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Israel & Palestine 1948-Present Lecture 

 
I. Birth of Israel & 1948 War 
a. 1947 UN Partition Plan ​→​ 1948 War 
b. 1949 Armistice Line: Israel gets 1/3 more land than 
partition plan allowed 
c. Gaza → ​ ​ Egypt, West Bank → ​ ​ Jordan 
d. 1950: 1 million Palestinians living in UN refguee camps; 
2014: 1.5 million in 58 UN camps 
e. Law of Return 
i. granting Jews and their families the right to settle in 
Israel as automatic citizens. The law marks the 
realization of the Zionist vision of a national home 
for the Jewish diaspora in the Holy Land. 
ii. In the three years before the law’s passage, 500,000 
Jews had arrived in Israel; another 500,000 arrive in 
the following decade.  
iii. Many are effectively refugees from Arab countries, 
where they faced hostility and persecution.  
iv. Some are also motivated to come by Zionist 
ideology and religious yearnings. 
v. 1951: 680,000 Ashkenazic 
vi. Post 1961: 45% of population = Sephardim 
 
II. Suez Crisis (1856) 
a. Nasser: “Pan-Arabism” 
b. Nationalizes Canal in 1956, blocking Israeli access to the 
red sea 
c. Israel attacks; supported by UK, FR, USA later 
d. Ceasefire ​→​ Israel withdraws 
e. UN peacekeepers 
 
III. 1967/Six Day War 
a. May 1967: Egypt orders UN peacekeepers to leave in May 
1967, blocks I. access to the Red Sea  
b. Jordan & Egypt sign mutual defense agreement  
c. Continued terrorist attacks from Syria’s Golan Heights 
region 
d. Israel believes neighbors are preparing for war 
e. June 5, 1967: Israel launches pre-emptive surprise attacks 
to create “protective buffer” ​→​ Egypt; Syria, Jordan attack 
Israel 
i. Israel wins decisively. Triples territory in 6 days. 
ii. Israel takes control of: 
1. West Bank (Jordan) 
2. Gaza Strip (Egypt) 
3. Sinai (Egypt) 
4. Golan Heights (Syria) 
5. All of Jerusalem 
a. 1.5 million Palestinians placed under 
Israeli rule 
b. Legality? 
c. Possibility of compromise after such a 
bitter defeat? 
 
 
 
IV. Aftermath of Six Day War 
a. “Buffer zone” to deter future attacks 
b. More Sephardic Jews flocked to Israel 
c. Begins to build settlements 
i. Illegal under int’l law. I counters that P isn’t really 
a state. 
ii. 2015: 350,000 settlers in West Bank, 200,000 in East 
Jerusalem 
iii. UN Resolution 242 
iv. Unified Jerusalem under I control 
v. “Occupied Territories” 
vi. Huge increase in Israel’s access to water: 55% from 
OTs (to detriment of Arabs) 
1. Some will accept I at pre-1967 borders 
2. Birth of PLO – begins to use terrorism to 
attract attention to their cause of an 
independent state 
 
[DOCUMENTS:  
PALESTINIAN NATIONAL CHARTER: JULY 1968; 
UN SECURITY COUNTIL 242] 
 
 
 
V. Birth of P.L.O. (Palestinian Liberation Organization) 
a. Leaders of the struggle: PLO, other Arab states whose 
populations insists that leaders not forege the Palestinian 
cause 
i. Harness Palestinian militancy 
ii. Discredited after defeat in 1967 
b. PLO: 
i. Yasser Arafat (1929-2004) 
1. Jerusalem-born civil engineer: al-Fatah 
(dominant within PLO) 
2. Combined militancy with diplomacy 
3. Subsidized by Saudi Arabia 
ii. 1974: PLO recognized by the U.N. as representative 
of the Palestinian people 
c. 1987 and 2000 used strategy of ​intifada​ [uprising] to 
oppose Israeli rule 
d. Became Palestinian Authority 1993; current leader 
Mahmoud Abbas 
e. 1988: would accept 2 state solution; other Islamic radicals 
didn’t follow leadership 
 
 
 
 
VI. 1973 Yom Kippur War/October War 
 
- 1973 Yom Kippur War (politics of calling it the “October 
War”?) 
o 1970: Anwar al-Sadat in Egypt 
▪ Main goal: regain Sinai Peninsula 
o 1973: E & S opened two-front offensive against I, with 
USSR aid 
▪ E moved into Sinai, Syria through Golan heights 
▪ I recovered quickly, swept toward Damascus. 
Agreed to stop advance. 
▪ Nixon convinced to send arms to I 
● Airlift: 1 thousand tons of military supplies 
a day during war  
● USSR threatened to send troops 
▪ Sadat’s surprise attack ​→​ questions about I 
military intelligence and preparedness 
o Results: 
▪ Oil embargo aginst US 
● King Faisal Ibn Saud, solid US ally, initiates 
● Raised prices 70% 
● Nixon proposed $2.2 billion in military aid 
to I ​→​ total cut-off of oil sihpments 
● By end of 1973, world oil production had 
fallen 9% 
● Gasoline prices in US jumped 40% 
● Econ output dropped 6% 
● Unemployment doubled, inflation surged 
● W. Europe and Japan still got oil b/c they 
didn’t overtly support I 
● Kissinger negotiated agreements between I, 
S, E. Ibn Saud called off embargo March 
1974. 
 
