Monday, January 5, 2009

Did I Bite Off More Than I Can Chew???

Lord have mercy! I've been trying to educate myself on the history of Israel and the current conflict with the Palestinians. It is mind boggling. There is so much history that is in play here! I decided to try to just get a basic grasp by looking at timelines. I really want to get this so I am going to have to take it slow. I pilfered these maps from CIA-The World Factbook. Unfortunately, they are hard to see on the blog.

I chose this map of the middle east to show the placement of the surrounding countries. I really need to be able to picture this while I am reading through things to help increase my understanding.

This map is a close up of Israel. The Gaza Strip and the West Bank are outlined with a dotted line.
During the 1800's there was a Zionist movement of Jews from around the world returning to Palestine to reclaim their homeland. The British ruled Palestine from 1918. In the 1930's Arabs revolted against the British and the growing number of Jews. The British were successful in putting the revolt down with the aid of Jewish militias. In 1948, the British finally pulled out of Palestine and the Jews declared the independence of the new State of Israel. There was a war between the Arabs and the Jews in which the Jews were victorious. The Gaza Strip and the West Bank did not become part of the new Israel state.
The Gaza Strip was initially annexed by Egypt. Israel went to war with Egypt in 1956 after conquering the Gaza area only to have Egypt retain control. In 1967 there was another war ending with a peace treaty between Egypt and Israel in which Egypt gave over control of Gaza to the Israelis. There was then a Palestinian uprising in the area during the late 1980's that resulted in a peace agreement (the Oslo Accords) which gave administrative control to Palestinian authorities in 1994.
*editing to add the Arab-Israeli War of 1973. This was an armed conflict between Israel, Egypt and Syria. Both sides suffered heavy losses but Israel maintained control. It is also called the Yom Kippur War by the Jews or the Ramadan War by the Arabs.
In 2005 Israel pulled completely out of Gaza in an effort to placate Palestinian forces. One year later, on June 25, 2006, Palestinian militants crossed into Israel and kidnapped an Israeli soldier. Israel invaded the Gaza Strip until a cease fire was declared in November of 2006.
In 2007 there was a short civil war in Gaza between Hamas and Fatah. Fatah (a reverse acronym for Palestinian National Liberation Movement) was founded in 1954 and led by Yasser Arafat until his death in 2004. Fatah is not recognized as a terrorist organization by any government. Hamas (an acronym for Islamic Resistance Movement) was created in 1987 by three members of the Palestinian Muslim Brotherhood. Hamas supporters see it as an armed resistance movement defending Palestinians from Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories. Hamas is a terrorist organization and state in their charter, "There is no solution for the Palestinian question except through Jihad." Fatah was forced out of Gaza.
With Hamas taking over the Gaza Strip the area has remained in conflict with them firing missiles and homemade rockets into Israel. Israel has responded with warplanes targeting Hamas military and political infrastructure sites with air to ground missiles. It needs noting that Hamas is closely allied to and supplied by Iran. In June of 2008, Egypt arranged a cease-fire. Hamas recently increased rocket attacks on Israel which led them to a major attack on December 27, 2008. For a timeline breakdown of what has happened each day since, go here.
There are those that believe that the attacks on 9/11 stem from the United States long history of supporting Israel. What do you think?


Roland Hulme said...

Brilliant and concise summary. 'Uneducated' indeed - you put so-called smarter people to shame.

I think this illustrates why Americans are sympathetic to Israel. Basically, Israelis are simply fighting to exist. They even gave back the Gaza strip to placate the Arabs, but still the conflict continued.

I am not saying Israel is not guilty of some terribly and inhumane crimes, but basically they are in an untenable position - surrounded by countries that simply want to eliminate them from existing.

If america stopped supporting Israel, the Arabs would invade and there would be genocide and ethnic cleansing on a scale unheard of outside of Africa.

Two Dogs said...

Roland is very right here. If the US removed itself from the debate, very quickly there would be no religious fanatics in the Middle East and the Jews could live peacefully in the area that was given to them almost 100 years ago. Dang Muslims screw up everything. Oh, and Democrats help, too with their appeasement ideas.

One Salient Oversight said...

Peace is certainly possible. The Camp David accords in the late 1970s created a lasting peace between Israel and Egypt.

US support for Israel is found mainly in the UN. Israel manufactures most of its own weapons these days and has a store of nuclear weapons. Even if America stopped its support of Israel, Israel has the sheer military strength to push back any incursion from Syria, Lebanon or Jordan. And if things get serious they could use their nukes.

The 1956, 1967 and 1973 conflicts involved Israel engaging in a formal war against its neighbours, whose national armies invaded and fought against the IDF.

Since 1973, however, no Arab nation has dared to formally attack Israel. Syria, Jordan, Egypt and Lebanon have not once used their national armies to attack.

