Israel - The Country That Wouldn't Grow Up


Historical Background

To read the posts on the other issues please use the links named after the different page-subtitles.

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Reports & Comments

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Historical Background

Brief History Of Palestine

3-PART VIDEO History Of A Conflict

Samuel Landman: Great Britain, the Jews and Palestine (1936)

VIDEO: Promises and Betrayals - Britain And The Struggle For The Holy Land

VIDEO People And The Land

VIDEO Palestine Israel 101

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see also

VIDEO The Bible Unearthed / God's Ghostwriters

VIDEO Occupation 101

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The State Of Israel

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Israeli Intelligence Community

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Israel & The Media

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UN Resolutions & International Law

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Peace Agreements

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Main Source Of Conflicts: Water?


Israel's Wars
 
the following links lead to reports on the related wars
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1948 War

War Of Independence

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1956 Suez Crisis

The Suez Crisis

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1967 June War

The 6-Day War

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1973 October War

Yom Kippur War

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1982 Lebanon Invasion

Operation Peace for Galilee

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1987 Palestine

The First Intifada

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2000 Palestine

The Second Uprising (Al-Aqsa Intifada)

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2006 Lebanon

Re-Invading Lebanon!


Related Links

MidEastWeb

If Americans Knew

Jewish Virtual Library

The (CIA) World Factbook

Zionism - Historical Sources, Documents & Texts

Very Pissed Off Combat Veterans -- And Blueprints For Change By John McCarthy

Israel & The Middle East Conflict

- Historical Background -

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Brief History Of Palestine


3'rd millennium BC : The Canaanites were the earliest known inhabitants of Palestine. They became urbanized and lived in city-states, one of which was Jericho. They developed an alphabet. Palestine's location at the center of routes linking three continents made it the meeting place for religious and cultural influences from Egypt, Syria, Mesopotamia, and Asia Minor. It was also the natural battleground for the great powers of the region and subject to domination by adjacent empires, beginning with Egypt in the 3d millennium BC.

2'rd millennium BC : Egyptian hegemony and Canaanite autonomy were constantly challenged by such ethnically diverse invaders as the Amorites, Hittites, and Hurrians. These invaders, however, were defeated by the Egyptians and absorbed by the Canaanites, who at that time may have numbered about 200000.

14th century BC : Egyptian power began to weaken, new invaders appeared: the Hebrews, a group of Semitic tribes from Mesopotamia, and the Philistines (after whom the country was later named), an Aegean people of Indo-European stock.

1230 BC : Joshua conquered parts of Palestine. The conquerors settled in the hill country, but they were unable to conquer all of Palestine.

1125 BC : The Israelites, a confederation of Hebrew tribes, finally defeated the Canaanites but found the struggle with the Philistines more difficult . Philistines had established an independent state on the southern coast of Palestine and controlled the Canaanite town of Jerusalem.

1050 BC : Philistines with there superior in military organization and using iron weapons, they severely defeated the Israelites about 1050 BC .

1000 BC : David, Israel's great king, finally defeated the Philistines, and they eventually assimilated with the Canaanites . The unity of Israel and the feebleness of adjacent empires enabled David to establish a large independent state, with its capital at Jerusalem.

922 BC : Under David's son and successor, Solomon, Israel enjoyed peace and prosperity , but at his death in 922 BC the kingdom was divided into Israel in the north and Judah in the south .

722-721 BC : When nearby empires resumed their expansion, the divided Israelites could no longer maintain their independence . Israel fell to Assyria.

586 BC : Judah was conquered by Babylonia, which destroyed Jerusalem and exiled most of the Jews living there. Nebuchadnezzar entered Jerusalem. The Temple was sacked and set fire to, and razed to the ground. The Royal Palace and all the great houses were destroyed, the population carried off in chains to Babylon. And they lamented on their long march into exile.

