A Brief Summary of Israel and Palestine
Ever since writing this blog at the start of 2020, many major global events have come and gone. I wrote about Covid. I wrote about the George Floyd Protests. I wrote about the US evacuation of Afghanistan, and the Ukrainian War, and today I’ll write about the Israel/Palestine conflict.
Motivated by the ongoing conflict, I’ve spent the last few days learning the history of the region to gain an understanding of its complexities and empathy for each side. Here’s a quick overview of what I’ve learned so far:
- After the collapse of the Ottoman Empire after WWI, the newly formed League of Nations, entrusted the governance of the territory to Great Britain. This territory was formerly known as Palestine.
- In 1917, the British Government instituted the Balfour Declaration supporting a Jewish Homeland in Palestine.
- After WWII and the Holocaust, there was growing concern that the only way for Jewish people to escape anti-semitism was through an independent Jewish state. This movement is known as Zionism. This saw a mass migration of Jews to Palestine.
- There was much tension between the growing Jewish settlers and the existing Arabic Palestinians.
- By 1947, the UN proposed a “two-state solution” to separate Palestine into separate Jewish and Arab regions. This was supported by the Jews but rejected by the Arabs.
- By 1948, the British left Palestine, and the state of Israel was established. This declaration was followed immediately by a declaration of war by Israel’s neighboring Arabic countries: Egypt, Syria, and Jordan. Over 700,000 Palestinian Arabs, half of Palestine’s population, fled to neighboring Arab states to escape the Zionist militia.
- The Six-Day War took place on June 5-10 1967. This was a brief, but significant war fought between Israel and its neighboring arab states: Egypt, Jordan, and Syria. Israel emerged victorious tripling its size and winning territories such as the Gaza Strip from Egypt, the West Bank from Jordan, and Golan Heights from Syria.
- There have been many conflicts since then including the Yom Kippur War, the First Intifada, the Second Intifada, and the Gaza War.
- The Gaza Strip, and the West Bank, are the only two Palestinian territories though both have been occupied by Israel since the Six-Day War.