State of Israel: Historical Survey: the State and its Antecedents (1880–2006)

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It took the new Jewish nation about 70 years to emerge as the State of Israel. The immediate stimulus that initiated the modern return to Zion was the disappointment, in the last quarter of the 19th century, of the expectation that the advancement of European civilization would solve the "Jewish question." In Central and Western Europe, the hopes of the Jews to be not only formally emancipated but really absorbed as equals in their respective "host" nations were shattered by waves of social and intellectual antisemitism. In Eastern Europe, particularly in the Russian Empire and Romania, not only did the technical formalities of emancipation seem to be unobtainable, but Jews repeatedly served as the scapegoats of the reactionary regimes in murderous pogroms initiated and organized by the authorities themselves.

In the second half of the century, the traumatic experiences of Jewish intellectuals in East and West produced a movement based on the reaffirmation of Jewish identity, mostly in a secular, nationalist form (e.g., Leon *Pinsker and, later, Theodor *Herzl), and the conviction that the Jewish question would remain insoluble unless the Jewish masses moved out and settled in an autonomous Jewish state to form an independent nation. This rational approach of the intellectuals at first did not necessarily regard Ereẓ Israel as the most desirable territory for the purpose of nation building, particularly in an era when many new nations had emerged on other continents in seemingly empty territories.

The modern Jewish nationalism of the intellectuals soon merged with another powerful trend, deeply rooted in the traditionalist Jewish masses, mainly in Eastern Europe. The latter intuitively sought ways and means of preserving Judaism and Jewish tradition in spite of the rapid disintegration of the self-contained Jewish societies in the ghetto, or shtetl, which were beginning to break up under the impact of the new scientific, urbanized civilization. For the masses of Jewry, any country outside Ereẓ Israel would always be galut (exile) even if its population should prove to be predominantly Jewish; a Jewish national renaissance was conceivable only if it was consciously rooted in the Hebrew language and Jewish culture and aimed at the revival of Jewish nationhood in Ereẓ Israel.

The merging of the two trends – the rationally intellectual and the emotionally traditional – gave birth not only to *Zionism as an organized political effort, but also to the beginnings of the pioneering movement of the late 19th century, which laid the foundations, on the soil of Ereẓ Israel, for the economic, social, and cultural rebirth of the Jewish nation. The land itself seemed eminently suitable for the purpose: a marginal province of the weak Ottoman Empire, sparsely inhabited by a population consisting of various religious groups and seemingly lacking any national consciousness or ambitions of its own; a motherland waiting to be redeemed from centuries of neglect and decay by its legitimate sons.

The rebirth of the nation began almost simultaneously from two ends, in Ereẓ Israel itself and in Eastern Europe. Tiny groups of "rebels" against the old yishuv, mainly in Jerusalem, decided to break out of the stifling confines of the idle *halukkah regime and create a national renaissance by tilling the ancestral soil "with their own hands" and reviving the Hebrew language, as the living vernacular of a modern nation, instead of merely a sacred tongue and an inter-community lingua franca. At the same time, small groups of Jewish youth (mostly students) in the Russian *Pale of Settlement and in Romania were so deeply disenchanted with the idea of attaining security, dignity, and equality in any Diaspora country that they decided not to join the mass emigration of Jews overseas, nor to participate in revolutionary endeavors in the countries where they lived, but to make themselves into pioneers in the establishment of the first modern Jewish villages in Ereẓ Israel, which would eventually serve as the cornerstone of an independent, "normal" Jewish nation.

The efforts of this First Aliyah to create new agricultural settlements under a corrupt, hostile regime and in a malaria- and robber-infested environment might have ended in both economic and social failure. The pioneers were in imminent danger of economic collapse from sheer inexperience and complete lack of capital, and, by employing cheap Arab labor, they might have become a thin stratum of "colonists" whose land was in fact tilled by non-Jewish hands. The first danger was averted in time by the philanthropic aid of the Russian *Ḥibbat Zion movement and Baron Edmond de *Rothschild, and later by the more modern methods of the Zionist Organization. The second was eventually avoided by the Second Aliyah, a wave of several thousand new Jewish pioneers who arrived in Ereẓ Israel after the abortive Russian revolution of 1905, determined to create a Jewish working class and to "conquer" by their labor not only the soil but also labor itself, including all manual aspects and forms of it, to ensure the creation of a new Jewish society with a full-fledged productive, self-sufficient structure, rather than an "unproductive," Diaspora-like community.

Some of the men who led this movement (e.g., David *Ben-Gurion and Izhak *Ben-Zvi) lived to see their dream fulfilled in the form of the independent Jewish state. Many despaired of the difficult economic and health conditions and returned to Russia, but a sufficient number of them persisted and remained to lay the foundations of a new, productive, and Hebrew-speaking Jewish society. A few years after their arrival, they established the first clandestine armed self-defense organization (Bar-Giora, later *Ha-Shomer) and the first collective workers groups and "self-labor" settlements. This endeavor, though still very small in size, was large enough to become the focus of a wide Hebrew educational network and a mass movement in world Jewry and to fulfill an important role in the political events during World War i that led to the *Balfour Declaration and the international recognition of the Jewish people's right to establish its National Home in Palestine.

In spite of the more favorable conditions of the British period (1917–48), as compared with the Ottoman era, the fundamental moving forces of the First and Second Aliyah did not change much. Mass immigration, as distinct from the aliyah of pioneering groups and individuals, occurred mainly when the condition of Jewish communities in the Diaspora became economically or physically unbearable. The Soviet regime, which cut the Jews of Russia off from the rest of the Jewish people, deprived the reviving nation in Palestine of its main human reservoir; but Jews from Poland, the Baltic states, Romania, and Central Europe exploited almost every conceivable opportunity, "legal" or "illegal," to settle in Palestine, particularly after the closing of the gates to the United States in 1924.

Meanwhile, the "self-labor" principle of the Second Aliyah stimulated the creation of a widespread network of mutual aid institutions combined in a powerful labor federation (the *Histadrut), which enabled the Jewish workers to maintain a bearable standard of living even under adverse conditions. The collective and cooperative settlements of the labor pioneers, as well as urban centers built by Jewish labor with middle-class capital and initiative, soon created a belt of continuous Jewish settlement increasingly resembling a nucleus of national territory. The Hebrew educational system raised a generation of tens and later hundreds of thousands of native-born young people (the "sabras") for whom language, historical tradition, native soil, and national allegiance became one harmonious whole. To protect the yishuv's physical security and prevent pogrom-style Arab violence, a clandestine nationwide defensive militia, the *Haganah, was established. Gradually, self-governing institutions emerged, gaining partial official recognition (such as *Keneset Israel, municipal councils, etc.) and partly serving the Jewish population by mutual consent (e.g., the Jewish magistrates' courts (batei-mishpat ha-shalom), voluntary taxes, etc.), which enhanced the independent national character of the expanding community.

After a brief honeymoon, illuminated by the illusion of British benevolence in the beginning of the 1920s, the essential principle of the nation building process remained unchanged: only what the Jews created themselves, despite the unfriendly regime and the hostile environment – by their own initiative, with their own physical efforts, defending themselves with their own arms, at the cost of their own blood – gradually made the new Jewish nation a reality. This principle remained valid during World War ii and its aftermath. The new nation was still too small and dependent to save European Jewry during the Nazi *Holocaust, but it made serious efforts to do so. It also prepared itself for all-out self-defense in case of a Nazi conquest of Palestine and, when this danger was averted, for a systematic struggle for national independence against British opposition and Arab violent aggression by "illegal" mass immigration, rapid enlargement of the settlement network, armed sabotage, and so forth.

The establishment of the State of Israel in 1948 was an historic breakthrough into international recognition and national sovereignty, but in historical perspective it proved to be only a "great leap forward" and not the terminal point in the process of nation building. The main developments since the establishment of the state have been the accelerated growth of the population, mainly through the ingathering of the exiles – paradoxically, from those countries which were, or became, Israel's declared enemies (i.e., the Arab countries and those of the Soviet Bloc, including latterly the former Soviet Union itself); the systematic settlement of empty spaces, particularly in the south; economic development through modernization of agriculture, industrialization, and application of modern science; the implementation of genuine democracy on all levels of government and the protection of civil liberties, in spite of an almost permanent military emergency; and pragmatic, compromise solutions for explosive internal problems, such as the antagonism between religious and secular concepts of Jewish nationhood, the strains and stresses between Jews of European origin and those from the "Oriental" countries, and the conflict between the socialist, cooperative, and egalitarian trends of the labor movement and the need to attract private capital and introduce incentives for economic efficiency. An outstanding success was the maintenance of a highly efficient citizen's army, free of militarist trappings, preserving the old spirit of a people's militia and also serving for collective agricultural pioneering and other pacific purposes.

The central and dominant problem however, proved to be more and more the antagonism between Israel and the Arab world, which ostensibly centered on the plight of the Palestinian Arab refugees, who had fled en masse from the territory of Israel during its *War of Independence. Almost immediately, but particularly from the middle 1950s, the great powers began to exploit this antagonism in their own interests, reinforcing its destructive features instead of working toward constructive solutions, until the *Six-Day War (1967) created an entirely new territorial and political situation, fraught with the danger of a new "round" but also opening perspectives for Arab-Israel peace. This situation placed Israel more firmly at the center of world Jewry's attention and devotion than ever before. In the immediate postwar period the two greatest Jewish communities, in the United States and the Soviet Union, which in the recent past had seemed to be irretrievably on the road to complete assimilation, also began to stir toward Jewish revival. While in the United States, after a short spurt of immigration, it became clear that large-scale aliyah was not to be expected, massive aliyah from the former Soviet Union would become the miracle of the 1990s. Thus, from several scores of pioneers at the outset of the Zionist enterprise, the revived Jewish nation in Ereẓ Israel numbered in the early 1970s over 2.5 million people and in the early years of the 21st century edged toward 5.5 million, poised to become the largest Jewish community in the world.

However, the euphoria of the Six-Day War was relatively short-lived, unleashing processes that would agitate Israel's national life in the coming decades. The nation's pent-up energies, confined within narrow physical borders and a culture of economic austerity for 20 years, burst forth in a recrudescence of economic activity that created new wealth and new inequalities. A new political regime under Menaḥem Begin hastened the demise of the old-style socialism that had dominated the country for so many years and accelerated the transformation of Israel into a modern Western consumer society. Politically, the country underwent severe polarization as the right and left, hawks and doves, became hardened in their respective positions, while the trauma of the *Yom Kippur War initiated a tortuous process that saw peace treaties signed with Egypt and Jordan and years of unabated Arab terrorism destroying innocent lives.

Israel at the outset of the 21st century stood at a new crossroads, facing challenges that only the resiliency and moral fiber of its people might meet. The challenge of the new millennium was to recapture the sense of a common past and a common destiny that had always sustained the nation.

The Land of Israel in International Affairs, 1798–1923

After the Crusades, the European powers attached no great significance to the Land of Israel, and its conquest by the Ottoman Turks reduced its importance still further. The name "Palestine" had only a historical, archaeological, or antiquarian connotation; it did not denote any clearly defined political entity, or even a separate administrative subdivision of the Ottoman Empire. The country was part of the empire; sometimes it was regarded as a part of Syria. As far as international affairs were concerned, it was no more than a remote territory, a bone of contention among unruly pashas and a prey to Bedouin banditry. Although certain European commercial interests, such as the Levant Company, did pay some attention to it at one period, their operations were designated to extend to the Ottoman Empire as a whole, and Palestine did not play a special role in their plans; nor has this competition been shown to have had any appreciable effect on the policies of the powers.

napoleon's campaign

This situation underwent a drastic change when *Napoleon made his surprising move to land an expeditionary force in the East and succeeded in conquering Egypt (1798; see above), followed by an invasion of Palestine in 1799. The invasion, after initial success, was frustrated by the failure of his efforts to take Acre. The reasons that presumably prompted Napoleon to undertake this campaign are of great significance, for they were the same that were henceforth to induce all major European powers to vie with one another for influence in the area.

The predominant consideration was the territory's geographical position at the crossroads of the three commercial and strategic routes of the modern world, which link the Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea with the Indian and Pacific Oceans, the Mediterranean with the Persian Gulf, and the Eurasian continent with Africa. When Ottoman rule in Asia entered into a decline at the end of the 18th century, every power felt obliged to deny exclusive control of the crossroads to any of its rivals. For Napoleon, the country was of equal importance for both defense and attack: its conquest would enable him to defend Egypt against Anglo-Turkish attempts to wrest it from his hands and provide him with a springboard for campaigns directed at Anatolia and Istanbul, the Persian Gulf, and India.

Another factor that was to enter into the considerations of every power planning to replace the Ottoman Empire in the control of the area was the presence of ethnic and religious minorities that would presumably be prepared to accept the protection of a European power. At the time of Napoleon's campaign in Palestine, the idea of establishing a Jewish state in the area was mooted in Paris. During the siege of Acre Napoleon was said to have issued a proclamation to the Jews, apostrophizing them as "rightful heirs of Palestine" and calling upon them "to take over that which had been conquered" (some scholars, however, regard the proclamation as apocryphal). Napoleon was known to have had plans for fomenting unrest among the Druze and Maronites in the north and exploiting the existence of Christian and Muslim holy places for his purposes.

muhammad ali's campaigns

For these and other reasons the future of Palestine became an issue of general European importance during the wars conducted by Muhammad Ali, who was sent to Egypt by the sultan in 1800 in order to reorganize Egypt after Napoleon's failure. Muhammad Ali sought to base his rule in Egypt on the innovations introduced by the Napoleonic conquest. In order to realize his ambition to create a ruling dynasty in Egypt and ward off a possible direct attack by the Ottoman forces, he dispatched Ibrahim, his stepson, to Palestine and Syria. In 1832–33 Ibrahim overran both territories, and for the next seven years the area remained in the hands of Muhammad Ali. The Egyptian regime brought many changes to Palestine. A central government ruled the country, law and order were established, and tens of thousands of Egyptians migrated to Palestine and established a chain of settlements along the coastal plain from Gaza and toward the Sea of Galilee. The non-Muslim residents of Palestine were able to act more freely. Some synagogues and churches were built and a British consulate, the first European consulate in Palestine, was opened in Jerusalem.

Failure of the Ottomans to push the Egyptians out of Syria in 1840 brought the European powers back to the area. It was at this point that Britain (under Lord Palmerston) and, to a lesser degree, Austria decided that it was in their interest to shore up the sultan's tottering power. From their point of view, it was a timely decision, for otherwise there was a danger of Russian hegemony over the Ottoman Empire or of France – an ally of Muhammad Ali – gaining control of the Mediterranean. Furthermore, by this time Syria and Palestine had become a factor in their own right in the policy pursued by the powers. The growing significance of modern means of transportation – steamships and railroads – lent significance to an area that served as a crossroads and control of which would facilitate the construction of interoceanic canals and intercontinental railroads. Palmerston already recognized this. The possession of Palestine would secure control of the Suez route, which was in use even in those pre-canal days (the early steamers preferred to cruise along the Mediterranean coast rather than risk the stormy passage around the Cape of Good Hope, transferring their cargoes overland across the Suez Isthmus to be shipped to their destination through the Red Sea and the Indian Ocean – the traditional route since early historical times). The eastern Mediterranean coast was also regarded as the proper place for the terminal of a land route – a railroad leading to Iraq and the Persian Gulf; in fact, the vision of such a route was to have an ever-increasing effect upon the imperialist policies of Britain and France.

From the French point of view, these considerations required the extension of Muhammad Ali's domain in Syria as far north as possible; the British, on the other hand, were interested in pushing him back as much as possible toward the Nile Valley and denying him access to the main lines of communication to the Persian Gulf. In 1840, when Muhammad Ali, with French support, rejected a demand that his rule be restricted to Palestine, the other powers, led by Britain, intervened by force of arms and compelled him to give up Syria, including Palestine, and restrict himself to Egypt. The Ottoman Empire paid back the European powers by changing its attitude toward the non-Muslim inhabitants of the Empire as a whole, but this was mainly applied in Palestine.

protective rights

In the following two decades, Palestine retained a place in international affairs due to its importance for those powers that wanted the right to protect one or the other of the religious minorities in the decaying Ottoman Empire. Russia had long had such rights, confirmed in the Kutchuk-Kainarji Treaty of 1774 (Article 7), over Orthodox Christians in Turkey and the Orthodox Christian holy places in Palestine. France's rights to protect the Catholics (Latins) and their holy places, which had their roots in the age of the Crusades, were confirmed by Capitulations (privileges for the foreigners). Britain and, to some extent, Prussia sought to counter these advantages by extending their protection to the insignificant Protestant minority (which accounts for the creation of the Jerusalem bishopric in 1841). Palmerston and his successors also sought to extend unofficial British protection to the Jewish minority. Under the pressure of the European powers, the Ottomans first allowed the non-Muslim citizens of the Empire to buy and own land and buildings, later extending the right to everyone, including foreigners. This allowed the Europeans and Americans to put up new churches, hospitals, schools, and other buildings in the main towns of Palestine from 1840 on. During the 1860s Christian groups built new agricultural settlements in Palestine. An American group established the American colony near Jaffa in 1866, while a larger group of Germans built three German colonies in Haifa, Jaffa, and Jerusalem. Later on they built new settlements in the Coastal Plain (Sarona), Lower Galilee, and near the Jaffa–Jerusalem road. The Jewish immigrants of the 1880s were also able to establish the first moshavot (agriculture settlements) as a result of this process. Throughout the 1840s and 1850s, fierce competition ensued among the powers to improve their position as protective powers. The struggle was carried out mainly through their consular representatives in Jerusalem, which was an ideal arena in which to press their claims; their real purpose, of course, was to give the powers exercising these rights a hold on the Ottoman Empire that they could exploit whenever its collapse would lead to the ultimate disposition of its territories. It will be recalled that the contradictory claims of Russia and France with regard to the holy places were the direct cause of the outbreak of the Crimean War.

the struggle over communications

Developments in Egypt between 1860 and 1890 again put the emphasis on the control of communications. The Suez Canal was opened in 1869 and France's hegemony in Cairo assured her control of the new waterway. This was a situation that the British felt they could not tolerate; in 1878 Britain took over Cyprus and finally, in 1882, it took Egypt by military conquest, ousting the French and maintaining its position for many decades to come. The two powers now switched roles: it was Britain that now aspired to extend its influence to the north, by way of Palestine and southern Syria, while France, which had struck roots in the Lebanon and in central and northern Syria, sought to confine British influence to Egypt.

In the last decade of the 19th century, when the advance of capitalism and industry played an increasingly important role in general political developments, the competition between the European powers (Britain, France, Imperial Germany, Italy, Austria-Hungary, Imperial Russia) for influence in Syria and Palestine was concerned with religious and cultural hegemony as well as with economic and financial issues. Traditional British-Ottoman friendship had turned into enmity as a result of the British occupation of Egypt and the ascendancy of German influence over the Sublime Porte at the turn of the century. In spite of the Entente of 1903, relations between Britain and France in the Middle East continued to be competitive, rather than friendly. To guard against the possibility of an Ottoman attack upon Egypt, with the possible support of Germany or France, Kitchener, the British commander in Egypt, thought it imperative to establish a buffer state under British protection in the area adjacent to Egypt, between Acre and Aqaba.

These strategic considerations played a dominant role in the struggle between Britain, France, and Germany over railroad construction in the area. The German plans provided for the construction of a railroad link leading from northwest to southeast, from Constantinople to Alexandretta and thence to the Persian Gulf. This plan for a Baghdad Railroad threatened British interests in the Persian Gulf and clashed with two other plans: a British proposal for an east-west route from Baghdad to Haifa (the Willcocks Plan) and a French proposal for a railroad linking Alexandretta or Homs with Baghdad. Another project, in which the Germans took an active part, was that of the Hejaz Railroad (Damascus to Mecca), which competed with the French-built north-south railroad (Aleppo to Mezerib). Of special significance was the Haifa-Darʿa section of the Hejaz Railroad, which competed with the Beirut-Damascus section of the French railroad and came in place of the British Willcocks Plan. Furthermore, the Hejaz Railroad represented a strategic threat to British interests in Egypt, an aspect borne out by the Ottoman demand that the Germans and the French extend their railroad lines to Rafa and construct a line from Maʿan to Akaba (which would have created a direct link between the Mediterranean and the Red Sea and threatened the Suez Canal's monopoly).

By 1912 the struggle among the powers had become sharp enough for the French upper chamber to adopt a resolution emphasizing French interests in Syria (including Palestine). Although the British foreign secretary, Sir Edward Grey, publicly declared that Britain would follow a "hands-off" policy in Syria, he soon modified his statement by denying any intention to recognize exclusive French rights in the area. Moreover, the British representatives in Cairo did not feel committed by his declaration.

In 1914, on the eve of World War i, the Germans settled their differences with the other two powers by two railroad conventions that were to divide the Asian part of the Ottoman Empire into British, German, and French spheres of economic interest. The German-French convention granted the Germans economic supremacy in Anatolia, northern Syria, and Mesopotamia, while French economic interests would predominate in central and southern Syria, up to the Egyptian border (i.e., the area served by the French railroads and the Hejaz line). The Anglo-German convention, which divided Mesopotamia into German and British spheres of influence, acknowledged the supremacy of British economic interests in the area lying to the south of Beirut and west of Amman as well as in the desert lying between Transjordan and Iraq (this would have enabled the British to build a Suez-Akaba-Kuwait-Barash railroad as compensation for the Willcocks scheme). It should be noted that in the German agreement with the French, Palestine was recognized as lying within the French sphere of interests, while in the German-British agreement it appears as part of the British sphere; thus the Germans succeeded in settling their own differences with the British and the French and simultaneously planted the seeds of contention between the two powers with regard to the future status of the country.

the aqaba incident and the sinai border

The Aqaba incident of 1906 is a striking illustration of the importance the British attached to the whole area even before World War i. (It also led to the delineation of the eastern border of Sinai, which eventually became the boundary of Mandatory Palestine.) The peace agreement with Muhammad Ali (1841) had left him, in addition to Egypt, an area in the Sinai Peninsula from the town of Suez to a spot south of Gaza, on the Mediterranean coast, and several fortified cities on the Red Sea coast on the route to Mecca. In 1892, ten years after the British conquest of Egypt, the Ottomans demanded the return of Sinai and the Hejaz cities. Sir Evelyn Baring (later Lord Cromer) rejected the Ottoman demand, and eventually a compromise was achieved by which the Hejaz cities were placed under Ottoman rule, while the Sinai Peninsula was to remain Egyptian territory. In the course of the negotiations, it transpired that the borders in the Sinai Peninsula were under dispute. The Ottomans claimed that the Egyptian border extended from Rafah to Suez. Baring claimed that southern Sinai also belonged to Egypt and that the new border should be a straight line from Rafah to Aqaba. The Ottomans refused to accept this demand.

The controversy played a certain role in the negotiations between Theodor *Herzl and Joseph Chamberlain in 1902–03 concerning Jewish settlement in northern Sinai, which Chamberlain was inclined to believe would help to ward off a possible Ottoman attack and might eventually lead to the inclusion of Palestine in the British sphere of influence. Baring, however, would not hear of this plan, preferring the local Bedouin as instruments of British policy.

As a result of this "Bedouin policy," the British seized an area of Ottoman territory near Aqaba in 1906, although there was no doubt that their action was a flagrant violation of Ottoman sovereignty. The Ottomans charged that this was part of an attempt to extend the Egyptian border at their expense. The tension soon turned into a full-fledged crisis. An Ottoman compromise proposal, which would have divided the Sinai Peninsula in such a manner as to leave both banks of the Gulf of Suez in Egyptian hands and both banks of the Gulf of Aqaba Ottoman, was rejected. The British regarded the issue important enough to warrant an ultimatum to Istanbul, to which the sultan submitted in September 1906. The new Ottoman-Egyptian border now became a line extending from Rafa to Ṭaba and underwent no further change until 1948. Thus the first boundary of modern Palestine was established.

the *sykes-picot agreement and the mcmahon – hussein correspondence

World War i further exacerbated, rather than reduced, differences among the Allies. The railroad agreements with Germany had left the future of Palestine a matter of controversy between Britain and France, and in the very first months of the war the two powers reiterated their interests in the area so as to lay the foundations for the claims they would submit when victory had been achieved. Between November 1914 and March 1915, the British cabinet held several sessions devoted to the subject, finally resolving that, at the very minimum, British interests required the internationalization of Palestine if exclusive British control could not be obtained. The French raised their claims to supremacy in Syria and Palestine in the legislature and in the press; they also asked for Russian support in exchange for French support of Russian claims on Constantinople. The Russians in their turn asked for the exclusion of the Orthodox Christian holy places (in Galilee as well as in Jerusalem) from French control, and the French countered by offering, as a maximum concession, the internationalization of the Jerusalem-Bethlehem area, provided the rest of Palestine became French. Both the Russians and the British refused to accede to this proposal, and in July 1915 the British cabinet came to the conclusion that the best way to counteract French demands was to obtain Russian agreement for a joint Anglo-French-Russian regime in Palestine after the war. The Russians appear to have agreed to this plan.

When the Syrian and Hejazi leaders of the Arab revolt, with British encouragement, raised their claims to the area (as reflected in the Hussein-McMahon correspondence – see next paragraph), it was decided to appoint a mixed Anglo-French commission to submit an agreed plan for the postwar partition of the Ottoman Empire. The commission was appointed in the fall of 1915, with Sir Arthur Nicholson – shortly afterward replaced by Sir Mark Sykes – as the British representative and Charles François Georges-Picot (the former French consul to Jerusalem) for France. The recommendations of the commission, as accepted by the powers, became known as the Tripartite (*Sykes-Picot) Agreement of 1916. It provided for joint Anglo-French-Russian-Italian and Arab control of all parts of Palestine containing holy places. This included the area between a line running from the Dead Sea to Rafah in the south to a line running from the northwest corner of the Sea of Galilee toward Ras el-Naqura on the Mediterranean shore in the north. The Jordan River was to be the eastern boundary of this area, safeguarding the interests of the European powers as well as those of all religions. France got the rule over the area north of Nazareth and the Sea of Galilee (Lake Kinneret – i.e., northern Galilee and Safed), together with the Lebanon. Britain got the control over Haifa Bay (with the towns of Haifa and Acre) to satisfy the requirements of the British navy and to serve as the terminal of the Baghdad Railroad. The agreement also defined the incorporation of Transjordan and the Negev into an Arab State under British protection, as a corridor between British bases in Egypt and those in southern Iraq, and the creation of a French-protected Syrian-Arab state, including the Hauran.

Meanwhile, Sir Henry McMahon, the British high commissioner in Cairo, had been negotiating with Hussein ibn Ali, the sharif of Mecca, for his assistance in the war against the Ottoman Empire in return for a British promise to support his bid for the restoration of the caliphate. On behalf of his government, Sir Henry McMahon agreed to support Arab independence within the boundaries proposed by Hussein, who asked for all the Arab areas of the Ottoman Empire south of the Taurus Mountains, with two provisos: first, "The two districts of Mersina and Alexandretta and portions of Syria lying to the west of the districts of Damascus, Homs, Hama, and Aleppo, which cannot be said to be purely Arab, and should be excluded from the limits demanded"; secondly, the undertaking to support Arab independence was given only "… for those frontiers wherein Britain is free to act without detriment to the interests of her ally, France…". The term "Syria" was often regarded, particularly by Arabs, as including Palestine and the "district" or vilayet of Damascus extended to the whole of Transjordan. The first proviso, as well as the second, therefore, according to British sources, clearly excluded the whole of western Palestine. This was subsequently verified by Sir McMahon himself and by a British government committee that examined the correspondence. On the other hand, the Arabs claimed that the letters spoke of excluding the cities of Aleppo, Hama, Homs, and Damascus; thus, as Palestine lay south of Damascus, it was not excluded from the Hussein demand and the area of Palestine was promised to the Arabs.

In order to provide a counterweight to French protection of Catholics and Russian protection of Orthodox Christians in the proposed jointly administered area, the British, in 1916, recommended that the Allies permit Zionist settlement in Palestine (presumably under British protection), an idea that had been discussed by the British cabinet as far back as 1914.

the zionist claims

When the Zionist leadership heard of the truncation of the Land of Israel envisaged by the Sykes-Picot Agreement, Chaim *Weizmann dispatched a strong protest to the British Foreign Office. In Weizmann's opinion the realization of Zionist goals required that the whole of the Land of Israel be placed under British protection. Eventually, Britain also came to the conclusion that British control of the entire area of Palestine would serve her interests in Egypt and Mesopotamia, and this realization gave added impetus to the British plans for the conquest of the country by her forces alone. Zionist pressure and the wish to win over the Jews of Russia (after the revolution of February 1917) and those living behind enemy lines (Germany, Austria-Hungary) to Britain led to the *Balfour Declaration, which promised the help of Britain in establishing a Jewish National Home in Palestine. This Declaration made no attempt to establish the exact boundaries of the National Home, which later led to much discussion about the limits of the Jewish National Home.

World War i ended with the British conquering Palestine (1917–18). During the war the Zionists had won French support for their aims, mainly through the efforts of Nahum *Sokolow. A month after the war had ended, in December 1918, the French Premier Georges Clemenceau, who was indifferent to Middle East affairs and wholly absorbed in the problem of Germany, gave his consent to British rule over the entire area of Palestine "from Dan to Beersheba" (no more precise definition being given) in exchange for British support of French territorial claims concerning its boundary with Germany. The Zionist leaders, having coordinated their territorial demands with those of Emir Feisal, Hussein's son (which eventually led to the Weizmann-Feisal accord), presented their demands to the Council of Ten at the Paris Peace Conference in February 1919. They called for the borders of Palestine to run from a point on the Mediterranean coast south of Sidon along the foothills of the Lebanon up to Rāshiya (thereby including most of the Litani valley and all the sources of the Jordan), proceeding further east along the Hermon ridge, and then southward parallel to and west of the Hejaz Railroad down to the Gulf of Aqaba. Such an arrangement would have given both Palestine and the Arab state access to the Transjordan section of the Hejaz Railroad. In the south, the Zionists asked for a boundary which would be agreed upon with the Egyptian government. It took 70 years to realize this wish, as Israel and Egypt only agreed on their common border in 1979.

The borders of Palestine were also the subject of an exchange of notes between Britain and France in September 1919 and June 1920 and of discussions by the foreign ministers of the two powers in December 1919 and June and December 1920. Both parties attached great importance to this question, and at one point the French, incensed at British opposition to their Syrian plans, demanded a return to the Sykes-Picot Agreement with its provisions for a truncated Palestine. In the end, the British only partly succeeded in getting the Zionist border proposals accepted and agreed to a narrow interpretation of the agreement they had reached with Clemenceau in 1918. As a result, a boundary agreement was signed between France and the United Kingdom on December 23, 1920. In it the border outlined in the Sykes-Picot Agreement was extended as far as "Dan" only, i.e., including the Safed district and a narrow corridor (the Galilee panhandle) northward, containing Lake Ḥuleh and Metullah as well as half of the Golan Heights but only half of the Sea of Galilee. Details of the border were fixed by a special demarcation commission that functioned from 1920 to 1923, and its final version was amended to include both banks of the Ḥuleh, the Jordan River, and Lake Kinneret (the Sea of Galilee) in Palestine, but left the Golan with Syria. Efforts by the Zionist leaders to obtain more favorable borders, including the water sources in the north and the extensive uncultivated areas in the east, had been frustrated by the compromise between the powers. This final version was ultimately ratified by the League of Nations *Mandate for Palestine.

[Uri Ra'anan /

Gideon Biger (2nd ed.)]


boundaries of mandatory palestine

In the South

The formation of the frontiers of Israel actually began with the delimitation and demarcation of the boundary between Egypt (then under British protection) and the Ottoman dominions in 1906. In 1841, after Muhammad (Mehemet) Ali had been pushed back into Egypt, an Ottoman firman (royal decree) fixed the boundary as a straight line connecting the northern outskirts of Suez, at the northern tip of the gulf of that name, with a point southwest of Gaza, near the small village of Rafah, on the Mediterranean. This boundary gave Egypt a triangular area in northern Sinai, which included the entire Mediterranean coast of the peninsula. A few years after the British took control of Egypt in 1882, a dispute broke out over the actual position of the boundary. The British were very unhappy about the Suez-Rafa line, which gave the Ottomans easy access to the Suez Canal (opened in 1869), especially its southern end. They put forward various claims and proposals aimed at pushing the boundary as far eastward, away from the canal, as possible. The dispute reached its climax early in 1906, when the British sent forces to occupy the vital positions in the Sinai Peninsula and at the head of the Gulf of Aqaba. The crisis, which brought the two countries to the verge of war, was settled when the Ottomans were forced to agree to draw the boundary along a line from Rafa to a point on the northern shore of the gulf three miles west of Aqaba village. The British demand for the Rafa-Aqaba line was based on a detailed survey of northern and eastern Sinai. It gave them, as controllers of Egypt, the entire width of the Sinai desert as a natural barrier between Ottoman territory and the Suez Canal, and left them in control of nearly all the main water resources in eastern Sinai, as well as the roads and tracks connecting the Gulf of Aqaba with the Mediterranean Sea.

The demarcation of the boundary was carried out under very difficult conditions, at the height of the summer, and the boundary as marked out on the ground deviates slightly from the line laid down in the agreement – due mainly to mistakes in survey and measurement in the extremely rugged terrain, and partly to the insistence of the Ottoman delegation. Thus the line reached the Gulf of Aqaba near Bir Ṭaba, five miles southwest of the point designated in the agreement, leaving the entire northern shore of the Gulf on the Ottoman side. It should be pointed out that in 1906 this was formally only an administrative line and not an international boundary. It was agreed at the time between the Ottomans and the British that the Sinai Peninsula would continue to form part of the Ottoman Empire, though it was under Anglo-Egyptian administration. This border, 135 mi. (224 km.) long, was adopted in 1919 as the boundary between Egypt and British-mandated Palestine. Except for its northern section (the southern border of the Gaza Strip) it also became the armistice demarcation line between Egypt and Israel during the period 1949–67. It was actually abolished after the occupation of Sinai by Israel in the Six-Day War but the peace agreement between Egypt and Israel, signed in 1979, established this line as the agreed international boundary between them.

In the North

The next stage in the formation of the modern boundaries of Israel came with the delimitation and demarcation, in 1922–23, of the boundary between British-mandated Palestine and the French-mandated territories of Syria and Lebanon. The starting point for the delimitation of this boundary was the Sykes-Picot Treaty of 1916 (see also the Land of Israel in International Affairs, above). According to the treaty, the northern boundary of Palestine was to be a line from the Mediterranean coast a short distance north of Acre to a point on the northwestern shore of Lake Tiberias (Lake Kinneret). The area south of this line was to come under an international regime, except for a British enclave around the Bay of Acre, while the area to the north was assigned to the French.

Toward the end of World War i and during the two years which followed, there was much political activity around the question of the final location of this boundary. Strenuous efforts were made by the Zionist movement to induce the British and French governments to move it much further north, so that it would correspond to the northern frontier of the biblical Land of Israel and bring the whole of Galilee within British-mandated territory. At one stage the Zionist movement pressed for a northern boundary which would run from the outskirts of Sidon (Saida) eastward to the northern foot of Mount Hermon, to encompass most of the valley of the Litani and all the headwaters of the Jordan (see *Zionist Policy).

After lengthy discussions and much lobbying, an agreement was reached and embodied in the Franco-British Convention of Dec. 23, 1920. The boundary between Palestine and Syria-Lebanon was to be a line starting on the Mediterranean coast about 1.2 mi. (2 km.) south of Rosh ha-Nikrah (Ras al-Naqura) where the present Israel-Lebanese border reaches the sea, and running eastward along the watershed between the Fāra Hindāj wadis (now Naḥal Dishon) and Qarqara (now Naḥal Beẓet) in the south, and the al-Dubba al-Ayyūn and Zarqāʾ valleys to the north. Then it was to run along the watershed between the head-streams of the Jordan and the river Litani (Qāsimiyya) up to Metullah. The northwestern part of the *Ramat ha-Golan was to be included in Palestine: from Metullah the boundary was to run along the track leading to Banias and Kuneitra, leaving the track on the French side of the border. Further south the boundary would follow the bed of Wadi Masʿadiyya and one of its tributaries to the northern shores of Lake Kinneret a short distance southeast of the entry of the Jordan, cut across the lake to Samakh (Ẓemaḥ), leaving the eastern half of the lake on the French side of the frontier, and run south to the valley of the Yarmuk river, which it would then follow eastward.

Even before the conclusion of the agreement, the actual border line between the areas under British and French military occupation did not conform with the Sykes-Picot line of 1916. The British extended their control over considerable areas further north, up to a line running from al-Zīb (Keziv) on the Mediterranean coast to the northern shore of Lake Ḥuleh, and later up to the northern fringe of the Ḥuleh Valley. While a Franco-British commission was at work on the exact delimitation of the boundary (1921–22), further negotiations and bargaining between the two governments led to the acceptance of significant changes. The British gave up the area allotted to them in the Golan Heights in return for complete control of the river Jordan and Lake Tiberias. The work of this commission led to the final demarcation of the northern and northeastern boundary of Palestine, which later became the border of Israel (in the northeast up to June 1967).

Between the Mediterranean coast and Metullah there were only minor deviations from the December 1920 agreement, extending the area of Palestine northward by 1–3 mi. (2–5 km.), with a total gain of nearly 70 sq. mi. (200 sq. km.), containing 20 Arab villages. From Metullah to the eastern shores of Lake Kinneret the boundary gave the British full control of the main sources of the Jordan and the entire area of Lake Ḥuleh and Lake Kinneret. The border line ran a short distance east of the Jordan (in some sections only 160 ft. (50 m.) away), so that both banks of the river were inside Palestine, thus giving the British sole ownership of the river and its lakes. This was done with future development possibilities in mind, to enable the British to harness the waters without having to obtain French approval. Along the northeastern shores of Lake Kinneret the boundary ran only 33 ft. (10 m.) from the edge of the lake, thus avoiding the division of six Arab villages and their lands between two states, while leaving the entire lake inside Palestine. It was only about halfway along the eastern shores of the lake that the boundary left the shore and climbed up the steep western slopes of the Golan Heights and ran southward, along the top of the escarpment, to the valley of the Yarmuk near the spa of al-Ḥamma (Ḥammath Gader). Here the boundaries of Syria, Western Palestine, and what was later Transjordan met.

In the final stage of the commission's work the French demanded that the boundary should be moved about three-quarters of a mile (1,300 m.) westward, with its extreme northeastern point near the village of Banias, so as not to cut the main track connecting the Golan Heights with the Lebanon and the Mediterranean coast. This meant that the Banias springs, one of the main sources of the Jordan, would pass from the British to the French controlled area. It was agreed to concede the French request temporarily and leave the final settlement in this section to further negotiations. As the matter was not subsequently raised, the Banias springs remained on the Syrian side of the boundary until June 1967. The section of the northern boundary running between the Mediterranean at Rosh ha-Nikrah and a point 4.4 mi. (7 km.) southeast of Metullah (total length 49 mi.; 78 km.) is the Israel-Lebanese border, while from Metullah roughly southward to the bed of the Yarmuk River – 50 mi. (80 km.) – it was the Israel-Syrian border (until June 1967).

In the East

The boundary between Palestine and Transjordan was first officially delimited in a memorandum submitted by the British government to the League of Nations in September 1922, in the following words: "A line drawn from a point two miles west of the town of Akaba, on the gulf of that name, up the center of the Wadi Araba, the Dead Sea, the river Jordan to its junction with the river Yarmuk; thence up the center of that river to the Syrian frontier." In fact, the boundary ran (1922–48) along the river Yarmuk from al-Ḥamma to its junction with the Jordan and then along the Jordan to the Dead Sea. Being in control of both Palestine and Transjordan, the British placed the boundary at these rivers and in the middle of the Dead Sea as they thought that by these, the two separate states they wanted to establish in that area – Jewish Palestine and Arab Transjordan, would have to cooperate in using the water of the rivers and the minerals of the Dead Sea. After cutting across the middle of the Dead Sea it was assumed to run in the wide bed of the Wadi Araba (Naḥal ha-Aravah) to a point near Be'er Menuḥah. From there to the coast of the Gulf of Akaba the actual position of the boundary was not clear, but this was of little significance during the British Mandate, especially since the region was uninhabited except for a few hundred Bedouin. It was only when it was decided to grant Transjordan independence (1946) that the demarcation of this part of the boundary was undertaken. It was done, however, only partially – at the southern end – by the time the British Mandate over Palestine came to an end, and the full demarcation of the boundary in the Arabah was only carried out in 1950 by the Israel-Jordan Mixed Armistice Commission. In 1994, the peace agreement between Israel and the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan adopted this line, with some small modifications, as the international boundary between them.

partition plans

Two plans to partition Palestine were produced in the course of efforts to settle the Jewish-Arab conflict over the country: the first by the British Royal Commission (the Peel Commission) in 1937, and the second by the United Nations Special Committee on Palestine – unscop – in 1947. The Peel Commission proposed the following boundary for the Jewish State to be established according to its scheme: "Starting from Ras al-Naqura[Rosh ha-Nikrah on the Mediterranean coast]it follows the existing northern and eastern frontier of Palestine to Lake Tiberias [Kinneret] and crosses the Lake to the outflow of the river Jordan whence it continues down the river to a point a little north of Beisan[Beth-Shean].

It then cuts across the Beisan Plain and runs along the southern edge of the valley of Jezreel and across the Plain of Jezreel to a point near Megiddo, whence it crosses the Carmel ridge in the neighborhood of the Megiddo road[the Wadi Āra (Naḥal Iron) road of today]. Having thus reached the Maritime Plain the line runs southward down its eastern edge, curving west to avoid Tulkarm, until it reaches the Jerusalem-Jaffa corridor near Lydda[Lod]. South of the corridor it continues down the edge of the plain to a point about 10 miles south of Reḥovot, whence it turns west to the sea." This partition plan gave the Jews the entire area of Galilee (within the boundaries of the British Mandate), the upper Jordan Valley as far as Beth-Shean, the valley of Jezreel, most of the Carmel range, and the Coastal Plain as far as 3 mi. (5 km.) south of the present port of Ashdod. The Jewish State was thus allotted about 20% of the area of Mandatory Palestine. Jerusalem and its environs, including Bethlehem, with a corridor leading to the coast comprising Jaffa, Ramleh, and Lydda, remaining under British Mandate, while the rest of the country (about 75% of its area) would become an Arab state. The Woodhead Commission, appointed in 1938 to study the possibility of implementing this scheme, also considered two alternative plans, but came to the conclusion that partition was impracticable and the British government decided to drop it.

The unscop plan was much more complicated and less clearly defined in so far as boundaries were concerned. It proposed that the country be divided into seven segments. The Jewish state and the Arab state were to consist of three segments each, while the seventh segment, including the Jerusalem-Bethlehem area, would come under international control. The Jewish state was to get the eastern part of Galilee; the Jordan Valley from the northern end of the country to a point about 10 km. south of Beth-Shean; the plain of Jezreel; most of the Carmel range; the Coastal Plain from a short distance south of Acre to about 4.5 mi. (7 km.) south of the present port of Ashdod; the eastern part of the Coastal Plain from the latter point to the vicinity of Beersheba; the western and southern parts of the plain of Beersheba, and most of the Negev (with the exception of its northwestern part). Nearly 60% of Palestine was assigned to the Jewish state, but over half of this area was the uninhabited, semidesert Negev. The northern segment (Galilee) of the Jewish state connected up with the central segment (Coastal Plain) only at one point, near Afulah. Similarly, the central and southern (Negev) segments met near Be'er Toviyyah. It was not, however, intended that the partition should be actually implemented according to the border lines specified in the unscop plan, but that they should constitute the basis for negotiations between Jews and Arabs, which would lead to the exchange of areas and the agreed delimitation of more practicable boundaries. The resolution passed by the un General Assembly on Nov. 29, 1947, which called for the partition of Palestine, made minor changes in these boundaries.

See also *Palestine, Partition Plans.

the armistice demarcation lines – 1949

The de facto boundaries of the State of Israel were delimited after the War of Independence (the 1948 war) in a series of armistice agreements signed with the neighboring states in 1949 on the basis of the position of the front lines between the opposing armies on the day the cease-fire came into force. The armistice lines were later demarcated where they did not coincide with the boundaries of the British Mandate or where demarcation had not been carried out by the British. It was stated in the agreements (e.g., article 5, par. 2 of the agreement with Egypt) that the armistice demarcation lines were not to be regarded as territorial or political boundaries and that the rights and claims of the parties were unaffected. However, since the agreements forbade any acts of hostility or penetration across the lines, they served, in practice, despite repeated violations, as Israel's boundaries until the *Six-Day War of 1967.

The boundary between Israel and Lebanon remained unchanged and was identical with that of Palestine under the British Mandate. Israel handed back to Lebanon a strip north and west of the Palestine-Lebanon border occupied by its forces during the fighting.

In the Israel-Syrian armistice demarcation lines there were only minor de facto changes from the mandatory boundaries. The Syrians occupied during the War of Independence and held until June 1967 the small areas east of Jordan, east of Lake Kinneret, and in the Yarmuk valley which belonged to Palestine during the British Mandate, a total of some 9 sq. mi. (25 sq. km.). Following the signing of the armistice agreement the Syrians withdrew from small areas west of the Jordan (in the Mishmar ha-Yarden area) and near the eastern and northeastern shores of Lake Kinneret. The agreement provided for the formation of demilitarized zones along most of the demarcation lines. These were the occasion for much friction and numerous incidents – mainly due to Syrian interference with Israeli development works and the cultivation of lands by Israeli farmers in the zones. The actual position of the Syrian forces prior to the Six-Day War became the basis of their demand for the withdrawal of Israel from Syrian territory occupied during the war.

Various parts of the long armistice line between Israel and the Kingdom of Jordan were drawn in three different ways. Two parts of the line coincided with the boundaries of Palestine during the mandatory period: the section running along the Yarmuk to its confluence with the Jordan and then along that river to a point approximately 2.5 mi. (4 km.) southeast of Tirat Ẓevi, and the section running across the middle of the southern part of the Dead Sea and all along the Arabah.

Secondly, a line was drawn between the positions held by each side when the fighting stopped, dividing up the noman's-land. Along two sections, in the valley of Aijalon (Latrun area – from the Budrus to Qaṭanna) and in Jerusalem, no agreement could be reached on the division of no-man'sland. As a result, there were two parallel demarcation lines enclosing strips about 300–4,000 ft. (100–1,200 m.) wide, which citizens of each side could enter only with the consent of the other side.

Thirdly, there were places where the line agreed upon involved the exchange of territory. These were mainly areas required by Israel to maintain communications (mostly railway lines) and areas handed over to the Jordanians in exchange. Israel received a strip up to 3 mi. (5 km.) wide along the eastern fringe of the Sharon Valley, so that the railway from Lydda to Haifa, except for a section of 2 mi. (3 km.) on the outskirts of Tulkarm, was in Israeli territory. The same applied to a narrow strip in the Judean highlands, along the Jerusalem-Lydda railway. In return, the Jordanians got small areas in the Hebron region of the Judean Highlands.

The armistice demarcation line (later called the Green Line because of its color on the agreed maps) left the mandatory boundary along the river Jordan southeast of Tirat Ẓevi and turned westward into Naḥal Beẓek and up the eastern slopes of Mount Gilboa. It then ran along the top of the eastern and northern slopes of the Gilboa and cut across the southern corner of the Jezreel Valley in a westerly direction, leaving the southern tip of the valley on the Jordanian side of the border. The boundary then turned southwest and crossed the southern part of the Carmel range, running parallel with the Naḥal Iron (Wadi ʿĀra) road 2–2.5 mi. (3–4 km.) to the southeast. It then followed the eastern fringe of the Coastal Plain southward to the valley of Aijalon, where it turned eastward near Latrun into the Judean Highlands, running north of the Jerusalem-Sha'ar ha-Gai (Bab al-Wād) road to the northern outskirts of Jerusalem. It then turned south, dividing the city between Israel (western and southern parts) and Jordan (the Old City and the eastern and northern parts). The armistice agreement provided for two small enclaves in the Jerusalem area: one under Israel control, on Mount Scopus, about a kilometer to the north of the city, and the other, under un control, about half a kilometer south of the city on Government House hill. Israel kept a police garrison in its part of the Scopus enclave, which was relieved once in two weeks by a convoy under un supervision. On the southern outskirts of Jerusalem the boundary turned southwest, first running parallel to the railway and south of it and then descending to the western slopes and foothills of the Judean Highlands, which it followed southward to a point about 10 mi. (16 km.) northeast of Beersheba. From here the boundary turned east and then northeast, leaving the southern reaches of the Judean Highlands on the Israel side of the border, and reaching the Dead Sea about 2 mi. (3 km.) north of En-Gedi. This section of the line (the Green Line) marked the area which was occupied by Israel in the Six-Day War and (along with the Gaza Strip) was regarded by the Palestinians as the territory earmarked for their independent state. Opposite En-Gedi, in the center of the Dead Sea's western shore, the line joined the mandatory boundary, with which it was identical down to the Gulf of Eilat (Akaba).

The Israel-Egyptian armistice coincided with the Palestinian-Egyptian boundary, as demarcated in 1906, from the shores of the Gulf of Eilat to a point about 4.5 mi. (7 km.) south of Rafa, about 7.5 mi. (12 km.) from the Mediterranean coast. From this point it turned northward and ran almost parallel to the Mediterranean coast, at a distance 4–7.5 mi. (6–12 km.) from the coast to the vicinity of Beit Ḥānūn (northeast of Gaza), where it made a sharp turn westward and reached the coast. This part of the lines, from Rafa to the coast near Beit Ḥānūn, enclosed the Egyptian-held area known as the Gaza Strip. It followed the front line on the day the cease-fire came into force, with minor rectifications in addition to the division of no-man's-land. The agreement also provided for a demilitarized zone around Niẓẓanah (ʿAujā al-Ḥafīr), a frontier post on the Israel side of the boundary and a strategic position on the road from Beersheba to Isma'iliya on the Suez Canal. This triangular enclave, which was under Israel administration, had a base 22 mi. (35 km.) long along the Israel-Sinai boundary with a vertex 7.5 mi. (12 km.) to the east, inside Israel. Nizzanah was the seat of the Israel-Egyptian mixed armistice commission and the un Truce Supervision Observers during the period 1949–56.

The total length of the armistice demarcation lines, the de facto boundaries of Israel during the period 1949–67, was approximately 771 mi. (1,239 km.): 118 mi. (190 km.) along the Mediterranean; 51 mi. (82 km.) with Lebanon; 48 mi. (77 km.) with Syria; 382 mi. (614 km.) with Jordan, including 73 mi. (118 km.) along the Jordan river and 33 mi. (53 km.) along the Dead Sea; 7 mi. (11 km.) along the Gulf of Eilat; 128 mi. (206 km.) with the Sinai Peninsula, and 37 mi. (59 km.) along the Gaza Strip.

cease-fire lines – 1967

The Six-Day War of June 5–10, 1967 ended with the acceptance by Egypt, Jordan, Syria, and Lebanon of the Security Council's call for a cease-fire. Israel declared that the armistice regime had collapsed as a result of repeated Arab violations, and that she would maintain the cease-fire lines, which were determined by the positions held by each side when fighting stopped on June 10/11, until the establishment of agreed, secure and recognized borders as part of a permanent peace settlement with her neighbors.

The cease-fire line between Israel and Egypt ran along the Suez Canal from its southern end to Ras el-ʿEsh (about 10 km. from the northern end) and from there due north to the Mediterranean – a total of 112 mi. (180 km.).

The Israel-Jordan cease-fire line was identical with the 1949 armistice line from the shores of the Gulf of Eilat to a point halfway across the Dead Sea opposite En-Gedi. From here it left the armistice line and ran northward across the center of the Dead Sea to the entrance of the river Jordan and then along the course of that river to its confluence with the river Yarmuk, which it followed to a point about a kilometer east of its confluence with Wadi al-Ruqqād. The total length of the Israel-Jordanian cease-fire lines was 298 mi. (480 km.). The Israel-Syrian cease-fire line started from the valley of the Yarmuk, a short distance east of the entry of Wadi al-Ruqqād. For about 3 mi. (5 km.) it followed the eastern edge of the narrow, deeply incised, valley of the wadi, then it crossed to the western side of the valley and ran along the head of the escarpment overlooking it to a point about 2.5 mi. (4 km.) east of the village of Khasfīn. From here to the eastern outskirts of the abandoned village of Rafīd it ran straight northeast, made a sharp turn to the west and then to the north near Rafīīd, and continued in a general northerly direction to the southern slopes of Mount Hermon, passing about 2 mi. (3 km.) east of Kuneitra and 2 km. east of Majdal Shams. The cease-fire line then climbed to the peaks of the southern ridge of Mt. Hermon 7,500 ft. (2,300 m.), where it turned southwestward down the western slopes of the Hermon, reaching the upper Jordan valley east of the village of Ghajar, south of which it met the Israel-Lebanon boundary. The total length of the Israel-Syrian cease-fire line was 50 mi. (80 km.). The Israel-Lebanon boundary remained unchanged except for an added stretch at its extreme east, where Israel held former Syrian areas bordering on Lebanon, which brought the total up to 63 mi. (102 km.). The peace treaties with Egypt (1979) and Jordan (1994) established with some minor modifications the mandatory boundaries between those countries and Mandatory Palestine as the international boundaries between the independent states of Israel and Egypt and between Israel and Jordan. The withdrawal of Israeli forces from Lebanese territory in spring 2000 reestablished the Israel-Lebanon line as an active boundary although Lebanon did not accept it as an international boundary.

[Moshe Brawer /

Gideon Biger (2nd ed.)]


under ottoman rule, 1880–1917

In the last 50 years of Ottoman rule over the Land of Israel, the decaying empire was partly opened to the growing political and economic influence of the European powers in the country. The Sultan Abdul Ḥamid ii (1876–1908) tried to preserve his position by increasing the number of officials and strengthening the police forces, encouraging the emigration of loyal elements and settling them in areas inhabited by the rebellious Bedouin, and playing on the differences between the powers. In 1900 Beersheba was rebuilt and became the seat of government offices and a police garrison, and in 1908 ʿAwjā-Ḥifir (*Niẓẓanah) was also made into an administrative center, the first step taken to get the Negev under control. Another important factor in strengthening law and order was the building of new gravel roads. New wagon ways from Jerusalem to Jaffa, Nablus, and Hebron were constructed as gravel roads in the 1880s. Important rail links were established: a concession for the Jerusalem-Jaffa line was awarded to Yosef *Navon, of Jerusalem, but the railroad was eventually built by a French company in 1890–92. Another railroad, the Haifa-Edrei line, linking up with the Hejaz Railroad (Istanbul-Damascus-Medina), was built by German engineers and completed in 1906.

In 1878, on the conclusion of the Balkan War, a special law was enacted to encourage the immigration of Muslims and their settlement on lands owned by the sultan, providing for 12 years' exemption from taxes and military service. As a result Moroccans settled in Lower Galilee, Circassians from the Caucasian Mountains settled in Galilee, and Bosnians settled in Caesarea. Concurrently, severe restrictions were imposed on the purchase of lands by foreign nationals, and the construction of dwellings and business premises on foreign-owned land was forbidden without a permit from Istanbul. At the same time, the European powers were increasing their foothold in the country, utilizing the Capitulations regime. Following the British occupation of Egypt in 1882, the Ottoman Empire based itself primarily upon its friendship with Germany, which was highlighted by an official visit in 1898 by Kaiser William ii and his Kaiserin. They made a triumphant entry into Jerusalem, where the Kaiser received *Herzl. The influx of Europeans (of various types – settlers, monks, pilgrims, tourists) forced the Ottoman government to ensure law and order in order to deprive the foreign powers of a pretext to interfere in its internal affairs. The result was a considerable improvement in public security.

