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  • Hi, I'm John Green, this is Crash Course World History,

  • and today, we're going to talk about Israel and Palestine, hopefully, without a flame war.

  • John from the past: Yeah, yeah big ask, Mr. Green,

  • I mean, that fight goes back thousands and thousands of years.

  • John: Except, thousands of years ago... there wasn't an Islam yet, so, yeah, no.

  • Also, let me submit that very little of this conflict between Israel and Palestine over the last several decades

  • has been about, like, theological differences between Islam and Judaism.

  • No one's arguing about whether the most important prophets

  • descended from Abraham's son Isaac, or his son Ishmael, right?

  • It's not about whether to fast during Yom Kippur or Ramadan. It's about land.

  • Portraying the conflict as eternal or as religious makes it feel intractable in a way that frankly, it isn't.

  • So instead, let's begin as most historians do in the late 19th century.

  • And instead of talking about religion,

  • let's follow the lead of historians like James Gelvin and discuss competing nationalisms.

  • Ok, so in the late 19th century, the Ottoman Empire ruled over what we now know as Palestine.

  • The population there, according to Ottoman records from 1878, was 87% Muslim, 10% Christian and 3% Jewish.

  • Everybody spoke Arabic as the daily language, and in Jerusalem the religious populations were roughly equal.

  • To give you a sense of life in Ottoman Palestine,

  • an Arab Orthodox Christian musician named Wasif Jawhariyyeh

  • grew up in Jerusalem in the first decade of the 20th century learning the Quran in school

  • and celebrating both Passover and Eid with his Jewish and Muslim neighbours.

  • Ottoman Palestine was, in short, a place in which people of different religious faiths lived peacefully together.

  • Alright, let's go to the Thought Bubble. The late 19th century was the Golden Age of nationalism in Europe,

  • and no place was crazier than the Habsburg Austro-Hungarian Empire

  • in which at least 10 different nations all wanted their own state.

  • And in that hyper-nationalistic empire lived a Jewish journalist named Theodor Herzl

  • who had hoped that Jews could assimilate into European nations

  • but soon became convinced that the Jewish people needed to leave Europe and settle in their own state.

  • The concept of Jewish nationalism came to be known as Zionism.

  • It's important to keep in mind that most Zionists were secular Jews,

  • so they imagined Israel as a state for Jews more than a Jewish state. In 1917, the British government,

  • hoping to gain the support of Jewish people, issued the Balfour Declaration, promising, quote,

  • "The establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people,"

  • a bold promise considering that Palestine was still technically Ottoman,

  • as they hadn't yet lost World War One.

  • Of course, they would soon, but it turned out that the British were overpromisers when it came to Palestine,

  • because a year before the Balfour Declaration, the British had secretly promised the French

  • that they would divide up the Arab territories and the Brits would keep Palestine.

  • Furthermore, in 1915, other British officials had promised the ruler of Mecca, Sharif Hussein,

  • that he would rule over an Arab state including Palestine if he led an Arab revolt against Ottoman rule,

  • which Hussein promptly did. So basically

  • the Brits had promised Palestine to the Meccans, to themselves, and to the Zionists.

  • What could go wrong?

  • Thanks, Thought Bubble. So shortly after the end of the war, the British established a colony in Palestine

  • with the idea that they'd rule until the Palestinians were ready to govern themselves,

  • at which point the people living in Palestine were like, "Well, now seems good,"

  • and the British were like, "Yeah, but maybe not just yet."

  • Meanwhile, the British established separate institutions for Christians, Jews, and Muslims,

  • making it difficult for Palestinian Christians and Muslims to cooperate

  • and easier for the British to, quote, "divide and rule" the inhabitants of Palestine. Again, what could go wrong?

  • Meanwhile, the British did attempt to honor the Balfour Declaration's promise to, quote,

  • "facilitate Jewish immigration under suitable conditions." Between 1920 and 1939,

  • the Jewish population of Palestine increased by over 320,000 people.

  • In fact, by 1938, Jews were just under 30% of the population of Palestine.

  • And the growing Jewish population focused on purchasing land from absentee non-Palestinian Arab landowners

  • and then evicting Palestinian farmers who were living and working there.

  • By controlling both the land and the labor, they hoped to establish a more secure community within Palestine,

  • but of course, these practices heightened tensions between Jewish people and Arab Palestinians

  • between the 1920s and the 1930s. Along the way, Palestinian Arabs

  • began to think of themselves as the Palestinian nation, and that growing sense of nationalism erupted in 1936,

  • when the Palestinians revolted against the British.

