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What are the causes of the Jewish-Arab Conflict?

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βˆ™ 2016-03-01 03:28:25

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There are a myriad of reasons underlying and undergirding the Jewish-Arab Conflict in recent times and it is important to evaluate all of these rationales. However, it is important to note that the actual military conflict is an international one with set international players. The spiritual conflict is much more pervasive. At the core for this difference is that Jews and Arabs see their communities as being brethren in the same way that all Americans see each other as brethren. There is a saying among Arabs that goes "If an Arab falls in the desert and nobody hears him, everybody still feels him."

NOTE: Jews are an ethno-religious group, while Arabs are merely an ethnic group with an incredible variety of religious difference (similar to the way that White connotes a race with an incredible variety of religious differences). These days, Jews do not typically target Moslems with faith-based issues (i.e. we abhor you because of the false prophecy of Mohammed) and Moslems similarly do not target Jews on faith-based issues (i.e. we abhor you because you say that Isaac was taken to Mt. Moriah instead of Ishmael being taken to Saudi Arabia).

Additional Information is available at the Related Links below.

Causes for the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict:

1) Hallowed Land: The Jews consider the Land of Israel (which is not necessarily all in the borders of the State of Israel) to be a holy piece of land in that God promised it to the Jewish people as an eternal inheritance. Thus, some Jews, especially Religious Zionists see resettlement of the Land of Israel by Jews to be part of God's plan and mandate and therefore do everything in their power to settle it. In addition, it contains specific religious and historical sites such as the Western Wall and the Old City of Jerusalem, the Cave of Machpelah, the Old City of Jaffa, and the Sanctuary of Shiloh among others. Moslems also consider Jerusalem holy because of Mohammed ascending to Heaven on the Buraq over Jerusalem's Temple Mount. Both cultures want to ensure maintenance and access to the sites which they feel have been limited by the other. (Jews claim that Jordanians used the Western Wall as a landfill and Arabs argue that Israelis arbitrarily close off access to Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock.

2) Zionism: A number of Jews in Europe began to feel that they were being permanently and deliberately excluded from parts of European society because of the prevalent racial and pseudo-scientific forms of Anti-Semitism. They believed that there was no possible equality between European nationals and their Jewish residents and were disinterested in the Andalucian Solution because they did not want to be second-class citizens. They believed that the Jewish people needed to form a political apparatus (an Independent State) to defend themselves and their civil rights. Zionism originally had purely secular connotations, but with the advent of Religious Zionism, the powerful secular cause of Zionism joined with the Hallowed Land idea to provoke conflict. Zionism is strongly opposed by many for many different reasons. See the link at the bottom of the page for Anti-Zionist arguments and rationales.

3) Halutzim & Jewish Land Acquisition: In the First Zionist Congress in 1897, the main resolution was to acquire, by any means, a piece of land to be made a country for the Jews. Early Zionists tried to figure out how to attract Jews to leave their country of origin and come to build this Jewish State. The general consensus always revolved around building a State in the Land of Israel/British Mandate of Palestine since that would make attraction easiest. (The idea of the Jews Returning to Israel had a very romantic notion to Jews at the time and still does today.) As a result, politically influential Jews began purchasing tracts of land from the Ottoman Pashas in control of the territory without indigenous consent and promptly began to develop it. The indigenous Palestinians took issue with the migrations of these Halutzim (Jewish Pioneers) but as the land was bought legitimately, they had little recourse but to allow them to arrive. This occupation and colonialism were certainly not greeted with friendly handshakes or pats on the back by the indigenous inhabitants who stood to lose everything.

4) Balfour Declaration, the Holocaust, and UN Resolution 181: The European Climate also supported the Zionist idea of forming a Jewish State in the Middle East as it would allow Jews to leave Europe and stop being a European problem. This prevented the Europeans from having to absorb the refugees themselves, rapidly increased the numbers of Jews in Israel. In addition, Britain issued the Balfour Declaration which declared Britain's intent to create a Jewish State in the Middle East. This, however, was not seriously considered until the Holocaust proved to Europeans (and Jews) that Europe was no longer safe for Judaism. UN Resolution 181 promoted a partitioning of the British Mandate of Palestine into a Jewish State and an Arab State. While this resolution did pass (and is in fact legally binding) many Arabs find issue with its decision because there were not enough independent Arab States to vote it down.

