V. Reverberations Of 1948 Palestine War And The Arab-Israeli Conflict

V. Reverberations Of 1948 Palestine War And The Arab-Israeli Conflict

Period
V. Reverberations Of 1948 Palestine War And The Arab-Israeli Conflict
1 January 1950 to 14 July 1966

Between 1950 and 1966, the Arab-Israeli conflict was less of a struggle largely between Jews and Palestinian Arabs and more of a regional conflict among states, which in turn became in many respects part of the cold war between the West and the Soviet bloc by the mid-1950s. Israel solidified itself as a fact on the international scene and fortified the Zionist order it had established within its post-1948 boundaries. The loss of Palestine continued to reverberate throughout the Arab world; a number of established regimes were overthrown, often replaced by military men who had felt the sting of defeat in 1948. Meanwhile, the Palestinians themselves began to seek ways to reverse the outcome of that cataclysmic war.The failure of the United Nations Conciliation Commission for Palestine (UNCCP) to move Israel and the Arab states toward a peaceful resolution of the Arab-Israeli conflict during the Lausanne Conference (April-September 1949) left Israel free to consolidate its victory in 1948 and transform the spatial and demographic face of those parts of Palestine now under its control. From 1948 to 1951, Israel’s Jewish population doubled, as approximately six hundred thousand Jewish immigrants poured into the country under the 1950 Law of Return, which granted immediate citizenship to virtually any Jew in the world who moved to Israel. Half of these immigrants were Holocaust survivors from Europe, while the rest were primarily Jews from Arab countries. This influx of Jewish immigrants,  combined with the loss of approximately 80 percent of the indigenous Palestinians who had lived in what became Israel (because they had fled or been driven out as refugees during and shortly after the war) gave the new state a Jewish majority.

Israel stood on 20,330 square kilometers of what had been Palestine. To build new towns for Jewish immigrants and to prevent the Palestinian refugees from returning to their homes, Israel destroyed more than four hundred abandoned Palestinian villages in the first three years of its existence. The Israelis also confiscated millions of dunams of land abandoned by the refugees, whom they called “absentees,” according to the March 1950 Absentees’ Property Law. The state sold much of this land to the Jewish National Fund (JNF), which used it to settle incoming Jews. The government even declared about one-half of the Palestinians who stayed in Israel “absentees” and confiscated their land; it also laid claim to land that under the British had been categorized as state or public land. The result was that by 1962, approximately 93 percent of all the land in Israel had become “Israel Lands,” controlled either by the state or the JNF. To appreciate the magnitude of the gain, one must recall that on the eve of the 1948 war, slightly less than 7 percent of all the land in Palestine was controlled by Jews.

The 1948 war had a devastating effect on the Arab world as well. The Arabs had expected to thwart the Zionist project, and for many years they were still reeling from the massive defeat and loss of the bulk of Mandate Palestine to well-organized and well-funded foreign colonizers. The political results were felt immediately. Frustrated with their civilian political leadership, army officers in Syria took power through three different coups d’état in 1948. In July 1952, army officers led by Colonel Gamal Abdel Nasser seized power in Egypt and eventually abolished the monarchy. After Jordan annexed the West Bank in April 1950, a Palestinian assassinated Jordan’s King Abdullah in Jerusalem in July 1951. The Arab Middle East was swept with ideological fervor: pan-Arab nationalism, pan-Syrian nationalism, and communism vied for influence among the masses.

In the absence of formal peace treaties, Israel remained technically at war with its Arab enemies after the 1949 armistice agreements. The United Nations Truce Supervision Organization worked with Israel and the front-line Arab states to keep border incidents from escalating. The Arab League declared a boycott of Israel and Israeli products and of foreign companies doing business with Israel. Despite allowing some refugees to return under family reunification programs, Israel categorically refused to repatriate the bulk of the Palestinian refugees. Some refugees managed to return, crossing the borders and cease-fire lines by stealth, but many others were killed by Israeli forces in the attempt.