  • With the help of Jewish militias, the British brutally suppressed the Palestinian revolt,

  • but in the aftermath, the British issued a white paper, limiting Jewish immigration to Palestine,

  • and calling for the establishment of a joint Arab and Jewish state in Palestine within ten years.

  • This managed to leave no one happy.

  • The Zionists were angry at Britain for limiting Jewish immigration

  • at a time when Jews particularly needed to leave Europe,

  • and the Arab Palestinians were unhappy about the prospect of waiting ten years for a state.

  • And then came World War II, which was actually quite a peaceful time in Palestine.

  • But then it ended, and tensions resumed, and the British realized

  • that colonies like Palestine were far more trouble than they were worth,

  • so they handed the issue of Palestine over to the newly created United Nations.

  • They were like, "Oh hey there, United Nations! For your first problem..."

  • So in November of 1947, the United Nations voted to partition Palestine into separate

  • Palestinian and Jewish states. The Partition Plan called for two states roughly equal in size,

  • but the borders looked like a jigsaw puzzle.

  • I mean, you do not look at this map and think, "Yeah, that's gonna work!"

  • Sure enough, it didn't, and soon after the plan was announced, the cleverly named 1948

  • Arab-Israeli War broke out, with Israel on the one side and the Palestinians and many Arab states on the other.

  • The Israelis won, and when an armistice was signed in 1949,

  • Israel occupied a third more land than they would have had under the UN proposal.

  • Meanwhile, Jordan controlled and later annexed the West Bank and the old city of Jerusalem,

  • and Egypt controlled the Gaza strip.

  • Over 700,000 Palestinians fled their homes and became refugees in the surrounding Arab countries.

  • To Israelis, this was was the beginning of their nation;

  • to the Palestinians, it was the nakba, the catastrophe, as they became stateless.

  • Over the next 18 years, nothing changed territorially,

  • and then, in 1967, Israel and several Arab states went to war again.

  • It was called the Six-Days War because -- get this -- it lasted six days. Israel won,

  • and then gained control over the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, the Sinai Peninsula, and the Golan Heights.

  • So the 1947 proposal looked like this; by 1967, things looked like this.

  • Then the UN passed Resolution 242 - man, they are good at naming resolutions! -

  • which outlined a basic framework for achieving peace, including Israel withdrawing

  • from the territory acquired in the war, and all participants recognizing

  • the rights of both a Palestinian and an Israeli state to exist. This of course did not happen.

  • After the war, the broader Israeli-Arab conflict morphed into a more specific Israeli-Palestinian conflict,

  • and this is a nice moment to note that not all Muslims are Arabs, not all Arabs are Palestinians,

  • and not all Palestinians are Muslims. Like, there's a significant Christian minority of Palestinians, for instance.

  • Palestinian is a word used to describe the ethnic identity of those who have historically lived in Palestine.

  • There were, for instance, lots of Christians in the Palestinian Liberation Organization, or PLO,

  • formed in 1964 and led by Yasser Arafat. The PLO oversaw guerrilla groups that attacked civilians,

  • but also used nonviolent approaches to try to achieve a Palestinian state. And meanwhile,

  • the Israeli government began to establish Jewish settlements in what had been Palestinian territory,

  • including East Jerusalem, the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip.

  • There are now over 350,000 Jewish settlers in the West Bank, and over 200,000 in East Jerusalem,

  • and these settlements are illegal, according to international law, but Israel counters by saying

  • that they aren't really illegal because Palestine isn't really a state.

  • By the late 1980s, Palestinians launched the first intifada, which literally means "shaking off."

  • And this began with, like, boycotts of Israeli products and services and refusing to pay Israeli taxes,

  • but when the Israeli armed forces cracked down on protesters, violence ensued.

  • And the first intifada also saw the founding of Hamas,

  • which launched the first suicide bombing against Israel in 1993.

  • Hamas gained support partly because of its militancy,

  • but mostly because of its social welfare projects in Gaza. It built and staffed schools, mosques, and clinics.

  • The most important legacy of the First Intifada was the emergence of peace talks between Palestinians and Israelis.

  • This led to the Oslo Accords,

  • But there were a lot of issues to resolve- I mean, putting aside the question of, like,

  • how to make two states that don't look like a jigsaw puzzle. There was the question of the Jewish settlement,

  • and the right for Palestinian refugees and their descendants to return to Palestine.

