I about this specific day in 1948 traumatises me

I have always been curious about the Palestinian crisis due to the fact I come from Palestinian background whose family had to leave their home land due to the rise of a political movement called Zionism in a historic event called the Naqba. The living memory of this event, pairedwith the fact my father is a political Journalist Means that my household is an incubator for political thought. I began to realise that the two state solution for Palestine and Israel was being over judged due to it being linguistically manipulated and politically slanted in the media. This led me to notice that to really understand the politics behind this devastating conflict you cannot solely rely on what is portrayed in the media. This curiosity of understanding the bigger picture was further fuelled by stories I heard from my relatives of how before Zionism Jews and Arabs lived together in peace and not war. The Palestinian Israel conflict has been ongoing for years, before the British mandate gave the victims of the holocaust a land to stay in due to the torture they had gone through. It has been a war with the rise of Zionism and theArabs. When the land was given to them the rise of Zionism led the Israel state to occupy more land in a historic event called the Naqba which my family experienced. the stories I got told about this specific day in 1948 traumatises me as my granddad only aged 12 was shot in the leg for trying to protect his father’s farm. From what he explained soldiers came storming in holding guns to their heads telling him and his family they had to leave immediately or they will die.  As I got older I began to raise questions to whether a two state solution between the Palestinians and Israelis could work out or not. Many arguments are raised about whether or not it was originally Palestinian land or if it was Promised Land to the Israelis. There are over 7 million Palestinian refugees due to the Israeli conflict. This essay will attempt to explain how viable a two state solution is to the Palestinian crisis. To really understand the Palestinian Israeli conflict, we need to look at the rise of a political movement that would soon change everything in the Middle East especially Palestine. Zionism is Israel’s national ideology. Zionists believe Judaism is a nationality as well as a religion, and that Jews deserve their own state in their ancestral homeland, Israel, in the sameway the French people deserve France or the Chinese people should have China. It’s what brought Jews back to Israel in the first place, and also at the heart of what concerns Arabs and Palestinians about the Israeli state. Jews often trace their nationhood back to the biblicalkingdoms of David and Solomon, circa 950 BC. Modern Zionism, building on the longstanding Jewish yearning for a “return to Zion,” began in the 19th century — right about the time that nationalism started to rise in Europe. A secular Austrian-Jewish journalist, Theodor Herzl, was the first to turn rumblings of Jewish nationalism into an international movement around 1896. Herzl witnessed brutal European anti-Semitism firsthand, and became convinced the Jewish people could never survive outside of a country of their own. He wrote essays and organized meetings that spurred mass Jewish emigration from Europe to what’s now Israel/Palestine. Before Herzl, about 20,000 Jews lived in Israel/Palestine; by the time Adolf Hitler came to power in Germany, the number was about eight times that. Zionists all agree that Israel should exist; they’ve long disagreed on what its government should look like. In the most general terms, the Zionist left, which dominated the country’s politics until the late 1970s, is inclined to trade Israeli-controlled land for peace with Arab nations, wants more government intervention in the economy, and prefers a secular government over a religious one. The Zionist right, which currently enjoys commanding positions in the Israeli government and popular opinion, tends to be more sceptical of “land-for-peace” deals, more libertarian on the economy, and more comfortable mixing religion and politics. Arabs and Palestinians generally oppose Zionism, as the explicitly Jewish character of the Israeli state means that Jews have privileges that others don’t. Arabs, often see Zionism as a species of colonialism and racism aimed at appropriating Palestinian land and systematically disenfranchising the Palestinians that remain. The roots of the Nakba began from the emergence of Zionism as a political ideology in late 19th-century Eastern Europe. The ideology is based on the belief that Jews are a nation or a race that deserve their own state. From 1882 onwards, thousands of Eastern European and Russian Jews began settling in Palestine; pushed by the anti-Semitic persecution and pogroms they were facing in the Russian Empire, and the appeal of Zionism. In 1896, Viennese journalist Theodor Herzl published a pamphlet that came to be seen as the ideological basis for political Zionism – Der Judenstaat, or “The Jewish State”. Herzl concluded that the remedy to centuries-old anti-Semitic sentiments and attacks in Europe was the creation of a Jewish state. Though some of the movement’s pioneers initially supported a Jewish state in places such as Uganda and Argentina, they eventually called for for building a state in Palestine based on the biblical