539 BC : Cyrus the Great of Persia conquered Babylonia and he permitted the Jews to return to Judea, a district of Palestine. Under Persian rule the Jews were allowed considerable autonomy. They rebuilt the walls of Jerusalem and codified the Mosaic law, the Torah, which became the code of social life and religious observance. The Jews were bound to a universal God.

333 BC : Persian domination of Palestine was replaced by Greek rule when Alexander the Great of Macedonia took the region. Alexander's successors, the Ptolemies of Egypt and the Seleucids of Syria , continued to rule the country . The Seleucids tried to impose Hellenistic (Greek) culture and religion on the population.

141-63 BC : Jews revolted under the Maccabees and set up an independent state.

132-35 BC : Jews revolts erupted, numerous Jews were killed, many were sold into slavery, and the rest were not allowed to visit Jerusalem. Judea was renamed Syria Palaistina.

63 BC : Jerusalem was overrun by Rome. Herod was appointed King of Judea. He slaughtered the last of the Hasmoneans and ordered a lavish restoration and extension of the Second Temple. A period of great civil disorder followed with strife between pacifists and Zealots, and riots against the Roman authorities.

37-4 BC : During the rule of King Herod the Great Jesus of Nazareth, peace be upon him was born. And years after, he began his teaching mission. His attempts to call people back to the pure teachings of Abraham and Moses were judged subversive by the authorities. He was tried and sentenced to death; "yet they did not slay him but only a likeness that was shown to them."

70 AD : Titus of Rome laid siege to Jerusalem. The fiercely defended Temple eventually fell, and with it the whole city. Seeking a complete and enduring victory, Titus ordered the total destruction of the Herodian Temple. A new city named Aelia was built by the Romans on the ruins of Jerusalem, and a temple dedicated to Jupitor raised up.

313 AD : Palestine received special attention when the Roman emperor Constantine I legalized Christianity. His mother, Helena, visited Jerusalem, and Palestine, as the Holy Land, became a focus of Christian pilgrimage. A golden age of prosperity, security, and culture followed. Most of the population became Hellenized and Christianized .

324 AD : Constantine of Byzantium marched on Aelia. He rebuilt the city walls and commissioned the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, and opened the city for Christian pilgrimage.

29-614 AD : Byzantine (Roman) rule was interrupted , however , by a brief Persian occupation and ended altogether when Muslim Arab armies invaded Palestine and captured Jerusalem in AD 638 .

638 AD : The Arab conquest began 1300 years of Muslim presence in what then became known as Filastin. Eager to be rid of their Byzantine overlords and aware of their shared heritage with the Arabs, the descendants of Ishmael, as well as the Muslims reputation for mercy and compassion in victory, the people of Jerusalem handed over the city after a brief siege. They made only one condition, That the terms of their surrender be negotiated directly with the Khalif 'Umar in person. 'Umar entered Jerusalem on foot. There was no bloodshed. There were no massacres. Those who wanted to leave were allowed to, with all their goods. Those who wanted to stay were guarantee protection for their lives, their property and places of worship.

Palestine was holy to Muslims because the Prophet Muhammad had designated Jerusalem as the first qibla (the direction Muslims face when praying) and because he was believed to have ascended on a night journey to heaven from the the old city of Jerusalem (al-Aqsa Mosque today) , where the Dome of the Rock was later built. Jerusalem became the third holiest city of Islam. The Muslim rulers did not force their religion on the Palestinians, and more than a century passed before the majority converted to Islam. The remaining Christians and Jews were considered People of the Book. They were allowed autonomous control in their communities and guaranteed security and freedom of worship. Such tolerance was rare in the history of religion . Most Palestinians also adopted Arabic and Islamic culture. Palestine benefited from the empires trade and from its religious significance during the first Muslim dynasty, the Umayyads of Damascus.

750 AD : The power shifted to Baghdad with the Abbasids, Palestine became neglected. It suffered unrest and successive domination by Seljuks, Fatimids, and European Crusaders. It shared, however, in the glory of Muslim civilization, when the Muslim world enjoyed a golden age of science, art, philosophy, and literature. Muslims preserved Greek learning and broke new ground in several fields, all of which later contributed to the Renaissance in Europe. Like the rest of the empire, however, Palestine under the Mamelukes gradually stagnated and declined.

