In the discussion thread: Israeli envoys to France, UK summoned over settlement plans [View all]
Response to John2 (Reply #2)
Mon Dec 3, 2012, 03:57 PM
ieoeja (9,727 posts)
5. US got involved in large part of historical divide in the US over the issue.
The Republican Party has been a wholly owned subsidiary of the Energy industry almost since its inception. The Teapot Dome Scandal was their first big scandal even. They also viewed the nomadic Bedouins as a cowboy of the Mideast which appealed to the Conservative masses. So Republicans were staunchly behind the Arabs.
While the Democrats were solidly behind the Jews. The Jewish mainstream has been at the forefront of most Liberal movements. Plus there was that whole "most oppressed people in history" thing.
Wealthy Jews began purchasing land in the Turkish administrative district of Palestine late in the Turks control of the region. This practice continued after the British Mandate. During WW-I the British promised to turn the area into a Jewish homeland. They also promised the Arabs to turn it into an Arabic homeland. Thus making it the "twice promised land" as the joke went.
The first mass immigration of Jews to Israel from Russia came during the communist revolutionary period. Unlike the wealthy landowners before them, these were farmers who began occupying and working the lands they purchased. The wealthy European/American Jews had continued the same practice as the Arab Shieks before them by relying on Palestinian share croppers. With the influx of Russian Jews, they began to sell off bits of land to the Russians who were willing to farm their own land.
WW-II came. The Brits lost control. The Brits regained control. The war ended. And European Jews began pouring into the Mideast wanting nothing more to do with Europe after the hollocaust. Fighting ensued between Brits, Jews and Arabs, but mostly between Brits and Jews. Britain first turned the Sinai over to Egypt, and turned the bulk of Palestine into a new country named Trans-Jordan (this would later drop the "Trans-" portion of the name).
Britain then submitted the remainder to the UN where they expected their allies (including us) to back their continued control of Palestine. They also expected the Soviet bloc to not back the Jews as the Soviet's hatred of Jews was very well known. But just as France backed the Americans in the American Revolutionary War in an effort to weaken the English, the Soviets backed independance to weaken the Brits. This shamed the Americans into supporting the Palestinians over the Brits.
By that point the Turks, Brits and just about everybody else had played the Jews and Arabs against one another so long that it was apparent the two groups were not going to get along. So the UN partitioned the remaining mandate based on population. The largest area had a Jewish majority. While the West Bank had an Arab majority.
During the British withdrawal everbody, including the United States, declared an arms embargo on both sides. This did not, however, apply to independant Arab states who began building armies in advance of the British leaving.
In May 1948 the Brits left, and the Jewish majority declared statehood within their granted territory with a written constitution calling for democratic elections, etc. Armies immediately (actually, the first came a bit early) crossed into the Jewish mandate from several Arab nations. If the local Arab population on the West Bank made any attempt to declare an independant country, I have never heard of it.
The Mufti of Jerusalem asked the Arab minority living with the Jewish mandate to temporarily leave so the Arab armies would not have to worry about who was friend or foe. These fled to the Arab mandate and surrounding nations. As such some of the Arab population in the West Bank, Gaza and southern Lebanon and Syria are natives while others are refugees. Actual refugees have to be dying out as their descendants would presumably be considered native.
Israel lost territory, but managed to hold on until the invading armies lost steam. A peace-fire was called during which both sides rebuilt. The United States ended their arms embargo resulting in a much better prepared Israeli military when the peace-fire concluded. The new Israeli military recaptured all their lost territory and then some. Britain and France even sent in forces to stop the Israeli advance at the Suez Canal.
Israel then returned to the UN mandated border.
This would repeat itself several times over the next 19 years. Arab invasion. Jewish counterattack capturing Arab territory. Jewish withdrawal.
During this time the original Arab mandate was under the control of Jordan. Palestinian Arabs were forbidden immigration into Arab states. And the refugees were forbidden from returning to Israel.
Then in 1967 during Arab preparation for a new invasion, Israel grabbed one of Egypt's forward air bases. This was quickly followed by an invasion of Israel on all sides. Again, the Israeli counterattack grabbed Arab territory.
This time Israel did not return the territory.
There would be one more invasion of Israel in 1973 which went no better than any of the previous invasions. After that, faced with the prospect of losing territory, the Arab nations ceased their wars on Israel. Terrorism has been the tactic employed instead. The Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt created the first such organization in the 1950s before the Arab nations had given up their hope of capturing Israel for themselves.
Eventually, Israel has returned the Sinai to Egypt. And launched a couple of military adventures aimed at hindering the terrorists.
Israel probably could have gotten away with evicting the Palestinian Arabs when they first captured the West Bank. That is what they did on the Golan Heights with little fanfare. But by keeping the Palestinians in a state of perpetual occupation, they have surrendered any moral authority they might have possessed.
Their only solution today is to withdraw from the West Bank, and ask the world to help Palestine form a functioning government.
Somehow I don't see them accepting Israeli assistance in that last endeavour!
The problem, of course, is that they have become dominated by their conservatives. And to conservatives everything looks like a battle of brute strength. A conservative can not look at a map of Israel, with a narrow band of land connecting the northern and southern ends, without shaking in fear at how easy it would be for a militarized Palestine to cut Israel in two.
This, of course, ignores decades of technological advancement which makes such a temporary cut completely unimportant. And the unlikelihood that Palestine will ever be allowed the military buildup they would need to pose a challenge to Israel.
But they are conservatives. It takes them a few centuries to catch up with the rest of us.
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US got involved in large part of historical divide in the US over the issue.
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