Balfour Declaration – British support of a Jewish homeland.
One million Arabs vs. 60,000 Jews.
One million Arabs vs. 160,000 Jews.
Adolf Hitler becomes chancellor of Germany – influx of Jews to Palestine.
1936-1939, The Arab Rebellion – attacks on Jewish settlements, training of the Haganah.
British side with the Jews.
The Peel Commission – suggested the separation of Palestine into two separate states.
Jews rejected it because they wanted more land, Arabs rejected it because it was a partition.
450,000 Jews in Palestine.
Unrestricted immigration was abandoned.
British soldiers regain control.
White Paper – British support of an independent Palestine in 10 years regardless of the race ruling it, but restricting Jewish immigration.
Post WWII – 1945-1949
The status and population structure of Palestine fundamentally changed during 1945-1949l
It was a time of tension, violence, civil war and the origins of future conflict and crises in the Middle East are from this period.
Under a mandate of British administration for three decades.
Jewish population less than a third of total population.
Jewish survivors of Nazi death camps as well as large numbers of displaced Jews meant that immigration was pushed.
The urgency of the situation of the Jews in Europe had direct implications on Palestine.
Arab League formed in 1945.
Apart from humanitarian motives, Zionists also had political aims.
Wanted to increase the size of the Jewish population – Zionist state.
Actively discouraged schemes to settle Jewish refugees anywhere else.
After WWII, Zionists had emotion on their side due to the sensitivity of the Holocaust.
This was ammunition for Zionist propaganda.
They focused on a propaganda offensive in the USA where there was strong Jewish lobby in Congress.
Rallies and meetings were held to raise funds, and US President Harry Truman announced his support for Zionist demand and demanding instant admission of 100,000 Jewish immigrants – which was rejected by the British government, triggering violent reactions in Palestine.
British actions to intercept were viewed by heartless and inappropriate.
Efforts to establish a Jewish state included smuggling immigrants, launching a propaganda campaign in the USA and using terror tactics on the British.
Britain was economically weak after six years of war.
Due to urgent problems on the home front, Britain could no longer afford to keep a large military presence in Palestine.
Many people in Britain began to feel that the situation in Palestine was taking up too much money and attention.
Timeline of Events
Alexandria Protocol – Arab states argued that Palestine should not be used as a solution to the European problem.
Israel feared to be a base for Western powers to control the Middle East.
No peace treaty and no definitive borders.
Suez Canal Crisis – 1956
Egypt was in an important geographical location between Asia and Africa.
The Suez Canal was vital for Britain militarily and for getting oil to Europe.
70,000 British troops in the Suez Canal.
People blamed King Farouk for allowing that British control.
Timeline of Events
Gamal Abdul Nasser and the “Free Officers” overthrew King Farouk and took over important buildings.
Nasser rises as President of Egypt.
Convinces British to put troops back in the Suez Canal Zone.
Israeli attack on Gaza, destroying Egyptian military headquarters.
Nasser begins securing Soviet arms through Czechoslovakia.
Britain and USA cancelled loans to dam in an attempt to control Nasser and to respond to his acknowledgment of Mao’s China.
French avoiding “appeasing Hitler on the Nile”.1
Nasser responds be stating that the British and French can choke on their rage.
Britain and France condemned by the USA under Eisenhower over the attack on Egypt.
Egypt emerges victorious.
United Arab Republic (Egypt and Syria) ends due to Egypt forcing “Arab Socialism” in Syria.
Six-Day War – 1967 When: June 5th – June 10th Who: Israel vs. Syria, Jordan, Egypt
Why: Israel believed the three Arab nations were preparing for a mass attack.
How: Israel launched a hugely successful military campaign against the Arabs, destroying most of the military forces by the 7th of June. They reached the Suez Canal, cleared the West Bank, captured Golan Heights and moved 30 miles into Syria.
Consequences: It was a disaster for the Arab world and weakened Nasser. It was a massive blow to the Arab morale; one nation had defeated four. Israelis had captured very strategic land (West Bank, Golan Heights) and over 600,000 Arabs came under Israeli administration. This led to many young Arabs joining the PLO as well as complications of domestic policies.
Timeline of Events
Israeli victory, Arab embarrassment.
Stated that Israel must withdraw from the lands taken in the War and that the Arab countries must recognize Israel.
Not fulfilled – Israel still occupied much of Egypt, Arab countries still hostile towards Israel.
Yom-Kippur War – 1973 Who, What, When:
1967-1970, War of Attrition over Suez Canal.
1970, Nasser dies and Sadat takes over.
Willing to recognize Israel if they return Sinai – Israel refuses.
War was the only way to remove Israel from the Sinai.
Yom Kippur is the holiest day of the Jewish year and a holiday.
October 6th, 90,000 Egyptian troops and 850 tanks crossed the Sinai while 500 Syrian tanks overwhelmed Golan Heights.
Israelis successfully pushed back by October 12th.
Arab states reduced oil production until the Israelis agreed to withdraw.
Saudi Arabia banned all oil exports to the USA and the Netherlands.
Syria fully supported, Jordan and Lebanon attempted to restrict activities in fear of reprisals.
New radical government in Syria that wanted the liberation of Palestine.
November, Nasser signed a defense agreement of mutual defense.
Israeli contractor shot at while ploughing the demilitarized zone. Syrians began shelling, Israel sent in planes, shooting down two Syrian planes over the capital and flying low over the city of Damascus.
Syrians enraged and embarrassed.
Thought to be 80% the cause of the Six-Day War.
Six-Day War and Resolution 242 makes PLO begin to realize it needs to fight for itself as other Arab states weakened.