State of Israel

The State of Israel is a country in southwestern Asia on the eastern side of the Mediterranean Sea. Israel became an independent country in 1948.[6] Israel is the only Jewish country, and Jews all over the world think of Israel as their spiritual home. Israel’s population was 8.1 million people in 2013 and 6.04 million are Jewish. Almost all the other citizens of Israel are Arabs (1.6 million) and include Muslims, Christians, Druze, and Samaritans.[7]Jerusalem is Israel’s capital and largest city.

Israel is a small country, but it has mountains, deserts, shores, valleys and plains. The climate is hot and dry in the summers, and cool and rainy in the winters.

Israel has few natural resources and imports more goods than it exports. It has a relatively high standard of living and life expectancy. Almost all of its people can read and write.

The country’s history goes back thousands of years, to ancient times. Two world religions, Judaism and Christianity, began here. It is the place where the Jewish nation and religion first grew. Jews and Christians call it the Holy Land, because it is the place of many events described in the Bible.

Three thousand years ago, the Canaanites and other Semitic peoples lived here. Between about 1800 and 1500 BCE, another Semitic people, called the Hebrews, settled in Canaan after being freed from Egypt. They were named the Children of Israel or Israelites. The Israelites had 12 tribes. They chose a King, Saul, as their leader. The next king, David, began the Kingdom of Israel in about 1000 BCE and made the city of Jerusalem his capital. His son, Solomon, built the first Temple for the worship of God. Solomon died in about 928 BCE. His kingdom broke into two countries. The northern country kept the name Israel. The southern country, called Judah, kept Jerusalem as its capital.

The Assyrians conquered the Kingdom of Israel in 732 BCE and the Babylonians conquered the Kingdom of Judah in 586 BCE. Many Jews returned from Babylonia and built a country again. First the Persians, then the Greeks and then the Romans ruled the Land of Israel.

The Jews fought against the Romans but the Romans defeated them. In 70 CE, the Romans destroyed Jerusalem and the Jewish Temple there. Again, in 132 CE, the Romans defeated the Jews and killed or took many of them to other places. The number of Jews living in Israel became much smaller. Many were forced to live in other countries. This spreading of Jewish communities outside of Israel is called the Diaspora.

Many of the Jews who remained moved to the Galilee. Jewish teachers wrote important Jewish books, called the Mishnah and part of the Talmud there, in the 2nd to 4th centuries CE.

The Romans began to call this region by the word that became Palestine in English. The Roman and then the Byzantine empires ruled until 635 CE, when Arabs conquered the region. Different Arab rulers, and for a while Crusaders, ruled the land. In 1516, the Ottoman Empire conquered the land and ruled the region until the 20th century.

Since the Diaspora, there have been many attempts to make a new homeland for the Jewish people. In the 1880s, this wish for a Jewish nation in Israel became a movement called Zionism. Jews from all over the world began to come to the area and settled in desert zones, then governed by the Turkish and later by the British Governments.

On 14 May 1948, British control over the Palestine Mandate ended. The Jewish inhabitants (under the leadership of David Ben-Gurion) declared independence for the new Jewish state. Immediately following Israel’s declaration of independence, the armies of several nearby countries, including Egypt, Syria, Jordan, and Iraq attacked the new country.[8] Since the 1980s the main military opponents of Israel have been Islamist groups, such as Hezbollah.[9]

The countries of Lebanon and Syria are to the north of Israel, Jordan is on the east and Egypt is to the southwest. Israel also controls the West Bank of the Jordan River.

Israel has a long coastline on the Mediterranean Sea. In the south, the town of Eilat is on the Gulf of Aqaba, which is part of the Red Sea.

The Galilee is a fertile and mountainous region in the north. There is a flat plain called the Coastal Plain to the west near the coast of the Mediterranean Sea. The Negev Desert is a barren area of flat plains, mountains and craters in the south. There is a range of mountains in the center that runs from the north to south.

On the eastern side, there is a low area called a depression. The Hula Valley and the Sea of Galilee are in this low area in the north. The Jordan River runs from the Sea of Galilee to the Dead Sea. The land next to the Dead Sea is the lowest in the world. It is -417 meters below sea level.[10]

The weather is normally hot and dry in the summer and mild in the winter. Rain falls mostly in the winter (between the months of November and April). There is more rain in the north than in the south and hardly any rain in the desert. Israel built a very big irrigation system to bring water from the north to the dry areas in the south so that crops can grow there also.[10]

Jerusalem is the biggest city in Israel. Tel Aviv, Haifa, Beersheba and Rishon LeZion are also large cities. The capital city is Jerusalem.[10]

Israel is a parliamentary democracy. All Israeli citizens who are 18 years or older may vote. The Israeli parliament is called the Knesset. The Knesset has 120 members. Each member is elected for no more than four years at a time. The Knesset makes laws, helps decide national policy, and approves budgets and taxes.

Voters do not vote for individual candidates in Knesset elections. Instead, they vote for a party. This party makes a list with all its candidates. The list may have only one candidate or as many as 120 candidates. In an election, the percentage of the vote that each list wins decides how many representatives, or seats, the party gets in the Knesset. For example, if a party list gets 33 percent of the vote, it gets 40 Knesset seats.

Israel has no written constitution. Instead, the Knesset made “Basic Laws”. The Basic Laws say how the government must work and give civil rights to the citizens.

The Prime Minister is the head of Israel’s government. He or she is usually the leader of the party that has the most seats in the Knesset. The prime minister must keep the support of a majority of Knesset members to stay in office. He or she appoints ministers to the cabinet. The Knesset approves appointments to the Cabinet. The ministers are responsible for subjects such as education, defense, social welfare and so on. The prime minister is the head of the cabinet and decides the topics of cabinet meetings and makes the final decisions.

Benjamin Netanyahu has been the Prime Minister since March 2009.

The President is the head of state. The Knesset elects the president for seven years. Most of the president’s duties are ceremonial: The president signs laws and treaties approved by the Knesset, appoints judges, and members of some public organizations. He or she also accepts the documents from ambassadors and foreign diplomats bring when they are appointed.

Reuven Rivlin has been the President since July 2014.

Israel has many political parties, with a large variety of opinions. In the elections of 2009, twelve parties won seats in the Knesset.

The parties belong to three main groups: The biggest groups are the Zionist parties. These include the conservatives such as the Likud party; social democrats, such as Kadima and the Labor party; and the religious Zionists. There are also smaller religious Orthodox Jewish parties, special-interest parties, and Israeli Arab parties.

A single party usually does not win enough seats in the Knesset by itself to have a majority, so one of the bigger parties asks for support from the other parties, including the religious parties, to form a coalition government. This gives these parties a lot of power although they are small.

The Likud supports free market policies and limited government involvement in the economy. Likud believes strongly in protecting Israel’s security. It wants to give less away in the peace process for a negotiated agreement with the Palestinians and the Arab states.

The Labor Party supports government control of the economy, but also believes in a limited amount of free enterprise. The party says it will give more away for an agreement with the Palestinians and the Arab states.

Kadima is a centrist political party. It believes in both Israel’s security and continuing the peace process, and supports negotiating an agreement for peace with the Palestinians.

At independence, Israel was a poor country with little agricultural or industrial production. But Israel’s economy has grown tremendously since 1948. The nation now enjoys a relatively high standard of living, despite having few natural resources and a limited water supply.

Many immigrants came to Israel in the years immediately after independence. Many of these immigrants were skilled laborers and professionals who greatly aided the nation’s economic development.

Many of Israel’s service industry workers are employed by the government or by businesses owned by the government. Government workers provide many of the services that are needed by Israel’s large immigrant population, such as housing, education, and vocational training.

Tourism is one of the country’s important sources of income. Tourists visit many archaeological, historical and religious sites, museums, nature reserves and beach resorts in Israel.[11]

Tourists support many of Israel’s service industries, especially trade, restaurants, and hotels. Over 2.7 million foreign tourists visited Israel in 2009.[12]

Israeli factories produce such goods as chemical products, electronic equipment, fertilizer, paper, plastics, processed foods, scientific and optical instruments, textiles and clothing. The cutting of imported diamonds is a major industry. Government-owned plants manufacture equipment used by Israel’s large armed forces. Israel is the world’s largest exporter of drones.[13] Tel Aviv and Haifa are Israel’s major manufacturing centers.

Agriculture formerly employed a much larger percentage of Israel’s work force. But much of the work once performed by people is now performed by machines. Important agricultural products include citrus and other fruits, eggs, grain, poultry, and vegetables.

The government develops, helps finance, and controls agricultural activity, including fishing and forestry. Israel produces most of the food it needs to feed its people, except for grain. Agricultural exports provide enough income to pay for any necessary food imports. Most Israeli farmers use modern agricultural methods. Water drawn from the Sea of Galilee irrigates large amounts of land in Israel.

Most Israeli farms are organized as moshavim or kibbutzim. Israel also has some private farms.

The Dead Sea, the world’s saltiest body of water, is Israel’s leading source of minerals. Bromine, magnesium, potash and table salt are extracted from the sea. Potash, used mainly in fertilizers, is the most important mineral. In the Negev Desert, there are mines for phosphates, copper, clay, and gypsum.

Israel has few energy sources. It has no coal deposits or hydroelectric power resources and only small amounts of crude oil and natural gas. As a result, Israel depends on imported crude oil for gasoline and diesel for transportation, and coal producing electricity for its energy needs.

Solar energy energy from the sun is used widely to heat water for houses. Israel is developing other ways to use solar energy to power houses and factories.

In 2008, Israel began investing in building electric cars and the stations to charge them. There may also be large natural gas fields in the Mediterranean Sea that Israel could develop.

For 2006, Israeli exports grew by 11% to just over $29 billion; the hi-tech sector accounted for $14 billion, a 20% increase from the previous year.

Because it has few natural resources, Israel imports more goods than it exports. The country’s main imports include chemicals, computer equipment, grain, iron and steel, military equipment, petroleum products, rough diamonds, and textiles. Israel’s main exports are chemical products, citrus fruits, clothing, electronic equipment, fertilizers, polished diamonds, military equipment,and processed foods. The nation’s main trading partners include the Benelux countries (Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg), Germany, Italy, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

Israel has a well-developed transportation system. Most middle-class Israeli families either own a car or have one provided by their employer. Paved roads reach almost all parts of the country. Public transportation both in and between cities is provided primarily by bus.

Ben-Gurion Airport is Israel’s main international airport. It is near Tel Aviv. There are smaller airports are located at Atarot, near Jerusalem, and at Eilat. El Al, Israel’s international airline, flies regularly to the United States, Canada, Europe, and parts of Africa and Asia. Israel has three major deepwater ports Haifa, Ashdod, and Eilat.

Israel’s communication system is one of the best in the Middle East. Israel has about 30 daily newspapers, about half of which are in Hebrew. The rest are in Arabic, Yiddish, or one of several foreign languages. The Israel Broadcasting Authority, a public corporation set up by the government, runs the TV and nonmilitary radio stations.

See original here:
Israel – Simple English Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Written on October 3rd, 2015 & filed under Israel Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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Christians for Israel in The Netherlands organized two services for confession and repentance on Monday evening 21st September. We have treated the Jewish people very badly. We have mistreated and misused the words which were entrusted to Israel, said Rev. Kees van Velzen who led the service in Woerden (Netherlands). More…

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, together with other top UN officials and senior diplomats from some 50 nations, have gathered on September 22, 2015 at the UN Rose garden in New York to celebrate the Jewish New Year Rosh Hashana and prepare for the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur. The unique event was hosted by the Israeli Mission to the UN and the Forum for Cultural Diplomacy, which is a European Coalition for Israel initiative to the UN. More…

Christians for Israel seeks to bring a Biblical witness to the churches about the coming of Gods Kingdom; to warn the nations; to comfort Israel; and to help the Church to prepare for the Coming of the Lord. We are a network of national ministries, active in over 40 countries worldwide. This Report provides an overview of the activities of C4I International from 1st January 2014 to 30th June 2015. More…

Since the so-called Arab Spring broke out in 2010, the Middle East has been thrown in utter chaos, and with it, the rest of the world. Recent months have witnessed a growing flood of refugees fleeing violence, war and terror in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Eritrea and many other countries. Europe is now confronted with what some describe as the greatest demographic upheaval since WWII. More…

Quite recently (at the end of August, 2015), we helped one Jewish family Korobka, five people in total, to make Aliyah.They fled from Luhansk in the East of Ukraine and lived for two and a half months in our ‘shelter’ in Kiev before all their paperwork was done! On the day of their departure, the Korobka family told us they would love the other part of their big family to join them in Israel. More…

Last August (2015) we were blessed with a visit from Rev Willem Glashouwer, President of Christians for Israel International and a renowned Bible teacher. During the ten day speaking tour Rev Glashouwer taught on the themes Why Israel? Why Jerusalem? Why End Times?. Together with Derek Prince Ministries and Shalom Israel Melbourne, Ebenezer Operation Exodus co-hosted two one-day conferences and arranged visits to several church services and meetings in both Sydney and Melbourne. Rev Glashouwer was also invited to give a lunchtime lecture at NSW Parliament House, hosted by Rev the Hon Fred Nile MLC. His further speaking engagements included a Korean prayer group and two Korean-church evening meetings. More…

Masha and her husband Sergei were peacefully living in Luhansk and had excellent jobs. Sergei is a military veteran and quite recently they were making very good money, however, once perestroika happened in the beginning of the nineties of the last century their lives were completely turned upside down. They bought the usual inexpensive car Lada and were very happy about it! More…

Olesya Bogolei has just stepped on the path to make her dream a reality! Today in the morning I (Nataliya Krizhanovski) met a very interesting passenger an on-coming olim. Right now she makes the first step flies to Israel as part of the Na’ale-program. Its an incredible opportunity for teenagers to enter a school in Israel for 2 years. Some call it: “First children Aliyah, then parents”. More…

Egypt’s War on Terrorism Bears Fruit


This Yom Kippur, we should ask Ethiopian Israelis for forgiveness


Jordan’s Shameful Record


German intelligence chief warns refugees could be ‘easy prey for Islamists’


Jerusalem Post

Man beats girlfriend to death in middle of Tel Aviv street


According to Tel Aviv police, the an argument broke out between the man and his significant other on Chelnov street in south Tel Aviv near the corner of Matalon Street.

