It is apparently easy to forget that a major player in the so-called Middle East following the collapse of the Ottoman Empire in 1918 was the British Government.The British ruled Ottoman Syria, as well as
from 1923 to 1948. The League of Nations
set up the Palestine Mandate and commissioned the British ;to create the
protectorates of Palestine, [.including Israel, the homeland for the Jews;] and
TransJordan - later Jordan.
The British set up Israel in
consulting anyone! except the Zionist Association. They failed to recognize the
hostilities between Palestine
and the Jews. They did not accept that the Islamist movement in Palestine demanded that
the Jews were rejected .The Jewish leaders welcomed the Mandate as providing
the opportunity for Jewish communities to return to their homeland, from which
they were ejected by the Romans.
From 1941 to1948, the British witnessed the rise of Nazism and anti-semitism in
Europe and the
persecution and holocaust of the Jews. They initiated the migration of Jews to Palestine to settle in their designated homeland, Israel. The
migration of the refugees was not simple. The Jews were rejected by most
European countries as well as many Arab states, including Palestine
In fact, the British found it so difficult to settle the Jews in Israel, that they were forced to set up
detention camps in Cyprus.
The state of Israel first
started with tented cities .In 1947 the British withdrew from Palestine. In 1948, the hostilities led to ;the
first Arab-Israeli War. In 1967 the Six day War revealed that the state of Israel was
highly militarized and capable of defending itself against all comers. The
current hostilities are the new steps taken by Palestinians, against the Israelis,
BBC World News, over the summer of 2014, has devoted a lot of time to report about the continuing Israel/Gaza conflct. The reports, however, give the impressions that the attacks are new and they tend to ignore the facts that they have been going on for many decades. For example, in 1917, Prime Minister Balfour committed the
to settling Jews in Israel.
1921 was marked by conflicts between the Jews and the Palestinians. In1948
after several conferences and negotiations, Israel
was declared the homeland of the Jews, in Palestine.
However, the declaration was rapidly followed by the onset of the First
Arab/Israeli War! The war came to an end after 4 ceasefires had been agreed and
June 2/2014, the government supported by Fatah and Hamas ended, surrendering their authority to a new government of national consensus. Then, June 12 2014. the steps towards effective government were disrupted by the kidnapping and murder of 3 Israeli teenagers. The Israeli government blames Hamas. But Hamas has not claimed any responsibility. In July, the Israeli Defence Force launched Operation Protective edge., designed to counter the rockets fired by Hamas at the Israeli cities. The IDF targets ;airstrikes, followed by ground operations in
Egypt arranged a ceasefire. Israel declared that they will withdraw their
IDF and that the main objective of their attacks had been achieved -the closure
of the tunnels used by the militants to attack Israel. And the reduction of the
rockets attacks by Hamas against Israel.
August 8th the ceasefire was broken . Palestinian militants fired up to 30 rockets into
Israel. The IDF resumed attacks at once. Clearly, they
are not going to be lenient towards any group that breaks a ceasefire. And nor
do they have to because they form the most effective and efficient fighting force
in the Middle East. The fighters for Hamas/PLO/PA/Fatah can only win by
August 11th marks the onset of another ceasefire, and negotiations in
Cairo to settle the range of demands. Hamas
is now seeking through confrontation what it couldnt obtain through a peaceful
handover of responsibilities. Gaza
had electricity for barely eight hours a day, water was undrinkable, sewage was
dumped in the sea, fuel shortages caused sanitation plants to shut down and
waste sometimes floated in the streets. Patients needing medical care couldnt
reach Egyptian hospitals, and Gazans paid $3,000 bribes for a chance to exit
chose to open the border crossings.
How to settle matters in
The mediators, EU/US/UN/Russia, demand that
renounce violence; recognize Israel;
accept PLO agreements. Israel
are locked in combat that can only lead to death and destruction. Peace will
only be achieved between Israel
when they both stop the attacks.It is reported that Netanyahu wants to work for
‘quiet and quiet’ .that is, mutual
ceasefire. However, members of his coalition government are more militant. Some
want Israel to retake Gaza. Others want to
uproot Hamas. The islamist movement in Palestine,
including Hamas, want to be rid of Israel and the Jews. It is not
surprising that Palestine and Israel find it
very difficult to talk to each other. The militant mindsets of all sides/factions
lead to the emergence of community violence. However, the President Abbas of
the National consensus coalition has urged Palestine
to continue cooperation with Israel.
The only way to settle matters in Palestine
is for all factions to cooperate and negotiate.
Who are involved in the negotiations? We have already seen that the British were involved in the Mandate and it can be argued that the current situations in
are very much to do with the British. The direct involvement of Egypt in the ceasefires is a measure of the
spheres of influence of the USA.
The collapse of the Ottoman Empire not only allowed the increasing influence of
USA and Britain, but also the emergence of the
USSR/Russia in Syria, in Iran, in Lebanon,
At the present times, the situations in Palestine
are very complicated according to whom pays aid; who receives aid,who provides
armaments and what are the realcosts? Qatar funds Hamas; looking for an
islamist state. Israel is
funded by the USA and EU
looking for a Jewish state in Palestine.
The current consensus is the two state solution.reiterated today, August 12th,
by US Secretary of State John Kerry. But the viable future is cooperation,
negotiation, conflict prevention for all parties. As in all democracies, they
depend upon all parties ‘begging to differ; compromising; and accepting the
votes of the majority, and working for peace.