The history of the Palestinians and the Israelis date back many centuries. Judea was the home of the Jewish ancestry. Judea was conquered by the Romans and renamed Palestine. Palestine was later conquered and inhabited by the Arabs for over a thousand years. The Zionist movement arose to restore the Jews to Israel ignoring the existing Arab population.
Towards the end of World War 1, the British government decided to endorse the creation of a Jewish home in Palestine. The decision was made public in a letter from Lord Arthur Balfour addressed to a lead British Zionist, Lord Rothschild. The contents of Balfour’s letter which became formally known as the “Balfour Declaration.” The Balfour Declaration was drafted with the assistance of United States Presisent Woodrow Wilson, who was a strong supporter of Zionism. Britain saw the need to protect the sea route to India, where most of Britain’s economy relied upon. Supporting Zionism was known to be the easiest way of securing lasting British influence of the east region of the Suez Canal.
The Arabs resented the Jews coming in and taking over their land. Under the lead of Grand Mufti Haj Amin El-Husseini, the Arabs rioted repeatedly for days until later revolting. This incident created a history of enmity between the Jews and Arabs in Palestine. Subsequently, Britain put a stop to Jewish immigration into Palestine. It wasn’t till after the Holocaust when Britain allowed immigration into Palestine. In 1947, the United Nations partitioned the land into Arab and Jewish states. The Arabs did not accept the partition, which led to a breakout of war. Decisively, the Jews won an astounding victory. The victory expanded their state, and created several hundred thousand Palestinian refugees.
Palestine was synonomous with Yasser Arafat. Arafat was an Egyptian Palestinian who grew up in the Gaza strip. Mr. Arafat had been a member of the Ikhwan (Muslim Brothers) and the Futtuwah (Palestinian armed faction of Haj Amin El Hussaini). Arafat had moved to Kuwait in 1957. Along with Khalil Al Wazir, Farouq Qadumi, Khalid al Hassan, they formed the Palestine Liberation Committee, also known as the Fatah.
Israel’s retaliation against terrorism created violent protests throughout the Arab world. Extreme Arab regimes such as Syria and Palestine’s Fatah called for war. The Europeans which was led by France along with the United Nations, condemned Israel’s acts of self defense. Up to the brink of the 6 Day War, Israel had experienced a horrible economic crisis. The Diaspora Jews supported Israel in order ensure the Jewish state’s survival. Israel implemented the Water Carrier Plan, and Yasser Arafat found it as a “imperialist event.” Due to Arafat’s disapproval of the water plan, he began to call out for war in order to eliminate Israel. The Syrians supported the Fatah, and Syrian army intelligence recruited terrorists for military action against Israel.
The Arab-Israeli conflict before 1967 was simply a desire to destroy Israel. The Six Day War created a more complicated conflict. Issues now include settlements, disputed territories, the Palestinian refugee question, and sovereignty over Jerusalem. To this day, Arab countries have taken a position towards Israel without any negotiation, recognition, nor peace. Most Arab nations have continued to denounce Israel and their right to exist, or worked towards destructing Israel by hatred and funding terrorist operations.
Upon thinking about what the Palestinian’s views were on the hope and aspirations of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, I decided to contact the Palestinian Consulate personally. I spoke to Nabil Abuznaid of the Palestinian Consulate in Washington D.C. I asked Mr.Abuzanaid what Palestine’s hopes and aspirations were. Mr.Abuznaid spoke with much confidence and optimism. He stated that this is a very difficult conflict that is very sensitive to the Palestinians and Israelis. He felt that it is difficult for the Palestinians because of the formation of the State of Israel, and feels it was hard for the Israelis because of the Holocaust. Nabil Abuznaid felt that the only way to resolve this issue is to share the land, and that there is no other way. Through Abuznaid’s statements, Palestinians believe that they should both have separate states. He believed that Palestnians could have part of their land with the exception of freedom and respect for one another’s land. Mr. Abuznaid believed that there should be a just solution for the Palestinian refugees. Currently, there are 4 million refugees that live in crowded refugee camps in poor conditions in the West Bank, Gaza, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, and Iraq. Mr.Abuznaid and Palestinians believe the refugees should have the right to return home under the United Nations General Assembly Resolution 194. Towards the end of my conversation with Nabil Abuznaid, he stated that the Palestinian state should be created upon the land it was originally established on, and that the capital should be East Jerusalem.
Therefore, I contacted the Israeli Embassy in Washington D.C leaving a message on the Embassy recorder as to the purpose of my call and my e-mail and telephone number. The next day I received an e-mail from Rebecca Weiner, Officer of Public Affairs, Embassy of Israel, which read ” It is rather simple, all Israel wants is peace between itself and its neighbors. Basically the same as most countries, to exist without fear of terrorism and attack.”
Due to differences, the continuing argument over the promised land of Israel and Palestine will continue to escalate in war in the sacred areas, and expand the hatred and prejudices between both societies. The frightening part of this conflict is that Holy Wars are hard to resolve. When two groups are fighting over land that was promised to them by a divine entity that existence can’t be proven, there aren’t many options for peace and soverignity. I agree excessively with Mr. Nabil Abuznaid. It takes his kind of optimism and aspirations for both sides to work in unison with eachother in solving this world travesty and conflict. I strongly believe that the holy lands held by Israel and Palestine must be shared respectively and held with freedom. In order to do so, terrorist fundamentalists can not be tolerated. With the fall of Yasser Arafat, Israel must continue to rule with a leader of optimism. The United Nations must do all that is needed to work in concert with those of Israel and Arab countries. What we all must do, is educate ourselves to try to accept those of different religions and continue to look for some sort of compromise. Without doing this, there will not be a resolution to withhold world stability and peace.