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The Palestinian Question I.pdf

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Thomas Boogaart

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I. Background: Brief History of Palestine and Zionism a. Palestine Through the Ages i. Important to understand how the territory of palestine has changed; birthplace of the Hebrew people talked about in the bible 1. Jews evicted by the Romans 2. Only after WWI (when British took Palestine) that we can see the return of the Jewish people to Palestine b. Jews and the Land of Israel i. Diaspora: Jews able to retain identity by means of their religion; also assimilated into varying cultures ii. Jews fared a lot better in the Arab world; they tended to allow religious freedom; Jews in Europe suffered: anti-Semitism because Jews were seen as the killers of Christ. iii. # of jews inside Palestine was small; today only 30,000 jews (less than 10% of population) c. Arabs in Palestine i. When jews evicted, lands became occupied by Arabs ii. Arabs are 2% of the population with 60% of the land iii. Majority of Arab population in Palestine were farmers iv. Bedouins: Nnomadic people; considered bandits by other Arab people; moved through lands between Egypt and Syria v. WWI: this population mobilized by Britain in the war against the Ottoman empire; argument is that the Arabs in Palestine were being dominated by Ottoman turks and they should rise up and fight against it. d. Early Zionism i. Jews wanted to have their own homeland ii. Theodore Herzl: intellectual living in the Austro-Hungarian empire; developed the formula for Zionism 1. Argument is that we're entering a new age of nations. As old empires are breaking down, jews are facing prosecution in the fight for a homeland of their own 2. Tried to establish a territory for Jewish homeland 3. Zionism is a minority movement iii. Chaim Weizmann 1. Was able to lobby hard for the idea that Jews should also have a state 2. Was not a jew e. The British Mandate of Palestine i. As part of the British war effort to take down the Ottoman epire: they conquered Palestine ii. 1917: Lord Balfour issues declaration- endorses principle that Palestine would be the ideal place for the homeland of the Jews iii. British POV: trying to get as many people on their side as possible; Jew viewed them as conniving because they tried to give the same place to the Jews and the Arabs f. The Interwar Cauldron i. Jerusalem Revolt: first indication of tensions between Jews and Arabs within Palestine ii. 1929 West Wall Dispute: Riot in Jerusalem in which 4 Jews were killed iii. Hitler: his prosecution led to an influx of refugees; the pressure on Palestinians start to mount g. The 1936-1939 Arab Revolt i. Britain needed a political solution to solve the Palestinian problem ii. 1937: Peel commission decides to unify the state
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