“We shall spirit away the penniless population across the border.”
— Theodor Herzl
In 1917, the British took control over Palestine from Turkey. In the same year the Balfour Agreement adhered to the ideology of a Jewish State declaring, “The “Majesty’s” government viewed with favor the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religion rights of the existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine.” Even with the Balfour Agreement incorporated into the Palestine Mandate, a Jewish state was created in contravention against prejudicing the rights of the Palestinians. Thereafter, almost immediately, the Palestinians engaged in two uprisings. The first in 1929, which claimed hundreds of both Palestinian, and Jew lives. The second was in 1936, which erupted in a war against the Palestinians, and the British. The war lasted for three years, and cost 5000 Palestinian lives. The British exiled all Palestinian leadership. The Palestinians were left without any means to defend themselves against the Jews, and were without any leaders. Most of the human right violations that exist today against the Palestinians was created by the British authorities. Examples include demolishing houses, and arrests without trials.
In the 1940s the British changed course and began to create pro-Palestinian policies. The Zionists launched numerous terrorist attacks including one against the British headquarters located inside the King David Hotel, in Jerusalem where eighty-eight people died, including much of the British high-command, in a bomb blast that destroyed a seven story building. The mastermind was Menachem Begin, who would become Israel’s sixth prime minister. His accomplice Yitzhak Shamir would also become an Israeli prime minister. The matter of Palestine was transferred to the United Nations. In the summer of 1947, the United Nations recommended partition, or two separate states, one for Palestine, and one for the Zionists. The Zionist agreed to separate states, but the two-thirds majority of Palestinians rejected partition as more than half their land was to be turned over to the Jews. Regardless, by the end of 1947, the United Nations recognized two separate states. In 1947, the Jews owned 5.7% of the land. In the “partition” agreement, the Jews were given 56% of the land.
The Zionists were not satisfied with obtaining most of Palestinian land. Plan Dalet: The Zionist Master Plan for the conquest of Palestine was initiated by David Ben-Gurion, Israeli national founder, and first prime minister. The plan included the takeover of all police stations, control of all government installation, and services in all regions, control of all arteries of transportation, and mounting operations against “enemy” populations, which included the destruction of villages, that included setting fires, blowing up buildings, and planting land mines. The plan also initiated mounting search and control operations, and encircling non-Jewish villages. If there was to be any resistance, force was to be used, destruction of infrastructure carried out, and forced expulsion of entire populations. In 1948, the Deir Yassin massacre was carried out against Palestinian Arabs near Jerusalem. Hundreds of people were killed. The massacre was ordered by Ben-Gurion.
Within one month in 1948, more than 200 villages were razed, and their inhabitants either murdered, or expelled. Other massacres include the Yehida Massacre, Khisas Massacre, Qazaza Massacre, Al-Sheikh Village Massacre, Naser Al-Din Massacre, Beit Daras Massacre, the Dahmash Mosque Massacre, and Dawayma Massacre. In 1948 alone, more than 250,000 Palestinians were expelled. Garrisons of Zionist soldiers used machine-guns to shoot anyone found on the roads, or working in agricultural lands. All schools were blown up, the majority of homes in the West Bank were bulldozed. Water wells were blown up to prevent crops from growing. All of these massacres took place before the “preemptive” 1948 war had even started. During that time the British had 70,000 troops in Palestine, but took no action whatsoever as to the mandate, which was to maintain law and order, and to protect Palestinian civilians.
