Israeli and Palestinian Affairs

Israeli and Palestinian affairs revolve mainly around the conflict between these two nations. The conflict, as we know it, began in 1947 but has its roots in the late 19th and early 20th century. The events in these early days which lead to the eventual conflict include the nationalist movements and World War 1 and its aftermath.

National movements

Two nationalist movements which are at the roots of these affairs are Arab nationalism and Zionism. The Zionist movement called for a nation state for Jewish people to be established in Palestine which they would have the right for self-determination. The movement wished for the state to be in their homeland which was referred to as the Land of Israel. The Arab nationalist movement of the time leaned more to continued loyalty to the Ottoman state which ruled most of the Middle East.

World War 1 and the aftermath

During World War 1 the Ottoman Empire was allied with Germany and the Central Powers. However, the Jewish and Arab population of Palestine saw this as an opportunity to release the control the Ottoman Empire had on the country and supported the Allied Forces. In 1917 Britain defeated the Ottoman Turks and occupied Palestine which remained under British rule until the end of the war. After the war the Faisal-Weizmann Agreement was signed, which honoured an agreement between Britain and the World Zionist Organization, for the creation of a Jewish homeland in Palestine. However, this led the Arab population of the state to reject the Syrian-Arab-Nationalist movement which agreed to the treaty and vote for Palestine to become a separate state with an Arab majority.

What happened in 1947?

In May 1947 the General Assembly of the United Nations called for a committee, United Nations Special Committee on Palestine, to be formed to prepare a report on the question of Palestine. Chapter 6 of the report had the majority of the committee stating that Palestine would constitute of an independent Arab state with a small Jewish population, an independent Jewish state with a sizable Arab minority and the City of Jerusalem which would be controlled by the UN. The Zion and Arab movements were not pleased with the proposed partition. The Zionists disliked the fact that they would lose Jerusalem but the majority of Jews in Palestine accepted the plan. The Arab leadership disagreed stating it violated the rights of the majority of the people in Palestine and they argued that the Arab population in the Jewish state would be trapped.

The state today

The conflict which plagues Israeli and Palestinian affairs continues today but both sides no longer hold a single position. The combination of moderate and extremist on both sides has brought a new dynamic to the long standing conflict. However, one of the primary obstacles is still a growing and deep-set mistrust of on the side of both parties. Other points which are at the heart of the present conflict also include the borders of Jerusalem and Palestinian refugees.