IDF strikes Syrian military targets in response to stray fire into Israel


For second time in two days apparent errant fire from civil war in Syria lands in Israeli territory.

Errant projectile from Syria again explodes in Golan, none hurt


For second time in two days apparent stray rocket fire from civil war in Syria lands in Israeli territory.

Christian schools, Education Ministry reach agreement to end strike


33,000 pupils from church schools set to return to studies on Monday.

The rest is here:
Christians for Israel International – Start your biblical …

Written on September 28th, 2015 & filed under Anti-Semitsm Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

The school has committed to both strengthening and reviving the Christian Church in the Holy Land. Historically, evangelicals in the region do not have the reputation of playing well with others. Thus, the ecumenical gathering on Saturday, September 19, was significant.

Rev. Dr. Mae Elise Cannon

Author, “Forgive Us: Confessions of a Compromised Faith,” ‘Just Spirituality: How Faith Practices Fuel Social Action’ and ‘Social Justice Handbook: Small Steps for a Better World’

God makes several promises to Abraham in Genesis 12-17; these also involve Sarah, extending further to the world. The opening promise in Genesis 12:1-3 involves leaving the familiarity of home and traveling to an unknown land to be shown later. That must have taken courage!

While the media is currently having lots of fun asking their hypothetical “gotcha” question over a non-existent Muslim candidate, the possibility that Bernie Sanders could become America’s first Jewish president should be a valid topic for conversation in the midst of this campaign.

Over the years, I raised four children and two stepchildren, did freelance journalism, and clung to my American-born confidence in civic discourse, the conviction that dialogue and compromise can untangle even the knottiest disagreements. But Middle Eastern reality hit me hard.

Diana Bletter

Writer, Author, ‘A Remarkable Kindness’ (HarperCollins, 2015), ‘The Mom Who Took Off On Her Motorcycle’

Washington should not pretend that the conflict and settlements are foreign issues. Its own citizens are being affected on both sides. Israel has shown it cannot be trusted to effectively handle settler terrorism and the United States should not leave the fate of its citizens in the hands of a foreign government.

Ibrahim Fraihat

Senior Foreign Policy Fellow at the Brookings Institution’s Doha Center and Adjunct Professor at Georgetown University in Qatar

After losing my son, I joined the Parents Circle-Families Forum, an organization of more than 600 bereaved Israeli and Palestinian families, who like me, have chosen a path of reconciliation, rather than revenge.

Robi Damelin

Spokesperson, Parents Circle – Families Forum (PCFF)

President Obama promised that as soon as the Iran nuclear deal is closed he will refocus on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. Given this shift of focus is now in sight, Obama should grant U.S. recognition of Palestine as an independent state, albeit a militarily occupied one.

Sam Bahour

Palestinian-American business development consultant

A review of Israel’s detention policy reveals how outrageous and convoluted the legal system behind this policy is. Israel maintains a perpetual state of emergency as a political tool to provide the legal rationale, however twisted, for the policy of continuing administrative detention.

While I didn’t watch all the winning films, I did watch other movies that in my humble opinion, are more current and relevant in their subject matter and themes.

At this time of year exactly thirty years ago, a Palestinian militant named Abu al-Abbas sat behind his office desk in Tunis, laying the final touches on an operation scheduled for October 1985.

Sami Moubayed

Former Scholar at the Carnegie Middle East Center – Beirut

If GCC officials slowly pivot toward the perception that their long-term interests reside in an improved relationship toward Iran, such a strategic shift would be seen in Riyadh as an erosion of GCC unity against an emboldened Iran.

Mahmoud Abbas holds many titles. He is the head of the Fateh movement, chairman of the PLO’s executive committee and president of the state of Palestine. Technically and legally, the Palestine Liberation Organization is superior.

Israel’s multiple fault lines — secular vs. religious, Jewish vs. Palestine and controversial calls for a boycott of the Jewish state — are exploding on the soccer pitch.

James Dorsey

Senior fellow, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies

Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee’s August campaign trip to Israel challenged longstanding U.S. policy towards Israel and the Palestinian territories.

When a Palestinian Christian says, “If the only choice is between violent resistance to the Occupation or submission, you must understand that for us, submission is not an option,” it needs to be heard not as a threat or ultimatum, but as a plea.

John H. Thomas

Ordained UCC minister with a forty year career in local and national UCC ministries, including General Minister and President, 1999 to 2009.

Dr. Imad Abu Kishek, the President of Al-Quds University, sat across from me as we celebrated Iftar, Ramadan’s nightly break-fast meal. The table was full of students and faculty from Brandeis and Al-Quds, all of whom share a common goal: to reestablish the partnership between our schools.

Palestine: Pictures, Videos, Breaking News

Written on September 28th, 2015 & filed under Palestine Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The Source

Source Homel Introduction l Connecting to Illinoisl Places to Go Primary Sources to See

TPS EIU Staff Pick l Primary Sources in the Classrooml loc.govl PDF with Images

This publication is created to be a source of information and inspiration for teachers as they incorporate Library of Congress digitized primary sources and resources into instruction by Teaching with Primary Sources at Eastern Illinois University.

Children during the Holocaust Introduction

Children are extremely vulnerable during times of war. During the holocaust, Nazis considered Jewish youth useless because young children were unable to perform hard labor. The exact number murdered by the Nazis is unknown but it is estimated that 1.5 million Jewish children were killed, victims of genocide.1

As Jewish families were sent to Nazi concentration camps, the survival of small children was nearly non-existent. Most were sent straight to gas chambers or shot in front of ditches dug for mass graves. Older children survived by being forced into hard labor, and babies born in camps were killed immediately. Some children were selected for medical experiments, especially twins. When Auschwitz was liberated in 1945, only 451 children were found among the 9,000 survivors.2

There were different ways that Jewish children were able to survive the Holocaust. Many went into hiding, which meant having to disappear living in difficult conditions. Staying quiet and not moving for hours at a time was difficult for small children. Under floor boards, in sewers and up in haylofts were a few of the places chosen to hide Jewish children. Many of these children didn’t play outside or even see sunshine for years. The efforts of Kindertransport brought Jewish children from Nazi occupied countries to England, but children had to separate from their parents and live with a host family with different traditions and customs. Jewish children with “Aryan” features were able to hide in plain sight. Bearing counterfeit documents, these children were often able to travel outside or even attend school while still in hiding. They had to immerse themselves in a new life that came with a new religion, name and history to learn. This was easier for young children but older children had to forget their religious customs, name and Jewish family. They had to hide their Jewish heritage from classmates and friends, because even a suggestion that they were Jewish could put them and their host families in danger. Afraid of becoming comfortable and losing a connection to their past, many of these children became isolated. Finding Christian families to take a Jewish child was difficult and families took responsibility for these children not knowing if their parents would survive to reclaim them.

The end of the war was only a continuance of the suffering for Jewish children and their families. Parents could search for years trying to locate their children. If the children were found it wasn’t always a happy experience, as children sent into hiding very young often didn’t remember their parents. The people they grew up with were family to them. Some rescuers became attached and did not want to return the children to their Jewish parents but most often, parents never reunited with their children. Death in concentration camps claimed the lives of many Jewish parents.

Connecting to Illinois

Claiming the right of free speech, members of the National Socialist Party of America planned to march in Skokie, Illinois in 1977. Claiming the right to not live in fear, the Jewish citizens of Skokie planned to stop them. Skokie is a northern suburb of Chicago and after World War II many Jewish families settled there. They came for the freedom to never be persecuted again and brought with them horrific memories of the Holocaust. It had been 32 years since the end of World War II and while not forgetting, many Jews had moved on and felt safe in the United States. Skokie’s population in the 1970s was about 70,000 and of these citizens about 40,000 were Jewish and 5,000 were Holocaust survivors.3

Skokie gained national attention when Frank Collin, a Nazi, and members of the National Socialist Party of America began terrorizing the village. Skokie was not the Nazi’s first venue of choice. Collin and his Nazi sympathizers wanted to rally at Chicago’s Marquette Park but the Chicago Park District denied his request. Collin knew fighting this decision could take years so he began looking at areas outside of Chicago. Skokie seemed logical because of the large Jewish population, the group the Nazi’s despised. The media would cover every aspect of the fight to march and any press was good press for the Nazis. Additionally, fighting a village for the right to march would be easier than fighting the city of Chicago. Holocaust survivors shared few details and rarely spoke of the torture endured at the hands of the Nazis, but if they were going to fight Frank Collin and his group they would need to break their silence and tell the world their story.

The battle began in court. The lower courts in Illinois upheld Skokie’s right to not allow the march in their village. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) represented the neo-Nazis from the state courts all the way to the United States Supreme Court. The ACLU did not represent the Nazi’s message, but their right to present that message. If someone did not want to hear or see the Nazi marches, they had the right to not attend. Because of their representation of the group, the ACLU lost thousands of members. Lawyers for Skokie also warned of uncontrollable violence if the march was allowed to take place.

After a year long battle, the decision was based on the United States Supreme Court decision. The court ruled that the village of Skokie deprived Frank Colin and the National Socialist Party of America’s First Amendment right by not allowing them to march. The Nazi’s right to rally was upheld and they had the right to state their beliefs no matter how reprehensive. Just as the group won their case to march in Skokie, they declined. They pursued Marquette Park and were able to rally there, behind a grove of trees where it was hard to be seen or heard.4

Places to Go & Primary Sources to See

Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center

When neo-Nazis threatened to march in Skokie in the late 1970s, Holocaust survivors around the world were shocked. They realized that despite their desire to leave the past behind, they could no longer remain silent. In the wake of these attempted marches, Chicago-area survivors joined together to form the Holocaust Memorial Foundation of Illinois. The group focused on combating hate with education.

The Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center is dedicated to preserving the legacy of the Holocaust by honoring the memories of those who were lost and by teaching universal lessons that combat hatred, prejudice and indifference. The museum fulfills its mission through the exhibition, preservation and interpretation of its collections and through education programs and initiatives that foster the promotion of human rights and the elimination of genocide. Since 1981, the organization has educated school and community groups through its speakers’ bureau and existing museum. About 30,000 students visited the original site in Skokie in 2005. The new facility located just west of the Edens Expressway, will serve more than 250,000 annual visitors, reading a significant portion of the nearly 2.5 million Illinois school children.

TPS EIU Staff Pick

Before 1944 there was no single word to describe the inhumane treatment the Nazis inflicted on Jews. Seeking to describe these acts, Raphael Lamkin, a Jewish lawyer who escaped Nazi Poland formed the word genocide. Geno is the Greek word for race or tribe and cide is the Latin word for killing.7 Genocide is defined at as the deliberate and systematic extermination of a national, racial, political or cultural group. In 1945, the International Military Tribunal, held in Nuremberg, Germany, charged top Nazis with “crimes against humanity.” The word genocide was used as a descriptive but not legal term.5 After the Holocaust, many governments declared that never again would another genocide occur, yet today genocide continues to take place all over the world.

On December 9, 1948, the United Nations approved the convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crimes of Genocide.5 This convention established “genocide” as: any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy; in whole or in part, a national, ethical, racial or religious groups as such; (a) Killing members of the group; (b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group; (c) Deliberately inflicting on the group condition of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part; (d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group; (e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.5

The law was in place, but the first conviction of genocide did not occur until September 2, 1998.6 Jean-Paul Akayesu, the mayor of Taba, participated and encouraged the mass killing of the Tutsi population during the Rwandan genocide. Like the Nazis in Germany blamed Jews, the Hutu people blamed Rwanda’s growing social and economic problems on the minority Tutsi people. The use of propaganda against the Tutsi people began and violence escalated when the plane of President Habyarimana, a Hutu, was shot down on April 6, 1994.7Anyone suspected of being Tutsi was killed, entire families were murdered and women were brutally raped. It is estimated that 200,000 people participated in the genocide and 800,000 men, women and children were killed.7 Foreign nations refused to acknowledge the genocide. Eventually, Jean-Paul Akayesu was captured and put on trial in 1997 and found guilty, he is serving a life sentence for his participation in the genocide against the Tutsi people.

