The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

Iraeli-Palestinian Flag

The events unfolding in Israel have shaken many of us to the core. The unprecedented attack by Hamas has left people wondering how and why.

As Kravists, I feel that it’s important for us to understand what’s going on. After all, it is the birthplace of Krav Maga.

Just scroll through Tik Tok and other social media platforms and you’ll find no lack of people commenting and giving their often misinformed opinion. 

I stumbled upon one particular Tik Tok ‘live’ where they were discussing the current conflict and potential solutions.

It took all of 10 seconds to realize that the host and her guests knew very little about the situation. 

In particular there was one statement that left me shaking my head. 

It was: ‘If Israel would let them (the Palestinians) have their own country, there would be peace’.

Now, I’m by no means an expert on this very complicated issue, but I do feel that you need at least a basic understanding of the Geopolitical landscape to have an opinion, and most definitely to be offering solutions.

So I decided to write this quick overview for people like me that have and want to know more about the situation.

If I can provide a basic overview and some clarity and basic context for those who are seeking to make more sense of this horrific situation, then I am honoured to do so.

Let’s get started…

Historical Context

For many Israelis, the establishment of the State of Israel was the realization of a two-thousand-year-old dream of a Jewish homeland, a place of refuge after centuries of persecution. 

The two state solution was first proposed by the Peel commission in 1936, as a way to quell the civil unrest between the Jewish and Arab populations in British controlled Mandatory Palestine.

The proposal was accepted by the Jewish authorities but rejected by the Arabs.

It wouldn’t be until 1947, in the horrific aftermath of the second world war, that the United Nations’ partition plan would seek to divide the British Mandate of Palestine into Jewish and Arab states. 

However, the surrounding Arab states rejected this and attacked the newly formed Jewish state, leading to the 1948 Arab-Israeli War.

Security Concerns

Israelis often emphasize their nation’s security concerns. Since its inception, Israel has faced threats from multiple neighboring countries and non-state actors. 

The rise of groups like Hamas, who have the stated aim of destroying Israel, and their control over Gaza since 2007, has further heightened these concerns. 

For many Israelis, measures such as the security barriers in the West Bank and Gaza Strip are seen as vital for protection against terror attacks.

Peace Efforts

It should be noted that Israel has been willing to pursue peace on many occasions and that there have been multiple attempts to establish a state for Palestinians.

1947 UN Partition Plan (Resolution 181) 

The United Nations proposed the partition of Palestine into separate Jewish and Arab states, with Jerusalem under international administration. 

While Jewish leaders accepted the plan, the Arab leadership, representing the Palestinian population, and surrounding Arab states rejected it. 

This led to the 1947-1949 Arab-Israeli War.

UN partition plan Palestine 1947

Since that time there have been several other wars. These include:

1956: Suez Crisis

1967: Six-Day War

1973: Yom Kippur War

1982: Lebanon War

2006: Second Lebanon War

It was during the 1967 Six Day War that Israel gained control of Gaza and the West Bank.

The Oslo Accords

The 1990s Oslo Accords with the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) were a significant step, leading to mutual recognition and the establishment of the Palestinian Authority. 

However, the accords ultimately failed to bring about a lasting peace.

2000 Camp David Summit

U.S. President Bill Clinton mediated talks between Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak and Palestinian Authority President Yasser Arafat. 

Barak offered the Palestinians their own state comprising most of the West Bank and Gaza, without East Jerusalem as its capital. 

Arafat did not accept this offer, and no counteroffer was presented at the summit itself.

The Camp David failure directly led to the Second Intifada (2000-2005), a violent Palestinian uprising. 

This has led many Israelis to question the feasibility of peace and the intentions of some Palestinian factions.

2001 Taba Summit

Following the failed Camp David Summit, negotiations continued at Taba. 

Both sides reportedly came closer to an agreement than ever before, but the talks ended without a deal. 

The reasons for the breakdown are disputed, with both sides claiming the other was not ready for a final agreement.

2008 Proposal by Ehud Olmert 

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert offered a plan to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas that included the evacuation of most Israeli settlements, shared control of Jerusalem, and land swaps. 

Abbas rejected the peace proposal.

Here is a video that explains things further:

Conclusion

This has been a quick overview of some of the main peace initiatives that have aimed to solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. 

I realize that I have left out a significant portion of details and events in Israel’s history. 

The goal was to provide some context for people that have little knowledge of the situation in hopes that they will take an interest, do more research and form an educated opinion.

But I would like to hear your thoughts. Not just on the article but also about the situation in general. Reach out to me.

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