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“There is a growing sense that Israel is becoming an isolated ghetto, which is exactly what the founding fathers and mothers hoped to leave behind them forever when they created the state of Israel.”
Following the defeat of the Ottoman Empire in World War I, the British assumed ontrol of Palestine. In November 1917, the British government issued the Balfour Declaration, announcing its intention to facilitate the "establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people."
In 1922, the League of Nations granted Britain a mandate over Palestine which included, among other things, provisions calling for the establishment of a Jewish homeland, facilitating Jewish immigration and encouraging Jewish settlement on the land.
The Arabs were opposed to Jewish immigration to Palestine and stepped up their attacks against the Jews. Following an increase in Arab attacks, the British appointed a royal commission in 1936 to investigate the Palestine situation. The Peel Commission recommended the partition of the country between Arabs and Jews. The Arabs rejected the idea while the Jews accepted the principle of partition.
At the end of World War II, the British persisted in their immigration restrictions and Jewish survivors of the Holocaust were violently turned away from the shores of Palestine. The Jewish Agency and the Haganah continued to smuggle Jews into Palestine. Underground cells of Jews, most notably the Irgun and Lehi, engaged in open warfare against the British and their installations.
The British concluded that they could no longer manage Palestine and handed the issue over to the United Nations. On November 29, 1947, after much debate and discussion, the UN recommended the partition of Palestine into two states one Jewish and one Arab. The Jews accepted the UN resolution while the Arabs rejected it.
Meanwhile, since the time of the British Mandate, the Jewish community in Palestine had been forming political, social and economic institutions that governed daily life in Palestine and served as a pre-state infrastructure. Zionist leader David Ben-Gurion (1886-1973) served as head of the pre-state government.
The British mandate over Palestine officially terminated at midnight, May 14, 1948. Earlier in the day, at 4:00 p.m., David Ben-Gurion proclaimed the creation of the State of Israel and became its first prime minister. Longtime advocate of Zionism in Britain Chaim Weizmann (1874-1952) became Israel's first president. On May 15, the United States recognized the State of Israel and the Soviet Union soon followed suit.
The fledgling State of Israel was faced with many challenges. While fighting a war of survival with the Arab states who immediately invaded the new nation, Israel had to also absorb the shiploads of immigrants coming in daily to the Jewish homeland. Many were penniless refugees from Europe broken in body and in spirit. They needed immediate health and social services in addition to acculturation to their new home.
The Israeli army occupies Palestina since 1967 and in 2002 began to build a wall separating Israel from the occupied territories. Most part of the wall is illegal under international rights and law. The wall is controlled by a series of check points and watch towers. It's 3 times higher than Berlin's Wall and when its construction will be terminated, its length will be about 700 km and separate about 10% of he West Bank and 25.000 Palestinians from the bulk of that territory. Palestine has become the largest open air prison in the world.
A child of 9 in Gaza has memories of three wars in six years. The child may stand in the remains of the Shejaiya neighborhood in eastern Gaza City, gazing at tangles of iron rods, mountains of stone, jagged outcrops of masonry, and air thick with dust. The child may wonder what force it is that wrought such destruction, so repetitively, and why. It is safe to say that the adult this Palestinian child will one day become does not bode well for Israel. The child has no need for indoctrination in hatred.
No solution that allows the existence of a Jewish (or any non-Muslim) state in any form can possibly end the conflict. The only thing that will end the conflict is a change of mind by the Arabs, such that they will tolerate the existence of a non-Muslim state, and non-Muslims in general.
To manage situations it’s always easy to build a wall. Building a wall we hope to put all things we don’t want to see on the other side. To manage… the unmanageable that we created ourselves. I don't know who is wright and who is wrong, I left Israel and Palestine with more question marks than when I arrived. Till the moment we will keep on asking ourselves "who was right, who was wrong" there will be no change in this complex situation. Sometimes to have the right answer, it's good starting with the right questions, like "Do we understand the situation fully before to take decisions which implies the life of other people?".
“There's nothing more dangerous than someone who wants to make the world a better place.” - Banksy