Realm Of Randomness

July 28, 2006

Zionism and the Middle-East conflict

Filed under: General — Randomizer @ 5:30 pm


How often have you heard an Al-Qaeda statement that goes like this ” .. we urge muslims around the world to fight the crusaders and the Zionists… ” .

For me, it was one too many, and it was high time I learnt about the meaning of this term and the history associated with it. Here is everything and more you need to know about the Israel conflict, starting with the basics on Zionism, collected from various sites I have gone through:

Zionism: in a nut-shell, is the support for the creation of a ‘Nation for Jews’. It holds that the Jews have the right to self-determination in their own national home, and the right to develop their national culture. Historically, Zionism strove to create a legally recognized national home for the Jews in their historical homeland. This goal was implemented by the creation of the State of Israel.

How did Israel come to be?

A very little known fact for people in my generation is that Israel was created a year AFTER India’s independence, in the year 1948. Hence it is too, a relatively young country. But what were the events that led to the formation of Israel ? Allow me two paras of interesting History.

Jews around the Middle-East were forced to disperse throughout the world, after years of occupation by foreign rulers around 500 BC. Under the Babylonians, this ‘Jewish Diaspora’ began to tear apart the community, and they all emigrated to foreign lands. In these lands, the Jews were often forced to become bankers, tax collectors, and money loaners, creating the stereotype that Jews were both talented with money, and greedy. This was perhaps the root cause of ‘Anti-Semitism’, the term used to describe hatred towards this community.

As a result of this ‘unwelcome’ attitude all across the world, the Jews kept running away from one nation to a safer nation. Theodor Herzl, in 1896 pointed out that the Jews needed to stop moving and running from their troubles, and believed that a national home for the Jewish people was the solution to the problem of unfair discrimination and hate in the foreign lands. Herzl formally founded Zionism in 1897.

The movement changed drastically in approach after Adolf Hitler’s ‘Holocaust’ when millions of Jews were killed in gas chambers. The mere ‘desire’ for a nation of their own turned into a desperate necessity for their own survival. Thousands of Jews started pouring into Palestine at this point in time, only to lead to riots and destruction. It was evident that a Jewish nation would not be possible without outside help. They turned to England.

The British supported their cause for years, but the World War II gave them more than enough to think about. They officially ended their involvement in the Middle-East soon after.

However, the newly created United Nations came to the rescue and on November 29th, 1947, the UN voted to partition Palestine into Jewish and Palestinian states, giving Israel 55% of the country.

What’s the Israel/Palestine conflict about ?

Immediately after it’s creation, Israel was attacked by it’s Arab neighbours – Egypt , Syria, Jordan and Iraq. But in a remarkable show or organized military conflict, Israel not only defeated all its neighbours but expanded it’s borders too. Israel now had 78% of the Palestine area, and the Palestinians all became refugees. The Palestinian nation was no more.

Decades later, frustrated by living under Israeli rule, and humiliated by obeying a power they saw as foreign in a land they saw as their own, thousands of Palestinians began to revolt by throwing rocks at Israeli troops and disobeying its laws. The revolt generated much sympathy for the Palestinians and still does. To this day, news footage of young boys throwing rocks at poweful military tanks sums up the Israel-Palestinian power balance.

The PLO (Palestine Liberation Organization) was created as a representation of the Palestinians, and refused to recognize Israel as a nation. Due to the grotesquely imbalanced nature of their wars however, Israel was pressurized to do something about the PLO and in a ground-breaking treaty, they agreed that the Palestinians would be granted self government in those areas under the newly created Palestinian Authority and that Israel would withdraw their troops from these areas.

But years later, these talks failed, and so did the treaties after that. The Israel-Palestine conflict and the Gaza Strip battles continue to go on.

Recent events you should know about

There has been much frustration among Israel’s neighbours, for Israel was formed out of what was earlier their own land. A nation currently as powerful as Israel , coupled with a weak but angry neighbour can only lead to one thing – Attacks on Israel’s weak point, their civilians. Suicide bombings in Israel have gone on for decades.

Consequently, every time a suicide bomber kills their civilians, the Israels go on an all- out massive path of destruction and chaos.

Hamas comes to power: Hamas has been recognized by the world as a Terrorist organization. It does not recognize Israel’s right to exist. However it was ‘elected’ by a democrary, and Hamas is what the Palestinians want. To the much-battered Palestinians, Hamas has been their Freedom fighters.

Israel’s war on Hezbollah: On the other side of Israel, Hezbollah has been troubling Israel from Lebanon. The Lebanese army and government have little or no control over this camp. The war started about a month ago and is still going on.

Conclusion

Whose side you are on varies drastically on how you look at Israel … A massive, powerful nation with the support of the US, bombing towns and youth who are merely throwing rocks at them… Or as a nation of oppressed people who had endured so much pain from the world and has decided enough is enough.

[ Facts have been taken from various websites, but the most interesting was http://faculty.headroyce.org/~us_history/2004/b_dj/index.html ]

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3 Comments »

  1. As seems rarely mentioned in our day, by no means all Jewish people have been, or are, Zionists. Much confusion arises from references to a ‘Jewish state’ and a largely Zionist U.S. community that has been influential. Several cities in the West are noted for ‘anti-Zionist’ sects and rabbis. According to different interpretations of the Talmud, Israel is to come with the Second Coming and cannot be the political and economic creation of 1948. Often conservative, Orthodox or Hassidim, such persons have tried to enter into dialogue with Palestinians, not to mention Iran. When the Jewish community began to leave Lebannon, Israel was an obvious, convenient destination, yet most chose to move to North America or elsewhere beyond the Middle East.

    Comment by pacheez — August 8, 2006 @ 7:28 pm | Reply

  2. dude, very interesting read.. i read it a few days ago and then read up on my favorite source, wikipedia, it’s all very interesting…
    i guess the reason most of us are biased against israel, is cuz of our bias against the US’s military might :)

    Comment by erw — August 16, 2006 @ 9:11 pm | Reply

  3. gr8 article dude.

    Comment by intendo — August 18, 2006 @ 11:53 am | Reply


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