The Israel-Palestine conflict: a brief, simple history
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The Israel-Palestine conflict: a brief, simple history

October 9, 2019


One of the biggest myths about the Israel-Palestine
conflict is that it’s been going on for centuries, that this is all about ancient religious hatreds. In fact, while religion is involved, the conflict
is mostly about two groups of people who claim the same land. And it really only goes back about a century,
to the early 1900s. Around then, the region
along the eastern Mediterranean we now call Israel-Palestine had been under Ottoman rule
for centuries. It was religiously diverse, including mostly
Muslims and Christians but also a small number of Jews, who lived generally in peace. And it was changing in two important ways. First, more people in the region were developing
a sense of being not just ethnic Arabs but Palestinians, a distinct
national identity. At the same time, not so far away in Europe,
more Jews were joining a movement called Zionism, which said that Judaism was not just a religion
but a nationality, one that deserved a nation of its own. And after centuries of persecution, many believed
a Jewish state was their only way of safety. And they saw their historic homeland in the Middle
East as their best hope for establishing it. In the first decades of the 20th century, tens of thousands of European Jews moved there. After World War One, the Ottoman Empire collapsed,
and the British and French Empires carved up the Middle East, with the British taking
control of a region it called the British Mandate for Palestine. At first, the British allowed Jewish immigration. But as more Jews arrived, settling into farming
communes, tension between Jews and Arabs grew. Both sides committed acts of violence. And by the 1930s, the British began limiting Jewish
immigration. In response, Jewish militias formed to fight both the local Arabs and to resist British rule. Then came the Holocaust, leading many more
Jews to flee Europe for British Palestine, and galvanizing much of the world in support
of a Jewish state. In 1947, as sectarian violence between Arabs and Jews there grew, the United Nations approved a plan
to divide British Palestine into two separate states: one for Jews, Israel, and one for
Arabs, Palestine. The city of Jerusalem, where Jews, Muslims, and Christians all have have holy sites, it was to become a special international zone. The plan was meant to give Jews a state, to
establish Palestinian independence, and to end the sectarian violence that the British
could no longer control. The Jews accepted the plan and declared independence as Israel. But Arabs throughout the region saw the UN plan as just more European colonialism trying to steal their land. Many of the Arab states, who had just recently
won independence themselves, declared war on Israel in an effort to establish a unified Arab Palestine where all of British Palestine had been. The new state of Israel won the war. But in
the process, they pushed well past their borders under the UN plan, taking the western half
of Jerusalem and much of the land that was to have been part of Palestine. They also expelled huge numbers of Palestinians
from their homes, creating a massive refugee population whose descendants today number
about 7 million. At the end of the war, Israel controlled all
of the territory except for Gaza, which Egypt controlled, and the West Bank, named because
it’s west of the Jordan River, which Jordan controlled. This was the beginning of the decades-long
Arab-Israeli conflict. During this period, many Jews in Arab-majority
countries fled or were expelled, arriving in Israel. Then something happened that transformed the
conflict. In 1967, Israel and the neighboring Arab states fought another war. When it ended, Israel had seized the Golan
Heights from Syria, the West Bank from Jordan, and both Gaza and the Sinai Peninsula from
Egypt. Israel was now occupying the Palestinian territories,
including all of Jerusalem and its holy sites. This left Israel responsible for governing
the Palestinians – a people it had fought for decades. In 1978 Israel and Egypt signed the US-brokered
Camp David Accords and shortly after that, Israel gave Sanai back to Egypt as part of
a peace treaty. At the time this was hugely controversial
in the Arab world. Egypt President Anwar Sadat was assassinated
in part because of outrage against it. But it marked the beginning of the end of
the wider Arab-Israeli conflict. Over the next few decades, the other Arab
states gradually made peace with Israel, even if they never signed formal peace treaties. But Israel’s military was still occupying
the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and Gaza, and this was when the conflict became
an Israeli-Palestinian struggle. The Palestinian Liberation Organization, which
had formed in the 1960s to seek a Palestinian state, fought against Israel, including through
acts of terrorism. Initially, the PLO claimed all of what had
been British Palestine, meaning it wanted to end the state of Israel entirely. Fighting between Israel and the PLO went on
for years, even including a 1982 Israeli invasion of Lebanon to kick the group out of Beirut. The PLO later said it would accept dividing
the land between Israel and Palestine, but the conflict continued. As all of this was happening, something dramatic
was changing in the Israel-occupied Palestinian territories: Israelis were moving in. These people are called settlers, and they
made their homes in the West Bank and Gaza whether Palestinians wanted them or not. Some moved for religious reasons, some because
they want to claim the land for Israel, and some just because housing is cheap — and
often subsidized by the Israeli government. Some settlements are cities with thousands
of people; others are small communities deep into the West Bank The settlers are followed by soldiers to guard
them, and the growing settlements force Palestinians off of their land and divide communities. Short-term, they make the occupation much
more painful for Palestinians. Long-term, by dividing up Palestinian land,
they make it much more difficult for the Palestinians to ever have an independent state. Today there are several hundred thousand settlers
in occupied territory even though the international community considers them illegal. By the late 1980s, Palestinian frustration
exploded into the Intifada, which is the the Arabic word for uprising. It began with mostly protests and boycotts
but soon became violent, and Israel responded with heavy force. A couple hundred Israelis and over a thousand
Palestinians died in the first Intifada. Around the same time, a group of Palestinians
in Gaza, who consider the PLO too secular and too compromise-minded, created Hamas, a violent
extremist group dedicated to Israel’s destruction. By the early 1990s, it’s clear that Israelis
and Palestinians have to make peace, and leaders from both sides sign the Oslo Accords. This is meant to be the big, first step toward
Israel maybe someday withdrawing from the Palestinian territories, and allowing an independent Palestine. The Oslo Accords establish the Palestinian
Authority, allowing Palestinians a little bit of freedom to govern themselves in certain areas. Hard-liners on both sides opposed the Oslo
accords. Members of Hamas launch suicide bombings to try to sabotage the process. The Israeli right protests peace talks, with
ralliers calling Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin a traitor and a Nazi. Not long after Rabin signs the second round
of Oslo Accords, a far-right Israeli shoots him to death in Tel Aviv. This violence showed how the extremists on
both sides can use violence to derail peace, and keep a permanent conflict going as they
seek the other side’s total destruction. That’s a dynamic that’s been around ever since. Negotiations meant to hammer out the final
details on peace drag on for years, and a big Camp David Summit in 2000 comes up empty. Palestinians come to believe that peace isn’t coming, and rise up in a Second
Intifada, this one much more violent than the first. By the time it wound down a few years later, about 1,000
Israelis and 3,200 Palestinians had died. The Second Intifada really changes the conflict.
Israelis become much more skeptical that Palestinians will ever accept peace, or that it’s even worth trying. Israeli politics shift right, and the country
builds walls and checkpoints to control Palestinians’ movements. They’re not really trying to solve the conflict
anymore, just manage it. The Palestinians are left feeling like negotiating
didn’t work and violence didn’t work, that they’re stuck under an ever-growing occupation
with no future as a people. That year, Israel withdraws from Gaza. Hamas
gains power but splits from the Palestinian Authority in a short civil war, dividing Gaza
from the West Bank. Israel puts Gaza under a suffocating blockade,
and unemployment rises to 40%. This is the state of the conflict as we know
it today. It’s relatively new, and it’s
unbearable for Palestinians. In the West Bank, more and more settlements
are smothering Palestinians, who often respond with protests and sometimes with violence,
though most just want normal lives. In Gaza, Hamas and other violent groups have
periodic wars with Israel. The fighting overwhelmingly kills Palestinians,
including lots of civilians. In Israel itself, most people have become
apathetic, and for the most part the occupation keeps the conflict relatively removed from
their daily lives, with moments of brief but horrible violence. There’s little political will for peace. No one really knows where the conflict goes
from here. Maybe a Third Intifada. Maybe the Palestinian
Authority collapses. But everyone agrees that things, as they are now, can’t
last much longer — that Israel’s occupation of the Palestinians is too unstable to last, and that, unless something dramatic changes, whatever comes next will be much worse.