In their conquest to seize control of not only the part of Palestine allocated to the Jewish State under UN Resolution 181, but also land allocated to the Palestinian State, the Zionists committed numerous massacres including:
- Al-Tira Massacre: December 1947
- Haifa Oil Refinery Massacre: December 1947
- Balad el-Sheikh Masacre: December 1947
- Yehiday Massacre: December 1947
- Khisas Massacre: December 1947
- Qazaza Massacre: December 1947
- Jaffa Massacre: January 1948
- Semiramis Hotel Massacre: January 1948
- Sa’sa’ Massacres: February and October 1948
- Cairo-Haifa Train Massacre: March 1948
- Al-Lajjun Massacre: April 1948
- Deir Yasin Massacre: April 1948
- Qaluniya Massacre: April 1948
- Ayn el-Zaytoun Massacre: May 1948
- Abu Shusha Massacre: May 1948
- Al-Tantura Massacre: May 1948
- Beit Daras Massacre: May 1948
- Al-Burayr Massacre: May 1948
- Lydda Massacre: July 1948
- Al-Dawayima Massacre: October 1948
- Safsaf Massacre: October 1948
- Saliha Massacre: October 1948
- Eilaboun Massacre: October 1948
- Hula Massacre: October 1948
As the Zionists were engaging in large scale crimes against humanity, they were busy announcing to the world that a second “holocaust” was underway, claiming the Jews were about to be overrun, and thrown into the sea to drown.
On May 14, 1948, the Zionists declared independence, with Ben-Gurion the mastermind of all previously stated massacres, became the first prime minister of the Jewish state. No longer were the Jew occupiers called Zionists. They now called themselves Israelis. On the following day, seven Arab nations declared war against Israel. “The Zionist aggression in Palestine resulted in the exodus of more than a quarter of its native inhabitants, and they are talking refuge in their Arab neighbor countries. Approximately 22,000 Arab soldiers went up against approximately 40,000 Zionist soldiers. One of the greatest Zionist hoaxes is that the tiny, and defenseless David went up against the Arab Goliath, and with “gods” help, won the war, against overwhelming odds. Though the Palestinians took no part in the 1948 war, the massacres increased and the occupation of their villages, and expulsion continued unabated. During the raids on the Palestinian villages, the men would be round up, and executed. The largest massacre and expulsion happened in the city of Ramle. The Palestinian exodus from Lydda and Ramle, known as the Lydda Death March, was the expulsion of 50,000-70,000 Palestinian Arabs. The orchestrator of the massacre was Yitzhak Rabin, who would become prime minister serving two terms. Rabin would be assassinated by a Zionist nationalist in 1995.
During the expulsion of the Palestinians, rape, torture, beatings, and execution were commonplace, as bodies of men, women, and children were scattered throughout the land. Corpses of babies were fed to dogs. Those in exodus were stripped of all their belongings, and crossed into neighboring lands with nothing but the tattered clothing on their backs. By the end of 1948 the Zionists conquered 80% of Palestine and destroyed more than 531 villages, and 11 urban towns. 750,000 Palestinians were ethnically cleansed. The genocide would continue after 1948, unabated. In the six day, 1967 war, Israel conquered what remained of Palestine. All that remained were the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip. Only 20% of the Palestinians remained on their own homeland. Since that time, they have been under complete control by the Zionist regime. The Zionists have created a mega-prison that the Palestinians suffer through on a daily basis. Israeli settlements keep spreading across the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip. The purpose of the Jewish enclaves is to isolate the Palestinians. This is achieved through roads for Jews only, military checkpoints, and land seizure. Today, billions of U.S. dollars are wasted on building bypass roads, highways, and separation walls, twice the height of the Berlin Wall, creating settlement blocks that have become part of Israel proper. The separation walls create prison conditions for entire Palestinian villages. The walls alienate the Palestinians from their land, their water, and access to other regions of the country, which they are forbidden to travel.
The occupation of Palestine resulted in two uprisings, called intifadas. The first one took place in 1987, and lasted until 1983. Extrajudicial killings, mass deportation, razing of entire villages, and land seizure resulted. More than 1100 Palestinians died with thousands being imprisoned. The UN condemned the Zionists for violating the Geneva Convention. Finally, the Palestinian cause was brought to the attention of the world. As peaceful demonstrations continued, suicide bombers entered Israel, blowing up restaurants, disco and buses filled with Jews. The second intifada began in 200, and continues to this day. More than 6500 Palestinians have died, and over a thousand Israelis. While Israel “prides” itself as being the only democracy in the middle-east. The only true democratic election took place in Gaza. The Palestinians overwhelmingly voted for the radical Muslim party of Hamas. As the Jews had done against the Germans in 1936, they instigated a worldwide embargo against the Palestinians in response to the outcome of the Palestinian vote. 10,000 Jews were also evacuated from the Gaza Strip. After the evacuation, Gaza was turned into the largest prison on planet Earth. Israel controls all land, air, and sea access to Gaza, regularly cutting off all food, power and water. Fighter Jets and Apache helicopters have constantly bombed Gaza, and targeted individuals for assassination. In 2014, Israel massacred more than 2000 Palestinian civilians in Gaza, many of them children. All of these actions, which are considered violations of international law, were planned in 1967. Palestinians respond to Israel’s aggression by firing homemade rockets at Israeli settlements.