1517 AD : The Ottoman Turks of Asia Minor defeated the Mamelukes, with few interruptions, ruled Palestine until the winter of 1917-18. The country was divided into several districts (sanjaks), such as that of Jerusalem. The administration of the districts was placed largely in the hands of Arab Palestinians, who were descendants of the Canaanites. The Christian and Jewish communities, however, were allowed a large measure of autonomy. Palestine shared in the glory of the Ottoman Empire during the 16th century, but declined again when the empire began to decline in the 17th century.

1831-1840 AD : Muhammad Ali, the modernizing viceroy of Egypt, expanded his rule to Palestine . His policies modified the feudal order, increased agriculture, and improved education.

1840 The Ottoman Empire reasserted its authority, instituting its own reforms .

1845 Jewish in Palestine were 12,000 increased to 85,000 by 1914. All people in Palestine were Arabic Muslims and Christians.

1897 the first Zionist Congress held Basle, Switzerland, issued the Basle programme on the colonization of Palestine.

1904 the Fourth Zionist Congress decided to establish a national home for Jews in Argentina.

1906 the Zionist congress decided the Jewish homeland should be Palestine.

1914 With the outbreak of World War I, Britain promised the independence of Arab lands under Ottoman rule, including Palestine, in return for Arab support against Turkey which had entered the war on the side of Germany.

1916 Britain and France signed the Sykes-Picot Agreement, which divided the Arab region into zones of influence. Lebanon and Syria were assigned to France, Jordan and Iraq to Britain and Palestine was to be internationalized.

1917 The British government issued the Balfour Declaration on November 2, in the form of a letter to a British Zionist leader from the foreign secretary Arthur J. Balfour prmissing him the establishment of a national home for the Jewish people in Palestine.

1917-1918 Aided by the Arabs, the British captured Palestine from the Ottoman Turks. The Arabs revolted against the Turks because the British had promised them, in correspondence with Shareef Husein ibn Ali of Mecca, the independence of their countries after the war. Britain, however, also made other, conflicting commitments in the secret Sykes-Picot agreement with France and Russia (1916), it promised to divide and rule the region with its allies. In a third agreement, the Balfour Declaration of 1917, Britain promised the Jews a Jewish "national home" in Palestine .

1918 After WW I ended, Jews began to migrate to Palestine, which was set a side as a British mandate with the approval of the League of Nations in 1922. Large-scale Jewish settlement and extensive Zionist agricultural and industrial enterprises in Palestine began during the British mandatory period, which lasted until 1948.

1919 The Palestinians convened their first National Conference and expressed their opposition to the Balfour Declaration.

1920 The San Remo Conference granted Britain a mandate over Palestine. and two years later Palestine was effectively under British administration. Sir Herbert Samuel, a declared Zionist, was sent as Britain's first High Commissioner to Palestine.

1922 The Council of the League of Nations issued a Mandate for Palestine.

1929 Large-scale attacks on Jews by Arabs rocked Jerusalem. Palestinians killed 133 Jews and suffered 116 deaths. Sparked by a dispute over use of the Western Wall of Al-Aqsa Mosque ( this site is sacred to Muslims, but Jews claimed it is the remaining of jews temple all studies shows clearly that the wall is from the Islamic ages and it is part of al-Aqsa Mosque). But the roots of the conflict lay deeper in Arab fears of the Zionist movement which aimed to make at least part of British-administered Palestine a Jewish state.

1936 The Palestinians held a six-month General Strike to protest against the confiscation of land and Jewish immigration.

1937 Peel Commission, headed by Lord Robert Peel, issued a report. Basically, the commission concluded, the mandate in Palestine was unworkable There was no hope of any cooperative national entity there that included both Arabs and Jews. The commission went on to recommend the partition of Palestine into a Jewish state, an Arab state, and a neutral sacred-site state to be administered by Britain.

