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Understanding the Palestine/Israeli conflict, in under 10 mins and with pictures. Watch

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    This video seems to explain a lot, I understand very little about the actual events surrounding the situation over there. Wouldn't be so bad if people weren't forever talking about it.

    Not that this video made me an expert, but it has helped me nail down a few things I presumed already. I was going to look up some of the stuff mentioned, and then I thought, why not throw it up for chewing by others while I am looking.

    If you are about to watch for a quick freshers, like I did, welcome. If you know a little or a lot more, or better yet, notice inaccuracies/omissions don't be shy in letting me know.

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    It's not about a home for the Palestinians it's about denying the Jews a homeland
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    (Original post by HanSoloLuck)
    This video seems to explain a lot, I understand very little about the actual events surrounding the situation over there. Wouldn't be so bad if people weren't forever talking about it.

    Not that this video made me an expert, but it has helped me nail down a few things I presumed already. I was going to look up some of the stuff mentioned, and then I thought, why not throw it up for chewing by others while I am looking.

    If you are about to watch for a quick freshers, like I did, welcome. If you know a little or a lot more, or better yet, notice inaccuracies/omissions don't be shy in letting me know.
    It's really not a very good video. To go through bit by bit:

    1:15 - What does he mean, that there was "enough room"? Sheer quantity of territory is rarely the issue in ethnic conflicts, and this is no exception. The problem was population - until the 1930s at least, there were simply too few Jews and and too many Arabs in Palestine for a Jewish state, even in only a part of the country, to be viable.

    2:46 - He refers to the Jewish immigration as having "just begun" when the Mandate started, when in fact it had been going on (admittedly smaller-scale and without any official status) since the late 19th Century.

    4:36 - Actually, Transjordan had always been implicitly understood as a separate entity, not to be included in the "Jewish national home" - indeed, such a provision was included in the terms of the Mandate. Nor at the time did the Zionist leaders particularly want it.

    4:49 - Again, don't really see what he means when he says there was now "much less room". Whether or not Transjordan was included, the population of Cisjordan/Palestine would still be the same and it would still have to be dealt with. The narrator seems to think that the British could have simply declared the area East of the Jordan an Arab state and the West a Jewish state - ignoring the fact that the Western area would still have an overwhelming Arab majority, rendering a Jewish state unfeasible.

    5:40 - He conveniently neglects to mention that the Peel Proposals included the forced ethnic cleansing of hundreds of thousands of Palestinian Arabs from the area designated for the Jewish state.

    5:50 - No, actually the Zionists rejected the Peel Proposals as well - they wanted more territory. Even those like Ben-Gurion who favoured accepting the proposal only did so on the basis that he didn't see the borders as permanent, but rather as a base for further expansion. It's true that the Zionist leadership was more sympathetic to the proposals than the Palestinian leadership - the latter rejected it completely, whereas the former was willing to renegotiate it - but this simply confirms the political aims of the two groups - the Palestinians wanting one state, and the Zionists wanting a partition into ethno-states.

    7:00 - OK, a few things. Firstly, once again the demographic analysis of the partition is missing. The way the borders were drawn, virtually all the Jews in Palestine had been included within the area designated for the Jewish state, whereas hundreds of thousands of Arabs had been left outside "their" state (it all sounds very fair to say the land was divided "nearly equally", until you check the population stats and discover that Palestinians outnumbered Jews 2 to 1 at the time, despite the large war and postwar influx of Jewish refugees from Europe). Arabs made up at least 45% of the population of the proposed Jewish state (by contrast, Jews made up just 1% of the proposed Arab state) and indeed, a UN sub-committee considering the proposals argued that UNSCOP had used outdated population statistics, and that Arabs actually formed a slight majority in the proposed Jewish state.

    Furthermore, as with Peel. Zionist leaders made it clear that they saw their "acceptance" of the plan as merely temporary, until they could later expand - indeed, they had little faith the plan would actually come to pass, and already expected war.

    7:25 - I've been through this before on other threads. To say the Arab states simply "invaded Israel" on 15 May 1948 is incredibly simplistic and anachronistic for several reasons:
    - There was already a civil war raging in Palestine, and it had been for several months.
    - Israel's existence had been declared a matter of hours earlier, to the surprise of the Arab states, who had already made the decision to intervene.
    - Israel, at the time, lacked many of the criteria that define a state. For obvious reasons, it lacked international recognition, but more importantly, it had no defined territory (Israel's Declaration of Independence made no reference to the UNSCOP-proposed borders, or any others), which renders the idea of an "invasion" conceptually problematic at best, and meaningless or impossible at worst.

