POLISCIENCE readings Feb 8th
-after 1948, state of Israel was created, and the “great catastrophe” (war in palestine from 1946-47) occurred.
—> armed militants from Israel forced the indigenous populations to ﬂee. (750000 palestinians)
forced to take refuge in camps set up by humanitarian agencies
UNRWA set up to manage Palestinian refugee camps and provide health, education and humanitarian aid .
1.6 million Palestinian refugees in Jordan, 53% of Palestinian refugees in Lebanon live in ofﬁcial refugee
35% in West Bank, 75% of pop. in Gaza is Palestinian refugees
Palestinians largest refugee population after the Afganis.
the Palestinian problem is not well understood by people.
in order to understand, people have to look at what was wrong with the European Jewish Diaspora, from
which Zionism emerged.
Who are the palestinians?
descendants of the philistines, Canaanites, and Hebrews.
Arabs have been in palestine for centuries, until 1948 when the the Israelis took over the region. The
Palestinians made up 70% of the population even in 1947 after 50 years of European Jewish
End of Empires:
Palestine was a large part of the Ottoman empire between the 16th century and the end of WW1. When the
empire began to fall, european countries were vying for control of the Arab Ottoman provinces. Two treaties
were originally concocted: the McMahon/Hussein agreement and the Sykes/Picot agreement. The
McMahon/hussein agreement stated that Great Britain would recognize Arab independence should they
revolt against the empire. The Sykes/Picot agreement entailed that the Arab provinces would be split up
between France, Russia and Britain, With France retaining Lebanon and Syria, Britain controlling Iraq and
Transjordan, and Palestine placed under international jurisdiction. But the agreement fell through when
Russia backed out.
Emergence of European Zionism
Theodor Herzl established the World Zionist Organization which sought to establish a Jewish State.
Addressed the issue of rising anti-semitism in Europe, and the lack of a Jewish homeland.
—>Palestine (due to it’s historical background) was determined to be the goal of these efforts.
effort to settle Palestine with Jewish Immigrants
objective of this Zionist initiative was to force indigenous Arab Palestinians from the land to ensure a
majority Jewish population in Palestine.
This movement was supported at ﬁrst only by the French Banker Baron Edmund de Rothschild.
Financing of settlements was later supported by James Balfour and the political elite of Britain, as well as
the Jewish Colonization Association, a spin-off of the WZO.
the Balfour declaration was created on November 2nd, 1917. —> the idea was that the rights of existing
non-Jewish Palestinians would not be affected (I think**) So originally there was a peaceful agreement
between the Israelis and the Palestinians (**but in 1948 the great Catastrophe occurred leading to the
exile of all the indigenous Palestinians)
SO, Palestinians were considered “independent" after WW1, but required assistance because they could not
exist independently on their own yet. At the same time, Jewish settlements were being conducted without the