Vous êtes sur la page 1sur 4

The Arab Israeli Conflict Ottoman Empire The land controlled by the Ottoman Turks from the late

14 th century until the end of the First World War. Since the late 19th century, European powers had interfered in Turkey, known as the sick man of Europe, in an attempt to secure trade routes, concessions and influence in the crumbling empire. The Young Turk Movement, formed within the heart of the empire, carried out a revolution in 1908 against the old Sultan Abdul Hamid II. The Arabs of the Ottoman Empire too were increasingly restive, anticipating a growing Arab consciousness, which was to become a feature of the Arab-Israeli conflict later in the century. Before WWI, Palestine was a part of the Ottoman Empire. Jerusalem was captured in December 1917 and the rest of the country was under British control by October 1918. Zionism The movement to create a national home for the Jews in Palestine. The organization was founded by Theodore Herzl in the late 19th century. In the first millennium AD, the Arabs fared better than the Jews. In AD 70, Romans drove Jews out of Jerusalem. Many Jews voluntarily left for Europe rather than stay in the ensuing takeover. The land was renamed Palestine. In 1897 the World Zionist Organization was established, with Dr. Theodore Herzl as its President. The movement soon split into territorialists (looking for land for a Jewish home state outside of Palestine) and the Zionists (looking to make Jewish homeland in Palestine). At that time over 90% of the population in Palestine was Palestinian Arab. The British offered an oasis north of the Sinai Desert as well as Uganda, but both offers were refused. Arab Nationalism A concept of nationalist sentiments, the struggle for Arab autonomy and an establishment of independent Arab states. Partly in response to Zionism, partly in response to the Ottoman rule and oppression. Why was the Ottoman Empire Split Up? It was already disintegrating before the war Italy, Greece and many other countries were interesting in taking a chunk of land for themselves Before 1914, Germany had added her predatory instinct to that of the French and British in the Middle East. The Kaisers growing influence in Constantinople had the Brits worried as it appeared to threaten their position in the Persian Gulf and therefore her access to India. When war broke out in 1914 and the Ottoman joined the Central Powers two months later, the United Kingdom and France began to plot the division of the Middle East. McMahon Agreement 1915 Sir Henry McMahon, the British High Commissioner in Egypt, sent a letter to Arab leader Sharif Hussein, declaring British support for post-war Arab independence in Palestine. He ensured the leader that they would not acknowledge the Zionist movement and would also try to give the Arabs land. He said that they were restricted by policies and so could not act at that time, but the Brits support Arab independence. Sykes-Picot Agreement 1916 An agreement between the British and the French, which allowed for an Arab state in Arabia, an international agreement for Jerusalem and part of Palestine, and divided overall control of the Fertile Crescent between Britain and France. The agreement was signed in order to keep Germanys influence out of Constantinople where it was already threatening Britains position in the Persian Gulf. The agreement infuriated the Arab population and led to a number of uprisings against the British and French. Germany was similarly enraged, as well as Italy who was upset because they were allied with Britain and France but did not get any territory. The Zionists were pleased at the promise of a homeland, but the Arabs were angry that the British and French had assumed control over their homeland. The Balfour Declaration 1917 Due to increasing pressure on the government from the Zionists, as well as the desire to encourage American Jewish businessmen to support Wilsons decision to give Britain war loans, the Balfour declaration was proposed. Despite being named for the British foreign secretary, the document was actually drawn up by two influential British Zionists, Weizmann and Rothschild. The Balfour Declaration became the cornerstone for British Policy in Palestine until the White Paper was released in 1939. It called for the establishment of a Jewish homeland in Palestine. However, it did say that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine. The Collapse of the Ottoman Empire 1918

The Ottoman Turkey and tsarist Russia collapse, leaving a power vacuum in the Middle East. Britain was now the dominant military power in the region. The fate of Palestine rested in their hands, a fact which caused much unease in the country, especially after the publication of the Balfour Declaration. The Paris Peace Conference and the King Crane Commission, 1919 As the great powers of Europe met to attempt to establish peace, the issue of the Middle East was uncertain. Two American commissioners, Henry King and Charles Crane went to the Middle East and interviewed representatives from the Arabs and the Jews in Palestine and concluded that the Zionist programme should be dropped and there should be limited expansion of the Jewish community within the Arab state. Their findings were not published and other proposals were worked out. The Conference of San Remo, 1920 Anglo French relations became ever more important to Britain in the coming years, due to the fear of the USs isolationist tendencies. In addition, fear of the spread of Bolshevism and a resurgent Germany would influence their decisions in the years following. Another consideration was the growing importance of oil, a commodity that was available in great quantities in Iraq and Mesopotamia. It became clear that it would not be in the best interests of Britain to allow these areas to fall under Arab rule. Thus, the mandate system was introduced at San Remo and approved by the League of Nations, giving France mandatory rights to Syria and Lebanon and in UK Iraq and Palestine. The Mandate system was imposed upon an unwilling Arab population who from the start resented the treachery of promises made and a betrayal of their justifiable rights of self-determination. The Balfour Agreement was included in the obligations for the governance of Palestine and in August 1920 the first quota of Jewish immigrants was permitted to emigrate to Palestine. Anti-Zionist riots plagued the streets. The First White Paper 1922 The British government outlined its concept of a Jewish National Home in a White Paper. Contained in it was a suggestion that only part of Palestine would be used as a home for the Jews. Immediately it was rejected by the Arabs. As the decade wore on, Arab opposition to the concept of a Jewish National homeland grew. Jewish immigration rates also grew. The Wailing Wall Riots 1929 Orthodox Jews attempted to attach a curtain to the Wall to separate the men from the women. The Arabs saw this as taking control of the temple and reacted with violence. A whole Jewish community was wiped out. The Arab High Committee 1936 Led by the Grand Mufti Amin Al-Husyani, they demanded the halt of the flow of immigrants as well as the transfer of land to the Jews. They also wished to establish democratic institutions in Palestine. A general strike was ordered and followed with large-scale violent resistance. The Peel Commission 1937 As a result of the size and passion of the revolt, the British sent a Royal Commission under Lord Peel. In July the Peel Commission recommended that Palestine be partitioned to allow for the establishment of a Jewish homeland and that the Palestinians be forcibly removed from the proposed Jewish State. Alarmed and antagonized by the pro-Zionist stance of these proposals, Palestinians continued their armed resistance well into 1939. Most of the leaders of the Arab High Committee were arrested or deported, leaving Palestine with no real leaders. The Second White Paper, 1939 As Britain prepared for war, the whole issue of Jewish immigration to Palestine was re-examined in the light of the costly Arab revolt. The Second White Paper, released in May, was to form the backbone of British Policy in Palestine until the end of the war in 1945. The Paper aimed for: The establishment of an independent Palestine State within ten years and termination of the British Mandate. Suitable relations were to be cultivated with the country so it would still remain useful to Britain. The independent State should be governed by both Arabs and Jews. There will be a transition period in the establishment of the State where Britain will remain responsible for the government of the country. Jewish immigration should be brought up so Jews make up one third of the population