    7:42 - He refers to the Arab states' supposed "overwhelming numbers" - in fact IDF troops outnumbered Arab troops in the war.

    8:02 - The claim that under the UNSCOP proposal the Palestinians would have got more land than the Jewish state is a straight-up lie - the Jewish state was larger than the Arab one in the proposal.

    8:25 - Something of a bait-and-switch here. He's clearly trying to imply that denial of civil and political rights to Palestinians was the case in both Egyptian occupied Gaza and the Jordanian-occupied West Bank, when in fact that's only true for the former. The West Bank was treated as a full part of Jordan, and Palestinians given Jordanian citizenship, voting rights, etc.

    As for the claim that it "never occurred" to Jordan or Egypt to create a separate Palestinian state, it did occur to both. Egypt made some token efforts to look like it was bothered, first with the All-Palestine Government, then sponsoring the founding of the PLO. Though it's kind of hard to create a real state on a strip of land smaller than the Isle of Wight. As for the Jordanians, they didn't because they quite expressly didn't want to - they wanted the land for themselves as part of their greater Arab Kingdom.

    8:36 - Arafat didn't protest? He founded Fatah in 1959, which explicitly rejected the partition of Palestine. The PLO, for the record, was formed in 1964.

    8:46 - I'm kind of astonished that anyone seriously claiming to provide a decent history of the Israel-Palestine conflict can just skip over half a century of history - he's just jumped suddenly from 1949 to 2000.

    9:00 - That's quite a mischaracterisation of what Barak was willing to accept at Camp David. He was not willing to give the Palestinians the bulk of East Jerusalem - only a few small segments, with Israel keeping most - and crucially, he wanted to cut the West Bank into three noncontiguous segments, as well as annexing a strip along the whole of the West Bank's border with Jordan.

    9:40 - Israeli leaders had long privately accepted that maintaining rule over Gaza was unsustainable. Unlike the larger and more spread out West Bank, Gaza is small and packed. There were simply too many Palestinians in too small an area to effectively colonise it in the same way they could the West Bank. Plus is built up a decent bit of diplomatic capital with Washington, and a decent bit of domestic nationalist capital to bolster more of the Israeli population against a just peace.

    10:20 - Olmert made two proposals to Abbas in 2008, one formal and one informal. The video appears to be talking about the second. We don't actually know exactly what this map looked like, as it was never formally published. Contrary to the video's claims, Olmert did not let Abbas take the map with him (likely because he feared Abbas would try to use it as a starting point for further negotiations, rather than as a final position). Abbas scribbled what he could remember of the map for his aides and ministers, but inevitably this is somewhat lacking in detail. Far from never meeting again, the Palestinian leadership did try to follow up the offer, requesting clarifications and explanations of particularities (which, given they had no detailed map to work from, was inevitable).

    Also, what never gets mentioned in discussions of the 2008 talks is that the Israelis turned down a Palestinian counter-proposal, offering to let the Israelis annex ~2% of Palestinian territory, and allowing 63% of Israeli settlers to remain in place and under Israeli rule.


    A more broad problem with the video, rather than any specific point, is its huge selectivity and omission of major events. There's no mention of the the 1930s Arab Revolt, the Nakba is covered simply by a statement that hundreds of thousands of Palestinians "became refugees" (it just happened, apparently). No mention of the 1956, 1967 or 1973 wars, the peace deals with Egypt and Jordan, the Lebanon War, the First Intifada, Oslo, and more - and that's simply missing events, never mind what a more pro-Palestinian narrator might highlight (such as Zionist colonial and racist attitudes towards the Palestinians from very early on).

    For a better fairly balanced summary (though inevitably it misses out some bits), I'd recommend this:
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    (Original post by HanSoloLuck)
    A reasonably good video (with flaws, but overall good). It shreds the BDS myth that a million European Jews suddenly turned up in 1948 in invasion landing crafts like D-Day and just pushed the unsuspecting Palestinians out.

    Of course Jews have been there a lot longer than since 1948, and it is much more complex than the anti-semitic hard left regressives portray.
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    (Original post by anarchism101)
    For a better fairly balanced summary (though inevitably it misses out some bits), I'd recommend this:
    - Balanced

    - Vox

    Pick one.

