur War  Air raid killed two Hamas members in the Gaza Strip  Mitt Romney quoted in a leaked video as saying that Palestinians are incapable of peace and don’t want peace. The PA responded to this and it has received international attention—what does it mean for US-Israel relations and the USA as an objective observer?  A joint Israeli-Palestinian survey showed both groups are skeptical about the feasibility of a solution and there is very limited support for a bi-national state.  World War Two and the Holocaust:  What was the influence of the Holocaust on the trajectory of the conflict?  Some Palestinian activists and writers at the time struggled with recognizing the injustices faced by Jews in Europe, but not wanting it to result in injustices for Arabs in Palestine.  From a Jewish or Zionist perspective, there was no other option than massive immigration to Israel-Palestine. o What was the role of other Western states? Why wasn’t there more room for immigration to Britain, Canada, the USA, etc.? o These other Western states closed their immigration to Jews, and many domestic policies in Canada and the US influenced immigration policy- ex. the Great Depression had an effect. “None is too many” – from immigration minister Blair (in Mackenzie King’s government). Anti-Semitism was present in the West. o In Canada, the St. Louis tried to dock in Halifax but was turned away. The 900 Jews aboard had to turn back to Europe and most were put in concentration camps and perished in the Holocaust. o 1938 Evian Conference ended up failing because no states were looking to open their doors.  The British did allow some refugees—70,000 over the course of this period. An estimated 100,000-200,000 Jews came to the US, China absorbed 25,000 refugees, and a number of Latin American states (notably Brazil, Argentina and Chile) took in refugees as well.  1942 Biltmore Convention took place in New York and was when people were realizing things were dire for European Jews. It was a Zionist congress and they resolved that full immigration to Palestine as quickly as possible was necessary. They also articulated a Jewish commonwealth or a Jewish state needed to be established in Palestine. This was the first official statement that pushed for statehood, more than just a national home.  In 1945 the Anglo-American Committee of Inquiry (6 Americans and 6 Brits) tried to figure out a solution to the situation. The interviewed Jews, Arabs, international parties, and they proposed that Palestine should immediately open for 100,000 Jewish immigrants. It also recommends (for the first time) a bi-national state in Palestine.  The war had ended but tensions were high in Palestine—there was a large refugee population trying to get to Palestine and the British were still in Palestine trying to control immigration. More and more violence was occurring in Palestine (from Irgun, and LEHI—Jewish militias). It became clear that Britain’s role on the ground in Palestine was over.  The United National Special Committee on Palestine (UNSCOP) was created in 1947. It recognized the massive refugee population, violence on the ground, and terrorism activities were a crisis situation. The proposed a new partition plan. The planned to separate the region into two states (see right). For Jews and Zionists it was seen as a more than acceptable solution. It was submitted to the UN as a General Assembly Resolution (Resolution 181). It was supposed to be trying to accommodate where the biggest population centers of the groups were. Jerusalem was to be an international zone. People questioned the legitimacy of the resolution, because the UN was only two years old, and because it was a General Assembly resolution and not a Security Council resolution (which raised questions about how implementable the partition plan was).  November 30, 1947: a civil war breaks out. It continues for 6 months until the British withdrew.  As soon as the British wit
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