concept that the Holy Land was promised to the Jews by God. In the 1880s, the community of Palestinian Jews, known as the Yishuv, amounted to three percent of the total population. In contrast to the Zionist Jews who would arrive in Palestine later, the original Yishuv did not aspire to build a modern Jewish state in Palestine. After the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire (1517-1914), the British occupied Palestine as part of the secret Sykes-Picot treaty of 1916 between Britain and France to divvy up the Middle East for imperial interests. In 1917, before the start of the British Mandate (1920-1947), theBritish issued the Balfour Declaration, promising to help the “establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people”, essentially vowing to give away a country that was not theirs to give. By giving their support to Zionist goals in Palestine, the British hoped they could shore up support among the significant Jewish populations in the US and Russia for the Allied effort during WWI. They also believed the Balfour Declaration would secure their control over Palestine after the war. From 1919 onwards, Zionist immigration to Palestine, facilitated by the British, increased dramatically. Weizmann, who later became Israel’s first president, was realising his dream of making Palestine “asJewish as England is English”. In 1936, Palestinian Arabs launched a large-scale uprising against the British and their support for Zionist settler-colonialism, known as the Arab Revolt. The British authorities crushed the revolt, which lasted until 1939, violently; they destroyed atleast 2,000 Palestinian homes, put 9,000 Palestinians in concentration camps and subjected them to violent interrogation, including torture,and deported 200 Palestinian nationalist leaders. At least ten percent of the Palestinian male population had been killed, wounded, exiled or imprisoned by the end of the revolt. The British government, worried about the eruption of violence between the Palestinians and Zionists,tried to curtail at several points immigration of European Jews. Zionist lobbyists in London overturned their efforts. In 1944, several Zionist armed groups declared war on Britain for trying to put limits on Jewish immigration to Palestine at a time when Jews were fleeing the Holocaust. The Zionist paramilitary organisations launched a number of attacks against the British – the most notable of which was the King David Hotel bombing in 1946 where the British administrative headquarters were housed; 91 people were killed in the attack. In early 1947, the British government announced it would be handing over the disaster it had created in Palestine to the United Nations and ending itscolonial project there. On November 29, 1947, the UN adopted Resolution 181, recommending the partition of Palestine into Jewish and Arab states. Zionist paramilitary groups launched a vicious process of ethnic cleansing in the form of large-scale attacks aimed at the mass expulsion of Palestinians from their towns and villages to build the Jewish state, which culminated in the Nakba. The 1948 Nakba occurred when more than 700,000 Palestinian Arabs were expelled from their homes, during the 1948 Palestinian war. Between 400 and 600 Palestinian villages were sacked during the war,        while urban Palestine was almost entirely extinguished. The Arab view was that the Jewsexpelled the Palestinians deliberately and systematically, and that this was the crowning achievement of Zionist ideology which always maintained that the Palestinians had to be transferred outside of Palestine. In 1948 the Jews got the opportunity to implement the long convinced plan. This suggests that Zionism is a robber ideology and Israel is a robber state, according to the traditional Arab view. The Jewish claim is that Israel had no intention of expelling everybody, but in fact, the Israelis took a deliberate political and military decision not to allow the refuges back. The displacement of Palestinians was well under way by the time of Israel’s unliterate declaration of independence.Between March 30 and May 15, some 200 villages were, in the words of Israeli historian Ilan Pappe, ”occupied and their inhabitants expelled.” Thus before the Arab Israeli war even began, around half of the final total of Palestinian refugees had already lost their homes. The Nakba not only began before may 1948a, it also continued for some time after; the expulsion of Palestinians from Al-Majdal to the Gaza strip w4as not completed until late 1950. Palestinian refugees were prevented from returning home by violence, and by legislation. In early June 1948, David Ben-Gurion, Israel’s first prime minister, told his cabinet that ”no Arab refugee should be admitted back.” Palestinians attempting toreturn to Palestine were refused access to their homeland by the Israeli authorities. This was viewed as a security threat. By 1956, around 5000 Palestinian refugees attempting to return home had been killed by Israeli forces; most died as they attempted to return home to access their crops and lost possessions, or search for loved ones. Meanwhile, the Israeli government quickly passed legislation that theyshould take the properties and lands of the expelled Palestinians, and also stripped them of the citizenship taht they had been entitled to asresidents of the new state. The transfer of the Palestinian population