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TheMiddleEastconflictabriefbackground

1800stoWorldWarII

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Towardstheendofthe1800squestionsaroseastohowtheJewishpeoplecouldovercomeincreasing
persecutionandantiSemitisminEurope.ThebiblicalPromisedLandledtoapoliticalmovement,
Zionism,toestablishaJewishhomelandinPalestine,intheMiddleEast.

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From1920to1947,theBritishEmpirehadamandateoverPalestine.Atthattime,Palestineincludedall
ofIsraelandtodaysOccupiedTerritories,ofGaza,WestBank,etc.TheincreasingnumberofJewish
peopleimmigratingtotheHolyLandincreasedtensionsintheregion.

Europeangeopoliticsintheearlierhalfofthe20thcenturyinthewiderMiddleEastregioncontributedto
alotofinstabilityoverall.TheBritishEmpire,especially,playedamajorroleintheregion.

DuringWorldWarI,in1916,itconvincedArableaderstorevoltagainsttheOttomanEmpire(whichwas
alliedwithGermany).Inreturn,theBritishgovernmentwouldsupporttheestablishmentofan
independentArabstateintheregion,includingPalestine.

Yet,incontradictiontothis,andtoalsogetsupportofJewishpeople,in1917,LordArthurBalfour,then
BritishForeignMinister,issuedadeclaration(theBalfourDeclaration).ThisannouncedtheBritish
EmpiressupportfortheestablishmentofaJewishnationalhomeinPalestine.

Asafurthercomplication,therewasadealbetweenImperialBritainandFrancetocarveuptheArab
provincesoftheOttomanEmpireanddividecontroloftheregion.Thespoilsofwarweretobeshared.
Aswiththe1885BerlinConferencewhereAfricawascarvedupamongstthevariousEuropeanempires,
partsoftheMiddleEastwerealsotobecarvedup,whichwouldrequireartificialborders,supportof
monarchies,dictatorsandotherleadersthatcouldberegardedaspuppetsoratleastcouldbe
influencedbytheseexternalpowers.

PostWorldWarIIto2000

AfterWorldWarII,thenewlyformedUnitedNations(whichthenhadlessdevelopingcountriesas
members)recommendedthepartitionofPalestineintotwostatesandtheinternationalizationof
Jerusalem.TheminorityJewishpeoplereceivedthemajorityoftheland.

USsupportfortheIsraelstatewasdrivenbyinternalpoliticsastheCATOInstitutenotes(quotedat
length):

InNovember1947theUNGeneralAssemblyvotedoverwhelminglytorecommendpartitionof
PalestineintoArabandJewishstates.Thetwostatesweretobejoinedinaneconomicunion,and
JerusalemwouldbeadministeredbytheUnitedNations.TheArabswouldget43percentoftheland,
theJews57percent.Theproposedapportionmentshouldbeassessedinlightofthefollowingfacts:
TheJewishportionwasbetterlandbytheendof1947thepercentageofPalestinepurchasedby
Jewswaslessthan7percentJewishlandpurchasesaccountedforonly10percentoftheproposed
JewishstateandJewsmadeuplessthanonethirdofthepopulationofPalestine.Moreover,the
Jewishstatewastoinclude497,000Arabs,whowouldconstitutejustunder50percentofthenew
state'spopulation.

TheUnitedStatesnotonlyacceptedtheUNplan,itaggressivelypromoteditamongtheother
membersoftheUnitedNations.[USPresident,Harry]Trumanhadbeenpersonallymovedbythe
tragedyoftheJewsandbytheconditionoftherefugees.Thatresponseandhisearlierstudiesofthe
BiblemadehimopentotheargumentthatemigrationtoPalestinewastheproperremedyforthe
survivingJewsofEurope.Yetheacknowledgedlater,inhismemoirs,thathewasfullyawareofthe
ArabshostilitytoJewishsettlementinPalestine.He,likehispredecessor,hadpromisedhewould
takenoactionwithoutfullyconsultingtheArabs,andhereneged.

TrumansdecisiontosupportestablishmentofaJewishstateinPalestinewasmadeagainstthe
adviceofmostoftheStateDepartmentandotherforeignpolicyexperts,whowereconcernedabout
U.S.relationswiththeArabsandpossibleSovietpenetrationoftheregion.SecretaryJamesForrestal
oftheDefenseDepartmentandLoyHenderson,atthattimetheStateDepartmentschiefofNear

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Easternaffairs,pressedthosepointsmostvigorously.Hendersonwarnedthatpartitionwouldnotonly
createantiAmericanismbutwouldalsorequireU.S.troopstoenforceit,andhestatedhisbeliefthat
partitionviolatedbothU.S.andUNprinciplesofselfdetermination.