5) Palestinian Exodus & UNRWA: This is probably the most thorny issue between Israel and Palestine. During the Arab-Israeli War of 1948-9 (in which Palestinian militias also participated), many Palestinians were forced out of their homes by Israeli soldiers due to brutal atrocities. In addition, many left because they feared similar outcomes. Also Arab leaders encouraged the exodus, because they believed that they could destroy Israel and safely return all of the Palestinians after the conflict. However, this did not happen and a large number of Palestinians (some estimate four million) are in UNRWA Refugee Camps and there is a large Palestinian Diaspora. They have not forgiven Israel for not allowing them to return after the War.

6) Occupation of the West Bank & Gaza: In 1967, Israel fought the Six-Day War against the Arab States and took over control of the West Bank and Gaza. These territories did not come under Israeli Civil Authority and have been instead militarily controlled. Palestinians who live in these territories have to contend with Israeli checkpoints, military provisions, and incoming settlers (from the Hallowed Land section). This occupation is perceived by Palestinians to be a repression of their Right to a State and their ability to lead normal productive lives. Settlers in the territories act in a very cavalier fashion (similar to cowboys in the Wild West) and steal property owned by Palestinian families for generations in the name of Religious Zionism. Zionist Squatters are a huge problem in cities like Hebron where these individuals have "liberated" over a quarter of the city from its Palestinian inhabitants and begun to drive a wedge into those communities.

7) Blockade of Gaza & Dependence of the West Bank:Due to the militancy of Hamas, Israel has found it necessary for defense to form a blockade around Gaza and to only allow certain materials into the territory. This has resulted in a Human Relief Crisis in the Gaza where the average caught in the struggle barely have enough food, heat, and light to adequately survive. On a different token, the West Bank (as controlled by the Palestine Authority) is a patchwork of separate unconnected jurisdictions. As a result, the West Bank leaders depend on Israel for defense coordination, tax collection, and assurances of safety from settlers. This creates a secondary occupation-dynamic where the Palestinian government is bound to the desires and wishes of the Israeli people in addition to its actual constituency.

8) Retaliation: This one is fairly simple. Each side honors its fallen by engaging in retaliatory killings and attacks. In addition, the retaliation is usually on a larger scale than the offense. (I.e. one death results in ten retaliatory deaths etc.)

Causes for the Arab-Israeli Conflict:

1) Restatement: Since the Arab-Israeli conflict sees a strong connection between Arabs in Palestine with Arabs outside of Palestine, the above eight causes are repeated in full here.

2) Andalucian Solution: Many Arabs capitalize on the situation in Andalucia as being the perfect solution to create Arab-Jewish harmony and are angered when Jews do not agree. In Andalucia (Islamic Spain of the 700s-1000s), Christians, Moslems, and Jews all had a flowering of their cultures and an interchange of ideas. It was one of the most progressive societies in the World for its time and certainly a much better time/place for Jews than many countries in the Modern Era. Jews get angered by the fact that Arabs do not note that Jews were second-class citizens in Andalucia who were granted the privilege of settling in Andalucia (a privilege which was revoked on several occasions). Jews want to be able to control their affairs and have civil rights, which Arabs seem not to understand when they advocate this model.

3) Pan-Arab Nationalism: Beginning in the 1950s and reaching its apex in the 1960s and 1970s, the wave of Pan-Arab Nationalism began to assert that all Arabs should live in one united country that would span from Morocco on the Atlantic Ocean to Iraq on the Persian border and all lands in between. This view was based on the history of the Umayyad Caliphate in the year 700 C.E. which controlled all of that territory and formed the basis of the modern Arab Identity. It also harkens back to the Abbassid Caliphate of a couple hundred years later which was the pinnacle of Arab scientific accomplishment. The thought of Pan-Arabists was that a Pan-Arab State would bring about a second unity of the Arab peoples like the type seen in the Umayyad days and the cultural flowering seen in the Abbassid days. Israel was a logistical problem for that ideology in that it cleanly separated North Africa (Egypt specifically) from the Levant countries of Lebanon, Syria, and Jordan. More importantly, it represented a non-Arab country in the region that according to Pan-Arabism should be an Arab State.