The Jewish Community

In 1880 the total number of Jews in the country was 20–25,000, two-thirds of whom were in Jerusalem, where they constituted half the population. There were smaller communities in the three other "holy cities" – Safed (4,000), Tiberias (2,500), and Hebron (800) – and two more recently established ones in Jaffa (1,000) and Haifa (300). The Sephardim were the older part of the Jewish population and also absorbed immigrants from North Africa, Bukhara, Persia, etc. The Ashkenazim were mostly of East European origin and were divided into *Ḥasidim and their opponents, the Perushim. Most of the Jews subsisted on ḥalukkah donations from Jews abroad that amounted to over £100,000 a year. Among the Sephardim the money was distributed by the community leaders, the recipients being mainly talmudic scholars and widows and orphans; among the Ashkenazim, the funds were administered by the kolelim (charitable organizations based largely on the origin of the beneficiaries), of which the largest were those of Vilna, Zamut, Grodno, Warsaw, Volhynia, Austria, Hungary, and Chabad Hasidim. There were considerable numbers of artisans, unskilled laborers, and small shopkeepers who led a life of poverty and want. Although the Jews were a recognized community and the Sephardi chief rabbi in Jerusalem (the rishon le-Zion) enjoyed official status, their status was low; Many Jews, especially among the Ashkenazim, sought the protection of foreign consuls, who readily gave it in order to extend their influence.

The great majority of the Jews were strictly orthodox and accepted the authority of the rabbis, who were opposed to all modern trends and resisted the winds of change that were blowing in from Europe. The help of Jewish philanthropists abroad was readily accepted as long as it did not involve any change in the traditional way of life. Thus free housing was constructed for scholars and the poor, as well as hospitals and yeshivot, but any attempts to establish modern schools or to train people for productive employment in agriculture and handicrafts was met with fierce resistance by the leaders of theḥalukkah regime. Nevertheless, even among the "old yishuv" (as the pre-Zionist Jewish community came to be called), there were some who called upon the Jews to earn their living by their own labor. These included the editors of the first newspapers to be published in Jerusalem, notably I.D. *Frumkin of Ḥavaẓẓelet (reestablished in 1870), and the founders of the first settlements in 1878 – Gei Oni near Safed and Petah Tikvah near the Yarkon River. At the beginning of the 1880s there was a group of men in Jerusalem who made strenuous efforts to bring about a renaissance of Jewish life; the leading figures among them were Y.M. *Pines (who had settled in the country in 1878), Ze'ev *Herzberg (1877), Eliezer *Ben-Yehuda (1881) and two natives of Jerusalem, David *Yellin and Yosef *Meyuḥas. They also encountered strong opposition from the ḥalukkah trustees.

The international conferences and negotiations which followed the 1878 Balkan War were accompanied by renewed proposals for the creation of a Jewish state in the Land of Israel, especially from British visionaries. An outstanding example was Laurence *Oliphant's plan, proposed in his book The Land of Gilead (London, 1880), after a visit to the country in the previous year, for large-scale Jewish settlement to the east of the Jordan under the sultan's patronage; Oliphant went so far as to negotiate with the sultan on his plan.

Beginnings of the First Aliyah

A new period in the life of the Jews in the Land of Israel opened in 1882 as a result of the 1881 pogroms in Russia, the persecution of the Jews in Romania, and the rise of the *Ḥibbat Zion movement, whose members were known as Ḥovevei Zion. A considerable wave of aliyah set in, which brought to the area about 30,000 Jews between 1882 and 1904. Among the newcomers was a small group of young people, members of the *Bilu movement, who aimed at creating political and economic conditions for the large-scale settlement of East European Jews, and groups of people with small amounts of capital who wanted to settle on the land. Within a year or two a number of agricultural settlements were established in Judea (*Rishon le-Zion, *Ekron, *Gederah, and *Petaḥ Tikvah, which was revived by the new arrivals), the coastal hills (*Zikhron Ya'akov), and Upper Galilee (*Rosh Pinnah and *Yesud ha-Maalah). These villages, known as moshavot, would have collapsed at the outset, however, had it not been for the help extended to them by Baron Edmond de *Rothschild of Paris (known as Ha-Nadiv ha-Yadu'a, "the well-known benefactor"), who took most of them under his wing. He established a large administrative apparatus, consisting of managers, agronomists, doctors, teachers, etc., which operated along philanthropic lines from 1883 to 1899. The settlers were completely dependent upon the Baron's officials, from whom they received monthly allowances, and were not permitted to show any initiative. The officials created a type of farmer whose plantations depended on the work of hired laborers, and there was much waste and corruption. It must be stated, however, that they also acquired large tracts of land in Judea, the coastal hills, and Galilee, established new settlements (Metullah, Bat Shelomo, Shefeyah, Mazkeret Batyah, Be'er Toviyyah), and tried to foster industry (wine making, silk manufacture, and a glass factory in Tantura). Independent Jewish settlements were built in 1890 in Ḥaderah and Reḥovot. During this period of direct assistance, the Baron invested £1,600,000 sterling in the settlements. In 1900 he entrusted them to the *Jewish Colonization Association (ica), which he continued to support. ica introduced new methods aimed at helping the settlements to achieve independent status as quickly as possible. New villages, in which the farmers worked their own land, were established by ica in Lower Galilee, (Sejera, Mesḥa, Milḥamiyyah – later Menaḥemiyyah, Yavneel, and Bet Gan).

Government Restriction on Aliyah

The Ottoman government soon recognized that the new aliyah was of a different character from its predecessors and regarded it as a source of political danger. As early as June 1882, a law was enacted prohibiting the settlement of East European Jews in the country. The intervention of various Jewish personalities and organizations, and diplomatic pressure (such as that of U.S. Ambassador Oscar Straus in 1887) were of no avail. Although the Ottoman government was forced to permit the temporary stay of pilgrims and tourists, a law passed in 1901 provided for the deposit of their travel documents with the authorities upon arrival in exchange for a permit of pilgrimage covering a stay of three months (the "red slip"). This did not bring Jewish immigration to a stop, and the immigrants remained in the country, avoiding expulsion by baksheesh (bribery) or by seeking the protection of foreign consuls. The ban on immigration was only one of the obstacles to Jewish settlement, however. There were also some restrictions in the 1880s on the purchase of land, and the ban on the construction of buildings in new settlements without a special permit from Istanbul. Throughout the period of Ottoman rule, these measures hampered Jewish land settlement, which was only a very minor trickle in the tremendous stream of migration that took three million Jews to various parts of the world, mostly to the United States.

In 1890 and 1891, increased persecution of Jews in Russia stimulated a new wave of aliyah, including groups of well-to-do Jews. It was in this period that the villages of Reḥovot and Ḥaderah were established, and there was a rush to buy land, resulting in speculation and a steep rise in prices. A special delegation from the Ḥovevei Zion in Russia, headed by Vladimir (Ze'ev) *Tiomkin, came to the country to rectify the situation, but did not succeed. The Ottoman government took determined steps to stop Jewish immigration; the great awakening ended in a crisis, and many left the country. For the next decade the major problem confronting the leaders of the yishuv was that of hundreds of Jewish laborers waiting for the opportunity to settle on the land. In 1896 a small group of them settled in Metullah and Be'er Toviyyah, but many had to leave.

Many of the newcomers, including Jews from Oriental countries (Yemen, Bukhara), as well as Eastern Europe, made their homes in the cities. By the beginning of the 20th century, Jerusalem had a Jewish population of about 30,000 and the ḥalukkah regime was still in force, but new quarters were established outside the Old City, including the Bukharan quarter, Battei Ungarn, and Bet Israel. The Midrash Abrabanel library, later the nucleus of the National and Hebrew University Library, was founded in 1892. In Safed (which had a population of 6,600 at the time), Tiberias (3,200), and Hebron (1,500), the traditional way of life was also kept intact. In the coastal towns, however, a more productive society came into being, and under the influence of the new immigrants and the workers in the nearby villages, many people began taking up trades and commerce. Near Jaffa two new Jewish quarters were founded, Neveh Ẓedek (1887) and Neveh Shalom (1890). In 1891 a mixed Ashkenazi-Sephardi community council was formed in Jaffa, which had a total Jewish population of 3,000. In Haifa, with some 1,500 Jews, the first Jewish quarter was founded in 1891. Together with the 6,000 farmers living in 20 villages, the new yishuv now numbered some 10,000, 20% of the Jewish population.

The Clash Between the Old Yishuv and the New

It was this period that witnessed the first struggle over the spiritual character of the yishuv. The first clash occurred in 1889, the Jewish year 5649, which was a sabbatical (*shemittah) year. The Jerusalem rabbis demanded that the farmers let their fields lie fallow during the year and promised to support them from halukkah funds, but the settlers refused, quoting rulings of leading Russian rabbis permitting them to work in the shemittah year. Among the immigrants who arrived in 1890–91 were a substantial number who were not prepared to follow the old ways, and the rabbis complained of "young men dancing with maidens." When the first Hebrew play, Zerubbavel by M.L. *Lilienblum, was staged in Reḥovot in 1890, the performance was stopped by the Ottoman authorities, who had received word that the play called for insurrection against the established government. Eliezer Ben-Yehuda and the newspaper he had founded in 1884 (Ha-Ẓevi) roused the ire of the ḥalukkah trustees. In 1894 they denounced him to the Ottoman authorities, alleging that he was inciting the Jews to rebellion; he was sentenced to a year's imprisonment and released only after intervention by the Baron's officials. This incident caused a deep rift between the old yishuv (joined by some of the newcomers, such as Y.M. Pines and Z. *Jawitz) and the new one, headed by the disciples of *Aḥad Ha-Am. The issue was the character of the yishuv, its way of life, and the education of its youth. The controversy spread abroad and might well have done harm to both sides, but fortunately, a kind of armistice was reached in 1897. As a result the secular, nationalist elements of the yishuv achieved the right to lead their own way of life, side by side with the strictly religious circles.

It was during this period, too, that the modern Hebrew school was created. The first stage, in which Jewish studies, as well as the Hebrew language itself, were taught in Hebrew, was introduced by Ben-Yehuda, David Yellin, and Nissim Behar. The second stage – the teaching of general subjects in Hebrew – was first introduced in the villages in 1889–92. In the latter year, a teachers' assembly was held for the first time to fix the Hebrew terms to be used in mathematics and the natural sciences as well as to formulate a uniform curriculum for the village schools. The Hebrew Teachers' Association was founded in 1903, eventually becoming a major factor in the country's school system.

In spite of these advances, the new yishuv faced a profound moral crisis at the beginning of the 20th century. It was obvious that any rapid development depended upon its political status. This had also been a basic premise in the program of Theodor Herzl, who had started his political activities by attempting to persuade the Ottoman government to grant the Zionist Organization a charter for the settlement of the Land of Israel. Herzl and the political Zionists were critical of settlement methods employed by their predecessors, regarding them as "infiltration" and pointing out their inherent political risks. After several years of fruitless negotiations, Herzl despaired of ever obtaining the Sultan's agreement to his proposals and was ready to entertain the British government's proposal to support a Jewish settlement project in East Africa, known as the *Uganda Plan. It is indicative of the state of mind of the new settlers in the Land of Israel at this time that many of them, including Ben-Yehuda, supported this plan, thus admitting, in effect, that for political and other reasons there was no real prospect of a substantial Jewish settlement in the homeland. This moral crisis led to some emigration of workers, settlers, and even young people born in the settlements. In 1903 the Hovevei Zion, headed by Menahem *Ussishkin, called a general meeting in Zikhron Ya'akov at which they proposed the creation of an executive committee to represent the entire yishuv, but in the prevailing atmosphere of despondency this proposal fell on deaf ears.

Beginnings of the Second Aliyah

A new wave of immigration – the Second Aliyah – commenced in 1904 and continued until the outbreak of World War i. Again, this was only a small part of a great movement of Jews from Eastern Europe caused by repeated pogroms and the general impoverishment of the Russian Jews. It is estimated that some 40,000 new settlers went to the Land of Israel in this period. Although many returned to Russia or emigrated to other countries, the newcomers, together with natural increase, brought the Jewish population to 85,000 (about 12% of the total) for the country in 1914. The Second Aliyah was not of a uniform character. Some of the newcomers joined the old yishuv and settled in the "holy cities," especially in Jerusalem, which at this time contained about half the Jewish population of the country. Here they built new quarters, such as Zikhron Moshe, Romemah, and Ahavah. Others belonged to the middle class, most of whom came with their families as Zionists seeking a full Jewish national way of life for themselves and their children. Some of them made their homes in the towns or the established rural settlements.

The moshavot, especially those in the south, did not take long to overcome the crisis which had marked the early years of the century. In addition to grapes, they began to grow almonds and citrus fruits and established marketing cooperatives: Hitaḥdut ha-Koremim – the Viticulturists' Association – and Pardes – the Citrus-growers' Association. They also attracted Jewish investments from abroad and a special society – Aguddat Neta'im – was set up to prepare plantations for sale to such investors. In the Diaspora, Jewish societies were formed to establish their own aḥuzzot ("estates") in the country (Migdal, Poriyyah, Saronah, Ruḥamah, Karkur). The new settlers also introduced an enterprising spirit into the towns. It was on their initiative that the modern garden suburb of *Tel Aviv was founded on the outskirts of Jaffa in 1909 and reached a population of 2,000 by 1914. In Haifa, the Jewish population rose to 3,000. There were also beginnings of new industry, such as the Stein Iron Works in Jaffa and the Atid Oil Factory in Lydda and Haifa.

Labor and Defense Problems

A difficult social problem confronting the new yishuv was that of the Arab labor on which Jewish agriculture was based. It was natural for the Jewish settlers to employ Arabs: their wages were low and they made few demands on their employers. The Zionist Movement, however, both in the Land of Israel and abroad, regarded this practice as running counter to one of its major aims – the transition of the Jews to productive labor – and as a potential danger to the political position and security of the Jewish population. An associated problem was that of protection of life and property in the Jewish villages, which were entrusted to local Arab, Circassian, or other strong men. These problems were of particular interest to the young people of the Second Aliyah, who had experience of the revolutionary movement and Jewish self-defense in Russia and regarded themselves as pioneers of the Zionist Movement. Both their political parties – Po'alei Zion and Ha-Po'el ha-Ẓa'ir (see Israel, State of: *Political Life and Parties) – considered it their major task to achieve the employment of Jewish labor in the Jewish sector of the economy and to create a Jewish working class on the land. To tackle the problem of security, a small group of former members of the Jewish self-defense organization in Russia met in 1909 and established the *Ha-Shomer (Watchman) Society, which soon made a good name for itself and took over the responsibility for security in many of the villages in Galilee and Judea. Their work also served to raise the prestige of the Jews in the eyes of their Arab neighbors.

A partial solution to the problem of Jewish agricultural labor was provided by the success of a mission undertaken in 1911 by S. *Yavne'eli, who visited Yemen and called upon the Jews there to settle in the Land of Israel. Thousands of Yemenite Jews heeded his call, establishing their own quarters in the vicinity of the large villages and working in the Jewish plantations and orchards. Among the methods used to facilitate the employment of Jewish labor in the villages was the establishment of labor exchanges, workers' kitchens, and a medical insurance fund (Kuppat Ḥolim). Another was the founding of workers' settlements (moshevei po'alim) in which the worker was provided with a small plot of land that enabled him to set up his own auxiliary farm (Ein Gannim, Naḥalat Yehudah).

A more radical change in the status of the labor movement and its methods of operation took place in 1908, when the Zionist Organization started its settlement activities by establishing the Palestine Office in Jaffa under the direction of Arthur *Ruppin. In the initial stage, the workers were employed at the "national farms" (Ben Shemen, Ḥuldah, Kinneret, etc.) established on land purchased by the *Jewish National Fund and managed by agronomists. As a result of controversies between managers and laborers, the work on some of these farms was entrusted to groups of workers on their own responsibility. The first such experiment was made at Deganyah (founded in 1909); this was the beginning of the kevuẓah (see *kibbutz), which eventually became the major type of settlement sponsored by the Zionist Organization. In 1911 the workers began to organize in regional federations in Galilee and Judea, and a national health insurance fund was established in 1912. Gradually the organized workers of the Second Aliyah made their imprint upon the yishuv and laid the foundations of the labor movement (see Israel, State of: *Labor), which was to become, for about 60 years, the predominant force in the country.

Cultural Development

It was in the period of the Second Aliyah that the Hebrew language and culture took root in the country. Hebrew daily newspapers made their appearance (Ha-Ẓevi, edited by Ben-Yehuda, in 1908, and Ha-Ḥerut), and Hebrew periodicals published by the labor movement (Ha-Po'el ha-Ẓa'ir and Ha-Aḥdut) exerted a considerable influence on Jewish youth in the Land of Israel and abroad. Hebrew authors and thinkers, such as J.H. *Brenner, C.E. *Gordon, J. *Fichman, D. *Shimoni, S.Y. *Agnon, and M. *Smilansky settled in the country. Hebrew became the daily language of an ever-increasing number of workers, teachers, and young people. In 1904 the German-Jewish Hilfsverein founded a teachers' seminary in Jerusalem, and in 1905 the Herzlia Hebrew Gymnasium (high school), which was to serve as a model for Hebrew secondary schools all over the world, was established in Jaffa. In 1906 the *Bezalel School of Art, headed by Professor Boris *Schatz, opened in Jerusalem. The foundation stone of a college of technology, the *Technion, was laid in Haifa in 1912. This precipitated a dispute between the Hilfsverein, which wanted the language of instruction in the yishuv's first institution of higher learning to be German, and the Hebrew-speaking public in the country with their supporters abroad, who insisted on Hebrew. This "language war" led to a revolt by the teachers of the Hilfsverein schools and the establishment of a national Hebrew school network, which in 1914 encompassed 3,200 pupils (see Israel, State of: *Education).

At the end of the Second Aliyah period, there were 40 moshavot with a population of 12,000 and landholdings of 409,000 dunams (about 102,000 acres). Of these, 24 had been created or supported by Baron Edmond de Rothschild. Together with the newcomers in the towns, especially in Jaffa and Haifa, the new yishuv accounted for a third of the total Jewish population, and it was by far the most active and dynamic section.

Awakening of Arab Nationalism

General developments in the Ottoman Empire in this period also had their effect. While the revolt of the Young Turks (1908) did not fulfill the hopes placed on it by some Zionist leaders (such as Aḥad Ha-Am, Jacobus *Kann, and Vladimir *Jabotinsky) and members of the yishuv, it made it possible to campaign openly for the support of public opinion in Istanbul and in the Land of Israel. One of the most important results of the revolt, however, was the rise of separatist movements among the Arabs, who interpreted the new hürriyet (liberty) as freedom to realize their national aspirations. The pioneers of this Arab nationalism were mostly Syrians and Lebanese – some of them Christians. The movement also developed in the Land of Israel, where Arab newspapers (al-Karmil in Haifa and Filasṭīn in Jaffa) were founded and engaged in systematic incitement against Jewish immigration and settlement. In the elections to the Turkish parliament in 1908, the Arabs succeeded in preventing the election of a Jewish deputy to represent the Jerusalem district. In Istanbul, the Arab members of parliament denounced Jewish settlement in the Land of Israel and described the Zionist Movement as a danger to the Ottoman Empire. Arab officials tried to obstruct Jewish land purchase and settlement (as in the *Merḥavyah affair).

Some attempts were made by Zionist groups to establish contact with Arab nationalists, and upon the initiative of Ḥayyim *Margolis-Kalvaryski, an ica official, a meeting took place between Nahum *Sokolow of the Zionist Executive and Arab leaders. There was the danger, however, that such contacts would arouse suspicions on the part of the Turks, who regarded Arab nationalism as a separatist movement and – perhaps for that reason – showed some signs of an improved attitude toward the yishuv in 1913–14 (such as the abolition of the "red slip"; see section in Israel, State of: Historical Survey, Arab National Movement).

World War i

World War i caused general havoc and destruction in the country and had a disastrous effect upon the yishuv. In the first three years of the war, the Land of Israel served the Ottoman Empire and her allies as a base for their attempts to launch an attack upon the Suez Canal and Egypt, and, together with Syria, it had to provide the supplies required by the 4th Turkish Corps. In addition to large-scale recruitment, the population suffered from heavy taxes; compulsory labor service on road building, railroads, and tree cutting; and the confiscation of property, such as horses, wheat, and piping. In the fourth year of the war, the front reached the Land of Israel. The presence of large military forces brought various contagious diseases in its wake; in addition there were natural calamities, such as the locust invasion of 1915–16. On October 31, the inflation of the Turkish currency sealed the ruin of the economy, and by the end of 1917 the country faced starvation.

The Jewish population, whose economy depended largely upon the transfer of funds from abroad – especially the old yishuv, which was not properly organized to meet an emergency – was exposed to great hardship; in 1917 thousands in Jerusalem and Safed died of starvation. The new yishuv was slightly better off; its economic affairs were handled by an emergency committee representing all sections and institutions – the Zionist Executive, ica, the Alliance Israélite Universelle, the moshavot, the Tel Aviv Committee, the workers' parties, and so forth. A decisive role in alleviating the plight of the Jews was played by the money and food shipped by American Jewry on American naval vessels.

Anti-Jewish Measures

There were also disasters of a political nature. On the eve of its entry into the war, the Ottoman government had abolished the Capitulations regime, jeopardizing the civil status of the many Jews who had enjoyed the protection of foreign consuls. The attitude of the Ottoman military administration, headed by Jemal Pasha, to the Jews was ambivalent. On the one hand, there was the centuries-old tradition of regarding the Jews as a pro-Turkish element, augmented by political considerations, such as the alliance with Germany and Austria and the influence of America; on the other hand, the spirit of independence displayed by the new yishuv and its intimate connections with the Zionist Movement made its loyalty to Turkey suspect in the eyes of the rulers. At the outbreak of the war, the authorities confiscated arms from the settlers in the moshavot and in Tel Aviv. A grave problem concerned inhabitants, including Jews, who were nationals of enemy states, especially Russia. The Ottomans asked them to become Ottoman citizens, promising not to draft them into the army for one year. On Dec. 17, 1914, 700 foreign Jews who refused to become Ottoman citizens were detained in Jaffa and deported to Egypt on an Italian boat. This act was followed by a mass exodus of foreign Jews, which continued throughout 1915, in the course of which 11,300 (over an eighth of the entire Jewish population) left the country, mainly by American and Italian boats. Most of them stayed in refugee camps in Egypt, and about 500 enlisted with Joseph *Trumpeldor in the Zion Mule Corps, which fought on the Allied side in the Gallipoli campaign against the Ottomans.

In their efforts to prevent further deportations and the emigration of Jews, the leaders of the yishuv managed to persuade the authorities to facilitate the acquisition of Ottoman nationality by waiving the fee and exempting the new Ottoman subjects from military service for a year. Another demonstration of the yishuv's loyalty to the regime was the enlistment of dozens of students of the Hebrew secondary schools and their enrollment in the Istanbul officers' school in 1916. In the spring of 1915 the policy of the Ottoman military administration toward the Jews took on a more definite shape. Zionism, the Zionist flag, the Jewish National Fund stamps, etc., were all outlawed. Several of the active Zionist leaders, especially former delegates to Zionist Congresses, leaders of Ha-Shomer, those who had been active in land purchases, etc., were deported. Two notable deportees were David Ben Gurion and Izḥak Ben-Zvi. On the other hand, there was a more favorable attitude to those who remained. Jemal Pasha even invited some of the Jewish leaders who had no direct connections with the Zionist movement (e.g. Albert *Antebi, Aaron Aaronsohn, Meir *Dizengoff, and Menasheh Meyerowitz) to participate in various projects launched by the government.

In the spring of 1917, when the battlefront was drawing near, the evacuation of the civilian population was taken in hand, and all the inhabitants of Jaffa (about 40,000 of them) including the Jews of Tel Aviv were deported. The Jews found shelter in the moshavot in Galilee and Samaria. A further plan to deport the residents of Jerusalem and the moshavot themselves was dropped after an appeal to Istanbul. The organization of aid to the refugees in their camps was one of the finest chapters in the history of the yishuv, but hundreds died of starvation, disease, and cold. In September 1917, when the secret *Nili intelligence ring was uncovered, widespread searches were instituted and hundreds of people were jailed – most of them were deserters from the Turkish army and only a few were in fact members of Nili or of Ha-Shomer. The leadership of the yishuv made great effort to ease the lot of these "Damascus prisoners," as they came to be called.

On Oct. 31, 1917, the British opened an unexpected offensive and took Beersheba, going on to Gaza (Nov. 7) and Jaffa (Nov. 16). On Dec. 11, 1917, General Allenby entered Jerusalem and Ottoman rule over the Holy City came to an end 401 years after it had started in 1516. The British advance spared the yishuv further persecution and saved it from extinction by starvation and disease. A small part – the inhabitants of Samaria and Galilee – were to endure nine more months of Ottoman rule, until the north was occupied by the British in September 1918. The Jewish population had been reduced by hardship, expulsion, and emigration to 57,000.

The conquest of the south of the country coincided with the issue of the Balfour Declaration "of sympathy with Jewish Zionist aspirations," which was issued by the British foreign secretary on November 2, with the approval of the cabinet (see *Balfour Declaration for full text). The principles of the declaration were approved by the Allied governments and the United States (first unofficially by President Wilson and, on June 30, 1922, by a resolution of Congress). Thus the Land of Israel, under the name of Palestine, reappeared on the world political map, and the small yishuv, as the nucleus of the Jewish national home, assumed a significant role on the international scene.

under british rule, 1917–1948

The military administration established in Palestine after its occupation by the British forces (Occupied Enemy Territory Administration – oeta) was manned by military men and experts on Arab affairs. Prominent among the occupying troops was the *Jewish Legion, consisting of two Jewish battalions: the 38th ("London") battalion of the Royal Fusiliers and the 39th ("American"). Their arrival caused a great stir among the Jewish workers and the youth, who called for the creation of a third, Palestinian battalion. Negotiations with the British authorities led to the establishment of the battalion, which attracted 850 local Jewish volunteers, in June 1918. In the final attack on the Turkish positions, the 38th and 39th battalions participated in the capture of the Jordan crossings. After the war, when the demobilization of the war-weary troops was speeded up, the three Jewish battalions played an increasingly important role in the occupying forces. At the end of 1919 the Palestinian battalion was renamed the First Judeans, with the seven-branched menorah as its emblem. The existence of the battalion was widely regarded as tangible evidence of British intention to carry out the Balfour Declaration.

Arab Nationalist Agitation

The end of the war was followed by great agitation among the Arab nationalists, who declared the Land of Israel to be "Southern Syria" and demanded its incorporation into a large Arab state with its center in Damascus. The British military administration showed no sympathy with the Balfour Declaration; during the years 1918 and 1919 it was not officially published or referred to in Palestine. The Zionist Commission consisting of Jewish representatives from Britain, France, and Italy (joined later by American and Russian members), headed by Chaim *Weizmann, that went out with British government sanction in March 1918 met with many difficulties due to the hostile attitude of many of the men on the spot. Weizmann succeeded, however, in reaching some measure of understanding with the Emir Faisal, who headed the Arab movement at the time. On Jan. 3, 1919, the two men signed an agreement that spoke of "the closest possible collaboration in the development of the Arab State and Palestine" and of measures "to encourage and facilitate the immigration of Jews into Palestine on a large scale." The agreement, however, was repudiated by the Arab nationalists. In April 1920 the Jewish settlements in Upper Galilee were attacked by Arabs, and *Tel-Ḥai and other places were abandoned after an incident in which Joseph Trumpeldor and others were killed. In March 1920 anti-Jewish riots broke out in Jerusalem. The military authorities gave the Arabs a free hand, while arresting the Jewish defenders, led by Vladimir Jabotinsky, who were sentenced to long terms of imprisonment.

Samuel Becomes High Commissioner

The policy of the military administration in Palestine, however, was not supported by Whitehall. On April 24, 1920, the Supreme Council of the Peace Conference at San Remo resolved that the Mandate over Palestine be conferred on Britain, charging her with the establishment of a national home for the Jewish people as laid down in the Balfour Declaration. The frontiers were to be negotiated between Britain and France; as subsequently delineated they included Transjordan (see section in Israel, State of: Historical Survey: Land of Israel in International Affairs and Frontiers). oeta was abolished and Herbert Samuel, a Jew and a Zionist, was appointed high commissioner, arriving on July 1, 1920.

Samuel tried to facilitate Jewish immigration and at the same time to appease the Arabs. He lent his aid to the pioneering immigrants – the ḥalutzim – who began to arrive in large numbers at the end of 1919 and gave orders for them to be employed on road projects in the north. He also made Hebrew an official language, side by side with Arabic and English. As a concession to the Jews who wanted the country to be called by its historic name, Ereẓ Israel, the initials (א״י) were added in parentheses to the Hebrew form of the name Palestine. On the other hand, the best government-owned lands in the Beth-Shean Valley were distributed among the Bedouin (who did not know what to do with them and later sold them to the Jews, at a high price). A compromise was reached with the military authorities providing for the creation of one Arab and one Jewish battalion for the defense of the country. To placate Arab nationalist opinion, Samuel appointed Hajj Amin al-*Husseini, who had been sentenced in absentia to 15 years' imprisonment for his part in inflaming the 1920 riots, as mufti of Jerusalem in 1921. In the following year, Husseini was elected president of the Supreme Muslim Council and used these positions of great influence and power to whip up opposition to the yishuv.

In the early part of 1921 there were important developments in regard to Transjordan. *Abdullah, a brother of Faisal, invaded the territory with a band of Beduins in order to help his brother, Faisal, who had been pushed out of Damascus by the French in the summer of 1920. (According to recent opinion by prearrangement with, or at least with the connivance of, the British.) On March 27 he was recognized by Winston *Churchill, the British colonial secretary, as emir, with a British advisor and a subvention from Britain. Subsequently, Transjordan was excluded from the area to which the Balfour Declaration applied and was thus closed to Jewish settlement. In May 1921 an outbreak of violence in Jaffa was followed by large-scale attacks on Reḥovot, Petaḥ Tikvah, Ḥaderah, and other places. Forty-seven Jews were killed and 140 wounded; Arab casualties were 48 dead and 73 wounded, mostly due to action by British troops. These disturbances demonstrated the ability of the Arab national movement to inflame the Arab masses and revealed the relative weakness of the yishuv. Samuel began to backtrack: he ordered a temporary halt of immigration and entered into negotiations with the Arab Executive Committee.

The Churchill White Paper

The outcome of these negotiations was a White Paper issued by Churchill on June 22, 1922. It gave a restrictive interpretation of the Balfour Declaration, which it said "did not contemplate that Palestine as a whole should be converted into a Jewish National Home" and introduced the principle of "economic absorptive capacity" as the yardstick for Jewish immigration. A system of immigration certificates was adopted, under which people with capital (at first £500, later £1000) could enter Palestine with their families without any restriction while the number of workers without capital to be admitted would be determined by a half-yearly schedule to be fixed by the government after negotiations with the Zionist Executive. The White Paper also stated, however, that the Balfour Declaration was not subject to change and that the Jews were in Palestine "as of right and not on sufferance" (see *Palestine, White Papers).

On July 22, 1922, the League of Nations Council confirmed the Palestine Mandate, citing the Balfour Declaration in the preamble and recognizing "the historical connection of the Jewish people with Palestine, and… the grounds for reconstituting their National Home in that country." The Mandate provided for the recognition of the Zionist Organization as the "*Jewish Agency" to advise and cooperate with the administration "in such economic, social and other matters as may affect the establishment of the Jewish National Home and the interests of the Jewish population in Palestine."

A step designed to appease the Arabs was the plan for a legislative assembly. Although it was to have only limited powers, the Arabs were to have the majority on the basis of their numerical strength. (According to a census taken at the end of 1922, there were 83,794 Jews, about 11% of the total population of 757,182.) The Arabs, however, boycotted the elections to the assembly, and the plan was abandoned (1923). The Arab Committee also rejected Samuel's proposal for the establishment of an "Arab Agency" similar to the Jewish Agency. In the end, a colonial regime was established, headed by the high commissioner and senior officials, almost all British.

The 1921 disturbances also brought about a change in security policy. The plan for locally recruited battalions was abandoned and a British gendarmerie, made up of British soldiers (the "Black and Tans") who had been demobilized after suppressing the Irish rebellion was established. The Jewish villages were provided with sealed armories containing rifles and ammunition, which they were permitted to open only in case of emergency. In April 1925 Lord Balfour attended the opening ceremony of the *Hebrew University in Jerusalem; his visit caused no disturbances, indicating that Pax Britannica prevailed. This situation continued under the next high commissioner, Lord Plumer (1925–28) and encouraged the government to reform the security forces with a view to reducing their high costs. The British gendarmerie was disbanded in 1926, and some of its members were absorbed into the Palestine Police. In addition, the Transjordan Frontier Force, consisting almost entirely of Arabs, was established, and the sealed armories were withdrawn from most of the moshavot. The policy followed by both Samuel and Plumer was to regard the maintenance of law and order, by political and military means, as the prime responsibility of the government, leaving the Jews to build the National Home through their own institutions and with their own resources – by immigration, settlement on the land, the development of industry and commerce, and so forth. Politically the period 1921–29 presented the Jewish people and the Zionist movement with a great opportunity.

The Third Aliyah

The immigration of the period 1919–23 (the Third Aliyah) was of a special character. The driving force behind it was the *He-Ḥalutz movement, which had risen in Eastern Europe, inspired by the Second Aliyah and the emissaries from Ereẓ Israel (notably Joseph Trumpeldor) and impelled by the sufferings of the Jews during the war and the postwar pogroms. Most of the newcomers were young people of strong Zionist convictions who had been influenced by the profound changes and revolutionary upheavals that had taken place in their countries of origin. Many were graduates of the He-Halutz movement in Russia and Poland and *Ha-Shomer ha-Ẓa'ir (in Galicia). In December 1920 they cooperated with the men of the Second Aliyah in founding the *Histadrut, the General Federation of Jewish Labor, which declared as its aim the creation of a new Jewish working society in the Land of Israel (see also Israel, State of: *Labor, section on Jewish Labor Organizations).

The yishuv was small and impoverished and, from an economic point of view, incapable of absorbing the tens of thousands of new immigrants. For the first year or two they were employed on public works, mainly road building in the north. It was while working on the roads that various people banded together to form collective settlement groups such as the *Gedud ha-Avodah and the kibbutzim of Ha-Shomer Ha-Ẓa'ir. In 1920 the Jewish National Fund completed the purchase of 50,000 dunams of land in the Jezreel Valley – the "Emek," which was used for large-scale settlement. Some of the newcomers, as well as Second Aliyah veterans, were settled in the villages established in the Emek, which included kibbutzim and kevuẓot (En-Harod, Tel Yosef, Geva, Bet Alfa, Ḥefzi-Bah, Ginnosar as well as Kiryat Anavim near Jerusalem), and moshevei ovedim (Nahalal, Kefar Yeḥezkel). Others worked on construction sites in the cities, where a large part of the building was done by the Histadrut's Public Work Office (later reorganized under the name of *Solel Boneh). There was also a renewed attempt to introduce Jewish labor into the moshavot, where groups of workers sought employment with the Jewish farmers and prepared themselves for their own settlement on the land. In 1923 a severe economic crisis hit the yishuv, mainly affecting the newcomers. Thousands were unemployed and 3,200 people left the country, as against a total influx of 8,200 in the course of the year.

In all, the Third Aliyah brought in some 35,000 immigrants: 53% from Russia, 36% from Poland, and the rest from Lithuania, Romania, and other East European countries, apart from 800 from Western and Central Europe (Germany, Austria, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, etc.). The Jewish population reached 90,000 and the yishuv underwent a profound change, growing not only in size but also in quality. The new yishuv was now in the majority and the old yishuv's efforts to resist the onset of modern trends were doomed to failure. For example, the attempt to deny women the right to vote in the elections to the Jewish community's representative institutions was defeated. Extremist elements in the old yishuv tried to combine as a political force and, in cooperation with the Arabs, oppose the new Jewish immigration; the attempt came to a tragic end with the assassination of their leader, Jacob de *Haan.

The thousands of new ḥalutzim also added considerable strength to the *Haganah, the self-defense organization formed in June 1920, when the riots in Jerusalem and Jaffa had demonstrated that the yishuv could not rely on the British authorities for their security. Members of the Third Aliyah continued to play an important role in the following years, as in the settlement of the Kishon region (1927) and the Ḥefer Plain (1933). Another feature of this period was the introduction of industry. The Silicate Brick Factory was founded in 1922, followed by the salt works at Athlit, the Grands Moulins flour mills, the Shemen edible oil factory, the Nesher cement works, etc.

The Fourth Aliyah

In the middle of 1924 a new wave of immigration, the Fourth Aliyah (1924–28), set in. It was different in social composition from its predecessor. There was a drop in the inflow of ḥalutzim, mainly because of the ban on departure from Soviet Russia. On the other hand, there was a rise in the immigration of middle-class people – shopkeepers and artisans – mostly from Poland. This was the result of two developments: the economic crisis in Poland and the economic restrictions imposed on the Polish Jews (hence the name "Grabski Aliyah" after the Polish finance minister); and the severe limitations on immigration to the United States, introduced in 1924 (when only 10,000 Jews emigrated to America, as against 34,000 who went to Palestine). Most of these newcomers, having no desire to change their way of life, settled in the towns, primarily in Tel Aviv, which had the special attraction of being an all-Jewish city. They invested some of their scanty capital in workshops and factories, small hotels, restaurants, and shops, but most of their investments were made in building. In 1925, when the Fourth Aliyah was at its height, 45% of Tel Aviv's labor force was employed on construction, and the city's population grew to 40,000. Haifa also developed (the Hadar ha-Carmel quarter being founded) and some progress was made in Jerusalem. The Slobodka Yeshivah was established in Hebron and the Nur match factory in Acre. The American Zion Commonwealth Company purchased land in the heart of the Jezreel Valley, where it planned the establishment of a central town, Ir Yizre'el ("Jezreel Town") later called Afulah.

There was also significant rural development in the Coastal Plain. The area under citrus cultivation was trebled within a few years, and new villages, based on citrus growing, were founded: Magdiel, Herzliyyah, Binyaminah, Pardes Ḥannah, a group of settlements in the Tel Mond area, in addition to Ra'anannah (founded in 1921). A new town, Netanyah, was founded in the Sharon Valley. In the new villages, the farmers employed Jewish labor for the most part. An interesting episode was the arrival of hundreds of ḥasidic families, headed by their rabbis, and their settlement on the land at Kefar Ḥasidim, near Haifa. In the course of two years, over 62,000 newcomers made their homes in the Land of Israel. It appeared that in addition to the settlement of ḥalutzim, financed by national capital, a way had been found to attract the Jewish middle class to agricultural and urban settlement, based on the import of private capital.

Crisis and Recovery 1926–1929

A downward turn came in the spring of 1926, when a severe economic crisis set in. Worsening economic conditions in Poland caused a cessation of the flow of capital from that country, and as a result, the great construction boom came to an end. In 1927 over 5,000 people left the country and only 2,300 came, while unemployment reached 7,000 in the summer of that year. The crisis, which lasted for two years and plunged many middle-class families into penury, was a severe political blow to Zionism and the labor movement. Thousands of workers subsisted on a dole from the Zionist Executive; Solel Boneh was temporarily dissolved; Gedud ha-Avodah, the pioneering labor organization established by the Third Aliyah, split into rightist and leftist factions and some of its members demonstratively went back to the Soviet Union, where they joined the Jewish agricultural settlement project in the Crimea.

The first signs of economic recovery came in 1929, when immigration was renewed. New hopes were aroused by the creation of the enlarged Jewish Agency, through which non-Zionist circles – notably a group of outstanding American Jews – were to associate themselves with the Zionist Organization's constructive work in Palestine. Despite the crises of 1923 and 1927, the balance for the ten years 1919–29 was positive. The population of the yishuv had almost trebled, reaching a total of 160,000. Over 1,200,000 dunams (300,000 acres) had been acquired, and an almost uninterrupted chain of towns and villages stretched from Metullah in the north to Be'er Toviyyah in the south. Hebrew had become the living tongue of the yishuv and its schools. A significant Hebrew literature, press, and theater (Habimah and Ohel) had come into being. The Hebrew University was opened in 1925 and the Haifa Technion had been officially inaugurated. The yishuv was recognized in 1927 as a corporate entity, *Keneset Israel, with its democratic institutions: Asefat ha-Nivḥarim (Assembly of Deputies); and *Va'ad Le'ummi (National Council), elected by the Assembly. Keneset Israel represented the entire Jewish population, except for the extreme Orthodox faction (see *Governance, the section on Jewish Communal Organizations, and *Political Life and Parties).

The Zionist Executive, with funds supplied by Jews abroad through the *Keren Hayesod, financed immigration, supported the Hebrew school system (the government spent most of its education budget on Arab schools), fostered agriculture, industry, and commerce, and coordinated the public health activities of the *Hadassah Medical Organization, Kuppat Ḥolim, and other bodies. Together with the Va'ad Le'ummi, it represented the Jews vis-à-vis the administration and performed, as far as the Jewish population was concerned, a large part of governmental functions. Thus the yishuv, as the vanguard of Jewry, was more than a local community; it had become the nucleus of the Jewish state-in-the-making.

Violence and Political Struggle, 1929–31

During the preceding ten months there had been minor disputes between Jews and Arabs about the Jews right to pray at the Western ("Wailing") Wall of the Temple Court in Jerusalem. These arguments were exploited by the mufti of Jerusalem, Hajj Amin al-Husseini, to foment religious hatred by accusing the Jews of designs upon the Muslim Holy Places in the city. On August 23, an Arab mob tried to attack the Jews in Jerusalem; the attacks were repeated on the following days, but were repulsed by the Haganah. (See also *Jerusalem; *Western Wall.) The violence spread to other parts of the country. On the Sabbath, August 24, the Arabs of Hebron fell upon the small defenseless Jewish community in the town, who belonged mainly to the old yishuv, and slaughtered some 70 men and women. Old people and infants were butchered, the survivors, numbering several hundred, being evacuated to Jerusalem. Attacks on Tel Aviv and the Jewish quarters in Haifa were repulsed, but on the fifth day of the riots an Arab mob killed 18 Jews and wounded many more in Safed before the Jews could take refuge in the police headquarters while the mob ransacked and burned the Jewish quarter. In Be'er Toviyyah all the settlers held out in a cowshed while the attacking mob plundered and destroyed the village. Huldah, too, was destroyed after the Jewish defenders had held out for many hours against thousands of Arabs and were evacuated by a British army patrol. Many of the attacks on Jewish settlements were repulsed, however. Before a week had passed, large detachments of British troops were brought in and order was restored, but the Arab nationalists had achieved their aim: the problem of Palestine had once again become the subject of political discussion.

A parliamentary commission of inquiry headed by Sir Walter Shaw, was sent to inquire into "the immediate causes" of the outbreak, but exceeded its terms of reference by dealing with questions of major policy. It found that the fundamental cause of the riots had been "the Arab feelings of animosity and hostility to the Jews consequent upon the disappointment of their political and national aspirations and fear for their economic future." Accordingly, the commission proposed restrictions on Jewish immigration and the purchase of lands from the Arabs. A minority report, by Harry Snell, the Labor Party representative, criticized government policy and the Arab attitude. In 1930, a British expert, Sir John Hope-Simpson, reported that "with the present methods of Arab cultivation" there was "no margin of land available for agricultural settlement by immigrants." In October of the same year, the colonial secretary, Lord Passfield (Sidney Webb) issued a White Paper further whittling down the meaning of the Balfour Declaration and the Mandate and foreshadowing fresh restrictions on Jewish immigration and settlement. Chaim *Weizmann, in protest, announced his resignation as chairman of the Jewish Agency, and prominent British statesmen denounced the new policy. Under the pressure of public opinion, the prime minister, Ramsay MacDonald, published a letter to Weizmann in February 1931 reinterpreting the White Paper in such a manner as to nullify its restrictions and make it possible to continue the upbuilding of the Jewish National Home. At the end of 1931 a new high commissioner, General Sir Arthur Wauchope, was appointed. A man of wide erudition and great vision, he showed understanding and sympathy for Jewish efforts in Palestine (see *Palestine, Inquiry Commissions, and *Palestine, White Papers).

The Fifth Aliyah Reaches Its Peak

The next four years were of decisive importance for the development of the yishuv. The Fifth Aliyah had begun with a small trickle in 1929, but in 1933, when Hitler rose to power in Germany, the trickle became a flood, and 164,267 Jews entered the country legally in the period 1933–36, while thousands of refugees came as "illegal" immigrants (the yishuv regarded British restrictions on aliyah as arbitrary and a violation of the Mandate). By the spring of 1936 the Jewish population in Palestine was close to 400,000 – some 30% of the total. The immigration was accompanied by a large influx of capital from Germany, as well as other countries. In these four years of "prosperity," private investment by Jews came to £31,570,000 sterling, over half of which was invested in construction, some £6 million in citrus culture and other forms of agriculture, and £7 million in industry. There was also a considerable rise in the amounts invested by the national funds.

The Fifth Aliyah also settled mostly in the cities and towns. Over half the newcomers made their homes in Tel Aviv, which by 1936 had become the largest city in Palestine with a population of 150,000 and a budget exceeding that of the 22 other municipalities put together. In Haifa, the construction of the country's first modern port by the British authorities was completed in 1933, and its Jewish population was trebled, reaching 50,000, about half the population of the city. Its Jewish quarters were built on the slopes of Mount Carmel, as well as on the sandy terrain in the north of the city (Kiryat Ḥayyim and the other kerayot). In Jerusalem a great building boom was initiated by former residents of the Old City, who left after the 1929 riots, and was continued by well-to-do immigrants, including German Jews, who expanded the Rehaviah quarter. The development of the city was also greatly facilitated by the completion of the water supply line, based on the Rosh ha-Ayin springs. In 1936 Jerusalem had a Jewish population of 76,000 – 60% of the city's total population.

Progress in Industry and Agriculture

In the cities and their environs, modern industry came into being, based mainly on the production of food, textiles, and building materials. The Levant Fair, first held in Tel Aviv in 1932, and again in 1934 and 1936, helped to promote domestic and foreign trade. Two key companies, the Palestine Electric Corporation and the Palestine Potash Company, the concessions for which had been allotted by the British to Jews in the 1920s, were now working at full capacity, employing thousands of Jewish and Arab workers. There was a steady expansion of citrus culture: tens of thousands of dunams were planted and exports rose from 2½ million cases in 1931 to 15,300,000 in 1939, half of it from Jewish citrus groves. Agricultural settlement, however, lagged behind. After the 1929 riots, the settlements which had been hit were rehabilitated with the help of the Emergency Fund collected in Jewish communities abroad. About 20 new villages were established in the Ḥefer Plain, between Ḥaderah and Netanyah (Kefar Vitkin, Aviḥayil, Givat Ḥayyim, Ma'barot, etc.). New moshavim and kibbutzim based on the small budgets provided by the Zionist funds and on work in the citrus groves were also set up near the established moshavot.

Internal Changes and Controversies

There were also changes in the organizational structure of the yishuv. In 1932 the Hebrew school system was transferred from the Zionist Executive to the Va'ad Le'ummi, making the yishuv responsible for its own education. At the time the system included some 20,000 children, the number increasing to 100,000 by the establishment of independence (1948). It was divided into three "trends": general, religious, and labor. The status of the Haganah also underwent a significant change. The 1929 riots had demonstrated the organization's importance and thousands joined its ranks. A national leadership accepted by all sections was now a necessity, and in 1931 agreement was reached on the establishment of a National Command, consisting of three Histadrut delegates and three representatives of the non-labor sector. The Haganah developed into a nationwide underground organization, with branches in all Jewish towns and villages, running training courses for instructors, accumulating arms in its secret stores, and creating the beginnings of a military industry.

The labor movement played a central role in the life of the yishuv. In 1937, the Histadrut had a membership of 100,000 – about a quarter of the Jewish population, and there was a large labor party, *Mapai, which had been established by a merger of the main labor parties in 1930. The Histadrut's economic enterprises and social services made an important contribution to the transformation of the yishuv into a "state-on-the-way." Its kibbutzim and moshavim helped, not only to grow food, but also to widen the map of Jewish settlement and establish bases for defense. Solel Boneh, the cooperatives for industry, housing, transport and finance, and marketing agencies like Tnuva and Hamashbir, consolidated the yishuv's economic base. The Histadrut's school system, labor exchanges, and social services – notably Kuppat Ḥolim – fulfilled quasi-governmental functions.

This organizational unity of labor was not matched by a similar concentration of non-labor forces (such as the Farmers Union, the Citzens' Bloc in Tel Aviv, etc.); all they had in common was fear of domination by the "left." At the beginning of the 1930s, the *Revisionist movement came into existence as a result of the differences between Weizmann and Jabotinsky over the policy of the Zionist Organization. Jabotinsky and his adherents engaged in a campaign designed to confront the power of the Histadrut and established a rival *Histadrut ha-Ovedim ha-Le'ummit (National Labor Federation). Revisionist-minded workers and immigrants competed for jobs and sometimes acted as strikebreakers. There was bitter tension between the two camps, which reached its climax in June 1933, when Chaim *Arlosoroff, one of the foremost labor leaders, was assassinated and members of the Revisionist movement were wrongly accused of the murder. The labor movement obtained key positions in the Jewish Agency, the Va'ad Le'ummi, and the Haganah, and remained the major political force in the yishuv.

Growth of the Arab National Movement

Among the Arab population there were also far-reaching changes. Jewish mass immigration benefited the Arabs in various ways: their economic situation improved, thousands of them found employment in the Jewish sector, and the land of the fellahin rose in value. Government revenue, supplied largely by the Jews, was used to create a public health service and a progressive school system for the Arabs. The prosperity of the Palestine Arabs became the envy of their brethren in Transjordan; in 1933, Emir Abdullah, the British-appointed ruler, and the Transjordanian tribal chiefs entered into secret negotiations with the Jewish Agency on the possibility of a large-scale Jewish immigration into their area, but the talks were nipped in the bud by British disapproval.

At the same time, however, the rise in Jewish strength and influence was accompanied by the growth of the Arab national movement. The 1929 disturbances had enhanced the prestige of the mufti of Jerusalem and made him the leading Arab figure in Palestine, and a Muslim conference that he called in 1931 added to his standing. In 1932 an Arab political party, Istiqlāl (Independence) came into being, headed by veteran leaders like ʿAwnī ʿAbd-al Hadī and supported by many of the younger generation. An extensive daily press, predominantly nationalist – even fascist – in character, was established and indulged in daily diatribes against the Jews. In 1931 a terrorist organization led by Sheikh ʿIzz al-Dīn al-Qassām was formed in Haifa and from time to time murdered individual Jews. The Arab nationalists tried to prevent Jews from purchasing land by intimidating prospective Arab sellers; they fomented land disputes and turned them into political issues, as in the case of the prolonged dispute between Jews and Bedouin over the Ḥefer Plain (1930–33).

In October 1933 the Arab Executive Committee called for demonstrations throughout the country against growing Jewish immigration. The demonstrations, which were directed against the British authorities, were firmly suppressed by the police and the military; some of the demonstrators were shot to death and others wounded. As a result the committee, which had shown itself as lacking in resolute leadership, lost its influence and disintegrated, giving way to political parties combining modern elements with the old feudal type of leadership. Terrorism also was renewed, and in November 1935 Sheikh ʿIzz al-Dīn al-Qassām's band was trapped by police on Mt. Gilboa and wiped out. The Arab nationalists glorified the fallen terrorists as martyrs for their country. Tension rose steadily. In October over 500 barrels containing arms for the Haganah had been seized in Jaffa port, and the Arab parties declared a general strike in protest against the acquisition of arms by Jews.

External events added to the growing tension. The Italian-Ethiopian war revealed the weakness of British policy; there were riots and strikes in Egypt and Syria, where Britain and France had to make concessions. The British government decided that the time had come to appease the Arab nationalists in Palestine as well. In December 1935 High Commissioner Wauchope revived the old plan for a legislative council, with limited powers, to consist of 14 Arabs, seven Jews, and seven British government officials and business representatives. This time it was the Jews who rejected the proposal, fearing that it would obstruct Jewish immigration and settlement in that tragic hour for European Jewry, while some Arab leaders favored acceptance. When the plan came up for discussion in the British Parliament, it was severely criticized, and the government decided to withdraw it. Instead, the Arabs were invited to send a delegation to London for political negotiations.

The Arab Revolt

On April 19, 1936, riots broke out in Jaffa. The funeral in Tel Aviv of two Jews killed by Arab terrorists had been turned into a demonstration, which was followed by the murder of two Arabs by Jews. It took the government two days to quell the riots. Sixteen Jews were killed and many wounded and Jewish property was ransacked and set ablaze, especially in the border area between Jaffa and Tel Aviv. The Arabs proclaimed a general strike and an assembly of Arab parties in Nablus elected an Arab Higher Committee, headed by the mufti. The committee announced that the strike would go on until the government fulfilled three demands: the stoppage of Jewish immigration; the prohibition of the transfer of land to Jewish ownership; the establishment of "a national representative government." Thus began the three-year period of disorder and violence known as the Arab Revolt.

The strike lasted for nearly six months, coming to an end on Oct. 12, 1936, in response to an appeal by the heads of Arab states. It failed to achieve its aims and the Arab Higher Committee's attempt to organize civil disobedience, based upon a strike of Arab civil servants and police, was not successful either. Shortly after the outbreak of the strike, a campaign of terror was initiated, beginning with the burning of Jewish property and going on to the murder of Jewish passersby and attacks on Jewish settlements, which were repulsed by the Haganah, and upon Jewish interurban transport. Eighty Jews fell victim to the terror in the period of the strike. In the hill regions armed bands of terrorists, with the support of the Arab population and the clandestine assistance of senior Arab officials and police officers, tried to attack Jewish settlements and convoys, as well as British police and army detachments. In August efforts were made to create a cohesive force out of the various terrorist bands, and a former Ottoman Arab army officer, Fawzī al-Kaukji, was invited to undertake the task. By then the British had brought in large military forces and launched a large-scale attack upon the terrorists, using planes and light tanks. When the general strike came to an end, Kaukji left the country.

The Partition Proposal

The British government was not prepared to meet the demands of the Arab Higher Committee and sent out a royal commission, headed by Lord Peel, to institute a thorough inquiry into the problems of the country. The commission heard a host of witnesses – British, Jewish, and Arab – and published its findings at the beginning of July 1937. These included a revolutionary proposal: to partition Palestine into two states: a Jewish state, which would consist of the whole of Galilee and the coastal strip, up to a point south of Reḥovot; and an Arab state, which would comprise Samaria, Judea, and the entire Negev. Jerusalem and its environs, linked to the coast at Jaffa by a corridor, was to remain in British hands, for the supervision of the Holy Places (see *Palestine, Inquiry Commissions; *Palestine, Partition). The British government announced its readiness to carry out the partition plan, but opinions were divided among both Jews and Arabs. Weizmann, David Ben-Gurion, and Moshe Shertok (later *Sharett) supported the plan, while Ussishkin, Jabotinsky, and Berl *Katznelson opposed it. Among the Arabs it was Emir Abdullah who favored partition, hoping to incorporate the Arab portion into his kingdom and thus create a large Arab state which would cooperate with the Jewish state in economic affairs. In any event, the Arab Higher Committee rejected the plan and insisted on the fulfillment of its own demands.