In its place, guerilla and terrorist organisations like the PLO and, more lately, Hamas, have been threatening Israel.

What is important to realise, however, is that the recent work by Hamas and Palestinians over the past 10-20 years has not been of the same extent as that of the 56/67/73 conflicts. Israel's sovereignty has not been seriously threatened by any post 1973 conflict.

And this is what the problem is - Israel is the most powerful military force in that part of the world and has been using it disproportionately against Palestinians.

The solution for the whole Palestinian problem is complex but will ultimately rest upon Palestinians benefiting from Israel's existence.

Two Dogs said...

OSO has made a bunch of good points. Especially the next to the last paragraph. Lemme change a couple of words and see if that one paragraph makes any sense, though.

"And this is what the problem is - the United States has the most powerful prison systme in that part of the world and has been using it disproportionately against criminals."

There, that makes sense, huh?

BLBeamer said...

There's that unhelpful word "disproportionate". I was referred to an article today pointing out that in the American Civil War, it was Gen. Sherman's "disproportionate" response in Georgia which ultimately reduced the populace to recognizing the futility of their rebellion. The result has been nearly 150 years of peace.

Immoral disproportionate military force would mean, I believe, the IDF attacking the West Bank like they are currently attacking Gaza. No missiles have been launched from the West Bank, so no IDF tanks or planes are attacking the West Bank.

Except for that word, I am in general agreement with OSO, but I further believe that peace between Palestinians and Israel is impossible unless all sides give up what I call their "animating myths."

I am pessimistic this will happen in the forseeable future. I do not expect to live to see it.

Coffee Bean said...

There is something that I really don't understand. Israel has one of the best military operations in the world and yet they fight with one arm tied behind their back. We've seen the same thing with our involvement in Iraq. To me, taking care of things quickly will lead to less collateral damage in the long run. I don't get it.

Two Dogs said...

It is much harder to attempt to spare innocents than it is to just perform indiscriminate carpet-bombing of a target. The Jews possess the mercy gene, something dreadfully lacking in the Muslim community.

The US has done the same thing since the end of WWII. It is more costly, but is the right thing to do.

Coffee Bean said...

I don't know... I liken it to the way my husband kills bugs. He taps them and often they get away. I obliterate them... and not many escape me. Although, it has led to the need for spackle and paint on occasion. Fortunately, we rarely see bugs here in Colorado.

I'm sure Israel is very advanced technologically, as is the U.S. The problem in Iraq was that we went in with too few troops and tied our own hands in an effort to "fight fair." Is war ever fair?

I certainly do not want to see innocent people killed. It just seems to me that by not dealing with things effectively in the first place, when you have more than the capability to do so, costs more in the long run in terms of lives and dollars.

Two Dogs said...

As far as Iraq is concerned, our government folks never thought that the Religion of Pieces would move their terrorists into residential areas. They make assumptions that should never be made in regard to those that choose to practice Islam, because those in government expect Muslims to live their religious lives in the contradictory mode that government officials do. Bill Clinton carried a Bible around with him, all while attempting to rape subordinates.

If Muslims possessed any modicum of honor, they would have fought like men. Islam teaches their students to use all kinds of untoward behavior to kill people that do not submit to Islam. If they were not animals, the war would have been over three years ago and not spilled into Iraq from Afghanistan, but we are fighting MUSLIMS, the religion that has never spread anywhere unless it was forced upon a defeated people.

Our government must give up the practice of believing that Muslims do not want what the Qur'an demands and take them at their word. When Mahmoud Ahmadinejad says, "I want to KILL all the Jews and the infidels in the United States, we should believe that is his intent and destroy him first.

Doing what I propose is called "sanity." Call your Congressman and tell him to look that word up.

Just Me said...

Thank you for the history lesson. I'll be reading and learning right along with you, since I am woefully lacking any knowledge in this area of the world.

Susanne said...

Wow, it's disturbing to read of Palestinians likened to bugs that need obliterating all at once so the problem won't crop up again and cost more money and lives. Amazing!

I guess these people don't have souls worth saving? Just so long the Zionists are saved here on earth, the others be damned to hell for eternity, right?

Whatever happened to "overcome evil with GOOD"? I think that would be from Jesus. And you think your method trumps His? Yours is better than GOD's?!

I don't see the world in better shape for all the conflicts of "fighting evil" that we have done in recent years.

What gives? Whatever happened to "if your enemy is hunger, feed him" and all that stuff? Where does bomb the daylights out of 'em and hope they all die like bugs come from?


Is there any wonder not many people want Christianity? THIS is being the light of the world?

Susanne said...

Please quickly scroll through the pictures at this link. Do you see these as precious people who need Jesus or bugs that need obliterated once and for all?

Thank you for your consideration.