75th anniversary of the State of Israel

10 May 2023 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Union for the Mediterranean Reading Time:  9 minutes

David_Ben-Gurion declaring independence in Tel Aviv on 14 May 1948 beneath a large portrait of Theodor Herzl, founder of modern Zionism © Rudi Weissenstein - Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs

David Ben-Gurion declaring independence in Tel Aviv on 14 May 1948 beneath a large portrait of Theodor Herzl, founder of modern Zionism © Rudi Weissenstein – Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs

In 1948 the Declaration of the Establishment of the State of Israel sparked the 1948 Arab–Israeli War, which resulted in the 1948 Palestinian exodus (Nakba) from the land that the State of Israel came to control and subsequently led to waves of Jewish immigration from other parts of the Middle East. The latter half of the 20th century saw a series of further conflicts between Israel and its neighbouring Arab nations, most notably the Six-day War, which resulted in further expulsions and subsequent waves of inward migration, and the occupation and settlements of the West Bank, Golan Heights and East Jerusalem.   read more…

Arab–Israeli and Israeli-Palestinian conflict

6 January 2018 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Editorial, Union for the Mediterranean Reading Time:  1987 minutes

© Oncenawhile

© Oncenawhile

(Latest update: 23 August 2022) The Arab–Israeli conflict is the political tension, military conflicts and disputes between a number of Arab countries and Israel. The roots (European colonial period, Ottoman Empire, widespread Antisemitism in Europe, Jews in the Russian Empire, Baron Edmond James de Rothschild (Jewish land purchase in Palestine), Theodor Herzl, Jewish National Fund (Israel Bonds), timeline of the Israeli–Palestinian conflict, World War I, Sykes–Picot Agreement (San Remo conference, Mandate for Palestine, UN Charter, Chapter XII – International Trusteeship System, Article 80 (commonly known as the “Palestine Article” used by both conflict parties, Israel and Palestine, to create the wildest interpretations, speculations and conspiracy theories to assert the respective alleged right to the total land area), McMahon–Hussein Correspondence), Balfour Declaration, World War II, The Holocaust (International Holocaust Remembrance Day), Évian Conference, Mandatory Palestine, Forced displacement, and United Nations Partition Plan for Palestine) of the modern Arab–Israeli conflict (or the history of collective failure) are bound in the rise of Zionism and Arab nationalism towards the end of the 19th century. Territory regarded by the Jewish people as their historical homeland is also regarded by the Pan-Arab movement as historically and currently belonging to the Palestinians, and in the Pan-Islamic context, as Muslim lands. The sectarian conflict between Palestinian Jews and Arabs emerged in the early 20th century, peaking into a full-scale civil war in 1947 and transforming into the First Arab–Israeli War in May 1948 following the Israeli Declaration of Independence (Nakba and the assassination of UN mediator Folke Bernadotte by the terror organization Lehi/Stern gang. Among them, the later Israeli PM Yitzhak Shamir). Large-scale hostilities mostly ended with the cease-fire agreements after the 1973 Yom Kippur War, Ramadan War, or October War. Peace agreements were signed between Israel and Egypt in 1979, resulting in Israeli withdrawal from the Sinai Peninsula and abolishment of the military governance system in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, in favor of Israeli Civil Administration and consequent unilateral, internationally not recognized, annexation of the Syrian Golan Heights and East Jerusalem. Even when the text is about 556 pages long, it is just a summary. The multitude of links point out that there is a lot more to learn in detail. At first, it is a timeline of the major developments in the region and it leads to today’s challenges. The starting point is the view of the international community, especially the European Union and North America, on the conflict, enriched with excursions into the ideas, convictions, believes, and thoughts of the direct and indirect involved parties to the conflict.   read more…

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Theme Week Jerusalem, Al-Quds and The Holy, many names for one of the oldest cities in the world

19 October 2013 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Bon voyage, Theme Weeks, UNESCO World Heritage, Union for the Mediterranean Reading Time:  5 minutes

The Western Wall, the Dome of the Rock and al-Aqsa mosque © Sheepdog85/cc-by-sa-3.0-de

The Western Wall, the Dome of the Rock and al-Aqsa mosque © Sheepdog85/cc-by-sa-3.0-de

Jerusalem/al-Quds, located on a plateau in the Judean Mountains between the Mediterranean and the Dead Sea, is one of the oldest cities in the world. It is considered holy to the three major Abrahamic religions — Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Israelis (Jerusalem Law) and Palestinians both claim Jerusalem as their capital, as Israel maintains its primary governmental institutions there and the State of Palestine ultimately foresees it as its seat of power; however, neither claim is recognized internationally (United Nations Security Council Resolution 478, International positions on Jerusalem and United States recognition of Jerusalem as capital of Israel). De jure, Tel Aviv (were all foreign embassies are located at) remain to be Israel’s capital, even though it is de facto West Jerusalem. The city has 800,000 inhabitants. During its long history, Jerusalem has been destroyed twice, besieged 23 times, attacked 52 times, and captured and recaptured 44 times. The oldest part of the city was settled in the 4th millennium BCE. In 1538, walls were built around Jerusalem under Suleiman the Magnificent. Today, those walls define the Old City, which has been traditionally divided into four quarters—known since the early 19th century as the Armenian, Christian, Jewish, and Muslim Quarters. The Old City became a World Heritage site in 1981, and is on the List of World Heritage in Danger. What is particularly striking about the decades-long “capital dispute” is that Jerusalem before 1920 was a lot, but above all a small settlement without a capital function. In this respect, there can be no “justified claim” be given on the city. It was not until the British Mandate of Palestine that the mandate headquarters was moved to Jerusalem, so that Jerusalem became the capital of British Palestine. Scientifically proven is that the city has been one of several spiritual centers for several thousand years. However, at the beginning there was neither Christianity, Judaism nor Islam.   read more…

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