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The Arab-Israeli Conflict -Background oGeography ▪Indivisibility issues (a sub-issue of irredentism)●Jerusalem oChristians believe that Palestine is the land from where their religion emerged… o… But Jerusalem is the third holiest city in Islam ●Temple Mount oJews believe the Temple of Solomon once stood on Temple Mount… o… But Muslims believe Muhammad made a journey from the Temple Mount ●Dome of the Rock oJews believe there are Jewish relics beneath the rock… o… But Muslims believe the Dome of the Rock has the imprint of Muhammad’s foot oChanging Regional Patterns ▪Land ●Ottoman Empire o1858 and 1867 Reforms ▪Two laws that created private property ▪Regulated land ownership and cultivation throughout the Empire ▪Established clear title possession and land-tax liabilities ▪Increased state revenues oThe 1867 reform also granted foreigners the right to own land, as long as taxes were paid to the Ottoman Empire ●Palestine oState land: uncultivated due to security issues oPrivate property: owned almost exclusively by large landowners… Ottomans deprived of land use, income, or taxes oState + Private property: cultivated by peasants, communal ownership, frequently in debt to landlords who weren’t present ▪→Damascus authorities would punish the peasants by razing villages, wreaking havoc, etc. ▪→Peasants were reluctant of land ownership for 2 main reasons: ●More taxes
●Army conscription ●Land Ownership oLocal notables, tax collectors, and large landowners all owned land oOnly 20% of the land in Galilee and 50% in Judea was owned by peasants o→The land was more profitable when it was owned by European companies or individuals ▪→Ownership slowly shifted from Palestinian notables and outsiders to Christians from the coastal areas ▪Sursuq family: Greek Catholics in the silk and textile business, violated Ottoman regulations by bribing local authorities and bought more than the maximum amount ▪Trade●Changes in trade were largely due to the Ottoman Land Reforms of 1858 and 1867 ●1883: British Ottoman Commercial Convention oIntegrated Ottoman Empire into the world economy o→Beirut, Jaffa, and Haifa emerge as centers of European imports o→Jerusalem becomes an area of attention ▪Population●Identity had always been familial and local, not national ●There was some sense of unity in Syria under Arab rule, but debatable whether or not this is “nationalism” ●Zionists believe that Palestinian nationalism only ever emerged in response to Zionism ●Arab demographic majority o1878: 443,000 Arabs; 15,000 Jews o1914: 560,000 Arabs; 80,000 Jews o1933: 950,000 Arabs; 280,000 Jews o1946: 1.26 million Arabs; 608,000 Jews -→Understand that this all contributes to a groundwork infrastructure that allowed Jewish settlements to be easily established in Palestine -Zionism oFounded by Theodor Herzl ▪Tenets: ●Jews constitute a nation ●Jews should establish a Jewish state in Palestine ●Largely secular (secular nationalism) ▪Context: ●Centuries of Jewish persecution and the rise of anti-semitism