    With all due respect I wouldn't even wipe my arse with anything written or produced by Vox.
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    (Original post by anarchism101)
    1:15 - What does he mean, that there was "enough room"? Sheer quantity of territory is rarely the issue in ethnic conflicts, and this is no exception. The problem was population - until the 1930s at least, there were simply too few Jews and and too many Arabs in Palestine for a Jewish state, even in only a part of the country, to be viable.
    The problem "too few jews" was supposed to be resolved by Jewish immigration.
    2:46 - He refers to the Jewish immigration as having "just begun" when the Mandate started, when in fact it had been going on (admittedly smaller-scale and without any official status) since the late 19th Century.
    Apparently he speaks about large-scale and official immigration.
    4:36 - Actually, Transjordan had always been implicitly understood as a separate entity, not to be included in the "Jewish national home" - indeed, such a provision was included in the terms of the Mandate. Nor at the time did the Zionist leaders particularly want it.
    Actually it's your opinion. Jordan is absolutely artificial entity.
    4:49 - Again, don't really see what he means when he says there was now "much less room". Whether or not Transjordan was included, the population of Cisjordan/Palestine would still be the same and it would still have to be dealt with. The narrator seems to think that the British could have simply declared the area East of the Jordan an Arab state and the West a Jewish state - ignoring the fact that the Western area would still have an overwhelming Arab majority, rendering a Jewish state unfeasible.
    "much less room" means much less room. The British gift to Abdullah bin Hussein accounted about 80% of Mandatory Palestine.
    5:40 - He conveniently neglects to mention that the Peel Proposals included the forced ethnic cleansing of hundreds of thousands of Palestinian Arabs from the area designated for the Jewish state.
    Since when transfer of population as part of an agreement is considered as "the forced ethnic cleansing"?
    5:50 - No, actually the Zionists rejected the Peel Proposals as well - they wanted more territory. Even those like Ben-Gurion who favoured accepting the proposal only did so on the basis that he didn't see the borders as permanent, but rather as a base for further expansion. It's true that the Zionist leadership was more sympathetic to the proposals than the Palestinian leadership - the latter rejected it completely, whereas the former was willing to renegotiate it - but this simply confirms the political aims of the two groups - the Palestinians wanting one state, and the Zionists wanting a partition into ethno-states.
    What the Zionists wanted or didn't want is irrelevant. They accepted the plan, Arabs rejected it. Simple.
    Furthermore, as with Peel. Zionist leaders made it clear that they saw their "acceptance" of the plan as merely temporary, until they could later expand - indeed, they had little faith the plan would actually come to pass, and already expected war.
    As with Peel it is irrelevant. Jews accepted the plan, Arabs rejected it.
    7:25 - I've been through this before on other threads. To say the Arab states simply "invaded Israel" on 15 May 1948 is incredibly simplistic and anachronistic for several reasons:
    - There was already a civil war raging in Palestine, and it had been for several months.
    - Israel's existence had been declared a matter of hours earlier, to the surprise of the Arab states, who had already made the decision to intervene.
    - Israel, at the time, lacked many of the criteria that define a state. For obvious reasons, it lacked international recognition, but more importantly, it had no defined territory (Israel's Declaration of Independence made no reference to the UNSCOP-proposed borders, or any others), which renders the idea of an "invasion" conceptually problematic at best, and meaningless or impossible at worst.
    - Civil war doesn't negate the fact of aggression.
    - Were Arabs surprised or not is irrelevant. They attacked the newly created Jewish state.
    - The territory of Israel was defined by the partition plan.
    7:42 - He refers to the Arab states' supposed "overwhelming numbers" - in fact IDF troops outnumbered Arab troops in the war.
    In time of Arabs attack there was only about 30000 Israeli soldiers. Later Israel declared a general mobilization, including young women.
    8:02 - The claim that under the UNSCOP proposal the Palestinians would have got more land than the Jewish state is a straight-up lie - the Jewish state was larger than the Arab one in the proposal.
    Correct, it's a mistake.
    8:25 - Something of a bait-and-switch here. He's clearly trying to imply that denial of civil and political rights to Palestinians was the case in both Egyptian occupied Gaza and the Jordanian-occupied West Bank, when in fact that's only true for the former. The West Bank was treated as a full part of Jordan, and Palestinians given Jordanian citizenship, voting rights, etc.

    As for the claim that it "never occurred" to Jordan or Egypt to create a separate Palestinian state, it did occur to both. Egypt made some token efforts to look like it was bothered, first with the All-Palestine Government, then sponsoring the founding of the PLO. Though it's kind of hard to create a real state on a strip of land smaller than the Isle of Wight. As for the Jordanians, they didn't because they quite expressly didn't want to - they wanted the land for themselves as part of their greater Arab Kingdom.
    Egypt and Jordan never attempted to create a Palestinian state while occupying Palestinian territories.
    9:00 - That's quite a mischaracterisation of what Barak was willing to accept at Camp David.
    10:20 - Olmert made two proposals to Abbas in 2008, one formal and one informal. The video appears to be talking about the second.
    It doesn't matter if it is the first or the second proposal. Arabs rejected ALL proposals and plans starting from 1948.
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    (Original post by admonit)
    Correct, it's a mistake.
    Though it's worth noting that the UNSCOP plan gave the most viable agricultural lands to the Arabs, and about half of the proposed Jewish state was actually the Negev Desert. If you were to assign an agricultural productive value to each dunam of land and then correct for that proportionally, the Arabs did get most of the total land value