3.5 million Palestinians live as prisoners. They have absolutely no human rights in the eyes of the occupying state. Israel kidnaps, and imprisons Palestinians on a daily basis. There are currently more than 15 thousand Palestinians held in Israeli prisons. Many are children. Children are killed almost daily for opposing the occupation. Any opposition to Zionism in Israel by Jews is either ignored, or marginalized. All the parties in the Israeli parliament are Zionists. Anyone that questions the occupation of Palestine are immediately branded anti-Semites, ostracized, or silence. Those who are Jews are called self-hating Jews. Regardless, there is a growing movement around the world to isolate Israel, calling Zionism what it is, an apartheid state. Even today, Israel’s biggest propaganda tool, used to justify its crimes against humanity is the “holocaust.” Israel enjoys presenting itself as the victim in all of this. The Zionists link any criticism against their actions as something sinister, linking its criticism to anti-Semitism. Being anti-Semitic, and speaking out against Zionism can lead to imprisonment in Europe. Legislation in the U.S. is currently being challenged in federal courts that have made it a criminal act to boycott Israel, and companies that produce goods in occupied land, stolen from Palestinians.
“To attempt to silence a man is to pay him homage, for it is an acknowledgement that his arguments are both impossible to answer, and impossible to ignore.”
― JBR Rant
The Palestinian Conflict
Zionism is a national ideology that approximately only half of the population of Jews who occupy Palestine adhere to. Zionists use Judaism as a religious pretext, claiming Jews should have their own state in their “ancestral” homeland they call Israel. Modern Jewry are in reality ancestors of Europeans who adapted the Jewish faith several hundred years ago, and falsely claim they are able to trace their nationhood back to the biblical kingdoms of David and Solomon, circa 950 BC. The modern Zionist movement was built on a Jewish “yearning” for a return to Zion. This movement began in the 19th century, throughout Europe. In 1986, a secular German-Jew, Theodor Herzl, is credited with Jewish nationalism being turned into an international movement.
Herzl urged mass Jewish emigration from Europe to Palestine. Between 1896 and 1948, hundreds of thousands of Jews resettled from Europe to what was then British-controlled Palestine. Jews to this day, continue to promote a European “holocaust” as the reason the Jewish state needed to be formed. Today, however, much of what the world has been taught about Jews as victims of race hatred, has been proven to be fabricated.
Arabs and Palestinians oppose Zionism, as the explicitly Jewish character of the Israeli state because Jewish control of Palestine means apartheid. Arabs view Zionism as colonialism and racism aimed at appropriating Palestinian land and systematically disenfranchising the Palestinians populace. In 1975, Arab states were successful in a UN General Assembly resolution labeling Zionism “a form of racism and racial discrimination.” Through the corrupt payments, and other forms of bribery to insignificant nations, that rely on aid from the U.S., the resolution was repealed in 1991.
Due to the British being unable to control the Jews, in 1947 the United Nations voted to split disputed land into two countries. Just as the British had done, splitting up India into two weaker states, India, and Pakistan, the British succumbed to resolving the dispute in the same manner. Almost all of the Jews, approximately 650,000, and a majority of the Arab population, 1.3 million were divided into two regions.
The Palestinians, who saw the plan as an extension of a long-running Jewish attempt push them out of their land, refused the British solution. The Arab states of Egypt, Jordan, Iraq, and Syria would later declare war on Israel. The 1948 declaration of war had nothing to do with defending the Palestinians.