After the end of the general strike, an uneasy calm had prevailed, sporadically broken by outbreaks of Arab terror, but in September 1937, two months after the publication of the commission's report, the disturbances were renewed. At the end of the month the British district commissioner in Galilee, Andrews, was murdered; the government retaliated by disbanding the Arab Higher Committee, arresting its leaders, and expelling them to the Seychelles Islands; but the mufti escaped to Syria, from where he continued to direct the terror. The armed bands resumed their operations on a large scale, although no attempt was made to organize them into a unified military force. Their leaders took control of large areas and instituted a regime of terror against their Arab opponents. Attacks upon the Jews were also stepped up: 415 Jews were killed by the terrorists in the period 1937–39, over half of them between July and October 1938. Nevertheless, the terrorists failed, with very few exceptions, to break into Jewish towns or villages.

In the summer of 1938 the Arab Revolt reached its climax. Terrorist bands captured police stations and broke into Arab towns; for a short while, in October, they held the Old City of Jerusalem (except for the Jewish quarter), though they were easily driven out by British military forces. Then, however, the Revolt began to decline. The British had concentrated large forces, about 16,000 troops, to combat the terrorist bands. The Arab population had also wearied of the murder and blackmail perpetrated by the terrorists, who had been responsible for more Arab than Jewish and British victims. "Peace bands" set up among the Arabs received arms from the British and joined the fight against the terrorists. By the spring of 1939 the Revolt had come to an end.

The 1939 White Paper

At the end of 1938, however, British policy underwent a significant change. After the Munich agreement between Britain, France, Italy, and Nazi Germany (1938), the British came to the conclusion that the Arab world had to be appeased, whatever the price, lest it join Britain's enemies in the event of a world war. On Nov. 9, 1938, the government announced the abandonment of the partition plan and invited Jewish and Arab leaders, including representatives of the Arab states, to a round-table conference in London. The Arab refused to meet the Jews, and in fact there were two conferences, the British meeting separately with Arabs and Jews. No agreement was reached at these talks. On May 17, 1939, the British colonial secretary, Malcolm MacDonald, published a new White Paper that went a long way toward accepting Arab demands. Immigration was to be restricted to 10,000 a year for a period of five years, bringing the Jewish population to a third of the total, after which further immigration would depend upon Arab consent. As a special gesture, 25,000 additional immigration certificates were promised for Jewish refugees in Europe. The sale of land to Jews was to be severely restricted. Finally, the White Paper provided for the establishment within ten years, circumstances permitting, of an independent Palestine state, which would maintain strategic and economic links with Britain.

The British government immediately began to apply the White Paper policy. A reduced immigration schedule was issued for the period May–September 1939. For the six months October 1939 to March 1940 – after the start of World War ii – no immigration certificates at all were allotted for Jews on the ground that there had been a large influx of "illegal" immigration. In February 1940 the Land Transfer Regulations envisioned in the White Paper were duly enacted, dividing the country into three zones: Zone a (the hills of Judea and Samaria, Western Galilee and the Northern Negev) in which the sale of land to Jews was completely prohibited; Zone b (Jezreel Valley, Eastern Galilee, and most of the Coastal Plain) in which the sale of land required the approval of the high commissioner; and Zone c (the coastal strip from Zikhron Ya'akov to a point north of Reḥovot, as well as urban areas) in which no restrictions applied. Thus it seemed that the Arab national movement had scored a significant achievement. Yet for the extremists among them, headed by the mufti, this was not enough. By this time, they had tied themselves to the enemies of Britain, mainly to Nazi Germany, in the hope that with their help they would be able to destroy the yishuv.

Jewish Defense and Resistance

The three years of the Arab Revolt had been a severe test for the yishuv, but despite the uncertain political and security conditions, it grew in numbers, and a total of 60,000 legal and "illegal" immigrants (the latter known in Hebrew as ma'pilim) entered the country during the period. Although some branches of the Jewish economy suffered from the Arab boycott, others were strengthened by it. The moshavot now employed Jewish labor, and Jews filled jobs abandoned by the Arabs in ports, quarries, etc. Thousands of people were employed by the various bodies set up for the yishuv's defense. There was a rise in the income of the national funds and a spectacular growth in agricultural settlement, which absorbed many of the new immigrants. In growing measure, the yishuv was able to supply its own vegetables, fruit, eggs, and other food. In summer 1936 a port was constructed in Tel Aviv as a result of the strike in Jaffa port, thus opening a Jewish door to the world.

The paramount problem was security. The Haganah developed into a military force that bore the responsibility for the yishuv's safety, and a general staff was set up. From the beginning of the riots, the Jewish Agency had called for self-restraint (havlagah) by the yishuv, as well as self-defense (hagannah): no blind revenge or indiscriminate killing but appropriate defensive measures, including active operations against terrorist bands. All the Jewish villages were fortified with barbed-wire fences, strongpoints, and searchlights; wherever necessary they were reinforced with fighting men. Inter-settlement communications were ensured by armed escorts for individual vehicles and convoys and by the construction of new roads. Ambushes were set outside the settlement perimeter for marauding gangs who sought to destroy the crops.

Through the Jewish Agency, close – albeit unofficial – links were established between the Haganah and the British security forces. A force of Jewish special police (also known by the Arab-Turkish term Ghafīrs) equipped with uniforms and arms by the police (some of its members received regular pay) guarded railroads, air-fields, and government offices. The Jewish Settlement Police (jsp) was set up to protect the Jewish villages and comprised, by the end of the period, ten district battalions, with mobile patrols equipped with armored cars and Lewis guns. The creation of these forces was tantamount to de facto legalization of the Haganah, to which most of the men belonged.

During this period, the Haganah also formed "field companies" (peluggot sadeh), which were trained for action against the terrorists beyond the perimeter of the settlements, and by the summer of 1938 held a continuous line along the borders of the Jewish areas, preventing the incursions of terrorist bands. In cooperation with the British Army, Special Night Squads (sns) were established, consisting of regular British troops and members of the Haganah. Commanded and trained by Capt. Orde *Wingate, they used guerrilla tactics against the Arab terrorists and succeeded in clearing them out of a wide area in Eastern Galilee.

Agricultural settlement, which had not been halted by the disturbances, was stepped up further when the Royal Commission made its proposal for the partition of the country, for it was clear that the borders of the Jewish state would be determined by the extent of Jewish settlement. Some 50 new settlements, most kibbutzim, were established in areas where no Jewish settlements had previously existed: in the Beth-Shean Valley, Mount Carmel, Western Galilee, etc. In the initial stage, these *stockade and watch-tower settlements were organized as armed camps in hostile territory, and the members, all belonging to the Haganah, lived like soldiers until the Arabs around had become used to their presence. The Arab terrorists repeatedly attacked these outposts, e.g., Tirat Ẓevi in February and Ḥanitah in March 1938, but failed to dislodge them. The high costs of security were met by a voluntary tax, Kofer ha-Yishuv, which the Jewish population imposed upon itself.

Throughout this period the Haganah continued to strengthen its underground forces. Arms manufacture was developed under a secret agreement with Polish governmental circles. Ḥalutzim were given military training before emigration, and large quantities of light arms were purchased. The Jewish Agency's havlagah policy was opposed by the *Irgun Ẓeva'i Le'ummi (iẒl), a group which had seceded from the Haganah and was associated with the Revisionists. The iẒl engaged in terrorism against Arab civilians, which increased in scope in the summer of 1938 after the British had hanged one of its members, Shlomo *Ben-Yosef, who had taken part in an abortive attack against an Arab bus near Rosh Pinnah. The majority of the yishuv opposed their methods.

The worsening situation of the Jews in Europe brought about a renewal of "illegal"*immigration, known as Aliyah Bet ("Class B Immigration"), which was organized by He-Ḥalutz and the Revisionist movement. After the annexation of Austria and Czechoslovakia by Nazi Germany (1938–39), Aliyah Bet swelled with its own momentum and became a significant factor in immigration: by the outbreak of World War ii, 15,000 Jews had entered the country in this manner. An underground body, known as the Mosad and linked to the Haganah, was set up at the end of 1938 to organize and coordinate the clandestine influx. The anti-Jewish switch in British policy at the end of 1938 caused great bitterness in the yishuv, exacerbated by the severe measures employed against the "illegal" boats, some of which were fired on and forced back into the open seas with their human cargo. From time to time strikes and protest demonstrations were held. On May 17, 1939 – the date on which the White Paper was published – a general strike was called and mass demonstrations took place in all Jewish towns and villages. The Haganah formed a special unit to attack telephone lines, railroads, and other government property.

War Breaks Out – Repression Continutes

The outbreak of World War ii raised expectations of a change in British policy, in view of the yishuv's readiness to cooperate in the fight against the common enemy, as reflected in the immediate registration of 136,000 volunteers, almost the entire Jewish population between the ages of 18 and 50, for national service. It was hoped that the White Paper policy would at least be suspended for the duration of the war. These hopes, however, were soon disappointed. The Mandatory government, headed by the high commissioner Harold MacMichael (1938–44) persisted in its campaign against the refugee boats arriving from Europe. When it became apparent that the internment of the refugees would not stop the flow, the government decided to deport them. In November 1940 the first deportation ship, the Patria, was about to sail for *Mauritius with 1,700 people aboard when it was sabotaged by the Haganah to prevent its departure. By a tragic mischance the boat sank and 250 refugees were drowned in Haifa Bay. Soon afterwards, the government deported another group of 1,645 refugees to the island. In February 1942 the Struma, carrying refugees from Romania, was turned back by the Turkish authorities when the British government had made it clear that the Jews would not be permitted to land in Palestine. The ship foundered in the Black Sea and 770 refugees lost their lives.

The beginning of the war also coincided with the introduction of repressive measures against the Haganah. In October 1939, 43 of its members, some of whom had served with the sns during the Arab Revolt, were arrested while participating in an officers' training course and sentenced to five years' imprisonment. Searches for arms were conducted in many Jewish villages. The Jewish Agency's demand for the formation of Jewish military units was rejected: only a few hundred specialists were taken on to bring the British units up to strength, and several companies of the Auxiliary Military Pioneer Corps were formed, the first of these being sent to the front in France. In May 1940, after the Haganah-organized demonstrations and riots in protest against the Land Transfer Regulations, the British military commander demanded the surrender of the Haganah's arms. The first months of the war also caused a severe economic crisis, as a result of the sudden rupture of foreign trade.

The Yishuv and the War Effort, 1940–1942

Some changes took place after Italy's entry into the war in June 1940. The arms searches and arrests were halted and relations between the British authorities and the yishuv took a turn for the better. The Middle East became a huge military base. Volunteer men and women were accepted for service and transportation units in the British army which gradually became Jewish units also included women with, for the most part, Jewish officers in command. They rendered important service in Libya, Egypt, Ethiopia, Greece (where a thousand Jewish volunteers were taken prisoner by the Germans), and Crete. In September 1940 a new stage was reached with the formation of Palestinian Jewish and Arab companies of the Buffs, a British infantry regiment, which were to do garrison duty in Palestine; by the end of 1942 the Jewish companies had become three Jewish infantry battalions. Jews also served in antiaircraft units in Haifa and Cyprus. By the end of the war 26,620 Jews from Palestine had joined the British forces, including 4,000 women in the ats and the waaf.

The later war years brought about a radical change in the Jewish economy. The isolation of the Middle East from Europe facilitated a great economic advance, based largely on the requirements of the large military forces in the area. There was a significant increase in agricultural production and food processing and a considerable expansion of industry – especially in metals. Jewish scientists and technicians made important contributions to the supply of the forces' needs. There was a glaring contrast between the Jewish participation in the Allied war effort and the attitude of the Arabs, most of whom were indifferent to the outcome of the war, while a substantial number, headed by the exiled mufti, favored an alliance with the Nazis. The mufti and some of his aides went to Germany in 1941, participated in the plans for the destruction of European Jewry, and did all in their power to help the German propaganda machine.

In November 1942 the Zionist General Council approved the *Biltmore Program, which had been formulated earlier in the year by the American Zionist movement on David Ben-Gurion's initiative. It urged "that the gates of Palestine be opened, that the Jewish Agency be vested with the control of immigration into Palestine and with the necessary authority for the upbuilding of the country, and that Palestine be established as a Jewish Commonwealth integrated in the structure of the new democratic world." In the period 1941–42 there was a change in the British attitude toward the Haganah. In May 1941 the Haganah established the *Palmaḥ which in a short time became its regular full-time force. As the German threat to the Middle East became more acute, the Haganah was called in to assist in the invasion of Syria. A joint plan, the "Palestine Scheme," was prepared with the British for the creation of a resistance movement in case Palestine was occupied by the Germans, and hundreds of members of the Palmaḥ were trained by British officers in sabotage and commando tactics.

Relations Deteriorate Again, 1943–1945

When the war front receded at the end of 1942, however, relations between the British and the yishuv took a turn for the worse. This was a reflection of the struggle that was being waged between the makers of British Middle East policy and pro-Zionist elements in Britain. The British encouraged the creation of the *Arab League, in which all the Arab states took part and which at its first conferences (October 1944–March 1945) pledged its members to defend the rights of Palestine Arabs. On the other hand, the British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, the British Labor Party, and various British statesmen had promised a change in British policy in favor of the Jews at the end of the war. To many observers, the first sign of such change seemed to be the establishment of the *Jewish Brigade Group in 1944. It consisted of Jewish infantry, artillery, and service units from Palestine and took part in the final battles of the war on the Italian front in the spring of 1945. At the same time, however, the Palestine government stepped up its campaign against the Haganah. Political trials were staged at which the organization was accused of acquiring arms from British arsenals, and searches were made for arms in the kibbutzim, meeting with passive resistance on the part of the members, as at Ramat ha-Kovesh.

At the beginning of 1944 the iẒl, headed by Menahem *Begin, embarked upon a series of armed attacks on government and police installations in order to exert pressure upon the government to change its policy. In October of that year 251 men suspected of belonging to Jewish terrorist organizations were deported to an internment camp in Eritrea. Relations between the British and the Jews were seriously impaired by the murder of Lord Moyne, the British minister of state in the Middle East, on Nov. 6, 1944, by members of *Loḥamei Ḥerut Israel (Leḥi, called by the British the "Stern Gang") – an underground group that had seceded from iẒl in 1940 – which, from the beginning of the war, had adopted a violent anti-British attitude and even sought contact with the Italians and Germans. This act stood in contrast with the general policy of the yishuv, which hoped that the end of the war would bring about a better understanding with the British, and the Jewish national institutions called upon the dissident organizations to put a halt to their activities. When the iẒl refused, the Haganah took repressive measures against it in what was euphemistically called the "Saison." There was an impassioned controversy in the yishuv over the surrender to the British authorities of some iẒl members arrested by the Haganah.

It was not until the end of 1942 that the yishuv became aware of the appalling tragedy of European Jewry, and great efforts were made to help and rescue the Jews of Europe. The British, however, regarded these efforts as a violation of the White Paper policy and did all they could to obstruct them. Eventually a way was found to transfer several thousand Jewish refugees who had reached Istanbul to Palestine. Another project – to drop Haganah parachutists into occupied European countries, where they would rouse Jewish youth to resistance against the Nazis – was severely restricted in scope by the British. Only 32 such volunteers reached various European countries in the period 1943–44, and seven of them lost their lives.

Throughout the war years agricultural settlement continued to grow. Forty new villages were established in various parts of the country; among them were Bet ha-Aravah in the Dead Sea area, Kefar Eẓyon in the Hebron Hills, ten settlements in the southern Shephelah, and three (Revivim, Gevulot, and Bet Eshel) in the northern Negev; which inaugurated Jewish agricultural settlement in that area.

Postwar Disappointment

When the war came to an end, the yishuv expected a radical change in British policy. Above all, it expected the gates of the country to be reopened to large-scale Jewish immigration. A few hundred thousand European Jews had survived the Holocaust in German labor camps, in the forests and other hiding places, or as refugees in the eastern parts of the Soviet Union. As they had lost their families and were unable to go back to the scene of their tragic experiences, they made their way to the *Displaced Persons camps established by the Allies in Germany, Austria, and Italy. Essentially, this was a spontaneous mass movement, but it was guided and organized by the *Beriḥah ("Flight") organization, a clandestine body headed by emissaries from Palestine. The dp's received aid from general refugee agencies (unrra and later iro) and Jewish organizations (the *American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee and a delegation from the yishuv), but their main goal was to leave Europe at the earliest possible moment and settle in the Land of Israel. The problem of the refugees troubled the military authorities in Europe, and in August 1945 President Truman appealed to the British prime minister, Clement *Attlee, to permit the immigration of 100,000 Jews into Palestine.

The election victory of the British Labor Party, which had always adhered to a pro-Zionist policy, increased hopes for a favorable change in the political position of the yishuv, but it soon became clear that a positive solution to the Palestine problem was still far away. Anti-Zionist forces exerted great pressure on the British government to prevent any deviation from the White Paper policy, and it was obvious that Attlee and Ernest *Bevin, the new foreign secretary, intended to maintain, or even intensify, the anti-Zionist line. In order to demonstrate its refusal to accept this state of affairs, in the fall of 1945 the yishuv organized the Jewish Resistance Movement, which was run by the Haganah in cooperation with the iẒl and Leḥi. The movement carried out its first operation on Oct. 10, 1945, when a Palmaḥ unit attacked the Athlit internment camp and liberated the 208 "illegal" immigrants who were held there. The Mosad, in turn, renewed the organization of clandestine immigration from Europe. A few boats got through, but the British soon tightened security measures along the coast using all available means, including aerial patrols and coastal radar installations. On Nov. 22, 1945, a boat named Berl Katznelson was intercepted, and thereafter most of the refugee boats were apprehended on the high seas and their passengers interned. Each such event caused an uproar in the country and strengthened the yishuv's determination to offer active resistance to the government's policy.

On Nov. 1, 1945, the Jewish Resistance Movement showed its strength by launching a major attack on railroads all over the country and sinking several coastal patrol launches. A fortnight later the British foreign secretary Ernest Bevin, in a long-awaited statement, in effect repudiated his party's pro-Zionist commitments. He announced the despatch of an Anglo-American Commission to Palestine and Europe to inquire into the problem of Jewish refugees. In the meantime, Jewish immigration would continue at a rate of 1,500 per month, beyond the limit laid down in the White Paper, but the "illegal" immigrants would be deducted from the quota.

Struggle and Repression, 1946–1947

The yishuv entered upon a long struggle against the British. "Illegal" boats continued to arrive. Two of them, the Dov Hos and the Eliyahu Golomb, with 1,000 passengers aboard, were ready to sail from the Italian coast at La Spezia when the British military authorities tried to prevent their departure. This attempt, and the ensuing hunger strike by the refugee passengers, roused world opinion, and the British were forced to let them in. Palmaḥ,iẒl, and Lehi units continued their attacks upon British police posts, coast guard stations, radar installations, and airfields. There were also frequent violent clashes between the security forces and Jewish demonstrators. This was the atmosphere in the country when the Anglo-American Commission arrived, after visiting the dp camps in Europe. Its report, submitted to the two governments on May 1, 1946, recommended the speedy admission of 100,000 Jewish refugees (see *Palestine, Inquiry Commissions). The British government rejected this recommendation and the Resistance Movement responded on June 17 by blowing up the bridges linking Palestine with the neighboring states.

The government reacted to this attack on June 29, 1946 ("Black Saturday"), by arresting the members of the Jewish Agency Executive who were in the country at the time, sending military forces to dozens of settlements suspected of harboring Palmaḥ units, and conducting exhaustive searches for arms caches, discovering a large one at Yagur. Similar searches took place in the following days and it was obvious that, apart from looking for arms, the military were also trying to do extensive damage. Thousands of persons suspected of being members of the Palmaḥ were interned in camps at Rafa. There was also a further aggravation of the policy towards the "illegal" boats, all refugees apprehended on their way to Palestine being taken to Cyprus and interned there. Tension reached new heights when, on July 22, 1946, the iẒl blew up the central government offices in the King David Hotel in Jerusalem and 91 people were killed – government officials and civilians, Britons, Jews, and Arabs. The Jewish Agency ordered a halt in the armed operations against the British, but iẒl and Leḥi refused to obey.

The government's aim had been to break up the Haganah and bring about the formation of a new, more moderate Jewish leadership, but it soon realized that this objective could not be achieved. In November 1946, the interned Jewish leaders were set free. At the beginning of 1947 negotiations were opened with Jewish and Arab representatives, to whom the British government submitted a new proposal (the Morrison-Grady Plan) providing for the division of Palestine into three sectors, Jewish, Arab and British (the latter including Jerusalem and the Negev), with the British retaining supreme control for another four years. Both Jews and Arabs rejected this proposal, and in February 1947 the British government announced that it was handing over the Palestine problem to the United Nations.

Throughout 1947 tension continued to rise and there was no end to the acts of terror. The iẒl and Leḥi now attacked the military, in addition to government installations. Their most spectacular operation was the liberation of some of their comrades by a daring attack upon the Acre fortress prison. The government's response was further repressive measures and the execution, by hanging, of seven iẒl and Leḥi men, to which the iẒl retaliated by hanging two British sergeants who had fallen into their hands. The transfer of refugees in Haifa port to the British boats, which were to take them to Cyprus, was accompanied by passive resistance and mass demonstrations; on several occasions, special Palmaḥ units succeeded in sabotaging the boats. In July 1947, when the Exodus 1947 arrived in Haifa with 4,500 refugees aboard, the government decided to force it to return to its French port of departure. There, however, the refugees refused to disembark, and the British took the boat to Hamburg in their occupation zone, where the passengers were forcibly taken off and returned to the soil of Germany. The Exodus affair had a profound effect on world public opinion and reinforced the British decision to give up the Mandate. The feeling that a decisive hour was fast approaching impelled the yishuv to step up its settlement activities. The establishment of 11 new settlements in the Negev in a single night (the night after the Day of Atonement, Oct. 15, 1946), was to be decisive in securing the inclusion of the Negev in the area allotted to the Jewish state. By the end of 1947 the Jewish population in Palestine was 630,000 – about a third of the total.

The un Recommends Partition

In May 1947 the Palestine problem came before a special session of the un General Assembly. To the surprise of all, the Soviet delegate, Andre Gromyko, expressed his government's support for the right of the Jews to establish their own state in Palestine. An international committee, the United Nations Special Committee on Palestine (unscop), was appointed to study the problem and submit recommendations for a solution. After investigating the position in Palestine and in the dp camps, the committee unanimously resolved that the Mandate should be terminated. The majority recommended the partition of Palestine into two independent states – Jewish and Arab – joined by an economic union, with Jerusalem and its environs as an international zone, while the minority proposed the establishment of a federative binational state. On Nov. 29, 1947, the General Assembly accepted the majority recommendation by a vote of 33 to 13 with 10 abstentions. The Jewish state was to consist of Eastern Galilee, the northern part of the Jordan Valley, the Beth-Shean and Jezreel Valleys, the coastal strip from a point south of Acre to a point south of Reḥovot, and the whole of the central and eastern Negev, including Umm Rash Rash (later Eilat) on the Red Sea. Jerusalem and its environs were to have an international regime; the remaining parts of the country were to form the Arab state. The British government announced that it would not cooperate in the execution of the partition plan and would withdraw British civilian staff and military forces by May 15, 1948. The yishuv received the news of the impending withdrawal with immense satisfaction; the Palestine Arab leaders and the Arab states announced their rejection of the un decision and their determination to solve the problem by force (see *Palestine, Inquiry Commissions, and *Partition Palestine).

The Fighting Begins

On the morrow of the un vote, there were outbreaks of Arab violence. On November 30 a bus was fired on and five Jews were killed. The Arabs proclaimed a general strike and the next day an Arab mob attacked the Commercial Quarter, a mixed Jewish-Arab neighborhood in Jerusalem adjoining the Old City. The British police stood idly by, while the Haganah was unprepared, and within a few hours the quarter went up in flames. The riots soon spread to all parts of the country. At first they were similar in character to the 1936–39 Arab Revolt, except that now the Jews were alone in facing the armed Arab bands. The Arabs began to organize under local leaders such as ʿAbd al-Qādir al-Husseini in the Jerusalem hills. The Arab states, as yet unable to intervene directly because of the presence of British forces, gave the Palestinian Arabs financial support and encouraged the infiltration of Arab volunteers, which the British did nothing to prevent. Some of the volunteers were organized in the Liberation Army, commanded by Fawzī al-Kaukji (see under Israel, State of: Historical Survey, 1880–1948, from the section The Arab Revolt onwards). The *War of Independence had, in effect, begun.

The defense of the yishuv became the sole responsibility of the Haganah. In addition to ensuring the safety of the Jewish population in town and country, it had to keep communications open. Special difficulties were encountered in maintaining contact with isolated Jewish villages, such as those in Upper and Western Galilee and in the Negev, and the four villages of the Eḥyon Bloc in the Hebron Hills. A crucial problem was contact with Jewish Jerusalem, besieged by Arab bands who tried to cut if off from the rest of the country. There were heavy casualties in the fight for the maintenance of communications during the early months of the fighting; serious losses were sustained, for example, by the convoys to Ben Shemen, the Eḥyon Bloc, Yehi'am, and, above all, to Jerusalem. Strict rationing of food and water had to be introduced in the capital, which also suffered from large-scale bomb outrages, such as the Ben-Yehuda Street explosion and the blowing up of the Palestine Post premises, perpetrated by Arabs with the aid of British army deserters. At the beginning it was the Palmaḥ units, already trained and mobilized in three brigades, that bore the brunt of the struggle. In the course of the riots and the war, six more brigades were set up: Golani and Carmeli in the North; Alexandroni, Kiryati, and Givati in the coastal area; and Eẓyoni in Jerusalem. Air, naval, and artillery forces were created from scratch. General mobilization of all able-bodied men was ordered, and by the time the State of Israel was declared (May 14), 51,500 people were serving in the Jewish armed forces. The major problem confronting the yishuv was the lack of arms, which prevented the proper development of operations. It was not until the beginning of April that large consignments arrived, mainly from Czechoslovakia, bringing about an immediate and radical improvement in the armament situation.

Preparations for Independence

In this initial period, when the very existence of the yishuv was at stake, the world had grave doubts as to the Jews' ability to hold out. On March 19, 1948, the United States withdrew its support of the Partition Plan and proposed instead a un Trusteeship over Palestine to last until Jews and Arabs reached agreement. The U.S. State Department brought pressure to bear on the Jewish Agency and the yishuv to postpone the establishment of independence, but the Zionist General Council decided in the middle of April to go ahead with all preparations to set up the Jewish state on the departure of the British. A People's Council of 37 members, representing all parties and sections, and a People's Administration of 13, headed by David Ben-Gurion, were set up to act as an unofficial provisional legislature and government.

At the same time there was a radical change in the course of the fighting. The Haganah seized the initiative, rapidly establishing its hold on the entire area allotted to the Jewish state and ensuring its territorial continuity. On April 3, 1948, in Operation Naḥshon – the first in which a full brigade was employed – the road to Jerusalem was cleared by occupying Arab villages and areas on both sides of the road, and large convoys of food and reinforcements were rushed through to the beleaguered city. On April 9, a combined iẒl and Leḥi group attacked the Arab village of Deir Yasīn, west of Jerusalem, and many of its civilian inhabitants were killed – an event which greatly served Arab anti-Jewish propaganda and increased the panic among the Arab population. Kaukji's forces launched a major attack upon Mishmar ha-Emek (April 4), aiming at a breakthrough which would clear the way to Haifa, but were completely routed. On April 11 Safed was cleared of Arab forces. On April 14, Arab terrorists ambushed a convoy of Jewish doctors, nurses, and teachers on their way to the Hadassah hospital in Mt. Scopus – 78 persons were killed. Jewish forces took Tiberias on April 18 and on April 22 the Haganah, after a brief battle with local Arab forces, occupied the whole of Haifa.

Hundreds of thousands of Arabs fled from the areas occupied by the Jewish forces. The mass flight was encouraged by the Arab leadership, which spread atrocity stories about the behavior of the Jewish forces and their intentions toward the Arab inhabitants. On the eve of the British departure, the Haganah seized most of New Jerusalem, but the Jewish quarter in the Old City was cut off and besieged by the Arab legion, a Jordanian force commanded by British officers. The Legion attacked the Ezyon Bloc with its tanks and overran it on May 13. On the same day Jaffa surrendered to the Haganah after the attack on the town by the iẒl. By the middle of May, the yishuv had suffered about 2,500 fatal casualties, almost half of them among the civilian population.

On May 14, 1948, the day preceding the end of British rule, the People's Council convened in the Tel Aviv Museum and approved the Proclamation of Independence, which declared the establishment of the State of Israel.

[Yehuda Slutsky]

From Independence to the Six-Day War

the end of the mandatory regime

The Declaration of Independence began by explaining the justification for the establishment of the Jewish State at that moment of history. It recalled the shaping of the Jewish people and their culture in the Land of Israel, their unbroken attachment to the land in dispersion, and their return in recent generations to found a thriving and self-reliant society. The right of the Jewish people to national restoration in their land, the declaration continued, was voiced by the First Zionist Congress, acknowledged in the Balfour Declaration, confirmed in the League of Nations Mandate, and now irrevocably recognized by the United Nations. "By virtue of our natural and historic right and of the resolution of the General Assembly of the United Nations," the People's Council proclaimed the establishment of "a Jewish State in the Land of Israel – the State of Israel." From the concluding moment of the Mandate, at midnight on May 14/15, 1948, the council was to act as the Provisional Council of State and the 13-member People's Administration as the provisional government. The declaration concluded by proclaiming the basic principles on which the State of Israel was to be founded, undertaking to cooperate with the United Nations in carrying out the resolution of Nov. 29, 1947, calling upon the Arabs in Israel and the neighboring states to cooperate with the independent Jewish nation in its land, and appealing to the entire Jewish people to join forces with the State of Israel in its constructive efforts.

At the same meeting the council resolved by acclamation that all legal provisions deriving from the 1939 White Paper – particularly the restrictions on Jewish immigration and land purchase – were null and void. Subject to this decision, the law presently in force would remain valid until amended, with such changes as followed from the establishment of the state and its authorities. The provisional government was empowered to enact emergency legislation. At midnight, a few hours later, the last British high commissioner, Sir Alan Cunningham, left Haifa on board a British destroyer. The Mandate was over. At 00:11 a.m. on May 15, U.S. President Truman recognized the provisional government "as the de facto authority of the new State of Israel." Three days later the Soviet Union. (as well as Guatemala) granted the new state de jure recognition. During the first month of its existence, nine more countries recognized Israel: five Communist, three Latin American, and South Africa.

the arab states join in the attack: may 15–june 11, 1948

During the night of May 14/15, Tel Aviv was bombarded by Egyptian planes. The attempt by the Arab states to crush Israel at birth had begun. Ben-Gurion, who was in charge of defense, and Ya'-akov *Dori (Dostrovosky), the Haganah chief of staff, could look back on substantial military achievements. Four of the towns with mixed Jewish-Arab population were in Jewish hands; Acre was encircled; Jewish Jerusalem held out, and some of its adjacent Arab quarters had been taken. The Haganah held crucial strong points on the road to the capital from Tel Aviv. About 100 Arab villages had fallen; western and eastern Galilee were cleared of enemy forces; the roads to the north and the Negev were open. Local Arab armed contingents had been crushed, and Kaukji's Liberation Army had suffered severe reverses. Israel had 30,000 fully armed men in the field; the iẒl and Leḥi forces were placed under Haganah command, though both maintained their autonomy in Jerusalem. To reinforce the three Palmaḥ and six other brigades, artillery units were being organized around nuclei of World War ii veterans. With the aid of Jewish volunteers from abroad (*Maḥal), Israelis who had served with the raf, and pilots trained by the Palmaḥ, the tiny air force was expanded. A small navy, similarly manned, had also been founded. Two more brigades – the 7th, consisting mainly of new immigrants, and Oded, made up mainly of men from the Palmaḥ and the kibbutzim – were set up. On May 26 the provisional government issued an ordinance establishing the Israel Defense Forces – Ẓeva Haganah le-Israel (the second word in the name marking the nexus between the idf and the pre-state militia) and forbidding the maintenance of any other armed force. On the other hand, the exhausted Israel forces, which at first did not have a single tank, fighter plane, or field gun and had suffered heavy casualties, faced fresh, organized troops, equipped with tanks, artillery, and fighting craft. In the north, the Syrians invaded in two columns, one advancing down the Jordan Valley toward Deganyah and the other in Eastern Galilee in the direction of Mishmar ha-Yarden. The former offensive was repulsed, but the other column succeeded in taking Mishmar ha-Yarden on June 10, a day before a truce was declared. The Lebanese, after linking up with Kaukji's irregulars, were content to help him maintain a large pocket in Central Galilee.

In the center, the Transjordanian Arab Legion, which, despite repeated British promises, had not been withdrawn before the end of the Mandate, had taken up positions in and around Jerusalem and together with Iraqi troops, in the "Triangle" area marked by the Arab towns of Nablus, Jenin, and Tulkarm. They hoped, after a speedy victory, to advance to the lowlands, forestalling the Egyptians, who were attacking from the south, by taking the Coastal Plain and the Syrians by occupying Haifa. The Legion reached *Latrun, on the road to the capital, took up positions in the Old City, cut off Mount Scopus, and threatened the Jewish quarters in the north of Jerusalem.

Units of the Harel Brigade penetrated through the Zion Gate and made contact with the defenders of the Jewish Quarter of the Old City, but they were unable to hold out against superior forces and left the Old City. The Jewish Quarter surrendered on May 25. No Jews were left in the Old City, and the Jewish Quarter, with its ancient synagogues and places of learning, was almost completely demolished. The Legion troops could make no further progress, however, and contented themselves with indiscriminate bombardment of the Jewish areas, in which 170 civilians were killed and over 1,000 injured. The Israelis' attempts to lift the siege were unsuccessful, but at the beginning of June they succeeded in bringing up supplies and reinforcements along a makeshift track in the mountains, named the "Burma Road" in recollection of *Wingate's exploits in World War ii.

The Iraqis took little part in offensive operations but were able to prevent the fall of Jenin. The Egyptians, however, were more successful. They advanced with a rapid pincer movement through mainly Arab territory, one arm advancing northward along the coast, while the other moved northeast, through Beersheba and Hebron, to southern Jerusalem. The western arm, after being held up by the desperate resistance of the Jewish villages of *Yad Mordekhai, *Kefar Darom and *Niẓẓanim, was halted by Israeli forces north of the Arab village of Isdūd (Ashdod). The eastern arm split the Negev and cut off its 28 Jewish villages, but it was unable to subdue them.

The first Messerschmidts of the infant Israel air force were assembled only on May 29, with others arriving at the rate of one or two a day. A direct confrontation with the superior Arab forces was out of the question, but they carried out a variety of operations, cooperating with the ground forces, flying in supplies to isolated outposts, bombarding Amman and Damascus, and attacking Egyptian troop-carrying ships. Some of the refugee boats, which had brought "illegal" immigrants, were hurriedly repaired and fitted with antiquated cannon; one of them, the Eilat, took part in the battle against Egyptian troop carriers off the Gaza Strip.

On May 20 the un General Assembly appointed Count Folke Bernadotte as mediator for Palestine to ensure the maintenance of essential services and the protection of the Holy Places and to promote a peaceful solution to the conflict. At the same time, the Security Council called on the parties to cease fire. Israel agreed, but the Arabs refused. On May 29, the day after the mediator's arrival in the Middle East, the council again called for a cease-fire – this time for a period of four weeks – and after bargaining over details and several postponements, the truce went into force on June 11. Israel was in control of eastern and western Galilee, the Jezreel Valley from Haifa to the Jordan River, the coastal strip to a point north of Isdod, a corridor from the coast to Jerusalem, and a large pocket in the heart of the Negev, not including Beersheba.

organizing the state: may 1–july 7, 1948

In the midst of battle, the infant state had to improvise the machinery of government. Law and order in the Jewish areas, transport and communications, purchase and distribution of supplies, social services, and the like had been organized on a voluntary basis by the People's Administration during the chaotic last days of the Mandate, but there was only the nucleus of a civil service, consisting of the staffs of the Jewish Agency and the Va'ad Le'ummi and the Jewish officials in the British administration. At its first regular meeting the Provisional Council of State elected Chaim *Weizmann as its president. The administrative headquarters of the government were set up in the rural surroundings of Sarona, a suburb of Tel Aviv evacuated by the German *Templer settlers who had been deported during the war. On May 19 the council adopted the Law and Administration Ordinance, which laid down, in broad lines, its own powers as the legislature and those of the provisional government, thus establishing a rudimentary constitution. Other laws were concerned with weekly and annual days of rest for Jews and non-Jews, the tenure of civil servants and police officers, and the operation of the courts. There was now no bar to the arrival of immigrants. At the end of July the minister of immigration announced that over 25,000 had arrived, mainly from the camps in Cyprus and the Displaced Persons' camps in Europe, although the British and American authorities were making it difficult for young men of military age to leave in case they should strengthen Israel during the truce period.

The truce brought advantages to both sides. While the Arabs were able to rest and reorganize their troops, the Israelis also had a valuable breathing space for redeployment, training, and planning. At the beginning of June the newly formed government faced a critical internal challenge to its authority. Although iẒl had undertaken to stop all independent arms purchases, it was learned that a ship called the Altalena (the literary pseudonym of Vladimir Jabotinsky) was on its way from France carrying not only 900 immigrants, but also 250 light machine guns, 5,000 rifles, and a large quantity of ammunition. The government demanded that the ship, with its cargo, be placed unconditionally at its disposal, but the iẒl leaders refused. On June 20, when the ship approached the shore at Kefar Vitkin, soldiers were sent to prevent the arms and ammunition from being unloaded and a battle developed with iẒl adherents, including two companies who had left their army posts. The iẒl contingent surrendered, but the ship succeeded in escaping and reaching Tel Aviv, where another skirmish took place between iẒl members and a Palmaḥ detachment. The army shelled the ship, and most of the immigrants barely succeeded in jumping into the shallow water before it blew up and sank. The incident left a deep deposit of bitterness but made it clear that no sectional armed force competing with the idf would be tolerated (see *Irgun Ẓeva'i Le'ummi).

As the end of the truce approached, efforts were made to extend it: on July 1 Count Bernadotte invited Arabs and Jews to meet for negotiations at Rhodes, and on the 7th the Security Council called on the parties to renew the truce. The Arabs refused, though agreement was reached in Jerusalem on the demilitarization of the Mount Scopus area, including the Hebrew University, the Hadassah Hospital, the Augusta Victoria building, and the Arab village of ʿIsawiyya.

ten days' fighting: july 8–18, 1948

On July 8 the Egyptians renewed their attacks in the south with a view to sealing off the Negev. Now, however, Israel's strong points were fortified and its forces much better trained and armed. Mobile commandos, "Samson's Foxes," inflicted heavy casualties and captured valuable supplies, including armored vehicles. In ten days the Egyptian attack was shattered, with the loss of 740 killed, 1,000 wounded, and 200 prisoners.

On July 9, with the official expiry of the truce, the idf launched a strong offensive, led by tanks and armored cars, aimed at repelling the threat to Tel Aviv and driving at the Latrun-Ramallah road. On July 11 Lydda was taken, and Ramleh surrendered next day. The Arab Legion counterattacked but was driven back, losing 600 killed and 250 wounded, and on the 16th the objective was achieved. At the same time, the Israelis attacked in Lower Galilee, taking Nazareth and driving most of Kaukji's forces back to Lebanon. In the Jerusalem sector, the Israelis, who could now bombard Legion posts all along the front, broke the Egyptian line in the south and took ʿAyn Karm (Ein Kerem) on the western outskirts of the city. An attempt to take the Old City, however, was unsuccessful. On the night of July 16/17 idf forces broke in from Mount Zion, while iẒl and Lehi contingents breached the New Gate, but they were forced to withdraw a few hours before the second truce went into effect in the city. During the "Ten Days" the Egyptians bombarded Tel Aviv and the Negev villages, but the Israelis had acquired a number of "flying fortresses," which attacked Cairo on their way to Israel, carried out many operations in support of the ground forces, and bombed Damascus twice. Twelve enemy planes were shot down, bringing Arab losses from the beginning of the invasion to 34.

On July 15 the Security Council adopted a strongly worded resolution noting the Arabs' rejection of appeals for the extension of the truce, determining that the situation constituted a threat to peace, ordering a cease-fire "until a peaceful adjustment of the future situation of Palestine is reached," and declaring that failure to comply would be a breach of the peace and might involve sanctions under Chapter vii of the un Charter. The cease-fire was to take effect in Jerusalem on July 17 and in the rest of the country on the next day. This time it was the Arabs who willingly accepted the cease-fire, since the Israel forces were on the offensive. Israel agreed with some reluctance, for, although it had achieved considerable gains, the Syrians still held Mishmar ha-Yarden in the north; Jerusalem was still split, with Mount Scopus an enclave in Arab-held territory; the main road to Jerusalem was blocked at Latrun; and the Egyptians held strategically important positions in the Negev.

political and internal problems: june–november, 1948

Since the beginning of the first truce, the mediator had been trying to work out a solution to the dispute. He did not consider himself bound by the partition plan, which he thought was favorable to the Jews, and tried to find ways of satisfying the demands of the Arabs. On June 27, after consulting separately with representatives of the two sides, he proposed a union of two states (neither completely independent) – one Jewish and one Arab – the latter to comprise Transjordan and part of Western Palestine. After two years Jewish immigration was to be subject to the approval of the un Economic and Social Council, while the Arab refugees were to be repatriated and their property restored. In an appendix he suggested territorial changes in the partition plan: Transjordan to get Jerusalem (with autonomy for the Jewish population) and most or all of the Negev; Israel to get western Galilee; Haifa port and Lydda airport to become free zones.

Almost all of Bernadotte's proposals were completely unacceptable to Israel, and the Arab League refused to consider anything less than an Arab state in the whole of Western Palestine, with protection for the Jewish minority. After the second truce came into operation, the Arabs still refused to start negotiations and there was a halt in efforts to find a solution. With Arab troops still occupying key positions, the Israel government regarded the indefinite continuance of the truce as highly dangerous. The Arabs committed repeated breaches of the ceasefire, such as the blowing up by the Arab Legion of the pumping station at Latrun, which was to supply water to Jerusalem. Internally, there was uncertainty about the status of Jerusalem, where iẒl and Leḥi units were still in existence.

The economic situation was critical. The burden of the war effort was heavy, and costs were high because of restricted imports, world price increases, and labor shortages due to general mobilization. The cost-of-living index stood at 344 points at the end of July 1949, compared with 280 in November 1947. Although the Haifa refineries had been reopened on July 22, there was a shortage of fuel and the licenses of nonessential civilian vehicles were revoked. Immigrants were still pouring in, however, and as young men were called up the new-comers took their places in office, shop, field, and factory. Thousands of families were accommodated in houses abandoned by Arab refugees, and dozens of new villages were founded, many of them kibbutzim settled by groups for whom no land had been available under the Mandate. On August 17 the minister of finance, Eliezer *Kaplan, announced that the Palestine pound would be replaced by the Israel pound, a new currency with the same exchange value, issued by the Anglo-Palestine Bank.

At the end of August the Zionist General Council met in Tel Aviv to discuss the changes in the structure and functions of the Jewish Agency necessitated by the establishment of the Jewish state. Obviously, the Agency could no longer deal with such matters as defense and relations with foreign governments. Some of its leading members were now ministers responsible to the Israel legislature, and the American Zionists demanded complete separation between the Agency Executive and Israel government. Ultimately, compromises were reached: the Agency would concentrate on immigration, absorption, settlement, youth work, and information; as land purchase was no longer a problem, the Jewish National Fund would devote itself to afforestation and land amelioration. The Agency Executive was enlarged by the co-option of Mapam and Revisionist representatives: 11 were to sit in Jerusalem, seven in New York, and one in London. Kaplan retained his place on the executive as a link with the government.

To regularize the position in Jerusalem, the government placed the Israel-held area under Israel law and appointed Dov *Joseph as military governor. The city's economy had been badly injured by the siege, supply difficulties, and the transfer of government departments to Tel Aviv. On September 17 Count Bernadotte and his assistant, Col. Sarraut, were assassinated in Jerusalem. An unknown organization called the Fatherland Front, generally considered to consist of ex-members of Leḥi, claimed the credit. The government arrested some 200 men and decided to impose strict discipline over all sectional forces. An ultimatum was issued to iẒl to disband immediately and hand in all its arms.

A few days after the murder, Bernadotte's last report to the United Nations was published. It called for the replacement of the truce by a permanent peace, or at least an armistice, and made new territorial proposals: to give the Negev to the Arabs and Galilee to the Jews; to place Jerusalem under international supervision; to join the Arab area with Transjordan; and to permit the refugees to return to their homes. The report was well received in Washington and London, but Israel rejected most of its proposals.

Ben-Gurion had already raised the problem of the separate command of the Palmaḥ, which dealt with recruitment, training, supplies, and even operational matters. The Palmaḥ enjoyed the political support of Mapam, the United Workers' Party: of its 64 senior officers, 60 were associated with that party. Ben-Gurion, while deeply appreciating its spirit and achievements, insisted that the general staff must have complete and unified control of all units. The Palmaḥ and its supporters argued that it fulfilled a vital function and that unified control was assured, through the subordination of its command to the idf general staff. After prolonged and at times heated debates over the question, which was even discussed by the Histadrut, the government decided on November 7 to dissolve the separate Palmaḥ command and transfer its functions to the appropriate departments of the general staff. Its three brigades continued to exist and played an outstanding part in the idf's operations until the end of the fighting.

last battles: october 1948–january 1949

In the middle of October, fighting broke out again in the Negev. Despite the rulings of Ralph Bunche, who had succeeded Bernadotte as mediator, the Egyptians refused to allow the Israelis to send supplies to their villages and outposts. On October 15, after notifying the un observers, a convoy was sent down to the Negev; when it was attacked by the Egyptians, the Israel forces opened a general offensive in the area, known as Operation Ten Plagues. In five days the road was cleared, Beersheba taken, and the Egyptians hemmed in around Faluja. The air force played an important part in the campaign by bombarding the Egyptians in the Faluja pocket, while the small boats of the navy harassed them, prevented supplies and reinforcements from arriving by sea, and sank the Egyptian flagship, the Faruk. At the same time, a number of posts commanding the railroad to Jerusalem were taken and an attack was launched at the remnants of Kaukji's forces in Galilee, which did not recognize the cease-fire. Operations in the north were completed at the end of the month with the capture of several Lebanese border villages.

The fighting was not yet over, however. The Egyptians held out in the Faluja pocket and threatened Israel villages and communications in the Negev. On November 9 the formidable fortress at Iraq-Suweidan, which had withstood seven attacks, was taken. On November 23 Israel forces advanced from Beersheba to take the desert crossroads at Kurnub and Ein Huṣb, which controlled the road to the Dead Sea Works at Sodom. At the beginning of December the Egyptians took a number of strong points as preparation for a renewed advance on Beersheba, but on the 22nd the Israel forces started a large-scale offensive that turned the Egyptian flank by advancing with an armored column into Egyptian territory from Niẓẓanah (ʿAuja al-Ḥafīir) and taking the northern Sinai crossroads at Abu-Aweigila and the airfield at the coastal town of El-Arish. The Israelis withdrew from Sinai under pressure from the powers and the United Nations, but started to advance toward Rafa, the border town on the coast. On Jan. 7, 1949, after the Egyptians agreed to open negotiations for an armistice, the final cease-fire was called.

The War of Independence was, in effect, over, although it was not formally ended until the signature of the Armistice Agreement with Syria in July 1949. The fighting had been spread over a period of more than 13 months, including 61 days of continuous combat. Israel had paid a heavy price: 4,000 soldiers and 2,000 civilians killed. The financial cost was also heavy: about 500 million dollars. The Jewish state, however, was now a definite fact, created by the effort and sacrifice of its people with no effective assistance from the United Nations, which had called for its establishment. On Ben-Gurion's insistence, it had been decided not to specify boundaries in the Declaration of Independence, and Israel did not feel bound by the partition map, which the un mediator had ignored. It held an area of almost 8,000 sq. mi., compared with some 6,200 sq. mi. within the boundaries delineated in the partition plan, including the whole of Galilee; a coastal strip reaching down to some 27 miles north of the Sinai border, narrowing to six miles north of Tel Aviv and broadening into a corridor from the coast to Jerusalem; and the whole of the Negev. Western Jerusalem was firmly in Jewish hands. The establishment of an Arab state and the internationalization of Jerusalem had been frustrated by the Arab attacks and the occupation (later turned into annexation) by Transjordan of the Arab-inhabited eastern parts of Palestine, later called the West Bank (including East Jerusalem), and the Egyptian occupation of the Gaza Strip, which was also earmarked for the Arab state. This, however, did not prevent the Arabs, in later years, from repeatedly demanding a return to the boundaries laid down in the General Assembly resolution of Nov. 29, 1947.

the first elections: november 1948–august 1949

While sporadic fighting was still going on, and before the de facto boundaries of the new state had been settled, steps were taken to put the regime on a firm footing of democratic consent. On Nov. 8, 1948, an all-day curfew was proclaimed and, while the entire population remained in their homes, a census was carried out. The population of the areas then under Israel control was found to be 782,000–713,000 Jews and 69,000 Arabs (after the conclusion of the Armistice Agreements

and the readmission of Arabs separated from their families, the number of Arabs rose to about 120,000). Of this number, 506,567 had the right to vote. There was no time to divide the country into constituencies, and the elections were held by the proportional representation system in force for the Zionist Congresses and the Elected Assembly of Keneset Yisrael. The number of seats was fixed at 120, like the membership of Keneset ha-Gedolah, the Great Assembly that functioned after the ancient return from Babylon.

The elections were held on January 25; almost 87% of the electors – 440,000 – went to the polls, including over 73,000 votes cast at special polling stations for soldiers. The results showed a considerable degree of political continuity. The largest party in the Assembly was Mapai with 46 seats, followed by Mapam, the United Workers' Party, with 19 and the United Religious Front (Mizrachi, Ha-Po'el ha-Mizrachi, Agudat Israel, and Po'alei Agudat Israel) with 16. The Revisionist Party was replaced by the Ḥerut movement, founded by the iẒl, which obtained 14 seats. The various middle-class parties coalesced into two groups: General Zionists with 7 and Progressives with 5. The Communists and the communal list of the Sephardim had 4 seats each. There was also an Arab party, the Nazareth Democratic List, with 2 seats; other Arab votes went to various Jewish lists, especially Mapai and the Communists. The Fighters' List (Leḥi), wizo (Women Zionists), and the Yemenite Federation received one seat each.

The first meeting of the Assembly was held in Jerusalem as a sign of Israel's determination that the Holy City should be the capital of the Jewish state. It was opened at the headquarters of the Jewish Agency, by Chaim Weizmann as president of the Provisional Council of State.

The 114 members who were present made the declaration of allegiance, and four committees were elected to make arrangements for the continuation of the Assembly's work. The first session also elected Yosef *Sprinzak as speaker, and the second elected representatives of Mapam and the United Religious Front as his deputies.

On February 16, the Assembly adopted the Transition Law as a provisional constitution, outlining the functions and procedures of the legislature, the election and powers of the president, the formation of the government, and its relations with the Assembly, which was to be called the Knesset. On the same day it elected Weizmann president, and he was installed on the 17th. The provisional government thereupon submitted its resignation to the president, as provided by the Transition Law, and, after consultations with representatives of all the parties, he called upon Ben-Gurion to form a new cabinet. The first regular government, which obtained a vote of confidence on March 10, was based on a coalition between Mapai, the United Religious Front, the Progressives, and the Sephardim. With the exception of the last, who split up subsequently between Mapai and the General Zionists, these parties constituted the nucleus of almost all subsequent Israel cabinets up to 1977. Contrary to expectations, the Knesset did not proceed immediately to draft a formal constitution. After lengthy discussions and debates, it was decided in June 1950 to enact a number of separate "Basic Laws," which would ultimately be combined to form the constitution. (See also Israel, State of: *Political Life and Parties) Israel's debt to the man who proclaimed the vision of the Jewish state was recognized when, on Aug. 17, 1949, the remains of Theodor Herzl were brought by air from Vienna and reinterred in Jerusalem on a hill renamed Mount Herzl.

israel joins the family of nations: january–july 1949

Negotiations for an armistice between Israel and Egypt started on the island of Rhodes on Jan. 13, 1949, under the auspices of Ralph Bunche. At first the mediator met the representatives of each side separately; when there were signs of progress, the parties held informal meetings; and when agreement was reached, the representatives met under his chairmanship to affix their signatures.

The *Armistice Agreement with Egypt, signed on February 24, gave the entire Negev, down to the border with Sinai, to Israel but left the *Gaza Strip under Egyptian occupation. A demilitarized zone was established around ʿAuja al-Ḥafīr (Niẓẓanah) and also on the Egyptian side of the line, in the same area. To ensure de facto control over the Negev, two infantry columns were sent out at the beginning of March 1949 in Operation Uvdah ("Fact"). On March 10 the advance party reached the abandoned police post at Umm Rash Rash on the Gulf of Akaba, ensuring Israel's outlet to the Red Sea and restoring the biblical name, Eilat.

Under the agreement with Lebanon, signed on March 23 at Ras al-Naqura (Rosh ha-Nikrah), the former international frontier was specified as the armistice line, Israel forces withdrawing from the Lebanese villages they had occupied.

The agreement with Jordan, signed on March 4 after a month's negotiations, established a winding border 530 km. (330 miles) long. It left under Jordanian occupation the thickly populated hill country of Judea and Samaria (called the "West Bank" after its annexation by Transjordan), including East Jerusalem, and ran through the Dead Sea down the Mandatory eastern border of Palestine to the tip of the Red Sea (the Gulf of Akaba), about three miles west of Akaba Port. It was agreed that the Arab Legion should replace the Iraqis in the "Triangle" area.

Under the agreement with Syria, which was not signed until July 20, the Syrians withdrew from the areas they had occupied west of the international frontier and Israel agreed, in return, that the areas should be demilitarized and the Arabs who had abandoned them during the fighting be permitted to return. Thus Israeli control over Lake Kinneret and Lake Ḥuleh was assured, but the demilitarized zones were a frequent focus of friction during the following years. Iraq did not conclude an armistice agreement with Israel. See also Israel, State of: *Historical Survey, section on Frontiers.

Although the agreements specifically reserved to the parties the right to make territorial claims in the future, it was stated in each case that the agreement was concluded "in order to facilitate the transition from the present truce to permanent peace in Palestine" (preamble), that "No aggressive actions by the armed forces – land, sea, or air – of either Party shall be undertaken, planned or threatened against the people or the armed forces of the other" (Article 1), and that "No warlike act or act of hostility shall be conducted from territory controlled by one of the Parties… against the other Party" (Article 2). The armistice lines thus constituted de facto boundaries as long as they were respected by both sides, and, despite repeated violations, they served as such until the Six-Day War of 1967. A United Nations Truce Supervision Organization (untso), composed of soldiers from various countries under the command of a chief of staff, and four Mixed Armistice Commissions (macs), each with Israel and Arab representatives under an untso officer as chairman, were set up to supervise the execution of the agreements and consider complaints. In default of unanimity, the un chairman acted as an arbiter.

On Dec. 11, 1948, the un General Assembly recommended (Resolution 194 [iii]) that "the Governments and authorities concerned" should "seek agreement by negotiations conducted with a view to a final settlement of all questions outstanding between them," that "the refugees wishing to return to their homes and live in peace with their neighbors should be permitted to do so at the earliest practical date," and that a Palestine Conciliation Commission, consisting of U.S., French, and Turkish representatives, be set up to bring the parties together. When the commission met at Lausanne on April 26, 1949, the Arab delegations insisted on the return of all Arab refugees as a precondition to negotiations, while Israel was prepared to discuss the problem only in the context of comprehensive peace negotiations. Israel later offered to admit 100,000 refugees as part of a comprehensive peace settlement, but the Lausanne talks made no progress and were broken off in September. An Economic Survey Mission headed by Gordon R. Clapp, appointed by the pcc, suggested constructive schemes to employ the refugees in their new locations, but the proposal was rejected by the Arabs, and the United Nations confined itself to relief work through the Relief and Works Agency (unwra), appointed in 1949. Meanwhile, Israel had been steadily winning its place in the family of nations. Within a year of its establishment it was recognized by over 50 states, and on May 11, 1949, it was admitted as a member of the United Nations.

