The conflict between Israel and Palestine can be dated back to the mid of the twentieth century just as the civil war was coming to an end. This conflict basically arose with the establishment of the Israel state. The conflict was basically between the Jewish Israelites and Palestine Arabs.
In the late 19th century due to widespread Jewish persecution in Europe and Russia, they Jews sought to return home the land of Israel. Little did they know a historical conflict awaited them. Before the First World War, almost all the Middle East was under the Ottoman Empire. This included the southern region currently regarded as Palestine. The Ottoman Empire ruled these lands for nearly four centuries. Towards the end of the nineteenth century Palestine was basically divide into three areas Syria Vilayet, Mutasarrifate of Jerusalem, Beirut Vilayet. These areas were basically occupied by Arab Muslims. At this time the Jews basically lived outside Palestine with most of them spread out in Europe and Russia and a few more others in the Mediterranean and Americas.
The roots of the conflict would be then to date be traced to the mid of the 19th century. The conflict came about as movements such as Zionism and Arab nationalism rose. The rise of these movements was basically fueled by the desire of the Jews to abandon their current host states and return to Zion. This move is historically branded as the millennium goal of the Jews. Thus when talks on immigration of the Jews begun an uprising was inevitable. As a result of Jewish persecution in Europe and anti-Semitism in Russia, Zionist movement rose and it was established as a political movement in 1897. The purpose of this movement was to handle the immigration of Jews back into Israel.
Under the support of the British and Ottoman Empire the Zionist movement started purchasing land in Palestine. They wanted to establish like a world home for the Jews. This Zionist movement called for the establishment of a nation state for the Jewish people in Palestine. The state in which all Jews would have the right for self-determination. They referred to this state as the land of Israel. As the Jews started migrating into Palestine conflict was inevitable. Some attacks on Jews were recorded as early as the ending of the 19th century which obviously were met with retaliation. The Arabs Palestine nation started to grow weary of the Zionist movement which was now almost being seen as a threat.
As the tension arose acquisition of land from Arabs for Jewish settlement fueled the conflict. The Jews were mainly able to acquire land in this region due to European and Turkish influence on the Ottoman Empire state. Ottoman Empire land-purchase rules and regulations were invoked. This was as a result of the opposition raising concerns over the increased immigration into the region. However the Palestine government acted with caution since they feared for Jewish loyalty. Primarily not the Jewish royalty to them but to their country of origin. Since the Ottoman Empire had been at odds with the Turkish nation, they feared that with the inflow of the Jews they might be prone to Russia with a country of torn loyalty. As a result of the complaints by Arabs the Palestine government banned the sale of land to foreigners. However the Jewish population in the region had grown tremendously to over 60,000 people with over half of them being recent settlers.
The beginning of world war one saw Palestine join forces with Germany opposed to Britain and France, this was because of a treaty signed between the Germans and the Ottoman Empire. However In 1917 the British defeated Turkish Ottoman forces and put the land under British military rule for the rest of the war period. In 1919 Turkish loss of its ottoman empire was formalized during the Paris peace conference.
After these events a period of terror prevailed over the previous Ottoman Empire, with the Jews now settling in retaliation by the Arabs was inevitable. In 1920 grand mufti of Jerusalem haj Mohammed Amin led the Palestinian Arab movement . He played a major role in the religious riots against the Jews in Palestine. He allegedly claimed that the Jewish were planning to rebuild a temple on the site of Al-Aqsa mosque. This increased the riots against Jews riots such as the Jaffa riots of 1921. In 1929 the Palestine riots erupted, these riots led to the massacre of Jews in Hebron, Jerusalem and Safed. In 1936 Europe prepared for war as the supreme Muslim council headed by Amin Alhusanyi instigated riots against Jews. These riots led to Jews being murdered in various Palestine cities. Later in 1937 Amin al Husanyi wanted by the British fled Palestine and went to Lebanon and finally to Nazi Germany.
The Second World War increased the strength of Jews in Palestine. This was especially so since most of the Jews fled Europe due to the rise of the Nazis to power. During the 1920s hostility between the Palestine Arabs and Jews increased and the rift was widening. With the increased populations of the Jews an all-out conflict was inevitable. The Jews through land purchases by the Zion movement had acquired considerable tracts of land in Palestine and this led to Palestine Arabs feeling dispossessed.
After world war two due to British policies, the Jewish resistance movement was established which aimed at attacking the British military. As the attacks were taking place more Jewish refugees were ferried into Palestine. In 1947 the newly formed United Nations resolved that a committee be formed on the issue of the Jews and Arabs in Palestine. The committees worked at forming two states; an independent Arab state and an independent Jewish state. Jerusalem and Bethlehem were to be put under the United Nations. The partition plan was not welcomed by either side. The Jews did not like losing Jerusalem which by then was mostly inhabited by Jews. All Arab leaders were also opposed to the plan which according to them did not seem to consider the concern of the majority of the population. This was especially so since because the partition plan had given the Jews over 50% of the Palestine lands. Since then war was on and off between 1950-1967, between the Israelites and Arabs.
This war continued for the better part of the twentieth century leading to massive loss of life. In 2002 at the Beirut summit a plan to end the conflict was proposed which all Arab nations agreed with. However tension has still been high to date. This can be explained by the tension caused in owning of Jerusalem. The two sides still have a strong connection to the city and both want it, with tensions this high the question begs who will bow first.
Hattis Rolef, susan (Sheila), Avraham Sela. The continuum political encyclopaedia of the middle east. Sela. New York: Continuum, 2002.
William Brustein. Roots of hate: anti-semitism in Europe before the holocaust. Cambridge university press, 2003.
Mark Tessler. A history of the Arab-israeli conflict. Indianapolis : Indiana university press, 1994.
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