The UNCCP continued its efforts to broker a final Arab-Israeli peace settlement. Following up on the failed Lausanne Conference of 1949, it convened another conference among the warring sides from January through July 1950 in Geneva, and a third from September through November 1951 in Paris. None led to a comprehensive peace deal. Thereafter, the UNCCP essentially gave up trying to broker Arab-Israeli peace, working instead on specific matters such as carrying out a massive study of Palestinian refugee property losses for the eventuality of a future compensation arrangement, a project that lasted from 1952 to 1964.

During the 1950s, the Arab-Israeli conflict became increasingly an arena of the cold war between the United States and its Western allies, on the one hand, and the Soviet Union and its allies on the other. Israel grew closer to the Western allies, as did Arab states like Lebanon, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and (until the July 1958 coup d’état that overthrew the monarchy) Iraq. Others maintained friendly relations with the Soviet bloc. In addition to stoking inter-Arab tensions, the cold war also increased the lethality of Middle Eastern armies, as both blocs poured weapons into the region. Israel received a large shipment of modern weaponry from France in 1955, the same year that the Soviet Union sent arms to Egypt via Czechoslovakia. Egypt’s new weaponry and its sponsorship of armed Palestinian infiltration into Israel gave Israel increasing cause for concern. Meanwhile, Egyptian president Nasser’s growing prestige and his refusal to join the pro-West Baghdad Pact alliance system angered Britain, while his support for Algerian revolutionaries angered the French.

These factors ultimately led to a tripartite agreement among Israel, France, and Britain to attack Egypt in late 1956, the second major Arab-Israeli war. The war’s immediate trigger was Egypt’s nationalization of the Suez Canal Company in July 1956. On 29 October 1956, Israeli forces invaded Gaza and Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula. Under the pretext of trying to protect the canal from battle damage, British and French forces invaded Egypt along the canal and engaged Egyptian forces. Hostile international reaction to the tripartite invasion (including from both the United States and Soviet Union) forced the British and French to withdraw by December 1956. Israeli forces finally left Sinai and Gaza in March 1957.

After the Suez War ended, Israel and the Arab states returned to a period of relative calm. Egypt rebuilt its military with additional Soviet weapons. Israel began a highly secret program to produce nuclear weapons at the nuclear reactor it built at Dimona with French assistance. Tensions began to mount again in 1964, when Israel started pumping water out of the Sea of Galilee (Lake Tiberias). In response, the Arab states convened their first summit meeting in Cairo in January 1964 and decided to establish an agency to plan for the diversion of the Jordan tributaries and to mandate Ahmad al-Shuqairi, the Palestine Representative in the Arab League, to put in place the basis for organizing the Palestinian people so that it plays “its role in liberating its homeland and determining its future.” In May 1964, the Palestine National Council convened for the first time in East Jerusalem and proclaimed the formation of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), with Ahmad al-Shuqairi as its chairman. The PLO was allowed to form an army, the Palestine Liberation Army, with units stationed in Egypt, Syria, and Iraq.

In practice, however, these forces operated as adjuncts to the respective host countries’ armies rather than as independent troops controlled by the PLO. Other Palestinians became frustrated with the inability of the Arab states to work for the liberation of Palestine. One group of activists in Kuwait formed a secret revolutionary organization called Fatah in 1959. Its leaders included Yasir Arafat (Abu Ammar), Khalil al-Wazir (Abu Jihad), Salah Khalaf (Abu Iyad), and Khalid al-Hasan (Abu Sa‘id). Impatient with the Arab states and the PLO, Fatah activists declared that they would liberate their homeland themselves through armed struggle, and on 1 January 1965, Fatah announced that its military forces, called al-‘Asifa, had carried out its first armed raid into Israeli territory. Only a few years after that, this small group of Palestinian refugees would find themselves at the helm of a Palestinian national movement that had asserted itself on the world stage.

MF

 

Selected Bibliography

Fischbach, Michael R. Records of Dispossession: Palestinian Refugee Property and the Arab-Israeli Conflict. Institute for Palestine Studies Series. New York: Columbia University Press, 2003.

Gerges, Fawaz A. The Superpowers and the Middle East: Regional and International Politics, 1955–1967. Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 1994.

Khalidi, Walid, ed. All That Remains: The Palestinian Villages Occupied and Depopulated by Israel in 1948. Washington, DC: Institute for Palestine Studies, 1992.

