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A snapshot of the summary - Access to History for the IB Diploma: The Arab-Israeli conflict 1945-79
1 Background: Jews, Arabs and the British in Palestine before 1945
1.1 Jewish Claim to Palestine
What is the Jewish Religious Claim to Palestine?Palestine was the 'Promised Land' (Land which God had promised to the Jews after they had fled Egypt) where the Jews or Israelites had lived 2000 years before
What the position of the Jews historically in Europe?Long-Standing European Anti-Semitism:
- Most Europeans were Christians
- often forced Jews to live in separate areas, banned them from voting, or buy land
- 14th - 15th Centuries European anti-semitism increased forced Jews to Russia and Poland from Southern Europe
How did the situation become worse for Jews in the 1800s in Europe?1881:
- Jews blamed for assassination of the Tsar
- This provoked anti-Jewish riots; and government supported pogroms where synagogues were burnt down, Jewish homes were attacked and thousands of Jews killed
- Many Russian Jews emigrated to USA and western Europe; but often they were still discriminated against
188.8.131.52 Balfour Declaration 1917
What was the Balfour Declaration?November 1917: Letter to Lord Rothschild; leading British Jew
- Pledged support of British Government for a Jewish National homeland in Palestine
- "His Majesty's Government views with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people "
What was the motivation of the British Government to write the Balfour Declaration?
- WW1: British Government at war with Germany and wanted American Support
- Though American Jews appeased by British promises would put pressure on the American Government to help Britain in the war effort
What did the Balfour Declaration mean to many Zionists?For next 30 years was viewed as a promise by the British government to help set up a Jewish State, even though the British Government had only promised a "national home"
1.2 Arab claim to Palestine
What is the Palestinian Arab historic claim to Palestine?
- 7th and 8th Century AD Arabs spread across Middle East and North Africa; spreading new religion Islam which they were converted to in the 7th Century: palestine was one region they took over
1.4.1 The Arab Revolt (1936-9)
How did the Jewish community in Palestine respond to the Arab Revolt (1936-9)?The Arab Revolt helped to militarize the Jewish community in Palestine:
- Moderate Jewish Agency expanded its secret army - the Haganah - to defend the Jewish population. Haganah had unofficial links with British authorities
- Irgun and LEHI (Stern Gang) both were formed during this period; both were terrorist paramilitaries and attacked both the British and the Arabs. The Jewish agency disapproved of these terrorist groups.
1.4.2 British Response
What was the British response to the Arab Revolt (1936-9)?Military:
- Increased troops to restore order
Set up commissions to find a political solution to the Palestinian problem:
- 1936-7: The Peel Commission
- 1938: The Woodhead Comission
What was the Peel Commission?1937 Recommended:
- Partition of Palestine: 20% to Jews, and 80% to Arabs