A region the size of France, Darfur is home to about six million people from nearly 100 tribes.8 The people are mostly African farmers or Arab nomads. A coup in 1989, by General Omar Bashir, a supporter of the Arab nomads brought the National Islamic Front to power and made him president of Sudan. Tension rose between the nomads and farmers concerning land rights. In 2003, rebels pressed the issue of the shrinking area for farms and the failure of the Sudan government to protect farmers. The government’s answer was to release Arab militia known as Janjaweed who destroyed over 400 villages forcing millions of African farmers to flee their homes.8

The Sudanese government refuses to stop the activities of the Janjaweed. They are allowed to murder, rape and pillage the African farmers. This ongoing genocide has claimed 400,000 lives and displaced over 2,500,000 people.8 It is estimated that more than 100 people die each day and 5000 die each month.8

In 2005, the International Criminal Court (ICC) began an investigation into human rights violations in Darfur. The Sudan government refused to cooperate with the investigation. On March 4, 2009, President Omar al Bashir became the first sitting president indicted by the ICC for directing a campaign of mass killings, rape and pillage against Darfur citizens.8 Despite an arrest warrant, Bashir was re-elected as president in April 2010.10

Genocide often goes unrecognized until the death roll rises. Gregory Stanton, founder of Genocide Watch, says that genocide follows eight different steps; classification, symbolization, dehumanization, organization, polarization, preparation, extermination and denial.9 Station goes on to state, “In the past century alone, there have been 55 genocides, leaving 70 million people dead.”9The world must learn to recognized these steps before the hatred takes even one life. The act of genocide leaves families torn, children orphaned and devastation beyond repair.

Primary Sources in the Classroom

The Teacher’s PageThe Library of Congress offers classroom materials and professional development to help teachers effectively use primary sources from the Library’s vast digital collection sin their teaching.

Presentations and Activities

Immigration. Observe the building of the nation. How have immigrants shaped this land? The table for Polish/Russian immigrants has a subtitle Decades of Disaster describing the struggles of Jews during the rise of the Nazi party and how Jewish Americans tried to help.

American Memory.American Memory provides free and open access through the Internet to written and spoken words, sound recordings, still and moving images, prints, maps, and sheet music that document the American experience. It is a digital record of American history and creativity. These materials from the collections of the Library of Congress and other institutions, chronicle historical events, people, places and ideas that continue to shape America, serving the public as a resource for education and lifelong learning.

The Hannah Arendt Papers at the Library of Congress. The papers of the author, educator, and political philosopher Hannah Arendt (1906-1975) are one of the principle sources for the study of modern intellectual life. The Adolf Eichmann file deals with what was perhaps Arendt’s best-known and most controversial work, Eichmann in Jerusalem. Arendt’s conclusions about the nature and character of totalarian rule in Nazi Germany, and her interpretation of the Jewish response to the Holocaust, prompted strenuous and often emotional debates.

American Life Histories: Manuscripts from the Federal Writers’ Project, 1936-1940. This collection contains 2900 biographical interviews obtained during the Depression years of 1936-1940. Writers contributed to this project through an employment program of the Works Progress Administration. The writerschronicled interviews with Americans asked to recall significant events in their lives. The Holocaust is not mentioned specifically but there are many oral histories about Jewish life and opinions on Germany and Adolf Hitler.

America from the Great Depression to World War II: Photographs from the FSA-OWI, 1935-1945. The black-and-white photographs of the Farm Security Administration Office of War Information collection are a landmark in the history of documentary photography. The images show Americans at home, at work, and at lay, with an emphasis on rural and small-town life and the adverse effects of the Great Depression. Images pertaining to the war effort and defeating Nazi Germany and images from the Nazi saboteur trial are found in this collection.

Prints and Photographs. The collection of the Prints and Photographs Division include photographs, fine and popular prints and drawings, posters, architectural and engineering drawings.

Posters: Artist Posters. The online Artist Posters consists of a small but growing proportion of the more than 85,000 posters in the Artist Poster filing series. This series highlights the work of poster artist, both identified and anonymous. It includes posters from the nineteenth century to the present day, from the United States and other countries. German propaganda posters with Hitler slogans for his presidential run and the dangers of the Jews to the Aryan nation are found in this collection.

Miscellaneous Items in High Demand. The “Miscellaneous Items” category consist of more than 80,000 descriptions of individual images from a variety of the Prints & Photographs Division’s photographic, print, drawing, and architectural holdings. Photographs dealing with concentration camps show the disturbing reality of the life in these camps and could be too graphic for some students.

Webcasts. Streaming video presentations on all sorts of subjects form book talks by authors, scientific breakthroughs in preservation, and historical footage from the dawn of film.

Holocaust Cantata. The Master Choral of Washington, in partnership with the Library of Congress Veterans History Project, presented the “Holocaust Cantata: Songs from the Camps”, a work based on the songs and letters written by Nazi concentration camp prisoners. The cantata, composed and conducted by Donald McCullough, stands as a tribute to the victims and survivors of the Holocaust.

Breaking the Holocaust Silence: A Hidden Hasidic Text of 1947. Gerson Greenberg delivered the 10th Annual Myron M. Weistein Memorial Lecture on the Hebraic Book.

Women Against Tyranny: Poems of the Resistance During the Holocaust. Davi Walders speaks about her book “Women Against Tyranny: Poems of the Resistance During the Holocaust.

Emissary of the Doomed. The little-known story of one man’s attempt to save the Jews of Hungary.

Ibsen and Hitler: The Playwright, the Plagiarist and the Plot for the Third Reich. In “Ibsen and Hitler”, Steven Sage discusses three Ibsen plays, “An Enemy of the People”, “The Master Builder”, and “Emperor and Galilean”, which may have inspired Hitler’s writings, speeches and thinking, and quite possibly some of his actions. When Hitler read Ibsen in 1908, he was swayed by a German literary cult then current, which held certain Ibsen dramas to be “prophecy”. Through the years, Sage argues, Hitler paraphrased lines from the plays “and restaged highlights of their plots while assigning himself the starring role in this grand drama.”

Exhibitions. Discover exhibitions that bring the world’s largest collection of knowledge, culture and creativity to life through dynamic displays of artifacts enhanced by interactivity.

Herblock!: Psychopathic Ward. Herb Block attacked the isolationist policy of the United States government long before Pearl Harbor was bombed on December 7, 1941, because he understood that the fascists in Europe were an international issue. Block’s cartoons attacking Francisco Franco in Spain, Benito Mussolini in Italy, and Adolf Hitler in Germany demonstrated his matured style, with his deliberate and assured use of ink brush and pencil. The Depression and the war in Europe politicized Block, and he developed opinions that, at times, were at odds with those of his publishers.

Herblock’s History: Political Cartoons from the Crash to the Millennium. Through his cartoons, Block warns of the danger represented by fascist political gains in Europe and Adolf Hitler’s rise to power in Germany at the headof the Nazi party. During the 1930s and 1940s, Herb Block was an early supporter of aid to England and to European allies faced with Nazi aggression. He cited Nazi outrages, giving them graphic form and visual power. He drew metaphors for the resilience of the human spirit, the inhumanity of war, and the duplicity of dictators.


1.United States Holocaust Memorial Museum,Children During the Holocaust, Accessed 9.13.12

2. Jewish Virtual Library,Hidden Children and the Holocaust, Accessed 9.13.12

3. The Huffington Post,Remembering the Nazis in Skokie, by Geoffrey R. Stone, April 19, 2009, Accessed 9.17.12

4. Illinois Periodicals Online,Nazi march, What’s it all about?, by Ed McManus, November 1978, Issue 13, Accessed 9.17.12

5. United States Holocaust Memorial Museum,What is Genocide?, Accessed 9.18.12

6. United States Holocaust Memorial Museum,Rwanda: The First Conviction for Genocide, Accessed 9.18.12

7. United Human Rights Council,Genocide in Rwanda, Accessed 9.18.12

8. United Human Rights Council,Genocide in Darfur, Accessed 9.20.12

9. Genocide Watch,Genocide, unlike hurricanes, are predictable, says world expert, and Iran is following the pattern, by MItch Ginsburg, The Times of Israel, September 18, 2012

10. British Broadcasting System,Profile: Sudan’s Omar al Bashir,December 5, 2011, Accessed 9.21.12

Continued here:
The Holocaust


January 31, 2009 | Associated Press

A bishop recently rehabilitated by Pope Benedict XVI expressed regret Friday to the pontiff for the “distress and problems” he caused by his statements denying the Holocaust. In a letter to the Vatican, Bishop Richard Williamson, who in a recent TV interview denied that 6 million Jews were murdered during the Holocaust, called his remarks “imprudent.”


January 25, 2008 | From Times Wire Reports

Israel’s Holocaust memorial institution launched an Arabic version of its website, with vivid photos of Nazi atrocities and video of survivors’ testimony, to combat Holocaust denial in the Arab and Muslim world. Among those featured on the Yad Vashem site is Dina Beitler, a survivor of the Nazi genocide that killed 6 million Jews in World War II. Beitler, who was shot and left for dead in 1941, tells her story on the site, with Arabic subtitles. “Holocaust denial in various countries exists, and so it is important that people see us, the Holocaust survivors, that they’ll listen to our testimonies, and learn the legacy of the Holocaust — also in Arabic,” Beitler, 73, said at Yad Vashem.


July 7, 2007

While I agree with Tim Rutten’s thoughts [about the lack of media coverage on threats against Salman Rushdie] (“Where Is the West’s Outcry?,” June 23), letter writer Gina Nahai needs to check her facts before spewing forth more incorrect information (Letters, June 30). It is absolutely untrue that British schools decided to not mention the Holocaust in their textbooks or curriculum. One history department in northern U.K.


January 27, 2007 | From the Associated Press

The General Assembly on Friday adopted a resolution introduced by the United States that condemns any denial of the Holocaust. The resolution did not single out any country, but Israel and the United States both suggested that Iran should take note, especially after it provoked widespread anger last month by holding a conference aimed at casting doubt on the Nazi genocide of Jews during World War II. Iran was the only nation to reject the measure, calling it an attempt by the U.S.


December 20, 2006 | MAX BOOT, MAX BOOT is a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations.

MAHMOUD Ahmadinejad has an impeccable sense of timing. Just a week after the Iraq Study Group recommended a heart-to-heart with him, the president of Iran convened a conference in Tehran to examine whether the Holocaust really occurred. The answer from such “scholars” as David Duke, the notorious former Ku Klux Klan grand wizard, was a resounding no. On one level, Ahmadinejad’s embrace of Holocaust denial might seem surprising.


December 13, 2006

WHAT’S THE perfect way to top off a Holocaust denial conference featuring input from the likes of such scholars as former KKK Grand Wizard David Duke? Why, calling for Israel’s obliteration, of course. Iran wrapped its two-day gathering of neo-Nazis, hard-line racists and half-baked historians with a rousing speech from Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Tuesday.

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Press Release

Date: Thursday November 29, 2012 To: All International and Kenyan Media Houses From: The Kenya Diaspora Alliance, Global Headquarters

Kenyans in the diaspora have expressed dismay and disbelief after the revelation by Hon. Eugene Wamalwa, Kenyas Minister for Justice and Constitutional Affairs that the Cabinet of President Mwai Kibakis and Prime Minister Raila Odingas Ruling Coalition has expressly decided that eligible voters outside of Kenya will not be able to vote in the General Election slated for March 2013.

In their response at a hastily convened emergency teleconference immediately following the Tuesday November 27, 2012 Cabinet announcement, leaders of the Kenya Diaspora Alliance (KDA), a transnational Federation comprising 28 Kenya Diaspora organizations, overwhelmingly condemned the decision terming it unilateral and unacceptable.

In an unprecedented show of commitment, the alliance members passed a raft of resolutions challenging the authorities to reverse the decision and ensure Diaspora Kenyans are not denied their right to vote. Said the session chairman, Mr. Robinson Gichuhi. Citizens right to choose leaders is an inalienable right. This right is enshrined in Kenyas new constitution under Article 83, sub-section 3. Diaspora Kenyans are within their right to demand for their full participation in the historic March 2013 elections, Mr. Gichuhi added.

The leaders dismissed the allegation by the cabinet that the Independent Electoral Commission (IEBC) lacked preparedness to handle the massive exercise of the registration of voters abroad. We have been trying to work hand-in-hand with the IEBC for over 3 years and even offered financial and technical support; but the IEBC, through its chairman, rejected our offer at a Kenya Embassy in Washington DC organized meeting in early 2012. Hence the citation by the government that it lacked logistical and financial resources was really an excuse to disenfranchise Kenyans abroad because they know the impact their participation will have on the outcome of the elections, said Mr. Hebron Mosomi.

We even offered and proceeded to build an online system that is secure, tested and elaborate enough to ensure that any Kenyan living outside of Kenya would be able to exercise their constitutional right per Section 83 Sub-section (3) of the Kenya Constitution, said Ms. Mkawasi Mcharo, one of the participants. . The site, allows eligible Diaspora voters to sign-up via the Internet (and extensible to accept secure SMS), should IEBC accept to use online registration and voting for Diaspora. KDA aims to have 1 million eligible, potential Diaspora voters to sign-up by close of registration date.

The leaders could not come to terms with the statement from the Minister that it is not practical for the them to take part now. The leaders at the meeting were not impressed by the total lack of order demonstrated by the Cabinets statement and felt that it was an indication that there are forces within the Kenyan political system that are bent on stopping the Diaspora from becoming full participants in Kenyas political development, said Dr. Githua Kariuki, Mr. Alex Momanyi, Ms. Annette Ruah and Mr. Symon Ogeto. However, the alliance vowed to continue to fight for the Diasporas rightful place in Kenyas national affairs.