1939 The British government published a White Paper restricting Jewish immigration and offering independence for Palestine within ten years. This was rejected by the Zionists, who then organized terrorist groups and launched a bloody campaign against the British and the Palestinians.

1947 Great Britain decided to leave Palestine and called on the United Nations (UN) to make recommendations. In response, the UN convened its first special session and on November 29, 1947, it adopted a plan calling for partition of Palestine into Jewish and Arab states, with Jerusalem as an international zone under UN jurisdiction.

1947 Arab protests against partition erupted in violence, with attacks on Jewish settlements in retalation to the attacks of Jews terrorist groups to Arab Towns and villages and massacres in hundred against unarmed Palestinian in there homes.

15 May 1948 British decided to leave on this day, leaders of the Yishuv decided (as they claim) to implement that part of the partition plan calling for establishment of a Jewish state. The same day, the armies of Egypt, Transjordan (now Jordan), Syria, Lebanon, and Iraq joined Palestinian and other Arab guerrillas in a full-scale war (first Arab-Israeli War). The Arabs failed to prevent establishment of a Jewish state, and the war ended with four UN-arranged armistice agreements between Israel and Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan, and Syria.

The small Gaza Strip was left under Egyptian control, and the West Bank was controled by Jordan.

Of the more than 800,000 Arabs who lived in Israeli-held territory before 1948, only about 170,000 remained. The rest became refugees in the surrounding Arab countries, ending the Arab majority in the Jewish state.

1956 Attckes incursions by refugee guerrilla bands and attacks by Arab military units were made, Egypt refused to permit Israeli ships to use the Suez Canal and blockaded the Straits of Tiran erupted in the second Arab-Israeli War.

Great Britain and France joined the attack because of their dispute with Egypt's president Gamal Abdel Nasser, who had nationalized the Suez Canal. Seizing the Gaza Strip and the Sinai Peninsula within few days. The fighting was halted by the UN after a few days, and a UN Emergency Force (UNEF) was sent to supervise the cease-fire in the Canal zone. By the end of the year their forces withdrew from Egypt, but Israel refused to leave Gaza until early 1957.

1965 The Palestine Liberation Organization was established.

1967 Nasser's insistence in 1967 that the UNEF leave Egypt, led Israel to attack Egypt, Jordan, and Syria simultaneously on 5th of June.

The war ended six days later with an Israeli victory. Israel occuiped Gaza Strip, Sinai Peninsula, Arab East Jerusalem, West Bank, Golan Heights.

After 1967 war, several guerrilla organizations within the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) carried out guerrillas attacks on Israeli miletary targets, with the stated objective of "redeeming Palestine."

1973 Egypt joined Syria in a war on Israel to regain the territories lost in 1967. The two Arab states struck unexpectedly on October 6. After crossing the suez channel the Arab forces gain a lot of advanced positions in Sinai Peninsula and Golan Heights and manage to defeat the Israeli forces for more then three weeks. Israeli forces with a massive U.S. economic and military assistance managed to stop the arab forces after a three-week struggle. The Arab oil-producing states cut off petroleum exports to the United States and other Western nations in retaliation for their aid to Israel.

In an effort to encourage a peace settlement, U.S. secretary of state, Henry Kissinger, managed to work out military disengagements between Israel and Egypt in the Sinai and between Israel and Syria in the Golan Heights during 1974.

1974 The Arab Summit in Rabat recognized the PLO as the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people.

1982 Israel launched an invasion of Lebanon aimed at wiping out the PLO presence there. By mid-August, after intensive fighting in and around Bayrut, the PLO agreed to withdraw its guerrillas from the city. Israeli troops remained in southern Lebanon.

1987 Relations between Israel and the Palestinians entered a new phase with the intifada, a series of uprisings in the occupied territories that included demonstrations, strikes, and rock-throwing attacks on Israeli soldiers.

