“To what extent do you consider foreign intervention the most significant barrier to peace between Arabs and Israelis across the period 1900-2000?”

1735 WordsOct 24, 20147 Pages
“To what extent do you consider foreign intervention the most significant barrier to peace between Arabs and Israelis across the period 1900-2000?” Throughout the 20th Century relations between Arabs and Israelis in Palestine have undergone immense tension, change and deterioration, with both parties facing many barriers to peace. Foreign intervention is often listed as one such barrier to this peace. While the importance of foreign intervention cannot be omitted, other factors can be argued to have been both equally and more detrimental to the peace process. These include the founding of the Haganah, the 1948 War after the declaration of the State of Israel, and the rise of political extremism. The aim of this essay is to identify…show more content…
The British were the main force capable of stopping this. With double-crossing measures including the Passfield White Paper of 1930, and the Ramsay-MacDonald “Black Letter” correspondence of 1931, they failed to do so, meaning their Mandate served to damage and degrade Arab-Israeli relations to a great degree, making it a key barrier to peace at the time and into the future. As summarised by Stewart Ross, “Britain’s inept handling of the mandate, therefore, was a major cause of the future Arab-Israeli conflict”. Britain renounced its Mandate over Palestine on the 15th May 1948. The UN Special Commission on Palestine (UNSCOP) had voted in 1947 for a Partition Plan to divide Palestine into Arab and Jewish states with Jerusalem as an international zone. Mansfield writes that as the British administration left, “communal fighting broke out immediately and soon developed into full-scale civil war … some three to four hundred thousand refugees streamed in terror towards the neighbouring Arab countries”. On the 14th May the State of Israel was declared and recognised by the UN, leading to what would arguably be the greatest barrier to Middle Eastern peace – the 1948 War, known to Israelis as the War of Independence and to Arabs as al-Naqba (the Catastrophe). Probably the most poignant impact of the 1948 War was the change in the territories in Palestine. At the close of the War, after a sweeping Israeli victory “the new State

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