Sunday, October 11, 2009

How NOT to Educate

This educational resource material, The Beginnings of the Territorial Conflict by Jonathan Kaplan, is meant as an overview of Israel's relationship to the Sinai, the Gaza Strip, Jerusalem, the West Bank, and the Golan Heights, 1948-67.

Here is its opening paragraphs and I've interspersed my comments in italics:

At the heart of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict is a land dispute -- and in order to understand that dispute, it is necessary to know the history of the territory in question. The following article, part one of a four-part series on the topic, discusses the origins of the territories dispute. It was published in 1998, and is reprinted with permission from The Jewish Agency.

During the Six Day War of June 1967 [why start in 1967? did any Arab recognize Isrtael's 'territories' within the Green Line?], Israeli forces took the Sinai, the Gaza Strip, Jerusalem, the West Bank (often referred to as Judea and Samaria), and the Golan Heights. Although these "territories," with the exception of Jerusalem and the Golan Heights, were never incorporated into the state of Israel, the question of their future has been a central topic in Israeli politics and is at present perhaps the most important issue dividing the major political parties.

Israeli policy regarding the territories has been influenced by diplomatic, security, economic, religious, and moral considerations, and interpreted and prioritized differently by different political leaders and parties. Many observers see the issue of the territories as the key to a resolution of the Arab‑Israeli conflict, and the peace process [when it has been active] indeed has focused on the transfer of power over increasing areas of the territories to a Palestinian Administration. It is therefore important to note at the outset that the Israeli occupation of the territories was a result, and not the cause, of the conflict between Israel and its Arab neighbors [good point!].


Before 1967, the territories were administered by Syria, Egypt, and Jordan. The Golan Heights were an internationally recognized part of Syria even before the latter's independence after the Second World War. The Sinai came under British‑Egyptian rule back in 1906. The Gaza Strip and the West Bank/Judea‑Samaria were part of the territory defined by the United Nations in 1947 as a Palestinian Arab State [all true but they were also part of the Mandate, to become the Jewish National Home. they were Jewish by international law].

After the Arab defeat in 1948, Egypt put the Gaza Strip under a military government, and Trans‑Jordan in 1950 annexed the area it held west of the Jordan River, which became known as the West Bank. This annexation was recognized neither in the Arab world nor in the international community [in other words, it was an "illegal occupation", right?]. Trans‑Jordan then changed its name to Jordan.

The city of Jerusalem, which was to have been internationalized­ according to the United Nations plan, was divided between Israel and Jordan along the cease‑fire lines. [Jewish access to holy places in the old city of Jerusalem between 1949 and 1967 was denied.] [yes, but call it infringement of Jewish human rights, no?] This situation continued essentially unchanged until June 1967.

Kaplan is administrative director at the Rothberg International School, Hebrew University of Jerusalem.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Have a look to this petition (the usual garbage, just read the title and you'll get the content)
Now pay attention to the names (and the notes) by the signatories.
I told you, is absolute bad taste. But at least it shows which kind of bullshit these petitions are.