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  1. Read more about the Israel-Palestine conflict on Vox: http://bit.ly/2S7gFlT

    Your basic questions about Israel and Palestine answered:
    – What are Israel and Palestine? Why are they fighting? http://bit.ly/2NKJPcd
    – What is Zionism? http://bit.ly/2G549P6
    – How did Israel become a country in the first place? http://bit.ly/2xFdAjN
    – What are settlements, and why are they such a big deal? http://bit.ly/30pSRfZ
    – What were the intifadas? http://bit.ly/2NInMm9
    – How does the world feel about Israel/Palestine? http://bit.ly/2JprIEh
    – What is the Israeli-Palestinian peace process? http://bit.ly/2XIRzQB

    Further reading on the Israel-Palestine conflict: http://bit.ly/2XBrIFf

    You can also watch our three-part documentary series on Israeli settlements from 2016. Start with part 1 here: https://youtu.be/E0uLbeQlwjw

  2. Notice how inspiring the you Hong Kong protestors are ?
    Why don't Palestine elect an inspiring young leader
    or elect a woman !
    Why are the corrupt old men still in charge : ordering young
    people to attack the fence, throw stones & petrol bombs.
    Where is the vision ; where is the Nelson Mandela or Gandhi.
    What did 40yrs of Arafat corrupt despotism achieve ?
    What will anti-democratic, Islamofascist Hamas achieve ?
    Why is Abbas just sitting their building a $1.8 million mansion
    10yrs after being elected for 4yrs ?
    No wonder the world eats popcorn…..it's like watching an old 1970s
    documentary : nothing changes in the Palestinian polity.
    Will Fatah's corrupt old men still be there in another 50yrs ? You bet.

