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Name: _____________________________ Name: _____________________________
Directions: With a partner, read the following information and complete the questions. Turn in one paper per partnership. (2pts per short answer response)
The Arab-Israeli Conflict _____/24pts
After the 1948 war, Israel and its Arab neighbors fought again in 1956, 1967 and 1973.

They have fought each other in 4 wars!
I. Cold War and Israel: In 1956, both the US and USSR became more deeply involved in the Arab-Israeli conflict. The US with a large, influential Jewish population gave Israel economic and military support. The Soviet Union backed Arab states such as Syria, Iraq, and Egypt with loans and military equipment. Each superpower hoped to gain a strategic advantage in the region. The result was a miniature arms race and two major conflicts.

Equipped with Soviet tanks and aircraft, the Arabs felt ready by early 1967 to confront Israel. There was a lot of talk and threats exchanged between the Arab states and Israel. In June 1967, Israel attacked Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, and Syria. In 6 days (hence the name of the war) the war was over and Israel won. The price for peace was the annexation [takeover] by Israel of: Sinai Peninsula from Egypt, Golan Heights from Syria, and the West Bank from Jordan. These territories were occupied by Israel to give it borders that were easier to defend and as a buffer zone in case any future wars were to happen. Israel also occupied Jerusalem, which formerly was divided between Israel and Jordan. Jerusalem is considered holy to Jewish people and this is where their most important religious and historical sites are located. The Israelis were serious about keeping the newly acquired territories. The newly obtained lands were a huge success for Israelis, but they had one problem – the population residing there was predominately Palestinian and did not want to be a part of a Jewish state. The Israelis themselves were also not too eager to accept them as full citizens for fear that with such a large influx of non-Jewish population -- Israel would lose its identity as a Jewish state. So the Palestinian occupants of the new territories, which are called The West Bank and The Gaza Strip, were under Jewish rule but without Jewish citizenship. This in time proved to be an explosive mixture.




  1. Israel had already won the 1948 war, why do you think Israel decided to attack its neighbors in 1967? ____

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  1. Upon winning the Six Days War, Israel gained a lot of territory. Israel refuses to give up these territories until Arab nations recognize what? ____________________________________________________________

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II. The Yom Kippur War: A fourth Arab-Israeli conflict erupted in October of 1973. The new leader of Egypt, Anwar Sadat, plotted a joint Arab attack on Israel during one of the most important Jewish holidays – Yom Kippur. This time the Israelis were caught by surprise as Arab forces inflicted heavy casualties and recaptured some of the territories lost by Arab states in 1967. However, with massive US help, the Israelis succeeded in launching a counterattack and recovered most of the lost territory. Both sides agreed to an uneasy truce after several weeks of fighting.

The next armed conflict erupted in 1980 when Israel decided to invade Lebanon to kick out Palestinians who formed an organization called the PLO (Palestine Liberation Organization). This war ended with partial success for Israel. It was a semi-victory because the PLO forces were defeated but not destroyed. Moreover, Israel now had to maintain a large army in occupied Lebanon which was expensive and made Israel unpopular in many countries where it was seen as an aggressor.



  1. Why do you think the Arab states attack Israel during Yom Kippur? Is that fair? _____________________

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2. Why do you think the U.S. got involved in this war? _____________________________________________________

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III. The Oil Crisis of 1973: During the Yom Kippur War with Israel, the Arab oil producing states decided to show what impact they could have upon the world economy. OPEC (Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries) announced that it was severely reducing oil production. It also cut off all oil shipments to countries that supported Israel. The result was an energy crisis that brought shortages of gasoline, halting oil and electricity to much of the Western world. OPEC’s action also produced other dramatic results. Oil prices shot up overnight, tripling and quadrupling their levels. The high cost of oil affected industries and homes alike. In addition, inflation became a major problem in the developed world, which experienced serious economic problems as a result of OPEC’s action. Oil prices remained high for several years. Gradually, however, they began to decline. Over time, OPEC’s strict production limits were abandoned by most member states. At the same time, conservation efforts and advancement in nuclear power production reduced the demand for oil worldwide bringing the price even further down. By 1986, world oil prices began to fall dramatically to hit bottom at around $10 a barrel (for comparison purposes: the current oil price is $120 a barrel, which is almost 12 times more!). All of the developed countries are currently in need of oil from the Middle East where close to 75% of reserves are located. This concentration of oil makes the region very important and desirable to control.
1. How did the OPEC countries react to allies like the U.S. helping Israel in the Yom Kippur War? _________

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2. What did the nations affected by the OPEC embargo [a ban or restriction] learn to do in order to deal with this crisis? ________________________________________________________________________________

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IV. Intifada – Palestinian Resistance: Palestinians living in refugee camps under Israeli control as well as in neighboring countries had grown tremendously since 1948. Many supported the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) headed by Yasir Arafat. The PLO’s stated goal was the destruction of Israel, which the PLO claimed had no right to exist on the land they called Palestine. For years, the PLO waged guerrilla [groups of rebels] warfare against Israelis at home and abroad. Bombings, airplane hijackings, and the massacre of Israeli athletes at the 1972 Olympic games brought PLO demands to the attention of the world. At the same time, though, such violent and heartless attacks stiffened Israel’s resolve not to negotiate with the PLO. In the late 1980’s and again starting in 2000, large numbers of young Palestinians mounted intifadas, or uprisings, against Israeli occupation. Demanding a Palestinian homeland of their own, they disobeyed curfew laws and stoned Israeli troops. Palestinian gunmen fired on Israeli occupying forces trying to push them off their land. The Israeli army responded with overwhelming force. Thousands of Palestinians were injured or killed in bloody street fights. Israeli troops sealed off Palestinian towns and villages, crippling the already fragile Palestinian economy and intensifying Palestinian bitterness.
1. Why is the PLO so popular with Palestinians? __________________________________________________

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2. How did the PLO try to shed light on the troubles of the Palestinians living under Israeli control? _________

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3. Read “Did You Know” on pg. 899 of your textbook, why do you think Israel requires every man and woman at age 18 to complete military service (men =36 months, women=21 months)? __________________________

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V. The Seam Line Project:

Because Israel is a country without established borders, they began construction of the Seam Line Project in June 2002. This is a massive security fence in the northern West Bank and around parts of Jerusalem intended to separate Israelis and Palestinians. This wall is called the Seam Line Project to suggest stitching that connects – rather than separates – two pieces of a whole. The name implies an attempt to blend the demands of occupation and security. The 200 mile long concrete and barbed wire fence prevents farmers from reaching their farmland and residents from reaching their water sources. Israel argues that the barrier is justified by security concerns such as preventing suicide bombers from entering Israeli territory.

What is the message of the political cartoon on the left? (3pts)



What is the message of the political cartoon on the left? (3pts)


VI. Arab-Israeli Conflict Map:
BOTH PARTNERS COMPLETE THIS ON THEIR OWN using the textbook (pg. 901)
Flip to the map on the back of yesterday’s graphic organizer about “The Creation of Israel”.


  1. Using a colored pencil, color in Israel and label the country on the map.




  1. Using a different colored pencil, color in the areas that are still under disagreement over who permanently has possession of them.




  1. Create a map key in the box for the two colors you’ve used.




  1. Draw and label the city of Jerusalem, a sacred city to Muslims, Jews and Christians. Jerusalem is the capital under Israeli law but the United Nations and most countries (including the U.S.) do NOT recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, taking the position that the final status of Jerusalem is pending future negotiations between Israel and Palestinian Authority.


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