The question of Jerusalem, which was to have been internationalized under the partition plan, was still on the agenda of the United Nations and was debated by the General Assembly toward the end of the year. A surprise coalition of Muslim, Catholic, and Communist states voted on Dec. 9, 1949, in favor of internationalization. Israel categorically rejected the proposal and on December 13 the Knesset decided to hold its sittings in Jerusalem as the capital of Israel (it had been meeting in Tel Aviv) and speed up the transfer of government offices from Tel Aviv. The un Trusteeship Council, which was entrusted with the preparation of a constitution for the international regime on the city, found that the scheme was impracticable, and after the 1950 Assembly had failed to pass any resolution on the subject by the required two-thirds majority, the proposal was, in effect, dropped (see section on Jerusalem in Israel, State of: Historical Survey, Foreign Policy and International Relations).

the ingathering of the exiles begins: 1948–1951

The early years of statehood witnessed the beginnings of the realization of an ancient dream: the *ingathering of the exiles. By the end of 1948, with the state barely six months old, over 100,000 Jews had arrived – the number the Jewish leaders had pleaded with the Mandatory government to admit into undivided Palestine. The right to aliyah, implicitly recognized by the annulment of all Mandatory restrictions on immigration, was explicitly proclaimed by the *Law of Return (July 5, 1950), the first clause of which read: "Every Jew has the right to come to this country as an oleh" (defined in a footnote as: "a Jew immigrating to Israel for settlement").

Most of the survivors of the Nazi Holocaust were eager to leave Europe. The Displaced Persons' camps were emptied. At first only Czechoslovakia, Bulgaria, and Yugoslavia let their Jews go, but Poland, Romania, and Hungary followed suit later. In addition, there was a great mass migration from North Africa and the Middle East, where the Zionist movement had hardly existed. Thousands came from Turkey and Iran, Morocco and Tunis, Algeria and Libya. By the end of 1951, almost all the Jews of Yemen and Iraq had been brought over in dramatic airlifts. The arrival of these Oriental Jews, most of them deeply pious and with distinctive, centuries-old traditions and customs, brought back into the mainstream of Jewish life communities that had lived on the margin of the great 19th-century Jewish political, cultural, and religious movements. The confrontation between the Ashkenazim from Eastern and Central Europe, who had played the main role in building the National Home, and the Oriental communities, which differed widely in language, outlook, and manners, had profound implications. The flood gathered strength in 1949, when almost 240,000 olim arrived, and slackened only slightly in the two following years, when the influx totaled 170,000 and 175,000, respectively. In three and a half years, by the end of 1951, the Jewish population had been doubled by the arrival of over 684,000 immigrants – one-third more than came in the 70 years of pre-State Zionist aliyah. The newcomers were divided almost equally between Ashkenazim and Orientals, whereas before 1948 almost 90% had come from Europe.

The handling of this tempestuous flood was a task of staggering dimensions for a small nation still at war, with an untried administrative machine. Efforts were made to get the construction of housing started, using various methods of prefabricated and accelerated building. But the pace inevitably fell short of the needs: in the years 1948–51, 78,000 dwellings, comprising 165,000 rooms, were completed – a remarkable achievement for a country with a population of 1,500,000 at the end of the period, but still only one room for every four newcomers.

A considerable proportion of the new arrivals had, therefore, to be content with temporary accommodation. By the summer of 1949, almost 100,000 persons were living in camps, receiving their meals from central kitchens and supported almost entirely by public funds. Life under such conditions was demoralizing, and it was not always easy to induce the camp residents to move out and become self-supporting. Few of the immigrants knew enough Hebrew to communicate with the authorities and understand what was going on. Most were penniless and unfit – sometimes unwilling – to work with their hands in field or factory. There was a danger that the result would be the creation of not a homogenous nation, but two Israels: one consisting of mainly Ashkenazi veterans, who held positions of power and influence and understood the new society because they had built it, the other mostly underemployed, undereducated, and underprivileged Orientals. It was therefore decided to transfer the immigrants to transitional camps or quarters (*ma'barot) where, though the accommodation was still primitive, each family could look after itself and find work in the neighborhood. By the end of 1951, about 400,000 of the new immigrants had found permanent housing, though 250,000 were still living in 123 ma'barot and ten immigrants' camps.

Settlement on the land, one of the great ideals of Zionism, was now an urgent necessity to solve a triple problem: the overcrowding in the camps and ma'barot, the need to till large areas of cultivable land abandoned by Arab refugees, and the shortage of food for the growing population. Although there were some experiments in the cultivation of large stretches by public or private management, which gave the newcomers their first taste of manual labor, the Jewish Agency, which was responsible for new settlements, adhered to the principle of enabling small groups to form autonomous, self-supporting farm villages. While 79 kibbutzim were founded during the first year and a half – more than half as many as during the previous 40 years – the great majority of the newcomers were sent off to establish moshavim, in which each family was responsible for its own holding in a cooperative framework, with guidance and help from the Agency. Thus, in 1949 and 1950, 126 moshavim were established – many on the sites of ma'barot or abandoned Arab villages – almost trebling the number of moshavim. An intermediate type was the work village (kefar avodah), where the newcomers were employed, generally by the Jewish National Fund, on afforestation or land amelioration. Altogether 345 new villages of all types were established during 1948–51, compared with 293 during the previous seven decades. They filled up gaps in all parts of the country, not only in the Coastal Plain but also in areas where only isolated groups had lived before: Upper Galilee, the Judean Hills, and the arid Negev.

A feature that assumed greater psychological significance in later years was the small proportion of immigrants from Western Europe and the Americas, the main centers of the Zionist movement. Ben-Gurion, in particular, challenged the right of the Zionist to claim a privileged status when so few of them were prepared to carry out their ideals in practice (see also Israel, State of: *Aliyah and Absorption).

economic and social problems: 1949–1953

Mass immigration, though welcomed as the fulfillment of one of Israel's basic aspirations, aggravated the economic difficulties. The defense burden and the cost of feeding and housing large numbers of unproductive immigrants intensified inflationary tendencies inherited from the Mandatory period. Taxation was high and productivity low; the rate of exchange, which kept the Israel pound on a par with the pound sterling, discouraged foreign investors, and there was a shortage of imported raw materials. Dov Joseph, the minister of supply and rationing, introduced a strict austerity regime: basic foodstuffs were doled out in small quantities month by month and, later, clothing and footwear were rationed too; the economy of the household was dominated by the ration book. Those with relatives or friends abroad could receive food parcels or foreign-currency "scrip," which was exchanged for food; others resorted to a flourishing black market. There was serious unemployment, which had to be mitigated by expensive and unproductive public works, since there was no unemployment insurance. The austerity policy, however, succeeded in conserving resources and lowering prices: the cost-of-living index fell from 493 points at the beginning of 1949 to 378 a year later.

Israel could not bear these burdens unaided. Funds from the *United Jewish Appeal in the United States and similar efforts by Jews abroad helped to support the newcomers, but much capital was needed for housing and development. A $100,000,000 loan from the American Export-Import Bank in January 1949 was followed by a series of grants-in-aid from the U.S. government and technical assistance under "Point 4" administered by a U.S. Operations Mission in Israel. In 1950 the Law for the Encouragement of Foreign Investment was passed. In the same year a conference of Jewish communal leaders and businessmen from the United States, Britain, and South Africa launched a drive for the sale of State of Israel *Bonds, the proceeds to be used for development and immigrant housing.

In 1951 the World Zionist Congress met in Jerusalem for the first time and pledged continued assistance to Israel in the common task of settling and integrating the immigrants. Uneasiness was expressed, particularly by the General Zionists and the Ḥerut-Revisionist Union, at the decline in the status of the Zionist Organization, which Ben-Gurion and the Israel government were accused of belittling and neglecting. In November 1952, after discussions between the Jewish Agency Executive and the government, the Knesset passed the World Zionist Organization Status Law, which recognized the organization as "the authorized agency which will continue to operate in the State of Israel for the development and settlement of the country, the absorption of immigrants from the Diaspora, and the coordination of the activities in Israel of Jewish institutions and organizations active in those fields." A "Covenant," regulating the cooperation between the two bodies, was concluded by the government and the Executive of the Zionist Organization and the Jewish Agency.

In September 1952, after a virulent controversy (see Israel, State of: *Political Life and Parties), an agreement was signed with the German Federal Republic for payment to the State of Israel, which had taken in hundreds of thousands of homeless refugees, as the representative of the Jewish people, of dm3,000,000,000 ($715,000,000) as partial reparations for material losses suffered by the Jews under the Nazi regime. In addition, dm450,000,000 was to be paid to the Conference on Jewish Material Claims, representing Diaspora Jewry, and individuals who had suffered under the Nazis were to receive personal restitution.

Despite difficulties and periodical crises, there was considerable progress. One of the first legislative acts of the Knesset (Aug. 1, 1949) was to pass the Compulsory Education Law, which, though not abolishing the party "trends," brought them under state control. Economic policy was adapted to the changing circumstances: strict controls on imports were eased and premiums were introduced to encourage exports. Funds from abroad were invested in irrigation, and settlement and the building of new villages, loans to industry, road building, and large-scale development schemes like the drainage of the Ḥuleh. *El Al, the Israel National Airline, was established, and a beginning was made with the expansion of the four small ships owned by *Zim, Israel Navigation Co., into a national merchant marine. Government geologists went out to map the mineral deposits of the Negev, and government companies were set up to exploit phosphates, copper, and other resources. A beginning was made with labor legislation, providing for a 47-hour work week, a weekly rest day, and an annual 14-day paid vacation. In 1951 the Equal Rights for Women Law was passed. In November 1952 President Chaim Weizmann died and in the following month Izhak Ben-Zvi was elected as his successor.

Nevertheless, the population felt the strains of shortages, high prices, and government restrictions. The General Zionists, as the mouthpiece of middle-class discontent, registered significant gains in the municipal elections in November 1950. There were disagreements between Mapai and the religious parties over religious education and the recruitment of girls for army or civilian national service. A controversy over an attempt to introduce non-party religious education in the ma'barot led to the resignation of the cabinet in February 1951 and premature elections in July of the same year. While Mapai and the religious parties retained their strength, the General Zionists trebled theirs (largely at the expense of Ḥerut), and after an unsuccessful attempt by Mapai to govern with the support of Mizrachi and Ha-Po'el ha-Mizrachi alone, the cabinet was reconstituted, the General Zionists receiving four ministries (including the important ones of Commerce and Industry and the Interior). Economic difficulties, reported by newcomers to their friends and relations abroad, were largely responsible for a sudden and drastic drop in aliyah: only 24,000 arrived in 1952 and 11,000 in the following year.

The conclusion of the reparations agreement with West Germany, the success of the uja and similar appeals and the Bond Drive, the U.S. government grants-in-aid, and the long-term loans obtained from U.S. and international sources allowed Israel to look forward with some confidence to a decade of relative financial security. In 1952 a "New Economic Policy" was instituted to reduce inflationary pressures and cover the gap in the foreign-trade balance. Many controls were removed and prices were allowed to rise to an economic level; the consumers' price index rose by 50% during the year. The government undertook to cut its expenditures, balance the ordinary budget, and stop inflationary expansion of the currency. A beginning was made with the devaluation of the Israel pound to a more realistic level by the institution of three exchange rates, ranging from $2.80 to $1 per Israel pound for different kinds of imports and foreign-currency transactions. Advantage was taken of the introduction of new currency notes to impose a 10% compulsory loan on cash and bank balances. The new policy slowed down consumer spending, construction, and public works, and, consequently, led to a drop in production and a rise in unemployment during 1953. However, these effects were regarded as temporary difficulties involved in the transition to a healthier basis for the economy.

In July 1953 the "trend" school system was abolished by the passage of the State Education Law, under which the general and labor trends were amalgamated as the state education system and the Mizrachi trend became the state religious system, both under the control of the Ministry of Education and Culture. The Orthodox Agudah trend remained independent, but was subsidized from state funds. The fourth trend was the Arab trend, also under the Ministry of Education.

The close of a period of struggle and stress was marked by the temporary resignation of Ben-Gurion from the premiership in December 1953 and his replacement in the following month by Moshe Sharett as prime minister and Pinḥas *Lavon as minister of defense. The reason Ben-Gurion gave for this step was the strain of the accumulated tension of the past two decades, but it was generally believed that he felt a need for a fundamental reappraisal of the nation's problems. In a lengthy essay on "Jewish Survival," published in the Government Year Book for 1953/54, he discussed the clashes between religious and non-religious elements, the fragmentation of political life, the confrontation between Ashkenazim and Orientals, the need for a revival of the pioneering spirit, and the problematic relationship between Israel and Diaspora Jewry, especially in Western Europe and America, where the Zionist Organization was relatively strong but the will to aliyah was weak. In his retirement, at the new kibbutz of Sedeh Boker in the Negev, he tried, by precept and example, to stimulate the will to voluntary pioneering effort, particularly among the youth as well as settling the Negev

the war on the borders: 1950–1955

On May 25, 1950, the United States, Britain, and France, in a tripartite declaration on the Middle East, stated that they would take action if necessary to prevent any violation of frontiers or armistice lines by any state in the area. Arms supplies to Middle East countries, the declaration said, would be governed by their needs for internal security, legitimate self-defense, and their role in the defense of the area. For several years, however, it was chiefly the Arabs who received Western arms, while Israel had to rely mainly on semi-obsolete equipment from various sources.

There was no progress toward the "permanent peace" envisaged by the armistice agreements. In June 1950 the members of the Arab League concluded a collective security agreement against "the Zionist danger" and "Jewish expansionist aspirations." The Arab states continued to regard themselves as at war with Israel, refusing to recognize it or to negotiate a peaceful settlement of outstanding problems. They replied to Israel's calls for direct negotiations with, on the one hand, a refusal to recognize its right to exist, and, on the other, demands for "the implementation of un resolutions," which they interpreted as meaning the unconditional repatriation of all Arab refugees and the restriction of Israel to the boundaries drawn in the 1947 partition plan. The very existence of Israel was regarded as "aggression," and its destruction became a fundamental aim of Arab national policy. Sometimes indirect terms were used, such as "the restoration of the stolen rights of the Palestinian people," "the liberation of Palestine," the reconquest of the "stolen territory," or "the liquidation of Zionist aggression," but it was frequently stated in the plainest terms that the aim was a "second round" in which Israel would be destroyed and its people "pushed into the sea." The Arab League established a ramified boycott organization to dissuade businessmen in other countries, by economic pressure, from trading with Israel or investing in her economy. Egypt denied passage through the Suez Canal and the Straits of Tiran to shipping and cargoes belonging to, or bound for, Israel.

It was impossible to protect every kilometer of the long and winding borders by sentries or patrols. Border violations by Arab infiltrators bent on plunder, shooting by trigger-happy Arab soldiers, mine-laying on Israel roads and tracks, and, later, armed incursions by trained and organized bands, were almost daily occurrences. In the period 1951–56 over 400 Israelis were killed and 900 injured as a result; there were 3,000 armed clashes with Arab regular or irregular forces inside Israel territory, and some 6,000 acts of sabotage, theft, and attempted theft were committed by infiltrators. untso was powerless; the Mixed Armistice Commissions could do no more than register complaints, appeal for restraint, or, at best, pass resolutions of censure. The Security Council took no action to rectify the situation, and Israel had to look to its own defenses. The Defense Service Law, passed in September 1949, provided for two years' compulsory service in the armed forces for men and women, with reserves training up to the age of 49. In an emergency the reserves could be summoned to their units in a matter of hours. Reprisals against Arab attacks were carried out from time to time, but, although they may have discouraged even graver violations of the Armistice Agreements and at certain periods induced the governments concerned to restrain infiltration for a while, they did not put an end to the chain of violence. As each reprisal was a reaction to a series of attacks, it was generally on a larger scale, and since these operations were carried out by idf units, they were immediately censured by the macs and often by the Security Council.

The trouble with the Syrians was mainly over the demilitarized zones, for they objected to Israel's development work there, arguing that Israel was violating the armistice agreements and changing the geography of the area. At the beginning of 1951, when Israel started work on the *Ḥuleh drainage scheme near Mishmar ha-Yarden, there were several exchanges of fire. In March, seven Israelis were killed in the al-Ḥamma area and the Israel air force bombarded two Arab villages in reprisal. On May 19, after General Riley, chief of untso, had failed to obtain agreement, the Security Council ordered Israel to stop the works on Arab-owned land in the zones. A new dispute broke out at the beginning of September 1953, when the Israelis started work in the demilitarized zone south of the Ḥuleh on the first stage of a major project to channel part of the Jordan waters to the Negev. The Syrians protested, and General Bennike, the new untso chief, ordered Israel to suspend the work until agreement was reached with Syria. Under international pressure, Israel ultimately complied while the Security Council was considering the matter. In January 1954 a proposal calling for a compromise between Israel and Syrian interests was blocked by the Soviet veto in the Security Council, and Israel revised its plans in order to keep the works out of the demilitarized zone.

Meanwhile, in October 1953, U.S. President Eisenhower sent a special envoy, Eric Johnston, to the Middle East to present proposals for a constructive solution of the water problem to the governments of Israel, Syria, Lebanon, and Jordan. Johnston submitted a plan prepared by Gordon Clapp, chairman of the Tennessee Valley Authority, for the utilization of the Jordan and Yarmuk waters by the four countries for agricultural development and refugee resettlement on the basis of mutually agreed quotas. In 1955 a Unified Water Plan, which assured each country of the quantities of water claimed by its experts, was accepted by the parties on the technical level, but the Arab League, meeting in October, refused to give political approval. Israel stated, however, that it would not utilize more than the quantities of water allotted in the plan. Repeated Syrian attacks on Israeli fishing in Lake Kinneret led to further Israel reprisals in December 1955, in which the Syrians suffered about 100 casualties.

A serious dispute with Jordan over the blocking of the road to Eilat by Legion forces in November 1950, followed by three murders by infiltrators in and around Jerusalem and an Israeli reprisal, was settled in February 1951, the Jordanians agreeing to cooperate to stop infiltration. Secret peace negotiations took place with King *Abdullah, but hopes were shattered when a Palestinian assassinated him in Jerusalem on July 20. The position deteriorated. The Jordanians refused to carry out their undertaking in Article 8 of the Armistice Agreement to negotiate arrangements for Israel's use of the Latrun road to the capital and access to Jewish holy places in Jerusalem and the Jewish institutions on Mount Scopus. In January 1953 the Jordanian prime minister announced the annulment of the agreement to prevent infiltration and there were numerous attacks by infiltrators and Jordanian troops on Israel civilians and soldiers. In June 1953 the Jordan government renewed the agreement for the prevention of infiltration, but the attacks continued.

At first ordinary Israeli army units carried out reprisals, but it soon became clear that these troops, consisting mainly of inexperienced draftees – many of whom were newcomers – were unsuitable for such commando-type raids. A special body of volunteers, called Unit 101 (later merged with the paratroops) was formed for the purpose. One of its raids, on the Arab village of Qibya, in which 45 houses were blown up and heavy casualties were caused to civilians hiding in them, was severely censured by the Security Council (Oct. 15, 1953).

Israel initiated an attempt to obtain agreement on a modus vivendi by invoking Article 12 of the Armistice Agreement, under which either party could summon a conference to consider the working of the agreement. At the end of the year, the un secretary-general issued invitations for such a conference at Israel's request, but Jordan refused to attend. The vicious circle of repeated Arab attacks, reprisals by Israel, and international condemnations of Israel continued throughout 1954; outstanding examples were the killing of 11 passengers in an Israel bus at Ma'aleh Akrabim ("Scorpions' Ascent") on March 17, the killing of three Jews in the Jerusalem corridor on May 9 and of three more in the same area on June 19, and a three-day outbreak of shooting by Legionaries from the Old City wall later in the month. In the following year much of the infiltration was carried out by bands organized by the Egyptians in the Gaza Strip and sent into Jordan to operate from there.

Egypt took the lead in the Arab boycott by banning Israel shipping and the passage of "contraband goods" or "strategic goods" (later extended to include foodstuffs) through the Suez Canal. This practice was defined by General Riley, the chief of untso, in a report to the Security Council as "an aggressive action," and the Council called on Egypt on Sept. 1, 1951, to terminate the restrictions. The resolution stated that "since the armistice regime… is of a permanent character, neither party can reasonably assert that it is a belligerent" (Paragraph 9). Egypt ignored the resolution, and cargoes destined for Israel were confiscated from Norwegian, Greek, and Italian ships trying to pass through the canal. In September 1954 an Israeli vessel, the Bat Gallim, and its cargo were confiscated at the entrance to the canal and the crew was imprisoned for three months. In 1949 Egypt occupied the uninhabited islands of Tiran and Sanafir in the Red Sea at the entrance to the Gulf of Akaba; later it established a garrison at Sharm el-Sheikh, interfered with Israeli and international shipping to and from Eilat, and banned Israeli planes from the airspace over the gulf.

On Aug. 18, 1952, Ben-Gurion welcomed the Egyptian officers' revolution led by General Nagib and declared that there was no reason for any antagonism between the two countries. But there was no improvement in relations under Nagib or his successor, Gamal Abdal *Nasser. Sporadic incidents on the Gaza Strip and Sinai borders, which claimed a score or more casualties – seven or eight fatal – in each of the years 1951–53, became more serious and frequent in the last quarter of 1954. Tension was increased by the trial in Cairo of 11 Jews charged with belonging to a "Zionist espionage and sabotage group." Two were executed on Jan. 31, 1955, and the rest were sentenced to long periods of imprisonment. On February 2, Pinḥas Lavon resigned due to disagreements with the prime minister arising out of a dispute over the responsibility for an ill-advised security operation. Ben-Gurion returned from Sedeh Boker to take up the post of defense minister under Sharett's premiership.

Toward the end of February, Egyptian saboteurs, known as fedayeen ("suicide fighters"), penetrated deep into Israel territory, and on the 28th a clash between Israeli and Egyptian forces on Israeli territory opposite Gaza developed into the fiercest battle since the War of Independence. The fight was carried over into the Strip; in an Israeli attack on an army camp near Gaza, 38 Egyptians were killed and 44 wounded. The Anglo-American-Iraqi Baghdad Pact had just aroused Nasser's anger against the West, and he turned to the Soviet Bloc for weapons to strengthen his forces. At the end of August came the first reports of an Egyptian deal with the Soviet Union for the supply, through Czechoslovakia, of large quantities of modern heavy arms. Meanwhile the Arab attacks were stepped up; many of them were carried out by fedayeen recruited and trained by the Egyptians but operating mainly from the Gaza Strip and Jordan, as well as from Syria and Lebanon. Israel's proposals for a high-level meeting with Egyptian representatives, as well as for the erection of a security fence along the border and other methods of reducing tension, were rejected.

Although Israel had, in principle, followed a policy of non-identification with either of the two world blocs, the sympathies of its leaders and most of its people were undisguisedly on the side of the West, where Jews could organize political and financial support for Israel and aliyah was unfettered. In 1952, after the *Slansky trial in Prague, the Israeli minister to Czechoslovakia had been declared persona non grata, and in February 1953, after a bomb placed by a fanatic exploded in the courtyard of the Soviet Embassy in Tel Aviv, the U.S.S.R. had broken off diplomatic relations. Although relations were restored a few months later, continued Soviet support for the Arabs at the United Nations indicated a distinct change in the atmosphere, and the Soviet arms deal though a shock, was not altogether a surprise. On Sept. 27, 1955, Nasser broadcast an announcement of the deal; two days later it was reported that large quantities of tanks, artillery, jet planes, and submarines were already on their way to Egypt and that Syria was also getting generous supplies of weapons from the East. Although the Western powers expressed grave concern at this development, they gave no clear reply to Israel's appeals for arms to redress the balance, and the United States warned against any "hasty action." A wave of anxiety swept the country; Israelis from all walks of life came forward spontaneously with donations of cash and jewelry for the purchase of arms.

On October 17 Egypt and Syria signed a military pact. The Syrians renewed their attacks on Israel fishing boats on Lake Kinneret (Sea of Galilee), and an Israeli reprisal was followed by Egyptian attacks in the south. Foreign Minister Sharett went to Paris and Geneva, where the Big Four foreign ministers were meeting, but his talk with Molotov of the U.S.S.R. was fruitless, and only France responded sympathetically to Israel's request for arms. The Egyptians had encroached on the demilitarized zone at Niẓẓanah and attacked an Israel police post, and their planes repeatedly violated Israel airspace. In retaliation, the Israel army attacked an Egyptian military camp at Kuntilla in Sinai. Presenting his new cabinet to the Knesset on November 2, Ben-Gurion announced his readiness to meet Egyptian and other Arab leaders at any time to discuss a settlement, but warned that "if the armistice lines are opened for the passage of saboteurs and murderers – they shall not be closed again to the defenders." The same night Israel forces ejected the Egyptians from Niẓẓanah, inflicting heavy casualties. Egyptian attacks multiplied all along the front: there were four or five incidents a day, and the activities of the fedayeen from the Gaza Strip and Jordan were stepped up. Typical fedayeen tactics were also used in attacks from Lebanese territory.

On August 26 U.S. Secretary of State John Foster Dulles had suggested territorial changes as part of a possible Arab-Israel settlement. The idea was echoed in a speech at the Guildhall, London, on November 9 by the British foreign minister, Sir Anthony Eden, who suggested a compromise between the Arab demand for a return to the partition plan boundaries and Israel's insistence on the borders demarcated by the Armistice Agreements. On Nov. 15 Ben-Gurion categorically rejected any idea of truncating Israel's territory; Eden's approach was also rejected by Egypt. France agreed to supply Israel with a number of military jet planes, but continued to sell arms to Egypt, while the U.S. and Britain went on sending armaments to Lebanon, Iraq, and Jordan.

the sinai campaign and after: 1956–1959

As 1956 opened, the war clouds were visibly gathering. On January 2, Ben-Gurion warned the Knesset of "the danger of the approaching attack from Egypt, and perhaps not only by it." While the U.S.S.R. virulently denounced Israel, the Western powers sponsored a Security Council resolution censuring her for a reprisal operation against Syrian posts that had fired on fishermen in Lake Kinneret. The U.S. still refused to sell arms to Israel, but consented to France supplying her with advanced Mystère aircraft. On February 13 the Soviet Foreign Ministry declared that the U.S.S.R. could not remain indifferent to developments in the Middle East and warned the Western powers against unilateral action in the area. un Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjöld paid several visits to the Middle East in unsuccessful attempts to achieve a settlement. The dismissal of General Glubb, the British commander of the Jordanian Arab Legion, was followed by an increase in Egyptian influence in Jordan. Israel speeded up the building of shelters, the training of civil defense personnel, and the fortification of border villages. At the end of April, after artillery duels on the Gaza Strip border and widespread fedayeen attacks, Hammarskjöld announced agreement on a general, unconditional cease-fire between Israel and its neighbors, but the arms race continued. Jordan agreed to facilitate the operation of fedayeen from its territory and the Arab countries competed in threats against Israel.

For some time there had been differences between Sharett, who favored greater trust in the un and international opinion, and Ben-Gurion, who emphasized the need for Israel to rely first of all on its own strength. In June, feeling that complete harmony between prime minister and foreign minister was essential in view of the growing dangers, Ben-Gurion replaced Sharett with Golda *Meir. Attacks from Jordan continued throughout July; at the end of the month, after Egypt nationalized the Suez Canal, there were a number of incidents on the southern border as well. The clashes continued in the following months and rose to a peak in October, while international tension grew over the future of the canal. On October 13 the Security Council called for "free and open transit through the Canal without discrimination" and declared that its operation "should be insulated from the politics of any country," but Nasser announced that no Israeli ships would be allowed to pass. Two days later Ben-Gurion told the Knesset that Israel was being subjected to a guerilla war conducted by bands of fedayeen organized, equipped, and trained mainly in Egypt and recalled the right to self-defense guaranteed by Article 51 of the un Charter. He also said that Israel reserved freedom of action if the status quo were violated by the entry of troops from Iraq (which had not signed an Armistice Agreement with Israel) into Jordan. On October 25, after an election victory for pro-Nasserist elements in Jordan, that country joined the Egyptian-Syrian military pact against Israel. Abu-Nawar, commander of the Arab Legion, declared, "We and not Israel will fix the time and place of the battle."

The growing attacks on Israel and the threat of a concerted offensive from the north, east, and southwest coincided with growing apprehension in Britain and France over the threat posed by unfettered Egyptian control of the Suez Canal to their communications and interests. Thus Israel's danger was matched by the opportunity. Ben-Gurion paid a secret visit to France in October to ask Prime Minister Guy Mollet for help. Large quantities of French heavy armaments were sent to Israel and unloaded in secret. On October 27 Ben-Gurion submitted to the cabinet a proposal for a large-scale operation to demolish the bases of the fedayeen and the Egyptian army in the Sinai Peninsula and the Gaza Strip and to occupy the shore of the Gulf of Akaba in order to safeguard navigation (even if, as he expected, Israel was compelled by international pressure to evacuate the territory occupied).

Orders were given for the mobilization of the reserves, and on October 29 Israel troops moved into Sinai, taking a number of vital positions near the Negev-Sinai border. On the next day an airborne battalion was dropped near the Mitla Pass in west-central Sinai, and a mechanized column reached the same point on the night of October 30–31, capturing vital points in the heart of the peninsula, outflanking the Egyptian positions in its northeast, and threatening the Suez Canal. At the same time another column thrust toward the same point from the northeast. Israel fighter planes established air superiority over the combat areas.

On the afternoon of October 30, Britain and France had issued an ultimatum calling on both sides to stop fighting and withdraw to ten miles on either side of the Suez Canal. The same evening they vetoed a U.S.-sponsored resolution in the Security Council calling for immediate withdrawal of Israeli troops. Israel accepted the Anglo-French demand, but since Egypt rejected it, the advance continued. On the next morning British and French bombers began a systematic bombardment of military targets in Egypt. Israeli infantry and armor, supported by the air force, continued to move southward into the peninsula, westward toward the canal, and north toward the Egyptian lines of communication with the Gaza Strip.

On November 1, Israel forces took Rafa and El-Arish on the Mediterranean coast, and the Egyptian high command ordered a general retreat, which soon turned into a rout. During the next two days the armored spearheads of the idf halted ten miles from the canal and the Gaza Strip was taken. Meanwhile a reserve infantry brigade had been moving down the western shore of the Gulf of Akaba, and a pincer movement, threatening the last remaining positions, was completed by a southward advance along the eastern shore of the Gulf of Suez. On November 2 the un General Assembly, in an emergency session, called for an immediate cease-fire and prompt withdrawal of forces. Israel agreed to the cease-fire the next day, provided Egypt reciprocated. On November 5 Israel occupied Sharm el-Sheikh, and the campaign was over.

The Assembly resolved on the establishment of a un Emergency Force "to secure and supervise the cessation of hostilities." Israel declared that Egypt's hostile acts had "undermined the peace" and "destroyed the armistice agreement" and called for direct peace negotiations. There was no response to this call. Instead, the United Nations, backed by strongly worded letters from U.S. President Eisenhower and Soviet Premier Bulganin, applied intense pressure on Israel for unconditional withdrawal. Ben-Gurion replied on November 7 that troops would be withdrawn on the conclusion of satisfactory arrangements for the deployment of the un Emergency Force.

During the next three months Israel fought a stubborn political rearguard action to safeguard free navigation in the Gulf of Akaba and ensure that, in return for the withdrawal of its forces, the Gaza Strip would not be used again as a spearhead for attack. Gradual evacuation started late in November and continued pari passu with efforts to obtain the safeguards required. The withdrawal was completed in March, despite considerable misgivings in Israel and vigorous denunciations of the government by Ḥerut, Aḥdut ha-Avodah, and other opposition parties, which charged it with "wasting the fruits of victory." The un Emergency Force was stationed in the Gaza Strip and at Sharm el-Sheikh, and a number of the foremost maritime nations, headed by the United States, declared their support for freedom of navigation in the Straits of Tiran and the Gulf of Akaba. Israel, for its part, made it clear that any interference with free navigation in the straits or the gulf would constitute a casus belli. As a result of the Sinai Campaign, Israel secured a considerable degree of quiet on its southwestern borders and free access to Eilat, its outlet for trade with West Africa and Asia – gains that were preserved for ten years.

A tragic incident had occurred on the day the Sinai Campaign began. A strict curfew had been proclaimed on part of the eastern border and 43 Arab villagers, returning from the fields to the village of Kafr Qasim after the start of the curfew, were shot and killed by a Border Police patrol. Compensation was immediately paid to the families, and the men responsible were placed on trial. At a special Knesset session on December 12, Prime Minister Ben-Gurion expressed profound concern at this "flagrant violation" of the sacred principle of the sanctity of human life. Sentencing two officers, one corporal, and five privates to periods of imprisonment ranging from 7 to 17 years in October 1958, a military court emphasized that a soldier was not obliged to obey a manifestly unlawful order and would be held criminally responsible if he did. The principle having been established, it was widely felt that allowance should be made for the tension under which the men acted; the sentences were reduced on appeal and the one officer still in prison at the end of 1959 was granted presidential clemency.

While there was comparative quiet on the Gaza Strip and Sinai borders for several years after the Sinai Campaign, tension broke out from time to time with Jordan and, even more sharply, with Syria. Toward the end of 1957 Jordan tried to obstruct communications with the Israeli enclave on Mount Scopus, and in May 1958 a untso officer and four Israel policemen were killed by Jordanian fire. un Secretary-General Hammarskjöld discussed the problem with the Jordanian and Israel governments and three times sent special representatives to deal with it, as well as paying a personal visit to the area; but Jordan refused to fulfill its obligations under Article 8 of the Armistice Agreement. At the end of 1958 and the beginning of the following year there were a number of serious incidents in the north in which Israeli settlements were machine-gunned and shelled by the Syrians. Israel appealed to the Security Council but without result. In the spring of 1959 Egypt again interfered with ships carrying goods for Israel through the Suez Canal.

More important, however, were the long-term implications of the situation, particularly in view of Soviet arms supplies to Egypt and later, to Syria. With the failure of British and French intervention in Suez, the United States began to take a more active interest in the Middle East. The Eisenhower Doctrine, approved by the U.S. Congress in March 1957, authorized the President to extend "assistance against armed aggression from any country controlled by international Communism." Despite the opposition of two coalition parties, Mapam and Aḥdut ha-Avodah, the government, in effect, acceded to the doctrine on May 21, but the Israeli statement made no mention of Communism and expressed opposition to "aggression from any quarter against the territorial integrity and political independence of any country." On October 21 Ben-Gurion told the Knesset that "almost a fundamental transformation" was taking place in the Middle East: "The forces contending in our area are not so much the forces of the area itself, but the world blocs of the East and the West."

In February 1958 the United Arab Republic was established by the union of Egypt and Syria and a short-lived Iraqi-Jordanian union was concluded. Israel made considerable efforts to keep the local balance of power in its favor, which could only be done by obtaining more arms from the West. Relations with France in this sphere became even closer; the United Kingdom sold Israel submarines; and the United States also began to be cooperative. Despite the opposition of the left-wing members of the coalition, which led to two cabinet crises in 1958–59, military supplies were also bought from West Germany. In 1958 first approaches were made to the European Economic Community to obtain a trade agreement. Despite this leaning toward a Western orientation, relations with Poland steadily improved and those with other Communist countries remained, on the whole, correct.

At the same time efforts were made to foster technical and economic cooperation with the developing countries in Asia and Africa that were achieving independence from colonial rule. The first country to enter into joint projects of this kind with Israel was Burma, as early as 1954; the second was Ghana, in 1957. Although Israel was accused of collaborating with imperialism in the Suez crisis, the Sinai Campaign brought its problems and the importance of its role to the attention of many countries – particularly in Asia and Africa – that had known little or nothing of Jewish history and the achievements of the Jewish state. In 1958 the Foreign Ministry set up an International Cooperation Division. Leaders of the emergent nations visited Israel, many of them even before their countries achieved independence, to study her social structure and methods of building a new society and economy through vocational training, cooperative enterprise, agricultural settlement, education, and industrial development. It was largely through the international cooperation program that Israel began to extend relations with Asian and African countries, which, it was hoped, might ultimately help in Israel's efforts to achieve peace with its Arab neighbors (see also section on Foreign Policy and International Relations in this entry).

consolidation and development: 1954–1959

The second half of Israel's first decade was marked by social consolidation and rapid economic progress. The great majority of the new immigrants, who came mainly from Eastern Europe and North Africa, found homes and jobs, learned the elements of the Hebrew language and the ways of the country, enhanced their skills, and improved their standard of living, although there was still a disturbing gap between the newcomers from the Oriental countries and the mainly Ashkenazi veterans. The large-scale capital imports were used to mechanize agriculture and increase its efficiency; expand roads, telecommunications, and electricity supply; enlarge the merchant fleet and the national airline; modernize the Dead Sea potash works and exploit Negev copper, phosphates, and other minerals; and develop industries, many in partnership with foreign investors.

Despite occasional governmental crises, there was a high degree of political stability. In 1954 Aḥdut ha-Avodah seceded from Mapam and in the following year Mizrachi and Ha-Po'el ha-Mizrachi merged to form the *National Religious Party; otherwise the political structure remained unchanged. The Second and Third Knessets completed their statutory terms. Mapai lost five seats in the 1955 elections, largely due to the economic difficulties that still afflicted considerable sections, but remained the backbone of the cabinet and was able to form an administration with a sound parliamentary majority by replacing the General Zionists with Mapam and Aḥdut ha-Avodah. In 1959, after a period of relative border tranquility following the Sinai Campaign and a general improvement in living standards, it more than recouped its electoral losses. In 1958 the first basic (constitutional) law, dealing with the composition and powers of the Knesset, was passed.

The increased foreign-currency resources at the disposal of the economy helped to moderate inflationary pressures. The three exchange rates were reduced to two (il11.000 and il11.800 to the dollar) at the beginning of January 1954 and then to a single stable rate of il1.800 in July 1955. The curve of consumer prices, which rose by some 20% in each of the years 1953 and 1954, gradually flattened out until, in 1959, there was hardly any rise. National income grew from il1,000,000,000 in 1950 to almost il3,000,000,000 in 1958 (both at 1956 prices), i.e., from il790 to nearly il1,500 per capita. The gross national product grew by around 10% a year, a figure almost unequaled in any other country. While foreign-currency controls were eased, the public sector (government, local authorities, Jewish Agency, and Histadrut) had a very strong influence on the economy, being directly responsible for about one-fifth of the employment and of the national product. The government extracted some 30% of the national income in the form of taxes and, through incentives to investors and control of the development budget, was able to direct most of the long-term capital investment into socially and nationally desirable channels.

A vast expansion of agriculture made the austerity of the early years a memory of the past. By the end of the first decade, self-sufficiency was achieved in the supply of eggs and poultry, dairy products, vegetables, and fruit. This was accomplished by establishing new villages and consolidating existing ones, improving crop yields by mechanization and better methods, extensive land reclamation and soil conservation, and better utilization of water for irrigation. During the ten years 1948/49 to 1957/58, the area under cultivation grew by about 150% – from 400,000 to 1,000,000 acres – while the irrigated area rose more than fourfold to over 300,000 acres. About 70% of the vegetables, 30% of the poultry, and 45% of the milk were produced by new immigrants' villages established during the decade. The drainage of the Ḥuleh swamps, completed in 1957, reclaimed 15,000 acres of high-quality farmland. The Jewish National Fund and the government afforested some 50,000 acres – four times as much land as during two generations of Zionist settlement – and planted trees along almost 500 miles of highway.

The main road network was expanded from about 1,000 mi. to 1,860 mi.; in 1957 the 147-mile first-class road from Beersheba to Eilat was completed, providing a good road link between the Red Sea and the Mediterranean for the first time in history. The railroad was extended to Beersheba and the rolling stock was dieselized. Haifa port was modernized and a start was made with the utilization of Eilat. The merchant fleet grew to 41 vessels, with a total deadweight of 280,000 tons. El Al carried 70,000 passengers in 1,240 flights in 1958, compared with 15,500 in 475 flights in 1950. About il260,000,000 was invested in expanding electric generating capacity, which rose more than fivefold to 350,000 kilowatts, consumption rising almost sixfold to 1,400 million kwh.

The output of industry was doubled during the decade, reaching almost il3,000,000,000 in 1958; so was the number of employed, which came to some 160,000. Industrial exports increased from $18,000,000 in 1950 to $81,000,000 in 1958, including $33,000,000 worth of polished diamonds, four times as much as in 1950. Special inducements, including government loans and tax reliefs, were held out to foreign and local investors prepared to help in the dispersal of the population by setting up enterprises in the new development areas. Up to the end of 1958, il226,000,000, including il136,000,000 from the development budget, was invested in 366 undertakings to these areas. During the same period 832 undertakings were approved under the Law for the Encouragement of Capital Investment, involving $192,000,000 of foreign and il194,000,000 of local capital, as well as il242,000,000 in government loans. About il140,000,000 were invested by the state in the exploitation of minerals, including copper, phosphates, potash, and bromine; a new potash plant, replacing the works at the northern end of the Dead Sea destroyed in the War of Independence, was completed at Sodom in 1956. In September 1955 oil was struck at Heleẓ near Ashkelon, and about 100,000 tons, almost 10% of the country's consumption, were pumped in 1958. Two gas wells, with an output of 1,000,000 cu.ft. per day, were sunk.

In 1958, when there were widespread celebrations to mark the country's tenth anniversary, the population passed the 2,000,000 mark; over 1,800,000 were Jews, constituting 15% of world Jewry, as against less than 6% in 1948. The Jewish population had grown since independence by over 1,160,000 or 179%. Over 940,000 immigrants had come in and 105,000 had left, leaving a migration balance of almost 840,000, which accounted for 72% of the growth (the remaining 28% resulted from natural increase). The non-Jewish, mainly Arab, population had grown by 61,000, of which over 95% was due to natural increase.

Toward the end of 1954 a new "ship to settlement" policy was introduced. Instead of the immigrants being housed temporarily in camps or ma'barot, they were sent directly from the ship or plane to a new village or "development town" where housing was ready and work available in the neighborhood. A regional settlement scheme for populating large, sparsely inhabited areas was initiated. Clusters of 5–8 villages were focused on a rural center, with an elementary school, cultural facilities, a dispensary, and farm-service institutions. The scheme was first carried out in the Lachish area, with 54 villages by 1959 and the "county town" of Kiryat Gat, where a secondary school, shopping facilities, and industrial plants were located. A social advantage of this arrangement was that immigrants from a particular country – sometimes even a district or town – could be concentrated in a fairly homogeneous village, obviating the friction that often arose between communities of different cultural backgrounds, while the process of merging and integration proceeded when the villagers and their children met in the rural or urban centers and their schools.

Out of a civilian labor force of some 700,000 the daily average of unemployment registered at the labor exchanges was 9,300 – 1.4% of the total. Some 150,000 homes were built for the newcomers during the period, and 45,000 families moved from the ma'barot to permanent housing, though 20,000 families (about 110,000 souls) were still to be rehoused. The great majority of the newcomers had thus been provided with the fundamental necessities of integration: homes and jobs. A high proportion, approaching one half, had learned new skills: 106,000 unskilled and semi-skilled adult workers had attended vocational training courses run by the Ministry of Labor, the Histadrut, the municipalities, and voluntary organizations; average output per worker had been raised by about 50%. An entire new farming class, mainly smallholders, had risen, learning to till the soil by practice, example, and the teaching of Jewish Agency instructors. Practically all the children of the immigrants, like those of the veteran population, went to school. When they were called up for military service, the army taught the rudiments of the language, the national culture, and general knowledge to those who had not completed their education; for young newcomers the period of national service was decisive in preparing them for integration and citizenship.

Gradually, the immigrants started to find their way in social and political life. They grew somewhat more independent in their dealings with the authorities and began to learn the techniques of self-government in the village councils, factory and shop committees (the basic cells of the trade-union movement), local political party branches, and local authorities. They played only a minor role in national politics, however. Seeking their votes, the parties placed representatives of the various communities on their election lists, but these were more often veterans of the same origin as the newcomers rather than recent immigrants. At every parliamentary election, independent immigrants' lists, claiming to represent Sephardim or other communal groupings, were submitted, but none of these managed to return any candidates after 1951.

There was still a considerable backlog in the complete absorption and integration of the immigrants, however. The houses built for them during the mass influx were small, often hopelessly inadequate for the many large families. While the immigrants were improving their skills, the veterans were making even faster progress and still largely monopolized senior administrative and managerial posts. Elementary education was free and universal, but standards were lower in the new immigrant areas, where it was difficult to obtain good teachers, and the children did not receive the full benefit, since the home made little or no contribution to the learning process. The major educational effort during the decade had to be devoted to the basic tasks of building schools and providing teachers for the vastly increased school population (in the school year 1958/59 there were over 550,000 pupils and students, compared with 130,000 in 1948/49). Toward the end of the period, special efforts were initiated to bring up the educational standards in immigrant areas. In the secondary schools, scholarships were offered by the state, the Histadrut, and public bodies, and requirements for admission were modified in the case of children from immigrant areas and the Oriental communities. There was a gradual improvement in the percentage of children born in Asia and Africa receiving post-primary education; between 1956/57 and 1958/59, while 71% of the secondary-school population was born in Israel in both years, the percentage of the foreign-born who came from Asia and Africa rose from 36% to 43%.

Perhaps the most serious aspect of the communal problem was the psychological one. To many of the newcomers from North African and Middle Eastern countries, the wide gap between the status, educational achievements, and social conditions of the Ashkenazi and Oriental communities appeared to be due, not only to objective circumstances, but also to favoritism on the one hand and deliberate discrimination on the other. In July 1959, passions erupted into rioting in the Haifa slum quarter of Wadi Salib, the new township of Migdal ha-Emek, and Beersheba. In the last two places, the trouble arose over employment difficulties; in the first – a former Arab neighborhood inhabited largely by North African immigrants who had drifted to the town from various places of prior settlement – the riots, which started with a café disturbance, assumed serious proportions. But in the parliamentary elections that followed in November, the communal lists received comparatively little support and, on the whole, the new immigrants continued to support the established parties. The success of Mapai, which gained seven seats, was thought to be due not only to Ben-Gurion's enhanced prestige after the Suez Campaign and the general rise in the standard of living, but also to a backlash generated by fear of communal fragmentation and the desire for a strong government (see also Israel, State of: *Population, section on Intercommunal Problems).

Another focus of controversy was the place of religion in the country's life, particularly where legislation or administrative action was concerned. From time to time there were heated arguments – sometimes accompanied by street demonstrations – over public Sabbath observance, complaints of discrimination against state religious schools, and such matters as mixed bathing in a Jerusalem municipal swimming pool. The fanatical *Neturei Karta group in Jerusalem often took the lead, more moderate religious circles following suit to avoid losing support. The non-Orthodox community was also concerned with the place of Jewish tradition in the country's life. In 1957 the minister of education and culture, Zalman Aranne, initiated a "Jewish Consciousness" program in the state (non-religious) schools. It aimed at laying greater stress on the Jewish cultural heritage and spiritual values, stimulating the study of Diaspora Jewish history and contemporary Jewry, and inculcating respect for Jewish religious observance and a feeling of responsibility toward the nation in Israel and abroad. People from all sections cooperated in disseminating a knowledge of the Bible through study circles and conventions, in which the prime minister played a prominent role, and there was an unprecedented, almost universal, interest in the World Bible Contest held in Jerusalem in 1958. In 1958 a heated controversy arose over the ruling of the minister of interior, Israel Bar-Yehudah of Aḥdut ha-Avodah, that a person declaring in good faith that he was a Jew by nationality should be so recorded in the Population Register and that minors should be registered according to the declaration of their parents. The National Religious Party objected to anyone being registered as a Jew by nationality unless he was recognized by rabbinical law as a Jew by religion (i.e., born of a Jewish mother or converted according to the halakhah) and resigned from the government in protest. A cabinet committee appointed to reconsider the question invited Jewish scholars and religious leaders the world over to express their opinions, which were overwhelmingly in support of the halakhic ruling. The matter was left in abeyance until March 1960, when Ḥayyim Moshe *Shapira, the nrp leader who had rejoined the cabinet as minister of the interior, issued new regulations in keeping with the rabbinical interpretation. The problem came to the fore again in 1970, when the validity of these regulations was challenged in the High Court.

The shadow of the Nazi Holocaust dominated a cause célère that aroused bitter feelings in the late 1950s and precipitated a cabinet crisis. In 1955 Malkiel Gruenwald was charged with criminally slandering Israel *Kasztner, then a government official and a candidate for the Knesset on the Mapai list, by accusing him of having collaborated with the Nazis in Hungary during World War ii. The Jerusalem District Court found that Gruenwald's charges were, on the whole, justified and acquitted him. The state appealed, but in March 1957, while the appeal was pending, Kasztner was murdered by three young men, who were imprisoned for the crime. At the beginning of the following year the Supreme Court reversed the lower court's findings, clearing Kasztner of most of the accusations against him.

Higher education was considerably expanded with the financial aid of Jewish benefactors abroad. At the end of the decade there were about 10,000 students at the Hebrew University, the Technion (Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa), Tel Aviv University (founded in 1956), and the Bar-Ilan religious university (opened in 1955), compared with 1,500 in 1948. Cut off from its original buildings on Mount Scopus, the Hebrew University opened a new campus in western Jerusalem in 1958. Fundamental and applied research at the Weizmann Institute of Science, founded in 1949, and other institutions was achieving a growing reputation abroad, as evidenced by research grants from the United States and other countries.

Israel took second place in the world for the number of titles published (1,210 in 1958) in proportion to the population, as well as for book imports per head. The *Academy of the Hebrew Language, founded in 1953 to succeed the Va'adha-Lashon ("Language Council"), conducted research and issued authoritative rulings on grammar, terminology, and spelling. The conclusions of Israel scholarship were embodied in new editions of the Bible, the Talmud, and outstanding works of rabbinic literature, as well as encyclopedias of various types, notably the comprehensive Encyclopedia Hebraica. *Archaeology received a new impetus with the achievement of independence and the discoveries made in establishing new villages and digging foundations for new buildings. Seven of the *Dead Sea Scrolls were acquired for the nation, and Israeli scholars, speaking Hebrew as a living language and intimately familiar with the Holy Land, made distinctive contributions to their study.

The established repertory theaters, *Habimah, *Ohel, and the *Cameri, as well as many smaller companies, presented world classics, recent successes, and a smaller number of original works. The *Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, with its 22,000 subscribers (a world-record percentage of the population), the Kol Israel (State Broadcasting Service) Orchestra, and others reached a high standard, and large audiences attended regular music and dance festivals. Israel artists and composers worked in a variety of styles, and some achieved international recognition. There were 18 morning papers – 11 of them in Hebrew – and two afternoon papers, both Hebrew, as well as 320 other periodicals in 12 languages.

The Arab and Druze communities shared in the general rise in living standards. They benefited from universal, free primary education, the national insurance scheme, the legal protection of women and children, and the improved social welfare and health services provided by the state authorities and the Histadrut. Local government was gradually extended to Arab areas; roads were built and water, electricity, and sanitation facilities installed. As a result of irrigation, reclamation, and improved farming methods, the output of Arab agriculture increased sixfold during the decade. Arabs voted in parliamentary elections: 91.2% of them went to the polls in 1955 and 88.4% in 1959 – a higher proportion than among the Jewish electors. There were eight Arabs in the Third Knesset and seven in the Fourth, five of whom represented Arab lists associated with Mapai. In the predominantly Arab-inhabited areas, close to the low and winding borders, military government was in force to prevent espionage and infiltration; residents had to receive permits from the military governors to leave, and others required permits to enter. The system, which was a cause of deep dissatisfaction among the Arabs, was severely criticized by opposition parties, who accused Mapai of exploiting it to ensure political domination over the Arab inhabitants, and the regulations were gradually eased over time (see *Israel, State of: Arab Population).

economic advance and political realignment: 1960–1966

The seven years that followed the 1959 elections, in which Ben-Gurion seemed to have reached the zenith of his popularity and power, were marked by continued economic progress – especially in the development of industry – on the one hand, and a series of political crises that transformed the party map of Israel, on the other. While the immediate issue in the internal struggle within Mapai seemed, on the surface, to be the Lavon Affair, there were deeper issues involved. Israel was developing into a modern, mainly urban and industrial, society. Living standards – in housing, household equipment, education, and entertainment – were rising to levels that would have been regarded as unreasonably luxurious by the early pioneers. The electric refrigerator and the gas stove were replacing the ice-box and the kerosene cooker; the veteran population was well on the way to West European standards, and the new immigrants were hot on their heels. The egalitarianism which had reigned – in theory, at least – in the Histadrut and the public service was being challenged. Most of the political leaders had won their spurs in trade-union activity and agricultural settlement; now new strata of administrators, scientists, and businessmen, concerned more with practical affairs than with ideologies, were arising. Professional men and senior officials demanded salaries in keeping with their skills and experience. Younger men, with some encouragement from Ben-Gurion, were breaking into the ranks of the top leadership. Even in the kibbutzim, new problems were arising – some as a result of restitution payments made by Germany to individual members.

The political controversies of the period (treated in greater detail in Israel, State of: *Political Life and Parties), may be divided into three phases. In the second half of 1960, Pinḥas Lavon claimed that new evidence, recently disclosed, proved that he had not been responsible for the security "mishap" that had led to his resignation. In the meantime, he had been appointed secretary-general of the Histadrut, but his further progress in the political field was blocked by the memory of the old affair. Lavon's efforts to clear his name developed into a virulent controversy with Ben-Gurion and his supporters, which came to a climax with Mapai's decision to depose Lavon from his Histadrut post.

At the same time a second focus of controversy emerged: the decision of a cabinet committee clearing Lavon, which Ben-Gurion denounced as a misuse of authority and a miscarriage of justice. When Ben-Gurion resigned and no solution to the subsequent crisis could be found but premature Knesset elections, his party again rallied round him and helped him reform his government after the elections. Ben-Gurion, however, had not given up his struggle to rectify the "miscarriage of justice," and in 1963, shortly before submitting his final resignation as prime minister, he commissioned a new inquiry into the background of the affair.

In 1963 President Ben-Zvi died and was succeeded by Shneour Zalman *Shazar.

Levi *Eshkol, nominated by Ben-Gurion as his successor, at first proclaimed a policy of continuity, but his personal style and inclinations, as well as his associations with the veteran leadership, soon found expression. He displayed a more friendly attitude toward the Zionist Organization, which he assured of full state backing and cooperation in its work in the Diaspora, as well as in Israel, and adopted a more conciliatory tone toward the opposition, placating Ḥerut by authorizing the reinterment in Israel of its deceased leader, Jabotinsky (who had requested in his will, written in the 1930s, that his remains should be transferred to Palestine only "by order of that country's eventual Jewish government"). Eshkol was more restrained in his public references to Arab leaders and to the Soviet Union, though speculations as to a new trend in foreign relations were not justified by any substantive change in policy. At the same time there was no advancement for the Ben-Gurionist "young guard"; the veterans were firmly in the saddle, and the attempt to conclude an alliance with Aḥdut ha-Avodah was widely believed to be motivated not only by the long-standing aspiration for labor unity, but also by the Mapai leaders' desire to establish a counter-weight to the challenge from within their own party.

