CUNY BMCC Israeli Palestinian Conflict Paper

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Assignment 5

Part 1: Knowledge Quest I

You may have heard the latest news headlines Israel-Arab relations:

a. Review the following links:

▪ Five reasons why Israel's peace deals with the UAE and Bahrain matter (BBC News) (copy& paste)

Is peace between Israel and Palestinians out of reach? - BBC News (copy&paste)

b. Refer to your textbook and answer the following:

Does the Israeli-Palestinian conflict still drive Geopolitical issues in the Middle East? Use the Israeli-Palestinian Point-Counter point in your textbook (pages 368- 369, hardcover) to support your position (min. 250 words)

Note: • You can use your response above to answer some of the discussion board questions, but you need to address Assignments & Discussions separately

Part 2: Knowledge Quest II

1. List 3 Middle Eastern countries and 3 words that describe each country

2. Choose a cultural issue/topic about the Middle East that you think should be of interest to the class Conflicts not Included. Locate a website that describes your issue, and how it relates the role of women, Geopolitics or Regional Economic powers such as UAE, Saudi Arabia, Israel, etc.

Summarize the issue (min. 250 words) as follows:

i. Nature of issue

ii. Your reflections/thoughts on the issue, with regards to the class material (lectures, videos, textbook, etc.)

iii. Website address

4. Identify and submit a YouTube video link that focuses on the issue(s) you summarized in question 2 above.

What are the highlights of the video?

BlackBoard Discussion

Part 1

One cannot talk about the Middle East without commenting on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

i. Read the Israeli-Palestinian Point-Counter point in your textbook (pages 368-369, hardcover).
If you still do not have a copy of the textbook, then read: Point-counterpoint on the Middle East or Israel-Palestine From Both Sides of the Mirror .

ii. Also read at the following:

Israel–Arab peace accord fuels hope for surge in scientific collaboration

The UAE-Bahrain-Israel accords are a big step — in the wrong direction

Question 1 (min. 250 words):
Does the Israeli-Palestinian conflict still drive Geopolitical issues in the Middle East? Why/Why not?

*** Note - this is similar to parts of Assignment 5

Part 2

When was the last time you heard about ISIS in the news? Chances are you may have heard about the tensions between the United States and Iran as well as regional rivalry between Saudi Arabia and Iran.

Read at least two (2) of the articles below:

The Rivalry Behind Three Wars - How Saudi Arabia and Iran Fueled Conflicts in Iraq, Syria and Yemen

Tension between Saudi Arabia and Iran potential effect on oil production

Middle East rivals scramble to retain influence as Taliban rises in Afghanistan

Question 2 (min. 250 words):
a. With the ISIS caliphate dreams decimated and splinted into remnants like ISIS-K, how does the ongoing tensions between Saudi Arabia and Iran affect old rivalry between Sunni and Shiite Muslims and also peace in the Middle East?

b. Does the rise of new regional players like UAE (e.g. Palm Jumeirah) and Qatar (e.g. Al Jazeera) have any chance to reshape Sunni-Shiite divide and the prospects of peace in the Middle East?

