Israel Past & Present
Israel Past & Present
After World War II, Jewish refugees moved to Palestine to escape the countries which had persecuted them for years. The Israelis met conflict while re-settling in Palestine. The Palestinians felt as though the Israelis were unjustly staking claims on Palestinian lands. The Israelis felt as though they had rights bestowed by God to Palestinian lands. Israelis also argued the fact that the Palestinians as a group never really had a homeland. These conflicting points of view quickly sparked a fire which ignited a long and bitter war between the Palestinians and the Israelis.
During this time period, Palestine was a British governed territory. When the fighting between the two sides escalated, Britain relinquished control of Palestine to the United Nations, fearing involvement in the strife. Once in control of Palestine, the United Nations partitioned the area now called Israel into random sections of Palestinian and Israeli controls.
As the fighting continued to heat up, the United States came to the aid of the Israeli cause; partially as repayment for United States inaction during World War II. Jordan, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and the Palestinians teamed up to push the Israelis out of Palestine and to regain control of Israel for the Palestinians. With five to one odds, Israel stood up to the offensive attack and defeated the offensive forces with the help of United States military supplies. Besides winning the battle, Israel also gained control of entire country of Israel as a result of the five to one odds war. In 1956, Egypt planned to invade Israel; however Israel struck Egypt first and easily defeated their offensive. In 1967, Egypt, Syria, and Jordan banded together to invade Israel. This offensive has come to be called the six days war. Israel once again defeats the offensives and took the Gaza Strip (Egypt) and the West Bank. (Jordan). As a result of the six days war, Egypt gained the Golan Heights. In 1973, Egypt and Syria attack Israel during Yom Kippur; Israel is once again victorious and gains the ever important Sinai Peninsula from Egypt. This war has come to be called the Yom Kippur War.
After much conflict, the warring countries decided on trying to establish a peace agreement between the countries. In 1979, the Camp David Accords were held and the first middle-eastern peace treaty was signed by Egypt and Israel. Egypt agreed to recognize Israel as a country and Israel agreed to relinquish control of the Sinai Peninsula to Egypt. Shortly hereafter, Sadat, the Egyptian Prime Minister, was assassinated by an Egyptian extremist. The concept of peace did not take well with the Arab peoples, they did not want peace; they wanted revenge and justice at any or all costs. In 1995, another peace treaty was signed between Israeli leader, Rabin, and Palestinian leader, Arafat. Once again, extremist groups took poorly to this concept and shortly hereafter, Rabin was assassinated.
Many other conflicts took place hereafter in Middle-Eastern history, such as the Persian Gulf War, where Iraq invaded Kuwait and ultimately drew in United States forces to defend Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. Other US operations stemmed from the Persian Gulf War, such as Operation Desert Shield and Operation Desert Storm.
Todays conflict in the middle east is very much interconnected to the past conflicts which have blanketed the dismal history of these middle-eastern countries. Instead of all out warfare, modern Israeli and Palestinian extremists have chosen acts of terrorism in populated areas to pose their positions and opinions on the current land conflicts. Many extremists have resorted to suicide bombings and car bombs. Although cowardly, these acts of terrorism are broadcast throughout the world and help to spread the terrorists messages and opinions.
The Palestinians now want full sovereignty over all of the West Bank and Gaza Strip areas which were lost in the 1967 war. This is a possible concept considering the 1979 peace treaty in which Israel relinquished control of the Sinai Peninsula to Egypt.
Both Palestinians and Israelis want control of the city of Jerusalem, where both Muslim and Jewish holy places literally sit among each other. Looking back to the Camp David Accords, little was decided in this area of conflict due to the close