The Middle East and the World

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The Middle East and the World

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The Middle East and the World

Arab-Israeli Conflict


Persian Gulf


Setting the Scene: Two Sides of the Conflict

To David Ben-Gurion, Israel’s first prime minister, the birth of modern Israel in 1948 was the fulfillment of God’s promise to the ancient Israelites. He quoted scripture:

“The land whereto we have returned to inherit it, it is the inheritance of our fathers and within it no stranger has part

or parcel…We have taken unto us our father’s inheritance.”- First book of Maccabees

But to the Arabs then living on the land called Palestine, the creation of Israel was an illegal “invasion.” The land, they felt, was rightfully theirs.

“Palestine is the homeland of the Arab Palestinian people. It is an indivisible part of the Arab homeland, and the Palestinian people are an integral part of the Arab nation” – Palestinian National Charter, Article 1


The Cold War and the Middle East

In their global rivalry, each of the superpowers tried to line up allies in the Middle East. The United States fought communist threats in (1) Turkey and (2)Iran, while the Soviet Union found allies in the four Middle Eastern countries of (3) Egypt, Iraq, Syria and LibyaEach superpower sold arms to its ally in the region. In the Arab-Israeli conflict, the United States helped Israel, while the Soviet Union gave aid to the Arabs.During and after the Cold War, the development of weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East became a global concern.

During the Cold War, both the United States and the Soviet Union sought access to the oil and waterways of the Middle East. Superpower rivalries had a far-reaching impact on the region.



Origin of the Arab-Israeli Conflict

Zionist Movement: Jewish quest to migrate to and govern Palestine Balfour Declaration:British document which stated that Jewish people had a right to a homeland in Palestine1947 UN proposed Partition of Israel and Palestine (Arab state)Rejected by Arabs1948 creation of independent Israel


The Arab-Israeli Conflict

In 1967, Israel won the (4)Golan Heights from Syria, East Jerusalem and the West Bank from (5)Jordan, and the (6)Gaza Strip and the Sinai Peninsula from (7)Egypt. In 1973, Arabs attacked Israel but failed to regain these occupied territories. Israel refused to give up these territories until Arab nations recognized (8)Israel’s right to exist.


Many Israelis insisted on the survival of Israeli settlements that had been built on these occupied lands.


The (9)

Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO)

headed by


Arafat waged guerilla war against Israelis both at home and abroad.

Palestinians continue to demand the right to return to lands they fled during the Arab Israeli wars.


Peace Efforts

When the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, the peace process was accelerated because (10) with the end of Soviet aid some other Arab governments accepted the need to negotiate with Israel. In 1993 a historic agreement was signed between (11) Israel and the PLO called the Oslo accord.


"He kills our children, women, men. He bulldozes our lands. Why doesn't the world condemn it when Palestinian people get killed?" (Palestinian mourner, quoted in The New York Times) "We represent the youth who want war, because, without war, this will never end." (17-year-old Israeli girl, quoted in Financial Times) "A solution will only come through negotiations that lead to the division of this land into two independent states." (Israeli schoolteacher, quoted in Financial Times)

Do-Now: Perspectives on the Conflict

Intifadas (uprisings) continue against Israeli occupation: In December 2001 a series of Palestinian

suicide bombings

increased Israeli military


Directions: Pick one of the following quotes to respond to


Arab-Israeli Continuing Issues

After years of fighting and negotiations, peace in Israel remains an elusive goal. A number of specific issues continue to divide the sides.Conflict over the Gaza strip, borders of certain regions, and control of Jerusalem continue to be issues


The Conflict Rages on-Today

Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip have been given limited self-government under the Palestinian Authority


-Palestinians remain dissatisfied because they still do not have an independent homeland of their own

Radical groups continue terrorist attacks on Israelis

Some Israeli citizens were willing to give up occupied territory in exchange for peace


Others are determined to keep and settle lands they won during the wars or simply continue to distrust and fear their Arab neighbors


Oslo Accords with the Palestinians lead to establishment of PNA in 1993.


treaty with Jordan signed in 1994.


fire with Palestinian Authority since 2004.


fire with Lebanon since 2006. Cease fire with Hamas (Gaza Strip) since 2012.


Though the areas constituting the State of Palestine have been occupied by Israel since 1967-as of November 2012 the UN General Assembly has upgraded Palestine from an "observer entity" to a "non-member observer state" within the United Nations system, and implicitly recognizing PLO's sovereignty.The Palestinian Liberation Organization (Palestinian National Authority) governing the Palestinian Territories is now referred to as the state of Palestine

Palestine Today


Other conflicts in the Middle East

The Arab-Israeli conflict fueled tensions in nearby Lebanon….


Civil War in Lebanon

In Lebanon, the government depended on a delicate balance among (12)


(a Christian sect)


Sunni and Shiite Muslims.

When Muslims began to outnumber


, unrest spread.

Palestinian refugees entering Lebanon from occupied territories strained resources.

PLO guerrillas in refugee camps in Lebanon crossed into Israel to attack civilian and military targets.

Christian and Muslim


battled for control of Beirut, the capital city.

Israel invaded the south, while Syria occupied eastern Lebanon


In 1975, civil war

broke out in Lebanon, not until (13)


did Lebanese leaders finally restore some order


Iraq-Wars in the Persian Gulf

(14) Border disputes, oil wealth, foreign intervention, and ambitious rulers fed tensions along the Persian Gulf.In 1980, Iraqi dictator, (15) Saddam Hussein invaded Iran. The resulting war dragged on for eight years, ending in a stalemate. For both nations, the human and economic toll was enormous. In 1990, Iraqi troops invaded the oil-rich nation of (16) Kuwait. In the Gulf War, the United States organized a coalition of American, European, and Arab powers to drive Iraqi forces out of Kuwait. UN economic (17) sanctions stopped Iraq from selling its oil abroadThe goal was to force Hussein to (18) stop building chemical and nuclear weapons



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