The third phase started toward the end of 1964, when Ben-Gurion renewed his demand for a judicial inquiry into the actions of the 1960 cabinet committee. The pent-up antagonisms came to the surface and a heated controversy broke out, reaching a climax shortly before the 1965 elections with a split in the party and the establishment of a break-away list, *Rafi (Reshimat Po'alei Yisrael – Israel Labor List), headed by Ben-Gurion, Moshe *Dayan, and Shimon *Peres. The partial healing of the 1944 rift in Mapai by the establishment of an "Alignment" with Aḥdut ha-Avodah was thus achieved only at the expense of a new breach, which was closed only after the Six-Day War.

There were also other changes in the party map. In 1961 the General Zionists and the Progressives united to form the Liberal Party, but the new body disintegrated in 1965, when the General Zionist section merged with Ḥerut to form *Gaḥal (Gush Ḥerut Liberalim – Ḥerut-Liberal Bloc), while most of the Progressives established the Independent Liberal Party. In the latter years the Communists split into a mainly Jewish section, which kept the old name, Maki (Miflagah Komunistit Yisre'elit – Israel Communist Party), and a mainly Arab section, Rakaḥ (Reshimah Komunistit Ḥadashah – New Communist List), with strong Nasserist sympathies.

Controversies over religious matters arose from time to time during the period. It took three years before agreement could be reached on the procedure for electing the Ashkenazi and Sephardi chief rabbis after the death of Rabbi Herzog in 1959 and the expiry of Rabbi Nissim's term in the following year. Between 1962 and 1964 there were repeated demonstrations and sit-down strikes by immigrants of the *Bene Israel community from India in protest against difficulties in getting rabbinical approval to marry with other Jews because of doubts as to the validity of their marriage and divorce procedures in their country of origin. In 1964 there were controversies over the proposal to install an "international" (non-kosher) kitchen on the Zim liner ss Shalom and the problem of supervising kashrut at the large regional slaughterhouse at Kiryat Malakhi. Considerable feeling was aroused over the case of the ten-year-old Yossele Shumacher, who was withheld from his parents by extreme religious groups associated with his grandfather in order to assure his receiving a rigidly Orthodox education and was ultimately found in 1962 by the Israel Secret Service in New York, where he was being kept under cover. A League for the Abolition of Religious Coercion was established and occasionally clashed with religious zealots.

Religious life flourished, however, with little connection with such controversies. About one-third of the children attended state and other religious schools; in 1968 there were 250 yeshivot, with 18,000 students, mostly in Jerusalem and Bene Berak, constituting the greatest center of Jewish rabbinic learning in the world. A new generation of Israel-born religious youth, recognizable by their knitted skull-caps, were growing up in their own youth movements and a wide network of religious kibbutzim and moshavim. Sabbath and festivals were not only observed in the home but also, as official public holidays, were marked by the closing of shops, factories, offices, and public institutions.

A profound impression was made on the country by the trial of Adolf *Eichmann, who had been the main organizer of the Nazi extermination program. His apprehension in Argentina by Secret Service volunteers was announced on May 23, 1960, and he was indicted under the Nazis and Nazi Collaborators (Punishment) Law, 1950. He was put on trial in Jerusalem on April 11, 1961, and sentenced to death on December 15; on May 31, 1962 – two days after the rejection of his appeal to the Supreme Court – he was executed – the first and only death penalty carried out under Israel law. The trial brought home to the consciousness of the public, particularly the youth and the Oriental communities, the horrors of the Holocaust and its significance in modern Jewish history. It also emphasized the role of Israel as a Jewish state where, for the first time since the beginning of the Exile, a Jewish court could mete out justice for crimes against the Jewish people.

Despite the political, religious, and other controversies, most of the second decade was a period of rapid economic development. During the period 1960–65, the gross national product increased by an average of about 11% a year. Exports were almost doubled, reaching a total of $406,000,000 (50% of imports) in 1965. The domestic market for locally grown food was approaching saturation point; with the rise in the standard of living, further increments in personal incomes were being spent mainly on manufactured goods. Farmers, therefore, concentrated on growing more variegated crops, specialization, and increasing efficiency by mechanization and other means. Exports of fresh agricultural produce totaled $86,000,000 in 1965, of which $71,000,000 was citrus. New crops were introduced: cotton, supplying almost all the local demand; groundnuts, mainly for export; and sugarbeets, processed in local refineries. The national water carrier, which brought the upper Jordan waters through Lake Kinneret down to the Negev, was completed and went into full operation in 1965. As conventional water resources were now almost fully exploited, attention was focused on the desalinization of sea and brackish water, various methods being closely studied and tried out. U.S. President Johnson and Prime Minister Eshkol agreed in 1964 to study the feasibility of erecting a joint atomic-power and sea-water desalinization station, but difficulties in producing water at an economic price delayed execution of the project.

The greatest growth was in industry, which had now become the main instrument for absorbing the immigrants and reducing dependence on external resources by replacing imports and stepping up exports. Industrial production totaled il 6,900,000,000 in 1965 and employed 236,000 hands. The growth was more rapid in new industries, like metals and machinery, chemicals and fertilizers, copper and phosphates, and electronic equipment, than in the established ones, such as food, textiles, and building materials. Israel now manufactured products like paper, tires, radios, and refrigerators, which had had to be imported in the previous decade. Israel Aircraft Industries, Lydda, which had started as the Bedek works for maintenance and overhaul, was now the country's largest industrial organization, manufacturing small military and civilian planes. As Jaffa and Tel Aviv ports were inadequate to handle the greatly increased trade, a new deepwater port was built at Ashdod and started operations at the end of 1965. A new harbor at Eilat was inaugurated in the same year. The merchant fleet grew to over 100 ships, with a dead-weight capacity of some 1,100,000 tons, and El Al carried over 300,000 passengers in 1965 – over six times as many as in 1960. Widespread improvements in technical, financial, and administrative skills helped to raise productivity. The government directed extensive resources – in some years two-thirds of the development budget – to industrial development. Its influence was not always exerted on purely economic grounds. To promote the dispersal of the population and provide employment for newcomers, investors were often induced to erect their plants in *Kiryat Shemonah, *Beth Shemesh, or *Dimonah instead of Tel Aviv or its environs, where they could have operated more profitably. For the sake of self-sufficiency the Histadrut was helped to expand its "Steel City" at Acre, and private entrepreneurs were aided in setting up paper mills at Ḥaderah, though it might have been cheaper to import the paper and the finished steel.

Prices had risen considerably since the exchange rate of il 1.80 to the dollar was fixed, and government efforts to direct investment into socially and politically desirable channels had led to the proliferation of subsidies, preferential loans, tax reliefs, administrative restrictions on imports, and other inducements and pressures. The result was that the average effective rate of exchange in 1961 was about il 2.70 to the dollar, and for some protected or subsidized products as high as il 6.00 or il 8.00 per dollar. Budgetary deficits in 1960 and 1961, as well as a considerable influx of personal restitution payments from Germany, which grew from $26,000,000 in 1960 to $110,000,000 in 1961, added to the inflationary pressures.

In February 1962, a second "New Economic Policy" was announced. It was based on devaluation to the rate of il 3.00 per dollar and the gradual reduction or annulment of discriminatory subsidies, levies, premiums, etc., in order to put production on an economic basis, expose local industries to competition from imports, make exports more profitable, and compel manufacturers to increase efficiency. The policy was not consistently applied, however. Concessions were made to various groups of producers, as well as to mortgagees whose payments were linked to the value of the dollar. Inflationary pressures continued: prices started rising in 1963 at the rate of some 7% per year, and wage increases in the private sector were followed by a considerable rise in civil service salaries, a by-product of the introduction of a uniform grading system. Average nominal hourly wages rose by 17% in 1964 and again in 1965. The adverse trade balance (goods and services) grew to an average of some $500,000,000 in the years 1962–65. This was the price for the continued rise in the national product, a 6–7% annual growth in national income per capita, and a state of full employment.

After the 1965 elections the government took steps to cool down the overheated economy, raising taxes and cutting down its expenditures. Several important public works projects, such as the national water carrier and the building of Ashdod port, had been completed. A drop in immigration from an average of about 60,000 a year in 1961–64 to 30,000 in 1965 and 16,000 in 1966 led to a decrease in the demand for housing and a slump in the building and ancillary industries. The government's measures of economic restraint succeeded in stabilizing prices, keeping imports stationary, and reducing the adverse trade balance by some $75,000,000 in 1966, but only at the cost of an economic recession and a considerable rise in unemployment, to the level of 30,000. After 15 years of almost continuous expansion, the national product in effect did not increase at all during the year. The government hoped that a wage freeze, increased productivity, and the transfer of labor and resources to production for export would, in the long run, put the economy on a sounder footing, but the economic difficulties had a depressing effect on public morale. It was in an atmosphere of gloom and uncertainty that the threat to national survival, in the early summer of 1967, galvanized the nation into a new upsurge of energy and confidence, which encompassed all spheres of national life.

Education continued to expand: in the 1966/67 school year there were some 750,000 pupils and students, including about 120,000 in post-primary schools and 30,000 in the universities. A graded fee system was introduced by stages in the post-primary schools: those who passed a uniform examination in the basic subjects were subsidized, partially or wholly, in accordance with family income and circumstances. About 70% of pupils continued their studies after the age of 14: half in academic high schools and the rest in agricultural or vocational secondary schools. Special efforts were still needed to equalize the educational opportunities of children whose parents had come from Asia and Africa, only about 25% of whom received post-primary schooling. Measures taken in new immigrant areas included free kindergartens for three- and four-year-old children; a longer school day; separate grouping of children in the higher grades of the primary school according to attainments in Hebrew, mathematics and English, enabling them to progress at the rate best suited to their abilities in each subject; and the establishment of an Israel Education Fund through which donors from abroad helped to build comprehensive and other schools in the development areas. The Hebrew University and the Technion continued to expand, with 12,000 and 5,000 students, respectively; Tel Aviv University, which became an independent institution in 1961, had 8,000, and Bar-Ilan 3,500. The nuclei of two more universities at *Beersheba (from 1970 the University of the Negev) and *Haifa (from 1969 the University of Haifa), were established under the supervision of the older institutions.

More and more, Israel was becoming a world Jewish center. In addition to the Zionist Organization, which held its quadrennial congresses and the annual meetings of its General Council in Jerusalem, many Zionist and other Jewish organizations held their conventions in Israel. Thousands of young people attended study institutes and youth-leaders' courses organized by the Jewish Agency or came for periods of work in kibbutzim. The Jewish Agency also conducted courses for teachers and communal leaders, and rabbinical seminaries and other Jewish institutions abroad arranged their own courses in Israel. Ties between Israel and the Diaspora were reinforced by a growing network of family and other personal relationships: a high proportion of the thousands of Jewish tourists had relatives and close friends in Israel. The ideal of the "spiritual center" enunciated by Aḥad Ha-Am was taking shape, although there were those who pointed to evidence of cultural and sociological divergences between the "sabras" growing up in Israel and young Jews in the Diaspora.

There was a steady expansion in the scope, and improvement in the cordiality, of Israel's foreign ties during the period. In 1967 Israel maintained diplomatic relations with 98 countries, with permanent missions in 78 of them, compared with 55 countries and 38 permanent missions in 1958. The number of countries with diplomatic missions in Israel increased from 43 to 58, seven others having non-resident representatives. The only significant exceptions were the Arab and some Muslim countries and a few others, like India, closely associated with them. Relations were particularly close with the United States, the British Commonwealth countries, West European states (like France, Holland, and the Scandinavian countries), and some of the countries of Latin America and Africa. Although the U.S. Operations Mission in Israel was withdrawn in 1962, as Israel could no longer be considered an underdeveloped country, American aid, in the form of government and other loans and the sale of agricultural surpluses, continued. In view of the flow of Soviet jet bombers and missiles to Egypt, U.S. President Kennedy stated in May 1962 that, if necessary, America would take measures to prevent or halt aggression in the Middle East, and in September 1962 the United States, for the first time, publicly agreed to supply arms to Israel by selling Hawk ground-to-air defensive missiles. President de Gaulle maintained France's policy of cordial support and, on the occasion of visits by Ben-Gurion in 1961 and Eshkol in 1964, publicly referred to Israel as "our friend and ally." French Mystère jets constituted a major part of Israel's air-strike force. The international cooperation program was expanded to cover Latin American and some Mediterranean, as well as African and Asian, countries.

Relations with the German Federal Republic aroused considerable difficulty and controversy. Israel was represented by a mission at Cologne, which, while primarily concerned with trade, also performed consular and informative functions. Deliveries under the reparations agreement were duly completed, totaling over $400,000,000 in the ten-year period ending 1962. After a meeting between Ben-Gurion and Chancellor Konrad Adenauer in New York in March 1960, West Germany began to give Israel secret military aid and there were discussions on the possibility of large-scale economic assistance after the end of reparations. Leading individuals and various groups from Germany visited Israel; trade relations developed and there were some cultural exchanges. These trends were criticized by some survivors of the Holocaust and others as "treason to the memory of the victims of the Nazis." Ḥerut and left-wing critics accused the government of giving the stamp of Israel approval to German efforts to attain respectability and of endangering Israel's relations with the Soviet Union. Ben-Gurion replied that only a racist outlook could justify a boycott of Germans as such and that Israel needed German aid and support to safeguard her security. In 1963 there were reports that German scientists were helping Egypt to develop weapons of mass destruction, and Israel demanded that the German government put an end to their activities. Another crisis arose in 1965, when West Germany succumbed to Arab pressure by ending military assistance to Israel, but offered, in compensation, to establish full diplomatic relations and consider extended economic aid. The crisis was resolved when the first German and Israel ambassadors presented their credentials in the respective capitals in August; agreement on a German loan of dm160,000,000 was concluded in May 1966.

The Soviet Union continued to denounce Israel and Zionism, rejecting charges of cultural and other discrimination against Soviet Jews and appeals to permit them to settle in Israel, at least if they had relatives there. There was no response to Israel's efforts to improve economic and cultural relations, apart from isolated exchange visits by sports teams, musicians, etc. In reply to a Soviet note on the denuclearization of the Mediterranean area in 1963, Israel declared that the immediate danger arose out of the conventional arms build-up of the Arab states, which was openly directed against Israel. In May 1964 Prime Minister Eshkol repeated an assurance given by Ben-Gurion in December 1960 that "nuclear development in Israel is designed exclusively for peaceful purposes" and declared that the government "has not taken the initiative in introducing new arms or new types of arms – either conventional or non-conventional – to the Middle East." There was growing concern about the U.S.S.R.'s supply of arms to Egypt and Syria and its use of the veto in the un Security Council to prevent the adoption of any decision unfavorable to the Arabs.

For a decade after the Sinai Campaign there was no largescale outbreak of hostilities between Israel and the Arabs, but neither was there a decline in tension. Arab hatred of Israel was continually fanned by teachers, journalists, and politicians; incessant declarations of undying hostility came from leaders of both "progressive" and "conservative" Arab states. Ben-Gurion repeatedly stated that Israel was prepared for complete disarmament in Israel and the Arab countries under mutual supervision and proposed a joint American-Soviet guarantee of the territorial independence of all Middle East states, but there was no response to either proposal.

Nasser made no secret of his refusal to acquiesce in the continued existence of Israel. In June 1962, for example, he spoke of his people's "determination to liquidate one of the most dangerous enclaves opposing the struggle of our peoples." In the main, however, especially after the beginning of his involvement in the Yemen toward the end of 1962, he stressed that a long period of preparation would be required before the final clash. Apart from occasional flare-ups on the border with Jordan, most of the attacks came from Syrian positions on the Golan Heights overlooking the demilitarized zones and Lake Kinneret. An Israeli reprisal operation in 1962 drew the usual Security Council condemnation, but a resolution condemning the killing of settlers in border villages in the following year was vetoed by the Soviet Union.

The Arab summit conferences in Cairo and Alexandria, in January and September 1964, decided to intensify the struggle against Israel by diverting the headwaters of the Jordan River to frustrate Israel's water-development plans, setting up a unified Syrian-Lebanese-Jordanian military command, and establishing a Palestinian Liberation Organization, headed by Aḥmad Shukeiri, with an "army" composed of Arab refugees. On January 20 Prime Minister Eshkol pointed out that Jordan, Syria, and Lebanon were drawing considerable quantities of water from the Jordan-Yarmuk system and that Israel was taking no more than her share in accordance with the Johnston Plan. "Israel will oppose unilateral and illegal measures by Arab countries and will act for the preservation of her vital rights," he declared. In the spring of 1965 Israel artillery, returning Syrian fire, damaged preliminary works in connection with the diversion scheme.

In the same year a new Palestinian terrorist organization, al-Fataḥ, began operations on a considerable scale, sending small bands of terrorists from bases in Syria, Lebanon, and Jordan into Israel to sabotage railroads and other installations and blow up homes and public buildings. Israel warned that it would hold its neighbors responsible for attacks initiated from their territories and carried out reprisals in Jordan and Lebanon. The seizure of power in Syria by an extreme wing of the Baath Party, with pro-Communist leanings, was followed by more frequent shooting at Israeli farmers and army patrols and greater encouragement for al-Fataḥ operations. Syrian Premier Yusuf Zu'ayin warned: "We shall set the entire area afire and any Israeli movement will result in a final resting place for Israel." Israel Foreign Minister Abba Eban told the Security Council in October 1965 that armed infiltrators organized in Syria had committed 61 outrages on Israeli territory since January. He declared that Israel had no interest in the social philosophy or international orientation of the Syrian regime and emphatically denied allegations that Israel was planning to overthrow it. Further attacks took place while the Council was deliberating, but a motion "inviting" Syria to stop sabotage incursions from her territory was vetoed by the Soviet Union.

In default of international action, Israel took steps to strengthen her defenses. On November 8 Prime Minister Eshkol announced that the period of compulsory service for men, which had been reduced to 26 months in 1963, would be restored to 30 months. On November 13, the day after three Israeli soldiers were killed and six wounded by a land mine near the armistice line in the Mt. Hebron area in Jordanian territory, a strong Israeli force crossed the armistice demarcation line and, after evacuating the residents, blew up 40 houses in es-Samu and two other villages where marauders had found shelter; 15 trucks carrying Arab Legion reinforcements were also destroyed. The Security Council unanimously (except for one abstention) censured Israel for the raid.

The Six-Day War and After: 1967–1970

Israel celebrated her 19th Independence Day on May 15, 1967, with a modest military parade in Jerusalem, from which aircraft, armor, and artillery were excluded in compliance with the 1949 Armistice Agreement with Jordan. Three and a half weeks later, after the *Six-Day War, the situation in the Middle East had been radically transformed: the Egyptian, Jordanian, and Syrian armies had been shattered; Israel was in control of territories stretching from the Golan Heights to Sharm el-Sheikh and from the Suez Canal to the Jordan River; and a new upsurge of national energy and confidence had been matched by a wave of concern and devotion that swept over world Jewry, engulfing hundreds of thousands who realized, when the Jewish state was in peril, how much its survival meant to them. This feeling affected Jews in all countries, including both the youth and the most assimilated.

Tension on the Syrian frontier had risen steadily during the early months of 1967, despite a special series of meetings of the Israel-Syrian mac to discuss practical arrangements for securing a peaceful atmosphere on the armistice demarcation line. Israel repeatedly complained to the un Security Council and warned that she would take all measures necessary to protect the lives of her citizens. On April 7, after heavy shelling of border villages by Syrian tanks and heavy artillery, Israeli aircraft went into action and shot down six Syrian Mig 21s.

Radio Moscow accused Israel of attacking Syria in the service of American "reactionary and imperialist circles" that were plotting to prevent the consolidation of the "progressive" Syrian regime. While terrorist raids into Israel continued, the Soviet Union told the Egyptians that Israel was concentrating "huge armed forces" near the Syrian border. Dmitri Chuvakhin, the Soviet Ambassador to Israel, refused an invitation from Prime Minister Eshkol to verify, by personal inspection on the spot, that the allegation was unfounded. Israel immediately denied the Soviet allegations and as un Secretary-General U Thant stated on May 19, "reports from untso observers confirmed the absence of troop concentrations and significant troop movements on both sides of the line."

Meanwhile, on May 14, Nasser had begun openly dispatching large numbers of Egyptian troops into Sinai. Eshkol told the Israel government that the Egyptian troop movements, apparently, had more demonstrative than practical significance, but ordered part of the reserves mobilized as a precautionary measure. On May 16 Cairo Radio declared: "The existence of Israel has continued too long. We welcome the Israeli aggression, we welcome the battle that we have long awaited. The great hour has come. The battle has come in which we shall destroy Israel." On the same day Egypt demanded the withdrawal of the un Emergency Force (unef) from the Gaza Strip and Sinai borders and Sharm el-Sheikh, and when U Thant replied that any such request would be regarded as a demand for its complete withdrawal, officially requested the evacuation of the force. On May 19 the unef commander, General Rikhye, told Israel that the force would cease to function the same day. U Thant flew to Cairo on May 22; on the next day Nasser announced his intention to block the Straits of Tiran to Israeli ships and others carrying "strategic cargoes," and Eshkol immediately declared that any interference with freedom of passage in the Gulf of Akaba and the straits constituted "an act of aggression." On May 26 Nasser declared: "Sharm el-Sheikh means a confrontation with Israel. After having taken this step we must be prepared to wage total war on Israel." The Security Council met on May 24 but could not agree on any action. On May 25 Foreign Minister Eban left for Washington, London, and Paris to ask for support and, specifically, measures to lift the blockade in the straits. Only four out of a score of maritime powers that had announced their support for free passage in 1957 were willing to cooperate. Neither Britain nor France was willing to stand by the 1950 Tripartite Declaration. The French spoke of the need to examine the legal position on free passage through the Straits of Tiran, and General de Gaulle warned Eban that he would oppose whichever side struck first.

Under the looming shadow of war, the country was preparing for the worst. The organization and training of the reserves units was being brought up to concert pitch, while older men and women and schoolchildren helped to keep services going. Many worked overtime without pay to get in the harvest, keep up supplies, and fill export orders. After a day's rush on groceries, the government announced that ample supplies of food were available and kept the warehouses open until late at night so that shops could replenish stocks. The country anxiously awaited a government decision to end the uncertainty, and army leaders pressed for action.

A cabinet meeting on May 27 decided to make another effort to avert war. In a broadcast to the nation on the next day, Eshkol said that further diplomatic measures were to be taken to safeguard free passage in the Straits of Tiran and that "lines of activity" had been laid down "for the purpose of removing the military concentrations from Israel's southern border, protecting our sovereign rights and security on the borders and averting aggression, so that we shall not have to act in self-defense with military force." Widespread demands were made for the establishment of a government of national unity to fortify public confidence and, specifically, for the appointment of Moshe Dayan as minister of defense. On May 30, King Hussein of Jordan placed his forces under Egyptian control. Egyptian, Saudi Arabian, and Iraqi troops were sent to Jordan, and Iraqi, Algerian, and Kuwaiti forces to Egypt. On June 1 Dayan was co-opted to the cabinet as defense minister and three days later Menahem Begin, the Herut leader, and Yosef Sapir, the Liberal leader, as ministers without portfolio. On June 3 Radio Cairo quoted an order of the day by General Murtaji, commander of the Egyptian Forces in Sinai, hailing "the Holy War through which you will restore the rights of the Arabs which have been stolen in Palestine and reconquer the plundered soil of Palestine." On the next day, Iraq followed Hussein's example.

Surrounded by Arab forces that were liable to attack at any moment, Israel could delay no longer. On the morning of June 5 the Israel air force attacked the airfields of Egypt, Jordan, Iraq, and Syria, destroying 452 planes – 391 of them on the ground – in under three hours and achieving complete superiority in the air. As the attack was nearing completion, the southern command moved against the Egyptian armies massed on the Negev border. One divisional task force broke through heavily defended positions on the coast and reached El-Arish by the evening. A second advanced toward the main Egyptian positions around Abu Aweigila, opposite Niẓẓanah, while a third moved through the sand dunes further north to the Egyptian rear. At the same time, Gaza was attacked from the south. On the second day of fighting, the Israeli forces advanced toward the Egyptian second line and concentrated most of their armor in the heart of Sinai. On the third day, Israeli tanks carried out a large-scale encirclement operation, closing up all avenues of escape for the Egyptian armor and compelling it to engage in frontal combat. In one of the largest armor battles in history, with over 1,000 tanks participating on both sides, the Egyptian power was shattered, and on June 8 the Israeli forces had reached the Suez Canal and were moving south along the eastern shore of the Gulf of Suez. Meanwhile the Gaza Strip had been taken, Israeli naval forces had captured Sharm el-Sheikh, and parachute troops landed there were moving northward to link up with the armor. By dawn on Friday June 9, Israeli forces were encamped along the canal and the Gulf of Suez. The Egyptians had had over 400 tanks destroyed and 200 captured, losing more than 10,000 men and 12,000 prisoners.

On the morning of June 5 Israel had notified King Hussein, through the untso chief of staff, that if his forces kept the peace Jordan would be immune from attack. Nevertheless, almost immediately Jordanian forces opened fire all along the armistice line, occupied un headquarters in East Jerusalem, and indiscriminately shelled the Jewish areas in the west of the city. Israel's central command counterattacked, concentrating on the hills round the city. By the next day, after bitter fighting that lasted throughout the night, the garrison on Mount Scopus had been relieved and the whole of Jerusalem outside the Old City was in Israel's hands. At the same time the northern command attacked the Jordanian forces in Samaria (the northern part of the "West Bank"), while central command forces, which had taken the strong points on the hills to the north of the Jerusalem Corridor, moved eastward to cut the road from the city to the north. By June 7 Israel was in control of Nablus, Ramallah, Jericho, and Bethlehem. It was now possible to start the historic battle for the Old City, which was taken by a paratroop unit breaking in through St. Stephen's (Lions) Gate in hand-to-hand fighting to avoid any damage to the holy places. By the evening the whole of Samaria and Judea were in Israel's hands.

In the north, the Syrians had been shelling Israel towns and villages from their heavily fortified positions on the Golan Heights. With the fighting over in the south and the center, the Israel air force opened fire on the gun positions, and at noon on June 9 the infantry and armor attacked. After fierce fighting, in which one position after another was taken in close combat, the Israel forces reached the town of Kuneitra, on the main road to Damascus, at 2:30 p.m. on the 10th.

The Security Council, which met on almost every one of the six days of fighting, called for a cease-fire on June 6, 7, and 9. With the acceptance of the cease-fire by Israel, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, and Syria, the Six-Day War came to an end. Israel casualties were 777 killed and 2,586 wounded; the Arabs had lost some 15,000 men, hundreds of tanks, and the bulk of their air forces. Israel held 26,476 sq. mi. of territory previously in Arab hands: 444 sq. mi. on the Golan Heights, 2,270 sq. mi. in Judea and Samaria, 140 sq. mi. in the Gaza Strip, and 23,622 sq. mi. in Sinai. A Soviet-sponsored proposal to condemn Israel as the aggressor and demand immediate withdrawal from all occupied territories was rejected by the Security Council on June 14, and three similar proposals were turned down by the General Assembly on July 4.

When Defense Minister Moshe Dayan paid his first visit to the Old City of Jerusalem on June 7, he said: "We have unified Jerusalem, the divided capital of Israel. We have returned to the holiest of our holy places never to depart from it again." On the same day, Prime Minister Eshkol assured the heads of all the religious communities that they would retain control of their holy places, the chief rabbis being in charge of the Western Wall of the Temple Court (the "Wailing Wall"). On June 27 the minister of the interior, under a law passed by the Knesset the day before, issued an order extending the limits of Jerusalem and the jurisdiction of Israel law to the eastern part of the city. At noon the next day the 19-year-old barriers between East and West Jerusalem were removed; henceforth the 66,000 Arabs (54,000 Muslims and 12,000 Christians) and 195,000 Jews of Jerusalem were free to mingle as citizens of one city.

Military government was established in the areas administered under the cease-fire agreements, but the existing local authorities and officials were left free to operate without interference, except where security interests were concerned. Schools were reopened with the same staffs, curricula, and textbooks, apart from the revision or replacement of those containing incitement against the Jews or Israel. A small number of Israel officials, seconded to central and regional military government headquarters, helped to improve services, introduce modern agricultural methods, and stimulate industrial development. The courts were reopened, with the same judges and staffs administering the law previously in force; Israel military courts dealt only with offenses against security. An "open bridges" policy was instituted: West Bank Arabs moved freely to and fro across the Jordan and sold their produce in the Arab countries; residents of the Gaza Strip could travel for the first time to the West Bank and further afield; high school graduates could take Egyptian matriculation examinations and go to study in Egyptian and other Arab universities. Some 200,000 Arabs fled eastward across the Jordan River during the fighting or left to join their families afterward. The applications of 21,000 to return were approved, but by the end of August 1967 only 14,000 had done so. Further applications for the purpose of family reunification were considered on their merits. Relatives and friends of West Bank residents were allowed to come for prolonged visits each summer. Thousands of Arabs worked inside Israel's pre-1967 borders: in March 1970, 18,000 from the West Bank and 6,600 from the Gaza Strip were thus employed through the labor exchanges. Many of the refugee camps were connected with the electricity network; refugees, especially in the Gaza Strip, were a high proportion of those who worked in Israel, earning considerably increased wages (see also Israel, State of: *Arab Population).

Nevertheless, the Arabs of the areas, the great majority of whom had close relatives in Jordan and other Arab countries, regarded themselves as closely connected with the Arab world and, although there was a widespread desire for peace, looked forward expectantly to the withdrawal of Israel forces and the end of Israel rule. In the early months after the war, there were political demonstrations, and some of the young people cooperated with the terrorist organizations. In the Gaza Strip, particularly in the refugee camps, grenades were repeatedly thrown at army patrols and at Arabs "collaborating" with the authorities by going out to work in Israel. Stern measures were taken by the security forces against anyone using violence or harboring terrorists, and the great majority of the population kept the peace and denied shelter to armed infiltrators.

Israel ignored a Security Council resolution of May 21, 1968, calling for the annulment of measures taken to change the status of Jerusalem, but expressed recognition of universal spiritual interests in the city and readiness to guarantee the immunity of the holy places of all faiths. A fire in the al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem on Aug. 29, 1969, was exploited by Arab propaganda to rouse anti-Israel sentiment in the Muslim world and get a censure resolution passed in the Security Council (September 15), although the arsonist, an Australian named Michael Rohan, was immediately apprehended and found to be suffering from paranoiac schizophrenia. Almost none of the East Jerusalem Arabs applied for Israel citizenship, but they were automatically entitled to vote in municipal elections and 7,000 of them did so in 1969 – more than in the last elections to the city council under Jordanian rule.

The weeks of tension preceding the Six-Day War led to an unprecedented awakening among Jews abroad, especially the youth. Thousands of young volunteers invaded Israel missions and Jewish Agency offices, clamoring to be allowed to help in the emergency; many made their own way to Israel by any available plane. While they arrived too late to fight, they worked in fields and orchards, helped the army clear up the debris of battle, and began the reconstruction of the Hebrew University and Hadassah Hospital buildings on Mount Scopus. About 30% of them stayed and others established aliyah groups on their return abroad. The Zionist movement issued a call for aliyah, and the 27th Zionist Congress, meeting in Jerusalem in June 1968, adopted a new "Jerusalem Program" calling for aliyah from all countries. For the first time there was a large influx of immigrants from the West. The task of fitting absorption machinery to their needs became a matter of urgency, and a Ministry of Immigrant Absorption, headed by Deputy Prime Minister Yigal Allon, was set up for the purpose. Donations by Diaspora Jewry reached unprecedented levels, rising from $50,000,000 in 1966/67 to $350,000,000 in 1967/68. The Jerusalem Economic Conference, attended in April 1968 by over 500 prominent Jewish businessmen and economists from abroad, set up a network of regional and trade subcommittees to organize practical measures for increasing investments, establishing new undertakings in Israel, and enhancing efficiency.

The war had raised far-reaching problems of policy for Israel's leaders and public. The new situation and the entry of Moshe Dayan into the cabinet helped heal the rift in the labor movement: in January 1968 Mapai, Ahdut ha-Avodah, and Rafi merged to form the *Israel Labor Party, which established an "alignment" with Mapam a year later (for other political developments, see Political Life and Parties). It was clear that a new and critical stage had been initiated, and might determine the destiny of Israel for many years to come. All but a tiny minority agreed that the 1949 armistice lines were dead and buried and that united Jerusalem and the Golan Heights, which had threatened the Jewish villages below for two decades, must not be given up. Apart from these points, however, there were deep differences, cutting across party lines, as to the map of the future. Gahal and some members of the Labor and National Religious parties believed that Israel must hold on to the boundaries achieved in June 1967 in order to fulfill the ideal of Ereẓ Yisrael ha-Shelemah ("The Undivided Land of Israel") as the national homeland of the Jewish people, with the Sinai Peninsula as a buffer against any further threat from Egypt. Others, including Rakah, some individuals, and small groups, mostly left-wing, called for the return of all the occupied territories as the price of peace. The majority of the Labor Party, Mapam, and the Independent Liberals, as well as many members of the religious parties, were prepared to give up most of the territories in return for definitive peace treaties with Egypt and Jordan.

There was also the problem of the political attitude to be adopted toward the former Palestinian Arabs in the administered territories. The official policy was that peace could be concluded only with the government of Jordan, and that the relations between the former Palestinians and King Hussein were an internal matter of no concern to Israel. Others advocated an attempt to reach a settlement with the population of the West Bank, perhaps on the basis of setting up a separate Palestinian state in the area. Voices were also raised in favor of an attempt by Israel to solve the problem of the refugees under its rule, but the majority view was that large-scale schemes would only arouse antagonism and that the best policy was to improve the employment and social conditions of the refugees as part of the measures for increasing prosperity in the administered areas in general.

The government decided, in view of the differences of opinion within it and the fact that no Arab country was ready to negotiate, that there was no need to take any decisions on boundaries unless and until definite proposals would have to be submitted at the peace conference table. Various interim government pronouncements were summarized, however, in an "unwritten doctrine" adopted, mainly in response to pressure from Dayan, at the first Labor Party convention in August 1969. According to this program, advocacy of which was optional for party spokesmen, the Gaza Strip, as well as the Golan Heights and the whole of Jerusalem, should remain under Israel rule; there should be a territorial link with Sharm el-Sheikh to safeguard freedom of shipping from and to Eilat, and the Jordan River should be Israel's "security border." Under the last head, which was in keeping with the "Allon Plan" proposed by the deputy prime minister, most of the West Bank could be reunited politically with Jordan, but no Arab military forces would be permitted east of the Jordan River.

There was some controversy over the question of Jewish settlement in the administered areas. While the maximalists advocated the establishment of villages and urban quarters wherever possible, as an expression of Jewish rights in the whole of Ereẓ Israel and in order to strengthen Israel's hold on the areas, other circles objected on the ground that such settlement could prejudice peace negotiations. General opinion supported government policy to give priority to settlement required mainly for security reasons. A number of *Naḥal outposts – some of which were later converted into civilian villages – were set up on the Golan Heights, along the Jordan Valley, and on the northern Sinai coast. Two of the villages in the Eẓyon Bloc, destroyed during the War of Independence, were resettled. Most controversial was the beginning of the establishment of a Jewish quarter on the outskirts of Hebron, first on the independent initiative of a religious group and later with government assistance. The building of new quarters in East Jerusalem and the rehabilitation of the Jewish Quarter in the Old City met with virtually unanimous approval in Israel.

Meanwhile, the quest for a solution was proceeding, to the accompaniment of renewed fighting from time to time on various sectors of the cease-fire lines. Immediately after the Six-Day War, Israel called for direct peace negotiations. There were hopes that the Arabs might now be ready to discuss some form of peace or coexistence with Israel. These soon disappeared, however, after the Soviet Union undertook to rehabilitate the Egyptian and Syrian armies, initiating a vast airlift of planes, tanks, and other equipment to replace their losses and sending in thousands of Soviet advisers and experts. The Khartoum Arab Summit Conference in August 1967, at which Saudi Arabia, Libya, and Kuwait promised Egypt and Jordan generous subsidies, resolved that there would be no peace with Israel, no negotiations with Israel, no recognition of Israel, and no compromise at the expense of "the rights of the Palestinian people." Yasser Arafat, leader of al-Fatah, was elected head of the Palestine Liberation Organization, which was subsidized by the Arab governments and provided with facilities to operate from Syrian, Jordanian, and, later, Lebanese territory.

The cease-fire lines were much easier to defend against the threat of a large-scale assault than the armistice lines, with the Suez Canal and the Jordan River as "anti-tank ditches" and the increased warning time available before Egyptian aircraft could approach the populated areas. It was not long, however, before the cease-fire lines were under attack. On the Suez Canal, which Nasser blocked immediately after the war, the Egyptians fired at Israel positions from time to time and the Israelis replied in kind. Land, sea, and air clashes culminated in the sinking of the Israel destroyer Eilat on October 21 and the shelling of oil installations in the town of Suez a day later. Al-Fataḥ detachments, trained and organized in Syria, tried to cross the Jordan to carry on the war. Most were intercepted on or near the cease-fire line, but some sabotage was done, especially in Jerusalem and some of the border villages.

The Security Council met again and this time arrived at a decision. On Nov. 22, 1967, after several alternative drafts had failed to win agreement, the Council unanimously adopted a British-sponsored resolution (no. 242, 1967), which emphasized "the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war and the need to work for a just and lasting peace in which every state in the area can live in security." Such a peace should provide for "(i) Withdrawal of Israeli armed forces from territories (the French and Russian traslations had "the territories") occupied in the recent conflict; (ii) Termination of all claims or states of belligerency and respect for and acknowledgment of the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of every state in the area and their right to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries free from threats or acts of force." The resolution further affirmed the necessity "(a) for guaranteeing freedom of navigation through international waterways in the area; (b) for achieving a just settlement of the refugee problem; (c) for guaranteeing the territorial inviolability and political independence of every state in the area, through measures including the establishment of demilitarized zones." The secretary-general was asked to designate a special representative "to establish and maintain contacts with the states concerned in order to promote agreement and assist efforts to achieve a peaceful and accepted settlement in accordance with the provisions and principles in this resolution."

Foreign Minister Eban declared that Israel would "respect and fully maintain the situation embodied in the cease-fire agreements until it is succeeded by peace treaties between Israel and the Arab states ending the state of war…" President Nasser, speaking on November 23, reiterated the "noes" of Khartoum and declared: "Israel's withdrawal from all the occupied areas is not a matter for negotiation." Later, Jordan and Egypt announced their acceptance of the resolution, but insisted on "implementation" by Israel's withdrawal to the boundaries existing on June 4, 1967, as a sine qua non of any settlement. They also made it clear that, even after a settlement, they would recognize the right of the Palestinians to continue their struggle for "the liberation of Palestine." Syria refused to have anything to do with the resolution, while al-Fataḥ opposed any agreement whatsoever, calling for the "liberation of Palestine" by force. The Israel representative told the un on May 1, 1968, that Israel accepted the resolution as a means "for the promotion of agreement on the establishment of a just and lasting peace." As the resolution did not call for withdrawal from "all the territories" or even "the territories," Israel emphasized that the "secure and recognized boundaries" must be determined by negotiation; while they would not be identical with the cease-fire lines, there would be no return to the prewar boundaries, which, Israel spokesmen declared, would be a constant temptation to renewed hostilities. Furthermore, no territory would be evacuated until the conclusion of a peace treaty covering all the points at issue. Gunnar Jarring, Swedish ambassador in Moscow, who was appointed by un Secretary-General U Thant as his representative, paid repeated visits to Jerusalem, Cairo, and Amman as intermediary between the governments, but there was no change in the irreconcilable attitudes of the two sides.

Meanwhile, the military situation deteriorated on both fronts. Explosive charges planted by infiltrators on the outskirts of villages and in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, and other places killed and injured civilians and did damage to property. Along the Jordan River, mine-laying; firing at Israel forces by Palestinian irregulars, often with support from Jordanian military posts; shelling of Israel villages, especially in the Beth-Shean and Jordan valleys; and attempts by al-Fataḥ and other detachments to cross the river were almost daily occurrences. By constant vigilance, patrolling, and pursuit, the Israel forces severly hampered the activities of the infiltrators and inflicted heavy casualties on them: up to the end of 1970, 1,828 were killed and 2,884 captured. Al-Fataḥ bases in Jordan were attacked, compelling the terrorists to scatter; after the largest such operation, at Karama on March 21, 1968 – in which Israel losses were heavier than in any other such action – Israel was censured by Security Council. In 1969 the Palestinian guerrillas operated increasingly from bases in Lebanon, which were also attacked by Israel forces. Border villages and towns like Kiryat Shemonah and Beth-Shean were indiscriminately bombarded with Soviet "Katyusha" rockets. Large sums were spent on building shelters, in which the village children regularly spent their nights. Men in the reserves were called up for longer periods, and at the beginning of 1969 compulsory army service was extended from 30 to 36 months for men.

The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (pflp), a Marxist rival of al-Fataḥ, specialized in the hijacking of aircraft and attacks on the offices of El Al and other Israel institutions abroad. On Dec. 28, 1968, two days after an armed attack on an El Al plane at Athens airport, an Israel commando unit destroyed 14 Arab aircraft at Beirut, where the terrorists had their headquarters. The Security Council censured Israel for the raid, though throughout this period it did not condemn Arab attacks on Israel or (apart from general appeals for the observance of the cease-fire) call for them to be halted or prevented. The pflp's operations culminated in the hijacking of five international aircraft in August 1970 (in the case of one, an El Al plane, the attempt failed) and the holding of passengers for ransom to obtain the release of Arab terrorists held in Switzerland, Germany, and Britain. This act was one of the factors in the outbreak of the Jordanian civil war, which reduced the pressure on Israel's eastern front during the last part of the year, when the Palestinian organizations seemed to be devoting most of their energies to the struggle against King Hussein.

The most serious military threat came from Egypt. Apart from several sporadic flare-ups, the Suez Canal zone was quiet for a time; in fact, it was frequently visited by tourists from the Israel side. On April 10, 1968, however, Nasser declared: "The Arab nation has decided to embark on the path of struggle and war. We have reequipped our armed forces, so that we may stand firm, later we will move to the containment of Israel and, after that, to the eradication of the aggression." In September and October the Egyptians heavily bombarded Israel positions on the canal, taking the troops by surprise and inflicting heavy casualties. Israel artillery replied, doing serious damage to the towns on the western side, and carried out commando raids deep into Egyptian territory. Israel built a series of bunkers and fortifications, heavily protected, along the length of the canal. In the second week of March 1969, the Egyptians heavily bombarded what they called the "Bar-Lev Line" (after the Israel chief of staff), and on March 30 Nasser announced that Egyptian troops would no longer be bound by the cease-fire. "We ask every soldier at the front to account for his action if he sees the enemy and does not fire at him," he said. On May 1 he announced that 60% of the "Bar-Lev Line" had been destroyed and that the attacks would continue until its destruction had been completed. Egyptian patrols were also sent across the canal, but were repulsed with heavy losses. On July 23 Nasser declared: "Now, brethren, we begin the act of liberation… We are now in the midst of a long, drawn battle… to wear down the enemy." Israel replied to this war of attrition with further commando raids on targets ranging from the Upper Nile Valley to the west coast of the Gulf of Suez and repeated air strikes at Egyptian antiaircraft batteries and posts. Forty-seven Egyptian aircraft were shot down in 1969, and it became clear that Israel had the mastery of the skies.

The cost of military operations, the building of fortifications and shelters, the maintenance of large numbers of men under arms, the purchase of large quantities of military equipment, and the expansion of local arms manufacture, as well as a massive housing program to meet the needs of increased immigration, had a threefold effect. There was a sharp upward trend in economic activity, which started in the second half of 1967 and continued in the succeeding years; the state budget swelled and the government had to take more money from the public in taxes and loans; and there was a drastic worsening in the balance of payments, leading to a drop in foreign-currency reserves (see Israel, State of: *Economic Affairs, section on Economic Development). Full employment and rising prices led to pressures for wage increases, which were partially restrained by a "package deal" between the government, the Histadrut, and the employers' associations in 1970, providing for moderate wage rises (partly in the form of government bonds), coupled with stabilization of prices and taxes. The balance of the agreement was somewhat upset toward the end of the year by a tax increase, mainly in indirect taxes, which necessitated some rise in prices, and salary claims by professional men, port workers, and others, many of them supported by strike action. In view of the strain on the government's finances, the Jewish Agency took over a larger part of the responsibility for social services and support for higher education. Appeal funds totaled about $250,000,000 in each of the years 1968/69 and 1969/70.

In 1970 the Israel air force stepped up its attacks on the Egyptian army camps near Cairo and other towns along the Nile in an attempt to compel the Egyptians to observe the cease-fire. In March it became known that the Soviet Union had come to Egypt's rescue by installing sa3 missiles, which had to be manned by Soviet crews, and providing Soviet pilots to fly operational missions in the canal zone. Until then the Soviets had confined themselves to the function of "advisers" to the Egyptian army, although these were to be found on a low tactical level, as well as at headquarters, and were known to have played an active part in the planning and execution of military operations. On April 18 Israel aircraft were challenged by Russian-flown Egyptian planes, and it was clear that Soviet involvement in the war had reached an advanced stage. Israel decided to refrain from further deep air penetration in order to avoid a dangerous clash with the Soviets, but replied to the Egyptians' spring offensive with heavy air bombardments of their lines close to the canal in order to prevent the rebuilding of their antiaircraft defenses, which might have enabled them to neutralize Israel's air power and, later, to make an attempt to cross the canal in force. In July the Soviet sa3 missiles went into operation for the first time against Israel planes. Israel stated that, while not wishing to clash with the Soviets, she would repel any attempt to make her withdraw from the Suez Canal line without a peace settlement and called upon the United States to deter the Soviets from active involvement in the war. At this stage, an American peace initiative produced a new situation.

Since early in 1969 Four-Power talks – between the U.S., the U.S.S.R., Britain, and France – and Two-Power talks, between the two superpowers, had been proceeding in an effort to agree on "guide lines" for Ambassador Jarring's mission. Israel expressed serious reservations about these talks, in which it could only rely on qualified American support while the Arabs were assured of out-and-out Soviet backing and general support from France, with Britain's attitude, at best, uncertain. Israel contended that a settlement would only be reached by agreement between the parties to the dispute and repeatedly called on the Arab states to enter into peace negotiations in which each side would be free to make any proposals it pleased. On October 1 Prime Minister Golda Meir responded affirmatively to a reported hint by Egyptian Foreign Minister Mahmud Riad that his country might be prepared to accept "something like the Rhodes formula of 1948–49" for indirect negotiations, but the proposal was disavowed by the Egyptian government spokesman. Detailed U.S. proposals for a settlement with Egypt and Jordan, announced by U.S. Secretary of State Rogers in December 1969, were rejected by the Israel government and the Knesset, as they would only permit "insubstantial changes" in the pre-1967 borders. Continual efforts were made to obtain further arms from the United States, which had become Israel's only supplier of military aircraft, as 50 French Mirages, ordered and paid for before the Six-Day War, were held up and a complete embargo on military supplies, imposed by President de Gaulle after the raid on Beirut airport, was being maintained by his successor. In December 1968 it was announced that President Johnson had agreed to supply Israel with 50 Phantom planes, but Israel now asked for 25 more Phantoms and 100 Skyhawks in addition. No public reply was given, but American spokesmen indicated that the United States would not allow the arms balance to be disturbed to Israel's disfavor.

On June 19, 1970, Secretary of State Rogers proposed that discussions on the establishment of a just and lasting peace should be held between Israel and Egypt and Jordan, respectively, under the auspices of Ambassador Jarring. The discussions should be based on "mutual acknowledgment" by the parties "of each other's sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence," and on "Israeli withdrawal from territories occupied in the 1967 conflict" in accordance with Security Council resolution 242. To facilitate agreement, the cease-fire with Egypt should be renewed for a period of three months at least. On August 4 Israel accepted the American proposal, making it clear that she regarded the original Security Council cease-fire resolution as still binding, that the object of the discussions would be to achieve "an agreed and binding contractual peace agreement," that Israel armed forces would be withdrawn only to "secure, recognized and agreed boundaries to be determined in the peace agreements," and that each party would be free to present its proposals on the matters under discussion. The decision was taken after receiving assurances from the United States that the cease-fire would include a standstill in a zone extending 30 mi. (50 km.) on either side of the Suez Canal, in which both parties would refrain from changing the military status quo by stationing additional missiles or other installations. Gaḥal, while accepting the cease-fire proposal, would not agree to negotiations on withdrawal from the territory of Ereẓ Israel, and its six ministers resigned from the cabinet, with effect from August 6.

The renewed cease-fire went into effect on August 7, but on its very first day Israel intelligence discovered that a number of missile sites in the standstill zone west of the canal had been moved forward, and further violations of the agreement were discovered on succeeding days. After several days the violations were confirmed by the United States from its own intelligence sources. Israel charged that a complete new electronic defense system, consisting of sa2 and sa3 missile batteries, had been erected up to within 6 mi. (10 km.) of the canal, capable of striking at Israel aircraft up to a distance of 20 mi. (30 km.) east of the canal and providing cover for Egyptian artillery, which could inflict heavy damage on Israeli positions as a preliminary to an attempt to cross the waterway. Defense Minister Dayan and army spokesmen, however, stated that Israel's armed strength had increased during the cease-fire and expressed their confidence that any renewed Egyptian attack would be doomed to failure.

The Israeli government, while appointing Foreign Minister Eban as the Israeli representative to the Jarring talks and un Ambassador Tekoah as his deputy, declared that the immediate and massive violation of the cease-fire standstill agreement cast doubt on Egypt's readiness to observe any agreement to which she might set her hand. It therefore decided on September 6 to suspend participation in the Jarring talks until the missiles were withdrawn and the status quo ante in the canal zone restored. The United States showed understanding for Israel's reluctance to continue the talks in the circumstances and pressed the Soviet Union and Egypt to rectify the position in the Canal zone. These efforts were unsuccessful and there was no apparent change in the situation after the death of Nasser on September 28 and the election of Anwar Sadat to succeed him. The United States tried to induce Israel to return to the talks, however, and President Nixon asked Congress to appropriate $500,000,000 in credits for the supply of arms to Israel to neutralize the Egyptian build-up. At the end of the year, after intensive negotiations with the U.S. administration, the Israeli government decided that conditions had been created that would justify the reopening of the Jarring talks, and the decision was approved by the Knesset on December 29.

Toward the end of the year public opinion in Israel was deeply moved by the plight of Jews in the U.S.S.R. and their open demand for the right to aliyah. Mass demonstrations were held at the Western Wall in Jerusalem in the second half of December, during the trial of Jews in Leningrad on charges of planning to hijack a plane in order to leave the Soviet Union. After a statement by the prime minister on behalf of the government, the Knesset called on friendly nations and world public opinion to press for the removal of the restrictions on the freedom of Soviet Jews to leave the U.S.S.R. and settle in Israel.

[Misha Louvish]

From the Yom Kippur War to the First Intifada

With the relaxation of military tension and the cessation of almost all military activities along the borders from 1971 to 1973, the period was marked by a greater concentration on domestic problems. In spite of the border tranquility, however, security expenditure kept rising due to the need to finance costly and modern weapons, about one-third of the budget being earmarked for defense. The growing budget, shortage of labor, influx of foreign capital, and spiraling wage demands resulted in rising inflation. The continued economic boom resulted in conspicuous consumption, including massive foreign travel, and stressed the growing social inequality.

This inequality was at the root of growing discontent among the lower income strata, predominantly Oriental Jews, living in urban slums or in development towns, with large families, and inferior education. This gave rise to a group of young people known as the Black Panthers who organized demonstrations in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv calling attention to their plight and demanding housing for young couples, better schools, and job opportunities. The initial reaction of the Labor Government was to dismiss the entire affair, and the prime minister termed them "not nice," a phrase that was to cost Labor heavily in the elections of 1973 and, more particularly, of 1977.

After some consideration, however, the government did begin to deal more urgently with social needs, and increased budgets for education, housing, and social welfare were allocated. In June 1973, the Prime Minister's Committee on Disadvantaged Youth, consisting of 126 experts, issued its report, which revealed that in the late 1960s there were some 160,000 disadvantaged children in lsrael from the point of view of parents' income or educational status and substandard housing. Of them 25,000 were disadvantaged in all three criteria. On the eve of the Yom Kippur War, the cabinet decided to establish a Youth Authority consisting of representatives of ministries dealing with social affairs. Additional budgets were allocated for housing, education and social services, but the ambitious plans fell victim to the Yom Kippur War and the need to finance massive rearmament in its wake.

Between 1971 and 1973 a wave of strikes hit Israel, chiefly in the public service sector, causing hardship and resulting, usually, in wage rises. In some cases the strikes were called without the knowledge or agreement of the Histadrut, in others against its wishes, and it lost out to works committees who were highly critical of the government policies, which, they claimed, favored the rich. The secretary-general of the Histadrut, Yiẓḥak *Ben-Aharon, was also outspoken in his criticism of the policies of Finance Minister Pinḥas *Sapir, charging him with giving preference to industrialists, investors, and the newly rich, but ignoring tens of thousands of families in poverty.

The major preoccupation of the government on the eve of the 1973 elections consisted in the security situation, which seemed better than ever, social problems, and the future of the Administered Areas, which was the focus of a major debate in the Alignment. The discussion on the territories took first place in the minds of the Israeli leaders, and as elections drew near Minister Galili issued a document for approval by the Labor Party designed to placate Defense Minister Dayan and determine Israel's policy in the areas in the next four years. This was to include continued development of the services, new settlements, the continuation of the open bridges policy, the expansion of plans for Arab refugee resettlement, the continuing development of the Jerusalem area as well as the purchase of land in the areas. Among the areas to be developed was the Rafiaḥ Salient, to include a new city, Yammit, and a deep water port. The Galili Document became part of the Labor election platform.

Another important political development took place in July 1973, when General Ariel *Sharon, recently demobilized from the idf, was able to bring about a new political bloc called the Likud, consisting of Ḥerut, the Liberals, the Free Center and the State List. General Sharon was co-opted to the Likud list of candidates for the Knesset.

There was no abatement in the struggle against Arab terror during the 1971–73 period, with Israel scoring major successes but also suffering tragic setbacks, such as the massacre committed at Lod Airport in May 1972 by a group of Japanese terrorists, who killed over 25 people in cold blood. In September of that year the plo captured and killed eleven Israeli athletes and trainers, the bulk of the Israeli team for the Munich Olympic Games. The tragedy raised serious questions in Israel regarding the protection of the team and led to the appointment of an inquiry committee and a tightening up of security measures. Successful operations by Israeli agents in Europe and in Beirut nipped in the bud many planned plo attacks and saved countless lives.

the yom kippur war and its aftermath

On the eve of the *Yom Kippur War the mood of Israel was mixed. Supreme confidence reigned with regard to security matters, but serious questions were raised regarding the country's goals, and there was growing disenchantment with its aging leaders, who, it was claimed, were beginning to lose touch with the new realities. Whatever achievements had been attained in the previous 25 years, all of them under Labor rule, were clouded by a sense of loss of direction, a drift towards the unknown, and open dissension in matters such as religion, social progress, relations between Israeli Jews and Israeli Arabs, Israel and the Diaspora, and even the arrival of Soviet immigrants, a miracle in itself, ran into difficulties in their absorption.

The buildup of Syrian and Egyptian forces during the month of September 1973 had been noted by Israel but written off as routine maneuvers. Few imagined that the Arabs would dare challenge Israel's military supremacy. Israel's overconfidence and its misreading of Arab intentions and capabilities were a recipe for military disaster. Only hours before the Arab attack was launched did it become clear that the armies of Syria and Egypt were massing for war. Immediately Israeli reserve units were called up, but by then it was too late.

