Where to start???
How about the root of the problem, born long ago in a far away place...somewhere in....Britian!
Did you see that coming? Britain. And, Austria, I suppose;
Austria because that is where Theodore Herzl started his efforts to build and create a safe home for Jewish people in Palestine.
Britain, because the British had control over Palestine and promised the Zionist Congress (the precipitation of Herzl's efforts, which included gathering funds and supporters) land for their vision in Israel in the Balfour Agreement.
Britian also promised this sovereignty to Arabs on this land in the McMahon -Hussein Letters.
So, what actually happened to the land?
Britain kept most of the land portioning other parts to new ME states, but did not give any to Israel or Palestine.
It seems to me that the agreements with the Jewish Congress and Hussein were worded very carefully in a effort to leave room for all of the agreements Britain was making with many leaders for the ME.
It is no wonder that the world is spinning in confusion about the Israeli/Palestinian conflict.
Recently I've heard people supporting Israel say:
The idea of a Palestinian state is delusional, that there never was a Palestinian state
From Concord, NH to Israel, this worldview is common enough to be disturbing, especially to displaced Palestinians.
This map even shows the area west of Jordon as Israel or Jewish Palestine:
Free Republic: Map (I am pretty sure the Free Republic got their map from Mythsandfact.org)
Hmm, that is contentious.
Israel continually says that Palestinians do not want Israel to be a state, yet, many Israeli's do not recognize the validity of a Palestinian state.
Ever since Jewish people have been emigrating out of their native countries and into Palestine there has been tension, especially over holy sites.
Some Jewish people were afraid of the Zionist movement and its potential to increase tensions between the Jewish religion and the rest of the world. Then and now.
One of the first clashes was in 1929, the Hebron Massacre. This was before there was a state delineated for Palestine or Israel. I think the British were hoping that there would be some process of self-determination and nation building among all the peoples. That did not happen.
Then, there were more uprisings and more killings on both sides.
In 1939, it was clear that Arabs were going to respond with violence to the new settlement of Israel in Palestine, Britain tried to stop the emigration of Jewish people to the area.
This was met with force from some Israelis, and the matter was put from the British onto international governing bodies. The same year WWII began.
Jewish Zionist leadership were increasingly distraught about the plight of their people, and made a forceful plea to world leaders to rescind Britain's decision.
"During the months of UNSCOP's efforts, Truman complained of pressure by pro-Zionist groups. In Volume II of his Memoirs, p.158, the former president relates:
The facts were that not only were there pressure movements around the United Nations unlike anything that had been there before but that the White house too, was subjected to a constant barrage. I do not think I ever had as much pressure and propaganda aimed at the White House as I had in this instance. The persistence of a few of the extreme Zionist leaders-actuated by political motives and engaging in political threats -disturbed and annoyed. Some were even suggesting that we pressure sovereign nations into favorable votes in the General Assembly.This harsh rhetoric was mild compared to other Truman's statements concerning the Zionists and its American leaders, especially Cleveland's Rabbi Silver. In a memorandum to adviser David K. Niles, the president wrote:
We could have settled this whole Palestine thing if U.S. politics had been kept out of it. Terror and Silver are the contributing cause of some, if not all of our troubles." Source
It was stated then, and what was rationally thought has come to pass, that support of an Israeli nation would ensnare the US and the world in ubiquitous violence, as the policy was against the base human desire for self-determination and liberty- values which are core to the ideology of the United States.
I will continue with this theme throughout the week.
I hold a prayer in my heart for peace in the Middle East. May we discover how to make whole our futures out of the mistakes of the past.
Make a great day.