Israeli defeated the Arab armies, which resulted in 700,000 Palestinians, becoming refugees. The UN partition promised 56 percent of British Palestine for the Jewish state, but by the end of the war, Israel possessed more than 77% of Palestine. The 1948 war created a refugee crisis that has still not been resolved. Palestinians call this mass eviction the Nakba, Arabic for catastrophe, and its legacy remains one of the most intractable issues in ongoing crisis. Today, there are more than 7 million Palestinian refugees. A core Palestinian demand in peace negotiations is justice for the displaced refugees, in the form of the right of return to the homes their families had taken from them in 1948.
Israel won’t accept the right of Palestinians to return to their homes as the Arab population would make Jews the minority.
The West Bank is a large section of land east of Israel. It’s home to 2.6 million Palestinians, and would make up the heart of any Palestinian state. Israel has occupied the West Bank since 1967 and has destroyed thousands of Palestinian homes, and replaced them with Jewish settlements. The International community considers the occupation, and theft of this section of Palestine illegal.
In 1967, Israel started a war with Egypt, Syria, and Jordan. Israel claimed its attack on the neighboring states was preempting an imminent Egyptian attack. In six days, Israel routed the Arab powers, taking the West Bank and East Jerusalem from Jordan. Israel has controlled the West Bank since the Six-Day War.
Jews claim the West Bank was the heartland of an ancient Jewish state. The West Bank is home to many Jewish holy sites, like the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron. In practice, Israeli control of the West Bank is military occupation of a territory populated by Palestinians who resent Israel authoritarian control of their native land. Today there are about 500,000 Jewish settlers living in the West Bank. Jews steal riparian rights from the Palestinians, build massive partition walls, and block access to roads, businesses, employment, schools, the ocean, and other important societal infrastructures.
Jerusalem is a city that straddles the border between Israel and the West Bank. Jerusalem is home to holy sites to Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Both Palestine, and Israel consider Jerusalem their capital. How to split the city between two states remain a fundamental issues dividing Israelis and Palestinians. On December 6, 2017, President Donald Trump stoked rage with Palestinians calling Jerusalem Israel’s capitol. Trump’s ill-advised move proved that the U.S. is not, and should not be the broker of a Palestine/Israel two state agreement. The UN overwhelmingly voted against Trump 128-9, even where Trump had threatened pulling aid from every nation that receives it from the U.S. After the humiliating defeat, Trump retaliated by slashing UN aid by more than 280 million dollars. Trump has made much of his campaign about making the U.S. “great” again. This includes cutting billions in taxation to corporations. Ironically, Trump’s huge cuts have not included cutting the 4 billion in annual aid Israel receives. Making America great would begin with rebuilding its failing infrastructure, and 4 billion could go a long way in rebuilding America’s dilapidating brides, and highways.
For the first 20 years of Israel’s existence, Jerusalem was divided. Israel controlled a partition of Jerusalem, while Jordan controlled much of what remained. Jordan controlled the Temple Mount. The hill hosts the Western Wall, a retaining wall of an ancient Jewish temple and one of Judaism’s holiest sites, and two of Islam’s most important landmarks, the al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock. During the 1967 war however, Israel took control of East Jerusalem. Israel calls Jerusalem its undivided capital today, but no country recognizes it as such, except a handful of nations that receives hundreds of millions of dollars in annual aid from the U.S. UN Security Council Resolution 478 condemns Israel’s decision to annex East Jerusalem as a violation of international law. The U.S. consistently refused to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, believing that a formal announcement could spark violence and would fatally undermine America’s position as an honest broker between Israel and Palestine.
