Free «What Were the Preconditions of the Arab-Israeli Conflict?» Essay Sample

What Were the Preconditions of the Arab-Israeli Conflict?

The Arab-Israeli conflict is an opposition between a number of Arab countries and Arab paramilitary radical groups, supported by a part of the native Arab people in the Israeli-occupied Palestinian territories. On the one hand, there is the Zionist movement, and then, on the other, there is the State of Israel. The Arab-Israeli conflict is the longest of all the unresolved conflicts in the world. Its beginning refers to the 40s of the XX century. The conflict is connected with the problem of creation of Jewish and Arab states in Palestine. This decision was made by the General Assembly of the United Nations. However, it was initially declined by both neighboring Arab states and the Arab inhabitants of Palestine. Since that time, the Arab-Israeli conflict became a very significant problem. The course of the Arab-Israeli conflict and the possibility of its settlement has a decisive influence on the position of the direct participants - the US, European countries, as well as leading the Arab and Muslim world.

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The State of Israel appeared on the political arena in May 14, 1948. “The day of its foundation, 14 May 1948, was the day of the Arab-Israeli conflict began” (Ross, 2004, p. 8). However, the preparatory actions for the creation of a Jewish state were lead long before that. For many centuries, the Jewish people were dispersed. They had the desire to return to the Promised Land, which once was their homeland. This movement had a religious-political nature. In the late XIX century, coordinating with the program of the first Congress of the World Zionist Organization, held in 1897 in Palestine, the first Jewish colonies were created. At that time, Zionism, an ancient movement for the revival of the Jewish people to their homeland, acquired the character of a politically organized movement. At the same time, in Palestine, there were the first Zionist political parties that formed the basis for the formation of a future multi-party system in Israel. In 1920, the British colonial rule in Palestine was established, which opened wide opportunities for the Zionist penetration in the country and the development of socio-economic structure of the future state. By the end of the World War II, about 70% of the Palestinian industrial sector was Jewish (Bickerton, 2012).

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However, the desire of Jewish community to gain national independence and sovereignty came across stubborn resistance of the Palestinian Arabs. The Arabs, headed by their religious leaders, strongly refused to discuss the possibility of the partition of Palestine. Thirties of the XX century were marked by violent political confrontation and armed conflicts between the Arab and Jewish communities. In the postwar period, especially in 1947, they grew into a real war, covering most of the country. Under these circumstances, the British government was forced to refer the question of future status of Palestine to the United Nations.

November 29, 1947, the UN General Assembly voted in favor of the abolition of the British mandate regime in Palestine and the foundation of two independent states - Jewish and Arab - on its territory. At the same time, there was a representative body of the Jewish population - the National Council. May 15, 1948 National Council held its meeting, where one of the leading political leaders David Ben-Gurion read the Declaration of Independence, which declared the creation of the State of Israel (Schulze, 2013).

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Immediately, after the declaration of the state of Israel, army in neighboring Arab countries invaded its territory. The first Arab-Israeli war began. In the war, Israel, assisted by the United States, not only managed to repel the Arab forces, but also attached to its territory 6.7 thousand square kilometers designated to the Arab state, as well as the western part of Jerusalem. Jordan occupied the eastern part of the city. Egypt occupied Gaza Strip. About 900 thousand of Palestinian Arabs were forced to leave their homes, captured by the Israelis, and became refugees in neighboring Arab countries. Therefore, together with occurrence of the State of Israel, there was one of the most painful problems of current time - the Palestinian problem.

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One of the main contentious issues regards to belonging of Palestine and Jerusalem, which each side believes its historic homeland and religious shrine. The situation is complicated by the conflict of interests of leading world powers in the Middle East, which has become an arena of political and military confrontation. The seriousness of the attention of the United States to the Arab-Israeli conflict is evidenced by the fact that during the existence of the United Nations, Washington used the right of veto in the Security Council 20 times, 16 of which were in support of Israel.

In October 1956, the Arab-Israeli conflict flared up. Israel, France and Britain launched the joint military action against Egypt in response to the nationalization of Suez Canal by President G. Nasser. Under international pressure, the coalition was forced to withdraw its troops from the occupied Sinai Peninsula. In June 1967, Israel citing its steps by military preparations in a number of Arab states began military operations against Egypt, Syria and Jordan (Six Day War). In October 1973, Egypt and Syria attempted to regain the lost territory. These countries had some success in the first phase of hostilities. However, they could not fix it and did not achieve their goals, eventually losing a number of areas (Askari, 2013).

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The refugee problem is one of the fundamental contradictions of the Arab-Israeli conflict. The total number of Palestinian refugees, including those born in exile is, according to various estimates, about 4 million people. Since 1967, in the occupied territories, more than 230 Israeli settlements, with a population of about 370 thousand people, were created (Bar-On, 2006).

The main problem facing the world today is the extension of immediate Israeli-Palestinian negotiations. All barriers to the negotiation process should be removed. The sides need to find a mutually acceptable formula out of the crisis. There is no alternative to dialogue aimed at achieving a just and comprehensive political settlement in the Middle East.

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