    The Jews said "We will take the desert. We will green it and bring life to it". And they did. The Jews were so keen to have any place to call home that they would have accepted the most inhospitable areas

    It's also an undeniable fact that in the UNSCOP plan areas, the proposed Jewish state had a Jewish majority and the proposed Arab state had an Arab majority. The committee split the land so as to make both states viable
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    (Original post by admonit)
    The problem "too few jews" was supposed to be resolved by Jewish immigration.
    However, he explicitly says "at the start". Furthermore, ignoring all normative questions for the moment, Jewish immigration was not providing enough population growth. It wasn't until the mid-1930s that Jews even reached about 20-25% of the population. And they were generally spread out, so that even in areas with large Jewish populations, there were also larger Arab populations (even in 1947, Jews outnumbered Palestinians in just one of Palestine's fourteen subdistricts).

    Actually it's your opinion. Jordan is absolutely artificial entity.
    You can say pretty much all states are artificial entities, but anyway, that has nothing to do with my point. Article 25 of the Mandate Document explicitly granted the British the right to cut Transjordan out of the potential area of the 'Jewish National Home'. Indeed, the very conference that agreed that Transjordan ought to become part of the Mandate, the Cairo Conference, did so on the understanding that it would be seen as a separate entity, not included in the National Home area.

    "much less room" means much less room. The British gift to Abdullah bin Hussein accounted about 80% of Mandatory Palestine.
    But the vast bulk of the population at the time was West of the Jordan anyway, and still presented

    Since when transfer of population as part of an agreement is considered as "the forced ethnic cleansing"?
    Er, since always? To give merely the most prominent example, the Greco-Turkish ethnic cleansings after WW1.

    What the Zionists wanted or didn't want is irrelevant. They accepted the plan, Arabs rejected it. Simple.
    They didn't accept the plan, they rejected it. More specifically, they rejected the specific map proposal but accepted the principle of ethnic partition and wanted a new

    As with Peel it is irrelevant. Jews accepted the plan, Arabs rejected it.
    You have not sincerely accepted a plan if you plan to later throw it out.

    And on the other side, Arab leaders accepted the plan proposed by the 1939 White Paper, while the Zionists rejected it.

    - Civil war doesn't negate the fact of aggression.
    Aggression can only take place against a recognised state with defined territory.

    - The territory of Israel was defined by the partition plan.
    Except Israel made no such claim, and indeed deliberately chose not to include a designation of such borders in the Declaration of Independence, believing that it would block them from expanding to other areas, most notably Jerusalem.

    Also, by the logic of this argument, Jordan still did not attack Israel, as it only entered the parts of Palestine designated for the Arab state in what is now the West Bank, only really fighting the IDF in and around Jerusalem.

    In time of Arabs attack there was only about 30000 Israeli soldiers.
    Which exceeded the total number of Arab state soldiers involved, which was slightly over 20,000.

    Egypt and Jordan never attempted to create a Palestinian state while occupying Palestinian territories.
    I'm aware of this, I addressed it in my point. You're simply repeating the initial claim.

    It doesn't matter if it is the first or the second proposal. Arabs rejected ALL proposals and plans starting from 1948.
    You're saying they rejected their own 2008 counter-proposal?
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    (Original post by BeastOfSyracuse)
    It's also an undeniable fact that in the UNSCOP plan areas, the proposed Jewish state had a Jewish majority and the proposed Arab state had an Arab majority.
    The second of the UN subcommittees set up to consider UNSCOP itself denied it, arguing that UNSCOP had used outdated population figures which drastically undercounted the Bedouin population, and that onnce this was taken into account, Arabs actually slightly outnumbered Jews in the proposed Jewish state.

    The committee split the land so as to make both states viable
    It's hard to crystal ball on how exactly the Palestinian Arab population would have grown had the plan been implemented, but based on the growth rate of Palestinian citizens of Israel, who have increased from just over 10% of Israel's population in the 1960s to more than 20% now, it seems likely the Jewish majority would not have survived to the present day unless there were any drastic changes. Indeed, Ben-Gurion himself said he didn't regard the proposed demographic balance as providing for a stable and viable Jewish state.
 
 
 
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