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Arab- Israeli Conflict Midterm Notes.docx

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McGill University
Political Science
POLI 347
Julie Norman

Arab-Israeli Conflict Midterm Notes - Start of conflict typically 1882 and onwards - Ertez-Israel: land of Israel - Number of Jews that reject Zionism drastically drop after rise of Hitler - Zionists: people, mainly Jews, who support the quest by Jews to return to Zion from the diaspora. 19 century movement - Tangible issues in conflict: 1) sovereignty over land, 2) demography, land purchase, and migration, 3)borders - 19 century saw the rise of Arab nationalism - Palestinians never had any form of national independence; indigenous people had no role in political structures. Clear sense of national identity without right to self-determination. This changes in 1920s/30s - Herzl publishes der Judenstaat in 1895, which leads to 1897 Zionist conference to organize and mobilize around this idea - Dreyfus affair: great push toward Zionism. Refers to a French- Jewish captain accused of being a German spy. Convicted even though lacking evidence, causing mass anti-Semetic protests in France - 1897 Basle Declaration: summary of what Zionism stands for. Begins talking about transportation of Jews to Palestine. Created the Kabutz system, where all things would be shared, including work and resources. Detailed preparatory steps they needed to take in order to garner financial support to put plan to action. - Palestine was organized in terms of strong leadership in its cities, but didn’t have strong leadership at a national level - Zionism compared to European colonization of NA - For Palestinians, violence was the only option because they didn’t have any leadership, diplomatic presence, and were neglected by major powers. Weren’t organized way due to decentralized government. - 1915-16 McMahon-Husein Correspondence: notes and letters exchanged between commissioners of Mecca and Britain setting the stage for an anti- Turkish revolt under Mecca. In exchange, they expected support for Arab independence after the defeat of the Turks. - 1916 Sykes-Picot Agreement: Sykes was a British rep, Picot French. Agreed to split up Middle East into spheres of influence: Britain would get Jordan and Iraq, France would get Syria and Lebanon. This agreement occurred at the same time as McMahon-Husein. - 1917: British conquer southern half of Palestine and within a year take the rest - 1917 Balfour Declaration: declaration by British that their foreign policy will support the establishment of a national home for Jews in Palestine - British Dual Obligation: promised to establish a homeland for Jews but also somewhat for Palestinians - 1929 is a turning point as Arabs being to act out their anger on Jews. Worst act of violence was in Hebron where 59 killed. This violence cause British to establish a committee to find out why this violence was happening. New fact finding mission formed, which led to the Passifield White Paper, which issued restrictions on Jewish land and immigration and also suggested giving Palestinians self-governing institutions. Soon overturned. - Overturning of this angered Palestinians. In Oct 1933 they protested, seen as forerunner of 1936 General Strike - 1933-35, Jewish migration at its highest point - 1936 General Strike: British declare curfew and state of emergency after several murders. The Arab High Committee (AHC) called for general strike later followed by armed uprising. British used diplomacy to get regional Arab leaders to issue statements calling on Palestinians to stop uprising. British decide to stop immigration in order to appease grievances. - 1936 Peel Commission/ 1937 Peel Partition Plan: landed in Palestine gathering statements from all parties. Report proposed partition of contested country as only option. Also wanted interim restrictions on land sales to Jews and a cap on immigration. Neither side happy, Palestinians want complete end to Jewish immigration; Jews want more land - 1939 St James Conference: both sides refused to meet so meetings happened separately. Palestinians came out of conference with 2 political gains: 1) right to independence, even though conditional, was recognized by Britain (wanted Palestine to be independent in 10 years); 2) right to safeguard majority status by preventing Jews from surpassing a certain proportion of population was acknowledged. - 1936-39 revolt marked the climax of a long-running process of militarization - 1938 Evian Conference: decide where Jewish refugees of WWII would go, see if any nations willing to open doors to immigration. Most nations did, but only allowed minimal amounts - 1942 Biltmore Convention: held by Zionist leaders. Called for immediate mass migration to Palestine and postwar creation of Jewish commonwealth/ state. First Zionist demand for statehood. Holocaust being in the minds of all delegates present took a special significance in justification for settling. - 1945 Anglo- American Committee of Inquiry (AACI): linked rather than divorced issue of Holocaust surviviors and future of Palestine. Recommended that the future government of Palestine be based on non-domination and binational principles that 1)Jewish population wouldn’t dominate Arabs and vice versa; 2) Palestine would be neither a Jewish nor Arab state, but a country where both were reconciled. Quickly abandoned - 1947 UNSCOP Partition (Resolution 181): partition plan which gave Jews much more land than Peel Partition on order to deal with increasing amounts of Jews. Put Jerusalem under international administration. Arabs were angry because felt that UN couldn’t force the wishes of a minority over the indigenous majority. Israel said Arab’s rejection of this was proof of aggressiveness and warlike intentions. Seen by Jews as proof that Arabs were responsible for 1948 war. Day after 181 submitted to GA marks the beginning of a civil war between Israelis and Palestinians (Nov 30, 1947). For first 6 months, this was infighting between Jews and Arabs. Once Israel announces independence, neighbouring states get involved and War of Independence starts. - 1948 War of Independence: called Atzama’ut by Israelis (independence) and Al Nakba by Palestinians (catastrophe) War starts on May 15, 1948, following Israeli declaration of independence. British Mandate expired on the 14 so they withdrew. Israelis implemented 1948 Plan D: expulsion of Palestinians from vast areas of the country. Took 6 months to complete and removed 750 000 Palestinians. The systematic implementation meant it was clearly an ethnic cleansing. War resulted in Israel being accepted as a UN state in May 1949. Gaza became part of Egypt and West Bank part of Jordan. At the end of the war, Israel had extended its territories given to them by the UN partition and absorbed 78% of former Mandatory Palestine. Arabs military forces were very poorly organized. Jewish effort was better organized, but weren’t as numerous as Arabs. Nakba created a major Palestinian refugee crisis. - 1948 Resolution 194: result of Nakba. Said that Palestinian refugees should be permitted to return, or compensated. Arabs saw this as not good enough; they didn’t want to just return, they wanted their nation back. Israelis didn’t want to deal with Palestinian refugees. Rights under this resolution remain unimplemented. - Why did Palestinians become refugees? 1) many fled to avoid brutality of war; 2) in some places, yishuv-British cooperation helped to coerce Palestinians to leave; 3) in some places Zionist militias and IDF forces deliberately emptied villages and expelled thousands; 4) many left due to demoralization due to lack of leadership - After Israel declared independence in 1949, Arabs boycotted them economically. - At this time there is almost an absence of Palestinian voices and agency, so Arab leaders assert their strength and voice for Palestine - After 1948 war, there were a series of GAAs, but they never reached peace treaties because Israelis would only agree to negotiate if Arab states recognized their sovereignty and national borders. Arabs refused to negotiate further unless Palestinians gained their right to return and boundaries of Israel go back to those of the 1947 Partition Plan - An important backdrop for the 1949-56 period was a pattern of increasing cross- border Palestinian infiltration and raids by feday’un (or “self-sacrificers”), mainly from Egyptian-controlled Gaza, which was matched by Israelis and was increasingly severe. - A pattern of unceasing, low-level cross-border terror attacks increased the level of fear and insecurity in Israel and further hardened existing attitudes in which Arabs were seen as murderers and aggressors. - 1953 Qibya raid was a critical turning point. In response to a terrorist attack that killed a mother and 2 children in the Israeli village of Kfar Yahud, a specially trained Israeli commando force (Unit 101) under Ariel Sharon, mounted a massive counterattack on the West Bank village of Qibya, killing 50-60. - On the international stage, the scale and brutality of the massacre led to unprecedented levels of condemnation towards Israel. Israel’s ambassador Abba Eban admitted that it was the worst blow to Israel’s standing on the world stage since it declared independence. - David Ben-Gurion described the raid as a legit retaliation that he hoped would end 4 years of infiltration - In summer 1952 a crucial change in the regional balance of power came when the Free officers, led by Nasser and al-Sadat, overthrew the Egyptian monarchy. - By mid-1954 Egyptian-Israeli relations soured in the wake of uncovering a spy ring in Alexandria and Cairo in which Israeli secret agents and Egyptian Jews attempted to undermine Egypt’s relations with Britain and US - The build-up of Egyptian military with Soviet armaments during 1955-56 was a matter of great concern to the Israelis, who asked Western powers to give them defensive weapons to match, as well as a security treaty - Neither Nasser or Gurion wished to be seen by the international community as the initiator of a new war, but both sides did everything possible along their common frontier to provoke the other into launching full-scale hostilities. - 1956 Suez/ Sinai War: Egypt sees Israel increase its defenses so it does the same. Cross-border warfare continues during this period. We see a new Egyptian government led by Nasser due to Egyptian Revolution. Then, Egypt engages in arms deal with USSR, which leads to France giving arms to Israel. Nasser nationalizes the Suez Canal. This leads to Britain, France, and Israel to collude to take back Sinai and Canal. Israeli forces are brought to Sinai, back by British and French troops. This angers UN and they order a ceasefire. UNEF are dispatched to area. - 1967 Six Day War: Ru
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