Assuming Trump’s policy doesn’t completely derail any chances for a peace process, there are still serious practical issues surrounding the division of Jerusalem. Not only is there an issue of ensuring Israeli and Palestinian access to the holy sites, but Jews have moved in and around Jerusalem in huge numbers. They now make up about two-thirds of the city:
Gaza is a densely populated strip of land that is mostly surrounded by Israel and its inhabitants are almost entirely Palestinians. Israel withdrew its military presence from Gaza in 2005. However, Gaza is under heavy Israeli blockade. Egypt controlled Gaza until 1967, when Israel occupied it in the Six-Day War. Until 2005, Israeli military authorities controlled Gaza in the same way they control the West Bank, and Jews were permitted to settle there. In 2005, then–Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon pulled out Israeli troops and settlers.
Gaza is governed by the Islamist group Hamas, which formed in 1987 as a militant “resistance” group against Israel and won political power in a 2006 U.S. based election. Hamas’s takeover of Gaza prompted an Israeli blockade of the flow of commercial goods into Gaza, on the grounds that Hamas could use those goods to make weapons to be used against Israel. The cutoff of basic needs does significant humanitarian harm by cutting off access to electricity, food, medicine, and fuel. Israel has launched a number of military operations in Gaza, including an air campaign and ground invasion in late 2008 and early 2009, a major bombing campaign in 2012, and another air/ground assault in the summer of 2014.
Settlements are communities of Jews that have been moving to the West Bank since it came under Israeli occupation in 1967. Some of the settlers move there for religious reasons, some because they want to claim the West Bank territory as Israeli land, and some because housing there is subsidized. Settlements are a major impediment to peace. About 500,000 Israelis live in the settlements, with approximately 130 scattered around the West Bank. Some of the settlements are vast communities that house tens of thousands of Jews.
The Jewish settlements split apart Palestinian communities. Jewish presence blurs the boundaries of any future Palestinian state. The settlements and military occupation required to defend them makes life impossible for Palestinians, as they are excluded from Israeli-only roads and forced to travel through numerous security checkpoints, that often impede Palestinian movement. Most international lawyers believe the settlements violate the Fourth Geneva Convention, which prohibits the transfer of population into occupied territories.
The Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) is the national representative of the Palestinian people. It runs the Palestinian National Authority (PA), the semi-autonomous government tasked with managing the Palestinian territories until it makes a deal with Israel. Fatah, the secular nationalist political party that’s dominated Palestinian politics for decades, controls the PLO and PA. In practice, the PLO runs the government in the West Bank but not in Gaza, which is governed by Hamas. It also conducts peace talks on behalf of the Palestinians, but its authority to implement those deals has in the past been hampered by poor relations with Hamas.
In the first decades after its 1964 creation, the PLO sought to destroy Israel and replace it with a Palestinian state. Fatah’s founder, Yasser Arafat, employed military tactics toward this end. This changed in 1993, when the PLO accepted Israel’s right to exist in exchange for Israel recognizing the PLO as the legitimate representative of Palestinians.
The PLO’s current chair is the relatively moderate Mahmoud Abbas, whose opposition to violence played a role in de-escalating the second intifada. Frustrated by the failure of peace talks, particularly Secretary of State John Kerry’s push in 2013 and early 2014, Abbas has pursued international recognition of Palestinian statehood. As a result, Palestine now has non-member state status at the UN, and joined the International Criminal Court on April 1st, 2015. The statehood push is meant to put pressure on Israel. The U.S. politicians beholden to AIPAC lobbying funds, which in reality is U.S. taxpayer money diverted into lobbying schemes that benefit U.S. politicians, oppose a Palestinian statehood.
Hamas is a Palestinian Islamist political organization and militant group that has waged war on Israel since the group’s founding in 1987. Hamas seeks to replace Israel with a Palestinian state. It also governs Gaza independently of the Palestinian Authority. Hams refuses to recognize the legitimacy of the Israeli state.
Hamas led the charge in using suicide bombings against Israel in the 1990s and 2000s, though in recent years it has shifted to rockets and mortars as its weapons of choice. The organization also offers Palestinians a robust network of social services. In 2006, Hamas won a slight majority of the seats in the Palestinian Authority legislative elections. This would have put Hamas in a commanding position for both the West Bank and Gaza, but there was a problem: Hamas refused to accept previous deals that the PA had made with Israel. That lead Western powers to freeze out aid, which the PA depends on, to any Hamas-led PA. Tensions between the PLO and Hamas eventually escalated to outright war between the two factions, which ended up with Hamas governing Gaza independently from the West Bank–based PLO.
