Research Proposal: Arab-Israeli Conflict the Genesis

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Arab-Israeli Conflict

The genesis of the Arab-Israeli conflict predated the 1948 creation of the modern state of Israel. Ottoman colonialism had scarred the Middle East for centuries. During World War One, French and especially British intervention in the region exacerbated an already heated conflict between Arabs and Jews in Palestinian region. The political trend toward nationalism also encouraged the Zionist ideology.

Zionism began as a loosely organized grassroots movement in Europe during the late nineteenth century that encouraged Jews in Diaspora to claim a homeland territory in Palestine. Zionism was not a universal theme among Jews, and in fact many Jews living in Palestine and abroad opposed the creation of a modern Israeli nation-state (Beinin & Hajjar). The primary impetus of Zionism was to create a political nation-state with distinct geographic boundaries in Palestine. The new nation would encompass ancient Jewish territories including those regions and cities held sacred by both Muslims and Jews.

As early as 1882, Jews in Europe began to migrate en masse to Palestine (Beinin & Hajjar). During the First World War Zionism became embedded in British foreign policy, arguably as a means to assert European political hegemony. The Allied victory completed the fall of the Ottoman Empire, and the entire Middle East fell under the control of France and Great Britain.

The 1917 Balfour Declaration issued by Great Britain became the first official Zionist policy initiative. The Balfour Declaration represented part of the way Great Britain would carve up its Middle Eastern territories: with little regard for the will of the Arab people. Great Britain and France essentially took advantage of a fragmented Arab population, which had been living under Turkish Ottoman rule and which had yet to establish any clear nationalist policies. The dismantling of the Ottoman Empire enabled European political intervention in the Middle East and the creation of what can easily be called artificial political boundaries throughout the region. Moreover, a growing market for fossil fuels created an important financial and political impetus for European interventionism in the Middle East.

Jews and Arabs had been coexisting in the Palestinian region throughout the Diaspora but Arabs far outnumbered both Jews and Turks in the region. Zionism threatened Arab sovereignty, limiting the amount of self-determination Arabs had in the wake of World War One. The influx of Jews into the region, which was officially supported and sponsored by Great Britain, led to civic unrest in the region. By the late 1920s violence erupted. The Hebron Massacre marked the first real warlike conflict between Arabs and Jews in Palestine. Between 1936 and 1939 Arabs led a revolt against both the British and the Jewish immigrants. Great Britain agreed to restrict the number of Jewish immigrants to Palestine.

However, burgeoning anti-Semitism in Europe fostered Zionism and Jews continued to immigrate to Palestine in spite of the restrictions. The atrocities of World War Two offered the ultimate impetus for Jewish migration and for the creation of a Jewish nation-state. Violence continued to plague Palestine and by the 1940s the United Nations intervened to help create peace and stability in the region. In 1947 the United Nations created a special committee on Palestine. The United Nations Special Committee on Palestine (UNSCOP) advised a two-state solution to the Arab-Jewish conflict, suggesting the creation of a Jewish state based on demographic patterns of settlement. The British mandate over Palestine ended immediately before Israel declared independence and claimed sovereignty over the territories outlined in the UNSCOP plan. Arabs in the entire Middle East but especially those living in Palestine opposed the UNSCOP plan for a two-state solution… [END OF PREVIEW]

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Arab-Israeli Conflict the Genesis.  (2008, December 15).  Retrieved May 24, 2019, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/arab-israeli-conflict-genesis/286383

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"Arab-Israeli Conflict the Genesis."  15 December 2008.  Web.  24 May 2019. <https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/arab-israeli-conflict-genesis/286383>.

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"Arab-Israeli Conflict the Genesis."  Essaytown.com.  December 15, 2008.  Accessed May 24, 2019.
https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/arab-israeli-conflict-genesis/286383.