At 2 p.m. on October 6, Yom Kippur, three Syrian divisions accompanied by 1,400 tanks rolled into the Golan Heights while 70,000 Egyptian troops crossed the Suez Canal and quickly overran Israel's entire line of defense. The Syrians advanced toward Rosh Pinnah and the Sea of Galilee while the Egyptians established three major bridgeheads on the Canal. On the Syrian front Israeli counterattacks brought a halt to the Syrian advance by October 8. Two days later the Syrians were in retreat and on October 11 Israeli forces moved into Syrian territory and established a line of defense 20 miles from Damascus.

The Egyptians had dug in along the Canal and only resumed their advance on October 14. By that time Israel had massed its reinforcements and these were able to block the Egyptian advance. On the night of October 15, under General Sharon, Israeli forces crossed the Canal and within days managed to surround the 20,000-man Third Egyptian Army. Fighting ended on October 24 with the Egyptians still entrenched on the east bank of the Canal while Israel maintained its stranglehold on the Third Army on the west bank.

The Yom Kippur War changed everything. Despite the fact that Israel won the most impressive military victory in her history, the shame and humiliation of the surprise attack by the Syrians and the Egyptians and the staggering number of casualties (over 2,500 dead) stunned the country. Serious doubts were sown in the minds of people regarding the capability of Israel's leadership. Demands were made for a thorough investigation of the events that led to the war and the shortcomings and blunders that found Israel unprepared. Israel's growing international isolation, serious economic problems, its almost total dependence on the United States for military, political and economic aid, and internal disarray, all led to the rise of a number of protest movements that demanded an immediate change in the government. The cabinet appointed a commission of inquiry in November 1973 headed by the president of the Supreme Court.

The 1973 elections, postponed from October to December 31, 1973, were held in this atmosphere. Labor won 51 seats, remaining the strongest and largest party. Likud increased its strength to 39 and became the major opposition party. The religious parties held their ground, as did the Communists. A new group, called the Citizens' Rights Movement, won three seats. Prime Minister Meir reformed her cabinet, but following the publication of the Agranat Commission Report on the events that preceded the Yom Kippur War, which led to the resignation of the Chief of Staff David Elazar, the removal of the director of military intelligence, and the commander of the Southern Front, but found no fault in the conduct of Defense Minister Dayan, Mrs. Meir resigned on April 11, 1974. She remained as caretaker prime minister during the negotiations with Syria for a disengagement agreement, while the Labor Party chose Yitzhak *Rabin over Shimon Peres as its candidate for the office of prime minister. He presented his new cabinet to the Knesset in June.

Rabin, born in Jerusalem in 1922, was the first prime minister born in the country, thus bringing to an end the rule of the "founding fathers." He did not include in his cabinet Abba Eban or Moshe Dayan, and Pinḥas Sapir chose to become chairman of the Jewish Agency. Rabin's policy was concentrated on the rehabilitation of the idf, a slow progress towards peace with Egypt in a series of limited agreements, while re-building the shattered Israeli economy and, above all, the morale of the people and their self-confidence. Following the 1975 Interim Agreement with Egypt, the failure to reach an agreement with Jordan, and the continued civil war in Lebanon, Rabin felt that he could concentrate more on domestic matters, which had been neglected because of the war and its aftermath. He was unable, however, to exert leadership in this sphere and the old problems that plagued Israel before the war resurfaced. Labor relations deteriorated and strikes, especially in the public services, were endemic. The Israel pound was devaluated constantly and inflation rose at an alarming rate. Nevertheless, in 1976 the economic policies of the government were able to reduce Israel's chronic balance of payments deficit. Social tensions continued, but there was little the government could do to divert funds into social services, owing to the need for a crash program of re-arming and of purchasing the most modern and sophisticated American weapons.

Rabin was also being challenged by *Gush Emunim, a group that demanded large scale Israeli settlement in Samaria. In November 1975 it defied the government by settling in Kaddum. It was supported by Menaḥem Begin and the nrp, and Rabin surrendered to pressures and agreed to allow the settlers to move to a nearby army camp. Other attempts made to settle in other parts of Samaria and in Judea were thwarted by the idf.

At the end of 1975 there was already open criticism of the leadership of Rabin, not only among the opposition and coalition parties, but even in the governing party itself. An invitation to Golda *Meir to join the "Leading Forum" of the Labor Party was regarded as a sign of weakness of Rabin's position. It transpired that the most vehement critics against the government came from the "dovish" circles of the Alignment itself, the most prominent among whom were the former Foreign Minister Abba *Eban and Yiẓḥak Ben-Aharon. In the middle of May 1976 an unsuccessful attempt was made within the Labor Party to bring about reconciliation between Rabin and Defense Minister Peres who was challenging the prime minister.

The prestige of the Labor Party in general and that of Rabin in particular, was hard hit when it became known that Asher Yadlin, who had been nominated as governor of the Bank of Israel and was one of the central figures of the Labor Party and chairman of the Kuppat Ḥolim of the Histadrut, was being investigated by the police following rumors of his having been involved in foreign currency violations and illegal business transactions. Yadlin was subsequently found guilty of receiving a bribe, tax evasion, and illegal land transactions and sentenced to a 5-year prison term.

a new political era

At the end of May 1976 Prof. Yigael *Yadin announced his intention of forming a new political party, which was formed in November, under the name "The *Democratic Movement for Change" (dmc). Among the basic principles of his program was his belief in a "Jewish democratic Israel," that Judea-Samaria could not remain under Israeli rule, and that the new party would be willing to conduct negotiations with the plo, if the latter recognized Israel's right to exist. He maintained, however, that Israel should not be obliged to return to the pre-1967 borders, that important strategic positions must be retained, and opposed the establishment of another state "between the desert and the sea." Yadin also called for a change in the electoral system of Israel.

The year 1976 ended with a government crisis. A delay in the arrival of new American planes involved the desecration of the Sabbath at the official reception. The *National Religious Party protested, and on December 14, 1976, a Knesset session was devoted to this incident and, although a vote of no-confidence against the government was defeated, most of the n.r.p. members abstained.

This unprecedented action by a coalition party made Rabin decide on December 19 to remove the n.r.p. from the government, a step that would involve early national elections. He presented his resignation of the government to President Ephraim Katzir on the following day but continued to serve, in accordance with the law, as head of an interim government until the elections, which were fixed for May 17, 1977. In March 1977 the Labor Party convention chose Rabin as its candidate for the office of prime minister by a narrow majority. In the elections the Likud increased its representation to 43, while two seats were gained by Shlomzion, which joined the Likud immediately after the elections.

The Alignment declined from 51 members to 32, and the Democratic Movement for Change won 15 seats. An analysis of the voting trends indicated that members of the Oriental communities and the younger voters tended to vote more for the Likud. Younger voters with higher education tended more to vote for the dmc.

The decline in the relative power of the Alignment had started in 1969 when it gained 56 mandates, but, as stated, only 51 in 1973, and 32 in 1977. Part of this continual decline stemmed from basic causes that were exacerbated, while others were due to special factors. The accumulation of opposition to any government with the passage of time is normal in any democratic society, but added to it were the effects of the Yom Kippur War which had not been properly reflected in the 1973 election because of the shock effect.

Additional factors were added in 1976 and 1977, among them the revelations of corruption in the upper echelons of government, the revelation of an illegal foreign currency account held abroad by Prime Minister Rabin and his wife, the treatment in the media of the foreign currency accounts of Abba Eban, for which, however, it was revealed that he had a permit, the suicide of Minister Avraham Ofer, the struggle between Rabin and Peres, the deterioration of labor relations with the approach of the elections, and the declaration of the president of the U.S.A. favoring a "homeland for the Palestinians" a short time before the elections in Israel. In addition there were the report of the state comptroller on the Defense establishment and the tragedy of a helicopter crash virtually on the eve of the elections.

The *Begin government took office on June 20, 1977, with the participation of the Likud, the nrp, and the support of Agudat Israel, Poalei Agudat Israel, and M.K. Flatto-Sharon; on October 24, 1977, the dmc joined the government.

Prior to that, on June 21, 1977, elections were held for the Histadrut. The results established a kind of balance to those of the Knesset elections. Apparently some of the voters in these elections refrained from voting against the Alignment and "balanced" their Knesset vote by continuing to give their support to the Alignment in the Histadrut. The results of the Histadrut elections were Alignment (emet), 54.6%; Likud (maḤal), 28.8%; and the dmc, 8.2%.

The first few months of the Begin administration were marked by a cabinet led by a strong leader who insisted on unity and discipline in the ranks of the ministers. But after six months, following the visit of Sadat to Jerusalem and the beginning of the 16-month-long negotiating process for an Israel-Egypt *peace treaty, cracks appeared. The prime minister was totally absorbed in foreign affairs; the economic ministers were soon facing major problems of spiraling inflation, shortage of housing, and strained labor relations. The Histadrut had almost no common language with the Likud government and at times urged workers to make radical wage demands. Most hurt by the inflation were those who voted for the Likud, the Oriental Jews who, at the lowest levels of Israeli society, were expressing disenchantment with the government and its lack of coherent economic and social policies.

By the end of 1978, while Israelis appreciated the historic breakthrough in the Camp David Agreements, there was growing apprehension over the social and economic costs of peace with Egypt and the need to evacuate all of Sinai, including its 20 settlements and all its military installations. Personal rivalry among cabinet members, constant open bickering and the leaking of secrets, brought a serious deterioration in the stature of the cabinet and damaged the standing and reputation of the prime minister.

In December 1978 the era of the Founding Fathers came to an end with the death of Golda Meir, who had led Israel during one of its most trying times – the Yom Kippur War. Scores of world leaders attended her funeral in Jerusalem. Israel figured on the world scene when Prime Minister Begin shared the Nobel Peace Prize with President Anwar Sadat. The early months of 1979 were devoted to the conclusion of the negotiations for an Israel-Egypt peace treaty, which was finally signed after dramatic round the clock talks in Jerusalem, Washington and Cairo, and a flying visit by President Carter to the area. The historic occasion of the signing of the Peace Treaty on March 26, 1979 was impressively celebrated throughout the country. Mr. Begin was the focus of admiration and congratulations for his role in achieving this historic breakthrough. In April 1979 he paid a two-day visit to Cairo for the purpose of cementing the relations between the two countries.

The peace treaty, however, could not cover up the growing difficulties of the Begin government, which was constantly plagued by internal dissent and rift. The splits in the cabinet grew worse when Dr. Yosef Burg, the minister of interior and police, was appointed chairman of the Ministerial Committee for the conduct of the Autonomy talks. As a result Foreign Minister Dayan tendered his resignation in October 1979. He was succeeded by Knesset Speaker Yitzhak *Shamir, a Ḥerut loyalist who had abstained in the voting on the peace treaty with Egypt, Shamir being succeeded as speaker by the Liberal mk Yitzhak Berman. In May 1980 Defense Minister Ezer Weizman resigned following disagreements over cuts in the defense budget and continued bickering with the prime minister over relations with Egypt. In October 1980 Justice Minister Shmuel Tamir resigned as well. He felt that three ministers could not represent his shrunken party, the Democratic Movement, in the cabinet when its entire strength in the Knesset amounted to four members.

In November 1979 Finance Minister Ehrlich was replaced by Yigael Hurwitz, the former minister of industry, commerce and tourism, who resigned in September 1979 because of his opposition to the Camp David Agreements. Mr. Hurvitz vowed to curb inflation, balance the budget and increase exports. (For details see Israel, State of: *Economic Affairs.) The mood of the country as a result of the economic situation was further dampened by the increase in the percentage of drop-outs among emigrants from Soviet Russia and in emigration from the country (see Israel, State of: *Aliyah and Absorption 1971–1981).

The inflationary spiral was also fueled by the evacuation from Sinai and the new deployment of the idf in the Negev, where two airbases were built by American companies. The almost clockwork operation of the evacuation from Sinai (see Israel, State of: *Defense Forces, 1971–1981) was conducted by the army alone and did not disrupt the civilian economy.

Growing unrest in the administered areas marked the year 1980. This followed the Camp David Agreements and the refusal of Jordan and the Palestinians residing in Judea, Samaria and the Gaza region to become involved in the negotiations leading to their autonomy. In separate incidents, two Arab mayors were attacked by unknown assailants and seriously injured, while the murder of six Israelis in Hebron in May 1980 was followed by the expulsion of the mayors of Hebron and Halhoul, an act that was later upheld by the Israeli Supreme Court. The unrest, expressed mostly in strikes by students, resulted in harsher Israeli measures which led to increased disquiet. The coexistence policy adopted by Defense Minister Dayan in the late 1960s and followed by his successors Peres and Weizman was apparently coming to an end. But living standards in the areas continued to improve as did the economy there.

The feeling of isolation was increased by the annual un General Assembly discussions, where Israel was the focus of some 50 percent of the debates and was roundly censured. Hopes that the Israel-Egypt Peace Treaty would ease the situation and at least restore relations with some African and Asian nations did not materialize. On the contrary, after the passage of the Jerusalem Law in October 1980, all the embassies that still resided in Jerusalem moved to Tel Aviv.

In the last quarter of 1980, for the first time in the history of Israel, a member of the cabinet was charged with a criminal offense when Religious Affairs Minister Abu-Hatzeira was accused of taking bribes. His Knesset immunity was lifted and he prepared to face a trial. The affair rocked the National Religious Party and further weakened the standing of the Begin government.

The dominant issue in 1981 was the elections for the Tenth Knesset held on June 30. Bitterness, animosity, and violence, chiefly between the two large blocs – the Labor Alignment and the Likud, marked the election campaign. They campaigned on the slogan of who would offer effective leadership, economic programs, the continuation of the peace process, social progress, reduction of tensions between secular and religious, Sephardi and Ashkenazi, young and old, veteran and newcomer, urban and rural settlers, Arab and Jew, and even men and women. Part of the campaign was focused on the retention of the administered territories, championed by the Likud, Teḥiyyah, and part of the National Religious Party. The prime minister dominated the scene and led his Likud party to a second term in office.

In foreign policy, the major initiatives of Israel were undertaken at the end of the year and included the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding on Strategic Cooperation with the United States on Nov. 30, the passage of the Golan Heights Law on December 14, and major efforts to renew ties with the African continent. The initiatives were sponsored by the prime minister and the defense and foreign ministers, who formed an inner "leading team" which determined major policy issues.

The decision of the defense minister to substitute military government with civilian administration in the West Bank and Gaza sparked unrest in those areas, which resulted in stern measures being taken against rioters and the closure, for two months, of Bir Zeit University near Ramallah.

Immigration declined drastically and sank to a low of 11,500, the lowest figure since 1953. Emigration rose and was estimated at 20,000. The Jewish population of Israel grew by only 1.5 percent in 1981 and reached 3.29 million. The major reason for the decline in immigration was the Soviet Union's decision to sharply curtail exit permits for Jews and the very high rate of drop-outs in Vienna (85 percent on the average).

Labor unrest continued and was expressed by many strikes, the most prominent of which was in the national airline, which almost led to the closure of El Al. At year's end the Histadrut attempted to reassert its declining authority when it forced the defense minister to freeze the planned reorganization of his ministry.

The death of Moshe Dayan on October 16 deprived Israel of one of its most colorful personalities, soldier and statesman, who had led Israel in war and peace.

from the lebanese war to the first intifada

In a broad perspective of Israeli history, the decade of the 1980s was a period of internal strife, growing dissent over major issues such as the war in Lebanon, an era of economic reverses, serious decline in immigration but ending with a major influx, especially from the Soviet Union, and finally – the intifada, which brought Israel to face a renewed outburst of Palestinian nationalism.

The Lebanese War, which started on June 6, 1982, was long in the planning and was expected by many Israelis, who felt that the northern border area could not be left exposed to terrorist attacks emanating from the mini-plo state which had emerged in southern Lebanon. Initially, there was little public debate on the wisdom of the invasion. It was assumed that it would amount to a brief operation lasting less than a week, with few casualties, and covering a limited area, not dissimilar to other operations taken in the past. The Israel Defense Forces (idf) planners, and above all the key figure pushing for war, Defense Minister Ariel Sharon, based their plans on a number of assumptions. They assumed that the United States would not oppose a brief operation, and that the Soviet Union would not get involved. They assumed correctly that apart from Syria, no other Arab state would intervene. They thought that Israel would need some five to seven days to complete the destruction of the mini-plo state. They assumed that the Lebanese Christian forces would participate alongside Israel and that once the aims would be achieved, a central and effective government would be installed in Beirut which would sign a peace treaty with Israel. Sharon thought that the destruction of the plo bases in Lebanon would allow him to deal more effectively with the Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza. He also thought that in the future Israel and Syria would have to collaborate on deciding the future of Lebanon. Most of these assumptions proved to have been correct.

There were also a number of dissenting voices. The defense minister was warned by both the Mossad and Army Intelligence (Aman) that the Christian forces were an unreliable element, more of an armed militia than a trained and disciplined fighting army. Israeli planners did not understand the nature of Lebanon and its society, being more of a tribal and communal nation than a unified one. Above all, the planners failed to gauge the reaction inside Israel to a prolonged war which would demand a high number of casualties, and would give the idf a new role – that of a police force in a neighboring country. The official aims, contained in the government's announcement of June 6, 1982, were the moving of the Northern Galilee settlements out of plo artillery and katyusha range, the removal from Lebanon of external forces, and the restoration to that country of a centralized authority which would sign a peace treaty with Israel. It called on Syria not to participate in the war and promised not to attack its troops in Lebanon.

Within five days, most of the military aims were achieved. The idf expelled the plo units from southern Lebanon and destroyed the mini-state it had created there. But this was done with a higher casualty rate than anticipated, and with Syrian involvement. Superior Israeli military technology resulted in the destruction of over 100 Syrian jet fighters and a vast number of Syrian missile batteries on Lebanese territory. By the fifth day Israeli military units reached the edge of Beirut. It was then that the United States ordered Israel to cease fire, claiming that it had far exceeded its limited territorial war aims by moving farther north than the 40 kilometers it spoke of initially. Israeli Premier Menahem Begin had to accept a cease-fire, which actually never came into being as Palestinian troops continued to fight, as did the Syrian army, now threatened in its positions along the strategic Beirut-Damascus highway. By the end of the first week, public opinion in Israel was aroused. Questions were being asked about the true agenda of the government, the real war aims, the growing number of casualties, and above all how long the idf intended to stay in Lebanon and in what role. During June, July, and August 1982, while diplomats tried to hammer out an agreement which would remove the plo from Lebanon and bring about a new order in that country, Israeli troops continued to shell Muslim West Beirut, cutting off water, power, and food. The aerial and artillery bombardment of West Beirut aroused growing international criticism and created hostile world public opinion. In Western media, Israel was portrayed as an aggressor fighting helpless civilians, creating a new refugee problem, this time in Lebanon. Feeble Israeli efforts to explain the true causes of the war and the need to remove the plo threat to Israel fell on deaf ears. Growing dissent inside Israel was also reflected in the Western media. It became clear that Israel was becoming mired in the Lebanese bog with few considering how to extricate the idf from that country. Prime Minister Begin argued that the achievements in Lebanon erased the shame of the Yom Kippur War, but that did not convince many Israelis of the need to remain in that country for any length of time.

Protracted negotiations led to the removal of both the Syrian army and the plo from Lebanon. Israel was instrumental in getting the Christian forces leader Basheer Gemayel elected as president of Lebanon. But on September 1, 1982, Israel suffered two major setbacks. The first was the announcement of Gemayel, in a meeting with Prime Minister Begin, that he did not intend to sign a peace treaty with Israel, because he was first and foremost an Arab. The second was the proclamation of the "Reagan Plan" for a Palestinian settlement, which called on Israel to withdraw from most of the territories it held, and return them to Jordan in the context of a peace treaty. There was to be no Palestinian state, but Jordan would grant special status to the West Bank and Gaza. The situation of Jerusalem would have to be negotiated in the future. Begin, who had no prior notice of the plan, rejected it outright, saying it was not even a basis for negotiations. It looked as though the war in Lebanon had yielded little apart from securing northern Galilee and destroying the plo as a military force and an important element in the Arab world. The assassination of Basheer Gemayel shortly before his inauguration (September 14, 1982) was the signal for a vicious reprisal by his Christian forces on Palestinians living in two refugee camps in Beirut – Sabra and Shatilla. With the idf standing by not far from the camps, and unaware of the magnitude of the massacre which lasted three days (September 17–19, 1982), some 400 Palestinians – men, women, and children – were massacred before the idf put an end to the killing. A clamor went up in Israel to establish a commission of inquiry to investigate the events in the camps. The demand, backed by a demonstration organized in Tel Aviv by left wing parties and groups in Israel, reputedly attracted some 400,000 people, the largest ever held in Israel. When Begin still resisted, he was confronted with a threat by President Navon to resign his office. Finally, the prime minister relented and a commission was constituted headed by Supreme Court President Justice Kahan. While it began its work, tempers cooled and the country awaited two decisions – the verdict of the commission and a political decision on how long and within which borders the idf would remain in Lebanon.

The government decided to order the idf to remain in Beirut until an agreement could be worked out with the new Lebanese government headed by Amin Gemayel, the brother of the late Basheer Gemayel. As time went on, the idf became involved in local communal strife in Lebanon. The Kahan commission issued its report in February 1983. It found the idf indirectly responsible for the massacre, calling for the resignation of the defense minister and senior army officers. Ariel Sharon had to leave his post but remained in the government as minister without portfolio. Senior officers also had to leave, among them the director of military intelligence. Others, including the chief of staff, did not have their term of duty extended.

On May 17, 1983, after long and difficult negotiations with the participation of U.S. Secretary of State George Shultz, Israel and Lebanon signed an agreement, which fell short of a peace treaty. It ended the state of war, recognized Israel's need to have a security zone in southern Lebanon under its control, called for an Israeli diplomatic presence in Beirut, and demanded the withdrawal of all foreign troops from Lebanon, which meant in effect Syrian troops. The agreement was hinged on this withdrawal. When Syria announced that it would not withdraw its troops, the agreement became a dead letter. Nine months later the Lebanese parliament failed to ratify it and the agreement in effect lapsed. For the next two years, the idf sought ways to extricate itself from Lebanon, finally withdrawing under orders from the National Unity Government which came into being in 1984. By the summer of 1985, the Lebanese episode ended, leaving Israel in a security zone in southern Lebanon, the plo re-established in Tunisia, the Syrian army in Lebanon, and Israeli public opinion highly uncertain whether the toll of three years in Lebanon – 659 dead and thousands wounded – had been worthwhile.

In 1983 Israel faced an unprecedented economic threat, caused by the over-valuation of bank shares, inflated by the banks themselves. When the public began to unload these bank shares, there was a danger that the Israeli financial institutions would collapse and that overseas investors and depositors would remove billions of dollars, leaving the Israeli economy in the lurch. In October 1983 the Tel Aviv stock market was closed for 17 days and the government decided to buy the bank shares at a cost to the Israeli taxpayer of some 7 billion dollars. By late 1983 inflation in Israel reached the figure of 200% annually and by 1984 it had amounted to 448%. Inflation was destructive for the country's economic growth, morale, overseas investments, and labor relations. Even the resignation of Finance Minister Yoram Aridor, whose policies brought Israel to the brink of economic disaster, did not alleviate the situation. It took the Government of National Unity's rescue plan (July 1985), which froze prices and wages and put in a mechanism of retrenchment to save the situation. Within a year, the rate of inflation was down to 20%. The plan was made possible by the cooperation of the government, the Histadrut (Trade Union Federation), and the Manufacturers' Association. The three factors realized that with no serious action, Israel's economy would literally collapse. Prime Minister Peres engineered the rescue operation, with the help of Finance Minister Yitzḥak Modai and the Histadrut leadership. The Israeli public, asked to make sacrifices in lowering its standard of living, agreed once it saw a coherent economic policy.

The Government of National Unity (see Israel, State of: *Political Life and Parties) brought about three major achievements – it extricated Israel from Lebanon, it rescued its economy, and it restored public confidence in the economy and the leadership. It failed to attract a mass wave of immigration, and the decade of the 1980s up to 1989 saw an average of some 12,000 immigrants a year, while the number of emigrants leaving Israel reached similar figures. The gates of the Soviet Union were closed and immigration from the free world dwindled. The outstanding exception was the airlift of 17,000 Ethiopian Jews to Israel in 1984. The Jewish Agency decided to transfer to the government much responsibility in the area of immigrant absorption, previously under its domain. The peace process was virtually at a standstill because of the vast chasm between the views of the Likud and those of Labor (see Israel, State: *Foreign Relations).

The absence of meaningful progress towards peace, the growth of a generation of young Palestinians who knew nothing else but Israeli occupation, an economic recession in the oil-producing Arab states which drastically reduced flow of funds to the areas held by Israel causing serious economic hardship, and above all resentment of the prolonged Israeli presence on the one hand and the impotence of the plo and the Arab governments to change the situation, all this erupted in late 1987 in an uprising called the intifada ("shaking off"). A series of demonstrations in the Gaza Strip on December 9, 1987 signaled the beginning of the intifada, led by young men in their early twenties, asserting themselves against both Israel and their elders. Starting with demonstrations, throwing stones, burning tires, the aims of those involved in the intifada were to call attention to the plight of the Palestinians, to the prolonged occupation in all its ramifications, to focus on the Palestinization of the conflict, to force the Arab states to take notice, to move the rest of the world to take action, and to make the Israel public and government take decisions on future policies. The major achievement of the intifada in its first four years was mainly in the area of public relations. Israel's image in the Western media plunged dramatically. The intifada leaders forced the plo to follow its lead. The leaders of the intifada hurt the Israeli economy by calling on Arabs in the areas to boycott Israeli goods. The intifada helped to precipitate the decision of the U.S. government to recognize the plo in December 1988, after the latter announced the creation of a Palestine State in the 1947 partition borders, the acceptance of Israel, and what appeared to be a renunciation of terror. The U.S then embarked on a dialogue with the plo. The intifada created major problems for Israel, whose army now had to deal with civil unrest, the mass demonstrations manned by women and young children. This time, unlike the years that followed the 1967 war, the bulk of the Palestinian Arab population seemed to support the uprising, as did a growing number of lsraeli Arabs.

Faced with a new type of war, the idf had to consider the ethical and moral issues involved in fighting against civilians. It was initially thought that if the intifada leaders would be caught and deported or imprisoned, the wave of attacks would die down, but this was not the case. As the intifada spread from Gaza to the West Bank, it began to claim Israeli lives, both civilian and military. By early 1993, some 160 Israelis had lost their lives. In that period over 1,600 Palestinian Arabs were killed, the majority at the hands of other Arabs who had accused their victims of collaborating with Israel. The idf found itself having to fight what was essentially an unpleasant, at times "dirty," war. On the whole it succeeded, but there were cases of torture, unnecessary shooting and killing and a number of Israeli officers and soldiers were court-martialed for using illegal force. These were highly publicized in Israel and abroad, where the issue of human rights was prominent in the headlines and Israel was often the object of criticism.

The impact of the intifada on Israelis was at first marginal, but as time went on it became central. There was a feeling of a loss of personal safety, and as more acts of terror were committed in Israeli cities, Israelis realized that they were facing a new breed of Palestinians, some of whom were even prepared to engage in suicide attacks. The Gulf War and the resultant peace process put the intifada on the back burner for a time, but it remained a major problem for all Israeli governments, which feared that if not dealt with properly, the allegiance of the Palestinians would move from the plo to the *Hamas (Islamic fundamentalists) who opposed the peace process, negotiations with Israel, and called for the elimination of the Jewish state. By 1991 the areas held by Israel were the arena for a fight for the hearts, minds, and souls of the Palestinians between the plo and the Hamas movement. There was also a growing demand in Israel for unilateral withdrawal from the Gaza Strip and gradual disengagement from the West Bank as well. The reliance on some 120,000 laborers from these areas meant that their absence could cause havoc to Israeli agriculture, housing construction, and many services. Measures were undertaken to replace Palestinians by Israelis, but there was the need to find employment for Palestinians, as long as they remained an Israeli responsibility. Massive unemployment in the areas could result in an explosion, it was argued.

By the end of the 1980s, the continued intifada, the wave of immigration from the Soviet Union, and the end of the Cold War brought about the need for Israel to reconsider many of its social, political, and economic institutions. Many of them had served the country well in its formative years, but no longer provided answers to the complex issues of the final decade of the 20th century. It was widely agreed that reforms were sorely needed in the Histadrut, government corporations, political parties, the electoral system, and government control of many aspects of the life of its citizens; there was need to reconsider the relations between the secular majority and the Orthodox minority. Questions dealing with the nature of Israeli politics and the ties between big business and government had to be considered. But momentous events awaited the country.

[Meron Medzini]

The Road to Oslo and After

the 1990 no-confidence vote

Unlike the post-1984 Knesset election situation, following the 1988 elections Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir could have formed a narrow coalition of all the right-wing and religious parties. Shamir, however, had preferred to form a "national unity" government with Labor and other political parties.

On March 15, 1990, Shamir's government failed in a no-confidence vote in the Knesset, and became the only cabinet in Israel's history to be dismissed in this way, with 60 mks voting against it, 55 for, and five abstaining. This followed a political maneuver which was later described as "the dirty trick" by former Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. Although officially the crisis began with the dismissal of Peres from the cabinet by Prime Minister Shamir, on March 13, the maneuver was actually planned by Labor leader Peres and Shas leader Aryeh *Deri, who hoped to form a new government under Peres as the new premier.

On March 20 President Chaim *Herzog asked Peres to try to form the new government. By April 11, just hours before the planned Knesset vote of confidence for the new government, it became clear that Peres' efforts had failed and that he could not mobilize a Knesset majority to support his new government. Herzog granted Peres further time to secure a majority, but on April 25 Labor conceded defeat. As a result, on April 27, President Herzog invited Acting Prime Minister Shamir to form the new government. Shamir succeeded in his efforts and his new government won a vote of confidence of 62 to 27 from the Knesset, with one abstention, on June 11. The Shamir government, officially Israel's 24th, was supported by the Likud, a few mks who had previously defected from the Likud, the religious parties, and the extreme right wing parties. A number of Likud members who had previously challenged Shamir's leadership supported the new government. These included Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs David *Levi, Housing and Construction Minister Ariel Sharon, and Finance Minister Yitzhak Moda'i (who had previously defected from the Likud with a few other mks to form the "Party for the Advancement of the Zionist Idea").

The failure of Peres and the success of Shamir demonstrated that most politicians belonging to the religious parties normally preferred participation in a Likud-led government to participation in a Labor-led government. Prior to the 1977 upheaval, religious parties had joined Mapai/Labor-led governments, but all this had occurred when the Likud or its forerunners could not possibly have formed a majority coalition even with the full support of all the religious and rightwing parties.


During 1990 over 200,000 immigrants arrived in Israel. During the following decade almost one million people immigrated to Israel and became Israeli citizens. Almost 90 per cent of the immigrants came from former republics of the Soviet Union. Between 1990 and 2003 another 50,000 or so immigrated from Ethiopia. This wave of immigrants was almost equivalent – in total numbers – to the huge wave of immigrants that flooded Israel after its birth and marked a significant shift from the decline in immigration during the 1980s, during which only 153,833 arrived. The main cause for the huge immigration was the collapse of the U.S.S.R. The new citizens of Israel changed its demography and its political profile significantly. The very high economic growth rate during the 1990s is also partially attributable to the huge immigration to Israel.

the 1991 gulf war

The first Gulf War marked another strategic shift in the political environment of Israeli politics caused by global developments. In January and February of 1991, during the Gulf War, Iraq launched more than 40 scud missiles at civilian target in Israel. Israelis, who feared that some of these missiles would carry chemical warheads, were forced to wear gas masks during the attacks. The government faced a severe "retaliation dilemma." On the one hand, the U.S. supplied Israel with Patriot missiles to protect Israelis from these attacks, but it also pressured Israel not to intervene in the war in any active manner. On the other hand, Israel's ability to deter potential aggressors, which marked Israeli defense strategy for years, became questionable. The enthusiastic support of Saddam Hussein by the Arabs, such as plo leaders, Jordanians, and residents of the West Bank, convinced many Israelis – including dovish left-wing politicians – to adopt more hawkish positions. At the time, it seemed that the government's relatively moderate policies during the war, coupled with the reactions of various Arab parties, significantly increased the popularity of the right-wing parties in general and the Likud in particular.

the madrid conference

On October 30, 1991, Israel attended the Madrid Peace Conference, which was co-sponsored by the U.S. and the U.S.S.R. In their letter of invitation Presidents Bush and Gorbachev established a framework for both bilateral negotiations between Israel and Arab parties and multilateral talks. It seems that developments in the USSR and the Soviet bloc, the massive immigration to Israel, and the Gulf War were among the causes for participation of even hardline Arab parties in the conference. One innovative element of the talks was the presence of a Palestinian delegation, which was considered part of a "joint Jordanian-Palestinian delegation." In fact, the Palestinians participating in the conference could have been regarded as semi-official representatives of the plo. The acceptance of such a formula by Shamir and his relatively hawkish government signified a deviation from the past as talks with plo representatives not only contradicted an explicit Knesset law but had also caused the dismissal of former Labor Minister Ezer *Weizman from the government by Prime Minister Shamir on December 31, 1989. It is also interesting to note in this context that Peres had been officially dismissed by Shamir in March 1990 following "unauthorized" talks he held with King Hussein of Jordan in London.

Shamir's decision to take part in the Madrid Conference increased the tension between the Likud and the small hawkish parties, Teḥiyya, Tzomet, and Moledet. Within a few weeks after the conference it became clear that Knesset elections would take place at a date earlier than that required by the law.

the 1992 basic laws and the "constitutional revolution"

The Knesset decided to dissolve itself and to hold early elections for the Thirteenth Knesset on June 23, 1992. But prior to these elections many politicians believed that major changes should be made in the constitutional framework.

In March 1992 the Knesset passed three new basic laws: Basic Law: Freedom of Occupation; Basic Law: Human Dignity and Freedom; and Basic Law: the Government.

Basic Law: Freedom of Occupation was the most sublime of all Israeli laws from the formal point of view since it was protected by both a "limiting clause" and a "majority shield." The first protection was guaranteed by Article 4: "There shall be no violation of rights under this Basic Law except by a law befitting the values of the State of Israel, enacted for a proper purpose, and to an extent no greater than is required." The second protection was guaranteed by Article 7: "This Basic Law may not be amended except by a Basic Law passed by a majority of Knesset members." Basic Law: Human Dignity and Freedom was protected only by a limiting clause (Article 8) and Basic Law: the Government was protected only by a majority shield (Article 56).

It should be mentioned that other Israeli Basic Laws, with the exception of a few specific articles (most famous of which is Article 4 of Basic Law: the Knesset, pertaining to the system of elections and stipulating that it can only be amended by a majority of Knesset members, i.e., 61), are neither protected by a limiting clause nor by a majority shield. Nevertheless, in a number of cases, the Supreme Court under the leadership of its president, Aharon *Barak, ruled that all Basic Laws take precedence over regular Knesset laws. These rulings and the special formal status given to the 1992 Basic Laws gave the Court almost unlimited power to exercise judicial review.

The main idea behind another new Basic Law: the Government, which replaced the 1958 version of Basic Law: the Government, was the adoption of direct election of the prime minister. A major motivation behind this innovation, which significantly changed the basic nature of Israeli parliamentary democracy, was the dissatisfaction with a number of untoward developments associated with the "dirty trick" of March 1990. Nevertheless, the implementation of this law was delayed until the elections to the Fourteenth Knesset, and the 1992 elections were held, as usual, for the Knesset only. A third version of Basic Law: the Government, which abolished direct elections of the prime minister, as a result of variious unresolvable complications in the system, was passed by the Knesset in March 2001. In the meanwhile, Binyamin *Netanyahu (1996), Ehud *Barak (1999), and Ariel Sharon (2001) had been elected by direct vote.

In 1994 a major development in the battle over judicial review took place when the Knesset rephrased Basic Law: Freedom of Occupation, stating that basic human rights would be honored in accordance with Israel's Declaration of Independence – thus giving the Declaration a legal status that took precedence over Knesset laws. In should be noted in this context that the Declaration of Independence determines that the State of Israel will be based on foundations of "freedom, justice, and peace, according to the vision of the prophets of Israel," and that it will provide "absolute equal social and political rights" to all its citizens.

the 1992 elections

The elections to the Thirteenth Knesset ended in an upset. The Labor Party recaptured the pivotal (middle) position in the Knesset. For the first time since the 1973 Knesset elections, Labor and the more "dovish" parties gained a majority – together controlling 61 out of the 120 seats. It is interesting to note that more votes were given to the right wing and religious parties, which together controlled only 59 seats, than to the left-wing parties. This occurred mainly because of a slight change in the electoral procedure: the threshold was raised from 1.0 per cent to 1.5 per cent of the valid votes. As a result 5.0 per cent of the valid votes went to parties that did not pass the threshold, as compared with 2.4 per cent in 1988. More votes were given to unsuccessful right-wing parties (such as Teḥiyya) than to unsuccessful left-wing parties (such as the Progressive List), and therefore these votes were lost to the right.

Ten lists of candidates won representation in the Thirteenth Knesset: four "left-wing" parties – Labor (44 seats), Meretz (12), Ḥadash (3), and the Arab Democratic Party (adp) (2); three right-wing parties – Likud (32), Tzomet (8), and Moledet (3); and three religious parties – nrp (6), Shas (6) and Yahadut ha-Torah (4).

Public opinion polls conducted at the beginning of the campaign indicated a convincing lead for the Likud over Labor. Therefore, it is plausible to assume that developments during the campaign persuaded a decisive number of voters to change their votes. One such major event was the nomination of the popular Yitzhak Rabin instead of the unpopular Shimon Peres as Labor leader. Rabin's popularity in the general public exceeded his popularity in his own party: In Labor's primaries almost 60 per cent preferred other candidates for the premiership. Rabin was considered as a relatively hawkish leader of Labor whose record as chief of staff of the Israeli Defense Forces (idf) was emphasized by his party to offset its dovish image, as the Palestinian Intifada (uprising) that had started in late 1987 continued to claim a heavy toll.

The Likud, which had reached the peak of its popularity toward the end of 1991 with Israel's participation in the Madrid Peace Conference, suffered a sharp decline in its popularity, especially due to severe internal dissent that made a bad impression on the electorate.

Nine per cent of eligible voters were immigrants, most of whom had come to Israel from the U.S.S.R. (and its successor republics). The new immigrants played a major role in the elections. According to several public opinion polls, turnout among immigrants resembled that of veteran voters. Approximately half of the immigrants supported Labor. In the following elections most immigrants had a change of heart and supported right-wing parties. Apparently, the 1992 immigrant vote resulted from absorption difficulties, while in later elections, right-of-center political views dictated their voting behavior.

Following the Likud's defeat in the 1992 general elections, Moshe *Arens, who was considered by many as a potential successor to Prime Minister Shamir, tendered his resignation from the Knesset. Shamir himself announced that he did not intend to continue leading the Likud. Consequently, the Likud held "primaries" to choose its new leader on March 24, 1993. The winner was Binyamin ("Bibi") Netanyahu, who was supported by 52 per cent of the 145,000 Likud members who cast votes. David Levi came second with 26 per cent, while Binyamin *Begin (15 per cent) and Moshe *Katzav (7 per cent) shared the remaining votes.

rabin's government

After the 1992 elections Labor held negotiations with almost all the other parties which had had seats in the Knesset. Rabin presented his government – Israel's 25th – to the Knesset on July 13, forming a coalition with Meretz and Shas that controlled 62 of the Knesset's 120 seats. In the vote of confidence, Ḥadash and the adp also supported the government. On the date of its investiture there were 13 Labor members in the cabinet, three Meretz members, and one Shas member. Rabin held, in addition to his position as prime minister, the portfolios of Defense and Religious Affairs. Shimon Peres, the second senior member of the cabinet, held Foreign Affairs.

Although Meretz and Shas could have been considered as the closest possible allies to Labor on questions related to the Arab-Israeli conflict, one of the main problems of Rabin's coalition was the constant tension between the anti-clerical Meretz and the ultra-Orthodox Shas on matters concerning religious affairs. Many of these clashes involved Meretz leader and Minister of Education and Culture Shulamit *Aloni and Shas leader and Minister of the Interior Aryeh *Deri. In December 1992, following another crisis, both Meretz and Shas were appeased by Labor: Meretz was given an additional seat in the cabinet and Shas was given control of the Ministry of Religious Affairs when one of its mks was made deputy minister there.

Both Minister of the Interior Aryeh Deri and Deputy Minister of Religious Affairs Raphael Pinhasi had been under investigation since 1990 on suspicion of corruption. Nevertheless, when Attorney General Yosef Ḥarish presented a draft of the indictment to the prime minister on June 20, 1993, Deri followed the instructions of Shas spiritual leader Ovadiah *Yosef and refused to resign. He and the three deputy ministers of Shas did resign on September 12, 1993, following a ruling of the Supreme Court ordering the dismissal of Deri and Pinḥasi. These resignations came into effect on September 14, a day after Israel and the plo signed the famous Declaration of Principles (the first Oslo agreement; see below) in Washington, d.c.

Although Rabin's government became a minority government following the defection of Shas, it continued to enjoy the support of two parties which were not formal members of the coalition: the Communist-led Ḥadash and the adp. Thus, Rabin continued to enjoy the support of 62 mks. Furthermore, two mks who defected from Raphael *Eitan's rightwing Tzomet Party joined the government as a minister and deputy minister in January 1995.

The main threat to the stability of the government was a result of its policies concerning the Arab-Israeli conflict. More than a third of Labor's parliamentary faction joined a group called "the Third Way." The Third Way opposed both the "ultra-dovish" positions of certain Labor leaders and the "ultra-hawkish' positions of various Likud leaders. It claimed that while Israel had to make major concessions in order to promote the peace process, Rabin's government was taking too many risks without an adequate response from the Arab partners to negotiations. The Third Way focused its criticism on the declarations made by the minister of foreign affairs and other dovish Labor leaders about the future of the Golan Heights. Peres repeatedly expressed his opinion that the Golan is "Syrian soil" and that no peace could be achieved without Israel's withdrawal from the Golan. Towards the end of 1995 it became clear that two Third Way Knesset members would defect from Labor and run their own party in the 1996 Knesset elections.

the oslo process

U.S. Secretary of State James Baker visited Israel immediately after Rabin's cabinet took office. This demonstrated the joint efforts by the U.S. and Israel to continue the bilateral and multilateral negotiations between Israel and its Arab counterparts as agreed to at the Madrid Conference. The peace talks were resumed in Washington d.c. on August 24, 1992. No practical agreement between the parties was reached, but a dramatic development took place in a completely separate negotiating channel.

After months of secret talks, most of which had been held in Oslo under the auspices of Norwegian Minister of Foreign Affairs Johan Jorgen Holst, Israel and the plo reached an agreement concerning a Declaration of Principles – also known as "the first Oslo agreement" – signed between the parties in the presence of U.S. President *Clinton on September 13, 1993.

Many Israelis had been ready to negotiate with the plo, at least according to the "formula" proposed by two members of the first Rabin cabinet (in 1974), Victor Shemtov and Aharon Yariv. The formula asserted that Israel would negotiate with "any Arab partner who recognized the right of Israel to exist and who was not involved in terrorism." The plo, however, had not demonstrated a clear readiness to accept the Shemtov-Yariv formula, although the first steps towards such an end were made by it already in 1988. One reason for the declared readiness of the plo to conduct negotiations with Israel in 1993 was its relative weakness as a result of its support of Iraq during the Gulf War, the consequent halt of financial aid from the Arab oil monarchies, the collapse of the Soviet Union – the other main sponsor of the plo – and the growing popularity of groups competing with the plo, including those inspired by fundamentalist Islamic beliefs.

The September 13 Declaration of Principles was preceded by an exchange of letters between Arafat, Rabin and Holst (September 10). In his letter to Prime Minister Rabin, Chairman Arafat accepted the principles of the Shemtov-Yariv formula and agreed to amend the Palestinian Covenant, which called for the violent extermination of the State of Israel (or any other "Zionist entity in Palestine"). In his letter to Foreign Minister Holst, he also promised to encourage Palestinians in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank to stop the violent intifada begun in 1997. In his reply to Arafat, Rabin recognized the plo as the representative of the Palestinian people and welcomed its participation in the peace process.

Article I of the Declaration of Principles stated that: "The main aim of the Israeli-Palestinian negotiations in the current Middle East peace process is, among other things, to establish a Palestinian Interim Self-Governing Authority, the elected Council of the Palestinian People in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip …." A common reference to the declaration as the "Gaza-Jericho" agreement derives from Article xiv, which confirmed Israel's intention to withdraw from most of the Gaza Strip and the Jericho area.

One of the most vocal critics of the Israeli-plo negotiations was the new leader of the Likud, Binyamin *Netanyahu.

The Oslo process continued in spite of an anti-Palestinian terrorist attack in Hebron and in spite of terrorist attacks against Jews in Israel and in other countries. On February 2, 1994, a Jewish settler, Dr. Baruch Goldstein, opened fire on Arab worshippers inside the Tomb of the Patriarchs (Ibrahimi Mosque) in Hebron – a site sacred to both Moslems and Jews. Goldstein killed 29 worshippers before he himself was killed. The unprecedented attack was strongly denounced not only by the president and the prime minister but also by all leaders of the Knesset factions and by the leaders of the Jewish settlers in the occupied territories.

On October 19, 1994, a bus was blown up in the middle of Tel Aviv, killing 22 civilians and injuring 47. More than 40 lost their lives in the explosion of the the Jewish community center in Buenos Aires on July 22, 1994, and more than 20 were killed in Panama on July 19, 1994, in the explosion of a plane carrying many Jewish businessmen.

The continued bilateral Palestinian-Israeli negotiations led to a number of agreements between Israel and the plo.

On May 4, 1994, Prime Minister Rabin and Chairman Arafat signed in Cairo an agreement on the Gaza Strip and the Jericho area. This agreement followed Article xiv of the Declaration of Principles (see above). The Cairo agreement consisted of 23 articles, four annexes, four accompanying letters, and six maps. During the ceremony, Prime Minister Rabin discovered that Chairman Arafat had deliberately neglected to sign the map of the Jericho area. This endangered the completion of the ceremony, which continued only after Arafat finally added his signature to the document.

The Cairo Agreement established a "Palestinian Authority" (pa), which "has, within its authority, legislative, executive and judicial powers and responsibilities." It was also agreed that "in order to guarantee public order and internal security of the Palestinians of the Gaza Strip and the Jericho Area, the pa shall establish a strong police force." Article xviii stated that "both sides shall take all measures necessary in order to prevent acts of terrorism, crime and hostilities directed against each other, against individuals falling under the other's authority and against their property, and shall take legal measures against offenders."

On September 24, 1995, Foreign Minister Shimon Peres and Chairman Yasser Arafat initialed in Ṭaba the Israeli-Palestinian Interim Agreement on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, also known as the "Oslo b Agreement." This agreement was signed by Prime Minister Rabin and Chairman Arafat in Washington, D.C., on September 28, 1995. In the detailed 315-page document, Israel agreed that the Palestinians would gain full control of the six largest towns of the West Bank and civic authority and responsibility for public order in 440 Arab villages. The agreement transferred powers and responsibilities from Israel to an elected Council and elected Ra'is (President) of an Executive Authority. Chapter 1 of the agreement dealt with "the Council. Chapter 2 dealt with "redeployment and security arrangements." Chapter 3 dealt with "legal affairs," Chapter 4 with "cooperation," and Chapter 5 with "miscellaneous provisions." The document included seven annexes and nine maps.

Supporters of the Rabin government praised the agreement as a major step toward real peace between the Palestinians and Israel. They claimed that Israel had made only necessary concessions while preserving its option to reconsider the situation if the Palestinians did not fulfill their part of the agreement.

Critics claimed that the plo would be generously rewarded in spite of the fact that it did not intend to give up its dream of eliminating the State of Israel voiced in its Covenant. They also doubted whether the plo would fulfill its promise to change the Palestinian Covenant.

the peace with jordan

When the secret negotiations between Israel and the plo became public, King Hussein of Jordan expressed his dissatisfaction with the fact that the parties to the Madrid framework were holding their direct bilateral talks under cover. But soon enough he willingly participated in bilateral talks with Israel and on September 14, 1994 – a day after Israel and the plo singed their Declaration of Principles – Israel and Jordan signed a "common agenda" for negotiations.

As was the case in 1993, the Israel-plo Cairo agreement was followed by an Israel-Jordan agreement. On July 25, 1994, Prime Minister Rabin and King Hussein of Jordan signed the Washington Declaration in which they announced the termination of the state of belligerency between their two countries. President Clinton of the U.S. witnessed the declaration.

On October 26, 1994, the prime ministers of Israel and Jordan, Yitzhak Rabin and Abdul Salam Al-Majali, signed at the Aravah border crossing the Treaty of Peace between the State of Israel and the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. President Clinton also signed the treaty as a witness. The audience at the ceremony was addressed by King Hussein of Jordan, Prime Minister Rabin, Russian Foreign Minister Kozyrev, U.S. Secretary of State Christopher, Israeli Minister of Foreign Affairs Peres, and U.S. President Clinton. The exchange of instruments of ratification of the treaty by King Hussein and Prime Minister Rabin took place on November 10, 1994. The peace treaty included 30 articles, five annexes, and agreed minutes. In the preamble to the treaty the parties expressed their desire "to develop friendly relations and cooperation between them."

Unlike the case of the agreements with the plo, almost all the leaders of the Likud supported both the Washington Declaration and the Treaty of Peace, and in the Knesset 105 members voted to confirm the agreement. Even vocal opponents of the government like Rehavam Ze'evi, leader of the extreme Moledet Party, refrained in a Knesset speech from opposing the idea of peace with Jordan but criticized details of the treaty and reminded members of Jordan's past involvement in anti-Jewish and anti-Israeli policies, e.g., Jordanian support of Iraq during the Gulf War. It should be noted in this context that in 1994 it became publicly known that Prime Minister Shamir and King Hussein had held secret talks during the Gulf War in which they coordinated positions.

the assassination of yitzhak rabin

On the evening of November 4, 1995, Yitzhak Rabin was assassinated. It was the first assassination of an Israeli cabinet member since the establishment of the State of Israel. Only once prior to Rabin's assassination had a Knesset member been assassinated. Rabin was shot in the back upon leaving a mass peace rally in Tel Aviv in which both he and Peres had participated.

Several gestures made by the generally restrained Rabin during the rally had been unprecedented. He had embraced his onetime arch-rival Peres and joined in during the singing of "The Song of Peace." The bloodstained text of the lyrics was later found in his pocket.

The murderer, Yigal Amir, a 25-year-old religious extremist and student of law at Bar-Ilan University, expressed his satisfaction when he learned of the results of his act. A comprehensive investigation by the police and a judicial commission of inquiry headed by a former president of the Supreme Court, Meir Shamgar, concluded that no organization had stood behind the crime. Yigal Amir's brother Hagai and two friends were also indicted for their previous knowledge of Amir's plans and for the help they gave him. The investigation suggested that security measures had not been adequate and several officials, including the head of the General Security Service, were forced to resign.

The emotional reaction to the assassination threatened to tear the Israeli public apart. Many, including Rabin's widow, blamed the leaders of the right wing parties for creating the atmosphere that had made Amir's crime possible. Some suggested that the crime was the result of declarations made by extremist rabbis blaming Rabin for his "cooperation with the enemy." Consequently, a number of rabbis were investigated by the police. The leaders of all right-wing political parties and movements, including the leaders of the settlers in the occupied territories, and all prominent religious leaders, strongly condemned the crime.

Rabin's funeral was attended by a number of world leaders, including President Clinton of the United States, Prime Minister Chernomyrdin of Russia, Prime Minister Major of the United Kingdom, Chancellor Kohl of Germany, and President Chirac of France. A number of representatives of Arab countries, including a few who had never visited Israel before, also attended. King Hussein of Jordan said in his eulogy that Rabin died "as a soldier of peace." Other prominent Arab representatives were President Mubarak of Egypt and government ministers from Oman and Qatar.

Prior to the assassination it seemed that public support for Labor was on the wane, but according to public opinion polls conducted after the assassination, in November and December, it was the popularity of right wing leaders and right wing political parties that dropped considerably while the popularity of Shimon Peres and Labor reached a peak. This led to speculation that Peres, who succeeded Rabin as prime minister, might call early elections.

peres' government

Two weeks after being named acting prime minister, Shimon Peres completed the formation of a new government – Israel's 26th.

The parliamentary basis of the new government was similar to Rabin's. Most of the ministers continued to hold the same portfolios. Nevertheless, a number of changes in the composition of the cabinet are notable. Peres took the port folios of prime minister and defense minister, previously held by Rabin. Peres added two new ministers to his cabinet. He asked Rabbi Yehudah Amital to join the government as a minister without portfolio. Amital, who had established a yeshiva in the West Bank, was the leader of the Meimad movement – a moderate religious group that had been established by former members of the National Religious Party (nrp) and that had participated unsuccessfully in the 1988 Knesset elections. Amital's nomination was intended to signal that in spite of Rabin's assassination, religious Jews and settlers in the occupied territories should be regarded as an integral part of the nation. The other new minister was Haim *Ramon, who rejoined Labor and was named minister of the interior. He gave up his position as secretary general of the Histadrut. Amir *Peretz, Ramon's partner in the leadership of the Ram Party, became the new secretary general. Ramon had defected from Labor and established Ram in his successful 1994 attempt to capture the leadership of the Histadrut. Ehud *Barak, former chief of staff of the idf, who had been appointed by Rabin as a minister of the interior in July 1995, became minister of foreign affairs.

Paradoxically, Peres, who had challenged Rabin's leadership so many times in the past, was regarded now as the late premier's closest friend and ally. Given the new circumstances, many observers argued that Peres was not only the most senior and experienced Israeli politician but also that his leadership was unshakable. Apparently, some of these observers overlooked the dissatisfaction with various government policies and the lack of popularity from which Peres perennially suffered. Nevertheless, Peres decided to call early elections for May 29, 1996.

On January 20, 1996, Palestinians living in Jerusalem, the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip elected the 88 members of the Palestinian Council and the Ra'is (president) of the pa, using a procedure agreed upon by Israel and the plo in the September 1995 Interim Agreement. Arafat received 88.1 per cent of the vote. The candidates of Arafat's Fatah group won an impressive majority in the Council, with little strong opposition to the Oslo process.

On April 24, 1996, the Palestinian National Council (pnc), the quasi-parliamentary supreme body of the plo, voted to amend the Palestinian Covenant (the quasi-constitution of the plo) by removing all clauses calling for the annihilation of Israel. Some Israelis criticized the nature of the pnc move, claiming that it did not meet the obligation undertaken in the Interim Agreement and in the letter sent to Rabin by Arafat on September 9, 1993. The critics emphasized that the pnc had not actually amended the Covenant but instead decided in principle that changes would be made, without specifying concrete clauses and concrete dates.

During the last week of February and the first week of March 1996, a series of suicide attacks on Israeli civilian targets shocked the country. The largest number of victims died in attacks carried out in Israel's largest cities, Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. Most of the attacks were carried out by the extreme Islamic group Hamas. As a result, the Peres government decided to impose almost total closure of the West Bank and Gaza Strip until after the May elections. The closure had a serious impact on the Palestinian economy.

Following attacks on Israeli soldiers in the "security zone" in southern Lebanon and the firing of Katyusha rockets into Israel by the paramilitary *Hizbollah organization, the government decided to launch a military operation, "Grapes of Wrath," in Lebanon. The operation commenced on April 11, 1996. On April 18, a large number of Lebanese civilians were killed by artillery shells near the village on Qana. Prime Minister Peres blamed Hizbollah, stating that its strategy was to fire rockets and initiate other attacks while "hiding behind Lebanese civilians." The Qana incident provoked severe criticism of the government and its policy in Lebanon. Many Arab supporters of Peres declared that they would not support him in the May elections. On election day, however, over 95 per cent of Arab voters who participated in the elections supported Peres. Operation Grapes of Wrath ended in an "understanding" announced simultaneously in Jerusalem and Beirut on April 26, 1996.

the 1996 elections

In the May 29 elections the new electoral and institutional procedure that derived from the 1992 Basic Law: the Government, was implemented. Simultaneously with the elections to the Fourteenth Knesset the voters also elected the prime minister of Israel directly. According to the new law, in order to win a candidate had to have over half the valid votes. In the event that no candidate had an absolute majority, a second round, in which only the two leading candidates participated, would take place. A second round was not necessary in the 1996 elections, as there were only two candidates in the race: Shimon Peres of Labor and Binyamin Netanyahu of the Likud.

According to all public opinion polls, Peres led the race through the entire campaign. Nevertheless, following the wave of terrorist attacks on Israeli civilians in February and March, the gap between the two contestants narrowed to only a few points. Peres continued to lead until election day. Immediately after the closing of the polling booths, the two Israeli television networks declared Peres the winner on the basis of their exit polls. It only became evident that Netanyahu was the new prime minister of Israel four days later, when the count of those who voted in "double envelopes" (mainly idf soldiers) was completed. Netanyahu won by a margin of 50.5 to 49.5 per cent of the valid votes. It should be mentioned, however, that 4.8 per cent of the votes were invalid. It seems that many voters preferred to express their dissatisfaction with both candidates by casting invalid ballots. Hence, Netanyahu actually got only 48.1 per cent of the total votes.

A primary aim of those who supported the new electoral system was to reduce the dependency of the prime minister on the small parties and individual members of the Knesset. But the law stated that although "the prime minister serves by virtue of his being elected," he must present his government to the Knesset. "Should the Knesset reject the prime minister's proposals for the composition of the government, it will be regarded as an expression of no-confidence."

Almost all the small parties called upon their supporters to split their vote, telling them which candidate to vote for as prime minister. The small centrist parties did not endorse any of the candidates but stressed the need to support their own parties in the Knesset elections "in order to ensure that the elected prime minister will not become a captive in the hands of extremists in his bloc." In fact, the strength of the two large parties decreased dramatically, and the dependence of the newly elected prime minister on the small parties increased. Furthermore, in an early stage of the campaign, two small parties, Tzomet and Gesher, promoted their respective leaders, Raphael Eitan and David Levi, as possible candidates for the premiership. In order to increase the odds of being elected, Netanyahu agreed to join forces with both these parties at the price of giving their Knesset candidates relatively high places on the joint list. It is quite evident that Netanyahu would have had no real chance of being elected in the first round if Levi and/or Eitan had run as independent candidates.

In spite of Netanyahu's victory, the Likud-Gesher-Tsomet list came only second in the Knesset race, winning 32 seats compared with Labor's 34. The religious parties – Shas, nrp, and Yahadut ha-Torah – won 10, 9, and 4 seats, respectively. The anti-clerical and dovish Meretz Party won 9 seats. Two new parties, the "Russian" immigrants party, Yisrael ba-Aliyah, led by former dissident Natan *Sharansky, and the Third Way, led by former Labor member Avigdor Kahalani, won 7 and 4 seats respectively. The Communist-led Ḥadash party won 5 seats, the Arab Democratic Party (adp) 4, and the extremist Moledet 2.

Prior to the elections, Labor had enjoyed a "blocking majority" of 61 together with its government coalition partner, Meretz, and with the support of Hadash and the adp. In spite of the dramatic increase in the representation of the latter two, the entire "dovish" bloc dropped to only 52 seats, leaving the center in the hands of parties like the Sephardic-religious Shas, the ultra-Orthodox Yahadut ha-Torah, the centrist Third Way, and the new immigrants party, Yisrael ba-Aliyah. The Likud was placed by most observers to the right (i.e., being more hawkish) of these parties. Right of the Likud were the third religious party, the nrp, and Moledet.

netanyahu's government

Netanyahu's coalition (the 27th government of Israel) rested on 66 Knesset members. All the center and right-wing parties except Moledet participated in it. One of the cabinet members, Minister of Justice Ya'akov Ne'eman, was not affiliated with any of the political parties. When the attorney general ordered a police investigation into allegations that Ne'eman had obstructed court proceedings, he was forced to resign (August 8, 1996). Later he was acquitted.

Although many had argued prior to the elections that Netanyahu was not committed to the peace process in general and to the Oslo process in particular, his government decided within weeks of the elections to continue the negotiations with the pa. Only one minister, Binyamin Begin, voted against this decision. An initial meeting between Netanyahu and Arafat took place on September 4, 1996.

On September 23, 1996, the Hasmonean Tunnel at the ancient Western Wall was opened in the Old City of Jerusalem. On September 24, Yasser Arafat called on Palestinians to strike and demonstrate against this opening of the tunnel. Muslim leaders claimed that the tunnel ran underneath the Temple Mount and that it would undermine the foundations of the Dome of the Rock and the Al-Aqsa Mosque built on the Mount. In fact, the tunnel did not run beneath the Temple Mount. The restoration of the tunnel by archaeologists had been going on since 1987. On September 25, violence erupted in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Attacks by Palestinian civilians and Palestinian police (who used weapons supplied by Israel) on Israeli soldiers and Israeli settlers left 15 Israeli soldiers and at least 50 Palestinians dead. These clashes were the most serious since the signing of the Declaration of Principles in September 1993.

On January 16, 1997, Binyamin Begin resigned from the cabinet in protest against the agreement between Israel and the pa for the withdrawal of the idf from the Arab part of Hebron.

The most dramatic political scandal of 1997 was known as the "Bar-On for Hebron deal." According to a tv news report, Shas ministers had voted for the idf pullback in Hebron in return for the nomination of Roni Bar-On, a criminal attorney, to the post of attorney general. According to the tv report Bar-On, who was forced to resign the post only two days after being named to it, was expected to arrange a plea bargain for the indicted Shas leader, Aryeh Deri. After an investigation, both Netanyahu and Justice Minister Tzachi Hanegbi were exonerated.

On March 12, 1997, a Jordanian soldier opened fire at schoolgirls who were visiting the "Island of Peace" located on the Jordanian side of the Israel-Jordan border. Seven girls died in the attack. On March 15 King Hussein came to Israel to make condolence calls to each of the seven mourning families.

During 1997 and 1998 the Netanyahu government as well as the Likud party suffered a number of major internal crises. It seemed that the stability promised by those who had supported direct elections of the prime minister was far from being achieved

One of the most important developments in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict was the agreement reached between Arafat and Netanyahu at Wye Plantation in October 1998. Both leaders, in the presence of President Clinton and the ailing King Hussein of Jordan, signed the agreement in the White House on October 23. According to the agreement, Israel was to transfer control over 13 per cent of the West Bank to the civil control of the pa as well as military control over an additional 14 per cent of the West Bank in which the pa already enjoyed civil control. In return, the Palestinian National Council (pnc) of the plo was to revoke the articles in the Palestinian Covenant that called for the extermination of the State of Israel. The hardliners in Netanyahu's coalition opposed the agreement and his coalition became even less stable.

On December 21, 1998, the Knesset decided to have early elections "within six months" instead of the elections that should have taken place towards the end of 2000. A week later it was agreed that the new elections would be held on May 17, 1999.

the 1999 elections

Netanyahu's position prior to the 1999 elections grew weaker and weaker. His government had already lost its Knesset majority in December 1998. On January 23, 1999, Netanyahu decided to dismiss Defense Minister Yitzhak Mordechai following Mordechai's negotiations with the leaders of the new Center Party. Later, Mordechai was chosen as the Center's leader and its candidate for the premiership.

Already on June 3, 1997, Ehud Barak had been elected as the new chairperson of the Labor Party and its candidate for the premiership. Barak decided to call the Labor party "Yisrael Aḥat" ("One Israel") to give it a semblance of broad appeal and reach out for the religious and working class vote, which had been moving away from the party. David Levi's Gesher and Meimad joined forces with Labor in the creation of the new list.

The most dramatic events of the 1999 campaign took place in its last two days. Three candidates for the premiership: Azmi Bishara of Balad, Yitzhak Mordechai of the Center Party, and Binyamin Begin of National Unity decided to withdraw their candidacies, leaving only Likud's Netanyahu and Yisrael Aḥat's Barak in the race.

Barak won the election by an impressive majority of 56.1 to 43.9 per cent. Nevertheless, it appeared that among Jewish voters alone the elections ended in a virtual dead heat. In Jerusalem, the capital and largest city, Netanyahu won the race by a margin of 64.5 to 35.5 per cent.

Netanyahu resigned his position as Likud leader on May 18. He also resigned from the Knesset a few weeks later. The Central Committee of the Likud appointed Ariel Sharon as its new leader on May 27 after he defeated Jerusalem's Mayor Ehud *Olmert, and mk Meir Shitrit in party elections with 53 per cent of the vote

The elections to the Fifteenth Knesset marked a further fragmentation of the party system. Fifteen parties won seats in the new Knesset. The total of the two big lists of candidates combined, which had reached a peak of 95 seats in 1981, dropped to just 45 in the 1999 Knesset elections. As in the 1996 elections, there is no doubt that one of the reasons for this phenomenon was the new electoral system and the split vote it encouraged, as many voters felt free to support a small party in the Knesset elections while voting for the candidate of a big party for prime minister.

The Likud won just 19 seats. Labor remained the biggest party, but even bolstered by its partners in Yisrael Ahat it dropped to 26 seats. Shas impressively won 17 seats. It was followed by Meretz (10), Yisrael ba-Aliyah (6), Shinu'i (6), the new Center Party (6), nrp (5), Yahadut ha-Torah (5), the Moslem Ra'am (5), the hawkish National Union (4), the new Russian immigrant party Yisrael Beitenu ("Israel Our Home") (4), Hadash (3), the nationalist Arab Balad (2), and Am Eḥad ("One Nation") led by Histadrut General Secretary Amir Peretz (2).

The unexpected success of Shas is attributed to three factors: First, disappointed with the Likud's performance, many former Sephardi Likud supporters voted this time for Shas. Second, many voted Shas as a protest following the conviction of Shas leader Aryeh Deri by the Jerusalem District Court on March 17, 1999. The court had found Deri guilty of bribery, fraud, and breach of public trust. Eliyahu Yishai was appointed as the new leader of Shas on September 27, 1999. Third, Yisrael ba-Aliyah directed its blatant anti-clerical campaign against Shas, using insulting slogans which could have been interpreted as anti-Sephardi. Many voters believed that supporting Shas on election day was the proper response to these attacks.

barak's government

The Fifteenth Knesset was split between 60 mks who leaned toward Barak in their preference for a prime minister (i.e., the mks of Yisrael Aḥat, Meretz, Shinu'i, the Center Party, Ra'am, Ḥadash, Balad, and Am Eḥad), and 60 mks who probably preferred the Likud's leadership (i.e., the mks of the Likud, Shas, Yisrael ba-Aliyah, nrp, Yahadut ha-Torah, National Union, and Israel Our Home). Nonetheless Barak had a number of options to form his government. After conducting negotiations with most of the parties, he formed a coalition including Yisrael Aḥat (with representatives of Gesher and Meimad in addition to those of Labor), Shas, Meretz, the Center Party, Yisrael ba-Aliyah, the nrp, and Yahadut ha-Torah. The structure of the coalition proved to be fatal, especially because of the policy distances between some of its members on questions of state and religion as well as on issues related to the Arab-Israeli conflict.

Following the formation of his government (Israel's 28th), Barak gave priority to the peace process. He promised, on several occasions, "to achieve peace with Israel's neighbors within a year." Criticized for his "zigzagging" policies on many issues, Barak proved to be very determined and very consistent on the issue of peacemaking.

On the evening of the Sabbath, Friday, August 27, 1999, the government authorized the transport of a 260-ton electric turbine. This led to threats from the two ultra-Orthodox religious parties to leave the coalition. Following the movement of a second turbine a few weeks later, Yahadut ha-Torah decided to cease its participation in Barak's coalition.

The turbine incidents were followed by a number of clashes between the largest ultra-Orthodox party, Shas, and Meretz. Strangely enough, Meretz decided to leave the government in June 2000 in order to ensure that Shas remained in the coalition. Meretz believed that Israeli-Palestinian negotiations were moving in a promising direction and did not wish to spark a government crisis.

In his 2000 negotiations with the Syrians in Washington, d.c., and with the Palestinians in Camp David, under the auspices of President Clinton of the United States, Barak expressed his readiness to carry out an almost 100 per cent withdrawal from all the territories occupied by Israel since the 1967 war. In May he ordered the Israel Defense Forces to withdraw from the "security zone" in Lebanon on a unilateral basis.

Most "right-of-Labor" politicians were opposed to the major concessions Barak was apparently ready to make to the Palestinians. In fact, even a number of relatively dovish figures, including Shimon Peres, criticized Barak for going too far, especially with regard to future arrangements in Jerusalem. It was against this background that the four Shas ministers and the Yisrael ba-Aliyah minister left the coalition on July 11, 2000. They were followed by the nrp minister, whose resignation came into effect on the following day, and by the defection of David Levi, the Gesher minister of foreign affairs, who left the coalition on August 4. Thus the government shrank to a twelve-minister cabinet, supported by only 30 mks.

It was against this background that early elections looked inevitable. Barak once again demonstrated his skill at "zigzagging." He made a "secret" agreement with the Likud that would have guaranteed a relatively stable "national unity" government, but then retreated and decided to postpone its implementation. When it became clear that the Knesset was about to call early elections, Barak objected. Then he surprised even the members of his own party, declaring in December that he had no objections to simultaneous Knesset and prime ministerial elections. A few days later, he handed in his resignation to the president. According to Basic Law: the Government, when the prime minister resigned, Knesset elections were not necessary, only "special" prime ministerial elections. Barak's resignation conceivably came in order to block former premier Netanyahu from participating in the coming elections. As mentioned, Netanyahu had resigned from the Knesset following the defeat of the Likud in the 1999 elections. The Basic Law allowed only mks to be candidates in "special" elections. Barak, however, declared almost immediately that he had no objections to changing the law so that Netanyahu could run against him. But it soon became clear that the candidates would be Labor's Barak and the Likud's Ariel Sharon.

the 2001 elections and the first sharon government

On February 6, for the third time, Israel went to the polls to elect a prime minister by direct popular vote. Unlike the 1996 and 1999 elections, the Knesset was not elected at the same time.

In a reversal of his 12 per cent 1999 victory, Barak now lost to Sharon by twice that margin: 62.4 per cent of the valid votes were vast for Sharon and 37.6 per cent went to Barak. Barak not only lost the election but the vote of every sector that had supported him in 1999.

The turnout in 2001 was the lowest in Israel's history – 62.3 per cent. The biggest decline was in the Arab sector, which dropped to 25 per cent of what it had been in 1999. In the 15 elections held between 1949 and 1999, the average Arab turnout had been 78 per cent. Now, after giving Barak almost 95 per cent of their vote in 1999, most Arab voters felt they could neither support Barak nor Sharon and the Arab turnout dropped to less than 20 per cent. The background to this extreme expression of alienation was rooted in the fact that 13 Israeli Arabs had been killed by police fire in the October 2000 riots that broke out in support of the Palestinian cause following the beginning of the "second intifada"(see below).

Before presenting his government (the 29th government of Israel) Sharon insisted that the entire system of direct election of the prime minister must be scrapped and the old, purely parliamentary system restored. The Knesset acceded to his demand on March 7. Later that day Sharon presented his government to the Knesset. The government consisted of seven parties, controlling over 70 seats in the Knesset. These included the three biggest parties, Likud, Yisrael Aḥat and Shas alongside four smaller parties, National Union, Yisrael Beitenu, Yisrael ba-Aliyah, and One Nation. The two senior representatives of Labor in Sharon's cabinet were former prime minister Peres, who served as minister of foreign affairs, and Labor chairman Binyamin Ben-Eliezer, who served as minister of defense. Most of the more dovish Labor leaders remained outside the government. Sharon wanted to include Barak, but opposition within Labor made such a partnership impossible and Barak retired from active political life "for the time being." Two mks of the Center Party joined the cabinet in August 2001. In October, Cabinet Minister Rehavam Ze'evi was shot dead in a Jerusalem hotel by terrorists. Two days earlier, Ze'evi had been one of two ministers who had handed in their resignations from the government because of their opposition to what they regarded as too moderate a government response to terrorism encouraged by the pa.

In the first few months after Sharon's government took office, Israel found itself in embarrassing international situations more than once. Thus, in July 2001, the Brussels Public Prosecutor's Office announced that it had opened an investigation of Sharon for alleged crimes against humanity in the massacre of Palestinian civilians by Lebanese Christian militiamen in the refugee camps of Sabra and Shatilla in September 1982. Early in September 2001, Israel and the United States decided to withdraw from the World Conference Against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance (wcar), convened in Durban, South Africa, in protest against the virulent anti-Israel language of its draft resolutions. It would seem, however, that the atmosphere changed dramatically following the attack on America on September 11, 2001. The attack demonstrated to many that Israel was in the forefront of the war against a dangerous combination of terrorism, Islamic fundamentalism, and weapons of mass destruction.

Despite the violence of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, Sharon continued to work toward the establishment of an independent Palestinian state within the framework of a peace agreement. Many in his party opposed this policy. Thus, on May 12, 2002, the Likud Central Committee rejected Sharon's request to postpone its vote on a binding resolution against the creation of a Palestinian State "west of the Jordan River."

The National Unity government was quite popular according to most public opinion polls, and the circumstances created by the terrorist war against Israel might have enabled the two big parties to continue their cooperation. Nevertheless, when the minister of finance, Silvan *Shalom, presented in October 2002 his budget proposal for 2003, the Labor Party decided to pull out of the government because of the allocations to settlements in the occupied territories. It would seem, however, that a major reason for this decision was the leadership struggle within Labor that pitted the chairman, Ben-Eliezer, against a popular challenger, Haifa's Mayor Amram *Mitzna, whose campaign called for Labor's withdrawal from the coalition. Sharon could still muster a bare majority and remain in office, but he too had party problems, mainly concerning an expected challenge for party leadership by former prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu. On December 5, 2002, Sharon formally announced his decision to dissolve the Knesset and early elections were called for January 28, 2003.

Following Labor's withdrawal Sharon named the popular former chief of staff of the idf, Shaul *Mofas, as defense minister, and Netanyahu as minister of foreign Affairs.

On November 19 Mitzna won the Labor Party primaries, defeating Ben-Eliezer, and on November 28 Sharon won the Likud primaries, defeating Netanyahu.

the terrorist war

The results of Barak's negotiations with Arab partners had been far from being promising. No new agreement was achieved between Israel and any of its Arab partners. Furthermore, in late September 2000 the Palestinians used a visit of Likud leaders headed by Ariel Sharon to the Mount Temple as a pretext for a new wave of violence. It seemed that the withdrawal from Lebanon was interpreted by a number of leading Arab elements as a proof that Israel could be defeated though attrition. The extreme Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Palestinian secular movements, and pa elements joined forces in large-scale terrorist activity against Israelis. At times it looked as if this new intifada was initiated and orchestrated by Arafat. At times it looked as if Arafat had lost control of the situation. In any case, the term intifada (i.e., uprising) was misleading. The vast majority of terrorist acts were either initiated by Arafat and elements within his organization, Fatah, or by those belonging to the Moslem fundamentalist organizations, Hamas and Islamic Jihad.

Almost from the beginning of the new wave of violence, various international attempts were made to get the parties to the negotiation table. Thus, on April 30, 2001, the Sharm el-Sheikh Fact-Finding Committee headed by George J. Mitchell, former majority leader of the U.S. Senate, published its report on the new Intifada. On June 14, 2001, a Palestinian-Israeli Security Implementation Work Plan, better known as the Tenet Plan, laid out a six-stage timetable for the parties. At the end of 2001 and the beginning of 2002, former U.S. Army general Anthony Zinni tried to mediate between Israel and the Palestinians. On April 30, 2003, the United States, the European Union, the United Nations, and Russia ("the Quartet") published a "Road Map" for a Permanent Two-State Solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The aim of the plan was to reach a final and comprehensive settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict by 2005. All these efforts proved fruitless.

On January 4, 2002, the idf captured a 4,000-ton freighter in the Red Sea carrying 50 tons of weaponry, including tons of explosives, rockets, missiles, long-range mortars, mines, etc. The captain of the ship confessed that the pa had hired him and that the shipment was organized and financed by it.

One of the most decisive terrorist attacks took place on March 27, 2002, when 250 Passover guests at the Park Hotel in Netanya were the victims of a suicide bomb carried by a Hamas terrorist. Twenty-nine people were killed and 140 injured. Following the Park Hotel attack, the government decided to carry out "a wide-ranging operational action plan against Palestinian terror," known as Operation Defensive Shield. During the operation, Israel recaptured most of the territories previously controlled by the pa. The most highly publicized action took place in Jenin. Palestinian spokesmen and activists all over the world claimed that Israel had carried out a massacre in the city in which between 1,000 and 5,000 Palestinian civilians were murdered. In fact, 52 Palestinians – most of them terrorist fighters – were killed in Jenin. In one incident during the battle, 13 idf soldiers were killed when they were ambushed from civilian residences by Palestinian fighters. Documents captured during Operation Defensive Shield proved that the pa, Iran, Iraq, and Saudi Arabia were directly involved in terrorist activities. Furthermore, money provided to the pa by donors such as the European Union and the U.S. had been allocated to finance terror and incitement.

The international dimension of anti-Israel terrorism was underscored on November 28, 2002, when 13 people were killed in Mombasa, Kenya, in an Israeli hotel. Simultaneously, two missiles were fired at an Israeli passenger jet flying from Mombasa but missed their target. The political bureau of Osama bin Laden's al-Qaeda network claimed responsibility for these attacks.

Between the beginning of the "Second Intifada" and the end of 2004 approximately 22,000 attacks on Israeli targets were carried out. Most devastating were the approximately 130 attacks carried by suicide bombers. Over 1,000 Israelis – 70% of them civilians – were killed and over 7,000 injured. The peak in the number of casualties was reached in March 2002, when 135 Israelis were killed. Towards the end of this period, the number of successful attacks and the number of casualties decreased considerably. This was caused mainly by different preventive measures taken by Israel. Thus, over 400 suicide attacks were prevented.

One significant preventive measure was the construction of an "anti-terrorist" fence intended to serve as a physical barrier against terrorist attacks. Arab countries and the Palestinian leadership protested, calling it a "a unilateral step on Arab soil" worsening the living conditions of Palestinians.

On November 11, 2004, the president of the pa, Yasser Arafat, 75, died in a military hospital outside Paris after being flown there from his Ramallah Headquarters. Mahmoud Abbas ("Abu Mazen"), one of the founding fathers of the Fatah and the plo, succeeded Arafat as interim president. Abas opposed many of Arafat's policies, including the decision to initiate the new wave of violence in September 2000. Hence, he was considered a more moderate potential partner to talks with Israel. Nevertheless, many noted his basic hardline positions and questioned his ability to confront militant Palestinian leaders and organizations. Abas was formally elected as president in general elections held on January 9, 2005.

the 2003 elections

In the January 28, 2003, elections to the Sixteenth Knesset, 13 parties won seats, down from 15 in 1999. For the first time since 1981, the strength of the two biggest parties combined increased. These developments can be attributed in part to the abrogation of direct election of the prime minister and the return to a regular parliamentary system. Voters could no longer split their votes between the candidate of a large party for the premiership and a small party in the Knesset ballot, as so many had in 1996 and 1999. The turnout was the lowest in the history of Knesset elections: only 67.8 per cent.

The most important outcome of the elections was the unquestioned success of the Likud, which won 38 seats – twice as many as Labor's 19 seats. Immediately after the elections, the two mks of Yisrael ba-Aliyah joined the Likud.

It would seem that Sharon attracted many middle-of-the-road voters, as he projected a position more dovish than any of those previously held by Likud leaders. On the other hand, Labor moved away from the center with Mitzna's repeated calls to negotiate with Arafat, despite the continued terrorism. Mitzna also proposed unilateral withdrawal from the territories if such negotiations failed, and pledged not to sit in a government with the Likud.

Another dimension of the electoral campaign was religion. This placed the anti-clerical Shinu'i, with its 15 seats, on one end of the political spectrum and the ultra-Orthodox Shas (11 seats) and Yahadut ha-Torah (5 seats) on the other. The third religious party, the hawkish nrp, gained 6 seats, balancing the 6 seats of the dovish, anti-clerical Meretz.

The hawkish National Union–Yisrael Beitenu bloc won 7 seats. Three parties won 3 seats each, the Communist-led Ḥadash, Amir Peretz's One Nation Party, and the nationalist Arab Balad. The Islamic Ra'am dropped to 2 seats. On May 4, 2003, Labour's new leader, Mitzna, resigned.

the economy

During the 1990s Israel's economy was marked by consistent growth in gross domestic product (gdp) and by a steady rise in gdp per capita. Both indicators reached a peak of around 7.5 per cent in 2000. The early 2000s were marked by clear signs of recession. Both the gdp and the gdp per capita showed a negative growth. The decline in economic activity affected employment. Thus, while unemployment was less than 9 per cent up to the first half of 2001, it climbed to almost 11 per cent in the second half of 2003. At the same time the number of foreign workers in Israel increased to approximately 300,000 towards the end of the 1990s. The deterioration of the economy produced a number of large-scale anti-government demonstrations – some of which were organized by the Histadrut under the leadership of Peretz.

There were a number of reasons for the slowdown of the economy. The four most significant were: global developments and especially the global crisis in the high-tech industry; the considerable decrease in immigration, especially when compared with the early 1990s; government spending policies; the impact of terrorism, with such consequences as a sharp drop in tourism. The recession in areas under the control of the pa was by far more severe.

After the elections of 2003, there seemed to be strong evidence of a growing number of positive economic indicators, such as renewed economic growth and low inflation rates. It seemed that these developments had been partly caused by global developments, by the failure of the terrorist war against Israel, and by new government policies initiated by Netanyahu, who became minister of finance in Sharon's second government.

sharon's second government

Following the 2003 parliamentary elections, Sharon tried to get Labor to join his coalition. But when Labor demurred he formed a coalition with Shinu'i, the nrp, and the National Union-Yisrael Beitenu bloc. The new government (Israel's 30th) was approved by the Knesset on February 27, 2003. In his new cabinet, Netanyahu became minister of finance, switching places with Silvan Shalom, who became minister of foreign affairs. Sharon apparently believed that Netanyahu, a graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in business administration, was better qualified to oversee Israel's problematic economy.

A number of scandals rocked the political scene during Sharon's second term. These included police investigations of a number of ministers, including the prime minister and his sons, resignation of a Shinu'i minister who apparently tried to incriminate another Shinu'i minister, and resignation of a Likud minister from his post (but not from the government) following publication of the state comptroller's report and possible indictment for politically motivated appointments.

The most prominent issue in Israeli politics in 2004 and 2005 revolved around Prime Minister Sharon's disengagement plan. Sharon's plan was presented to the public for the first time in December 2003. The main assumption behind the plan was that in the absence of any serious partner to peace talks on the Palestinian side, and following the construction of the security fence, it was in Israel's political and security interest to withdraw from the Gaza Strip and dismantle the 21 settlements there (*Gush Katif) as well as four settlements in northern Samaria (the northern part of the West Bank).

The conflict surrounding the disengagement plan shook Sharon's leadership. On May 2, 2004, Sharon was defeated in an internal Likud referendum on the disengagement plan by a margin of 60 percent to 40 percent. Following this defeat, Sharon revised the plan slightly. On June 6, 2004, the cabinet approved the revised plan by a vote of 14 to 7. This result was made possible, among other reasons, by the dismissal of the two National Union–Israel Beitenu ministers. Five of the 13 Likud ministers and the two nrp ministers voted against the Plan. Two members of the nrp left the coalition in June 2004. The other four nrp members left in November 2004. The future of the government looked quite gloomy. But on October 28, the Knesset approved the disengagement plan by a 67–45 vote. This was followed by the dismissal of hawkish Minister Landau of the Likud. However, 17 of the 40 Likud mks had voted against the plan. On November 3 the Knesset approved a bill to compensate the approximately 8,000 settlers who would be evacuated from the Gaza Strip and northern Samaria according to the disengagement plan. A war of nerves now commenced between the Gush Katif settlers and their supporters and government authorities, including demonstrations, clashes with police and the army, and organized disruptions of the country's daily life by the more extreme elements among the opponents of disengagement.

With the government losing its majority in the Knesset, Sharon and Finance Minister Netanyahu mobilized the support of the ultra-Orthodox Yahadut ha-Torah for the 2005 budget bill in return for government financial support to a number of ultra-Orthodox institutions. Shinu'i declared that it would not support the budget bill under these conditions. Following a humiliating defeat in a Knesset vote on the budget, Sharon dismissed all five Shinu'i ministers on December 4. Sharon's government survived, however, as a result of an agreement with the Labor Party. On January 10, 2005, eight Labor mks received ministerial portfolios. The budget was approved in March 2005.

[Abraham Diskin (2nd ed.)]

the 2006 elections

The dismantlement of the Gush Katif settlements was carried out as scheduled in the summer of 2005. However, opposition to Sharon within the Likud and the threat that he would be deposed as party chairman by the Likud Central Committee led him to bolt the party and form a new political entity, the Kadimah Party, joined by senior ministers from both the Likud and the Labor party, including Shimon Peres. In January 2006, with elections two months away, Sharon suffered a massive brain hemorrhage and was incapacitated. He was replaced by Ehud *Olmert, who subsequently led Kadimah to an election victory with 29 seats in the Knesset. Negotiations began immediately with Labor, the next largest party with 19 seats and now led by Amir *Peretz, to form a coalition government. In the meanwhile Hamas had won an unexpected victory over the plo in the Palestinian parliamentary elections, creating a new reality and making future relations with the Palestinian Authority problematic. Olmert's avowed intention was to establish Israel's final borders during his term of office, if necessary unilaterally. Among other declared aims in the coalition agreement were a rise in the minimum wage to $1,000 a month, guaranteed pensions for all citizens, a broader spectrum of medicines to be covered by the National Health Insurance Law, and full implementation of the civil rights of minority groups.

renewed fighting

The new government was soon tested. Palestinian rocket attacks on Sederot and other Negev settlements were capped on June 25 by the abduction of an Israeli soldier from an army outpost. Israel responded with air strikes and the movement of ground forces into the Gaza Strip for the first time since the evacuation of the previous summer. On July 12 Hizbollah struck in the north, attacking an Israeli patrol on Israel's side of the Lebanese border. Three Israeli soldiers were killed and another two were taken captive. The fighting rapidly escalated as Hizbollah indiscriminately fired rockets into Israel's northern settlements, including Haifa, and Israel launched massive air strikes into Lebanon aimed at Hizbollah strongholds and staging areas which at the same time caused extensive damage throughout the country as well as a high death toll among Lebanese civilians and mass flight from South Lebanon. As Israelis too fled the north or huddled in shelters, Israeli special forces began crossing the border to hunt down rocket launchers, meeting stiff resistance. Though by and large Hizbollah was condemned as the aggressor by the international community and Israel's right to self-defense was affirmed, many decried what was seen as the use of excessive force by Israel and diplomatic efforts to bring the fighting to a halt intensified. Many, however, also saw Israel as a surrogate for the West in the war against terrorism and made it clear that they would not regret Hizbollah's destruction. However, progress on the ground was slow as the highly trained and disciplined Hizbollah fighters stood fast, and as the fighting dragged on criticism of both the army and government was heard in Israel, though the country remained united in its determination to deal Hizbollah a crippling blow. In the meantime a draft resolution calling for a cease fire was produced by France and the United States as Israel called up its reserves and expanded its ground operations in an effort to reach the Litani River about 18 miles (30 km.) north of Israel's border. The resolution was adopted by the Security Council of the United Nations on August 11 and went into effect on August 14. Among other things it called for the Lebanese army, bolstered by a beefed-up unifil force of up to 15,000 men, to occupy South Lebanon and arms shipments to Hizbollah to be halted. However, it did not assure the dismantling of Hizbollah or the return of the abducted Israeli soldiers. The extent to which the resolution satisfied Israel's expectations, coupled with questions about the performance of the army and government, now became the subjects of increasing public debate.

The toll in the Israel-Hizbollah fighting up to the cease fire was 117 Israeli soldiers and 41 civilians killed. Around 1,000 Lebanese civilians were also killed. Nearly 4,000 rockets had been fired into Israel and 7,000 targets in Lebanon had been hit by Israel's air force in over 15,000 sorties.

Foreign Policy and International Relations

foreign policy

The United Nations Decision

Although the United Nations did not have the machinery or the power to implement the General Assembly resolution of Nov. 29, 1947, and the State of Israel was established by the efforts of the yishuv with the support of the Jewish people, the new state ascribed considerable importance to the fact that its creation was based on the un decision. The Proclamation of Independence, recalling the Assembly resolution, declares: "This recognition by the United Nations of the right of the Jewish people to establish their own state is irrevocable"; the establishment of the Jewish state is proclaimed "by virtue of our natural and historic right and of the resolution of the General Assembly of the United Nations"; and a later paragraph declares, "The State of Israel will be prepared to cooperate with the organs and the representatives of the United Nations in carrying out the General Assembly Resolution of Nov. 29, 1947, and will work for the establishment of the economic union of the whole Land of Israel."

Care was thus taken to emphasize that the Jewish people's decision to establish the Jewish state was in keeping with the un's historic ruling. For this reason, and because of violent Arab opposition, one of Israel's main objectives was to achieve international recognition. The first encouraging responses came from the U.S. government, which granted de facto recognition a few hours after the declaration of independence, and from the Soviet Union and Guatemala, which granted de jure recognition three days later. By the end of its first year, following the young state's success in defeating the Arab attack, establishing its legal institutions, and holding general elections to the first Knesset, Israel was recognized by 55 states (the vast majority of those existing at the time, with the exception of the Arab and a few other Muslim countries), and on May 11, 1949, Israel was accepted as a member of the United Nations. Thus the struggle for international recognition was crowned, on the whole, with success, though the effort to establish normal diplomatic relations with all states was much more prolonged and has not yet been completed.

Efforts Toward Peace

The second, even more important, aim of Israel's foreign policy was to bring the war to an end and establish permanent peace with the Arab peoples and states. At first Israel hoped to receive un support for this aim. It responded to the un call for a cease-fire and was prepared to cooperate with the un mediator. However, the first mediator, Count Folke Bernadotte of Sweden, failed in his efforts at mediation and exceeded his powers by proposing a solution of his own to the Palestine problem that was incompatible with both the Assembly decision and the new situation created after the war and was quite unacceptable to Israel. The second mediator, Ralph Bunche, confined himself to actual mediation and succeeded in bringing about negotiations between the two sides, ending with the signature of the Armistice Agreements.

Faithful to the spirit of the Security Council resolution and the uniform text of the preamble to all the agreements, Israel regarded the Armistice Agreements as a transitional stage between truce and permanent peace. It was generally assumed that the armistice period would be brief and would be spent mainly in peace negotiations – an assumption confirmed by the fact that the agreements laid down a procedure for their amendment in case they were not replaced by peace treaties within a year. It was on this assumption, too, that Israel agreed to certain provisions that were not perfectly clear, in order not to hold up the signature of the agreements. Events, however, developed in the opposite direction. The Armistice Agreements were not the starting point for progress toward peace but marked the end of a brief period of goodwill. They were followed by a renewed deterioration in the situation, the gradual erosion of their significance, and Arab threats of an approaching "second round." Nor was any progress achieved at the meetings of the un Palestine Conciliation Commission, which consisted of representatives of the United States, France, and Turkey. The disappointing experience of the p.c.c. strengthened Israel's conviction that only through direct negotiations would it be possible to achieve peace, or even partial solutions to specific problems.

The principle of direct negotiations has been the cornerstone of Israel's policy ever since, and the Israel government has always tried to secure the support of other countries for it. However, just as the Arab countries were not prepared for progress from armistice to peace, they were equally unprepared for direct negotiations with Israel. The armistice regime was undermined over the years under the pressure of the Arab doctrine and practice of belligerency against Israel. During the Sinai Campaign (1956), Israel declared that in view of Egypt's continual violations of the Armistice Agreement, Israel no longer recognized its existence, and all the Armistice Agreements became null and void as a result of the *Six-Day War in June 1967. Even if they had been strictly observed, however, they left many basic questions unsolved, notably those of the frontiers, the status of Jerusalem, the refugee question, and the problem of Arab economic and political warfare against Israel.


The Armistice Agreements expressly stated that the demarcation lines laid down in them were not on any account to be regarded as political or territorial frontiers, but as a result of the long period during which the agreements remained in force and the failure to replace them with peace treaties, the demarcation lines were generally identified with the frontiers of the state. Israel repeatedly declared that it was prepared for peace talks without prior conditions, but also made it clear that it regarded the existing lines as a basis for negotiations on permanent frontiers despite their unsuitability for effective defense. David Ben-Gurion and Moshe Sharett stated on several occasions that in a peace treaty Israel would be ready to recognize these borders as frontiers fixed "for a hundred years." The Arabs argued, on the other hand, that there could be no negotiations as long as Israel did not "comply with un resolutions," i.e., withdraw to the boundaries laid down in the 1947 partition scheme and agree to the return of the refugees. However, they gave no undertaking to sign peace treaties on the basis of these borders. The Soviet Union also referred to Israel's frontiers in terms of the 1947 partition borders.

Israel declared that a return to the partition borders was unacceptable. The partition proposal was based on the assumptions that the two peoples would accept the proposed solution and agree to live in peace, that an Arab state would rise in Palestine side by side with the Jewish state, and that the two would form an economic union. All these assumptions had been refuted by Arab belligerency. Nor were the Western powers prepared to identify the armistice lines with political borders. John Foster Dulles, the U.S. secretary of state, made this clear in a speech in New York on Aug. 26, 1955, and British Foreign Secretary Anthony Eden, in his Guildhall address on Nov. 9, 1955, called for a compromise between the partition borders and the status quo. Both were thinking mainly of territorial concessions by Israel in the Negev, which would facilitate the creation of a land bridge between Egypt and Jordan. It was only after the Sinai Campaign and the withdrawal of the Israel forces from the areas occupied during the fighting that pressure for frontier changes died down and the powers reconciled themselves, in practice, with Israel rule over the areas delimited in the Armistice Agreements. In the absence of any Arab will for peace, however, these lines were never secure borders, and the entire armistice regime collapsed in the crisis of 1967.

As a result of the Six-Day War, the territory under Israel's control now comprised the whole of western Ereẓ Israel, including those areas in Judea and Samaria that had been under Jordanian rule since 1948, the Gaza Strip, the Sinai Peninsula up to the Suez Canal, and the Golan Heights. Israel stated that it would not withdraw from these areas, whose boundaries were determined by the cease-fire agreements of June 10, 1967, until peace treaties were concluded that would assure her of agreed and secure frontiers. The government of Israel also made it clear that it did not regard the previous armistice demarcation lines as secure frontiers and would not return to the boundaries that existed before the Six-Day War. In its acceptance of the American peace initiative in the middle of 1970, the Israel government expressed readiness for withdrawal "to secure and recognized borders" as part of a permanent peace settlement, without specifying which territories it would be prepared to evacuate in return for peace. The attitude of the Arabs and their supporters, on the other hand, was that Israel must evacuate all the territories occupied in the June 1967 war. According to some other states, the principle of secure boundaries implied that the frontiers must differ from those that existed before the war, "without reflecting the weight of conquest" (see also Israel, State of: Historical Survey, The Armistice Demarcation Lines, in the Frontiers section).


According to the partition scheme, the city of Jerusalem and its environs were to constitute a corpus separatum, administered by the United Nations under a special international regime as part of the economic union. During the first ten years of the international regime, the un Trusteeship Council was to consider the problem in the light of the experience gained in the meantime. The Jewish Agency agreed to the internationalization proposal in 1947 under protest, since it was an inseparable part of the partition plan, but the Arabs categorically rejected it. Jerusalem became the scene of bitter fighting, which the un was unable to prevent. In the armistice agreement with Transjordan, the demarcation line bisected the city, the Old City and the eastern neighborhoods being held by Jordan and the New City by Israel. Mount Scopus constituted an Israeli enclave; Article 8 of the agreement provided for free Israeli access to the Jewish institutions (the Hebrew University and the Hadassah Hospital) on Mount Scopus and to the Western ("Wailing") Wall. The un, however, did not abandon the idea of internationalization, and on Dec. 9, 1949, the General Assembly decided that Jerusalem would be placed under a permanent international regime, calling upon the Trusteeship Council to complete the preparation of a constitution for the city. Israel vigorously opposed the idea, since it had been proved to be impracticable, would be a denial of the basic rights of the Jewish population, and would imperil their safety. It was prepared to agree to "functional" internationalization, i.e., the establishment of an international regime for the holy places alone. In reaction to the Assembly resolution, Israel decided to establish its capital in Jerusalem and transfer the Knesset and most of the government offices to the city. The transfer was completed in a few weeks (though the Foreign Ministry did not make the move until 1953 and the Ministry of Defense remained housed in Tel Aviv).

The Trusteeship Council soon arrived at the conclusion that the Assembly plan for territorial internationalization was impracticable. At the autumn 1950 Assembly, Sweden proposed the revision of the previous decision and its replacement by functional internationalization, but the proposal did not receive the necessary two-thirds majority. A Belgian proposal to reiterate the previous decision met with the same fate. On the plane of un resolutions, therefore, a dead end had been reached, but the 1949 resolution remained formally in force. Accordingly, many countries refused to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital or to transfer their missions to it; their representatives sometimes even boycotted official ceremonies there. In the course of time, however, more and more countries acquiesced to the situation, and in 1970, 22 states maintained their diplomatic missions in Jerusalem, while 25 still kept them in the Tel Aviv area, and nine had nonresident missions.

In the Six-Day War, after the Jordanians had started a heavy bombardment of Jewish Jerusalem and occupied the headquarters of the un Truce Supervision Organization in the zone between the armistice lines, heavy battles developed, and by the third day of the war (June 7) the whole of the city was in the hands of the Israel Defense Forces. Under an amendment to the Municipalities Ordinance passed by the Knesset on June 27, the city was reunified on the following day. In July 1967 the General Assembly adopted two resolutions calling on Israel to annul the steps taken to unify the city, and a similar resolution was adopted in 1968 by the Security Council. However, Israeli public opinion was united in its determination to preserve the unity of Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

Throughout the existence of the armistice regime, Jordan had refused to comply with Article 8 of the agreement, despite all the efforts of Israel and the United Nations. Israeli Jews were not permitted to approach the Western Wall, and the Hebrew University and Hadassah buildings on Mount Scopus were derelict and only Israel police guards, relieved every two weeks by un convoys, were permitted to protect them. Extraordinary efforts by Dag Hammarskjöld, then secretary-general of the un, were required in 1958 to obtain permission for the removal of the university's books and collections, and the Jews returned to the Western Wall, the Old City, and Mount Scopus only after the Six-Day War. On July, 27, 1967, a few weeks after the end of the fighting, the Knesset enacted the Law for the Protection of the Holy Places and Israel protected the holy places of all faiths, in close cooperation with their religious leaders.

The Arab Refugee Problem

More than any other aspect of Arab-Israel relations (apart from military clashes), it was the Arab refugee problem that occupied international public opinion in the period between the establishment of the state and the Six-Day War. As early as Dec. 11, 1948 – prior to the signing of the Armistice Agreements – the un General Assembly adopted a resolution dealing with the question, among others. The Arabs insisted upon the right of the refugees to return to their homes and made no attempt to conceal their hope and intention of using the masses of returning refugees as a force to bring about the destruction of the State of Israel. Israel pointed out that it was not she who had created the problem, but rather the Arab leaders, who had urged the Arab masses to leave the area that was to become the Jewish state; that Israel could not be expected to absorb a hostile population: that, on the other hand, Israel had provided a home for hundreds of thousands of Jews from Arab countries and thus an exchange of population – albeit unplanned – had in fact taken place.

When the Palestine Conciliation Commission began its work, Israel declared its readiness to take the far-reaching step of permitting the return of 100,000 refugees; this offer, however, was withdrawn when the Commission failed to bring about a meeting of the two parties. However, Israel did confirm its willingness to pay compensation for the property the refugees had left behind, irrespective of and before the conclusion of peace, provided the Arabs would put an end to their economic warfare against the state. This offer met with no response from the Arab states, who continued to insist upon the refugees' right to return to their homes; nor did they respond to the unilateral steps like the unfreezing of refugee bank accounts in Israel banks. Thus the debate was repeated year after year, the Arabs attacking Israel and the latter claiming that it was not the fate of the refugees with which the Arab states were concerned, but rather the destruction of Israel (see Israel, State of: Historical Survey, section on Arab Refugees).

Boycott and Blockade

Arab political warfare against Israel was accompanied by economic warfare: not only did the Arab states impose a boycott on Israel and its products, but they also attempted to strangle its economy by persuading other countries not to maintain economic relations with Israel. The Arab boycott organization boycotted companies that had established enterprises in Israel, invested there, or entered into partnership with Israeli firms, and blacklisted ships that called at Israel ports and even airlines running regular flights to Israel. At first the boycott registered some success, but as time went on its effect wore off as a result of Israel's economic growth and the determined action taken by some countries against the activities of the boycott offices. Only firms for whom trade with the Arab countries was of overriding importance gave in to Arab threats and refrained from setting up commercial ties with Israel. Thus the boycott ceased to be an effective weapon (see also *Boycott, Arab). Much more serious was the effect of the maritime blockade. From the very beginning the Suez Canal was closed to Israel shipping and even to ships of other nations bound for Israel ports, and as a rule cargoes en route to Israel were confiscated, although in 1951 the Security Council ruled that this practice was illegal and called upon Egypt to desist from it. Egypt paid no heed to the call. Moreover, at the beginning of the 1950s, Egypt closed the Tiran Straits to Israel shipping and to foreign ships bound for Eilat. As a result of the Sinai Campaign, freedom of passage was established in the Tiran Straits and maintained by the presence of the un Emergency Force. It was the expulsion of that force by Egypt and the reimposition of the blockade of the straits in May 1967 that were the direct cause of the Six-Day War.

From War to Peace

The period 1970–73 was marked by almost full observance of the cease-fire along Israel's entire frontier. Israel agreed to return to the talks with Gunnar Jarring, the un emissary, on Dec. 28, 1970, and Jarring returned to Israel in another attempt to break the deadlock. On Feb. 8, 1971, he requested Israel to commit itself to complete withdrawal to the Mandatory border and Egypt to enter into a peace agreement with Israel. Israel maintained that it was desirous of negotiating an agreement on secure and recognized borders but refused to agree in advance to withdraw to the old border, while Egypt insisted that it would consider peace with Israel only if the latter would implement Resolution 242 in all its parts. Egypt saw no need for negotiations as it felt the resolution could be automatically implemented. This Israel refused to accept, with the result that the stalemate continued and the Jarring mission was suspended.

Efforts were now directed towards reaching a partial solution for the re-opening of the Suez Canal. Israel had put forward a proposal to this effect in 1968 and on February 4, 1971, President Sadat returned to the idea, but linked a partial Israeli withdrawal from the east bank of the Canal with an overall withdrawal. Israel was willing to accept the re-opening of the waterway and this was the focus of the talks held during the visit, in May 1971, of the U.S. Secretary of State William Rogers. The talks failed, however, as Egypt insisted that the partial withdrawal be tied to a timetable for full withdrawal; Israel retorted that the interim agreement should remain unlinked with the fundamental issues. The U.S. government argued that the interim solution was a step in the right direction. In the course of 1971–1973 fruitless negotiations continued on this proposal.

Meanwhile there were important developments in the other Arab states. Jordan, which had succeeded in removing the plo threat already in September 1970, expelled the remnants of the plo forces in summer of 1971 and they went to Syria and Lebanon. The latter country became the staging area and base of operations against Israel and Israeli personnel and installations abroad.

Preventive Israeli counter-action in Lebanon hurt terrorist plans and was able to reduce their operations effectively. But the plo continued to attack Israeli targets and forced Israel to devote manpower and an increasing budget to fight off this type of warfare, which was aided and abetted by most of the Arab states.

In 1971–73 Egypt was already making preparations for war. Its relations with the Soviet Union were often strained because of Russia's refusal to supply it with advanced weapons. Sadat had hoped that war threats would bring American pressure on Israel to withdraw. Instead, U.S. policy of rapprochement with both China and detente with the U.S.S.R., as well as the end of the Vietnam War, ushered in a new era of strengthening its friends and seeking diplomatic solutions for conflicts. The U.S. and Russia sought to avoid another war in the Middle East and in two Nixon-Brezhnev summit meetings, both super-powers appealed to Israel and Egypt to renew the Jarring mission and seek a peaceful settlement of the Israel-Arab conflict. The U.S. continued to arm Israel and provide it with economic aid. Israel and the U.S. cooperated in bringing an end to the Syrian invasion of Jordan in September 1970 and the relations between the two were very close. The new situation lulled Israel into a false sense of security. Sadat was determined to demonstrate that a limited war would be the only means of destroying the existing status quo which, while comfortable for Israel, was becoming unbearable for Egypt. He felt that only a war would force the U.S. to pressure Israel and would leave the Soviet Union no other option but to aid Egypt.

There was little diplomatic activity in 1973, and Israel's major concern was the fight against terrorism. But in May 1973, Egypt and Syrian forces made threatening moves and a state of alarm was declared in Israel. It proved, however, to have been false, and this strengthened Israel's feeling that there would be no imminent war. By late summer 1973, while Israel was engaged in an election campaign, Egypt and Syrian forces were deployed in battle positions. In late September Egypt informed the Soviet Union of its intention to attack, and on Oct. 6, 1973, as Israel was observing the Day of Atonement, Egypt and Syria struck (see *Yom Kippur War).

As a result of the war, Israel became isolated in the world. The majority of the African states suspended diplomatic ties with it; the European nations issued pro-Arab statements, the oil embargo was effective in frightening them to submit to Arab demands. The U.S. felt that the time was ripe for a major diplomatic offensive to break the deadlock that had led to the war. Israel and the U.S. now agreed that, before proceeding to negotiations, the first move should be the stabilization of the cease fire that was being repeatedly violated by all sides. U.S. mediation secured the signing of the Six Point Agreement on November 1, 1973, negotiated directly by Israeli and Egyptian officers. The agreement dealt with exchange of prisoners, the lifting of the naval blockade from the Straits of Bab el Mandeb, supply convoys to the encircled Third Army, and a un presence. The point dealing with withdrawal of forces to positions they held on October 22 was not implemented. The U.S. having gained the confidence of Egypt, was determined to proceed directly to talks, but was desirous of maintaining the overall initiative in its own hands. It was thus decided to call for a peace conference in Geneva to establish a mechanism for the negotiations. At the request of the U.S., Israel agreed in advance to enter into talks for a disengagement of forces agreement, and was able to gain an American agreement not to include the plo in the conference. Israel refused to commit itself in advance to disengagement on the Golan front, with the result that Syria boycotted the conference which opened on December 21, under the chairmanship of un Secretary-General Waldheim, with the participation of Israel, Egypt, Jordan, the U.S., and the U.S.S.R. The main tangible result of the conference was the decision on a consensus basis to order an Israeli-Egyptian military working group to reach a separation of forces agreement. This was achieved on Jan. 18, 1974, after ten days of shuttle diplomacy by Secretary Kissinger, when the agreement was signed by the chiefs of staff of the idf and the Egyptian Army. Even before this agreement was concluded and implemented, preparations were under way for a similar Israel-Syria agreement. This was part of a new American strategy of a "step-by-step" approach to the solution of the Arab-Israel conflict. The U.S. realized that the time was not ripe for an overall settlement in view of Israel's refusal to withdraw to the June 1967 lines and the inability of the Arabs to conceive of peace relations between them and Israel. Hoping to utilize the situation to improve America's standing in the Arab world, remove the Soviet influence, and secure the flow of oil to the West, the U.S. was able to persuade Israel and Syria to agree to reach an agreement, but a month of shuttle diplomacy by Secretary Kissinger between Jerusalem and Damascus failed to achieve it. The agreement was finally signed in Geneva on May 31, 1974. New cease fire lines and buffer zones were established and areas of limitation of forces and armaments were agreed upon, to be supervised by un forces whose mandate was to be renewed periodically by the Security Council.

The Rabin government, which took office on June 3, 1974, was determined not to negotiate with the plo and in July issued a statement to the effect that Israel was willing to negotiate an agreement with Jordan based on the existence of two states, Israel and a Palestinian-Jordanian state to the east. American efforts to secure Israel-Jordan talks failed in the summer of 1974. The plo was gaining momentum; it was recognized by the un General Assembly as the spokesman for the Palestinians and later, in the Arab summit conference at Rabat in October 1974, as the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinians to set up a national authority in areas that would be given up by Israel. This effectively removed Jordan from the scene and thus left Egypt as the only candidate for further negotiations.

Talks between Israel and the U.S. were renewed in the fall of 1974, after the resignation of President Nixon and the accession of President Ford. They focused on another agreement with Egypt. By then Dr. Kissinger had established close working relations with President Sadat, and Egypt pinned high hopes on him. In late 1974 and early 1975 Israel announced its willingness to withdraw from the Mitla and Gidi passes in Sinai and even from the Abu Rodeis oilfields in return for an Egyptian declaration of nonbelligerency. In March 1975 Kissinger undertook another shuttle trip, but on March 24 had to admit failure, as Egypt refused to agree to the Israeli demands. The U.S. blamed Israel for the failure of the talks, but a few weeks later, when cooler counsels prevailed, the parties resumed the talks which lasted all that summer and were crowned with an Israel-Egypt agreement signed on September 1, 1975. The agreement involved Israeli withdrawal further east, the establishment of a new buffer zone that included the Mitla and Gidi passes, electronic surveillance stations by both Israel and Egypt, supported by a U.S. surveillance team to supervise the movement of forces in this area, a un presence and a new limited forces zone.

Israel was able to win from the U.S. commitments not to recognize the plo, to coordinate in advance with it new political initiatives such as a Geneva Peace Conference, the sale of additional weapons, financial aid, and assurances on the supply of oil. This was considered a major achievement for the Rabin government, which now felt that it could devote more attention to the home front, having satisfied most of the U.S. demands. No progress was made with either Syria or Jordan. The cease fire lines, however, remained quiet, and in 1976, for the first time in its history, there were no Israeli casualties along the borders. The civil war in Lebanon gave Israel a respite and brought it closer to Christian Lebanese elements, which were fighting both Palestinian elements and the Syrian army. In 1976 Israel could therefore feel that its position was strong. Civil war in Lebanon kept the Arab world focused on that country, Egypt was satisfied with the Interim Agreement, while Syria was occupied with Lebanon. The U.S. was engaged in an election campaign and the European States, while not happy with the political situation in the Middle East, nevertheless granted Israel the status of an Associate Member of the Common Market. Israel did not fare well in the un however. In a series of General Assembly resolutions, the plo was recognized, as stated, as the sole and legitimate representative of the Palestinians. The "legitimate and just demands" of the Palestinians were also recognized and in November 1975 Zionism was branded as a form of "racism and racial discrimination." In the U.S., too, there were voices calling for a reappraisal of the U.S. position on the Palestinians. In a series of documents, the State Department slowly focused the Arab-Israel conflict on the Palestinian issue and suggested the possibility of a separate Palestinian state, in order to prepare public opinion, to mollify Egypt, and to keep the peace initiative in the Middle East in American hands. These moves alarmed Israel as they went counter to the understanding reached in September 1975.