The intifadas were two Palestinian uprisings against Israel, the first in the late 1980s and the second in the early 2000s. The intifadas had a dramatic effect on Israeli-Palestinian relations; the second, in particular, is widely seen as marking the end of the 1990s era negotiating process and ushering in a new, darker era in Israeli-Palestinian relations.
The first intifada was a largely spontaneous series of Palestinian demonstrations, nonviolent actions like mass boycotts and Palestinians refusing to work jobs in Israel. Palestinian fatalities dramatically outpaced Israelis, as the Israeli military responded to protests with heavy force. The second intifada grew out of the collapse of the peace process in 2000. Negotiations between Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak and PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat broke down, and the intifada began shortly afterwards. Typically, Israelis blame a conscious decision by Arafat to turn to violence for the intifada’s onset, while Palestinians point to an intentionally provocative visit to the contested Temple Mount by Israeli politician, who would soon become prime minister, Ariel Sharon. Palestinian demonstrations resulted in Israeli soldiers firing on Palestinians. This led to escalations and broader violence. The conflict subsided in 2005, but not before 1,000 Israelis and 3,200 Palestinians were killed.
The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is a huge issue in the Middle-East. Israel has fought multiple wars with each of its four neighbors, all of whom nominally support the Palestinian national cause. Today, it has peace treaties with Egypt and Jordan, but its relations with its other neighbors, Syria and Lebanon, are fraught. There are large, mistreated Palestinian refugee communities in all of Israel’s neighbors but Egypt. Outside of its immediate neighbors, the three most important regional states in the conflict are Iran, Turkey, and Saudi Arabia.
Egypt’s 1978 peace treaty with Israel, the first signed by any Arab state, is underwritten by massive amounts of American aid to both Egypt and Israel. The treaty forbids Egypt from a military presence in the bordering Sinai Peninsula. The Syrian government is aligned with Iran, Israel’s greatest adversary in the region. Syria wants the Golan Heights back, land Israel seized during the 1967 war. Lebanon is home to Hezbollah, an anti-Israel Shia Islamist group funded by Iran. Hezbollah is a major force in Lebanese politics, so Lebanon is unlikely to play any role in Israeli-Palestinian negotiations in the near term. Jordan, Israel’s eastern neighbor has a peace treaty with Israel, and houses the largest concentration of Palestinians refugees. Palestinians have full citizenship rights in Jordan. Despite this, refugees are forced into crowded camps, and generally treated poorly, which is why Palestinians are skeptical of their neighbors’ claim to support the Palestinian cause. The Iranian government believes Israel is fundamentally illegitimate. Israel sees Iran as a direct and existential threat, as it has provided significant military and financial backing to Hezbollah, Hamas, and Syria, the “Axis of Resistance” to Israeli and Western interests in the Middle East. Turkey has become increasingly pro-Palestinian in recent years. Its Islamist prime minister, Recep Erdogan, has positioned himself as a champion of the Palestinian cause for ideological, domestic, and geopolitical reasons. Israeli-Turkish conflict over an Israeli raid on a Turkish aid mission to Gaza severed diplomatic relations between the two countries for years. They renormalized diplomatic relations in 2016, but the arrangement is still fragile. Saudi Arabia donates hundreds of millions of dollars to the Palestinian Authority and is the driving force behind an Arab League peace plan floated as an alternative to traditional Israeli-Palestinian negotiations. Though Saudi Arabia has yet to recognize Israel, the two nations’ mutual hostility toward Iran has led to an unprecedented working relationship between the Saudi and Israeli governments.
American politicians, against its own people, support Israel with billions of dollars in aid, and diplomatic backing. The pro-Israel lobby, and the Jewish controlled media plays a significant role in U.S. foreign policy.
