S2E7: Palestine Pt 7 – 1400 OMG

Where is this conflict heading? Is there a plan, a happy end, reconciliation? What does the future hold for the people in these lands?

These are the questions going through the minds of millions of people around the world regarding the Palestine/Israel saga. Over the past three episodes, we dove into the history of Palestine from the first Jewish immigrant over a hundred years ago, to the formation of Israel and its rise to power.

I wish I could tell you this story has a happy ending. In fact, I wish I could tell you how it ends, but I can’t. Because this story isn’t over yet. This is not just history. It is an ongoing crisis in the world today.

Listen online at the bottom of this page, or wherever you get your podcasts:
Download now on Apple Podcasts.
Stream for free on Spotify.

Transcript

Where is this conflict heading? Is there a plan, a happy end, reconciliation? What does the future hold for the people in these lands?

These are the questions going through the minds of millions of people around the world regarding the Palestine/Israel saga. Over the past three episodes, we dove into the history of Palestine from the first Jewish immigrant over a hundred years ago, to the formation of Israel and its rise to power.

I wish I could tell you this story has a happy ending. In fact, I wish I could tell you how it ends, but I can’t. Because this story isn’t over yet. This is not just history. It is an ongoing crisis in the world today.

The Palestine/Israel conflict continues today with no end in sight. In today’s episode, we will look at recent events in this conflict and take a peek at what the future might hold.

Hold on to your hats, because we are about to dive deeper into the history of Palestine.

From Toledo Society, I am Professor Saeed Khan, and this is…. OMG 1400… your guide to what the hell happened in modern Muslim history.

Intro

In this series, we investigate the key events in the Muslim world over the last two centuries and dig deep into some of the root causes of the situation many find themselves in today.

Over the past few episodes, we discussed the events that led to the formation of the State of Israel and the Palestine Crisis. Today, we will conclude the history of Palestine by looking at events in recent history.

Segment 1: Camp David

When we last left Palestine, there were ongoing hostilities between Israel and Egypt. Israel had forcibly seized many lands, including lands that previously belonged to Egypt. To settle the problems between the two countries, the President of the United Stated called a secret meeting in Camp David.

Camp David is the country retreat for the president of the United States. It is in the wooded hills of Catoctin Mountain Park near Thurmont, Maryland. In 1977, it was the location of a secret meeting between the presidents of Egypt, Israel and USA.

Anwar al Sadat, the president of Egypt, was focused on restoring diplomatic ties with Israel for the sake of the Egyptian economy. To do this, he went to Jerusalem to meet the Prime Minister of Israel, Menachem Begin, to discuss their differences. Sadat wanted to improve relationships with Israel while also solving the Palestinian issue. Begin was open to discussions of peace with Egypt but had no intention of relinquishing Israel’s hold on West Bank and Gaza. Unable to come to terms, they turned to the USA for help.

To facilitate the discussions, President Jimmy Carter organized a secret meeting between the three leaders (himself, Sadat and Begin) in Camp David. The results, the Camp David Accords, signed on September 17th, 1978.

The Accords produced two important documents. The first was a framework for peace in the Middle East. The document endorsed the UN Resolution 242 as the basis for settlement for the Middle East conflict. It also proposed a staged plan for achievement of Palestinian autonomy in 5 years, but this proposal was vague and open-ended, so it didn’t really mean anything. This document was considered a victory for Israel and a defeat for the idea of a Palestinian State. At Camp David, Israel won right to deal with Occupied Territories as it saw fit, even though this was not immediately apparent to Sadat and Carter.

The second document included the conditions for an Egyptian-Israeli Peace Treaty. The formal peace treaty was signed in March 1979. The two countries exchanged ambassadors, and in 1982, Israel withdrew its forces from Sinai, and the USA provided $3 Billion in aid to assist with restoration of the area. But the framework for peace with Palestine was never implemented. Israel exchanged Sinai for the West Bank and Gaza, and by making peace with Egypt, it had neutralized the powerful Arab army in the region. Israel had won.