Kyle, Keith. Suez. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1991.

Morris, Benny. Israel’s Border Wars, 1949–1956: Arab Infiltration, Israeli Retaliation, and the Countdown to the Suez War. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1997.

Robinson, Shira. Citizen Strangers: Palestinians and the Birth of Israel’s Liberal Settler State. Palo Alto, CA: Stanford University Press, 2013.

Sayigh, Yezid. Armed Struggle and the State: The Palestinian National Movement, 1949–1993. Oxford: Oxford University Press; Washington, DC: Institute for Palestine Studies, 2000.

Shlaim, Avi. The Iron Wall: Israel and the Arab World Since 1948. New York: W.W. Norton, 2001.

V. Reverberations Of 1948 Palestine War And The Arab-Israeli Conflict
E.g., 2018/12/14
E.g., 2018/12/14

Reverberations Of 1948 Palestine War And The Arab-Israeli Conflict

1950

1951

1952

1953

1954

1955

1956

1957

1958

1959

1960

1961

1962

1963

1964

1965

The Rise Of The Palestinian Movement In The Wake Of The 1967 Arab Defeat

1966

Cultural Policy/program

Qadri Tuqan publishes Ba'd al-Nakba (After the Nakba) in Beirut.
January 1950

Violence

Cross-Border Attacks from Gaza
1950

Legal Institutional

Jerusalem Is Proclaimed the Capital of Israel
23 January 1950

Legal Colonization

Absentee Property Law, 5710-1950
14 March 1950

Diplomatic Policy/program

Special International Regime for Jerusalem
4 April 1950

Legal Institutional

Jordanian Parliamentary Elections; Formal Unification of the Two Banks
11 April 1950 - 24 April 1950

Diplomatic

Britain Recognizes Israel on a de jure Basis.
27 April 1950

Violence

Expulsion from Hebron Area
3 May 1950

Diplomatic Policy/program

Tripartite Declaration
25 May 1950

Legal

Israeli Law of Return
5 July 1950

Legal Colonization

Development Authority (Transfer of Property) Law, 5710-1950
9 August 1950

Diplomatic

General Assembly Resolution 393 (V)
2 December 1950

Diplomatic

General Assembly Resolution 394 (V)
14 December 1950

Popular action Policy/program

Palestinian Memorandum to UNCCP, Beirut
27 January 1951

Popular action Policy/program

Palestinian Memorandum to UNCCP, Ramallah
July 1951

Violence

Assassination of King Abdullah
20 July 1951 - 11 August 1952

Policy/program Institutional

23rd Zionist Congress is Held in Jerusalem
14 August 1951 - 30 August 1951

Diplomatic Sanctions

Security Council Resolution S/RES/95
1 September 1951

Legal

Publication of the Constitution of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan
8 January 1952

Diplomatic

General Assembly Resolution 512 (VI)
26 January 1952

Diplomatic

General Assembly Resolution 513 (VI)
26 January 1952

Legal

Israeli Nationality Law
1 April 1952

Contextual

The Egyptian Revolution of 1952
23 July 1952

Institutional Legal

The Zionist Organization/Jewish Agency Status Law
24 November 1952

Violence

Israeli Operation in Jordan
28 January 1953

Legal Colonization

Land Acquisition (Validation of Acts and Compensation) Law
10 March 1953

Biographical

King Hussein’s Formal Accession to the Throne
2 May 1953

Institutional

Israel's Foreign Ministry Moves to Jerusalem
10 July 1953 - 12 July 1953

Violence

Israeli Operation in Gaza
28 August 1953

Socio-Economic

Israel's Construction of the "National Water Carrier"
2 September 1953

Violence

Israeli Operation Against Qibya
14 October 1953

Popular action

Anti-Israeli Demonstrations in Jordan
21 October 1953

Diplomatic Violence

Security Council Resolution S/RES/101
24 November 1953

Popular action

General Islamic Conference on Jerusalem, Jerusalem
3 December 1953 - 9 December 1953