ButTrumanwasconcernedaboutthedomesticpoliticalimplicationsaswellastheforeignpolicy
implicationsofthepartitionissue.AshehimselfputitduringameetingwithU.S.ambassadorstothe
MiddleEast,accordingtoWilliamA.Eddy,theambassadortoSaudiArabia,Imsorrygentlemen,but
IhavetoanswertohundredsofthousandswhoareanxiousforthesuccessofZionism:Idonothave
hundredsofthousandsofArabsamongmyconstituents.Later,ina1953articleintheAmerican
Zionist,EmmanuelNeumann,presidentoftheZionistOrganizationofAmerica,concededthat
TrumanwouldnothaveworkedsohardforthecreationofIsraelbutfortheprospectofwholesale
defectionsfromtheDemocraticParty.TrumansdecisiontosupporttheZionistcausewasalso
influencedbySamuelI.Rosenman,DavidK.Niles,andClarkClifford,allmembersofhisstaff,and
EddieJacobson,hisclosefriendandformerbusinesspartner.Trumanlaterwrote:

TheWhiteHouse,too,wassubjectedtoaconstantbarrage.IdonotthinkIeverhadasmuch
pressureandpropagandaaimedattheWhiteHouseasIhadinthisinstance.Thepersistenceofa
fewoftheextremeZionistleadersactuatedbypoliticalmotivesandengaginginpoliticalthreats
disturbedandannoyedme.

PressureonTrumanalsocamefromnonJewishfundamentalistsandpoliticians.

Insomecases,supportforJewishadmissiontoandstatehoodinPalestinemayhavehadanother
domesticpoliticalangle.ThatsupportsidesteppedthesensitiveissueofU.S.immigrationquotas,
whichhadkeptEuropeanJewsoutoftheUnitedStatessincethe1920sandhadleftthematthe
mercyoftheNazis.Inotherwords,supportforZionismmayhavebeenaconvenientwayforpeople
whodidnotwantJewstocometotheUnitedStatestoavoidappearingantiSemitic.American
classicalliberalsandothers,includingtheAmericanCouncilforJudaism,opposedthequotas,andit
isprobablethatmanyoftherefugees,giventheoption,wouldhavepreferredtocometotheUnited
States.

BymidNovember1947theTrumanadministrationwasfirmlyintheZionistcamp.WhentheState
DepartmentandtheU.S.missiontotheUnitedNationsagreedthatthepartitionresolutionshouldbe
changedtoshifttheNegevfromtheJewishtothePalestinianstate,TrumansidedwiththeJewish
Agency,themainZionistorganization,againstthem.TheUnitedStatesalsovotedagainstaUN
resolutioncallingonmemberstatestoacceptJewishrefugeeswhocouldnotberepatriated.

(AlsoseethisbackgroundformoreinformationonhowtheUNSecurityCouncilinitiallyrejectedthe
GeneralAssemblypartitionplanandwhytheUNSecurityCouncilinitiallyfavoredUNtrusteeshipover
partition.)

TheStateofIsraelwasproclaimedonMay141948,buttheArabstatesrejectedthepartitionof
PalestineandtheexistenceofIsrael.ThearmiesofIraq,Syria,Lebanon,TransJordan,SaudiArabia,
Yemen,andEgyptattackedbutweredefeatedbytheIsraeliarmy.

WhiletheJewishpeopleweresuccessfulincreatingtheirhomeland,therewasnoPalestineandno
internationalizationofJerusalem,either.In1948forexample,Palestiniansweredrivenoutofthenew
IsraelintorefugeecampsinJordan,Egypt,Lebanonandotherregions.Atleast750,000peoplearesaid
tohavebeendrivenout(orethnicallycleansed,assomehavedescribedit).Itshouldbenotedthat
manyJewswerealsoexpelledfromsurroundingArabcountries.Zionistorganizationsandevensome
ArabnationsalsoencouragedmanyJewstoimmigratetoIsrael.AswithPalestinians,expelledJews
oftenhadtheirlandand/orbankaccountsandotherpropertyseized.

