Waging Peace: Israel and the Arabs, 1948-2003

By Itamar Rabinovich | Go to book overview
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1
THE BACKGROUND

The Arab-Israeli conflict has crossed the half-century mark. A conflict between the small Jewish and the much larger Arab community in Palestine had first erupted in the late Ottoman period. It became fiercer and more significant after the First World War, the publication in 1917 of the Balfour Declaration, in which the British government supported the “establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people,” and the establishment in 1920 of a British Mandate over Palestine on both sides of the Jordan River. During the next three decades, Arabs and Jews fought over rights and control, their conflict culminating in a war that broke out after the United Nations' decision in 1947 to partition the country between a Jewish state and a Palestinian-Arab one.1

Throughout the decades of conflict, the indigenous Palestinian Arabs were supported and helped by a large part of the Arab world, but it was the establishment of the state of Israel in 1948 and the invasion by five Arab armies

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