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Arab-Israeli Relations (Essay Sample)

Section A: War - Was the 1947-8 violent conflict between Jews and Arabs in Palestine inevitable? In your answer, please include a discussion of the following topics: - The positions of the Palestinian Arab and the Jewish Yishuv leadership with regard to relations with the other side, as well as the positions of the main opposition groups within each community. - The role played by the British mandate in either facilitating mutual accommodation or exacerbating mutual conflict and hostility. - The UN partition plan and the Jews' and Arabs' reactions to the plan, as well as whether or not there could have been alternative solutions more acceptable to both sides or more viable. Section B: and Peace? - In any future final peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians there are a few major issues that the two sides will have to resolve. Pick two of these issues that we have discussed in class (borders, security, refugees, settlements, Jerusalem, the Gaza Strip), and address the following questions: - For each issue, provide a brief description of the problem, and then survey the positions of Israelis and Palestinians in the final status negotiations in Camp-David (2000) and Taba (2001). - In your mind, is there a possible common ground on which an agreed-upon solution could be found in these two issues? If no- why? If yes- give a realistic example of such solution. - What is your opinion of the argument that it is not the issues, but the process, which prevents a final peace deal: Are Israelis and Palestinians likely to agree on the two issues you have analyzed if a mechanism that will prevent distrust and assure compliance can be found? Explain. Section A : 4 pages Section B : 3 pages source..
The 1948 Arab-Israeli War and the subsequent conflicts can be considered inevitable, as generally speaking, the ultimate source was a creation of a new nation inside the territory occupied by an existing nation, the latter surrounded by its political, social, and religious allies.
From the onset, there was already fierce opposition and resistance to the immigration or Diaspora of the Jews back to Palestine, much more the creation of a Jewish state. Directed against the immigrant Jewish population, the Arab resistance took its form in violent attacks. In the Hebron massacre, sixty-seven Jews were killed in the conflict and Jewish homes and synagogues were burnt and ransacked (Segev, 2000) This and similar incidents were prompted by the covert and violent operations of the Black Hand, an armed Arab oppositionist group (Yaari, 1973) On a more organized level, the 1936-1939 Arab revolt in Palestine or Great Arab Revolt, became a nationalist revolution by Arabs against British colonization, and the subsequent effect of Jewish immigration (Morris, 1999).
Furthermore, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Amin al-Husayni, initiated the opposition against the idea of creation of a Jewish state in any part of Palestine. To this end, he even sought an alliance with the Axis to expel Britain from Palestine. On a political level, there were no opposing factions in the Arab or Palestinian camp. However, as seen in the Hebron Massacre, some local Arab families saved the lives of 435 Jews by having them hide in their houses, obviously at great risk, thus indicative of the opposition of some moderate Palestinians to the ensuing violence (Ashkenazi, 2009). On the other hand, despite the increasing violence and impunity against their communities, the political leadership of Israel, known as the Yishuv adopted a policy of restraint (havlaga) and static defense in response to Arab attacks (Sela, 2002). However, after further violence from armed Arab groups, more radical and critics of havlaga, broke away from the Hagana or the self-defense organization of the Yishuv, and formed the right-wing and militant Irgun, later led by Menachem Begin in 1943, who in turn attacked Palestinian civilians and policemen.
It must be noted that the turning point of the hostilities and conflict between the Arab Palestinians and the Israelis was through the promulgation of the Balfour Declaration by the British Government in 1917, whereby it stated that "the government of Great Britain supported the establishment of a Jewish national home in Palestine." Apart from exacerbating tensions between the Palestinian Arabs who were then residing in Mandate Palestine and Jews who had already emigrated during the Ottoman period, it encouraged the Diaspora or Jewish immigration back into Palestine. This was soon followed by the Faisal-Weizmann Agreement, seeking to promote Arab-J...
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