That year, both Sadat and Begin were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. But there were serious consequences for this treaty. The Arab world was shocked by Egypt’s actions and as a result, Egypt was expelled from the Arab League. Most Arab Nations, excluding Oman and Sudan, broke diplomatic ties with Egypt, and the oil producing countries cancelled their subsidiaries. Isolated from the rest of the Arab world, Egypt became dependent on the US for economic support.

On October 6th, 1981, on anniversary of Egypt’s successful military campaign against Israel in the Sinai, Sadat was assassinated by extremists, in part for his perceived betrayal in making peace with Israel. He was succeeded by Hosni Mubarak.

The Camp David Accords, in the end, harmed both Egypt and Palestine. It was a huge win for Israel, but it still wasn’t enough.

Segment 2: The Refugee Massacre

The PLO had been operating in exile in Jordan and Lebanon. It was designated a terrorist organization by the US, Israel and several other western countries based on it taking responsibility for a host of actions against military and civilian targets, including hijackings of commercial airliners, cruise ships and other bombings.

In 1982, during the Lebanese Civil War, which began in 1975, the Israeli Defense Forces ordered their Lebanese allies, the Christian Phalange, to expel PLO fighters from the Sabra and Shatilla refugee camps that housed thousands of Palestinians. Phalange forces, aided by Israeli military, engaged in a massacre, with estimated ranging between 450 to 3500 Palestinian men, women and children being killed.

The act received condemnation from the UN and several governments. An Israeli commission held Defense Minister and future PM Ariel Sharon responsible for the massacre for not taking action to prevent it.

Segment 3: The First Intifada

In December 1987, the first Intifada occurred. Intifada means resistance, and is the name given to the first time that Palestinian civilizations resisted Israeli aggression and fought back. It caught the PLO by surprise as it was a movement that began and was organized by Palestinian society itself. It involved acts of civil disobedience and boycotts, but also included protests and demonstrations that in some cases turned violent against Israeli security authorities.

The Intifada was caused by two decades of life under Israeli occupation. The Palestinians had grown frustrated at the oppression at the hands of the Israeli regime. During these two decades, many of their homes had been demolished, many of their farmlands were destroyed, and many of them were detained without charge, and even tortured. There were also a lot of restrictions on travel and employment. All these factors caused frustration for the Palestinians who decided to fight back and express their anger through the Intifada.

In retaliation, Israel deployed eighty thousand soldiers to quell the unrest. In the aftermath, over two thousand Palestinians were killed, along with 277 Israelis. The intifada led to the Madrid Conference of 1991. In this conference, the US and Russia convened an international summit for peace talks between the PLO and Israel.

Segment 4: Attempts at reconciliation

The Madrid Talks was the first major attempt at discussion between Israel and the Arab Nations. It was headed by President George H.W. Bush and Secretary of State James Baker III. A Palestinian-Jordanian Delegation joined the talks. The importance of this event is that it was the first major event where the Palestinian question was addressed directly, and the first time the “land for peace’ solution was proposed. This event opened the doors to further peace talks and negotiations.

In 1993, the Oslo Accords were signed. The Oslo Accords are a set of agreements between Israel and the PLO. The accords were signed between PLO leader Yasser Arafat and Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, in Washington DC. Based on the accords, the PLO had to recognize Israel as a State. In Return, Palestine was granted a limited self-government parts of Gaza and the West Bank. Israel also agreed to withdraw partially from Gaza and Jericho. Palestine agreed to call an election for a Palestinian Authority to succeed the PLO. And Israel would withdraw from Civil Administration of the West Bank.

But the agreement failed. Due to violence from both sides, including a massacre by Israelis and suicide bombings by Palestinians, neither side agreed to peace, and the accords did not result in a Palestinian State. Israel continued to expand, taking over various Palestinian territories and building settlements in these lands. In 1995, Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin was assassinated by Yigal Amir.

A stalemate continued between the two nations. Another negotiation was attempted in 1998, known as the Wye River Memorandum. It was chaired by Yassir Arafat, King Hussain of Jordan, President Bill Clinton and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. But it did not result in any positive change. The two sides remained hostile to each other, and there seemed to be no hope for peace.

Enjoyed this episode? Please share and give us 5-star rating on Apple, Stitcher, Spotify Podcasts.

If you would like to donate towards Toledo Society, please do here. We need every penny to keep our podcasts free and inspiring!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *