the Ottomans in World War I, the League of Nations asked Britain to oversee Palestine until it was ready for independence. By this time, the Jews had become a growing presence in Palestine, and were already pressing for their own nation in the territory. The Arabs living in the region strongly opposed such a move. In a 1917 letter to Zionist leaders, British Foreign Secretary Sir Arthur Balfour promoted the idea of creating a Jewish homeland in Palestine while protecting the “rights of existing non-Jewish commu- nities.” Despite the Balfour Declaration, however, efforts to create a Jewish state failed—and hostility between Palestinian Arabs and Jews continued to grow. At the end of World War II, the United Nations took action. In 1947, the UN General Assembly voted to partition Palestine into an Arab Palestinian state and POWER AND AUTHORITY Division of Palestine after World War II made the Middle East a hotbed of competing nationalist movements. Conflicts in the Middle East threaten the stability of the world today. • Camp David Accords • intifada • Oslo Peace Accords 4 Use the graphic organizer online to take notes on important political and military events that occurred following the Suez Crisis. The Colonies Become New Nations 583
EGYPT SAUDI ARABIA JORDAN SYRIA LEBANON ISRAEL Mediterranean Sea G u l f o f S u e z G u l f o f A q a b a Dead Sea Sea of Galilee Nile Delta N i l e R i v e r J o r d a n R . Suez Canal Golan Heights West Bank Gaza Strip SINAI PENINSULA Negev Cairo Suez Eilat Gaza Tel Aviv Haifa Bethlehem Amman Beirut Damascus Beersheba Jerusalem 32 ° N 30 ° N 34 ° E 32 ° E 36 ° E 0 0 100 Miles 200 Kilometers Jewish state under 1947 UN partition plan for Palestine Acquired by Israel during War of Independence, 1948 Controlled by Israel after Six-Day War, 1967 Controlled by Israel, 1967–1982 Controlled by Palestinian Arabs since 2005; Borders controlled by Israel Controlled by Israel with limited Palestinian self-government The Middle East, 1947–present INTERACTIVE MAP Summarizing What recom- mendations did the UN make for Palestine? GEOGRAPHY SKILLBUILDER: Interpreting Maps 1.LocationWhat was the southernmost point in Israel in 1947 and what might have been its strategic value? 2.RegionWhat country lies due north of Israel? east? northeast? a Jewish state. Jerusalem was to be an international city owned by neither side. The terms of the partition gave Jews 55 percent of the area even though they made up only 34 percent of the population. In the wake of the war and the Holocaust, the United States and many European nations felt great sympathy for the Jews.All of the Islamic countries voted against partition, and the Palestinians rejected it outright. They argued that the UN did not have the right to partition a territory without considering the wishes of the majority of its people. Finally, the date was set for the formation of Israel, May 14, 1948. On that date, David Ben Gurion, long-time leader of the Jews residing in Palestine, announced the creation of an independent Israel. Israel and Arab States in ConflictThe new nation of Israel got a hostile greeting from its neighbors. The day after it proclaimed itself a state, six Islamic states—Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, and Syria—invaded Israel. The first of many Arab-Israeli wars, this one ended within months in a victory for Israel. Full-scale war broke out again in 1956, 1967, and 1973. Because of Arab-Israeli tensions, several hundred thousand Jews living in Arab lands moved to Israel.Largely as a result of this fighting, the state that the UN had set aside for Arabs never came into being. Israel seized half the land in the 1948–1949 fighting. While the fighting raged, at least 600,000 Palestinians fled, migrating from the areas under Israeli control. They settled in UN-sponsored refugee camps that ringed the borders of their former homeland. Meanwhile, various Arab nations seized other Palestinian lands. Egypt took control of the Gaza Strip, while Jordan annexed the West Bank of the Jordan River. (See the map at left.) The 1956 Suez Crisis The second Arab-Israeli war followed in 1956. That year, Egypt seized control of the Suez Canal, which ran along Egypt’s eastern border between the Gulf of Suez and the Mediterranean Sea. Egyptian presi-dent Gamal Abdel Nasser sent in
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