In1956,Britain,FranceandIsraelinvadedtheSinaipeninsulaafterEgyptnationalizedtheSuezcanal

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becausethesewaningempiresfearedfurtherlossofpower,thistimeofamajoreconomictradingroute
entrypointfortheWesttotherestoftheMiddleEast.WhileEgyptwasdefeated,international(US,
really)pressureforcedtheirwithdrawal.

In1967,IsraelsimultaneouslyattackedEgypt,SyriaandJordaninapreemptivestrikeagainstthe
Arabtroopsalongitsborders.Israelcapturedkeypiecesofland,suchasthestrategicGolanHeightsto
thenorthontheborderwithSyria,totheWestBankfromJordanandtheGazastripfromEgypt.Infact,
Israelmorethandoubleditssizeinthesixdaysthatthiswartookplace.Sincethen,negotiationshave
beenaroundreturninglandtopre1967states,asrequiredbyinternationallawandUNresolutions.

In1973,EgyptandSyriaattackedIsraelontheJewishholydayofYomKippurtoattempttoregaintheir
lostland,butfailed.

In1978,theCampDavidaccordswassignedbetweenIsrael,EgyptandtheUS,andIsraelreturned
SinaibacktoEgyptinreturnforpeacebetweenthem.TomanyintheArabworld,Egypthadsoldoutto
USpressure.TotheUSandIsrael,thiswasagreatachievementEgyptwasobviouslynottobe
underestimatedinitscapabilities,sothebestthingwouldbetoensureitisanally,notanadversary.

In1978,duetorisingHezbollahattacksfromSouthLebanon,wheremanyPalestinianrefugeesstill
were,IsraelattackedandinvadedLebanon.In1982,IsraelwentasfarupLebanonasBeirut,asbloody
exchangesfollowedbetweenIsraeliattemptstobombYasserArafatsPLOlocations,andHezbollah
retaliations.In1985,IsraeldeclaredastripofSouthLebanontobeaSecurityZone(neverrecognized
bytheUN,andhenceIsraelwasalwaysoccupyingthisothernation.)Manycivilianswerekilledonboth
sides.Israeliforceswereaccusedofmassacresonmanyoccasions.After22years,Israelwithdrewin
May2000.OneoftheleadingIsraelimilitarypersonnelwasthefutureIsraelPrimeMinister,Ariel
Sharon.

Inthelate1980scamethePalestinianuprisingtheIntifada.Whiletherewasmuchofanonviolence
movementinitially,themainstreammediaconcentratedontheviolence.YoungPalestiniansconfronted
Israelitroopswithnothingmorethanslingshotsandstones.ThousandswerekilledbytheIsraeli
military.ManysuicideactivistskilledIsraelisoldiersandcausedotherdamage.Manyinnocentcivilians
werekilledonbothsides.

1993sawtheOsloPeaceAccord,wherebyIsraelrecognizedthePLOandgavethemlimitedautonomy
inreturnforpeaceandanendtoPalestinianclaimsonIsraeliterritory.Thishasbeenlargelycriticized
asaonesidedaccord,thatbenefitsonlyIsrael,notthePalestinianpeople.ItresultedinIsraelicontrolof
land,water,roadsandotherresources.

In1994,IsraelwithdrewfromtheGazaStripandJericho,endingtwentysevenyearsofoccupation.A
Palestinianpoliceforcereplacedthem.

In1995,thenIsraeliPrimeMinister,YitzhakRabin,whohadbeeninvolvedinthelatestpeace
processes,wasassassinatedbyaJewishextremist.

InApril1996,IsraeliforcesbombedLebanonfor17days,withHezbollahretaliatingbyfiringupon
populatedareasofNorthernIsrael.IsraelalsoshelledaUNshelterkillingabout100outof800civilians
shelteringthere.TheUNclaimeditwasintentional.

October1998sawtheWyeRiverMemorandumoutliningsomeIsraeliwithdrawalfromtheWestBank
butIsraelsuspendeditinJanuary1999duetointernaldisagreementsonitsimplementation.

2000toPresent

Furtherattemptsthroughtothebeginningof2000weremadeatcontinuingtheWyeRiveraccord,but

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keptbreakingdownduetoPalestinianprotestsofcontinuednewIsraelisettlements.

TheCampDavidsummitin2000alsofailedtocomeupwithsolutionsonJerusalem.

Inlate2000,ArielSharonsvisittotheMountTemplesparksofthecurrentroundofprotestsand
violence.