1988 The PNC meeting in Algiers declared the State of Palestine as outlined in the UN Partition Plan 181.

1990 Yasser Arafat addressed the UN Security Council In Geneva demanding UN emergency force to provide international protection for the Palestinian people to safeguard their lives, properties and holy places.

1991 The first comprehensive peace talks between Israel and delegations representing the Palestinians and neighboring Arab states

1993 Israel deported 415 Palestinian men to a buffer zone in southern Lebanon. The deported Palestinians were said by Israeli authorities to be active members of the militant Islamic resistance movement Hamas.

1993 Aftersecret negotiations, PM Rabin and PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat signed an historic peace agreement. Israel agreed to allow for Palestinian self-rule, first in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank town of Jericho, and later in other areas of the West Bank.

Feb 1994 An American-born Jewish settler in Hebron, Baruch Goldstein, opened fire in al-Haran al-ebrahime crowded mosque, killing 29 Muslims and wounding 150 more.

May 1994 In Cairo - Egypt, Yasser Arafat, and Yitzhak Rabin, signed the final version of the Declaration of Principles. Within 24 hours of the signing, Israeli military forces were scheduled to leave the Gaza Strip and Jericho.

July 1994 Yasser Arafat returned to Palestine.

Oct 1994 The Nobel Committee in Oslo, Norway, announced that the peace prize was being awarded to Israel's Foreign Minister Shimon Peres and Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, and to Yasser Arafat.

Jan. 1995 Martyr bombs kills 19 in Israel.

April 1995 Six killed in Gaza Martyr bombing.

July 1995 Martyr bomb in Tel Avivi.

Aug. 1995 Martyr bomber kills five in Jerusalem.

Sept. 1995 Israeli and PLO officials meeting in Taba, Egypt, finalized agreement on the second stage of eventual Israeli withdrawal from Palestinian lands. Special arrangements were agreed upon for Hebron, where Israeli soldiers will remain to protect the 450 Jewish settlers living there.

Nov. 1995 Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, was assassinated in Tel Aviv by a right-wing extremist.

Jan. 1996 PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat elected Presendant of the Palestinian National Authority.

June 1996 Right-wing Likud Party leader, Benjamin Netanyahu become the new Prime Minister of Israel.

June 1996 Arab summit discuss the new Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's peace plans.

Dec. 1996 Israeli authorities release plans to expand the Jewish settlements in Arab east Jerusalem, which causes outrage among Palestinians.

Jan. 1997 Israel and the Palestinian Authority reached an agreement for an Israeli redeployment from the West Bank city of Hebron.

Oct. 1997 Sheik Ahmed Yassin (61-year-old) founder of the militant Islamic group Hamas was released from Israeli prison, as part of a prisoner swap touched off by a failed Israeli assassination attempt in Amman, the capital of Jordan.

Oct. 1998 Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat signed at peace-for-land agreement at the conclusion of negotiations in the U.S. the agreement calls for Israel to relinquish control of portions of the West Bank in return for active measures to be taken by Palestinians against terrorism.

Nov.1998 Palestinian President Yasser Arafat inaugurated Gaza International Airport.

Dec. 1998 President Clinton stood witness as hundreds of Palestinian leaders renounced a call for the destruction of Israel. Clinton urged "legitimate rights for Palestinians, real security for Israel."

May 1999 Winning a crushing victory over hard-line Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Ehud Barak promised to forge a secure peace with the Palestinians, pull troops out of Lebanon in a year and heal the deep divisions among Israelis.

Sep. 1999 An agreement has been reached with Israel concerning the release of Palestinian prisoners. Such release was a major point of contention in negotiations concerning the implementation of the Wye River peace accord.

Oct.1999 Israel and the Palestinians agreed to establish the first open land link between the West Bank and the Gaza Strip so-called "safe passage".

Mar.2000 Kissing Palestinian earth and warmly welcomed byYasser Arafat, Pope John Paul II made a prayerful pilgrimage to the town of Jesus' birth.

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