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POINT COUNTERPOINT Israelis versus Palestinians [The following is an attempt to stimulate informed discussion of a sensitive issue. The views expressed in the table at the end are those of imagined disputants, not the authors of this text. The most extreme views are held by hard-liners on either side, but that includes only about one in five of the people in Israel and the Palestinian Territories.] themselves in most European, North African, and even Asian For the next 2,000 years, Jewish communities established countries. Small in number and exclusive in outlook, they often attracted suspicion, jealousy, and opposition, becoming subject to Asia became known as Palestine and were occupied by people oppression and segregation in ghettos. The lands in Southwestern from surrounding areas, mainly Arabs, together with the few Jewish families who had not been evicted. In the AD 600s, Arabs quickly converted to Islamic beliefs, and Muslim armies spread Islam. after Mecca and Medina. Challenges by European armies that were Jerusalem became the third most holy site for Muslim pilgrimages called "crusades" had only temporary effects but resulted in deep Perhaps the most significant world conflict today is between the Jews living in Israel and the Arab Palestinians living in the occupied Palestinian Territories of the West Bank and Gaza. Although the United States is at the forefront of trying to reconcile the two sides, the Arab countries see it as the main supporter of Israel. The conflict's origins go back in history, before Israel was established as a new country in 1948. The continuing resistance of Palestinians to the heavily armed Israelis suggests an irreconcilable conflict, at least one that will not be resolved until an independent homeland is created for the Palestinian Arabs. hatred between Muslims and Christians. From medieval times, the Turkish Ottoman Empire governed these lands without any great emphasis on economic development. Siding with Germany in World War I, Turkey lost most of southwestern Asia to groups of Arab tribes who had fought alongside the British and French to free the lands. After the war, protectorates were given to France and the United Kingdom, which established the present Arab countries. The new countries gained independence after World War II. The land in question is a small part of what is known as the "Fertile Crescent" that cradled and connected the early civilizations of Mesopotamia and Lower (northern) Egypt. The hilly coastal lands provided a home for the ancestors of the Israeli nation. When they escaped from slavery in Egypt, they took the land from the Canaanites to establish their own country. Conflicts with neighbors continued, including with the coastal Philistines and the major inland empires of Babylon, Assyria, and Persia. Always fiercely independent, many Hebrews (Jews) were taken into slavery each time their country was occupied. They returned and fought to establish their independence, but Roman armies later subdued the country. Eventually, the Romans tired of Israeli plots and rebellions, sacked Jerusalem, and dispersed most of the people in AD 70 to create the Jewish diaspora. Palestine was one of the territories under British mandate. Although the authorities resisted too many Jews coming to Palestine, numbers had been building since the late 1800s, when the Zionist movement emphasized the need for a Jewish homeland after oppression in many countries of Europe and consequent migrations to the United States. Jewish voices became more powerful. The Holocaust of World War II, when Germany and its allies murdered millions of Jews, led to further pressure for establishing a new Por country of Israel on Palestinian land. However, Arabs rejected LAIL ASTEAN (a) (b) Jerusalem: Aspects of Conflict. (a) Dome of the Rock and the Western Wall ("Wailing Wall"). The Western Wall (sometimes referred to as the "Wailing Wall") is the holiest site for Jews because it is all that remains of the Herod's Temple complex destroyed in 70 AD by the Romans. Note the gold dome of the Dome of the Rock, the holiest Islamic site in Jerusalem, just 150 meters away in the Temple Mount (Harem al-Sharif) complex. (b) Israeli soldiers relaxing in the Old City. Photos: (a) © Mike Camille. (b) Michael Bradshaw. 368d matters into their own hands and declared Israel's independence, the 1947 United Nations Partition Plan. In 1948, when Jews took succeeded in resisting their attacks. Millions of Arab Palestinians Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Palestine, and Iraq declared war, but Israel were displaced in temporary camps in Jordan and southern Since 1948, in further wars between Israel and Arab countries, the Israeli military power usually triumphed and took over more Arab lands. "Terrorist" activities by Palestinians-seen by them as attempts by an oppressed people to establish their own country- were ruthlessly countered by Israeli military action (see Point- Counterpoint photos a and b). In the 1970s and 1990s there were 1967 war, Israel returned the Sinai Peninsula to Egypt but retained attempts, led by U.S. presidents, to reconcile differences. After the A HARD-LINE JEWISH VIEW We were here first and have a longer history of occupying this land; it is ours, as claimed by Abraham and Joshua. Our religion started first in this area. Our holy sites include Hebron (where Abraham is buried) and Jerusalem, both in, or partly in, the West Bank. The United Nations agreed to the partition of Palestine and recognizes Israel with its Jewish majority. We have returned some territories we took in the 1967 war but hold onto the rest as a matter of national security and survival. Arabs deny our rights to exist and want to wipe us off the map; we are exercising our right to defend ourselves. When joined, the surrounding Arab countries outnumber us, so we have to ensure strong security. We regard Arabs as possible terrorists who blow up our restaurants and nightclubs, kill our athletes, assassinate our leaders, and drive suicide bombs into our neighborhoods. Jerusalem is our real capital city and is central to the Jewish faith. Some Jews want to remove the mosque on the holy mount. No strong Palestinian nationality was expressed here before 1948. This area of land was merely a British protectorate carved out of the former Ottoman Empire, and most people knew of the intention to create a land for Jews. The present Palestinians are Arabs who should have been taken in by existing Arab countries. They have invented Palestinian nationalism as part of a plot to eliminate Israel. They are poor workers and earn only low wages. We go out of our way to employ them, but it would be better to employ only Jews. The Palestinian Arabs have not repaid all the help we have given to them, raising their well-being above that of other Arabs in this region. Lebanon. control of the Israeli-occupied Palestinian territories of the West Bank and Gaza. The Jordanian and Egyptian governments gave up their rights to the West Bank and Gaza lands (which were previously parts of their territories) as a basis for creating a new Palestinian country by negotiation. The following views are those that might be expressed by an Israeli Jew and an Arab. Is either totally right? Should the Arabs recognize Israel and live peaceably with it, or should the Jews give back the land they govern in Israel? Should the Arabs stop attacking Jews, or should the Israeli army stop entering the Palestinian territories? Does a knowledge of geography and the distributions of people and resources help in searching for answers to these questions? You may wish to add other opposing views to this list. Is there any prospect of a way ahead that does not involve bloodshed? A HARD-LINE ARAB (PALESTINIAN) VIEW Our ancestors were here from the time of Abraham, whom we also recognize as a father of our people. Jerusalem and Hebron are sacred to Muslims. The decision resulted from a combination of weak Arab support and strong U.S. and British pressure. We were ignored, although we made up most of the population here in 1948. Israel has taken large areas of land from us that were not part of the UN plan. After the 1967 war, the United Nations ordered Israel to hand back the occupied territories, but it has not done so more than 40 years later. We were forced out of our land, we lived in crowded camps without amenities, and we now live in poverty. The Jews close checkpoints with no notice and interrupt our lives. We cannot argue with them because they are supported by the United States, and we now hate that country as well. Jews refuse to recognize our presence and nationality, suppressing our language, religion, and culture. Most of us want to live peaceful lives, but they treat us all as spies and criminals, abusing our human rights. Jerusalem is sacred to us, and any moves to destroy the mosque would be a declaration of all-out war that would unite Muslims. We want our own lands and independence from Israel. They are well fed and materially wealthy. If we want to study for the qualifications that would earn us better jobs, we cannot do so in our country and have to go elsewhere. A doctor friend of mine, who works in a Jerusalem hospital, had to go to Greece to qualify. We can do nothing that is legal to improve our situation, so it is not surprising that some of us take to the gun and bomb. 369
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Part 1: Knowledge Quest I