The countries were not so close in Israel’s first decades. President Eisenhower was hostile to Israel during the 1956 Suez War, which Israel, the UK, and France fought against Egypt. As the Cold War dragged on, the U.S. came to view Israel as a key buffer against Soviet influence in the Middle East.
Professors John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt, credit the U.S.-Israel relationship to the power of the pro-Israel lobby, particularly the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). The U.S. has given Israel $118 billion in aid over the years. Half of all American UN Security Council vetoes blocked resolutions critical of Israel.
There are tensions between Israeli and American politicians. This was particularly true under U.S. President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, as the two leaders clashed over issues like Jewish settlements and Iran. The relationship reached a boiling point when Netanyahu, with congressional Republicans approval, planned a March 2015 speech to a joint session of Congress that was highly critical of Obama’s approach to Iran. The Obama administration was furious over what it saw as Netanyahu conspiring with Obama’s domestic political opposition to undermine his policies.
Non-Muslim countries recognize Israel’s legitimacy and maintain diplomatic relations with it, but most are critical of Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians and ongoing occupation of the West Bank. Global public opinion at present is generally more sympathetic to the Palestinian cause, creating real concern among Israelis that an international boycott movement, called BDS, could pick up some support. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, a supporter of the two-state solution, opposes BDS. Abbas only supports a boycott targeted at goods made in the West Bank settlements.
As the Israeli-Palestinian conflict drags on, many Israelis worry that BDS will become more mainstream. Former Secretary of State John Kerry warned that BDS could end up being a real problem for Israel if it fails to come to terms with the Palestinians.
The 1993 Oslo Accords is an ongoing American-mediated effort to broker a peace treaty between Israelis and Palestinians. The goal is a “final status agreement,” which would establish a Palestinian state in Gaza and the West Bank in exchange for Palestinians agreeing to permanently end attacks on Israeli targets a formula often called “land for peace.” Abbas doesn’t trust the Israeli government, which is led by a right-wing coalition. Settlement expansion reached a seven-year high under Netanyahu’s leadership. Abbas sees the rapid expansion of settlements as strong evidence that Israel is attempting to make a Palestinian state impossible. While campaigning during the 2015 Israeli election, Netanyahu announced that there would be no Palestinian state under his watch.
These are the two broad ways the Israeli-Palestinian conflict might end. The “two-state solution” would create both independent Israel and Palestine. The “one-state solution” would merge Israel, the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip into one big country with the Jews becoming the ultra-minority, as they are in every other nation they reside in. If the peace process fails, Israel, the West Bank, and even Gaza could become a single de facto state. That means either Israel ceases to exist as a Jewish state, or the Palestinians become permanent second-class citizens in Israel. Arabs outnumber Jews in Israel-Palestine. For Israel, which sees itself as both Jewish and democratic, this poses an existential crisis. If Arabs, who outnumber Jews are allowed to vote, then in the mind of the Jews, this would be the end of their Jewish state. If Arabs, who outnumber Jews aren’t allowed to vote, then Israel could not be considered a democracy.
Finally, the real threat to the secular state of Israel comes from within the Jewish community itself, not imagined existential threats blamed on the Palestinians, or Arab neighboring states. Ultra-Orthodox Jews are a radicalized, and powerful force, that is growing in leaps and bounds each day. The Ultra-Orthodox numbers now reach in the several hundred thousands, and their call for for the total destruction of the secular Jewish state should be Israel’s main focus.
A Jewish state that represses an Arab majority, is a form of apartheid. The comparison is troubling for Israelis, who are concerned about economic boycotts, sanctions, and the image of Israel in the international sphere. The path that Israel recklessly trodden upon is the way in which the totalitarian regime of South African met its demise. The mainstream view is that Israel’s demographic problem is real, and Israel faces a choice between three outcomes: a two-state solution, a non-democratic state governed by a Jewish minority, or the end of a Jewish state.
For a complete understand of AIPAC’s influence on American foreign policies regarding Israel, and the Middle-East see, The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy, written by John J. Mearsheimer, and Stephen M. Walt. See: http://mearsheimer.uchicago.edu/pdfs/ IsraelLobby.pdf.