from the area of the ”Jewish state” does not serve only one aim but todiminish the Arab population. It also serves to evacuate land presently held and cultivated by the Arabs and thus to realise it for the Zionist inhabitants. The number of Palestinian villages and towns ethnically cleansed range from 350 to more than 500. The book ‘Israeli apartheid’written by Ben white states that around ”87 per cent of the Palestinians who had lived in what was now Israel had been removed.” In addition, an estimated four in every five Palestinian towns and villages inside Israel were either totally destroyed, or immediately settled byJews. The number of Jewish settlements in Palestine increased by almost 50 per cent between 1947 and 1949, with most built on Palestinian land. Shortly following the UN Resolution 181, war broke out between the Palestinian Arabs and Zionist armed groups, who, unlike the Palestinians, had gained extensive training and arms from fighting alongside Britain in World War II.    Another key event was when the state of Israel shocked the world when it took over the remainder of Palestinian territories of the West Bank, East Jerusalem, Gaza Strip, as well as the Syrian Golan Heights, and the Egyptian Sinai Peninsula, in a matter of six days. In a war with Egypt, Jordan and Syria, known as the 1967 War, or the June War, Israel delivered what came to be known as the “Naksa”, meaning setback or defeat, to the armies of the neighbouringArab countries and to the Palestinians who lost all what remained of their homeland. The Naksa was an event that paved the way for the 1967 war. The war was a turning point for the entire region. For the Palestinians and rest of the Arab world, it dealt a blow to their psyche and to their trust in the Arab governments. In six days, Israel brought more than one million Palestinians under its direct control in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip. The 1967 war turned Israel into the country with the largest Palestinian population. The shock of loss and defeat precipitated a revolutionary atmosphere among Palestinians, which spurred the emergence of armed resistance movements, vowing to take back Palestine with force throughout the 1970s and 1980s. For the Israelis, their government’s seizure of territory in the war led to a sense of euphoria. Thousands of Jews, even secularists, flocked to the Wall and wept as they prayed for what they believed was a miracle from God. The belief that the outcome of 1967 was a miracle reinforced the idea to religious and messianic Zionists who believed, based on religious convictions, that they had a right to the entirety of the Holy Land. The war unleashed the settler movement; a young generation of messianic Zionists decided to establish houses in the West Bank and Gaza, territory that is occupied and is not part of the state of Israel. More importantly, the war opened up the question of the Zionist movement’s colonial nature. Instead of exchanging land for peace, as per the UN Resolution ”242 that called on Israel to give up the territories in exchange for peace with its neighbours at the end of the 1967 war”, Israel began encouraging its citizens to move into the territories it occupied and supporting them as they did so. Over time, Palestine disappeared from the map. By 1970, just over seventy years since the Basle congress launched Herzls dream of a Jewish state would shatter Palestinian society. Around half of all Palestinians were living outside of Palestine as dispossessed and denationalised refugees, prevented from returning to their home. One in seven Palestinians was living as second class citizens in a state that defined itself as the homeland of the Jews. One in three Palestinians were living under military rule, increasingly subject to a regime of apartheid separation designed to facilitate the colonisation of the OPT by Israeli settlers.  For political Zionism to come to fruition and for a Jewish state to be created in Palestine, it was necessary to carry out as large a scale as possible ethnic cleansing of the countries unwanted Arab natives. Another key event was the October 1973 war between Israel, Egypt and Syria in retreat of their occupied lands on the boarders of Palestine by Israel.  Egypt and Syria decided to launch a two-front coordinated attack to regain the territory they lost in 1967. In the background, the politics of the Cold War between the Soviets – who supplied the Arab countries with weapons – and the US – which backed Israel – played out and inflamed the war, bringing the two blocs to the brink of military conflict for the first time since the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis. Under Egyptian and Syrian former presidents Anwar Sadat and Hafez al-Assad, the two Arab nations concluded a secret agreement in January 1973 to unify their armies under one command. To catch Israel off guard, the Egyptians and Syrians decided to launch an attack on the Yom Kippur religious holiday, the only day in the year in which there are no radio or television broadcasts, shops close and transportation shuts down as part of religious observations. The holiday fell on Saturday, October 6, 1973, and just after 2pm, the Egyptian and Syrian armies, with advanced Soviet weapons, launched a two-front offensive on Israel, from the north and the south. This would be a success as Syriawould re gain Sania back from Israel causing