4) Anti-Colonialism: Israel was seen by many in the Arab World as being a European colony in the Middle East because much of the state infrastructure was built by Europeans. This, of course, did not take into account the Mizrahi Exodus (see below) which makes Israel a much more mixed nation, but there are some elements of truth. Israel was conceived primarily by European Jews, funded with European and American money, and built in a Western Governmental style. The Arabs saw this as an attempt by Europeans to influence their affairs and control their futures without having to maintain their untenable pre-World War II empires. This belief was exemplified by the British, French, and Israeli responses to the Suez Crisis. Jews argue that Israel is not a colony because it is loyal only to its own needs; it just so happens that those needs align more often with modern, liberal states than those of its Arab neighbors.

5) Lack of Respect: Arabs feel maligned by the Great Powers in the World and see Israeli support by those same Great Powers as a way of denying them a seat at the Global Table. Arabs have a strong sense of cultural pride, believing themselves to be the heirs of the Abbassid cultural legacy of science, math, philosophy, and historiography. However, they are weakly involved in International Agencies, their countries rarely have pull over anything except oil prices, none of them are allowed nuclear weapons or any other sort of powerful weaponry, and their hopes and dreams are largely ignored. Unlike the Arabs, though, the Jews have managed to make Israel a cornerstone of American and British foreign policy and guarantee their international protection and seat at the Global Table. Therefore, the Arabs have a lot of negativity towards Israel for securing that spot.

6) Israeli Imperialism: There is a belief in the Arab World that it is Israel's intent to expand and colonize other Arab regions in the Levant. They point to Israel's occupation of the Sinai Peninsula from 1967-1982, the Israeli occupation of Lebanon south of the Litani River from 1982-2000, and the continued holding of the Syrian Golan Heights conquered in 1967 and annexed to Israel in 1981. Religious Zionists claim that Israel should spread from the Nile to the Euphrates which encompasses a territory occupied in full or in part by six different countries. Most Jews and Israelis say that Israel has enough trouble controlling what little territory it does have and that the idea of controlling more is absurd, but the past extraterritorial occupations leave a different taste for most Arabs.

7) The Mizrahi Exodus: Jews become irate over the fact that the Arab countries refuse to recognize the events that led up to the Jewish exodus from the Arab World. Jews from the Arab World or Mizrahi Jews, did not live in the Andalucian Solution as most Arabs uncritically believe, but lived in countries which limited their rights, organized pogroms (such as the Farhud in Baghdad), stole their property, and executed and disappeared family members. Between 1950 and 1952 over 500,000 Mizrahi Jews immigrated to Israel where they were forced to live in camps in the desert until proper shelters could be built for them. (The population before the immigration was around 600,000 which made this immigration almost impossible to accommodate.) Arabs often claim that the hostility towards the Mizrahim (if they admit that such things occurred) were just outbursts and that they do not treat minorities as badly anymore, but refuse to publicly atone for the treatment or be self-critical about this history.

8) Biblical Causes: Arabs and Jews consider themselves descended from Abraham's sons Ishmael and Isaac respectively. Abraham aggressively kicked his maidservant Hagar and her son Ishmael out of the house in order for his son Isaac (born of his wife Sarah) to have primary attention. Jews and Christians assert that Abraham had a more special relationship with Isaac, taking him up a mountain in an attempt to sacrifice him. Moslems allege the same story, but with Ishmael. So, many claim that Jews and Arabs have a sibling rivalry of sorts coming from this moment. However, both the Bible and Qur'an make it very clear that after the halted sacrifice, Ishmael and Isaac actually spent a good deal of time together and remained on good terms. In fact, Isaac's son Esau married one of Ishmael's daughters.

Causes for Arab Anti-Semitism and Arab Anti-Zionism:

1) Restatement: Since Arab Anti-Semitism and Arab Anti-Zionism is strongly linked to Arab interests, all previous causes are repeated in full.

2) Arab Un-Integration in Europe: Arabs are finding it difficult to integrate into European society because of the European definition of what a European is. Typically those definitions involve an ethno-racial character (which Arabs cannot become) or a very strongly disdainful attitude towards religion (which Arabs are not interested in ascribing to). This has led to riots across Europe (especially in France) over French-born Arab rights as citizens. In response to the glass ceiling present in these countries, some Arabs have acted out. One of the clearest symbols of European governmental authority is its protection of Europe's remaining Jewish communities and endorsement of the State of Israel. Therefore these ideologies are attacked and institutions like synagogues are vandalized as a way of showing Arab frustration with European governmental authorities.

