(J ST 140)
The Israel-Palestine Conflict (3) Roots of the Israel-Palestine conflict; relations between Arabs and Jews in the Middle East from 19th century to present.
HIST 140 Jews and Arabs in the Modern Middle East (3)
This course analyzes the Israel-Palestine conflict in the larger context of Jewish-Arab relations in the modern Middle East. Examination of the seeds of the conflict to the present day. Roots of the conflict between Jews, Palestinians, and Arabs reach back into the late Ottoman period but the First World War constituted a major turning point, when the project of a Jewish state in Palestine took shape as the Ottoman Empire collapsed. The 1917 Balfour Declaration provided an enormous boost to the relatively small Zionist movement. About 300,000 Jews moved to Palestine during the interwar period, with most Jewish migrants driven initially by economic rather than ideological motives. Some Jewish settlers established good relations with local Palestinians. But tensions erupted in the cities, not least over landownership. Clashes continued during the early 1930s. The aftermath of World War II constituted the second major turning point. After 1945 Britain withdrew from the Middle East while large numbers of Jewish refugees from Eastern Europe migrated to Palestine. After the Israeli declaration of independence in 1948, the new Arab states declared war on the newly founded state. Israeli troops expelled large numbers of Palestinians permanently from their homes. At the same time almost all Jews were expelled from most Arab states and settled overwhelmingly in Israel. The course follows the main clashes between Israel and its neighbors without ignoring the internal relations, especially between Jews and Israeli Arabs, and Jews and Palestinians in the occupied territories. The main clashes that will be discussed are the Suez crisis of 1956; the 1967 Six-Day War; the 1973 Yom Kippur War; the bold 1977 peace initiative of Egyptian leader Anwar El-Sadat which led to the 1979 peace accord between Israel and Egypt (and eventually to a détente with Jordan); the 1982 Lebanon War and the first Intifada (protest wave by Palestinians in the occupied territories); the Oslo Peace Process during the 1990s; the Second Intifada and recent developments, especially the implications of Israel’s settlement building in the West Bank. The course concludes with a discussion of potential scenarios for the relationship between Jews and Arabs in the Middle East during the 21st century.