Following the events of World War 1, Palestine, which was previously under occupation by the Axis Powers and the Ottoman Empire, was now mandated by the British. Britain had been advocating for a Jewish state in Palestine for a while, however they disregarded the Arab presence that was already rooted in the region. Many Ashkenazi Jewish people settled into what was now referred to by some as “British Palestine” under the guidance of Britain. After the horrific ethnic genocide of millions of Jews in the holocaust, many survivors seeked refuge in Palestine (then and now regognized as “Israel” by the world stage). Due to the cruelty of WW2, many advocated for the existence of Israel however they were still putting aside the consequences of an occupation. Therefore, conflict began in Palestine between armed Jewish militias with both the British occupiers and natives. The UN made the decision to split the land into two states: Israel and Palestine. Zionists accepted the UN plan (for now) but Palestinians recognized the plan as neo-colonialism, the use of economic, political, cultural, or other pressures to control or influence other countries, especially former dependencies.
1948- the Nakba
Throughout the entire process of the official formation of an Isreali state in May 1948, the region was secured through the violent use of armed zionists massacering and displacing the Palestinian population. The UN appointed a mediator between Israel and Palestine who was killed after being caught in the cross-fire. Many Arab states put forward declarations of war on Israel to unify Palestine. Israel won, and as a victory lap they pushed past UN designated borders and expelled millions of Palestinians from their homes. Leading to a crisis in which 700,000 refugees (around half of Palestine’s population) fled to countries all around the middle east like Jordan, Kuwait etc. The ethnic cleansing of Palestinians was the foundation of the Israeli state.
Following decades of brutal killings and displacements, Israel occupied the rest of historic Palestine including Gaza and the west bank. They also annexed a part of Egyptian land. The UN however, passed a resolution to withdraw Israel from the new territories. Did they listen? No. In these new colonies, zionists were allowed to carry weapons under the protection of their army. By the end of the decade the occupation dominated all of Palestinian land including Jarusalem. The Israeli Government now began governing the palestinian natives too.
The Palestinian land that Israel was governing became the grounds for zionist settlers. Soldiers guarded these settlements making the occupation of Palestine even more evident and the idea of Palestinians establishing their own state started to look more like a pipe dream. Various treaties were made following the next few decades that temporarily escalated the conflict such as the Oslo Accords in 1993 but they all fell flat due to Israel’s persistent violation of them by further colonizing Palestinian land, prominent examples such as, but certainly not limited to, the confiscation of thousands of hectors of Palestinian land in 1976 and two large scale assaults on Gaza in 2008 and 2014.
1987, The First Intifada
The intifadh was a series of protests by the Palestinian population against the Israeli occupation of palestine. It began in December of 1987 after an IDF armoured truck rammed into a vehicle with 4 Palestinian workers inside, killing them. As a response to this, Palestinians began protesting via graffiti, barricades, stone throwing and molotov cocktails. Meanwhile, the IDF had tanks and air support at their disposal. The conflict resulted in the death of roughly 2,000 Palestinians, many of whom were civilians. Israeli civilians were also killed by the hands of Arab reactionaries, who are condemned by those who seek Palestines liberation as opposed to its further destruction. The rioting didn’t end until the Madrid Conference in 1991, but it wasn’t the last resistance the IDF would see.
2000, The Second Intifada
Also known as Al-Aqsa Intifada, this was very similar as the first intifada with even more Palestinian lives taken (more than 3,000) as well as 7,500 imprisoned. The protests ended in 2005 during the Sharm el-Sheikh Summit. The result of the resistance led to the barrier wall in the west bank, hammering home the iconic symbolism of oppression.
In 2017, the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia officially declared Israel as an aparthied state. Donald Trump was the first US president to break from the decades of international policy by declaring Jerusalem to be the capital of Israel. The US has supported the IDF for decades as a cold war strategy. Israel has received the most US foriegn aid since WW2 with total funds of 142 billion dollars, with the annual cut of 3 billion a year straight from the US federal reserve. Meanwhile, the United States is blind to the existence of palestine and the Palestinian people, providing no aid or diplomacy.
It’s anyone’s guess at this point, the problem with land disputed is that the only way to secure and maintain land is through violence. The Palestinian people come from the birthplace of the Abrahamic Religions. The spiritual nature of the land removes all entitlements. However, an occupation of sacred land has no justification, and the liberation of Palestine would mean an end to the continued scarring of the soil that was deemed untouchable for millennia. Even then, this is a human rights issue before anything else, peace in the Middle East is impossible for as long as the occupation is alive. And while big reactionary governed countries like Saudi Arabia turn their backs on Palestine in the name of forign financial interests with the west, Palestinians like Iyad Halak are being killed at the hands of Israeli Police for acting “suspiciously”. It seems like all Palestinian families have known someone who paid the price for acting “suspiciously”. The murder sparked a parallel with the killing of George Floyd in the US leading to protests in Palestine and unity with Palestinians and African Americans.
Protest against both US and Israeli police brutality
How can you help?
Palestinian or not, we all have a duty to educate ourself on the injustices of the world. The BDS Movement provides a plethora of resources which can and have made impacts on pushing back the spread of neo-colonialism by boycotting Israeli products and promoting fundraising to end Palestinian suffering. Click here to join BDS today and help push back against a bullshit apartheid state.
Palestinian activists and organizations (and artists) to follow:
Dena Takruri – Noura Erakat – Mariam Barghouti – Shirien – Adalah Justice Project – National SJP – Palestinian Youth Movement – The IMEU – Hidden Palestine – Babyfist Collective – Within Our Lifetime – Eye on Palestine