The leaders joined Kenyans in the Diaspora in condemning this decision overwhelmingly as an unwarranted retraction of a right entrenched in the new Kenyan constitution. They consider the grounds for the cabinet decision injudicious, frivolous and, without foundation in law and in fact, said Dr. William Yimbo. Indeed, the action seemed to confirm their fear that an invisible hand could have been behind the shocking, retrogressive ruling against a court petition KDA had filed to facilitate Diaspora voting and representation. It only fortified their resolve to proceed to expeditiously appeal and vigorously contest the court decision in the Appeal Court, added Dr. Shem Ochuodho while in the meeting via global link.

Shifting Goal Posts

The leaders at the meeting were of the opinion that authorities in Kenya are using conjecture, innuendo and subterfuge to hoodwink and disenfranchise them. For example, the shifting of goal posts by using controvertible rationalizations of their actions such as logistics, the un-researched numbers of Kenyans living overseas, and, resources, among others. It goes to show that the authorities are desperate for an excuse to deny the Diaspora their rights, said Mr. Benson Metho and Mr. Isaac Newton Kinity.

Legal Question

The legality of the Cabinet to make such a move came into question during this leaders meeting. It appears that the Cabinet has over-stepped its bounds for obvious reasons, The leaders declared that the Kenyan Cabinet does not have the authority to stop the Diaspora from voting. They felt that the announcement sounded like some decrees announced in some banana republics and had ill-intentions. The leaders asserted that the decision has no merit and no standing. The Cabinet ignored the legal and due process and in a meeting that was not publicized at all, they made a decision that they will stand to regret. came forth a general consensus among the attendees. What the Cabinet purported to do was illegal and unconstitutional. It usurped the authority of IEBC (which is the body constitutionally mandated to conduct elections) and issued a legally untenable decree, said one of KDAs legal counsel, Mr HenryOngeri.

Polling Stations & Online Voting

In the case of the United States, 3 polling stations as recommended by the IEBC was seen as impractical and not in line with a true effort to have full participation of Kenyans in the region.

To date, the diaspora is aware that some funds had already been allocated to voter registration and the voting process. This, the leaders said, was a step in the right direction. For an adverse statement, however, to come from a source that was not directly involved in the implementation of the constitution, demonstrates a total lack of political sensitivity and was seen as an affront to Kenyans abroad. The diaspora has been pushing for an elaborate system of voting that would not require travel to any polling station. KDA research associates indicate that several countries around the world, have effectively and successfully used online voting. . The research associates and computer experts within the diaspora are prepared to hand over and fine-tune the bank-standard secure system they have created that would reduce costs and make the work of IEBC easier.


In light of the outrage within the Kenya Community, leaders at the meeting also endorsed a potential use of demonstrations around the world if the Kenyan Cabinet fails to rescind this decision including the adverse adjudication of the lawsuit that KDA filed in mid-2012. Kenyans are ready to bring attention to this disenfranchisement. We are not taking this lightly, Mr. Peter Keere said.

There are credible reports that Kenyans around the world are already planning demonstrations even prior to our press release. This shows the anger and aggravation that statements coming from Nairobi are producing.

On the Diaspora Voter Set-up

1. The Kenyan cabinet overstepped its authority in the announcement made to parliament Tuesday. The Diaspora, including legal experts, feel that the matter lies squarely within the realm of IEBC responsibility;

2. An elaborate online system should be sought and implemented to solve the issue of polling stations. IEBC should stop pretending that the Internet does not exist and take advantage of major security advancement to ensure a free and fair election. If it has to be a physical voting exercise, then there are no known or written parameters on the number of voters required to establish a voter registration center. BVR kits should be deployed or set up at polling stations recommended by a recent report that had been submitted by the Diaspora to Kenyas Ministry of Foreign Affairs. There are numerous voter registration/polling centers with less than 1000 eligible voters that have been readily supplied with BVR kits, staff and other logistics back in Kenya.

3. Proper diaspora headcount is being coordinated by several groups, businesses and individuals in the United States and in other parts of the world, and can be concluded with IEBC or GoK cooperation before mid-December. Figuring ranging from 26,000 to 150,000 Kenyans abroad is another example of attempts to bar the Diaspora from effective participation in a free and fair election.

4. The Kenyan Diaspora has been ready and still willing to use its technical knowhow and expertise to make the next general election a model exercise free of flaw and dispute. Failure to include Diaspora in the vote will be a sure recipe for protracted post-election law suits challenging validity of the vote, a situation that can be avoided NOW.

KDA Resolutions

In this extra-ordinary meeting within the Kenyan diaspora, the leaders discussed and ratified various resolutions and made pronouncements to counter the announcement from Nairobi. Resolutions were centered on the following:

The meeting was attended by the following: Mr. Robinson Gichuhi (DMK), Ms. Mkawasi Mcharo (KCA), Mr. Ben Metho (KDDF), Mr. Hebron Mosomi (K4C), Mr. Peter Keere (Atktive)., Ms. Annette Ruah (KIC), Dr. Githua Kariuki (IADDS), Mr. Isaac Newton Kinity (KIKIMO), Mr. Alex Momanyi (KINC), Dr. William Yimbo (KDDF), Mr. Henry Ongeri (KDA Legal Counsel) and Mr. Symon Ogeto (CKO), Dr. Shem Ochuodho (NVK), Mr. Anthony Lenaiyara (China), Mr. Anthony Mwaura (Finland), Mr. Thomas Musau (UK), Apologies from: Mr. Ngethe Mbiyu (KDMJ), Ms. Sharon Opuge (Iceland), Mr.Johvine.Wanyingo (Nigeria), Mr Francis Opondo, ), Mr. Shem Okore (Zimbabwe), Mr. Oscar OLawrence (KUDIMA, Dubai) and also other leaders worldwide who could not attend due to time difference.


For more information and further details, please contact the Kenya Diaspora Alliance at

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Kenya Diaspora Alliance (KDA) | The New Kenya Has Arrived

Written on August 30th, 2015 & filed under Diasphora Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The IsraeliPalestinian conflict (Arabic: – al-Niza’a al’Filastini al ‘Israili; Hebrew: – Ha’Sikhsukh Ha’Yisraeli-Falestini) is the ongoing struggle between Israelis and Palestinians that began in the mid-20th century.[5] The conflict is wide-ranging, and the term is sometimes also used in reference to the earlier sectarian conflict in Mandatory Palestine, between the Jewish yishuv and the Arab population under British rule. The IsraeliPalestinian conflict has formed the core part of the wider ArabIsraeli conflict. It has been referred to as the world’s “most intractable conflict”.[7][8][9]

Despite a long-term peace process and the general reconciliation of Israel with Egypt and Jordan, Israelis and Palestinians have failed to reach a final peace agreement. The remaining key issues are: mutual recognition, borders, security, water rights, control of Jerusalem, Israeli settlements,[10]Palestinian freedom of movement,[11] and resolving Palestinian claims of a right of return for their refugees. The violence of the conflict, in a region rich in sites of historic, cultural and religious interest worldwide, has been the object of numerous international conferences dealing with historic rights, security issues and human rights, and has been a factor hampering tourism in and general access to areas that are hotly contested.[12]

Many attempts have been made to broker a two-state solution, involving the creation of an independent Palestinian state alongside the State of Israel (after Israel’s establishment in 1948). In 2007, the majority of both Israelis and Palestinians, according to a number of polls, preferred the two-state solution over any other solution as a means of resolving the conflict.[13] Moreover, a majority of Jews see the Palestinians’ demand for an independent state as just, and thinks Israel can agree to the establishment of such a state.[14] The majority of Palestinians and Israelis in the West Bank and Gaza Strip have expressed a preference for a two-state solution.[15][16][unreliable source?] Mutual distrust and significant disagreements are deep over basic issues, as is the reciprocal scepticism about the other side’s commitment to upholding obligations in an eventual agreement.[17]

Within Israeli and Palestinian society, the conflict generates a wide variety of views and opinions. This highlights the deep divisions which exist not only between Israelis and Palestinians, but also within each society. A hallmark of the conflict has been the level of violence witnessed for virtually its entire duration. Fighting has been conducted by regular armies, paramilitary groups, terror cells, and individuals. Casualties have not been restricted to the military, with a large number of fatalities in civilian population on both sides. There are prominent international actors involved in the conflict.

The two parties engaged in direct negotiation are the Israeli government, currently led by Benjamin Netanyahu, and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), currently headed by Mahmoud Abbas. The official negotiations are mediated by an international contingent known as the Quartet on the Middle East (the Quartet) represented by a special envoy, that consists of the United States, Russia, the European Union, and the United Nations. The Arab League is another important actor, which has proposed an alternative peace plan. Egypt, a founding member of the Arab League, has historically been a key participant.

Since 2006, the Palestinian side has been fractured by conflict between the two major factions: Fatah, the traditionally dominant party, and its later electoral challenger, Hamas. After Hamas’s electoral victory in 2006, the Quartet (United States, Russia, United Nations, and European Union) conditioned future foreign assistance to the Palestinian Authority (PA) on the future government’s commitment to non-violence, recognition of the State of Israel, and acceptance of previous agreements. Hamas rejected these demands,[18] which resulted in the Quartet’s suspension of its foreign assistance program, and the imposition of economic sanctions by the Israelis. A year later, following Hamas’s seizure of power in the Gaza Strip in June 2007, the territory officially recognized as the State of Palestine (former Palestinian National Authority the Palestinian interim governing body) was split between Fatah in the West Bank, and Hamas in the Gaza Strip. The division of governance between the parties had effectively resulted in the collapse of bipartisan governance of the Palestinian National Authority (PA). However, in 2014, a Palestinian Unity Government, composed of both Fatah and Hamas, was formed. The latest round of peace negotiations began in July 2013 and was suspended in 2014.

The IsraeliPalestinian conflict has its roots in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, with the birth of major nationalist movements among the Jews and among the Arabs, both geared towards attaining sovereignty for their people in the Middle East.[19] The collision between those two forces in southern Levant and the emergence of Palestinian nationalism in the 1920s eventually escalated into the IsraeliPalestinian conflict in 1947, and expanded into the wider Arab-Israeli conflict later on.[20]

With the outcome of the First World War, the relations between Zionism and the Arab national movement seemed to be potentially friendly, and the FaisalWeizmann Agreement created a framework for both aspirations to coexist on former Ottoman Empire’s territories. However, with the defeat and dissolution of the Arab Kingdom of Syria in July 1920 following the Franco-Syrian War, a crisis fell upon the Damascus-based Arab national movement. The return of several hard-line Palestinian Arab nationalists, under the emerging leadership of Haj Amin al-Husseini, from Damascus to Mandatory Palestine marked the beginning of Palestinian Arab nationalist struggle towards establishment of a national home for Arabs of Palestine.[21] Amin al-Husseini, the architect of the Palestinian Arab national movement, immediately marked Jewish national movement and Jewish immigration to Palestine as the sole enemy to his cause,[22] initiating large-scale riots against the Jews as early as 1920 in Jerusalem and in 1921 in Jaffa. Among the results of the violence was the establishment of Jewish paramilitary force of Haganah. In 1929, a series of violent anti-Jewish riots was initiated by the Arab leadership. The riots resulted in massive Jewish casualties in Hebron and Safed, and the evacuation of Jews from Hebron and Gaza.[19]

In the early 1930s, the Arab national struggle in Palestine had drawn many Arab nationalist militants from across the Middle East, most notably Sheikh Izaddin al-Qassam from Syria, who established the Black Hand militant group and had prepared the grounds for the 1936 Arab revolt. Following, the death of al-Qassam at the hands of the British in late 1935, the tensions erupted in 1936 into the Arab general strike and general boycott. The strike soon deteriorated into violence and the bloody revolt against the British and the Jews.[20] In the first wave of organized violence, lasting until early 1937, much of the Arab gangs were defeated by the British and a forced expulsion of much of the Arab leadership was performed. The revolt led to the establishment of the Peel Commission towards partitioning of Palestine, though was subsequently rejected by the Palestinian Arabs. The two main Jewish leaders, Chaim Weizmann and David Ben-Gurion, accepted the recommendations but some secondary Jewish leaders did not like it.[23][24][25]

The renewed violence, which had sporadically lasted until the beginning of WWII, ended with around 5,000 casualties, mostly from the Arab side. With the eruption of World War II, the situation in Mandatory Palestine calmed down. It allowed a shift towards a more moderate stance among Palestinian Arabs, under the leadership of the Nashashibi clan and even the establishment of the JewishArab Palestine Regiment under British command, fighting Germans in North Africa. The more radical exiled faction of al-Husseini however tended to cooperation with Nazi Germany, and participated in the establishment of pro-Nazi propaganda machine throughout the Arab world. Defeat of Arab nationalists in Iraq and subsequent relocation of al-Husseini to Nazi-occupied Europe tied his hands regarding field operations in Palestine, though he regularly demanded the Italians and the Germans to bomb Tel Aviv. By the end of World War II, a crisis over the fate of the Holocaust survivors from Europe led to renewed tensions between the Yishuv and the Palestinian Arab leadership. Immigration quotas were established by the British, while on the other hand illegal immigration and Zionist insurgency against the British was increasing.[19]

On 29 November 1947, the General Assembly of the United Nations adopted Resolution 181(II)[26] recommending the adoption and implementation of a plan to partition Palestine into an Arab state, a Jewish state and the City of Jerusalem.[27] On the next day, Palestine was already swept by violence, with Arab and Jewish militias executing attacks. For four months, under continuous Arab provocation and attack, the Yishuv was usually on the defensive while occasionally retaliating.[28] The Arab League supported the Arab struggle by forming the volunteer based Arab Liberation Army, supporting the Palestinian Arab Army of the Holy War, under the leadership of Abd al-Qadir al-Husayni and Hasan Salama. On the Jewish side, the civil war was managed by the major underground militias the Haganah, Irgun and Lehi, strengthened by numerous Jewish veterans of World War II and foreign volunteers. By spring 1948, it was already clear that the Arab forces were nearing a total collapse, while Yishuv forces gained more and more territory, creating a large scale refugee problem of Palestinian Arabs.[19] Popular support for the Palestinian Arabs throughout the Arab world led to sporadic violence against Jewish communities of Middle East and North Africa, creating an opposite refugee wave.