3) Financial Unbalance for Arabs: Arabs feel that Jews have much more financial pull than the Arabs do and this unbalance draws their ire because they believe that what the Jews have was partially stolen from them and their historical achievements. Jews counter by saying that there are quite a number of rich Arabs in Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States, but that these emirs choose to spend their money personally instead of professionally or philanthropically.

4) Jewish Failure to Reciprocate Past Treatment: Some also believe that when Islam was civilized and glorified centuries ago, the Jews were treated fairly and that their rights were respected and recognized. Muslims thought of them as their friends and let the Jews lived with them on the same land, using the same Natural Resources without any barrier. All were equal in the eyes of the Muslims. Only Jews who hate and wanted to destroy Islam were the ones who could not be tolerated by the Muslims. It is important to note that many Jews are particularly angry that Muslims fail to recognize that their treatment of Jews, while enlightened for the period, falls far short of the modern concept of "Equal Rights" and that the situation for the Jew under Islam was one of humiliation and vast inequality in both taxation, job openings, and general feeling of being second class.

Causes for Jewish Anti-Islamic Sentiment:

1) Restatement: Since Jews feel a strong kinship to Israel, all causes in the Israeli-Palestinian and Arab-Israeli Conflict are repeated in full.

2) Islamic Un-Education & Un-Censorship: Jews are angry that in many mosques, messages of tolerance and acceptance of Jews are few and far between. The message spread is one of hatred and a desire to prevent reconciliation. This is much more common in conservative Arab countries than it is in Western nations where numerous liberal Islamic leaders (even those who are Anti-Zionist) vigorously oppose Anti-Semitism. In addition, television in Arab countries tends to be strongly biased against Jews and Israel, uniting the two in such shows as Farfur by Hamas. Finally, Arabs are strongly discouraged from reading and discovering other points of view in the world, preventing them from having an honest understanding of what Judaism stands for and believes.

3) Islamic Opposition to Free Speech & Use of Threats: Moslems have notoriously protested violently at cartoon portrayals of Mohammed, Qur'an burnings, and other forms of free speech or religious protest. Islamic leaders have also called for death threats to those who hold views counter to their own, the most famous of which being the Fatwa to kill Salman Rushdie. Most Jews see these reactions as barbaric, as do many Western Moslems who are ashamed of their more excitable brethren. This ultra-conservative and unwavering view makes many Jews fearful that there cannot be reconciliation with Arabs and Islam because they would be unwilling to accept an open dialogue.

4) Islamic Support for Terrorism: This is pretty straightforward. Jews are angry that Moslems all over the world contribute to organizations whose prime motive for existence is the slaughter of Israeli and Jewish civilians. Similarly Arabs are angered whenever Jews give contributions to Israel or to the IDF because they feel similarly that Jews are paying to kill Palestinian civilians.

5) Clean Up Your Own Backyard: Jews are bothered that many Arabs spend so much energy accusing Israel of Human Rights abuses and other infringements of international law, but do not turn the lens on themselves first. Jews believe that Arabs should be angry about the torture that openly goes on in Saudi Arabia and Syria, the genocides that occurred all over Iraq, the suppression of free will in Algeria by a military junta, and numerous beatings and stonings that go on in the Arab World. They argue that the Arabs should clean up their own backyard before they attempt to tell Israel how to behave.

6) Arab Messiah: Some believe that the Jews have been keeping a sense of hatred towards the Muslims when Mohammed was chosen as the official last Prophet for humankind till eternity. They believe this problem among the Jews and the Arabs did not happen before Islam came. Both tribes lived happily and respected each other before Muhammad announced his prophet-hood. As Mohammed came from the Arab lineage, this led to anger and frustration amongst the Jews as they were hoping that their promised Messiah would be among the Jews itself. They did not accept that their Messiah was not from their own kind. They believe the Jews kept hating Muslims and tried to destroy them. It is important to note that this belief is circulated far more often among Arabs as a way to detract from the above-mentioned reasons. Jews typically do not see Mohammed as a prophet in the lineage of prophets (the way that Moslems see him) and generally see him as a False Prophet or a Leader of the Goyim.

2016-03-01 03:28:25
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