VII. 1979 Camp David Accords 
 
o After Israel had extracted most of the 
oil… 
● First agreement with an Arab nation 
● Sadat assassinated showed deep 
opposition of Muslims to any agreement 
that ignored Palestinian claims and that 
facilitated I’s ability to make war elsewhere 
 
VIII. I-:Lebanon War 1982 
Israel invaded Lebanon 1978 & 1982 to eliminate PLO 
commandos raiding Israel 
1. Right wing Lebanese Christian Phalange 
militias massacred Palestinians, horrified 
world 
 
 
 
 
 
 
IX. Intifada I: 1987 
a. Goal: show that military defeat couldn’t quench 
Palestinian nationalism 
b. Demonstrated, staged strikes, threw stones, disseminated 
propaganda. Children included. 
c. Palestinian uprising against Israeli occupation, living 
conditions, and to demand independence that begins in 
1987. Includes Palestinian demonstrations, strikes, 
boycotts, rock throwing and gasoline bombs.  
d. Hamas is formed 
e. —​Israeli military response  
f. —​Over approx. 400 Israelis Killed  
g. —​Over approx. 1500 Palestinians Killed  
h. Gained more recogniztion in Europe, US started new 
peace process 
i. BUT… 
i. PLO didn’t denounce Saddam Hussein ​→ 
unpopular stance (He fired missiles into Israel) 
ii. Kuwait expelled thousands of skilled P. workers 
whose families depended on remittances 
j. Hamas [DO CHARTER DOCUMENT] 
i. A little over two years ago, rivalries 
ii. in the Gaza Strip were so great that Islamic 
fundamentalists severely beat several 
iii. members of leftist P.L.O. groups with iron pipes 
and set fire to an office of the 
iv. Palestinian Red Crescent.  
k. Hamas​ = “Zeal,” acronym Movement of the Islamic 
Resistance 
 
 
 
X. Oslo Accords 1993 
a. Soviet Jews: 1 million flooded in 
b. Bush says he’ll help Israel if it moves toward peace and 
curtailed settlements; Rabin says yes to “land for peace” 
formula ​→​ secret meetings 1993 
c. Terms: 
i. Palestinians will formally abandon armed struggle 
ii. accept I’s right to rule over 78% of mandate 
Palestine, expect remaining 22% (WB, Gaza, Arab 
East Jerusalem) 
iii. New Palestinian Authority  
 
A. Separate peace agreements between Israel and Egypt (1978) and 
Israel and Jordan (1994) 
B. Oslo Agreement (1993) “Land for Peace” 
1) Palestinians abandon armed struggle and accept Israel’s 
right to rule over 78% of mandate Palestine 
2) In return they receive the remaining 22% (West Bank, 
Gaza, Arab East Jerusalem) 
3) U.S. Policy- George W. Bush: 2002 “two-state solution” 
 
 
 
 
XI. Second Intifada 
a. Results​: 
i. …no. 
ii. Rabin assassinated by Jewish religious fanatic at 
pro-peace rally in Tel Aviv 1995 
iii. Hamas suicide bombers increased assaults on 
Israeli civilians 
iv. Jewish settler had machine-gunned 29 Palestinian 
worshipers at holy site in Hebron 
v. Israel constructed crisscrossing roads through the 
West Bank that only Israelis could use, slicing PA 
into unconnected segments 
vi. More waves of suicide bombings 
vii. Some withdrawal of I. forces in return for Arafat 
taking out objectionable passages in their National 
Charter 
viii. Barak takes out remaining IDF forces from 
Lebanon, tranfers some of West Bank to Palestinian 
control.   
ix. BUT…continued suicide bombings ​→​ rightward 
turn in Israel’s electorate -​→​ stalemate ​→​ renewed 
more militant Intifada 
x. Ariel Sharon’s provocative tour of the ​Haram 
al-Sharif​, on the Temple Mount 
1. PLO-linked organizations adopted suicide 
bombing tactics of Hamas and other Islamic 
radical groups 
2. →​ fierce IDF responses – “targeted killings,” 
tank sweeps 
xi. 2002 barrier 
1. 2002: Passover Seder; packed dining hall, 
detonated suitcase filled w/ plastic 
explosives. 30 people killed, 100 wounded