Term Paper: Arab-Israeli Conflict Tensions Between Israel and Palestinians

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Arab-Israeli Conflict

Tensions between Israel and Palestinians have been of great concern to the rest of the world ever since they began, in 1947. In that year, Great Britain, who governed the area as a protectorate and with the approval of the United Nations (Bennis, 1997), partitioned the land so that both Palestinians and Israelis could live in what was then called Palestine. This action was taken as a response to the Holocaust of World War II. World powers felt that Jewish people needed a homeland, and some Jews had been quietly moving to Palestine for some years. These "Zionists" believed they had an historical claim to the land, but the Palestinians currently living there viewed it as theirs, and they had been there for quite some time as well.

HISTORY

What looked to the United Nations and Great Britain as helping to right what had been a great wrong to the Jews looked like a colonial land grab to the Palestinians (Friedman, 2002). Arab countries recall the founding of the Islamic religion the way Americans might talk about the Civil War, as fairly recent history. The Arabs of the region knew that their influence had dominated most of Asia, large parts of Africa, and even into parts of Spain. In the process they had developed a system of government the blended religion and law together and that grew into a sophisticated form of government, one that tried to be tolerant of the religion as well as the cultures they had conquered (Ismael, 1999).

European powers, however, had been alarmed by the spread of Islam, especially Spain. Arab rule peaked in the 10th century, and Europe responded with two crusades into Arab lands in the 11th and 125th centuries, with both religious and economic goals. The Crusaders wanted what they called "The Holy Land" under Christian rule and Western domination, and believed this to be God's will. Having a mandate from God justified extreme actions, and the battles were bloody and horrific. Europe also wanted an economic and secure route to the Far East to obtain such things as silk and spices. Unfortunately for the Arabs, while Europe attacked them from the East, Mongols from Asia attacked them from the West. Only Egypt was spared from repeated warfare (Ismael, 1999). While the Crusades are often treated in Western history as a curiosity, in Arab memory the Crusades brought down one of the greatest civilizations the world has ever known. Followed as it was by the Inquisition and the occupation of their lands by Western powers starting with World War I (Friedman, 2002),

Arabs had good reason to be suspicious of Western interests in this area, and those suspicions were confirmed in their view by the 1947 Partition of Palestine. They saw it as an extension of intrusions from the West that had troubled them for 1,000 years. The presence of Jerusalem in this area was an added complication because it was a holy city to three different religious groups in the area: Moslem, Christian, and Jewish (Friedman, 2002). Long after the Crusades, who would govern such places as Jerusalem was still a major area of contention. To make things worse, the United Nations recognized Israel as a country, but only endorsed the idea of a Palestinian state (Bennis, 1997). This made Palestinians refugees with no country. As an added complication, Great Britain had actually promised the land to both groups, an impossibility (Friedman, 2002). While Great Britain passed the problem on to the United Nations, it increased the perception among both groups that they were the ones entitled to Palestine and that the other group should not be there.

20TH CENTURY WARS

After Israel received state recognition, Arab states saw Israel as a serious threat and joined the Palestinians in a war that began in May of 1948. The fledgling country of Israel managed to defeat the alled Arab forces for the first of several times. Arab countries aligned again in June of 1967 in a war that lasted essentially only six days and known now… [END OF PREVIEW]

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Arab-Israeli Conflict Tensions Between Israel and Palestinians.  (2005, May 17).  Retrieved May 24, 2019, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/arab-israeli-conflict-tensions-israel/72461

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"Arab-Israeli Conflict Tensions Between Israel and Palestinians."  Essaytown.com.  May 17, 2005.  Accessed May 24, 2019.
https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/arab-israeli-conflict-tensions-israel/72461.