  • Water rights, which are a big deal in that part of the world, and so on.

  • It's very complicated! So then came the Clinton talks. Oh, it's time for the Open Letter!

  • But first, let's see what's inside of the globe. Oh, look! It's a collection of

  • philandering American presidents. An Open Letter to Bill Clinton:

  • Hey, Bill, so your talks probably came closer than any other time in recent history to

  • an actual peace deal between the Israelis and the Palestinians. Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak

  • was willing to give up more land currently claimed by Israel than at any other time in the past;

  • even Yasser Arafat was surprised.

  • Although not all the questions got addressed, you were definitely closing in on something.

  • But in the end, it didn't happen, and since then, not to criticize you, things have gotten kind of worse and worse and worse.

  • Worst of all, that was your big legacy moment. Now

  • all you've got is the conflict in Northern Ireland getting resolved while you were president.

  • In short, it could have been amazing, but instead it was kind of... neeeeh.

  • Kind of like your presidency, actually!

  • At least you always have those vodkas-soaked hugs with Boris Yeltsin to look back on.

  • Best Wishes, John Green.

  • So the Clinton talks failed; Ehud Barak's government was undermined. And then, in September of 2000,

  • Prime Minister candidate Ariel Sharon led a group of 1,000 armed guards to the Temple Mount in the Old City of Jerusalem.

  • To Muslims, this is known as the Al-Aqsa Mosque, and it's the third-holiest site in Islam,

  • behind only the Kaaba in Mecca and the Prophet's Mosque in Medina.

  • And it's the holiest site in Judaism, so in short, it's a pretty touchy place to march with a thousand armed guards.

  • So the events sparked a massive protest,

  • which eventually led to the much more violent Second Intifada,

  • in which more than three thousand Palestinians and one thousand Israelis were eventually killed.

  • In 2002, the Israelis, claiming to act in defense of civilians, began construction of a wall around the West Bank,

  • but instead of following the borders established after the 1967 War,

  • the barrier was built to include many Israeli settlements on the Israeli side.

  • To Israelis, that was about self-defense; to Palestinians, it was an illegal land grab.

  • Then, in 2005, Yasser Arafat died, and in an election shortly thereafter,

  • Hamas won a majority of the parliamentary seats.

  • Since then, Hamas and the Palestinian Authority have sort of divided how to govern Palestine,

  • and it's also sort of been poorly governed.

  • In the past ten years, Hamas has frequently launched rocket attacks into Israel;

  • Israel has responded with extended and extremely violent invasions of Palestinian territory

  • that have seen thousands of Palestinians killed, many of them militants, but also many not.

  • Both parties claim to be responding to the provocations of the other, but much of the conflict

  • reflects the consistent failure on all sides to understand the legitimacy of the other's narrative.

  • To Palestine, the Palestinian people have been denied a state not just since the formation of Israel,

  • but also for decades before that, and now they live under what amounts to a military occupation.

  • And that's all true. To Israel,

  • the Jewish people clearly need a homeland, which the United Nations established.

  • And they certainly aren't the first nation-state to consolidate and increase their territory via military victory.

  • And they need to protect their nation against the many active threats made against them by their neighbors.

  • That's also true! It's important to understand

  • the internal logic of these competing nationalist visions.

  • For both Zionists and Palestinian national visions to eventually work,

  • it's necessary to understand the right of each to exist and the legitimacy of each's historical narrative.

  • But these problems aren't thousands of years old, and they aren't intractable.

  • They emerged in the British Mandatory Period.

  • But let's hope that by understanding this isn't an endless religious war,

  • that we might be closer to seeing its end. Thanks for watching. I'll see you next week.

  • Crash Course is filmed here in the Chad and Stacy Emigholz studio in Indianapolis, and

  • it's made possible by our subscribers on Subbable, so thanks to you all. By the way, if you want to learn more

  • about Israel and Palestine, our friends at Thought Café

  • have made a series of videos; you can also find a link to them in the video info below.

  • Thanks again to all our Subbable subscribers; thanks to the educators who share these videos with their students

  • and to the students who share them with their teachers. As we say in my hometown, don't

  • forget to be awesome.

Hi, I'm John Green, this is Crash Course World History,

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イスラエルとパレスチナの紛争。クラッシュコース世界史223 (Conflict in Israel and Palestine: Crash Course World History 223)

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    Hsiu Ming Hsieh に公開 2021 年 01 月 14 日
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