The Rebel Road…

I know you’ve come to kill me. Shoot, coward, you’re only going to kill a man. – Ernesto Che Guevara

Israel: The Seeds of Dissent.

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In 1947, the UN declared the partition and divided the land into Israel and Palestine. However the Arab world didn’t accept the creation of a new Jew State and anti-Jewish riots broke out and finally on the day following the creation of Israel the whole Arab world attacked Israel. Due to lack of unity among the Arab states Israel won. Since then there has always been a conflict and hatred among the Jews and Muslims increased day by day resulting into several wars (Arab Israel wars of 1956, 1967, 1973 and 1982). It is therefore no exaggeration that the Balfour Declaration created intense hostility in this region. Joel S. Migdal says;

The Simple statement turned the middle east topsy turvy; Jews rejoiced; Arabs have mourned and demonstrated each November 2nd until this very day. The Balfour Declaration became a cornerstone for the subsequent establishment of British rule in Palestine. Infact the preamble to the mandate for Palestine, approved by the council of the League of Nations, stated that the Allies ‘agreed that the mandatory should be responsible for putting into effect the declaration originally made on November 2nd, 1917”.
(Joel S. Migdal , 147).

Both the conflicting parties believe in their own version of the same history. Each side views the conflict as wholly the fault of the other, but what they are missing is the role that British played in all of this. British Empire wanted Palestine for its strategic significance to the Suez Canal; for passage to the Sub continental colonies, and for building a railroad through Iraq; to serve as a path to its African colonies. To fulfill its Imperial interest Britain used the same old way of enticing the people against their own government, dividing the people among themselves, playing on their ethnic differences and supporting both the parties behind the others back; the British have always been good at that. When the state became weak Britain came in to rescue the people and took control of the affairs. If British would not have interfered there wouldn’t have been an all out acceptance and subsequent support for the Zionist movement, and it wouldn’t have been able emerge as an independent State in the first place. There would have been no Arab Nationalism; hence there would have been no clashes between the Jews and the Arabs, and today there might have been peace in the Middle East. As John Smith rightly said, “Britain….acted as midwife to the birth of a Jewish state in Palestine” . James Gelvin explains it thus;

“The struggle for control over some or all of the territory of Palestine pits two nationalist movements against each other. Inspite of their claims to uniqueness, all nationalist movements bear a remarkable resemblance to one another. Each constructs a historical narrative that traces the unbroken lineage of a group – a nation – over time. Each endows the site of the nation’s birth or greatest cultural or political movement with special meanings. Each uses its purported “special relationship” to some territory to justify its right to establish a sovereign state in that territory. This is where nationalism differs from mere nostalgia or collective memory.”
(James Gelvin, 5-6)

Soon after the British left and Israel came into being as a first Jewish state, Israel and Palestine started attacks on each other territories. Israel was more successful in seizing the areas that were allocated to Palestine. The very next day after the state of Israel was declared, five Arab armies from Iraq, Jordan, Egypt, Syria and Lebanon immediately invaded Israel but Israeli army managed to make the attacks unsuccessful. The skirmish between the Jews and the Palestine continued and more of Palestinian land was captured. This resulted in more and more Palestinian freedom fighters and liberation armies emerged. Seeing this situation in the Middle East the new emerging super power, United States of America started to take interest in Israel. The reason was that it was the only way for US to enter into Middle East. It was a perfect plan, to take control of the oil of the Arab states, and the only non-Islamic country in the region was Israel. It had to support the Israel as it was in war with the Palestine, which was getting weaker.

There could be more reasons to the US interest in the Israel. As the Jewish community in US rapidly developed and progressed in every field, they became rich to the extent that they started to own quite a hefty chunk of the US economy. Hence the US had to support the Zionist movement, and look after Israel’s interests.

The aid that the Israel gets from US is not only limited to financial aid; it is also gives the biggest military aid too. Following are the statistic taken from Palestine monitor:

“The Israeli government is the largest recipient of US financial aid in the world, receiving over one-third of total US aid to foreign countries……”

“The United States provides …. military aid to Israel – totaling more than it gives to all the countries of sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America, and the Caribbean put together…..”

After formation of Israel and the continuous skirmishes between Palestine, Palestine did not get a chance to develop economically. A state which faces daily threats from an enemy which is so close does not get a chance to grow economically. Palestine for a long time has been under economic and trade sanctions by Israel. The continuous support of US to Israel in economic and military way had lead to a well established Israeli economy. The weapon that US buys from Israel alone is enough to run it economy, where on the other hand Palestine does not have much of a industry of its own. It is a growing concern among the Europeans, and certainly among the Arabs, that the complete support of the US government for Israel is one of the crucial factors contributing to the failure of international diplomacy to resolve the conflict. It not only destabilize the region military and politically but also economically, thus becoming the reason of insurgencies by the deprived.


Written by redtribution

August 23, 2007 at 9:20 pm

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