The Beginning of the Israeli Palestinian Conflict

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The beginning of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict
Sebastien Steigmeier
ESL071
Professor Waldrop
April 23, 2011

Everybody saw it on television, in the newspaper or maybe heard it on the radio, the last century held many different conflicts in Gaza Strip. Basically, people know that Israel and Palestine are fighting for that land, each one pretending that they deserve it. A survey, done on CBU students, shows that most of them don’t know anything about the conflict. The only ones who knew a little bit about it were sure that Israel wanted the land to build a Jewish state after the tragedy of the World War II. I asked a few students some questions before doing my survey to get a basic idea of their knowledge. Then I realized that I would probably have to ask different questions considering their lack of knowledge on the topic. Out of the nine students taking time to answer my questions, six had no idea what to answer and two said that Israel wanted the land as “compensation” after the Holocaust. Let’s take a look at the history, and consider facts that will help us understanding what are the reasons why Zionists (it’s important not to confuse Zionists and Jews) and Palestinian Arabs are fighting.

Emerging a long time ago, this idea of having a land to bring Jewish people together came out in 1897. From August 29 to August 31 of that year, occurred in Basel, Switzerland (I swear I didn’t know that) the first Zionist Congress, held by the World Zionist Organization. Theodor Herzl who was named as the first President and who also was the author of “Der Judenstaat” (“the Jewish State”) was the initiator of that congress. The Zionist Congress travelled through many different European cities, and was held every two years from 1897 to 1946, except during the two World Wars. As an answer to the question “why do Zionists want to take that land?” most people answer that they want a land because they want to build a Jewish State to stay together in peace after the Holocaust. History proves them wrong by showing that Zionists are trying to steal that land for more than a century, and the Holocaust happened only seventy years ago. Even though Arabs were killed by Zionists attacks during the 1940’s, in 1947, the United Nations decided to split the land and to give half of it to the Jews. We can say that the seven millions of Jews who were killed during the World War II didn’t die for nothing, as compassion made the United Nations allow them to steal half of a country. Sure, what happened during the Holocaust was terrible, but I don’t think that Zionists should use it to claim “their” land. There is no land on earth that belongs to a religious group. A lot of religious groups are gathered together in the same area which is fine, but no religious group tries to make an independent country for a religion. What would you think if all the atheist Mexicans come together and say: “We are going to take the Southern California and make it a Atheist State” It makes no sense. But the United Nations decided to agree with the Zionists and gave them a part of the Arab Palestinian territory. This was called the “partition plan” and was voted by the United Nations General Assembly on November 29, 1947. Palestinian Arabs felt violated of course, and the day after, on November 30th they reacted violently. It led to what experts call “The Civil War in Mandatory Palestine”. The Civil War lasted until May 14, 1948 with the Jewish victory. On that day, Israel declared its independence. The British army, who was supposed to maintain order in Palestine, was preparing its withdrawal and didn’t really have a finger in the pie. Great-Britain’s mandate over the Palestinian territory was expiring on May 15; Israel declared its independence on May 14 because May 15 was Shabbat, as the story says. The day after, another important war started, the “1948 Arab-Israeli War” also known as the “War of independence” or the “War of Liberation”. With Israel...
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