TowardstheendofSeptember,2000,formerIsraelimilitarygeneral,andnowIsraelsPrimeMinister,
ArielSharon,accompaniedby1000soldiers,visitedaholyMuslimsite,calledtheTempleMountbythe
Israelis,andHaramalSharif(NobleSanctuary)bytheMuslimsandproclaimeditaseternalIsraeli
territory.Sharonhaslongbeenaccusedofmassacresinhismilitarydayswasseenasgenerallybeing
againstthepeaceprocessatthattime.ThisproclamationinfuriatedPalestinians,andledtoaseriesof
protestsandviolenceandanothermajoruprising,orintifada.

ThePalestinianNationalAuthority,whichArafatheadedwithapoliceforcearmedbytheIsraeliswas
itselfcriticizedfornotservingthefullinterestsofthePalestinianpeople.Thepoliceforcesharshcrack
downonsomePalestinians(inanattempttoaddressinternaldifferencesandextremism)drewcriticisms
fromthelikesofAmnestyInternationalandothers.

Inallthistimethen,thePalestinianpeoplehavebeenwithoutanynation,andhavehadlimitedrights,
whilesufferingfrompoverty.Israelcontinuedtoincreaseandexpandtheirsettlementsintooccupied
territories,givinguplessandlesslandcomparedtowhatwaspromised.ManyPalestinians(thatarenot
IsraeliArabssince1948)livinginIsraeldonothavetherighttovote,orhavelimitedrights,whilepaying
fulltaxes.Forover3decades,thePalestinianpeoplehavebeenlivingunderamilitaryoccupation.

ThefrustrationandinjusticeofthetreatmentofPalestinianshasangeredmanycitizensintheArab
worldagainstUS/Israelipolicies.Palestinianfrustrationhasspilledintoextremisminsomecasesaswell.
ManymilitantgroupsfromPalestineandotherareasoftheMiddleEasthavethereforesprungupin
recentyearsaswellaspastdecades,performingactsofwhattheWestandIsraeldescribeasterrorism
andwhatthegroupsthemselvesjustifyasfreedomfighting(thoughachievingfreedomthroughterrorist
actionscouldarguablystillbecalledterroristorganizations,despiteclaimedmotives).Suicidebombings,
andpastactsofterrorismhaveterrorizedIsraelicivilians,makingpeaceharderandhardertoimagine,
yetithasbeeneasytoinfluenceandrecruittheyoung,impressionableandangryintoextremistcauses.
Asviolencecontinues,itseemsthatitwillremaineasytofindrecruitstoviolentcauses.

In2002,IsraelstartedconstructionofalargedefensivesecurityfenceintheWestBanksupposedlyto
stopterroristsfrommakingtheirwayintoIsraelicitiesandsettlements.Whileitmostlyseemstohave
worked,thoselargefenceshavedrawninternationalcriticismforgoingquitefarintoPalestinianlandnot
Israeliland.Israelalsocontinuedcontroversialsettlementprogramsindisputedareas.

BushandIsraelsdispleasurewithArafatisreflectedinpublic.InJune,USPresidentGeorgeBush
statedinaspeech,IcalluponthePalestinianpeopletoelectnewleadersandforIsrael,Ichallenge
Israeltotakeconcretestepstosupporttheemergenceofaviable,crediblePalestinianstate.Thiswas
widelycriticizedforamountingtoanopencallforregimechange.

In2003,IsraelsteppedupitscampaignagainstHamas,thechieforganizationbehindthesuicideattacks
ofrecentyears.

Arafathimselfandhisrulingfatahpartyarealsobeingseenincreasinglyascorruptandineffectiveby
Palestiniansthemselves.

Inthesameyear,theUS(who,togetherwithIsraelrefusedtonegotiatedirectlywiththePresident,
YasserArafat),backedArafatsselectionforPalestinianPrimeMinister,MahmoudAbbas,andtheyall
pushedforaroadmappeaceplantowardsatwostatesolution.WhilePalestinianmilitantsannounceda

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ceasefire,Israelcontinuedtoassassinatemilitantleaders.

Relativecalmonlylastedafewweeks,aftermoretargettedassassinationandsuicidebombings.Abbas
resignedsoonafter,seeminglyfrustratedbytheinternalpolitics.AhmedQureireplacedhim,seenas
morefriendlytoArafat.

