The People And The Land (Israel and Palestine). by Zaineddin Obeid
The People And The Land. The conflict between Palestinian Arabs and Jews is a modern phenomenon, which began after the fall of the Ottoman (Turkish) Empire. Although these two groups follow different religions (Palestinians include Muslims, Christians, and Druses), religious differences are not the cause of the conflict. It is essentially a struggle over approximately 10,000 square miles of land, which until 1948, was known internationally as Palestine.
From 1500s until 1918, the Ottoman Empire controlled most of the Middle East. Although many Arab movements for independence from the empire began in the 1880s, the key factor that ended the empire was the Hussein-McMahon correspondence during World War I. In this correspondence, Sharif Hussein of Mecca and British Commissioner of Egypt, Sir Henry McMahon, agreed that the Arabs would be granted independence and a unified Arab territory under Hashemite rule if they fought against the Turks in World War I, since they were aligned with Germany against Britain and France. After having defeated the Ottomans, the Arabs were betrayed by Britain, which along with France took control over most of the Middle East through the Sykes-Picot Agreement of 1916, a secret agreement between England and France to divide the territory of the former Ottoman Empire amongst them. In top of all; Britains Foreign Secretary, Lord Balfour, created a secret statement called the Balfour Declaration of 1917 to provide a national home in Palestine for the Jewish people, who constituted 10 percent of Palestines population at that time. This meant that they did not care about Arabs opinions and rights, and basically insulted the Arabic society of that time.
Throughout 1881 to 1903, Russia pogroms against Jews in Russia and a widespread European anti-Semitism initiated the first wave (aliyah) of Jewish immigrants to Palestine. Seeing how this could possibly send the...