major losses on Israel’s behalf. However in less than 24 hours Israel managed to attack back causing the Syrians to retreat and allowing Israel to take over deeper Syria. As a result of this Jordan, Iraq and Saudi Arabia would ally withSyria to help them seek back their territory. The counterattack majorly turned the tide of the war in favour of the Israelis, and the fightingcame to a stalemate. The Arabs decided to use a different tactic which was oil. The Arab oil-producing countries, under the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), decided to reduce their oil production by five percent. The Arab countries enforced an embargo on the US, suspending oil supply. The reduction in oil production and supply led to major price hikes around the world causing the US to reassess its support for the war. Estimates show that the number of Israeli soldiers killed was 2,600 and 8,800 wounded, which is more or so larger in proportion compared with the Israeli population at the time, while Egypt was reported to have lost 7,700 men and Syria some 3,500. The aftermath of this war would lead to Both the Arabs and Israel declared victory in the war. The Arab countries managed to salvage their defeats after repeated losses in the 1948, 1956 and 1967 wars with Israel. Within four years, in 1977, Mohamed Sadat the Egyptianpresident at the time was in Jerusalem giving a speech of peace to the Israeli parliament, the Knesset. Then US President Jimmy Carter invited both Sadat and former Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin to Camp David, a country retreat for the US president near Washington, DC. The three leaders engaged in secret discussions over 13 days, leading to the signing of the Camp David Accords onSeptember 17, 1978, which laid out conditions for an Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty, and a framework for Israeli-Palestinian peace using Resolution 242. While the Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty was signed by March 1979 in Washington, DC, the framework never materialised for several reasons, although both sides laid blame on one another. The proposal was vague on the subject of Palestinian refugees, and the key issue which was the status of Jerusalem. To the Palestinians, Egypt had placed its own interests first and put the Palestinian cause on thebackburner. After normalising relations with Israel, Egypt was expelled from the Arab League, and all Arab countries broke diplomatic relations with Cairo. Jordan also signed a peace treaty with Israel in 1992, making Egypt and Jordan the only two countries to have normalised relations with Israel, which continues to occupy the West Bank, East Jerusalem, Gaza, and a portion of the Golan Heights to this day. This would lead to the Palestinian people to question whether or not the Arab people/nations stood with Palestine’s freedom.    The Oslo Accords marked the first time Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) formally recognised one another meaning this wasthe first time Palestine and Israel tried to live with each other peacefully. Many at that time believed this was a step in the right direction. But what followed over the next 20 years of negotiations reveals that Israel merely used the agreements to justify the further expansion of illegal settlements in the territories it occupied in 1967. In 1979, Yasser Arafat asked Norway to provide a secret back channel to the Israelis. But Israel was not yet willing to engage in talks directly with Arafat and the PLO. A decade later, the Palestinian Intifada broke out. Massive protests caught both Israel and the PLO by surprise. In 1988, the second year of the Intifada, Arafat announced the PLO’s acceptance of UN Resolutions 242 and 338, which granted Israel a window to “secure and recognised boundaries”, and allowed it to continue its occupation in strategic parts of the West Bank. Israel was also facing worldwide condemnation for its crackdown on Palestinian demonstrators. There was growing pressure from the international community to start peace talks with the Palestinians. Israel decided it was time for negotiations with the PLO in Norway. For the purposes of plausible deniability, all discussions were conducted through FAFO, a Norwegian labour movement linked think tank. During these secret negotiations in 1993, Israel capitalised on Arafat’s weakness in the wake of the Gulf War. The PLO had supported Iraq, angering other Arab and Western countries, thus Saddam Hussein’s defeat in 1991 left the PLO weakened. Arafat entered the negotiations with Israel with few options and even less clout. During the Madrid Peace Conference in 1991 and talks in Washington DC the following year, the Palestinian political delegation focused its efforts on negotiating an end to the illegal Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip. Yet, in Oslo, Israel set aside all those issues – including settlements, the status of Jerusalem and refugees – for future negotiations.             The Oslo Declaration of Principles was not a peace treaty; rather, its aim was to establish interim governance arrangements and a framework to facilitate further negotiations for a final agreement, which would be concluded by the end of 1999. The Oslo Accords were meant to last five years. But two decades later, there has been virtually no progress


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