In2004,SharonannouncedawithdrawaloftroopsandsettlementsfromtheGazaStrip,buta
commitmenttothelargestsettlementsintheWestBank.

SuicidebombingsandIsraeliairstrikescontinuedandIsraelachievedtheassassinationofHamass
spiritualleaderSheikhAhmedYassin,andaseniorleadershortlyafter,AbdelAzizalRantissi.

OntheWestBank,thesecurityfenceconstructioncontinued,despitecontinuingprotests.Israelshigh
courtdemandedroutechanges.TheInternationalCriminalCourtsaidthebarrierwasillegal,butIsraelis
notboundtoit,soignoredit.

TurmoilwithinPalestineincreasedasHamas,Fatah,IslamicJihadandothersturnedoneachother,
amiddisputesonhowtoreformthesecurityforces.

InNovemberArafatdiedofamysteriousblooddisorderandAbbasbecamechairmanofthePLO.
Despitegrowingcriticismofhisleadershipinrecentyears,theoutpouringofsorrowandpeoplecoming
tomournhisdeathisenormous.

Atthebeginningof2005,AbbaswaselectedasPalestinianAuthoritypresident.Hemanagedtoget
HamasandIslamicJihadtoagreetoatemporaryceasefire.Sharon,meanwhilesurvivedattemptsto
recallhimashiswithdrawalfromGazawasnotpopularamongstIsraelsrightwing.BySeptember,
withdrawalfromtheGazaStripwascomplete,despitepassionateresistenceandprotestfromsettlers.

Towardstheendof2005,IsraelsPrimeMinister,Sharon,resignedfromtherightwingLikudparty,
formingamorecentristKadimaparty,thatquicklygainedpopularity.FormerPrimeMinisterShimon
Peres,whorecentlylostleadershipoftheleftwingLabourPartyalsojoinedKadima,lendingcredenceto
theviewthatSharonwasdistancinghimselffromtherightwingideologyofagreaterIsrael,andmorein
favorofnegotiatedpeacewiththePalestinians(theLabourPartyhaslongcalledforatwoparty
solution,buthasbeencriticaloftheJewishsettlementsinoccupiedterritories).

Throughttherecentyears,angerandfrustrationhasmountedasthelarger,butpoorerPalestinian
populationalsofindthemselveswiththelessprestineland.ThishasbeenfurtherfuelledbyIsraelibull
dozingofmanyhomesandattemptstokillextremistleaderswhichoftenendindeathorcaptureof
innocentcivilians(includingwomenandchildren).Inaddition,whileIsraeldemandedthattheineffective
PalestinianNationalAuthoritydosomethingtocrackdownonsuicidebombersandotherterrorist
elementswithinitsterritories,itcontinuedbombingofficialbuildingsandcompounds(makingany
attemptstocrackdownonsuchelementsfutile).Thisalsoincreasedthepower,authority,andinfluence
ofmoreextremegroupssuchasHamasthatdidnotliketheideaofpeacewithIsraelitwantedthe
destructionoftheJewishhomeland.

Thestartof2006thatsawthemoreextremeHamasorganizationgainpower.(Thisiswhatsome
describeasaparadoxofdemocracywhatifapeopledecidetoelectanondemocraticpartyinto
power?)Hamashasbeenlistedbymanycountriesasaterroristorganization,thoughothersseeitasan
independencemovement.However,itsmeansarecertainlyterroristinnature,oftenemployingsuicide
attacksonIsraelicivilians.

Probablylesswellknownthanitsmilitanttendencieshasbeentheotherreasonsforitspopularity.The
USbasedCouncilonForeignRelationnotesthat

Inadditiontoitsmilitarywing,thesocalledIzzalDinalQassamBrigade,Hamasdevotesmuchofits
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estimated$70millionannualbudgettoanextensivesocialservicesnetwork.Itfundsschools,
orphanages,mosques,healthcareclinics,soupkitchens,andsportsleagues.Approximately90
percentofitsworkisinsocial,welfare,cultural,andeducationalactivities,writestheIsraelischolar
ReuvenPaz.ThePalestinianAuthorityoftenfailstoprovidesuchservicesHamaseffortsinthisarea
aswellasareputationforhonesty,incontrasttothemanyFatahofficialsaccusedofcorruption
helptoexplainthebroadpopularityitsummonedtodefeatFatahinthePAsrecentelections.

Hamas,CouncilonForeignRelations,June14,2006
EhudOlmertbecameIsraelsnewPrimeMinisterinApril2006,afterseriousillnessbefelledSharon,and
theIsraeliCabinetdeclaredhimincapacitated.