If the paper had been an attempt at a compromise, it was a failure. The Jews were outraged, and the Arabs were not appeased. Britain nevertheless maintained it, causing Zionists to turn to the United States for support. American Involvement 1942 In May, Zionist leader David Ben Gurion called a conference in New York. The conference was a huge success. He gained Jewish backing for a program of unrestricted immigration to Palestine and support for the Haganah, a Jewish army which had been established in the 1920s. There was also a groundswell of enthusiasm for the creation of a Jewish Commonwealth in Palestine. Potsdam 1945 After WWII, thousands of Jewish people had been displaced. Millions had been killed. Many wished to immigrate to Palestine. In November 1945 Ernest Bevin, the British Foreign Secretary, declared the formation of an Anglo-American Committee of Inquiry to deal with the issue of Jewish immigration. The report, which came out in 1946, ruled out the need for an Arab or Jewish state, instead recommending an international trusteeship under British control, but acceded to Trumans request to increase Jewish immigration to Palestine. It was rejected by Atlee as he was worried more immigration would provoke more riots. Negotiations between America and the UK continued. The Morrison-Grady Plan 1946 A report that arose as the result of negotiations between the disagreeing Americans and British. It proposed the establishment of two autonomous provinces within Palestine, one Arab, one Jewish. As neither the Arabs or the Jews were interested in such a compromise, it was discontinued. The King David Hotel 1946 Zionists increasingly attempted to get British rule out of Palestine, resorting to violent reactionary groups like the Irgun. In 1946 the Irgun bombed a hotel at which the British Administrations Senior Executives, military headquarters, and the Intelligence Department were stationed. The explosion killed 92 people and caused irreparable damage to British Zionist relations. Britain hands over Palestine to the United Nations 1947 Britain could no longer handle the exponential immigration rates. The inhumanity of Britains Palestine immigration policy was made clear in a number of incidents such as the interception of the Exodus, a ship which carried 4500 Jewish refugees. The UN Gets Involved 1947 The UN creates a UN Commission of Inquiry which recommends the partition of Palestine into Arab and Jewish States which were to retain an economic union. It was approved by the General Assembly in November. Immediately after the UN resolution was passed, the British announced their intention to withdraw from Palestine. The Civil War 1947 A vicious civil war broke out between the Arabs and the Jews. In December, the Arab League organized a force of 3000 volunteers, the civil war spread, and by 1948 the death toll had reached 2000. As a result, the United States withdrew its support for the UN resolution, called for the suspension of the UN Palestine Commission, the declaration of a truce, and further consideration by the UN General Assembly. Britain Withdraws 1948 As the United States announced their intentions to create a temporary international trusteeship for Palestine and cancellation of the partition plan, Atlee approved a policy that set the date of final British withdrawal of forces for August 1st. Meanwhile, a mass exodus of defeated Palestinians fled the turmoil in their homeland. The State of Israel is Declared 1948 The Palestinians fleeing, the British withdrawing, the Americans unable to act decisively, the Zionists saw their opportunity. In April they launched a quick series of brutal but successful military operations and took over, declaring the State of Israel. They were immediately recognized by the United States. The plight of the Palestinians was now greater than ever. The Arab Attack 1948 Not a day later, Syria, Egypt, Trans-Jordan and Iraq invaded Israel. In an effort to defuse the situation the UN sent a distinguished Swede, Count Folke Bernadotte, and a French colonel Andre Serot, to mediate a

settlement. Both were assassinated and the war continued until December of that year when the Arab countries were defeated. In an armistice agreement in 1949, Israel was given sovereignty over about 12800 square kilometers of land. Trans-Jordan kept the land on the West Bank, and Egypt took control of the Gaza strip. Palestine ceased to exist. The Law of Return 1950 The Knesset, the Israeli government, passes a series of laws which confirmed the right of every Jew to settle in Israel. The Citizenship Law 1952 Granted immediate citizenship to immigrants. These new laws encouraged Jews to take an interest in a future in the modern state.