Diplomatic Socio-Economic

Arab League and Jordan River Waters
15 February 1954

Legal

Jordanian Nationality Law
16 February 1954

Violence

Israeli Operation Against Jordan
28 March 1954

Diplomatic Socio-Economic

The US and Jordan River Waters
25 June 1954 - 6 July 1954

Violence Diplomatic

The Lavon Affair
July 1954

Institutional

Covenant between Zionist Organization and Israel
26 July 1954

Sanctions Socio-Economic

Egypt Detains Israeli Freighter
28 September 1954

Diplomatic Institutional

Baghdad Pact
24 February 1955

Violence

Mounting Egyptian-Israeli Tension Around Gaza
25 February 1955 - 27 August 1955

Diplomatic Violence

Security Council Resolution S/RES/106
29 March 1955

Legal Institutional

Gaza's Basic Law
11 May 1955

Sanctions

Egypt Restricts Passage Through Strait of Tiran
11 September 1955

Diplomatic

Egyptian-Czech Arms Deal
27 September 1955

Biographical

David Ben-Gurion Replaces Moshe Sharett as Prime Minister.
3 November 1955

Violence

Israeli Attack on Syria (Operation Olive Leaves)
10 December 1955 - 11 December 1955

Diplomatic Violence

Security Council Resolution S/RES/111
19 January 1956

Violence

Clashes Across Gaza Borders
2 April 1956 - 14 April 1956

Institutional Colonization

24th Zionist Congress is Held in Jerusalem
24 April 1956 - 7 May 1956

Sanctions

Egypt Blocks Greek Freighter
25 May 1956

Diplomatic Policy/program

Israel and France Plan War
22 June 1956 - 29 July 1956

Sanctions Diplomatic

US Withdraws Aswan Funding
19 July 1956

Sanctions Socio-Economic

Nationalization of the Suez Canal
26 July 1956

Diplomatic

London Conference on Suez
16 August 1956 - 23 August 1956

Diplomatic

Ben-Gurion Addresses the Issue of Suez
26 August 1956

Diplomatic

Britain, France, and Israel Sign the Protocol of Sèvres
22 October 1956 - 24 October 1956

Violence

Israel Invades Egypt
29 October 1956

Violence Sanctions

Kafr Qasim Massacre
29 October 1956

Violence

Britain and France Join the War
31 October 1956

Violence

Israel Occupies Gaza
1 November 1956 - 3 November 1956

Diplomatic Violence

GA Resolutions 997 (ES-I) and 998 (ES-I): UNGA Emergency Session
2 November 1956 - 5 November 1956

Violence

British and French Troops Invade Canal Zone
5 November 1956

Diplomatic Sanctions

Soviet Union Threatens Intervention
5 November 1956

Diplomatic Violence

GA Resolution 1002 (ES-I)
7 November 1956

Diplomatic Policy/program

Israel Addresses the Future of Sinai
7 November 1956 - 8 November 1956

Diplomatic Policy/program

Israel Addresses the Future of Gaza
10 November 1956 - 3 February 1957

Diplomatic

The United Nations Emergency Force (UNEF) Deploys in Sinai
12 November 1956 - 12 March 1957

Institutional

UNRWA Director Issues Special Report on Situation in Gaza Strip
15 December 1956

Diplomatic

GA Resolutions 1123, 1124, 1125 (XI)
19 January 1957 - 3 February 1957

Diplomatic

Israel Refuses Full Withdrawal
3 February 1957

Diplomatic Sanctions

Pressures and Assurances to Israel on Gulf of Aqaba and Gaza
20 February 1957 - 1 March 1957

Diplomatic

Israel Withdraws from Gaza and Sinai
7 March 1957 - 12 March 1957

Institutional

Fatah Is Founded
September 1957

Contextual

Egypt and Syria Unite and Form the United Arab Republic.
1 February 1958 - 28 September 1961

Legal Institutional

Basic Law for the Gaza Strip
25 February 1958 - 15 March 1958

Contextual

Civil War in Lebanon.
May 1958 - October 1958

Contextual

Anti-Monarchic Coup in Iraq.
14 July 1958

Policy/program Institutional

The Arab League and Palestinian Entity
4 March 1959

Diplomatic Colonization

Arab States Protest Jewish Immigration
11 May 1959

Institutional

Fatah's Organizational Structure Set in a Kuwait Meeting.
10 October 1959

Policy/program Institutional

Iraq and a "Palestinian Republic"
15 December 1959

Cultural

Mahmoud Darwish Publishes First Book of Poetry, 'Asafeer bila Ajniha (Wingless Birds).
1960