U.S.involvementintheMiddleEasthasalsobeenseenasacriticalissue.TheU.S.andWestsinterests
inthewiderregionhasgenerallybeenduetooil.IsraelandPalestinianterritoriesdonothaveoil
themselves,butaresurroundedbystatesthatdo.StrongmilitaryandfinancialsupportofIsraellends
welltohavingapowerfulallyintheregion.(Forthatreasonaswell,otherArabdictatorsandcorrupt
rulershavealsobeensupportedandevenhelpedintopower.SaddamHussainwasoneofthem.
Dictatorsthatcanbeboughtprovideausefulcheckagainstpossiblepopularuprisingintheregionand
therefore,fortheUS,helpensuretheirsecuritythatis,theirnationalinterestsaresafeguardedand
localpuppetsprofit,whilethepeopleoftheregionendupsufferingandlosingout.(Seetherestofthe
MiddleEastsectiononthissiteformoredetailsonthisaspect.)

WhiletheUNSecurityCouncilhasattemptedtopassnumerousresolutionscriticalofIsraeltheUnited
Stateshasvetoedalmostallofthem.Nevertheless,therehavebeensomeresolutionsdemandingthat
Israelreturnlandthatwascapturedinthe1967waretc(suchasUNResolution242).The1948UN
Resolution181allowedforbothJewsandArabstoliveinIsrael,whichgoescountertoclaimsofsome
groupsthatIsraelshouldnotexist.OftentheinternationalcommunityiscriticalofIsraeliinaction,butthe
USvetopreventsanythingcomingofit.Instead,Israelilandexpansionandsettlementshavecontinued.
TheUShasalsoprovidedIsraelwithenormousmilitaryaid,totheextentthatintheMiddleEast,Israel
hasthemostadvancedandsuperiormilitary.Theirhightech/militaryindustriesarealsoveryadvanced.
Israelalsohasnuclearweaponscapabilities.

AseriesoftargettedassassinationsbyIsraelagainstHamasandHezbollah,andresultingviolent
retaliationsescalatedinmid2006withthecaptureofIsraelisoldiers.Thatledtoanescalationofconflict,
withairstrikesbyIsraelagainstLebanonandHezbollah,destroyingmuchofthemaininfrastructure.
HezbollahretaliatedwithmanyrocketsbeingfiredintocitiesandtownsinIsrael.Bothsideswitnessed
massiveinternaldisplacementofpeopleandterror.BothHezbollahandIsraelhavetargettedcivilians,
andmostdeathshavebeenamongstLebanesecivilians.

ForordinaryPalestinians,selfrulehasbeenahumiliatingdisaster.SevenyearsafterOslo,theyare
stilllivingunderoccupation.Thebasicmeansofadecenthumanexistence,whichacknowledges
theirdistinctiveculture,historyandsuffering,isdeniedtothem.Whennotcompletelywithheld,their
basicrightsandentitlementsarerepresentedasconcessionsgenerouslygrantedbytheiroverlords.
Meanwhiletheirleaders,frightenedoflosingtheireliteprivilegesandaffluentlifestyles,colludewith
Israelintheirbetrayal.

AnadditionalsourceoffrustrationforthePalestinianpeopleisthatthelandthatisbeingsettledby
Israelisareusuallyprimeland,andhencethevariouspeacenegotiationsusuallyleavePalestinewith
thelessusableland.Israelalsotherebycontrolswatersources.Thenoncontiguousland(Gazaand
WestBank)andtheIsraelicontroloverPalestinianmovementalsomeansdisconnection.Thisallowsthe
possibilityofprovidingcheaplabortoIsrael,soitisintheireconomicinteresttopursuethistypeof
division.

Themainstreamwesternmediahastraditionallycapitalizedonnegativeimageryandpropaganda

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againstIslamandtheArabworldasasortofwaytoalsojustifycontinuedpresenceandinvolvement
there.

MoreInformation

Becausethereisalotofinformationoutthereonthehistoryofthisregion(andentirevolumesworth),it
wouldbefutileofmetotryandlistthemall.Aswellasthemainstreammediasourcesprovidingtime
linesetcoftheregion,herearejustafewotherplacesyoucanstartoffwithontheweb:

TheGuardian,aBritishnewspaperprovidesaninteractivehistoryofIsrael.

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