Israel. According to Countryaah official site, hundreds of thousands of Israelis, primarily in Tel Aviv but also in Jerusalem, demonstrated on a number of occasions during the summer for cheaper housing and food. The government, apparently shaken by the commitment to an issue that had nothing to do with the Palestinian conflict, responded with a swiftly bundled reform package that included an investment in cheap student housing. Israel’s economy was good, with growth of 4-5% and falling unemployment, but the price levels were so high that even the middle class had a hard time getting together everyday.
In exchange for over a thousand Palestinian prisoners, the militant Islamist group Hamas released October 19, Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, held hostage for over five years. Shalit was received as a hero upon returning home. By exchanging so many prisoners for a single, the government lived up to the promise to do everything for the safety of its soldiers, but at the same time signaled to potential new hostages that it was susceptible to extortion.
In August, the Israeli military accidentally killed five Egyptian border guards on the Sinai Peninsula. The target was, according to Israel, militant Islamists who had killed eight Israelis near Eilat. Israel lamented the incident, but angry Egyptian protesters stormed the Israeli embassy in Cairo on September 9, after which diplomats and other personnel were evacuated to Israel.
Relations with Turkey became even worse. In a September report, the UN criticized Israel’s attack on the Mavi Marmara vessel in 2010, stating that the killing of nine Turkish activists was “disproportionate and unreasonable”. Some activists had been shot several times, others in the back, which, according to the UN, countered that the Israelis would have acted in self-defense. Turkey demanded an Israeli apology, and when none came, Turkey expelled Israel’s ambassador, downgraded diplomatic relations and interrupted all military cooperation, including trade in military equipment.
Ehud Barak, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense in the coalition government and former Prime Minister, left the Labor Party in January and started a new party called Atzmaut (Independence). Barak retained his ministerial posts, but three other Labor Party ministers jumped out of the government and joined the opposition, which weakened the government.
Around New Year 2011, it was reported that the US oil company Noble had encountered a record-breaking natural gas field, Leviathan, off the northern Israeli coast. Together with an adjacent field, the discovery could make Israel self-sufficient in energy.
Former President Moshe Katsav, who in 2010 was dropped for rape, received his sentence March 22: seven years in prison.
In 1896, the Viennese journalist, Theodor Herzl, published a book entitled: “The Jewish State”. Impressed by 19th-century European nationalism – which led to the unification of Germany and the re-establishment of the Italian state – Herzl envisaged the formation of a Jewish nation-state that would put an end to the persistent persecution faced by the Jewish people in Europe. from the pogroms in Russia to the “Dreyfuss affair” in France.
The Jewish state was to be created in Palestine, which at this time was still a Turkish colony. The name Palestine excited the suffering Jews of Eastern Europe who dreamed of returning to Zion. The area where the Israeli kingdoms had existed two thousand years earlier. Zion was a branch that, through violent propagation, became synonymous with Jerusalem and subsequently with all of Palestine. Herzl’s followers began to call themselves Zionists, and they completely ignored that in the land they had imagined there were already half a million Arabs with millennial traditions.
Zionism constituted a coherent policy of alliances with the powerful capitalist powers and deprivation of the Palestinian people’s national identity, while at the same time demanding fulfillment of the Jewish people’s need for national identity. Zionist ideology remained firmly within a Eurocentrist framework in the same way as Cecil Rhodes, Jules Ferry and Chancellor Bismarck. This brought Zionism into a dead end of which it has not yet escaped, despite having a “left-wing tendency” and even sectors that in their self-perception are socialists.
1917 Balfour Declaration
During World War I (1914-18) England and France agreed on a division of the Ottoman Empire’s possessions in the Middle East between them. British Foreign Minister Arthur Balfour understood that the Jewish nationalists could provide excellent credentials for the occupation of northern Palestine. As prime minister, in 1905 Balfour had opposed Jewish emigration to Britain. In 1917 he declared his support for the establishment of a Jewish “homeland” in Palestine. The decision was a grave violation of the Arab population of Palestine’s civil and religious rights – ie. 90% of the population at this time. London got its will. At the end of World War II, the French colonies gained control of Syria and Lebanon and the British in Iraq and Transjordan their independence, but England refused to give Palestine independence with reference to the Balfour Declaration.
Zionism considered the Jews to be refugees in exile and organized their return from all corners of the world. In the early 20th century, there were 500,000 Arabs and 50,000 Jews living in Palestine. During the 1930s, the number of Jews reached 300,000. The Jewish persecution in Germany made emigration far exceed the officially allowed “allowances”. The English became increasingly concerned about seeing their hegemony in Palestine be eroded. In 1939, London declared that the goal was not to create a Jewish state, but rather an independent Palestinian state, in which “governmental power was shared between both people”. In Palestine’s ports, refugee ships fleeing Nazism in Europe were rejected. The Zionists responded with sabotage and terrorism in order to force the shaky British Empire to fulfill its promises.
Through collections among Jews around the world – especially among bankers and wealthy families – the Jews were afforded the purchase of Arab land by the wealthy Arab landowners residing in Beirut or Paris who did not care much about the fate of the Palestinian fellahs (peasants). The Jews, therefore, arrived at the ground with banter and ruthlessly removed the Arab peasant families who had been inhabiting the area for centuries. In their place agricultural colonies were created – the so-called kibbutzim- were militarily defended by Zionist militias against an outsider who for good reason had a hostile relationship with the invading people. Faced with the intensified struggle against British colonial rule, in February 1947 London brought the case before the UN. A specially appointed committee recommended the division of the area into two independent states – one Arab and one Jewish. Jerusalem should remain under international rule.