Following the Declaration of the Establishment of the State of Israel on 14 May 1948, the Arab League decided to intervene on behalf of Palestinian Arabs, marching their forces into former British Palestine, beginning the main phase of the 1948 Arab-Israeli War.[27] The overall fighting, leading to around 15,000 casualties, resulted in cease fire and armistice agreements of 1949, with Israel holding much of the former Mandate territory, Jordan occupying and later annexing the West Bank and Egypt taking over the Gaza Strip, where the All-Palestine Government was declared by the Arab League on 22 September 1948.[20]

Through the 1950s, Jordan and Egypt supported the Palestinian Fedayeen militants’ cross-border attacks into Israel, while Israel carried out reprisal operations in the host countries. The 1956 Suez Crisis resulted in a short-term Israeli occupation of the Gaza Strip and exile of the All-Palestine Government, which was later restored with Israeli withdrawal. The All-Palestine Government was completely abandoned by Egypt in 1959 and was officially merged into the United Arab Republic, to the detriment of the Palestinian national movement. Gaza Strip then was put under the authority of Egyptian military administrator, making it a de facto military occupation. In 1964, however, a new organization, the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), was established by Yasser Arafat.[27] It immediately won the support of most Arab League governments and was granted a seat in the Arab League.

The 1967 Six Day War exerted a significant effect upon Palestinian nationalism, as Israel gained authority of the West Bank from Jordan and the Gaza Strip from Egypt. Consequently, the PLO was unable to establish any control on the ground and established its headquarters in Jordan, home to hundreds of thousands of Palestinians, and supported the Jordanian army during the War of Attrition, most notably the Battle of Karameh. However, the Palestinian base in Jordan collapsed with the Jordanian-Palestinian civil war in 1970. The PLO defeat by the Jordanians caused most of the Palestinian militants to relocate to South Lebanon, where they soon took over large areas, creating the so-called “Fatahland”.

Palestinian insurgency in South Lebanon peaked in the early 1970s, as Lebanon was used as a base to launch attacks on northern Israel and airplane hijacking campaigns worldwide, which drew Israeli retaliation. During the Lebanese Civil War, Palestinian militants continued to launch attacks against Israel while also battling opponents within Lebanon. In 1978, the Coastal Road massacre led to the Israeli full-scale invasion known as Operation Litani. Israeli forces, however, quickly withdrew from Lebanon, and the attacks against Israel resumed. In 1982, following an assassination attempt on one of its diplomats by Palestinians, the Israeli government decided to take sides in the Lebanese Civil War and the 1982 Lebanon War commenced. The initial results for Israel were successful. Most Palestinian militants were defeated within several weeks, Beirut was captured, and the PLO headquarters were evacuated to Tunisia in June by Yasser Arafat’s decision.[20] However, Israeli intervention in the civil war also led to unforeseen results, including small-scale conflict between Israel and Syria. By 1985, Israel withdrew to a 10km occupied strip of South Lebanon, while the low-intensity conflict with Shia militants escalated.[19]Those Iranian-supported Shia groups gradually consolidated into Hizbullah and Amal, operated against Israel, and allied with the remnants of Palestinian organizations to launch attacks on Galilee through the late 1980s. By the 1990s, Palestinian organizations in Lebanon were largely inactive.[citation needed]

The first Palestinian uprising began in 1987 as a response to escalating attacks and the endless occupation. By the early 1990s, international efforts to settle the conflict had begun, in light of the success of the Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty of 1982. Eventually, the Israeli-Palestinian peace process led to the Oslo Accords of 1993, allowing the PLO to relocate from Tunisia and take ground in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, establishing the Palestinian National Authority. The peace process also had significant opposition among radical Islamic elements of Palestinian society, such as Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad, who immediately initiated a campaign of attacks targeting Israelis. Following hundreds of casualties and a wave of radical anti-government propaganda, Israeli Prime Minister Rabin was assassinated by an Israeli fanatic who objected to the policy of the government. This struck a serious blow to the peace process, from which the newly elected government of Israel in 1996 backed off.[19]

Following several years of unsuccessful negotiations, the conflict re-erupted as the Second Intifada on September 2000.[20] The violence, escalating into an open conflict between the Palestinian Authority security forces and the IDF, lasted until 2004/2005 and led to approximately 130 fatalities. Israeli Prime Minister Sharon decided to disengage from Gaza. In 2005, Israel removed every soldier and every Jewish settler from Gaza. Israel and its Supreme Court formally declared an end to occupation, saying it “had no effective control over what occurred” in Gaza.[29] In 2006, Hamas took power by winning a plurality of 44% in a Palestinian parliamentary election. Israel responded it would begin economic sanctions unless Hamas agreed to accept prior Israeli-Palestinian agreements, forswear violence, and recognize Israel’s right to exist.[30] Hamas responded with rocket attacks[31][32][33] and an incursion onto Israeli territory using underground tunnels to kidnap Gilad Shalit. After internal Palestinian political struggle between Fatah and Hamas erupted into the Battle of Gaza (2007), Hamas took full control of the area.[34] in 2007, Israel imposed a naval blockade on the Gaza Strip, and cooperation with Egypt allowed a ground blockade of the Egyptian border

The tensions between Israel and Hamas, who won increasing financial and political support of Iran, escalated until late 2008, when Israel launched operation Cast Lead (the Gaza War). By February 2009, a cease-fire was signed with international mediation between the parties, though small and sporadic eruptions of violence continued.[35]

The question of whether Gaza remains occupied following Israel’s withdrawal remains contentious. Israel insists that its full withdrawal from Gaza means it does not occupy Gaza. The UN has taken no position over whether Gaza remains occupied. Palestinian leaders insist that the Israeli decision, following attacks from Hamas, to impose a weapons blockade of Gaza, Israel’s control of Gaza crossing points into Israel, and Israel’s control of air above and sea around Gaza constitutes continued Israeli occupation.[29]

In 2011, a Palestinian Authority attempt to gain UN membership as a fully sovereign state failed. In Hamas-controlled Gaza, sporadic rocket attacks on Israel and Israeli air raids still take place.[36][37][38][39] In November 2012, the representation of Palestine in UN was upgraded to a non-member observer State, and mission title was changed from “Palestine (represented by PLO)” to State of Palestine.

In 1993, Israeli officials led by Yitzhak Rabin and Palestinian leaders from the Palestine Liberation Organization led by Yasser Arafat strove to find a peaceful solution through what became known as the Oslo peace process. A crucial milestone in this process was Arafat’s letter of recognition of Israel’s right to exist. In 1993, the Oslo Accords were finalized as a framework for future IsraeliPalestinian relations. The crux of the Oslo agreement was that Israel would gradually cede control of the Palestinian territories over to the Palestinians in exchange for peace. The Oslo process was delicate and progressed in fits and starts, the process took a turning point at the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin and finally unraveled when Arafat and Ehud Barak failed to reach agreement at Camp David in July 2000. Robert Malley, special assistant to US President Bill Clinton for ArabIsraeli Affairs, has confirmed that while Barak made no formal written offer to Arafat, the US did present concepts for peace which were considered by the Israeli side yet left unanswered by Arafat “the Palestinians’ principal failing is that from the beginning of the Camp David summit onward they were unable either to say yes to the American ideas or to present a cogent and specific counterproposal of their own”.[40] Consequently, there are different accounts of the proposals considered.[41][42][43]

In July 2000, US President Bill Clinton convened a peace summit between Palestinian President Yasser Arafat and Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak. Barak reportedly put forward the following as ‘bases for negotiation’, via the U.S. to the Palestinian President; a non militarized Palestinian state split into 3-4 parts containing 87-92%[note 1] of the West Bank including only parts of East Jerusalem, and the entire Gaza Strip,[44][45] The offer also included that 69 Jewish settlements (which comprise 85% of the West Bank’s Jewish settlers) would be ceded to Israel, no right of return to Israel, no sovereignty over the Temple Mount or any core East Jerusalem neighbourhoods, and continued Israel control over the Jordan Valley.[46][47]

Arafat rejected this offer.[44][48][49][50][51][52] According to the Palestinian negotiators the offer did not remove many of the elements of the Israeli occupation regarding land, security, settlements, and Jerusalem.[53] President Clinton reportedly requested that Arafat make a counter-offer, but he proposed none. Former Israeli Foreign Minister Shlomo Ben Ami who kept a diary of the negotiations said in an interview in 2001, when asked whether the Palestinians made a counterproposal: “No. And that is the heart of the matter. Never, in the negotiations between us and the Palestinians, was there a Palestinian counterproposal.”[54] In a separate interview in 2006 Ben Ami stated that were he a Palestinian he would have rejected the Camp David offer.[55]

No tenable solution was crafted which would satisfy both Israeli and Palestinian demands, even under intense US pressure. Clinton has long blamed Arafat for the collapse of the summit.[56] In the months following the summit, Clinton appointed former US Senator George J. Mitchell to lead a fact-finding committee that later published the Mitchell Report aimed at restoring the peace process.[citation needed]

Following the failed summit Palestinian and Israeli negotiators continued to meet in small groups through August and September 2000 to try to bridge the gaps between their respective positions. The United States prepared its own plan to resolve the outstanding issues. Clinton’s presentation of the US proposals was delayed by the advent of the Second Intifada at the end of September.[53]

Clinton’s plan, eventually presented on 23 December 2000, proposed the establishment of a sovereign Palestinian state in the Gaza strip and 9496 percent of the West Bank plus the equivalent of 13 percent of the West Bank in land swaps from pre-1967 Israel. On Jerusalem the plan stated that, “the general principle is that Arab areas are Palestinian and that Jewish areas are Israeli.” The holy sites were to be split on the basis that Palestinians would have sovereignty over the Temple Mount/Noble sanctuary, while the Israelis would have sovereignty over the Western Wall. On refugees the plan suggested a number of proposals including financial compensation, the right of return to the Palestinian state, and Israeli acknowledgement of suffering caused to the Palestinians in 1948. Security proposals referred to a “non-militarized” Palestinian state, and an international force for border security. Both sides accepted Clinton’s plan[53][57][58] and it became the basis for the negotiations at the Taba Peace summit the following January.[53]

The Israeli negotiation team presented a new map at the Taba Summit in Taba, Egypt in January 2001. The proposition removed the “temporarily Israeli controlled” areas, and the Palestinian side accepted this as a basis for further negotiation. With Israeli elections looming the talks ended without an agreement but the two sides issued a joint statement attesting to the progress they had made: “The sides declare that they have never been closer to reaching an agreement and it is thus our shared belief that the remaining gaps could be bridged with the resumption of negotiations following the Israeli elections.” The following month the Likud party candidate Ariel Sharon defeated Ehud Barak in the Israeli elections and was elected as Israeli prime minister on 7 February 2001. Sharons new government chose not to resume the high-level talks.[53]

One peace proposal, presented by the Quartet of the European Union, Russia, the United Nations and the United States on 17 September 2002, was the Road Map for Peace. This plan did not attempt to resolve difficult questions such as the fate of Jerusalem or Israeli settlements, but left that to be negotiated in later phases of the process. The proposal never made it beyond the first phase, which called for a halt to Israeli settlement construction and a halt to Israeli and Palestinian violence, none of which was achieved.[citation needed]

The Arab Peace Initiative (Arabic: Mubdirat as-Salm al-Arabyyah) was first proposed by Crown Prince Abdullah of Saudi Arabia in the Beirut Summit. The peace initiative is a proposed solution to the ArabIsraeli conflict as a whole, and the IsraeliPalestinian conflict in particular.[citation needed]

The initiative was initially published on 28 March 2002, at the Beirut Summit, and agreed upon again in 2007 in the Riyadh Summit.