  3. A muslim is safe in a jewish or a christian state but what about christians and jewish in a muslim state? Guess what…

    Yeah, that's the main difference.

  4. I like how everyone blames Britain when in reality, it's the fault of the people who occupy their territory. They are the ones who will make NO effort to get along. It happened in Israel and Palestine, India and Pakistan, Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots. Guys. you have lived historically in the same territory for centuries, and still will not get along. You instead blame it on a country that has had no involvement since 1948. If you can't get along with your own neighbours, you have no hope, and your nation will fall apart. To some it up: IT IS NOT BRITAIN'S FAULT THAT YOU ARE SECTARIAN AND HATE EACH OTHER.

  5. For all the 'free 'palestine' guys. Can you tell me plz,if palestine was esxist as a state- When was it established? When destroyed and "occupied"? And from whom? What was the boarders? . Can you answer it? Ill wait😘, Got the point? . And lets have a history lesson, 'palestine' is part of the name 'syria palestina' a name of a *REGION* (not a state), a name given by the ROMAN EMPIRE after they occupied the land of israel from the jews. . And, have you heard about 'kingdom of israel'? It was existed even back at 1010BC (thats 1010 years before christianity, and 1610 years BEFORE ISLAM). . And you know what was the capital of that kingdom? ***drums***– JERUSALEM. Yes,
    jerusalem was a jewish capital before islam even existed.
    +Jerusalem was not an arab/muslim capital a single day throught history.
    .

  6. Fun fact, when Israeli military forces Palestinians to leave their homes, they put their house keys on a chain and wear it as a necklace, as a promise that they will return

  7. Fun fact, when Israeli military forces Palestinians to leave their homes, they put their house keys on a chain and wear it as a necklace, as a promise that they will return

  8. 40K people in Comment section .. Just Pray for Peace whoever you are worshipping .. Childrens are dying of bombs .. and chemical weapons … Whichever country you are living .. don't go for invasion ..in name of your country or patriotism .. politicians are just using us . NoOne will ever get anything from war

  9. This was more balanced than I expect to see these days. Congratulations! I would say there are a few times you could argue. The problem starts at various times but I would go with 1897 as an official start for Jewish statehood as a goal. During World War I was when there was agitation for the start of various states carved from the Ottoman Empire. Although for both of these things you could agree for a few other dates if you really want such as Rome taking over the area, The Crusader States doing the some or even the Ottoman Empire absorbing the area. It didn't help that the English were talking out of both sides of their mouth during World War I. And during the Jewish War Of Independence you said the Israeli's expelled Palestinians however many of them fled and were not allowed to reenter the new country (there is a difference). Those that fled were encouraged to do so by false news broadcasts by Arab radio stations that made a variety of things up. They would have been better served by accurate reporting.

  10. The British were too smart they understood human mentality and divided many regions on basis of differences so that they all fail, I think at that time they had a plan to come back.

  11. The brits are not at fault for anything. They are far from perfect but they are not killing each other like people in Africa or the middle east.

  12. THIS IS LEAVING OUT SO MUCH INFORMATION, LIKE- –

    WHAT ABOUT WHEN THE ISRAELIS WANTED TO MAKE ONE COUNTRY TOGETHER WITH THE PALESTINIANS? WHAT ABOUT ISRAELIS HELPING PALESTINIANS MAKE A BETTER COUNTRY WITH DOCTORS? BUT PALESTINIANS DIDN'T WANT IT? I mean obviously I don't HATE Palestinians, but if you say that Israelis are bad, Palestinians are good, you should give both sides of the conflict, not only one side's opinions. Tell what everyone thinks! You should say, 'Here are the facts: Israelis did this wrong and Palestinians did this wrong, BUT Israelis did this WELL and Palestinians did THIS well.