1. The Gulf States see opportunities for trade and more
The deal helps the ambitious Emiratis, who have built themselves into a military power as well
as a place to do business or go on holiday.
It looks as if the Americans helped seal the deal with the promise of advanced weapons that in
the past the UAE has barely been able to window-shop. They include the F-35 stealth fighter and
the EA-18G Growler electronic warfare aircraft.
The UAE has used its already well-equipped armed forces in Libya and Yemen. But its most
serious potential enemy is Iran, just on the other side of the Gulf.
Israel and the US share Emirati suspicions of the Iranians. So does Bahrain. Until 1969 Iran used
to claim Bahrain was by rights part of its territory. Bahrain's Sunni rulers also regard sections of
its restive Shia majority as a potential fifth column for Iran.
Both Gulf States already had barely concealed ties with Israel. They will look forward to trading
openly; Israel has one of the world's most advanced high tech sectors.
In non-Coved times, Israelis are avid holidaymakers who will be keen to explore the deserts,
beaches and malls of the Gulf. It is good business all round.

2. Israel lessens its regional isolation
Normalising relations with the UAE and Bahrain is a genuine achievement for the Israelis.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is a believer in the strategy first described in the 1920s of
an "Iron Wall" between the Jewish state and the Arabs.
The idea is that Israeli strength will in the end make the Arabs realise that their only choice is to
acknowledge its existence.


Israelis do not like being isolated in the Middle East. Peace with Egypt and Jordan has never
been warm. They might be more hopeful about future relations with Gulf countries a long way
from the cockpit of Jerusalem and the occupied territories.
Strengthening the alliance against Iran is another big plus. Mr Netanyahu sees Iran as Israel's
number one enemy, at times comparing its leaders to the Nazis. He has muted his original
complaints about the UAE's possible arms deal.
Mr Netanyahu is also beleaguered, facing a trial for corruption that might land him in jail. His
handling of the coronavirus pandemic started well and has gone badly wrong. Opponents stage
weekly rallies outside his residence in Jerusalem.
A ceremony at the White House could not come at a better time.
3. Donald Trump celebrates a foreign policy coup
The deal works on a number of levels for the US president.
It is a big boost for his strategy of "maximum pressure" on Iran. It is also useful ammunition,
especially in an election year, to back his boast that he is the world's best dealmaker.
Anything he does that benefits Israel, or more specifically the government of Benjamin
Netanyahu, goes down well with American Christian Evangelical v...

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