Violence

Israel's Strike Against Syria
31 January 1960 - 15 February 1960

Institutional

Iraqi Government Announces Formation of a “Palestinian Liberation Regiment.”
26 March 1960

Policy/program Institutional

Fatah and the Palestinian Entity
June 1960

Legal Colonization

Basic Law: Israel Lands
19 July 1960

Legal Colonization

Israel Land Administration Law, 5720-1960
25 July 1960

Institutional Policy/program

25th Zionist Congress Meets in Jerusalem
27 December 1960 - 11 January 1961

Diplomatic

GA Resolution 1604 (XV)
21 April 1961

Diplomatic Institutional

The Arab League and Implementation of Palestinian Entity
29 May 1961 - 26 June 1961

Diplomatic Institutional

Opening of a Palestine Arab Delegation Office in New York.
17 July 1961

Diplomatic

Appointment of Special Representative of the UN Conciliation Commission on Palestine
24 August 1961

Popular action

Palestinians in Israel Demonstrate
21 September 1961

Cultural

Ghassan Kanafani Publishes First Novel, Rijal fi-l-shams (Men in the Sun), in Beirut.
1962

Violence

Israeli Raid Against Syria
16 March 1962 - 17 March 1962

Legal Institutional

The Constitutional Statute for the Gaza Strip
29 March 1962

Diplomatic Violence

Security Council Resolution S/RES/171
9 April 1962

Diplomatic Policy/program

Proposals Announced by Joseph Johnson, Special Representative of the UN Conciliation Commission on Palestine
31 August 1962

Diplomatic Policy/program

Israeli and Arab Responses to Joseph Johnson's Proposals
5 October 1962 - 17 October 1962

Cultural

Akhbar Filastin Newspaper Is Published in Gaza.
March 1963

Biographical

Death of Ahmad Hilmi Abd al-Baqi; Ahmad al-Shuqairi as Palestine Delegate to the Arab League
29 June 1963 - 19 September 1963

Popular action

The Union of Arab Palestinian Women and Palestinian Entity
6 July 1963

Violence

Syrian-Israeli Clashes
19 August 1963 - 20 August 1963

Diplomatic Violence

Draft Security Council Resolution S/5407
3 September 1963

Diplomatic Institutional

Fatah Opens Its First Office in Algeria
23 September 1963

Diplomatic

Palestinian Delegation at the UN
18 October 1963 - 5 November 1963

Diplomatic Policy/program

1st Arab Summit Is Held in Cairo
13 January 1964 - 17 January 1964

Diplomatic

Yasir Arafat and Khalil al-Wazir Confer with Premier Chou-En-Lai in China.
17 March 1964

Socio-Economic

Israel Starts Diverting the Jordan River.
May 1964 - August 1964

Policy/program Institutional

1st Palestine National Council Is Held in Jerusalem
28 May 1964 - 2 June 1964

Diplomatic Institutional

2nd Arab Summit Meets in Alexandria
5 September 1964 - 11 September 1964

Institutional Diplomatic

26th Zionist Congress is Held in Jerusalem
30 December 1964 - 10 January 1965

Institutional Violence

Fatah Issues Its First Military Communiqué
1 January 1965

Diplomatic Policy/program

President Bourguiba and 1947 Partition Plan
27 February 1965 - 11 March 1965

Legal Institutional

The PLO Executive Committee Adopts its Bylaws.
11 March 1965

Violence

Israel Carries out an Operation in Jordan in Response to Fatah Raids
27 May 1965

Institutional Diplomatic

2nd Palestine National Council Is Held in Cairo
31 May 1965 - 4 June 1965

Institutional Violence

Military Training for Palestinians
11 October 1965

Policy/program Policy/program

3rd Palestine National Council Is Held in Gaza
20 May 1966 - 24 May 1966