  13. Well this video is very untrue , he completely skipped over the 1973 war in which Egypt controlled sinai, the peace treaty was signed in 1978

  14. ישראל היא המדינה הכי טובה במזרח התיכון Israel is the best country in the middle east because we have a democracy

  15. From my perspective, the Jewish were a minority and would have lost any war except that the USA continuously supported the Israeli state because it wanted a military advantage in that region. The Jews do not have any moral or religious reason for kicking out Palestinians from their homes/land. They are doing it because they did not have anywhere else to go and they decided they wanted it all. They kept taking more land so they could control the religious sites for income from tourism. They are removing and replacing families that have lived there for 100's of years with people who they are soliciting to come and occupy. How is this situation moral or right in any sense? What is upsetting to me, is that countries who should have gotten involved many years ago didn't, now they are being attacked by the USA. It's divide and conquer at it's best. Wake up middle eastern countries, stop quarreling amongst yourselves and galvanize for your own survival.

  16. According to official Palestinian and Israeli figures, the second intifada left 4,412 Palestinians dead and 48,322 injured, while 1,100 Israelis, including 300 soldiers, were killed and some 4,500 wounded.

  17. Insha Allah Pakistan will test atomic bombs on Israel 🇵🇰🇵🇰🇵🇰🇵🇰🇵🇰🇵🇰🇵🇰🇵🇰🇵🇰🇵🇰🇵🇰🇵🇰🇵🇰🇵🇰🇵🇰🇵🇰🇵🇰🇵🇰🇵🇰🇵🇰🇵🇰🇵🇰🇵🇰🇵🇰🇵🇰🇵🇰🇵🇰🇵🇰

  18. Why not make it a free land soo theres no nationality there and they can live peacefully like back in the days?

  19. how come you don't mention that the Palestinians are the only people in the world that can inherit a refugee status, why aren't you mentioning add more Jews were deported from Arab countries after they were robbed of all their money and property. they were refugees too bit instead of going to terrorism or bagging for money from the international community they build a successful country.

  20. They're not happy in Gaza.
    They're not happy in Egypt.
    They're not happy in Libya.
    They're not happy in Morocco.
    They're not happy in Iran.
    They're not happy in Iraq.
    They're not happy in Yemen.
    They're not happy in Afghanistan.
    They're not happy in Pakistan.
    They're not happy in Syria.
    They're not happy in Lebanon.
    They're not happy in Indonesia.

    So, where are they happy?

    They're happy in Australia.
    They're happy in England.
    They're happy in France.
    They're happy in Italy.
    They're happy in Germany.
    They're happy in Sweden.
    They're happy in the USA.
    They're happy in Norway.
    And They're happy in ISRAEL!
    They're happy in almost every country that is not Islamic!
    And who do they blame [for their unhappiness]?

    Not Islam…not their leadership…not themselves… They blame the countries in which they are HAPPY! And they want to change the countries in which they're happy, to be like the countries they came from, where they were unhappy.

  21. We invite Israel to take Philippine lands. Be our partner. And protect us from the Chinese. Fair trade, territory for protection.

  22. I know what will come next, Iran nuclear weapons and the destruction of Israel Inshallah 🇮🇷🇮🇷🇮🇷🇮🇷🇮🇷🇮🇷

  23. its not politics, but rather religion that caused and motivated the conflict: false, immoral, hateful, ridiculius, stolen by prior myths, cause of much tribalism and superstitious thinking. read intellectual books from hitchens, harris and dawkins to be enlightened about this

  24. So if non muslims take weapons then it's called resistance
    But
    When Muslims take weapons it's called extremists
    🤔🤔🤔

  25. So then basically why do human beings even exist……..I swear we are just here because conditions were right for people to evolve into what we are today……..but we have NO REAL PURPOSE IN THE UNIVERSE

  26. Because of human desire for dominance world leaders can’t settle on a deal to split a tiny piece of land in half for two groups of people………..

  27. Sultan gave a order to Arabs dont sell your lands to the jews- he knew that they will do all this 120 years ago

  28. More than 400 Israelis have been killed by Palestinian militants since the end of Second Infitada
    No report on it?I do admit Israelis killed seven times more Palestinians during the same course but still the no of Israelis killed is not a small number

  29. Why is 10 lakh Arabs in Israel not a problem but 6 lakh Israelis in West Bank and East Jerusalem a problem

  30. Mulla mulli nikat nahi ave Israel jab nam sunave
    Means "Muslim Islam not came near when we take name of Israel' 😂 😂 🤣😂😅😅😂😅😂🤣
    🇮🇳💪long live Israel love from India

  31. they 'GAVE' sinai back to egypt are you freaking kidding me egypt had to fight a war to get it back the 6 of october war do your researchhhhh

  32. Comment from an ignorant man after watching the video: So, British did the same with Palastine as they did with India. Colonize, rule, loot and leave the place while leaving it deep within conflict.
    Correct me if I'm wrong.

  33. Why don't they unite despite of differences in religion, culture and ethnicity? And the new country name wouldnt be israel nor palestine.

  34. No man no
    The intfada was because israle use a dangerous weapons
    And the war "حرب تشرين التحريرية" you should read about it

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