Israel|Palestine – a short summary of history

Our society is divided. You are either on the one side or the other. There’s nothing in between. Somehow it’s understandable. There are lots of people who are emotionally bound to the war going on right now. But let’s never forget the facts. Accusing an entire people, blinded by grief and other emotions is not going to stop the war. It is going to bring the war to Europe, to the US, and all the other states. In a metaphorical sense, of course.

So, the best thing we can do is to inform ourselves. And to position ourselves on the side of the victims of this war. And the victims are innocent civilians. On bot sides. To make your own opinion about this topic and to bring a bit of clarity, here’s a quick overview of the facts that we have. Try to read it out of a neutral point of view, give it a chance <3

brief history of Palestine since the increasing immigration of jewish people until the proclamation of the state Israel

  • 1881 (around that time the jewish immigration began) 457 000 people lived in palestine, most of them muslims, up to 20 000 jews and about 40 000 christians
  • the zionist movement began: a national movement, goal of a national jewish state in palestine (simply put), justified by the bible, according to which Israel is the ‚Holy land‘, which is closely linked to the history of the jews. More and more jews came to palestine.
  • Sykes-Picot agreement: a secret treaty in 1916 between Great Britain and France, where they defined their mutually agreed spheres of control and influence in an enventual partition of the ottoman empire –> national borders were drawn arbitrarily
  • in about 1920 Great Britain has committed itself through the „Balfour Declaration“ to help establish a national home for Jews in Palestine, but at the same time they promised to support the independence of Palestine
  • Great Britain and France, who both kind of worked as colonizer in Palestine, secretely divided the region among each other, which caused an increasing rivalry between palestines and jews, and also resistance against the western great powers.
  • examples for conflicts between jews and palestinians: arab landowners sold their land to Jews but left the task to them to do the expulsion of the local Palestinians, which made the displace ones feel expelled by the jewish population. Another example: some jewish businesses only hired jewish people. Also the Arabs were still waiting for their independence.
  • in the following years (1920-1940) it came to countless riots and demonstrations against the jewish population as well as against the arab population.
  • the Holocaust and the other cruelties of the second world war allowed zionism to grow stronger, after the second world war Great Britain handed over control and further decisions about the procedure in Palestine to the United Nations
  • 1947 the majority of the UN general meeting voted for the division plan, which meant to divide western Palestine into a jewish and palestinian part, and also give the jews 40% of the rest (at least that’s how I understood it, but check out the map yourself: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/3/3d/UN_Partition_Plan_For_Palestine_1947_de.svg/330px-UN_Partition_Plan_For_Palestine_1947_de.svg.png )
  • especially the arabic leaders were against this plan. The criticised the amount of land that was allocated to jews (that time Palestine had about 2 million residents, only about 600 000 of them were jews.
  • in 1948 David Ben-Guiron proclaimed the jewish state in the presence of the jewish national council in Tel Aviv. The US, Soviet Union, Turkey and Iran recognized the state and immediately started diplomatic realtions with the new state
UN Partition Plan for Palestine

Summary of the events after the declaration of the establishment of the state Israel

  • Nakba: following the declaration, the arabic league marched their forces into former british Palestine without a former declaration of war, which marked the beginning of the Arab-Israeli war. The Israeli army was able to prevail and until the end of this war about 750 000 Palestinians lost their homes. This collapse of the Arab-Palestinian society they call Nakba.
  • During and after the war various progroms against the jewish population took place in islamic states
  • refugee palestinian-arabs, who escaped to other states like Lebanon, Egypt or Jordan were accommodated in refugee camps, and for most parts they are still living there since the respective governments do not make integration possible.
  • because of the UN Resolution 194 Israel was ready to take in 200 000 – 300 000 arabic refugees, but the arabic states refused (that was still in 1948).
  • both the US and Soviet Union fought their proxy wars also in the middle east, which made everything even more complex
  • countless wars and violant confrontations starting from both Israel and Palestine happened in the next years: Suez Crisis, Six da war, Yom Kippur war, first Intifada, second Intifada, … Maybe I’ll write an own blog post about them, but for now that would be too much.

The last twenty years to present (2024)

Basically, nothing changed. Every now and then there were news about another attack, either from Israel or Palestine. In 2006 the Hamas won a plurality in the Palestine parliamentary election. Hamas is a Palestinian political and militant group that was founded in 1987 during the First Intifada. Hamas has both a political and an armed wing and is designated as a terrorist organization by several countries, including the United States, the European Union, Israel, and others. The group’s stated objectives include the establishment of an independent Palestinian state, but its methods, including suicide bombings and rocket attacks, have been widely criticized.

In 2022 Benjamin Netanjahu, a far right politician became prime minister in Israel. Israels settlement policy has been heavily criticised and was another reason for the non-stopping riots and attacks at each other. There have been a few wars in Gaza. And in October 2023 the Hamas suddenly killed about 1200 people in Israel, which lead to the war that’s going on right now. But about that we already know a lot. The Hamas as well as the israeli government have commited unspeakable crimes against civilians.

Civilians who just want to live in peace. This war only takes place because of the extremists. The basic requirements for this war were coming into being only because of some megalomaniacal men. All in all, this whole conlict, this war has such an complex background. I left out a bunch of details because there’s just too much. Maybe I’ll add them some time.

But what you definetily should have learned out of this blog post is that now you know how complicated everything is. Now you know that you can’t just say „Ok, I’m on this side“. It’s not that easy, even if a lot people wished it was.

Let’s just pray that this war will stop as soon as possible and that peace will fill the lives of all the victims of this war again. And what we can do in the meantime, instead of watching and waiting: try to work against this spreading division in our society. Let’s not bring this war here. Let’s spread awareness about the real victims: innocent civilians.

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