Unlike the Road Map for Peace, it spelled out “final-solution” borders based explicitly on the UN borders established before the 1967 Six-Day War. It offered full normalization of relations with Israel, in exchange for the withdrawal of its forces from all the occupied territories, including the Golan Heights, to recognize “an independent Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital” in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, as well as a “just solution” for the Palestinian refugees.[59]

A number of Israeli officials have responded to the initiative with both support and criticism. The Israeli government has expressed reservations on ‘red line,’ issues such as the Palestinian refugee problem, homeland security concerns, and the nature of Jerusalem.[60] However, the Arab League continues to raise it as a possible solution, and meetings between the Arab League and Israel have been held.[61]

The peace process has been predicated on a “two-state solution” thus far, but questions have been raised towards both sides’ resolve to end the dispute.[62] An article by S. Daniel Abraham, an American entrepreneur and founder of the Center for Middle East Peace in Washington, US, published on the website of the Atlantic magazine in March 2013, cited the following statistics: “Right now, the total number of Jews and Arabs living … in Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza is just under 12 million people. At the moment, a shade under 50 percent of the population is Jewish.”[63]

Israel has had its settlement growth and policies in the Palestinian territories harshly criticized by the European Union citing it as increasingly undermining the viability of the two-state solution and running in contrary to the Israeli-stated commitment to resume negotiations.[64][65] In December 2011, all the regional groupings on the UN Security Council named continued settlement construction and settler violence as disruptive to the resumption of talks, a call viewed by Russia as a “historic step”.[66][67][68] In April 2012, international outrage followed Israeli steps to further entrench the Jewish settlements in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, which included the publishing of tenders for further settler homes and the plan to legalize settler outposts. Britain said that the move was a breach of Israeli commitments under the road map to freeze all settlement expansion in the land captured since 1967. The British Foreign Minister stated that the “Systematic, illegal Israeli settlement activity poses the most significant and live threat to the viability of the two state solution”.[69] In May 2012 the 27 foreign ministers of the European Union issued a statement which condemned continued Israeli settler violence and incitement.[70] In a similar move, the Quartet “expressed its concern over ongoing settler violence and incitement in the West Bank,” calling on Israel “to take effective measures, including bringing the perpetrators of such acts to justice.”[71] The Palestinian Ma’an News agency reported the PA Cabinet’s statement on the issue stated that the West, including East Jerusalem, were seeing “an escalation in incitement and settler violence against our people with a clear protection from the occupation military. The last of which was the thousands of settler march in East Jerusalem which included slogans inciting to kill, hate and supports violence”.[72]

In a report published in February 2014 covering incidents over the three year period of 2011-2013, Amnesty International asserted that Israeli forces employed reckless violence in the West Bank, and in some instances appeared to engage in wilful killings which would be tantamount to war crimes. Besides the numerous fatalities, Amnesty said at least 261 Palestinians, including 67 children, had been gravely injured by Israeli use of live ammunition. In this same period, 45 Palestinians, including 6 children had been killed. Amnesty’s review of 25 civilians deaths concluded that in no case was there evidence of the Palestinians posing an imminent threat. At the same time, over 8,000 Palestinians suffered serious injuries from other means, including rubber-coated metal bullets. Only one IDF soldier was convicted, killing a Palestinian attempting to enter Israel illegally. The soldier was demoted and given a 1 year sentence with a five month suspension. The IDF answered the charges stating that its army held itself “to the highest of professional standards,” adding that when there was suspicion of wrongdoing, it investigated and took action “where appropriate”.[73][74]

Following the Oslo Accords, which was to set up regulative bodies to rein in frictions, Palestinian incitement against Israel, Jews, and Zionism continued, parallel with Israel’s pursuance of settlement in the Palestinian territories,[75] though under Abu Mazen it has reportedly dwindled significantly.[76] Charges of incitement have been reciprocal,[77][78] both sides interpreting media statements in the Palestinian and Israeli press as constituting incitement.[76] In Israeli usage, the term also covers failures to mention Israel’s culture and history in Palestinian textbooks.[79] In 2011, Israeli PM Benyamin Netanyahu stated that the incitement promulgated by the Palestinian Authority was destroying Israels confidence, and he condemned what he regarded as the glorification of the murderers of the Fogel family in Itamar on PA television. The perpetrator of the murders had been described as a “hero” and a “legend” by members of his family, during a weekly program.[80][81] This occurred shortly after the official Palestinian Authority Mufti in Jerusalem publicly read out an Islamic hadith that says killing Jews will speed up the redemption,[82] which was criticised by the UK’s Minister for the Middle East and North Africa as potentially stirring up “hatred and prejudice”.[81][83]

Following the Itamar massacre and a bombing in Jerusalem, 27 US senators sent a letter requesting the US Secretary of State to identify the administration’s steps to end Palestinian incitement to violence against Jews and Israel that was occurring within the “Palestinian media, mosques and schools, and even by individuals or institutions affiliated with the Palestinian Authority.”[84] Media watchdog, Palestinian Media Watch (PMW), reported in June 2012 that the Palestinian media continually demonizes Israel and Jews and derogates Jewish history. They stated that the Palestinian children are being taught hatred and violence against Jews and Israelis and that only 7 percent of Palestinian teenagers accept Israel’s right to exist. They stated that a political peace structure is contingent upon a proceeding educational peace process, which is lacking.[85] Children in a Gaza kindergarten were dressed up in uniforms of the armed wing of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad organisation. They received a toy rifles and chanted anti-Israeli slogans. A teacher stated that this was so the children will “grow up to love the resistance and serve the cause of Palestine and Holy Jihad, as well as to make them leaders and fighters to defend the holy soil of Palestine.”[86] The head of the National Security Studies Center, Dan Shiftan, said that this showed a “deep message of the total rejection of Israel, legitimization of terror, and deep-seated victimization.”[87]

The United Nations body UNESCO stopped funding a children’s magazine sponsored by the Palestinian Authority that commended Hitler’s killing of Jews. It deplored this publication as contrary to its principles of building tolerance and respect for human rights and human dignity.[88][89]

The PLO’s campaign for full member status for the state of Palestine at the UN and have recognition on the 1967 borders received widespread support[90][91] though it was criticised by some countries for purportedly avoiding bilateral negotiation.[92][93] Netanyahu expressed criticism of the Palestinians as he felt that they were allegedly trying to bypass direct talks,[94] whereas Abbas argued that the continued construction of Israeli-Jewish settlements was “undermining the realistic potential” for the two-state solution.[95] Although denied full member status by the UN Security Council, in late 2012 the UN General Assembly overwhelmingly approved the de facto recognition of sovereign Palestine by granting non-member state status.[96]

Polling data has produced mixed results regarding the level of support among Palestinians for the two-state solution. A poll was carried out in 2011 by the Hebrew University; it indicated that support for a two-state solution was growing among both Israelis and Palestinians. The poll found that 58% of Israelis and 50% of Palestinians supported a two-state solution based on the Clinton Parameters, compared with 47% of Israelis and 39% of Palestinians in 2003, the first year the poll was carried out. The poll also found that an increasing percentage of both populations supported an end to violence63% of Palestinians and 70% of Israelis expressing their support for an end to violence, an increase of 2% for Israelis and 5% for Palestinians from the previous year.[97]

A poll commissioned by The Israel Project conducted in July 2011 by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research and fielded by the Palestinian Center for Public Opinion in the West Bank and Gaza indicated a range of opinions on the peace process that varied according to the wording of the questions.[98] When asked if they “accept a two-state solution” 44% of respondents said yes and 52% said no. When asked if they accepted the following concept: “President Obama said there should be two states: Palestine as the homeland for the Palestinian people and Israel as the homeland of the Jewish people” 34% accepted and 61% rejected. However, when asked if they favoured or opposed a two-state solution in which “the border between Israel and Palestine should be based on the 1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps of land to take account of realities on the ground so both sides can achieve a secure and just peace”, 57% said yes and only 40% said no. When half the respondents were given a choice between two sentences (a. Israel has a permanent right to exist as a homeland for the Jewish people; b. Over time Palestinians must work to get back all the land for a Palestinian state) 84% chose b. and 8% selected a. The other half were asked to choose between a. I can accept permanently a two-state solution with one a homeland for the Palestinian people living side-by-side with Israel, a homeland for the Jewish people, or b. The real goal should to start with a two state solution but then move to it all being one Palestinian state. 30% of those asked selected the first option while 66% chose the second. When asked to choose between a. The best goal is for a two-state solution that keeps two states living side by side, and b. The real goal should be to start with two states but then move to it all being one Palestinian state, 25% chose a. whilst 52% opted for b.

According to the same poll, 65% of respondents preferred talks and 20% preferred violence. More than 70% of those polled said they believed a hadith, or saying, ascribed to Mohammed that is included as a clause of the Hamas Charter and states, The Day of Judgment will not come about until Muslims fight the Jews”. The poll further reported that “72% of Palestinians endorsed the denial of Jewish history in Jerusalem, 62% supported kidnapping IDF soldiers and holding them hostage and 53% were in favor or teaching songs about hating Jews in Palestinian schools.” At the same time, only 29% supported the killing of a settler family in Itamar and 22% supported rocket attacks on Israeli cities and civilians. 64% support seeking UN recognition of a Palestinian state outside of the framework of negotiations with Israel and 85% believe that a settlement freeze should be a pre-requisite for continuing negotiations. 81% rejected the suggestion that Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu was serious about wanting peace and a two-state solution whilst only 12% accepted the notion. The methodology and neutrality of this poll has been called into question by Paul Pillar, writing in the National Interest.[99]

The following outlined positions are the official positions of the two parties; however, it is important to note that neither side holds a single position. Both the Israeli and the Palestinian sides include both moderate and extremist bodies as well as dovish and hawkish bodies.

One of the primary obstacles to resolving the IsraeliPalestinian conflict is a deepset and growing distrust between its participants. Unilateral strategies and the rhetoric of hard-line political factions, coupled with violence and incitements by civilians against one another, have fostered mutual embitterment and hostility and a loss of faith in the peace process. Support among Palestinians for Hamas is considerable, and as its members consistently call for the destruction of Israel and violence remains a threat, security becomes a prime concern for many Israelis. The expansion of Israeli settlements in the West Bank has led the majority of Palestinians to believe that Israel is not committed to reaching an agreement, but rather to a pursuit of establishing permanent control over this territory in order to provide that security.[100]

The control of Jerusalem is a particularly delicate issue, with each side asserting claims over this city. The three largest Abrahamic religionsJudaism, Christianity, and Islamhold Jerusalem as an important setting for their religious and historical narratives. Jerusalem is the holiest city in the world for Judaism, being the former location of the Jewish temples on the Temple Mount and the capital of the ancient Israelite kingdom. For Muslims, Jerusalem is the site of Mohammad’s Night Journey to heaven, and the al-Aqsa mosque. For Christians, Jerusalem is the site of Jesus’ crucifixion and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.

The Israeli government, including the Knesset and Supreme Court, is centered in the “new city” of West Jerusalem and has been since Israel’s founding in 1948. After Israel captured the Jordanian-controlled East Jerusalem in the Six-Day War, it assumed complete administrative control of East Jerusalem. In 1980, Israel issued a new law stating, “Jerusalem, complete and united, is the capital of Israel.”.[101]

No country in the world except for Israel has recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. The majority of UN member states and most international organisations do not recognise Israel’s ownership of East Jerusalem which occurred after the 1967 Six-Day War, nor its 1980 Jerusalem Law proclamation.[102] The International Court of Justice in its 2004 Advisory opinion on the “Legal Consequences of the Construction of a Wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory” described East Jerusalem as “occupied Palestinian territory.”[103]

As of 2005, there were more than 719,000 people living in Jerusalem; 465,000 were Jews (mostly living in West Jerusalem) and 232,000 were Muslims (mostly living in East Jerusalem).[104]

At the Camp David and Taba Summits in 200001, the United States proposed a plan in which the Arab parts of Jerusalem would be given to the proposed Palestinian state while the Jewish parts of Jerusalem were given to Israel. All archaeological work under the Temple Mount would be jointly controlled by the Israeli and Palestinian governments. Both sides accepted the proposal in principle, but the summits ultimately failed.[105]

Israel expresses concern over the security of its residents if neighborhoods of Jerusalem are placed under Palestinian control. Jerusalem has been a prime target for attacks by militant groups against civilian targets since 1967. Many Jewish neighborhoods have been fired upon from Arab areas. The proximity of the Arab areas, if these regions were to fall in the boundaries of a Palestinian state, would be so close as to threaten the safety of Jewish residents.[106]

Israel has concerns regarding the welfare of Jewish holy places under possible Palestinian control. When Jerusalem was under Jordanian control, no Jews were allowed to visit the Western Wall or other Jewish holy places, and the Jewish cemetery on the Mount of Olives was desecrated.[105] Since 1975, Israel has banned Muslims from worshiping at Joseph’s Tomb, a shrine considered sacred by both Jews and Muslims. Settlers established a yeshiva, installed a Torah scroll and covered the mihrab. During the Second Intifada the site was looted and burned.[107][108] Israeli security agencies routinely monitor and arrest Jewish extremists that plan attacks, though many serious incidents have still occurred.[109] Israel has allowed almost complete autonomy to the Muslim trust (Waqf) over the Temple Mount.[105]

Palestinians have voiced concerns regarding the welfare of Christian and Muslim holy places under Israeli control.[110] Additionally, some Palestinian advocates have made statements alleging that the Western Wall Tunnel was re-opened with the intent of causing the mosque’s collapse.[111] The Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs denied this claim in a 1996 speech to the United Nations[112] and characterized the statement as “escalation of rhetoric.”[113]

Palestinian refugees are people who lost both their homes and means of livelihood as a result of the 1948 Arab-Israeli conflict[114] and the 1967 Six-Day War.[115] The number of Palestinians who fled or were expelled from Israel following its creation was estimated at 711,000 in 1949.[116] Descendants of these original Palestinian Refugees are also eligible for registration and services provided by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), and as of 2010 number 4.7 million people.[117] Between 350,000 and 400,000 Palestinians were displaced during the 1967 Arab-Israeli war.[115] A third of the refugees live in recognized refugee camps in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. The remainder live in and around the cities and towns of these host countries.[114]

Most of these people were born outside of Israel, but are descendants of original Palestinian refugees.[114] Palestinian negotiators, most notably Yasser Arafat,[118] have so far publicly insisted that refugees have a right to return to the places where they lived before 1948 and 1967, including those within the 1949 Armistice lines, citing the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and UN General Assembly Resolution 194 as evidence. However, according to reports of private peace negotiations with Israel they have countenanced the return of only 10,000 refugees and their families to Israel as part of a peace settlement. Mahmoud Abbas, the current Chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization was reported to have said in private discussion that it is “illogical to ask Israel to take 5 million, or indeed 1 million. That would mean the end of Israel.” [119] In a further interview Abbas stated that he no longer had an automatic right to return to Safed in the northern Galilee where he was born in 1935. He later clarified that the remark was his personal opinion and not official policy.[120]

The Arab Peace Initiative of 2002 declared that it proposed the compromise of a “just resolution” of the refugee problem.[121]

Palestinian and international authors have justified the right of return of the Palestinian refugees on several grounds:[122][123][124]

Shlaim (2000) states that from April 1948 the military forces of what was to become Israel had embarked on a new offensive strategy which involved destroying Arab villages and the forced removal of civilians.

The most common arguments for opposition are:

Throughout the conflict, Palestinian violence has been a concern for Israelis. Israel,[149] along with the United States[150] and the European Union, refer to the violence against Israeli civilians and military forces by Palestinian militants as terrorism. The motivations behind Palestinian violence against Israeli civilians are multiplex, and not all violent Palestinian groups agree with each other on specifics. Nonetheless, a common motive is the desire to destroy Israel and replace it with a Palestinian Arab state.[151] The most prominent Islamist groups, such as Hamas, view the IsraeliPalestinian conflict as a religious jihad.[152]

Suicide bombing is used as a tactic among Palestinian organizations like Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade and certain suicide attacks have received support among Palestinians as high as 84%.[153][154] In Israel, Palestinian suicide bombers have targeted civilian buses, restaurants, shopping malls, hotels and marketplaces.[155] From 19932003, 303 Palestinian suicide bombers attacked Israel.

The Israeli government initiated the construction of a security barrier following scores of suicide bombings and terrorist attacks in July 2003. Israel’s coalition government approved the security barrier in the northern part of the green-line between Israel and the West Bank. According to the IDF, since the erection of the fence, terrorist acts have declined by approximately 90%.[156]

Since 2001, the threat of Qassam rockets fired from the Palestinian Territories into Israel is also of great concern for Israeli defense officials.[157] In 2006the year following Israel’s disengagement from the Gaza Stripthe Israeli government recorded 1,726 such launches, more than four times the total rockets fired in 2005.[149] As of January 2009, over 8,600 rockets had been launched,[158][159] causing widespread psychological trauma and disruption of daily life.[160] Over 500 rockets and mortars hit Israel in JanuarySeptember 2010 and over 1,947 rockets hit Israel in JanuaryNovember 2012.

According to a study conducted by University of Haifa, one in five Israelis have lost a relative or friend in a Palestinian terrorist attack.[161]

There is significant debate within Israel about how to deal with the country’s security concerns. Options have included military action (including targeted killings and house demolitions of terrorist operatives), diplomacy, unilateral gestures toward peace, and increased security measures such as checkpoints, roadblocks and security barriers. The legality and the wisdom of all of the above tactics have been called into question by various commentators.[16][unreliable source?]

Since mid-June 2007, Israel’s primary means of dealing with security concerns in the West Bank has been to cooperate with and permit United States-sponsored training, equipping, and funding of the Palestinian Authority’s security forces, which with Israeli help have largely succeeded in quelling West Bank supporters of Hamas.[162]

Some Palestinians have committed violent acts over the globe on the pretext of a struggle against Israel. Many foreigners, including Americans[163] and Europeans,[164] have been killed and injured by Palestinian militants. At least 53 Americans have been killed and 83 injured by Palestinian violence since the signing of the Oslo Accords.[165][unreliable source?]

During the late 1960s, the PLO became increasingly infamous for its use of international terror. In 1969 alone, the PLO was responsible for hijacking 82 planes. El Al Airlines became a regular hijacking target.[166][167] The hijacking of Air France Flight 139 by the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine culminated during a hostage-rescue mission, where Israeli special forces successfully rescued the majority of the hostages.

However, one of the most well-known and notorious terrorist acts was the capture and eventual murder of 11 Israeli athletes during the 1972 Olympic Games.[168]

Israeli forces have launched attacks against Palestinians around the globe as part of the conflict. Israel has assassinated dozens of Palestinians and their supporters outside of Palestine, mainly in Europe and the Middle East. Israel has also bombed Palestinian targets in many[quantify] nations such as Syria and Lebanon, including the bombing of the PLO Headquarters in Tunisia, killing several hundred.

Fighting among rival Palestinian and Arab movements has played a crucial role in shaping Israel’s security policy towards Palestinian militants, as well as in the Palestinian leadership’s own policies.[citation needed] As early as the 1930s revolts in Palestine, Arab forces fought each other while also skirmishing with Zionist and British forces, and internal conflicts continue to the present day. During the Lebanese Civil War, Palestinian baathists broke from the Palestine Liberation Organization and allied with the Shia Amal Movement, fighting a bloody civil war that killed thousands of Palestinians.[169][170]

In the First Intifada, more than a thousand Palestinians were killed in a campaign initiated by the Palestine Liberation Organization to crack down on suspected Israeli security service informers and collaborators. The Palestinian Authority was strongly criticized for its treatment of alleged collaborators, rights groups complaining that those labeled collaborators were denied fair trials. According to a report released by the Palestinian Human Rights Monitoring Group, less than 45 percent of those killed were actually guilty of informing for Israel.[171]

The policies towards suspected collaborators contravene agreements signed by the Palestinian leadership. Article XVI(2) of the Oslo II Agreement states:[172]

“Palestinians who have maintained contact with the Israeli authorities will not be subjected to acts of harassment, violence, retribution, or prosecution.”

The provision was designed to prevent Palestinian leaders from imposing retribution on fellow Palestinians who had worked on behalf of Israel during the occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

In the Gaza Strip, Hamas officials have killed and tortured thousands of Fatah members and other Palestinians who oppose their rule. During the Battle of Gaza, more than 150 Palestinians died over a four-day period.[173] The violence among Palestinians was described as a civil war by some commentators. By 2007, more than 600 Palestinian people had died during the struggle between Hamas and Fatah.[174]

In the past, Israel has demanded control over border crossings between the Palestinian territories and Jordan and Egypt, and the right to set the import and export controls, asserting that Israel and the Palestinian territories are a single economic space.

In the interim agreements reached as part of the Oslo Accords, the Palestinian Authority has received control over cities (Area A) while the surrounding countryside has been placed under Israeli security and Palestinian civil administration (Area B) or complete Israeli control (Area C). Israel has built additional highways to allow Israelis to traverse the area without entering Palestinian cities. The initial areas under Palestinian Authority control are diverse and non-contiguous. The areas have changed over time because of subsequent negotiations, including Oslo II, Wye River and Sharm el-Sheik. According to Palestinians, the separated areas make it impossible to create a viable nation and fails to address Palestinian security needs; Israel has expressed no agreement to withdrawal from some Areas B, resulting in no reduction in the division of the Palestinian areas, and the institution of a safe pass system, without Israeli checkpoints, between these parts. Because of increased Palestinian violence[citation needed] to occupation this plan is in abeyance.

In the Middle East, water resources are of great political concern. Since Israel receives much of its water from two large underground aquifers which continue under the Green Line, the use of this water has been contentious in the IsraeliPalestinian conflict. Israel withdraws most water from these areas, but it also supplies the West Bank with approximately 40million cubic metres annually, contributing to 77% of Palestinians’ water supply in the West Bank, which is to be shared for a population of about 2.6 million.[175]

While Israel’s consumption of this water has decreased since it began its occupation of the West Bank, it still consumes the majority of it: in the 1950s, Israel consumed 95% of the water output of the Western Aquifer, and 82% of that produced by the Northeastern Aquifer. Although this water was drawn entirely on Israel’s own side of the pre-1967 border, the sources of the water are nevertheless from the shared groundwater basins located under both West Bank and Israel.[176]

In the Oslo II Accord, both sides agreed to maintain “existing quantities of utilization from the resources.” In so doing, the Palestinian Authority established the legality of Israeli water production in the West Bank, subject to a Joint Water Committee (JWC). Moreover, Israel obligated itself in this agreement to provide water to supplement Palestinian production, and further agreed to allow additional Palestinian drilling in the Eastern Aquifer, also subject to the Joint Water Committee.[177] Many Palestinians counter that the Oslo II agreement was intended to be a temporary resolution and that it was not intended to remain in effect more than a decade later.

In 1999, Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said it continued to honor its obligations under the Interim Agreement.[178] The water that Israel receives comes mainly from the Jordan River system, the Sea of Galilee and two underground sources. According to a 2003 BBC article the Palestinians lack access to the Jordan River system.[179]

According to a report of 2008 by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, water resources were confiscated for the benefit of the Israeli settlements in the Ghor. Palestinian irrigation pumps on the Jordan River were destroyed or confiscated after the 1967 war and Palestinians were not allowed to use water from the Jordan River system. Furthermore, the authorities did not allow any new irrigation wells to be drilled by Palestinian farmers, while it provided fresh water and allowed drilling wells for irrigation purposes at the Jewish settlements in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.[180]

A report was released by the UN in August 2012 and Maxwell Gaylard, the UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in the occupied Palestinian territory, explained at the launch of the publication: Gaza will have half a million more people by 2020 while its economy will grow only slowly. In consequence, the people of Gaza will have an even harder time getting enough drinking water and electricity, or sending their children to school. Gaylard present alongside Jean Gough, of the UN Childrens Fund (UNICEF), and Robert Turner, of the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). The report projects that Gazas population will increase from 1.6 million people to 2.1 million people in 2020, leading to a density of more than 5,800 people per square kilometre.[181]

Numerous foreign nations and international organizations have established bilateral agreements with the Palestinian and Israeli water authorities. It is estimated that a future investment of about US$1.1bn for the West Bank and $0.8bn[clarification needed] is needed for the planning period from 2003 to 2015.[182]

In order to support and improve the water sector in the Palestinian territories, a number of bilateral and multilateral agencies have been supporting many different water and sanitation programs.

There are three large seawater desalination plants in Israel and two more scheduled to open before 2014. When the fourth plant becomes operational, 65% of Israel’s water will come from desalination plants, according to Minister of Finance Dr. Yuval Steinitz.[183]

In late 2012, a donation of $21.6 million was announced by the Government of the Netherlandsthe Dutch government stated that the funds would be provided to the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), for the specific benefit of Palestinian children. An article, published by the UN News website, stated that: “Of the $21.6 million, $5.7 will be allocated to UNRWAs 2012 Emergency Appeal for the occupied Palestinian territory, which will support programmes in the West Bank and Gaza aiming to mitigate the effects on refugees of the deteriorating situation they face.”[181]

Occupied Palestinian Territory is the term used by the United Nations to refer to the West Bank, including East Jerusalem,[184] and the Gaza Stripterritories which were captured by Israel during the 1967 Six-Day War, having formerly been controlled by Egypt and Jordan.[185] The Israeli government uses the term Disputed Territories, to argue that some territories cannot be called occupied as no nation had clear rights to them and there was no operative diplomatic arrangement when Israel acquired them in June 1967.[186][187] The area is still referred to as Judea and Samaria by some Israeli groups, based on the historical regional names from ancient times. This is also the name used on the 1947 UN Partition Plan.[188]

In 1980, Israel annexed East Jerusalem.[189] Israel has never annexed the West Bank, apart from East Jerusalem, or Gaza Strip, and the United Nations has demanded the “[t]ermination of all claims or states of belligerency and respect for and acknowledgment of the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of every State in the area and their right to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries free from threats or acts of force” and that Israeli forces withdraw “from territories occupied in the recent conflict” the meaning and intent of the latter phrase is disputed. See Interpretations.

It has been the position of Israel that the most Arab-populated parts of West Bank (without major Jewish settlements), as well as the entire Gaza Strip, must eventually be part of an independent Palestinian State; however, the precise borders of this state are in question. At Camp David, for example, then-Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak offered Arafat an opportunity to establish a non-militarized Palestinian State. The proposed state would consist of 77% of the West Bank split into two or three areas, followed by: an of increase of 86-91% of the West Bank after six to twenty-one years; autonomy, but not sovereignty for some of the Arab neighborhoods of East Jerusalem surrounded by Israeli territory; the entire Gaza Strip; and the dismantling of most settlements.[47] Arafat rejected the proposal without providing a counter-offer.

