The issue of Palestine’s occupation by Israel is not something new. We all know that Palestine today is oppressed and invaded by Israel. The definition of occupation is when a foreign army occupies your land physically and controls your life. What happens in Palestine is the country is both under military and settler occupation. The citizens of Palestine no longer have their civil right, they are under a military rule, while their homes were demolished and bulldozed to build new settlements or towns for the Jews. The settlements of the Israelis were strategically built that are connected by a network of roads which separate each Palestinians community from the next and confined their ability to expend. Furthermore the settlements were often constructed around best farm land and water resources. The bottom line of all this is to make the Palestinians leave their land, in a way it is an ethnic cleansing.
Lots of people believe that the Arabs whether Muslims or Christians and Jews are fighting each other from a long time ago and will continue fighting till the end of the world, but the truth is, with a little bit of reading of the history, you will find that the Arabs and Jews used to live together peacefully in Palestine before the occupation. The big question is, what actually the root cause of this conflict? How did it start? It began with a suggestion of forming a Jewish state from a Hungarian journalist named Theodore Hertzl as a solution for the European Jews for the anti-Semitism problem in Europe. He was the founder of the World Zionist Organization which held its first conference in Basle, Switzerland on 27th-29th August 1897 which decided to make Palestine as the Zionist/Jewish State.
Following British rules after World War I, the Belfour Declaration on 2nd November 1917 promised a Jewish homeland in Palestine which conflicted with Britain’s previous promise of self-rule for Arab inhabitants throughout the region in The McMahon Hussien Agreement of 1915. Britain was extremely supportive to the Zionist movements. It was the beginning of massive immigration of the Jews into Palestine disregarding the presence and wishes of the existing Palestinian citizens. From 1882 until 1945, 467 625 Jewish immigrants have entered Palestine with the climax during Nazi’s ruling in German and the holocaust. The Palestinians were not the one who did the holocaust, but they were the one who pay the price.
In 1947, United Nations decided to divide the land into two states, an Arab’s State (43%) and a Jewish State (57%), despite the fact that the Arabs occupied more than 2/3 of the land and own over 92% of the land. To make the condition worse, not just the Jews were given the most of the land; they were also given the most fruited land. On 15th May 1948, the new State of Israel was officially announced with David Ben-Gurion as its first Prime Minister. About a month before the announcement, one of the most devastating tragedy occurred in Palestine, The Deir Yassin tragedy where 254 people including old people, women and children were systemically killed. The tragedy has traumatized the whole Palestine, causing hundreds of thousands of Palestinians fled from their home.
The Arab countries and other Muslim countries failed to react to help restore peace in Palestine. In the end, the Palestinians decided to take matters with their own hands, launching the first Intifada in Dec 1987 until Dec 1993. 1100 Palestinians were killed during that time. The second Intifada which also known as Al-Aqsa Intifada was launched in September 2000 until early 2006. 5500 Palestinians were killed. During that time, Israel had 3930 Tanks, 362 F-16 Jets (largest fleet in any country in the world behind the US)
America has been Israel’s strongest ally until today. The total US aid (Direct Aid only) from 1949-2006 were totaled around $108 billion. Out of all dollars aid that US government gave annually, Israel received 1/3 of it. In March 2003 alone, $10 billion to aid Israel while withholding $3.5 billion grant to help the training of first responders, those who will first respond in terrorist attack. The US has used its Veto power more than 40 times in the U.N. to defend Israeli violations of International Law.
The issue of Palestine is no longer an issue of the Arab’s world only, it has become an International humanitarian issue. It is our responsible to help Palestine, to free them from the occupation.
Summarized from the documentary, Occupation 101
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~ Neo Rantissi ~