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The Expansion Of Terrorism As A Result Of The Creation Of A Jewish State In The Middle East

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In 1917 the idea of a Jewish state was presented by British Foreign Secretary Lord Balfour in the Balfour Declaration. In this he said “His Majesty’s Government view with favor the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavors to facilitate the achievement of this object”. Many Arab nations and those Arabs living in Palestine at the time greatly disliked Britain’s movement towards a Jewish state. This was because a year earlier in the Sykes-Picot agreement Great Britain and France had designated the area under international control, not to be a Jewish state. The United States approved of the creation of such a country and passed a resolution in Congress saying just that. In the following years, Great Britain divides the area of Palestine into two separate areas: a Jewish state and an Arab state. The land set out for the Jewish state is west of the Jordan River and that east of it is set apart for an Arab state. In 1947, the United Nations approved Resolution 181 (II). It said that the UN approved of creating a new state for the Jewish people, but it thought that the area for this new nation should be smaller than that previously allotted by Great Britain in its published plans. It would be more than thirty years after Lord Balfour wrote this that Great Britain succeeded in granting the land of Palestine to the Jewish people. Since the creation of Israel in 1948 hostilities from its Arab neighbors have only strengthened. At this point, there are seven prominent Palestinian terrorist organizations. Many of these organizations also participate in peaceful outlets in their attempt to remove Israeli occupation of their homes. Most well know of these organizations are the Palestinian Liberations Organization (PLO), also known as Fattah, Hamas, and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ). Fattah and Hamas are both publicly involved in the Palestinian government.

Organizations fighting against the creation of Israel with use of terrorist actions came about quickly after the formation. In the early 1960s Yasser Arafat founded the Palestinian Liberation Organization. This organization operates mainly in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip although it was founded in Kuwait. Tanzim is a group within Fattah that deals with more practical needs of the citizens it represents. Tanzim deals with the political, security, propaganda, and social issues. Currently, Fattah holds the position of president in the Palestinian government; the president is Mahmoud Abbas.

Hamas is the other major terrorist organization in Palestine. They also participate in politics and currently hold the majority in the Legislative Council. There is a long standing rivalry between Fattah and Hamas. There have been many violent confrontations between members of both groups. This tension caused a split in the Palestinian government; the Hamas lead legislative body functions on the Gaza strip and the Fattah lead executive branch functions in the West Bank.

The community of Israel presents a threat to the already established community in the Arab world. This threat helped generate the Pan Arab movement. This movement started in the late 1950s by Gamal Abdul Nasser. It was very similar to the Pan African movement in that it tried to eliminate discriminations between different factions such as tribes and religion. The political party of the Pan Arab movement was the Baath party. The Pan Arab movement gave much spirit to the Palestinian movement. With their land and homes taken, they could now have patriotism for being an Arab. The struggle in Palestine also ignited a feeling of revolution all over the Middle East. From 1948 through the present, there have been eight independence/revolutionary movements in the Middle East. Most notably was the Iranian revolution. Iran was one of the first countries to change over to religious law for practical purposes. These laws, known as the Sharia, are very strict and correspond directly to the Qur’an. Saudi Arabia and Iran are the only two countries that apply all rules of the Sharia to their modern law but many Arab nations use the Sharia to guide them in making their laws and have most laws based around those found in the Sharia.

Many terrorist organizations base their cause around words found in the Sharia. The Sharia says that it is necessary to fight against those who try to oppress Islam. Some take the analysis of these laws so far that they believe it is necessary to fight not only those opposed to Islam, but all those who do not believe Allah is the one and only true god.

Jews have been flocking to the Land of Canaan since the late nineteenth century. Many of these Jews were coming to Israel from Russia to avoid persecution. At this time, Jews were victims of random and unprovoked attacks by Russian mobs called pogroms. After extensive passivity, many Jews had finally become fed up with constantly living in fear. The first Jewish settlement in Israel was founded as early as 1860 although the major influx of immigrants did not come until 1897 after the Zionist Congress in Basle, Switzerland. This conference had set out three main goals that the Jewish people wanted to accomplish in the next five years (after realizing this timetable too hasty, the goal was lengthened to fifty years unofficially). These goals were: to encourage farmers, artisans, and manufacturers to settle in Palestine, to set up organizations that would unify the Zionist movement around the world and in Palestine, and to educate other nations about Zionism in hope to gain their approval therefore strengthening the movement.

At the turn of the century, there was less than 60,000 Jews living in Palestine. Within the next thirty years, the number still had not increased significantly and the Jewish population presented no threat to the Arab population. In 1940 however, the population jumped to over 400,000, and in 1950 the Jewish population breached the 1,000,000 persons mark. It was also in this year that Jews outnumbered Arabs in the now Jewish state of Israel for the first time. The Jewish population reached its peak percentage wise around 1970 when for every 3 Arabs, there were 7 Jews. Although the population has continued to increase, it is not doing so at the same rate. The ratio of Arabs to Jews has gone down to the same ratio that was present in 1950. Still, the ever rising population in Israel of Jews is a reason for many Zionists to rejoice.

The neighboring Arab states invaded Israel. This invasion marked the first Arab-Israeli conflict. Later on, the Jewish state army gained arms and was able to claim territory well beyond UN partitioned borderlines for the Jewish state. In 1949, the war between Israel and the Arab states ended with the signing of armistice agreements.

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