A subsequent settlement proposed by President Clinton offered Palestinian sovereignty over 94 to 96 percent of the West Bank but was similarly rejected with 52 objections.[46][190][191][192][193] The Arab League has agreed to the principle of minor and mutually agreed land-swaps as part of a negotiated two state settlement based on June 1967 borders.[194] Official U.S. policy also reflects the ideal of using the 1967 borders as a basis for an eventual peace agreement.[195][196]

Some Palestinians claim they are entitled to all of the West Bank, Gaza Strip, and East Jerusalem. Israel says it is justified in not ceding all this land, because of security concerns, and also because the lack of any valid diplomatic agreement at the time means that ownership and boundaries of this land is open for discussion.[118] Palestinians claim any reduction of this claim is a severe deprivation of their rights. In negotiations, they claim that any moves to reduce the boundaries of this land is a hostile move against their key interests. Israel considers this land to be in dispute, and feels the purpose of negotiations is to define what the final borders will be. Other Palestinian groups, such as Hamas, have in the past insisted that Palestinians must control not only the West Bank, Gaza Strip, and East Jerusalem, but also all of Israel proper. For this reason, Hamas has viewed the peace process “as religiously forbidden and politically inconceivable”.[152]

According to DEMA, “In the years following the Six-Day War, and especially in the 1990s during the peace process, Israel re-established communities destroyed in 1929 and 1948 as well as established numerous new settlements in the West Bank.”[197] These settlements are, as of 2009, home to about 301,000 people.[198] DEMA added, “Most of the settlements are in the western parts of the West Bank, while others are deep into Palestinian territory, overlooking Palestinian cities. These settlements have been the site of much inter-communal conflict.”[197] The issue of Israeli settlements in the West Bank and, until 2005, the Gaza Strip, have been described by the UK[199] and the WEU[200] as an obstacle to the peace process. The United Nations and the European Union have also called the settlements “illegal under international law.”[201][202]

However, Israel disputes this;[203] several scholars and commentators disagree with the assessment that settlements are illegal, citing in 2005 recent historical trends to back up their argument.[204][205] Those who justify the legality of the settlements use arguments based upon Articles 2 and 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, as well as UN Security Council Resolution 242.[206] On a practical level, some objections voiced by Palestinians are that settlements divert resources needed by Palestinian towns, such as arable land, water, and other resources; and, that settlements reduce Palestinians’ ability to travel freely via local roads, owing to security considerations.

In 2005, Israel’s unilateral disengagement plan, a proposal put forward by Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, was enacted. All residents of Jewish settlements in the Gaza strip were evacuated, and all residential buildings were demolished.[207]

Various mediators and various proposed agreements have shown some degree of openness to Israel retaining some fraction of the settlements which currently exist in the West Bank; this openness is based on a variety of considerations, such as, the desire to find real compromise between Israeli and Palestinian territorial claims.[208][209]

Israel’s position that it needs to retain some West Bank land and settlements as a buffer in case of future aggression,[210] and Israel’s position that some settlements are legitimate, as they took shape when there was no operative diplomatic arrangement, and thus they did not violate any agreement.[186][187]

Former US President George W. Bush has stated that he does not expect Israel to return entirely to the 1949 armistice lines because of “new realities on the ground.”[211] One of the main compromise plans put forth by the Clinton Administration would have allowed Israel to keep some settlements in the West Bank, especially those which were in large blocs near the pre-1967 borders of Israel. In return, Palestinians would have received some concessions of land in other parts of the country.[208] The current US administration views a complete freeze of construction in settlements on the West Bank as a critical step toward peace. In May and June 2009, President Barack Obama said, “The United States does not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlements,”[212] and the Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, stated that the President “wants to see a stop to settlements not some settlements, not outposts, not natural growth exceptions.[213] However, Obama has since declared that the United States will no longer press Israel to stop West Bank settlement construction as a precondition for continued peace-process negotiations with the Palestinian Authority.[214]

The Israeli government states it is justified under international law to impose a blockade on an enemy for security reasons. The power to impose a naval blockade is established under customary international law and Laws of armed conflict, and a United Nations commission has ruled that Israel’s blockade is “both legal and appropriate.”[215][216] The Israeli Government’s continued land, sea and air blockage is tantamount to collective punishment of the population, according to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.[217] The Military Advocate General of Israel has provided numerous reasonings for the policy:

“The State of Israel has been engaged in an ongoing armed conflict with terrorist organizations operating in the Gaza strip. This armed conflict has intensified after Hamas violently took over Gaza, in June 2007, and turned the territory under its de-facto control into a launching pad of mortar and rocket attacks against Israeli towns and villages in southern Israel.”[218]

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IsraeliPalestinian conflict – Wikipedia, the free …

Updated July 31, 2015 7:17 p.m. ET

JERUSALEMSuspected Jewish extremists fire-bombed two Palestinian homes in a West Bank village early Friday, killing a toddler and prompting the Israeli army to deploy fresh forces to the territory to prevent unrest.

Assailants torched two houses about 4 a.m., according to Israeli emergency response personnel and witnesses. One home was apparently empty and the family was sleeping in the other. An 18-month-old boy was killed immediately, Israeli doctors told Israeli radio and television stations, while his father, mother and 5-year-old brother survived the blaze with critical burns.

Neighbors said the parents emerged from their home in flames as two masked men fled the site in Duma, is a small village near Nablus, the only West Bank city ruled by Hamas, the Islamist movement that controls Gaza.

A neighbor and relative of the victims said he tried unsuccessfully to enter the burning building to save the boy. A huge fire stopped me and I saw there was a cupboard that had fallen on the baby, he said in an interview.

Late on Friday, Israeli troops shot a teen who was part of a group demonstrating against the fire-bombing. Palestinian media said the teen died. The Israel Defense Forces said troops shot the suspect after he approached a security fence and ignored repeated warning shots. The IDF confirmed the teens death.

The firebombing followed another extremist attack on Thursday, when an ultra-Orthodox Jew who was convicted a decade ago of stabbing people at a gay pride parade here repeated the crime on Thursday, this time wounding six people at the same event.

On Friday, the suspect, Yishai Schlissel, appeared in court, where his arrest was extended for 12 days as the investigation against him continued, the Associated Press reported.

Referring to Fridays assault, Palestinian leaders blamed Israel for a failure to crack down on violent attacks from Israels West Bank settlers.

We hold the Israeli government fully responsible for the brutal assassination of the toddler, said Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, emerging from an emergency meeting. Mr. Abbas said the Palestinian leadership intended to take the case to the International Criminal Court.

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Attack in West Bank Kills Palestinian Child – WSJ

Humanity’s Folly

Trinity Test: July 16, 1945, at5:29:45 a.m. (Mountain War Time)

Trinity Site: Alamogordo Test Range, Jornada del Muerto (Journey of Death)desert.

Yield: 1921 Kilotons

Image Credit:Berlyn Brixner, LANL.

Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds.

Bhagavad Gita

Only one nation has used atomic weapons; the United States of America; and only one nation has been the recipient of an atomic attack: Japan. The U.S. dropped atomic bombs on Hiroshima, on August 6, 1945 (15-kiloton), and on Nagasaki (21-kiloton), on August 9, 1945. The result was 200,000 dead and injured, although precise figures are hard to obtain, given the ensuing chaos. Five days later, Japan surrenders, and the Second World War is over.

Looking at events from the past, it is easy to second-guess or criticize the decisions made. notably if they led to destructive consequencesthis can be a type of chronological snobbery, a kind of moral superiority, or a kind of rare wisdom. Yet, sometimes it is necessary to do so, if only to see how humanity thinks today, to see, given similar circumstances, if political leaders would arrive at similar or different decisions. These thought experiments remain such; and in the heat of real and genuine battle, the actions might differ from abstract thoughts. Such are the arguments, often valid, of realists.

We do know that there were little public expression of moral concerns then; President Truman and his generals deemed it necessary to end a war that was causing so many deaths to American soldiers. The atomic bomb was only another step in a horrible war, as somebody once put it. It is only later, after the act, that moral concerns come into light, and understandably so. Truman, the devout Christian, saw the only use of atomic weapons as morally justified, saying as much in a radio report on the Potsdam Conference to the American people on August 9, 1945:

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Perry J. Greenbaum

Mandatory Palestine[1] (Arabic: Filasn; Hebrew: (“) Pltn (EY), where “EY” indicates “Eretz Yisrael” (Land of Israel)) was a geopolitical entity under British administration, carved out of Ottoman Southern Syria after World War I. British civil administration in Palestine operated from 1920 until 1948. During its existence it was known simply as Palestine, but, in retrospect, as distinguishers, a variety of other names and descriptors including Mandatory or Mandate Palestine, also British Palestine and the British Mandate of Palestine, have been used to refer to it.

During the First World War an Arab uprising and British campaign led by General Edmund Allenby, the British Empire’s commander of the Egyptian Expeditionary Force, drove the Turks out of the Levant, a part of which was the Sinai and Palestine Campaign.[2] The United Kingdom had agreed in the McMahonHussein Correspondence that it would honour Arab independence if they revolted against the Ottomans. The two sides had different interpretations of this agreement. In the event, the UK and France divided up the area under the SykesPicot Agreement, an act of betrayal in the opinion of the Arabs. Further confusing the issue was the Balfour Declaration promising support for a Jewish “national home” in Palestine. After the war ended, a military administration, named Occupied Enemy Territory Administration, was established in the captured territory of the former Ottoman Syria. The British sought legitimacy for their continued control of the region and this was achieved by obtaining a mandate from the League of Nations in June 1922. The formal objective of the League of Nations Mandate system was to administer parts of the defunct Ottoman Empire, which had been in control of the Middle East since the 16th century, “until such time as they are able to stand alone.”[3] The civil Mandate administration was formalized with the League of Nations’ consent in 1923 under the British Mandate for Palestine, which covered two administrative areas. The land west of the Jordan River, known as Palestine, was under direct British administration until 1948, while the land east of the Jordan was a semi-autonomous region known as Transjordan, under the rule of the Hashemite family from the Hijaz, and gained independence in 1946.[4]

The divergent tendencies regarding the nature and purpose of the mandate are visible already in the discussions concerning the name for this new entity. According to the Minutes of the Ninth Session of the League of Nations’ Permanent Mandate Commission:

During the British Mandate period the area experienced the ascent of two major nationalist movements, one among the Jews and the other among the Arabs. The competing national interests of the Arab and Jewish populations of Palestine against each other and against the governing British authorities matured into the Arab Revolt of 19361939 and the Jewish insurgency in Palestine before culminating in the Civil War of 19471948. The aftermath of the Civil War and the consequent 1948 ArabIsraeli War led to the establishment of the 1949 cease-fire agreement, with partition of the former Mandatory Palestine between the newborn state of Israel with a Jewish majority, the West Bank annexed by the Jordanian Kingdom and the Arab All-Palestine Government in the Gaza Strip under the military occupation of Egypt.

Following its occupation by British troops in 19171918, Palestine was governed by the Occupied Enemy Territory Administration. In July 1920, the military administration was replaced by a civilian administration headed by a High Commissioner.[6] The first High Commissioner, Herbert Samuel, a Zionist recent cabinet minister, arrived in Palestine on 20 June 1920, to take up his appointment from 1 July.

Following the arrival of the British, Muslim-Christian Associations were established in all the major towns.[citation needed] In 1919 they joined to hold the first Palestine Arab Congress in Jerusalem.[citation needed] Its main platforms were a call for representative government and opposition to the Balfour Declaration.[citation needed]

The Zionist Commission was formed in March 1918 and was active in promoting Zionist objectives in Palestine. On 19 April 1920, elections were held for the Assembly of Representatives of the Palestinian Jewish community.[7] The Zionist Commission received official recognition in 1922 as representative of the Palestinian Jewish community.[8]

One of the first actions of the newly installed civil administration in 1921 had been to grant Pinhas Rutenberga Jewish entrepreneurconcessions for the production and distribution of wired electricity. Rutenberg soon established an Electric Company whose shareholders were Zionist organizations, investors, and philanthropists. Palestinian-Arabs saw it as proof that the British intended to favor Zionism. The British administration claimed that electrification would enhance the economic development of the country as a whole, while at the same time securing their commitment to facilitate a Jewish National Home through economic – rather than political – means.[9]

Samuel tried to establish self-governing institutions in Palestine, as required by the mandate, but was frustrated by the refusal of the Arab leadership to co-operate with any institution which included Jewish participation.[10] When Grand Mufti of Jerusalem Kamil al-Husayni died in March 1921, High Commissioner Samuel appointed his half-brother Mohammad Amin al-Husseini to the position. Amin al-Husseini, a member of the al-Husayni clan of Jerusalem, was an Arab nationalist and Muslim leader. As Grand Mufti, as well as the other influential positions that he held during this period, al-Husseini played a key role in violent opposition to Zionism. In 1922, al-Husseini was elected President of the Supreme Muslim Council which had been created by Samuel in December 1921.[11][12] The Council controlled the Waqf funds, worth annually tens of thousands of pounds[13] and the orphan funds, worth annually about 50,000, as compared to the 600,000 in the Jewish Agency’s annual budget.[14] In addition, he controlled the Islamic courts in Palestine. Among other functions, these courts were entrusted with the power to appoint teachers and preachers.

The 1922 Palestine Order in Council[15] established a Legislative Council, which was to consist of 23 members: 12 elected, 10 appointed, and the High Commissioner.[16] Of the 12 elected members, eight were to be Muslim Arabs, two Christian Arabs and two Jews.[17] Arabs protested against the distribution of the seats, arguing that as they constituted 88% of the population, having only 43% of the seats was unfair.[17]Elections were held in February and March 1923, but due to an Arab boycott, the results were annulled and a 12-member Advisory Council was established.[16]

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Mandatory Palestine – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Written on July 15th, 2015 & filed under Palestine Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,