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Israeli settlements, explained - Settlements Part I

Their leader was the lone holdout. Saturday night, under intense pressure in a neck-and-neck contest with a centrist former army chief, Benny Gantz, Mr. Netanyahu gave in. We will move on to the next stage. Asked if he would extend Israeli law over the so-called settlement blocs — large Jewish communities built on the West Bank that even many two-state supporters assume the Palestinians would give up in trade for other Israeli territory in an eventual deal for their own state — Mr.

Palestine - HISTORY

Netanyahu said he would not stop there. The morning after, few Israelis were taking Mr. Netanyahu at his word. In , Mr. Netanyahu rallied his base by sowing fears of a big turnout by Arab-Israelis that would hand the government to the left. This time, many see him as trying to induce the right wing to come to his aid with a promise to fulfill a settler dream. Kurtzer, a former American ambassador to Israel under Democratic and Republican presidents, using Mr. Gantz, along with three other leaders of his Blue and White Party, two of them also former army chiefs, all forswore any such unilateral moves on the West Bank.

They said that Mr. Netanyahu was merely trying to save his political skin, and that no Israelis were foolish enough to believe him.

Indeed, analysts quickly speculated about the loopholes through which Mr. Netanyahu could slip free of his new commitment: dragging his feet on the promise to avoid interfering with a potential Trump peace proposal; arguing that changing circumstances made it no longer workable; or acceding only to the subtlest incremental applications of Israeli law to the territories, but nothing that equated with formal annexation. The precise number of refugees is sharply disputed, as is the question of responsibility for their exodus. Many Palestinians have claimed that most were expelled in accordance with a Zionist plan to rid the country of its non-Jewish inhabitants.

The official Israeli position holds that the refugees fled on orders from Arab political and military leaders. The proportion of expulsions is likely higher since the largest single expulsion of the war—50, from Lydda and Ramle—occurred in mid-July. There are several well-documented cases of massacres that led to large-scale Arab flight. The most infamous atrocity occurred at Dayr Yasin, a village near Jerusalem, where the number of Arab residents killed in cold blood by right-wing Zionist militias was about Today this term refers to the Arabs—Christian, Muslim and Druze—whose historical roots can be traced to the territory of Palestine as defined by the British mandate borders.

Some 5. Today, over 1. About 2. The remainder of the Palestinian people, perhaps another 5. The largest Palestinian diaspora community, approximately 2.

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Many of them still live in the refugee camps that were established in , although others live in cities and towns. Lebanon and Syria also have large Palestinian populations, many of whom still live in refugee camps. Many Palestinians have moved to Saudi Arabia and other Arab Gulf countries to work, and some have moved to other parts of the Middle East or other parts of the world.

Jordan is the only Arab state to grant citizenship to the Palestinians who live there. Palestinians in Arab states generally do not enjoy the same rights as the citizens of those states. The situation of the refugees in Lebanon is especially dire; many Lebanese blame Palestinians for the civil war that wracked that country from —, and demand that they be resettled elsewhere in order for the Lebanese to maintain peace in their country.

Palestinians in Syria have been caught up in violence since the uprising against the regime there started in Although many Palestinians still live in refugee camps and slums, others have become economically successful. Palestinians now have the highest per capita rate of university graduates in the Arab world. Their diaspora experience contributed to a high level of politicization of all sectors of the Palestinian people, though this phenomenon faded in the s as political factionalism increased and the prospects of a Palestinian state receded.

In , only about , Palestinians remained in the area that became the State of Israel. They were granted Israeli citizenship and the right to vote. But in many respects they were and remain second-class citizens, since Israel defines itself as a Jewish state and the state of the Jewish people, and Palestinians are non-Jews. Until most of them were subject to a military government that restricted their movement and other rights to work, speech, association and so on. Arabs were not permitted to become full members of the Israeli trade union federation, the Histadrut, until Palestinian Arab citizens of Israel have had a difficult struggle to maintain their cultural and political identity in a state that officially regards expression of Palestinian or Arab national sentiment as subversive.

Until , they were entirely isolated from the Arab world and often were regarded by other Arabs as traitors for living in Israel. Since , many have become more aware of their identity as Palestinians.

