Hello, humans. This is one thing that I had been planning to write about for a long time but couldn’t cause it was a part of my assignment and I don’t want to be accused of somehow and somewhat ‘plagiarising myself’ (I don’t even know if that’s possible). But now since its all over, I’m finally allowed to write a blog post about it. Note: The historical facts shared might not be accurate. Plus, some people who read my part of the assignment said that I’m somewhat slightly biased towards Israel so that’s something to look at if you are reading this.
It all started after the end of the first world war as before that, the whole area was controlled by the Ottoman Empire which collapsed following the first world war. After the end of the ‘great war’, and the collapse of the Ottoman Empire, Palestine was placed under the control of the British for 30 years under a ‘mandate’ given by the League of Nations. The British implemented the terms of the Balfour Declaration which is a commitment made by the British Foreign Secretary, Arthur Balfour to a Zionist organisation. The whole aim of it is to establish a national home of the Jewish people in Palestine. The declaration was a direct violation of an agreement that was given to leader of the Mecca, Hussein Bin Ali which is the promise that the Arabs would have the power to control their own territories if they revolted against the Ottoman Empire.
After the ‘promises’ in the Balfour declaration was implemented, immigration of Jewish people into Palestine sky-rocketed. In 1917, there was only 8% of Jews in Palestine but in the 1930s the number grew to 30%. During the Second World War, 6 million Jews were killed during the Holocaust which cause the Jews to realised that they should not depend on other people to protect themselves. Therefore, the surviving Jews in Europe decided that they would migrate to the ‘Holy Land’ where they would set up a Jewish State. The British, realising the immense attempt of the Jews to emigrate into Palestine blocked their attempt. An annual quota of 15000 Jewish was implemented as a result of constant Arab opposition.
In retaliation, Jewish groups carried out terrorist attacks against the British, aiming to force the British to leave Palestine in hopes of establishing the Jewish State. One of the most notable attack is the bombing of the King David Hotel in 1946 which resulted in the death of 91 people while 46 others were injured.
Following these terrorist attacks, the British finally concluded that they could no longer afford to be in charge of Palestine. Thus, the whole situation was turned over to the United Nations. The UN suggested that Palestine would be separated into an Arab and Jewish state while Jerusalem would be placed under international control:
The Jewish people accepted it of course, but the Arabs rejected it wholly. On the 14th of May 1948, the British completely withdrew from Palestine and David Ben-Gurion who is the head of the pre-state government declared the formation of the State of Israel. Following the declaration, Arab forces: Egyptian, Jordan, Iraqi and Syrian invaded Palestine and took control of Arab areas while at the same time attacking Israeli forces and Jewish settlements.
This started the 1948 Arab-Israeli War which lasted for 9 months. If you are like me and think that the obviously bigger Arab nations would definitely win, then you are wrong cause “Surprise!” Israel won a decisive victory. They managed to control 50% of the area that was originally allocated to the Arab state. Jordan controlled the West Bank while Egypt occupied the Gaza Strip:
After that, there was the Suez Crisis in 1956 where Israel, France and UK invaded Egypt to control the Suez Canal as a result of Gamel Nasser (the president of Egypt) deciding to nationalise the Suez Canal to fund the building of the Aswan Dam. This fail because the US and the international community pressured the 3 nations to get out from Egypt which they did. Although the Egyptians suffered significant loses, it was still a moral victory for them because it boosted Nasser’s prestige world-wide.
After that, in 1967 there was the Six Day war which started when Egypt mobilised its troops along the border with Israel and the Israeli forces launched attacks on Egyptian Air Force which destroyed it ‘all’. Nasser then requested Jordan and Syria to attack from the east. Once again, Israel won a decisive victory. This time, the victory was bigger as Israel only lost 1000 soldiers while the Arabs lost 20000. In addition, it also provided Israel the total control of Palestine (Gaza and West Bank) including control over the Sinai Peninsular (Egypt) and the Golan heights (Syria):
In 1973, there was the Yom Kippur attack where President Anwar Sadat of Egypt ordered a surprise attack on Israel as he wanted to retake the Sinai Peninsular. This was only done after the efforts to seek peace terms with Israel which aimed to end wars between Egypt and Israel was ignored. It was a surprise attack because Israel was observing a religion holiday, Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement). The Israelis had built high walls made of sand on the eastern bank of the Suez Canal but the Egyptians managed to easily overcome that by building water pumps which breaks the wall, obviously.
During the first two days of the attack, Israel suffered significant and shocking loses as for the first time, Egyptians deployed modern warfare including anti tank missiles. Syria also managed to take back Golan Heights but after Israel was able to reform and recruit their army, they were able to push back Syrian forced to the outskirts of Damascus and Egyptian forces back to the canal. Although Israel ‘won’ but they were ‘severely shocked’ by the magnitude of their loses during the early stage of the attack that they finally agreed to sign a peace agreement with Egypt. As a result, diplomatic ties between Egypt and Israel are restored and Sinai Peninsular was given back to Egypt. No such peace agreement was signed between Israel and Syria to this day. Sadat became highly unpopular after that and he was assassinated 2 years later.
There was soon the emergence of the Palestinian Liberation Organisation (PLO) who carried out multiple attacks on Israel to gain back control over the land lost to Israel. In an attempt to ‘achieve peace’ between both sides, the Oslo Peace Accord talks happened which resulted in the Gaza Strip and some parts of the West Banks to be given back to the Palestinian people, resulting in the map of Israel that you see today.
Well, I guess that’s all for this blog post. If you are still reading, I would like to thank you. Before you go, I would like to claim that this map below is completely misleading, reason being it didn’t explain why the land was lost: