Thursday, April 06, 2006

Appendix F.

Historical and contemporary concerns of Palestinian and Israeli Jewish people

The appendix below is the result of informal research conducted by the author on the conflict between Palestinian and Jewish People during his time in Europe, North America and Israel (2000-2001). The statements of resentment were compiled following the authors discussions with Palestinians and Jews within Israel or in the diaspora. The responses to these statements are the author’s views.

The following is a continuation fundamental needs discussed in chapter three. Those needs already discussed were:
(a) Meaning and identity needs: for example (1) perceptions of a people
(b) Control need: for example, (2) perceptions of a ‘land right’ and a right to self-determination
(c) Security and justice need: for example, (3) perception of victimization (and being the greater victim)

Security and Justice need

(4) Perception of violence against another

A fourth basic belief is that Jewish and Palestinian communities would argue is that ‘other’ has perpetrated the physical and structural violence. Those examples of violent actions against the Jewish community of Israel include the following.

Acts of Palestinian instigated violence (1990-2004)

Perception that the Palestinian Authority (specifically Yassir Arafat):
· Started the Al-Aqsa Intifada 2000-.
· Statements by religious leaders that to die fighting for Palestine - leads to a great reward in heaven.
· The teaching to children by some schools in the Occupied Palestinian Territories that there is ‘No Israel!’
· Release of ‘terrorists’ from Palestinian Authority prisons.
· Israeli citizens are restricted from going to some Muslim nations (e.g. Malaysia).
· Blame directed to individual Palestinians for anger or hatred towards Jewish people, e.g. by Hamas and Islamic Jihad.

Past acts of Palestinian instigated violence

· PLO attacks from Jordan and Lebanon (1970-82).
· Suicide bombings in civilian areas.
· Aircraft hijackings in the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s.
· 1972 Munich Olympics Israeli athlete hostage killings .
· Intifada 1987.
· Mainstream Palestinian leadership support for Saddam’s war against Kuwait and the coalition nations.

Acts of Jewish violence towards the Palestinian community

· Collective punishment (non violent) on Palestinians in the Occupied Territories e.g. curfews, road blocks, destruction of roads with trenches, ripping out olive trees. The consequence of this is mass unemployment and social misery.
· Collective punishment (violent) on Palestinians in the Occupied Territories. This has involved revenge attacks which have resulted in the deaths of persons who may or may not have acted in violence against the Israeli occupation forces.
· Denial for the return of Palestinians who left Israel in 1948 and yet there exists a
Jewish Law of Return for Jews around the world. The Palestinian refugee population which is mostly in Lebanon and Jordan amounts to about 3 million (c. 2000).
· Acceptance and protection of Jewish settlers in the West Bank
(settler numbers doubled from 1993-2001 in the West bank, excluding East Jerusalem to 200 000). East Jerusalem settler population stands at 170 000 in 2001 Example of the negative impact of 400 settlers on 140 000 Palestinians in central Hebron (Mitchell Report 2001). ·Former occupation of Gaza to support 6500 settlers despite which dramatically impinged on he life of 1.1 million Palestinians in Gaza (Mitchell Report 2001).
· Discrimination for Palestinian-Israelis application of building permits.
· Policy of demolishing houses without building permits in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.
· Unequal distribution of public services, especially for Palestinians in the Occupied Territories. For example - the amount of water, electricity supplied to Palestinians compared with Jewish settlers.
· Failure to significantly reduce the racial prejudice found within the police and security forces.
· Failure to significantly reduce the shooting, or shelling of Palestinian persons not involved in confrontation, or when soldiers’ lives were not in danger.
· Under-representation of Palestinian-Israelis in parliament.

Those Israeli Jews who:
· Discriminate against Palestinian-Israelis in work, and the education system,
· Make Palestinian-Israelis feel inferior for example when they travel amongst Jewish communities, for example on a bus.
· Outwardly show their hatred of Palestinian people. This fraction of the Jewish Israeli community would go so far as to call for the expulsion of Palestinian people or for their death.

Historical acts of ‘Jewish’ instigated violence

· The Nakba (Catastrophe)/Israel’s War of ‘Independence (1948)

This involved the killing of people and the displacement of people by force, for example Lod and Ramle; by fear or by deception, for example Biram[1]. As a consequence 400 villages were depopulated. In 1948 over 700 000 Palestinian people became refugees (over 50% of the Palestinian population).

· The Six Day War (1967)
Displacement of people from the West Bank (Jordanian controlled), and Gaza Strip (Egyptian controlled).

· Massacres of Palestinian people (within the borders of Israel or outside those borders):

These included massacres at Deir Yassin (1947), Kfar Kassem (1956), Khan Younis, Gaza (1957), Rafah, Gaza (1957), Sabra and Shatilla, Lebanon (1982), and Qana, Lebanon (1996).

· Death or injury of family members, or friends.

This resulted from war (1948, 1967), the first Intifada (1987) and from other actions.

Reasons for Jewish Israelis' concern about neighbouring 'Arab' countries

· Lack of democracy, e.g.:
i. Lebanon had its first parliamentary elections in 20 years in 1992.
ii. There is little evidence of parliamentary democracy in the Arabian Peninsula (although there is growing evidence in Yemen, Qatar and Bahrain).
· Territorial boundaries e.g. the Golan Heights was taken from Syria.
· Arbitrary imprisonment, torture and assassinations e.g. Syria.
· Political instability e.g. frequent coups and attempted coups in Syria.

Historical reasons for Jewish concern with ‘Arab’ neighbours

· Armed resistance of Palestinian and Muslim peoples to the Jewish State despite this having been given international legitimacy, for example:
1948-49 war with Arab nations, 1956 war, 1967 war, 1973 war (Sadat’s invasion), Hezbollah attacks from Lebanon.

(5) Perception of international law and justice

A fifth basic belief that both the Palestinian and Jewish community would argue is that the ‘other’ has not respected some aspect of international law and justice. For example from the Jewish community might see:

· The Palestinian and Arab community acted in defiance of decisions made by the international community to establish a Jewish State as proposed in 1917, 1920, 1921, 1922, 1937, and 1947.

· Israel is a democratic state and is founded on the resolution of the UN General Assembly 181 (II) 1947.

Whereas the Palestinian community might see that:

· The British and Jewish Zionist community acted in contradiction to the agreement between McMahon and Sherif Hussein of Mecca (1915-16), Allenby’s Declaration (1917), Woodrow Wilson’s 14 points (1918), King-Crane Commission (1919), the Shaw Commission (1929), the Macdonald White Paper (1939), and the Anglo- American Commission (1946).

· The government of Israel has acted against international law repeatedly as enunciated by United Nations Security Council resolutions.


[1] Elias Chacour, with David Hazard, Blood Brothers, Grand Rapids MI: Chosen Books, 1984.