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Two-state solution

One important expression of this identity was the organization of a general strike on March 30, , designated as Land Day, to protest the continuing confiscation of Arab lands. The Israeli security forces killed six Arab citizens on that day. All Palestinians now commemorate it as a national day. In recent years it has become illegal in Israel to commemorate the nakba—the expulsion or flight of over half the population of Arab Palestine in While in all cases the decisions were overturned by the Supreme Court, they contributed to anti-Arab hysteria and anti-democratic sentiment, which increased dramatically among Jewish Israelis after After , although there was an armistice between Israel and the Arab states, the conflict continued and the region remained imperiled by the prospect of another war.

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The sense of crisis was fueled by a spiraling arms race as countries built up their military caches and prepared their forces and their populations for a future showdown. Israeli forces captured Gaza and the Sinai Peninsula, but were forced to retreat to the armistice lines as a result of international pressure led by the US and the Soviet Union in an uncharacteristic show of cooperation to avert further conflict in the Middle East. By the early s, however, the region was becoming a hot spot of Cold War rivalry as the US and the Soviet Union were competing with one another for global power and influence.

In the spring of , the Soviet Union misinformed the Syrian government that Israeli forces were massing in northern Israel to attack Syria.

There was no such Israeli mobilization. But clashes between Israel and Syria had been escalating for about a year, and Israeli leaders had publicly declared that it might be necessary to bring down the Syrian regime if it failed to end Palestinian guerrilla attacks from Syrian territory. Responding to a Syrian request for assistance, in May Egyptian troops entered the Sinai Peninsula bordering Israel.

These measures shocked and frightened the Israeli public, which believed it was in danger of annihilation.


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As the military and diplomatic crisis continued, on June 5, , Israel preemptively attacked Egypt and Syria, destroying their air forces on the ground within a few hours. Jordan joined in the fighting belatedly, and consequently was attacked by Israel as well. The war, which lasted only six days, established Israel as the dominant regional military power.

In contrast, the Palestinian national movement emerged as a major actor after in the form of the political and military groups that made up the Palestine Liberation Organization PLO.

Israel-Palestine: the real reason there’s still no peace - podcast

Israel and the United States use the English version to argue that Israeli withdrawal from some, but not all, the territory occupied in the war satisfies the requirements of this resolution. For many years the Palestinians rejected Resolution because it does not acknowledge their right to national self-determination or to return to their homeland.

By calling for recognition of every state in the area, Resolution entailed unilateral Palestinian recognition of Israel without reciprocal recognition of Palestinian national rights. The West Bank and the Gaza Strip became distinct political units as a result of the armistice that divided the new Jewish state of Israel from other parts of Mandate Palestine.

During —, the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, was ruled by Jordan, which annexed the area in and extended citizenship to Palestinians living there. In the same period, the Gaza Strip was under Egyptian military administration. In the war, Israel captured and occupied these areas. Israel established a military administration to govern the Palestinian residents of the occupied West Bank and Gaza. Under this arrangement, Palestinians were denied many basic political rights and civil liberties, including freedoms of expression, the press and political association.

Palestinian nationalism was criminalized as a threat to Israeli security, which meant that even displaying the Palestinian national colors was a punishable act. All aspects of Palestinian life were regulated, and often severely restricted. Israeli policies and practices in the West Bank and Gaza have included extensive use of collective punishments such as curfews, house demolitions and closure of roads, schools and community institutions. Hundreds of Palestinian political activists have been deported to Jordan or Lebanon, tens of thousands of acres of Palestinian land have been confiscated, and thousands of trees have been uprooted.

Israel has relied on imprisonment as one of its key strategies to control the West Bank and Gaza and to thwart and punish Palestinian nationalist resistance to the occupation. Hundreds of thousands of the arrestees have been jailed, some without trial administratively detained , but most after being prosecuted in the Israeli military court system. Torture of Palestinian prisoners has been a common practice since at least Dozens of people have died in detention from abuse or neglect. Israeli officials have claimed that harsh measures and high rates of incarceration are necessary to thwart terrorism.

Israel regards all forms of Palestinian opposition to the occupation as threats to its national security, including non-violent methods like calling for boycotts, divestment and sanctions.