In 1974–1977 terrorist activities continued, the targets being mainly civilians. On May 15, 1974, plo terrorists attacked a school at Ma'alot killing 27 people, mostly children and teenagers. Other attacks were on a Tel Aviv hotel in March 1976, Zion Square in Jerusalem in July 1976, and on Israeli installations abroad. The Israel air force often bombed terrorist bases in Lebanon, thus keeping down the number of planned attacks.

The main efforts following the signing of the Israel-Egypt peace treaty were to promote the normalization of the relations between the two countries. For that purpose, joint committees, consisting of Foreign Ministry and idf officers and their Egyptian counterparts negotiated a series of agreements dealing with the opening of the land border at El-Arish for civilian traffic, the inauguration of direct flights between Tel Aviv and Cairo, the creation of telephone and telex linkage, and arrangements for tourism. Simultaneously, the idf began its withdrawal from Sinai. The first part was completed, according to the agreement, by January 26, 1980, and on that date, the Israel ambassador to Egypt and the Egyptian ambassador to Israel presented their credentials and the respective embassies were opened. President Sadat visited Beersheba in May 1979 and Haifa in September, while Prime Minister Begin held talks with Sadat in Alexandria in July 1979 and met with the Egyptian leaders in Aswan in January 1980. Among other visitors to Egypt were the deputy prime minister, and the ministers of defense, foreign affairs, agriculture, commerce and industry, and senior civil servants. There were considerably fewer high-level visitors from Egypt to Israel.

The normalization proceeded very slowly although a series of agreements were initialed, among them on tourism, communication, civil aviation, agriculture and trade. There arose serious difficulties however in the actual implementation of these agreements, with Egypt raising many bureaucratic difficulties, including a long wait for entry visas for Israeli tourists. Some progress was made during the visit of President Navon to Egypt in November 1980. He addressed the Egyptian ruling party leadership, held lengthy talks with editors, writers and professors, as well as political figures. Speaking in fluent Arabic, his visit was a definite turning point in the relations with Egypt.

There was no progress in the talks on the institution of autonomy in the West Bank and Gaza, due to serious disagreements between Israel, on the one hand, and Egypt and the U.S. on the other. The latter felt that Israel must withdraw its military forces from the territories, give up its control over public land and water resources, halt Jewish settlement, include East Jerusalem in the autonomous area and grant the franchise not only to Arabs living in East Jerusalem but even to Palestinians living in the East Bank of the Jordan. Israel objected and the talks stalled. Efforts by Special Ambassador Sol Linowitz of the U.S. to find a formula that would satisfy the conflicting stand of the parties failed.

Even the involvement of President Carter in the process did not help. The U.S. presidential elections froze the negotiations, the progress of which was hampered by the refusal of Jordan and the local Palestinians to participate in the talks.

In other matters affecting foreign affairs, the peace treaty failed to improve Israel's standing in the third world. Not a single African country which had suspended diplomatic relations with Israel in 1973 made an overt effort to restore them. They continued to vote against Israel in the un and in other international forums. The nine European members of the Common Market all but opposed the Camp David Agreements and the peace treaty. In a series of resolutions, chiefly that of Venice of June 1980, they proposed their own plan providing for total Israeli withdrawal to the 1967 lines, the establishment of a Palestinian state, and the creation of a European military force to oversee the borders of Israel. These were rejected out of hand by Israel, which charged Europe with tampering with the peace treaty.

Developments in the Middle East, chiefly the invasion of Afghanistan by Soviet forces and the Iran-Iraq war, deflected attention from the immediate Arab-Israel conflict and somewhat eased the pressure off Israel. Nevertheless, it did not prevent the un General Assembly from passing, in December 1980, a series of violently anti-Israel resolutions which were approved by a massive majority. Among them were calls for amending Resolution 242, for immediate and total Israeli withdrawal from all the territories including East Jerusalem and the halting of settlements. There was a demand that the Security Council impose economic sanctions on Israel.

Following the adoption of the Jerusalem Law in the fall of 1980, all the remaining embassies moved from Jerusalem to Tel Aviv in protest. Turkey reduced the number of its diplomats in Israel and demanded a similar reduction by Israel. Threats were made in an effort to dissuade Israel from annexing the Golan Heights.

Relations with the United States were marked by many areas of agreement, among them the Camp David Agreements, the peace treaty, the need to maintain a balance of power in the region, the need to keep Jerusalem united (but not as Israel's capital with Israeli sovereignty over the entire city). There were agreements concerning water rights and freedom of navigation and the U.S. continued to remain the major arms supplier to Israel, but differences of opinion loomed over such issues as the future of the Palestinians, the future borders of Israel, the problem of Jerusalem, Israel's activities in southern Lebanon, Israeli settlements in the territories, American arms sales to Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Egypt, and the preference accorded to Egypt in the American strategic thinking for the Middle East. There was concern at the end of 1980 that the newly elected President Reagan might want to make some changes in the Camp David Agreements that could pave the way to a Palestinian state in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

Israeli foreign aid continued, especially in Latin America, and a large number of trainees from developing countries continued their studies in Israeli institutions.

The year 1981 witnessed Israel's continued isolation in the world, its growing dependence on the U.S., and gnawing doubts about the future of the peace treaty in the wake of the Sadat assassination on October 6. While plans for the final withdrawal from Sinai were being prepared, the government came under increasing pressure from various groups in Israel to reconsider its commitments under the 1979 peace treaty. There were, however, a number of agreements signed between Israel and Egypt that led many Israelis to hope that Egypt would honor its commitments after Israel returned all of Sinai.

Relations with the European nations remained chilly, and were exacerbated by verbal attacks by Prime Minister Begin who, during the heat of the election campaign lashed out against Chancellor Schmidt of Germany, Chancellor Kreisky of Austria, Prime Minister Thatcher of Britain, and other European leaders. They responded to the attacks and relations soured. Israel continued to oppose the Venice Declaration of the "Nine" and conditioned the participation of the forces of four European nations in the international peace keeping force in Sinai to a European proclamation that the force would observe the implementation of the Israel-Egypt peace treaty, and not the Venice Declaration. At year's end there was no certainty that the Europeans would participate in the force. Relations with France improved somewhat in December following the visit to Israel of Foreign Minister Cheysson. But the Golan Law chilled the ties again.

Improved ties with some African nations were reported in November, following a secret visit to Zaire, Gabon, and the Central African Republic by Defense Minister Sharon and the signing of agreements for the sale of Israeli weapons. But hopes for the early resumption of diplomatic ties were dashed after the passage of the Golan Law in December 1981.

Relations with the United States were mostly strained during 1981. The U.S. did not hide its hope that Israel would have a new government after the June 30 elections. However, when Mr. Begin was returned to power, he paid an official visit to Washington where he was greeted warmly by President Reagan. During this visit the ground was laid for the signing of an Israel-U.S. memorandum of understanding on strategic cooperation, designed to coordinate actions against the Soviet Union or forces directed by that power in the region. The agreement was signed by Defense Minister Sharon and Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger in Washington at the end of November. Following the Knesset law annexing the Golan Heights on December 14, the U.S. suspended the meetings of the joint U.S.-Israel working teams designed to give the agreement contents, and linking them with progress in the autonomy talks, continued quiet in Lebanon, and other issues. Israel retorted by declaring that the memorandum of understanding was frozen for the time being. This, together with the U.S. displeasure over the Israeli bombing of an Iraqi nuclear facility near Baghdad on June 7 and the bombing of the plo headquarters in Beirut a month later, and the passage of the bill to sell U.S.-made awacs and other advanced equipment to Saudi Arabia, considerably soured the relations between the two countries.

By the end of 1981, strenuous efforts were being made by both Israel and the U.S. to restore their dialogue and improve relations. Yet, a residue of bitterness remained and the formerly pro-Israel U.S. public opinion was slowly turning against Israel. U.S. Jewry was also asking questions as to the wisdom and timing of certain Israeli moves.

The decade of the 1980s began with Israel's international standing and image seriously tarnished by the war in Lebanon, and ended, in 1991 and 1992 in a major breakthrough on the international arena, the beginning of a peace process, and the acceptance of Israel by major powers which had traditionally shunned it, among them China and India. Israel also resumed diplomatic ties with nations which had broken them in 1967 (Eastern European nations) and in 1973 (most of the African nations). In spite of repeated periods of strain, Israel-American relations remained very friendly and a close strategic cooperation marked the ties in many spheres. There was also a noted improvement in Israel's economic performance. Two rescue operations which brought to Israel over 30,000 Ethiopian Jews, and the beginning of massive immigration from the Soviet Union restored Israel to its proclaimed role as a haven for oppressed Jews.

The peace process which began in 1977 following Egyptian President Anwar Sadat's visit to Jerusalem, the Camp David Accords (1978), and the Israel-Egypt Peace Treaty (1979), was halted when Egypt suspended the talks on the implementation of the Camp David interim autonomy regime for the West Bank and Gaza (1981). Shortly after that President Sadat was assassinated in Cairo. His successor, Hosni Mubarak, was busy building his own regime and waiting for the last Israeli soldier and settler to evacuate Sinai. This was done on April 26, 1982. Two months later, the Israel Defense Forces (idf) entered Lebanon to destroy the plo power base there, to seek the creation of a unified central government in Lebanon, and sign a peace treaty with it. Above all, Israel wanted to protect Galilee from plo attacks that stemmed from Lebanon despite a cease fire agreement which was brokered by the United States in July 1981. The war in Lebanon generated much ill-will for Israel in the international media. Exaggerated reports on the number of Lebanese and Palestinian civilian casualties as well as physical destruction of cities and refugee camps placed Israel on the defensive. Domestic Israeli opposition to the war also helped Israel's detractors to portray that country as an aggressor. The siege of West Beirut and the massacre in the Sabra and Shatilla camps carried out by the Phalange (Christian Lebanese Forces) resulted in an outcry against Israel. Egypt withdrew its ambassador from Tel Aviv, and the Security Council adopted a number of condemnatory resolutions. When the dust settled down, it was American diplomacy which once again was instrumental in arranging for an agreement to end the state of war between lsrael and Lebanon and create a security zone for Israel in southern Lebanon. It even called for the establishment of diplomatic ties between Jerusalem and Beirut. When a peace treaty was actualized, although it fell short of the one Prime Minister Begin wanted, it was an important milestone. It was based on the assumption that all foreign forces, among them the Syrian forces, would leave Lebanon. When this did not happen, it was clear that the agreement was invalid. Nine months after it was signed (January 13, 1984), the Lebanese parliament failed to approve it and it lapsed.

For the next two years, 1983 and 1984, Israel sought ways to maintain a military presence in Lebanon, while keeping the number of its casualties to the minimum and attempting to refrain from becoming involved in ethnic strife. The government of Yiẓḥak Shamir, which took office in September 1983 following the resignation of Prime Minister Begin a month earlier, sought ways and means to extricate the idf from Lebanon, but felt that it could not do so unless peace was ensured for Galilee. Meanwhile there was no progress on the negotiations for autonomy for the Palestinians. Relations with various European and Latin American nations soured as a result of Israel's Lebanese involvement. The Government of National Unity, which came into being in September 1984 under Shimon Peres, placed as its central foreign policy objectives the continuation of the peace process, consolidation of the peace with Egypt, and withdrawal of the idf from Lebanon, while insuring the security of the northern settlements. The government would also strive to restore links with the Soviet Union and African and Latin American states that had suspended such ties. At the top of the agenda was the fostering and deepening of the relations of friendship and understanding with the U.S.

The first priority was the withdrawal of the idf from Lebanon. This was achieved in three stages in the course of 1985, leaving a security zone in southern Lebanon manned by pro-Israeli Southern Lebanese Army units. Parallel to this track, efforts were made to settle outstanding issues with Egypt. The issue of Taba, a small border area which was a thorn in the ties between the two nations, was resolved in 1988 after years of protracted negotiations and international arbitration when Israel agreed to turn Taba over to Egypt, which reappointed its ambassador to Tel Aviv. However, efforts to inject some warmth into Israel-Egyptian relations were, on the whole, unsuccessful. Egypt preferred to maintain a cold peace between the two governments and objected to attempts to create people-to-people ties. The military arrangements of the peace treaty were usually adhered to by both parties.

The major difficulty was over the Palestinian issue. Prime Minister Peres sought to break the stand-off, but was unable to convince his Likud partners over the modalities and procedures required to achieve progress. While Labor and Likud agreed that in the future, under any circumstances, the Jordan River must be Israel's security border in the East, Jerusalem must never be divided or placed under foreign rule and would remain Israel's capital, there would be no Palestinian state between the Mediterranean Sea and the desert, there would be no negotiations with the plo, and the Israeli settlements in the territories would remain under Israeli jurisdiction, there were disagreements on how to proceed. Peres hoped that Israel would be able to negotiate with local Palestinian leaders who would be part of the Jordanian-Palestinian delegation but would not include Arabs from East Jerusalem and the Palestinian diaspora. He was not averse to an international "event" or "happening" to mark the opening of the negotiations, before moving on to face-to-face talks with the Arab states and the Palestinians. The aim of the talks would be to implement the autonomy regime for a five-year transition period. Various contacts between Israeli leaders and King Hussein of Jordan convinced Peres that Jordan would accept such an arrangement, which was finally agreed upon in a secret meeting in London between Peres and Rabin and King Hussein (April 11, 1987).

The agreement, however, was not accepted by the Likud, which vetoed it in the inner cabinet. The Likud's position consisted of vehement opposition to an international event of any sort, to the participation of the European Economic Community and the United Nations, to Soviet involvement, and even to American mediation. The Likud objected to the concept of "Land for Peace" which Labor was prepared to follow, and championed the concept of "Peace for Peace." An important event took place in July 1986, when Premier Peres paid an official visit to Morocco as guest of King Hassan ii. While no concrete results were achieved, here was another Arab state that was prepared to deal openly with Israel. A major role was played by the United States in efforts to resume the stalled peace process. The Reagan Administration, mainly in the person of Secretary of State George Shultz, devised many formulae to close the gap between the Israeli and the Arab positions. But it was evident that King Hussein could not make an independent move without the approval of Syria and the plo. Syria, still heavily dependent on the Soviet Union for military, economic, and political support, adhered to the Soviet line that called for the resolution of the Arab-Israel conflict on the basis of various United Nations resolutions through an international conference chaired by both the Soviet Union and the United States. In the second half of the 1980s there was little pressure on Israel to make concessions to the Arabs. The Middle East was wracked by the Iraq-Iran war, the military situation along the Israel-Lebanon border was quiet, the peace treaty with Egypt was working, and the Palestinians in the areas were relatively quiet. In 1988 both Israel and the United States held elections, and the issue of the peace process was shelved for the duration of the election campaigns. The onset of the intifada (Palestinian uprising) in December 1987 and the decision of the Reagan Administration to enter into a dialogue with the plo in December 1988 placed Israel in a difficult position, forcing its government to come up with a new peace plan. This initiative, announced on May 14, 1989, called for negotiations with Palestinians for an interim agreement based on the Camp David autonomy plan. At the end of a five-year transition period, discussions would be held for the final resolution of the issues. The U.S. welcomed the plan as a very useful step, but both the plo and King Hussein rejected it. In an effort to move the process forward, U.S. Secretary of State James Baker devised a five-point plan in October 1989 calling for Israeli-Palestinian dialogue in Cairo. The next problem was how to put together a list of Palestinian delegates acceptable to all. Shamir objected to East Jerusalem and "Palestinian Diaspora" delegates while Peres was prepared to be more conciliatory on the issue. The problem brought down the government of National Unity in March 1990. There was little movement while Shamir constituted his new government, and when the parties were ready to state their positions, the Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein had invaded Kuwait (August 2, 1990) plunging the Middle East into a major crisis which dwarfed the Arab-Israel conflict.

As the United States began to build its anti-Iraqi coalition, which included Syria, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and the Gulf States, Israel feared that Washington would link the resolution of the Iraqi crisis to that of the Arab-Israel conflict and would make concessions at Israel's expense to maintain its war coalition. In a number of high level meetings in Washington between Prime Minister Shamir, Defense Minister Arens, and senior members of the Bush administation, agreement on military and strategic cooperation was reached and greater coordination arranged. Israel was assured that no deals would be made at its expense. Meanwhile, the plo lost much credibility in the West when it openly supported Iraq's invasion of Kuwait. The plo was joined by Yemen, Libya and Algeria. Palestinians in the territories, then in the third year of the intifada, also hoped for an Iraqi victory. King Hussein quietly supported Iraq, although he was warned by Israel that entry of Iraqi forces into Jordan would be seen by Israel as a casus belli. Israel began to realize that war was imminent and took measures to prepare its civilian population for such an eventuality.

The allied victory over Iraq ushered in a new era for the Middle East. Futhermore, the collapse of the Soviet Union deprived Syria and other Arab states of their military, political, and economic backer, leaving the United States as the sole super power in the region. New thinking was the order of the day. For the Arabs, it was evident that the main threats to their stability and political regimes were Iran, Iraq, and Islamic fundamentalism, leaving Israel as their fourth perceived danger. It was also clear to them that another Middle Eastern war would be fought with non-conventional weapons, unleashing mutual destruction. The Middle East had entered into the era of a regional balance of terror. The United States sought to reorganize the defense of the Middle East and of its own economic and strategic interests, insuring an uninterrupted supply of oil and helping its allies thwart the dangers of Islamic fundamentalism. Israel emerged from the war bruised, sustaining 39 Scud missile attacks from Iraq, which caused few casualties but much damage in the greater Tel Aviv and Haifa regions and paralyzed the country for some three weeks. Israel's economic vulnerability and dependence on the U.S. were exposed. For the first time in its history it did not engage in preventive war or a pre-emptive strike or retaliatory action, acceding to the request of the United States not to become militarily involved in the war. It allowed the stationing on its territory of American, Dutch, and German soldiers who were manning Patriot anti-missile missiles. The Palestinians emerged from the war badly hurt. Some 350,000 Palestinians were expelled from Kuwait in the wake of the war; the plo was totally discredited in the West; Palestinians in the areas who supported Iraq were in despair. The Soviet Union, preoccupied with its own internal affairs, was content to let the United States manage the restructuring of the Middle East peace process as long as it was kept in the picture formally as an equal partner.

Between March and October 1991, Secretary of State James Baker visited the Middle East eight times in order to prepare the ground for the resumption of the peace process. The breakthrough came when in July, Syria agreed to attend a peace conference and negotiate directly with Israel. It was agreed that a Palestinian delegation would formally be part of the Jordanian delegation. The U.S. and the Soviet Union would be co-chairmen of the peace conference which was to commence in a ceremonial event and continue in a series of bilateral and multilateral talks. The latter would deal with issues of water, refugees, disarmament, economic development, and environment. The bilateral talks were to focus on borders (withdrawal), the nature of peace, security arrangements, and economic issues. The letter of invitation to the Madrid Peace Conference (October 30, 1991) spelled out the terms of reference under which the Palestinian issue would be discussed; at its core was the creation of a five-year autonomy regime. A final settlement and the issue of Jerusalem were not to be discussed at this stage. Eight rounds of talks took place in Washington in the course of 1991 and 1992, which defined the issues but did not achieve any concrete results. The peace process, however, had become a reality in the Middle East.

Parallel to this development, there was a major improvement of Israel's international standing. Already in the 1980s relations were resumed with a number of African nations starting with Zaire and the Ivory Coast. As Eastern Europe freed itself from Soviet domination in the late 1980s, Israel resumed diplomatic relations with Poland, Hungary, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, and on the eve of the Madrid Conference with the Soviet Union. Israel conditioned un participation in the peace process on the revocation of the infamous General Assembly Resolution 3379 (Zionism = Racism) and this was done on December 16, 1991. On the Asian continent, full diplomatic ties were established with China and India, an embassy was opened in South Korea, and there was a major improvement in Israel-Japan relations, with more Japanese companies defying the Arab economic boycott and selling directly to Israel. Contacts with Vietnam were entered into while the Israeli ambassador was also named ambassador to Outer Mongolia. The breakup of the Soviet Union into the 16 republics of the Commonwealth of Independent States resulted in the establishment of Israeli diplomatic representations in the Ukraine, Belarus, and the Baltic States, Kazakhstan, and Kirghizia in addition to the Russian Republic.

Relations with the United States were on the whole close and friendly. Israel and the United States agreed on certain principles, among them: the peace process would be based on Resolutions 242 and 338; the plo would not take part; there would be no Palestinian state; Jerusalem would not be divided again; Israel would only be asked to withdraw from the areas in the context of a peace treaty; close military and strategic cooperation would continue; Israel would be entitled to economic and military aid; and the regional balance of power would be maintained in such a manner to insure Israel's qualitative edge. There were also agreements on freedom of navigation and Israel's water rights. But there were also a series of disagreements, among them: Israel's eastern borders, the future of the Golan Heights, and the resolution of the Palestinian issue (the favored American position was the return of the West Bank and Gaza to Jordan and the granting by Jordan of a special status to these areas). There was constant disagreement over the future of Jerusalem, with the U.S. opposed to Israeli sovereignty over Jerusalem. There were arguments over American arms sales to Arab states and Israeli arms sales to various nations, over Israel's nuclear development, over Israel's presence in Lebanon, and over whether Israel or Egypt should play a greater role in the American planning in the Middle East. The main disagreement was over the key issue of the meaning and nature of Israel's security and who would determine its needs. On a number of occasions there was much strain in the personal relations between President Bush and Prime Minister Shamir, considered by the United States as an "ideological" leader, meaning inflexible and rigid. A major problem occurred in December 1988, when the U.S. decided to recognize the plo and enter into a dialogue with this terrorist organization. This dialogue, however, was suspended in June 1990 when the plo refused to denounce a terrorist attack on Israel which had been foiled by the idf. There were also disagreements on the interpretation of the Camp David Accords, the meaning of the balance of power, and the nature of the autonomy plan.

While Israel became an associate member of the European Economic Community and maintained growing economic ties with the nations of Western Europe, there were serious disagreements on the peace process. The eec's traditional position called for an international peace conference, the creation of a Palestinian state in the areas, and the re-division of Jerusalem. There were constant arguments over the role played by certain European countries in the arming of Iraq and the building of its war machine. The eec never failed to condemn Israel for its behavior in the areas, and the criticism grew stronger as the intifada broke out and Israel took stern measures.

The traditional friendly ties between Israel and the Latin American continent continued, with Israel extending much technical assistance to various states and training a growing number of students from that continent. Similar close relations were maintained with Australia and New Zealand, even while disagreeing on the resolution of the Arab-Israel conflict. President Herzog of Israel traveled extensively during his two terms of office to the U.S., Canada, Britain, France, Holland, Belgium, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Romania, various South American nations, Spain, Australia and New Zealand, Singapore and Sri Lanka.

Jewish communities worldwide continued to be Israel's most loyal and trusted allies. They were thrilled when Israel airlifted Ethiopian Jews in two daring operations (Moses in 1984 and Solomon in 1991), airlifted the Jewish community of Albania (1992), and had begun the herculean task of absorbing the hundreds of thousands of Jews who had begun to stream to its shores from the Soviet Union, once the gates were opened in October 1989. Between that date and April 1993, some 425,000 Jews arrived in Israel from the former U.S.S.R. Israel was instrumental in getting the Syrian government to allow the emigration of hundreds of the previously besieged members of the Syrian Jewish community and to start the process whereby the remnant of the Jews of Yemen were reunited with families overseas. Yet there were also ongoing debates on the centrality of Israel in Jewish life and on organizational frameworks in which to achieve common goals. The Jewish Agency for Israel continued to be the most effective body for the implementation of the immigration and absorption process, combining in it the Zionist (mainly Israeli) element with the New Zionists (mainly fund raisers) from the diaspora.

One of the major consequences of the peace process, started at the Madrid Peace Conference in October 1991, was the dramatic change in Israel's international position and the network of its diplomatic ties. Before that conference, Israel maintained diplomatic and consular relations with 91 nations, the majority in Europe, North, Central, and Latin America, few in Africa, Asia, and the Far East. Most of the African nations had suspended diplomatic ties with Israel just prior, during, and after the 1973 Yom Kippur War, citing the Arab oil boycott, economic inducements and threats made against their rulers by terrorist Arab groups as the main reasons for doing so. Of the Communist bloc nations, only Romania retained diplomatic ties with Israel after the break of June 1967, when all Eastern European nations followed the Soviet Union and broke off diplomatic ties with Israel.

By early 1995 Israel maintained diplomatic relations with 153 countries (out of the 185 United Nations members), and was represented by an ambassador, minister, or consul, resident and non-resident, in over 100 capitals.

Many factors brought about this development, the origins of which were in the 1980s, but the bulk occurred after the Madrid Peace Conference and were accelerated after the signing, in September 1993, of the Israel-plo Declaration of Principles.

Resentful over Arab unwillingness to carry out promises made in 1973, mainly in the economic sphere, a number of African leaders reached the conclusion that breaking ties with Israel was counter-productive and brought no appreciable gains. On the contrary, their efforts to obtain economic help were often frustrated by the absence of ties with Israel, a fact cited to them on a number of occasions by international financial organizations. Israel was not there when needed to support their applications for loans and loan guarantees.

Among the first nations to resume ties with Israel in the early 1980s was Zaire. It was followed by the Ivory Coast, Togo, and Kenya. Another reason given by African nations was the change in Israel's relations with South Africa, the end of military ties between both nations since 1987, and, finally, the collapse of the apartheid regime in South Africa and the ascendance of the African National Congress.

In the case of Eastern Europe, the accession of Mikhail Gorbachev to power in 1985, and his decision to pursue a policy based on perestroika and glasnost, meant that he required vast economic aid from the West to shore up the foundering Soviet economy. He understood that in order to obtain help from the West, and chiefly from the United States, he would have to change the traditional Soviet attitude to Jewish emigration and to Israel. The issue of better relations with the West was linked to freedom of emigration and the restoration of ties with Israel. Israel indicated that it would be prepared to restore diplomatic ties only on condition that the gates of the Soviet Union be opened for Jewish immigration. Arrangements were made to facilitate emigration, first through third countries (such as Hungary, Poland, and Romania), and from 1991 direct to Israel.

Israel and the Soviet Union began negotiations on improvement of relations in the mid-1980s. Russian diplomats admitted to their Israeli counterparts that their decision to break off ties in 1967 had been erroneous and self-defeating. These talks culminated with the decision to re-establish consular relations in 1989. By then, on the eve of the collapse of the Berlin Wall and the bloodless revolutions in all Eastern European nations, it had become evident to the leaders of these countries that in order to bolster their legitimacy, mainly to Western public opinion, they would have to resume ties with Israel. This was done by Hungary, Poland, and Bulgaria even before 1991. President Herzog, Prime Minister Shamir, Finance Minister Peres, and other senior Israeli officials visited the capitals of Eastern Europe, and agreements were signed in various spheres. To some leaders in Eastern Europe, diplomatic ties with Israel was one of the symbols of their release from the Soviet yoke. Poland, Hungary, and Romania facilitated Jewish immigration to Israel. This was done in spite of Arab protests and threats.

In October 1989 the Soviet Union agreed that Jews leaving that country for Israel must go there. Those wishing to travel to other countries had to obtain entry visas to those countries prior to departure. By 1990 more than 200,000 Russian Jewish immigrants had arrived in Israel. Talks were held for the restoration of full diplomatic relations. Israel made it clear to the Soviet government that it could serve as a co-sponsor of the Madrid Peace Conference only if it restored full diplomatic relations, so that there would be symmetry in relations between Russia, Israel, and the Arabs. The Russians agreed, and a day before the opening of the Madrid Peace Conference, both nations announced in Jerusalem the resumption of full diplomatic relations.

The breakup of the former Soviet empire resulted, among other things, in the creation of 15 independent republics called the Commonwealth of Independent States, established in 1992. The leaders of these new republics assumed, rightly or wrongly, that Israel was a very important "door opener" to the West. It was believed that Israel exercised vast influence on the American government and that its contacts, direct or through American Jews, could be used to obtain assistance. Shortly after obtaining their independence, the following republics established full diplomatic ties with Israel: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kirghizstan, Lithuania, Moldavia, Tadjikistan, Turkemanistan, the Ukraine, and Uzbekistan. Israeli embassies were opened, Jewish immigration was permitted, and Jewish Agency emissaries and teachers were allowed to work in those countries with no hindrance. The ties with all of these republics grew considerably warm in the course of visits of senior officials, and the signing of cooperation agreements in the fields of science, technology, agriculture, and education. Israel did exercise some influence in helping these nations obtain assistance from the west. But early high expectations that Israel could do the impossible were not realized, and there was some disappointment as the economic conditions of a number of these republics verged on collapse.

While the Soviet Union disintegrated, it had little time or inclination to deal actively with the affairs of the Middle East. It failed to prevent the Gulf War and played a small role in that conflict. The major role in the Arab-Israel peace process was left to the United States. But when the Yeltsin regime began to consolidate its hold on Russia in late 1991, Russia served notice that it had a large interest in the affairs of the Middle East and that it intended to play a part in the evolution of the peace process. Russia also announced on a number of occasions that it saw itself as the traditional defender of the interests of the Eastern (Greek) Orthodox Church in the Holy Land and was entitled to be consulted on the future of Jerusalem.

Two other countries in Eastern Europe, Yugoslavia and Czechoslovakia, also disintegrated. Israel re-established diplomatic ties initially with the Czech republic and later with Slovakia. In the former Yugoslavia, it maintained ties with Serbia and Slovenia. Full diplomatic ties were established with Albania. These enabled the rescue of the tiny Jewish community in that country and their transfer to Israel in 1992.

On the African continent, where Israel had 28 diplomatic missions prior to the break of 1973, more nations requested resumption of relations, arguing that there were no longer any impediments for normalization of ties. Among the African nations which resumed ties with Israel after October 1991 were Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Fasso, Cape Verde, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea Bissau, Lesotho, Madagascar, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sao Tome, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. Israel and Ethiopia resumed full diplomatic ties in 1990 and this was of vast significance when "Operation Solomon," which saw the airlifting of 14,500 Ethiopian Jews to Israel, was carried out in May 1991. By 1995 Israel maintained diplomatic ties with 36 nations on the African continent (including Egypt and Morocco). Once again hundreds of African trainees were going to Israel for a variety of courses and Israeli experts were again working in many African nations. In 1994 Israel sent a medical team to help ease the plight of refugees in Rwanda following the civil war in that country.

An even more dramatic change occurred on the Asian continent. Contacts with the People's Republic of China had been maintained since the late 1970s, but they were covert. By 1989 China agreed to the setting up in Beijing of an Israeli scientific mission, the nucleus for an embassy. Full diplomatic relations were established in January 1992 during the visit to China of Foreign Minister David Levy. Subsequent high level visits included the visit of Prime Minister Rabin (in October 1993), Foreign Minister Peres, and other Israel officials. From the Chinese side, the vice premier and foreign minister visited Israel. A growing number of Israeli firms are now represented in the two main Chinese centers – Beijing and Shanghai.

China was followed by Mongolia and later by the three republics of former French Indo-China – Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia. These three sought Israel's help to obtain aid from the West. An Israel embassy was reopened in Seoul in 1992 (it had been closed in 1978 due to budgetary considerations). Similarly, an Israeli consulate general was reopened in Hong Kong in 1987 to facilitate ties with China. There is an Israeli economic office in the Republic of China in Taipei. Israeli offers to sell arms to Taiwan were criticized by Beijing. In 1993 Israel sought to establish direct links with North Korea in order to persuade that country not to sell missiles and nuclear technology to Syria and Iran. The United States objected to these efforts and they were suspended at Washington's request.

There were also changes in ties with some Muslim nations in Asia. On his way home from China in October 1993, Prime Minister Rabin made a stop in Jakarta for talks with Indonesia's President Suharto. There were also attempts to establish contacts with Malaysia, one of whose ministers visited Israel unofficially in 1994. All this resulted in growing numbers of Indonesian and Malaysian tourists to Israel and Israeli nationals were also able to visit Indonesia.

For many years ties with Japan remained formal and cool. At the end of the Gulf War they warmed up considerably. Japan abandoned its policy of accepting the Arab economic boycott on Israel and trade between the two nations rose. Prime Minister Rabin led a large trade mission to Japan (and South Korea) in December 1994. More Japanese firms were investing in Israel and opening offices in Tel Aviv. Asia became the third major export market for Israeli goods, accounting for some 20% of total exports. El Al, the national air carrier, inaugurated direct flights from Ben Gurion Airport to Delhi, Bombay, Bangkok, Hong Kong, and Seoul. Thousands of Asian workers, mainly from Thailand and the Philippines, were working in Israel.

India, which had followed a pro-Arab policy since it recognized Israel in 1950, realized the new international trends and established full diplomatic ties with Israel in early 1992. Commercial and military contacts were considered and there were high levels visits, including one of Foreign Minister Peres in May 1993.

The peace process brought about a revolutionary change in Israel's position in the Middle East. In early 1995 Israel and Jordan opened their respective embassies in Amman and Tel Aviv. In October 1994 Israel opened an office of interests in Rabat, Morocco, and a Moroccan official opened a similar office in Tel Aviv. Talks were held about the opening of a diplomatic representation in Tunisia. Israeli officials visited Tunisia, Oman, and Qatar. Relations with Turkey also warmed up considerably and culminated with the visit to Israel of Prime Minister Cellar in early 1995. Turkey was keen on increasing its economic ties with Israel. By 1994 it had become the favorite vacation spot for Israelis due to low prices and close proximity to Israel. In 1994, some 400,000 Israelis vacationed in Turkey. Cypriot President Glafcos visited Israel in 1994 to further cement ties between the island republic and Israel. Ties with Greece, which had been maintained on the level of a diplomatic mission, were raised to full ambassadorial level. Greece was seen to be displaying a far more evenhanded policy in the Middle East than in the past.

In its relations with the countries of Western Europe, mainly with the members of the European Union (formerly European Economic Community), Israel sought to bring about an improvement in its 1975 trade agreement with the Common Market and to coordinate more closely activities in the area of internal security and the anti-terrorist struggle. The growing threat of Islamic fundamentalism, which menaced not only Israel but a number of Moslem countries and European nations, became an international concern. An agreement between the police forces of Israel and Italy was signed in Rome in 1994, and similar agreements were being projected with other countries. On the European continent itself, the warm ties with Germany continued with periodic visits of heads of state and ministers. Germany supported Israel's stance on its agreement with the European Union and continued to provide Israel with an annual grant. In May 1995 Chancellor Kohl paid a visit to Israel in which he apologized on behalf of the German people for the Holocaust.

Relations with France remained cordial in spite of a fundamental disagreement between Israel and France (under President Mitterrand) over the issue of a Palestinian state which France favored. A new and warm spirit was injected into the ties between Israel, Spain, and Portugal. This was apparent during the visit to Israel of King Juan Carlos and Queen Sophia of Spain (October 1993) and of Prime Minister Rabin to Spain (February 1994). Mr. Rabin was also Israel's first prime minister to pay an official visit to Portugal.

Ties with the Benelux and Scandinavian countries improved vastly. Norway was the host for the secret Israel-plo negotiations and the agreement was signed initially in Oslo. Rabin, Peres, and Arafat were awarded the 1994 Nobel Peace Prize which was presented in Oslo in December 1994. Ties with Britain improved when Britain lifted its arms embargo against Israel and supported its stance in the eu. Mr. Rabin visited London twice and John Major was in Israel in March 1995.

Another important dividend of the peace process was the signing on December 31, 1993 of the Israel-Holy See Basic Agreement, which heralded diplomatic relations between Israel and the Vatican, and also had enormous significance in terms of the relations between the Catholic Church and the Jewish people. Embassies were established in July 1994. The Vatican's rights and privileges in its property in Israel, including churches, schools, hospitals, and orphanages, were guaranteed by Israel.

The Israel-Holy See agreement had important consequences for Israel-Latin America relations. The relations had always been cordial and warm, and the only Latin American countries that had suspended ties with Israel were Nicaragua and Cuba. Nicaragua restored them, while Israel expanded its diplomatic presence in that continent by opening missions in the Caribbean area. In Buenos Aires, the Israel embassy was blown up in 1992 with many casualties.

The new regional and international realities were also partly reflected in the voting pattern in the United Nations. During the annual deliberations of the General Assembly, some 20 resolutions dealing with the "Palestine" question are generally discussed. Most of them are anti-Israel, many of them repetitive, and all of them irrelevant to the events in the region. Many countries justified their anti-Israel votes by arguing that they did not matter and that what counted were the bilateral relations. Israel usually countered by saying that this was a formal declaration of a political stand. From 1991 there was toning down of the anti-Israel resolutions and the Assembly began to take note of the peace process. But on the whole, even while paying lip service to the process, it did pass anti-Israel resolutions, although with a growing number of abstentions. Thus, for example, in December 1994 the Assembly, in the resolution termed "The Situation in the Middle East," called on Israel to unilaterally withdraw from the Golan Heights. The resolution was adopted by a vote of 77 in favor, 2 against (Israel and the United States), with 70 abstentions (including Russia). In the past the majority of the un members voted against Israeli nuclear armament. In the vote taken in December 1994 on a resolution which singled Israel out by calling on nations to renounce nuclear weapons, 60 countries voted in favor, 4 opposed and 100 abstained. One resolution, dealing with the future status of the territories, which was approved by 147 nations, contradicted the Israel-plo Declaration of Principles. But this did not seem to deter those who voted in favor.

Israel's key partner remained the United States. That nation played a crucial role in the peace process. While it pressed Israel not to become actively involved in the Gulf War, it helped defend Israel and provided it with economic and military aid to offset the damage. The Bush and later Clinton administrations were determined to pursue the peace process and exerted much effort in doing so. Washington pushed Israel and Syria to move towards the Madrid peace conference, gave assurances to Israel that its interests would not be harmed, and while initially refusing to grant the Israeli request for a ten billion dollar loan guarantee, did so in the summer of 1992, after the accession to power of the Rabin government.

The United States hosted the bilateral talks which followed the Madrid meetings. Although not crowned with much success, they nevertheless provided a framework for some progress and paved the way for the Israel-plo agreement and the Israel-Jordan peace treaty.

The warm ties with the United States were evident mainly in strategic cooperation, placing at Israel's disposal new military technology, helping Israel develop new weapons systems, and above all in maintaining its military qualitative edge, so that it could take risks for peace. The annual three billion dollar military and economic loans and grants were maintained, in spite of fears that, they, too, might be cut due to budgetary considerations. The United States' support for Israel was seen in the Arab world as a major factor in changing their traditional thinking of dealing with Israel on the battlefield to dealing with Israel across the negotiating table. The United States played a key role in the Israel-Jordan treaty, a lesser role in the Israel-plo agreement, and a major role in the negotiations between Israel and Syria. Those required a number of shuttle trips undertaken by Secretary of State Warren Christopher and his peace team. President Clinton visited Israel and witnessed the signing of the Israel-Jordan Peace Treaty on October 26, 1994. Prior to that he witnessed in White House ceremonies the signing of the Israel-plo Declaration of Principles and the Israel-Jordan Washington Declaration (July 25, 1994). The United States also suggested to many nations that had suspended ties with Israel that it would be useful if they resumed them. There was no change in the American policy regarding Jerusalem. The city should remain united but not entirely under Israel sovereignty. Congressional attempts to legislate the moving of the American Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem by 1999 ran into opposition from the Clinton administration (and partly the Israel government). Both did not want to jeopardize the situation prior to the talks on the final status of the holy city.

In the mid-1990s, Israel's international position was highly positive, its reputation soaring, its trade growing, and its advice sought by many world leaders. It had come a long way since its isolation in the wake of the Yom Kippur War. However, its new position would see many ups and downs in the post-Oslo period as events continued to take their bloody course and exact their toll on human lives.

For a fuller discussion of the post-Oslo period see "The Road to Oslo and After" above. For Israel and the United Nations, see *United Nations.

[Meron Medzini]

international aid and cooperation

Through its international cooperation program of technical assistance, Israel helped many other developing countries find solutions to their economic, social, and educational problems. Israel's contribution is based on its own recent and continuing experience in developing human and material resources. The history of the program began in 1954, when Israel entered into a number of joint projects with Burma under the guidance of its ambassador, David Hacohen. In March 1957, when Ghana became independent (the first sub-Saharan African country to achieve this status in the post-World War ii period), Israel answered her request for technical cooperation. In the following year, the program was formally launched with the establishment of the International Cooperation Division within the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, on the initiative of Golda Meir, then foreign minister.

In 1961 an agreement was signed between Israel and Brazil, on the proposal of the Brazilian government, for cooperation in agricultural and water development, mainly in North Brazil. In 1963 Venezuela and Israel started a scheme for the adaptation of Israel's regional development methods under the guidance of planners from the *Lachish regional development scheme. These two projects were followed by the spread of cooperation with Israel to most of Latin America. Meanwhile, several South and Southeast Asian countries invited Israel's cooperation in development, as did several countries closer to Israel: Iran, Turkey, Cyprus, Greece, and Malta. In several instances, public and private, commercial organizations in Israel were asked to carry out projects, but generally, the International Cooperation Division itself carried out schemes through associated governmental and public agencies. By the end of its first decade of activity in 1968, the International Cooperation Division had sent 2,562 experts to development projects in 64 countries in all continents, and had trained 10,569 men and women from 82 countries in Israel. About $60,000,000 was spent on the program from Israel government funds during that period.

Agriculture accounted for more than half of all development projects in which Israel has engaged, with youth organization and training in second place and health programs third. Science and technology comprised a larger share of the total program each year. Half of all projects were undertaken in Africa, but Latin America's share was increasing steadily. Approximately 450 Israelis served abroad each year in more than 150 projects. In addition, about 100 Israelis served as experts on schemes financed by the United Nations. Israel commercial corporations engaged in development abroad employed an additional 400 Israelis in their undertakings. More than a thousand men and women from developing countries graduated from middle- and high-level courses in Israel each year. Courses were usually from four to six months in duration and were held in a variety of languages, principally in English, French, and Spanish. Regular courses were held in cooperation at the Afro-Asian Institute and the Center for Latin American Cooperation Studies in Tel Aviv; in agriculture at the Ruppin Institute, near Netanyah; and in community development at the International Center for Community Development, Haifa. Courses were also held from time to time at a number of other locations. The *Hebrew University, together with Hadassah and separately, as well as the Haifa *Technion, held regular higher-level courses. In addition, lower and middle-level courses were held in the developing countries and graduated more than a thousand trainees each year.

From its inception through the early years of the 21st century, 200,000 men and women had participated in the program's training courses in Israel and abroad and over 10,000 Israeli experts had been dispatched to foreign countries. In the post-Oslo era Israel looked to develop similar partnerships with its neighbors.

[Benad Avital]

Arab Refugees

During the fighting in Palestine that followed the adoption of the *United Nations Partition Resolution of Nov. 29, 1947, and the growing anarchy that accompanied the British withdrawal from Palestine, hundreds of thousands of Arabs abandoned their homes and fled to neighboring Arab countries and to parts of Palestine later occupied by Jordan and Egypt. The refugee problem was thus born out of the unsuccessful Arab attempt to frustrate the un Partition Plan by force, to prevent the emergence of a Jewish state, and to occupy Palestine at the end of the British Mandate. This political background explains the stubbornness of the question. Though substantially absorbed in fact, the refugees remain permanent wards of the United Nations, and it seems clear that only an Israel-Arab peace settlement can resolve this problem.

origins of the problem

On Feb. 16, 1948, the United Nations Palestine Commission (appointed to supervise the partition plan) reported to the Security Council that "powerful Arab interests both inside and outside Palestine are defying the Nov. 29, 1947, resolution of the General Assembly and are engaged in a deliberate effort to alter by force the settlement envisaged therein." On April 10, 1948, the Commission reported that "… armed Arab bands from the neighboring states have infiltrated into the territory of Palestine, and, together with local Arab forces, are defeating the purpose of the partition resolution by acts of violence." By that time fighting had swept through the country.

During April the tide turned in favor of the *Haganah, especially in mixed towns such as Haifa, Safed, and Tiberias. The morale of the Arab population sank, and an exodus started into surrounding Arab territories with the encouragement of the Arab leadership, who did not want their people to remain under Jewish control and promised that they would soon return behind the victorious Arab armies. In Haifa, for example, the local Arab National Committee refused to sign a truce and insisted on the evacuation of their community despite an appeal by Shabbetai *Levi, the Jewish mayor. The exodus was accelerated by rumors, spread by the Arabs, of Jewish atrocities. The heavy civilian casualties suffered by the Arabs during an attack by the *Irgun Ẓeva'i Le'ummi on the village of Deir Yasīn near Jerusalem were extensively publicized as a massacre and added to the panic.

On May 15, with the end of the Mandate and the withdrawal of the British forces, the State of Israel was proclaimed. The regular armies of the neighboring Arab states crossed the borders and the residents of many Arab villages were evacuated by their leaders. During the fighting of the next few months, the flight continued into the Arab-held areas of Judea and Samaria (later annexed by Jordan as the "West Bank") across the river into Transjordan, into the *Gaza Strip, and, to a smaller extent, into Syria and Lebanon.

united nations action

Initial efforts to give the Palestine refugees emergency relief were made by voluntary organizations. In December 1948, the General Assembly endorsed a nine-month relief program to be supervised by the secretary-general. At the same session, Resolution 194 (iii) was adopted on Dec. 11, 1948. It called upon the states involved in the Israel-Arab conflict to negotiate a peace settlement and established a Palestine Conciliation Commission (consisting of the United States, France, and Turkey) to assist them in doing so. Paragraph 11 of that resolution stated, in part, "Those refugees wishing to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbors should be permitted to do so at the earliest practicable date" and "…compensation should be paid for the property of those choosing not to return…" Paragraph 11 remained a bone of contention thereafter. The Arab side maintained that it conferred on the refugees a free and unconditional choice between repatriation and compensation. The Israel side argued that the refugee question could not be taken out of the general context of peace; that no return was "practicable" until normal conditions were restored; that only the government of a sovereign state could "permit" entry into the territory of that state; and that political, economic, and security conditions, such as the readiness of the refugees "to live at peace with their neighbors," had to be taken into account. In the negotiations which the Conciliation Commission tried to promote, the refugee problem was treated as one element in a general peace "package."

By 1949, it was already clear that no immediate peace settlement was likely and that more long-range plans would be required for the refugees. The emphasis shifted to their economic absorption in the region as a whole, though the phrase "without prejudice to paragraph 11…" was formally repeated in resolutions. The Conciliation Commission had appointed a United Nations Economic Survey Mission for the Middle East, headed by Gordon Clapp of the Tennessee Valley Authority. The 1949 General Assembly endorsed a three-pronged program recommended by the Clapp Mission: the termination of direct relief within a year, the absorption of the refugees through public works projects, and the transfer of responsibility to the host governments at an early date. As an instrument for carrying out this program, the Assembly set up the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees in the Near East (unrwa). At the next Assembly, in 1950, the objective was defined as "reintegration of the refugees into the economic life of the Near East," and a three-year program was adopted envisaging the expenditure of $50 million for relief and $200 million for reintegration. unrwa's original mandate was, therefore, to rehabilitate the refugees and take them off the relief rolls as soon as possible.

the numbers of the refugees

Great difficulty was experienced throughout in reaching a reliable figure for bona fide Arab refugees. It is generally agreed that the figures were inflated at the outset and became more so in the course of time. First, there had been an influx of migrant labor from surrounding Arab countries during the Mandatory period, owing to the tempo of Zionist development. A substantial part of the refugee exodus in 1948 was, therefore, a return to home territory. In a 1949 report on the refugees, the secretary-general pointed out that the rolls had been compiled in a haphazard way and included large numbers of local unemployed or poor persons and nomadic Bedouin tribesmen.

The Clapp Mission estimated that at least 160,000 non-refugees had managed to get onto the relief rolls. Taking Mandatory census figures as a starting point and deducting from them the Arabs who remained in Israel and the indigenous population of the districts occupied by Arab forces (East Jerusalem, the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip), it may be deduced that the total number of bona fide refugees did not exceed a few hundred thousand. unrwa adopted the following working definition of a refugee:

"… a person whose normal residence was Palestine for a minimum of two years immediately preceding the outbreak of the conflict in 1948 and who, as a result of that conflict, lost both his home and his means of livelihood…" However, unrwa took over the existing rolls from voluntary agencies without revising them in accordance with the above definition.

In subsequent years the figures became even more unreliable through fraudulent birth registrations, failure to report deaths, and the lack of adequate means for determining family income or physical presence in the area. Thousands of ration cards were acquired by merchants who collected the supplies. Under pressure from the contributing countries, United Nations resolutions repeatedly called for rectification of the rolls, but the host governments were unwilling to cooperate for fear of stirring up trouble in the camps. To the tables in the annual unrwa reports, a prudent footnote was added that "the above statistics are based on the Agency's registration records, which do not necessarily reflect the actual refugee population." In 1968 the unrwa registration records contained over 1,300,000 names. Of these, only a little more than 800,000 had ration cards. Of the rest, some received medical education services without rations and others no assistance at all, depending on the degree of self-support. The distribution of the 1968 total by areas, according to unrwa statistics, was as follows (in thousands): West Bank 245, Gaza Strip 265, East Jordan 494, Lebanon 166, Syria 150, uar 3.

exchange of minorities

The upheaval of 1948 brought about not one population movement, but two, in opposite directions. Following the establishment of the State of Israel, the Jewish minorities started leaving the Arab countries for reasons of political, economic, and often physical insecurity. The majority of them found refuge in Israel. What happened from 1948 onward was in effect a spontaneous and unplanned population exchange, in roughly equal numbers – about half a million or a little more each way. Today, with natural increase, the Jews who reached Israel from the Arab countries constitute a group of nearly a million. This exodus never became a United Nations question and no un agency was set up to deal with it, because these Jewish refugees became completely absorbed into the life and economy of Israel. Israel spokesmen in the United Nations debates stressed that this exchange of population had to be accepted as a reality, as had happened in certain situations elsewhere, and it could not be put into reverse. The future of the Arab refugees lay in their final absorption into the Arab world, and not in their repatriation to their original homes. Some 40,000 of them were actually repatriated to Israel in the first few years after the 1948 war, for family reunion or hardship reasons.

attempts at resettlement

In the period 1950–5, unrwa initiated a variety of self-support programs, and two major land-settlement projects were planned: one in the northern Sinai and the other in the Yarmuk-Jordan River Valley. The Sinai project was based on an agreement between unrwa and the Egyptian government, by which a large area in northwest Sinai would be reclaimed with Nile water to be syphoned under the Suez Canal. According to the plan, some 10,000 refugee families from the Gaza Strip would eventually be engaged in agriculture, and another 2,000 families supported by ancillary services and trades. Engineering and economic studies were carried out, and a comprehensive plan drawn up, but the project came to naught when the Egyptian government changed its mind about making water available.

The plan for the development of the Yarmuk and Jordan valleys aimed at the irrigation of about 125,000 acres to provide a living for between 100,000 and 150,000 people. Under its agreement with the Jordan government, the Agency was to provide $40 million out of the Rehabilitation Fund for this project. Some of the preparatory work was carried out, but unrwa withdrew from the project when the division of the Jordan basin waters became caught up in Security Council debates, followed by the abortive efforts of the United States to promote a regional plan.

In the next few years, the Agency's small-scale self-support measures also withered away. After a decade of existence the Agency had lost its original rehabilitation purpose and had settled down as a self-perpetuating relief operation, with registration rolls that swelled steadily from year to year. The original working definition was extended to include children born after 1948, and by the 1960s a third generation began to appear. By 1969, children and young people far outnumbered the original refugees, and the registered total included about 500,000 infants and children under the age of 15. The constructive side of unrwa's work remained its education and vocational training services. With the technical assistance of unesco, the Agency developed an elementary school network parallel to that of the host governments and provided grants for secondary and higher education. As a result, thousands of youths from refugee families were absorbed locally or found employment further afield in oil-producing countries, such as Kuwait and Saudi Arabia.

"implementing paragraph 11"

By 1959, it was clear that the economic approach, through planned refugee absorption projects, had not solved the problem. The General Assembly launched an effort to reach a political accord limited to the refugee question, taken out of the context of the general Israel-Arab conflict. The Palestine Conciliation Commission, which had abandoned its peace-making efforts by 1951, was now instructed to find ways "to implement paragraph 11" of the 1948 Resolution. In due course, the Commission appointed Joseph E. Johnson, president of the Carnegie Endowment Fund in New York, as its special representative for this purpose. After two years of discussions with the governments concerned, Dr. Johnson submitted a set of proposals based on a "preference" to be indicated by each refugee and referred to the government concerned. A United Nations Rehabilitation and Compensation Fund would be established, and Israel would make an "adequate contribution" to it in lieu of direct compensation. These proposals proved unacceptable to the governments concerned and were shelved. In the General Assembly debates on the annual unrwa reports, Arab spokesmen developed the thesis that this was not a humanitarian problem concerning displaced persons, but a national problem concerning a displaced people seeking national self-determination. The refugee problem appeared too deeply imbedded in the basic political conflict to be settled as a separate issue.

de facto integration

In the course of time, the refugees became in fact economically absorbed to a much greater extent than was revealed in unrwa statistics or admitted by Arab governments. Such integration was inevitable, since they were living among their own Arab brethren without any barrier of race, religion, language, culture, or way of life between them and their environment. This process was entirely in accordance with the general pattern of the refugee problems caused by wars and upheavals in the contemporary world. Since the end of World War ii alone, some 50 million persons were displaced in Europe, Asia, and Africa and were finally absorbed into countries with which they had national, racial, or religious affinities.

In a special report on the refugees submitted in 1959, Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjöld called for intensified investment and development in the Arab countries in order to accelerate what he called the "integration de facto" of the refugees in productive life. He stated that

The unemployed should be regarded not as a liability, but, more justly, as an asset for the future; it is a reservoir of manpower which in the desirable general economic development will assist in the creation of higher standards for the whole population of the area.

The Secretary-General's views came under political attack from the Arab States, and the report was shelved. The extent to which unplanned absorption was actually taking place, however, was acknowledged in the 1964 annual report of a new commissioner-general of unrwa. Dr. Michelmore estimated that not more than 40–50% of the registered total were destitute or nearly destitute, about 30–40% were partially self-supporting, and 10–20% securely reestablished. In the same year, Dean Rusk, the U.S. secretary of state, in testifying before the Senate Subcommittee on Refugees, estimated that "there are almost half a million refugees who have registered refugee status but who in fact have jobs – some of them at some distance from the camps, living reasonably normal lives."

In his 1967 report, the commissioner-general stressed the social and economic progress the refugees had made, though he admitted that it had not been possible to reflect the extent of this rehabilitation in unrwa's published statistics. Even the minority who lived in camps came and went as they pleased and found work in adjacent towns and farming areas. Dr. Michelmore put on record that some of these camps had become thriving villages. The hard core of the refugee problem remained the Gaza Strip, where the refugees outnumbered the local population, and where the economic opportunities were too limited for their full absorption.

the abandoned property

The immovable property abandoned in Israel by the refugees was vested in an official custodian. In subsequent years this property, particularly large tracts of agricultural land, became integrated in Israel's economic development and absorbed by its expanding population under appropriate Knesset legislation. This was done without prejudice to the Israel government's offer to pay compensation to the original owners, as part of an agreed settlement of the refugee problem as a whole. In reaffirming this offer at the United Nations, Israel's spokesmen added that any settlement of compensation claims should also take into account Jewish property that had been taken over by Jordan in the 1948 war, as well as a huge amount of property confiscated in Iraq, Egypt, and elsewhere and belonging to Jews from those countries now settled in Israel.

With the cooperation of the Israeli authorities, an office set up by the Palestine Conciliation Commission embarked on the formidable task of compiling an inventory and making an evaluation of all immovable property that had belonged to the Arab refugees. This program took 12 years to complete and the voluminous records that were compiled have remained stored at un Headquarters in New York, pending a settlement. In the meantime the Israel government released and paid out frozen refugee bank accounts in the sum of $11 million and handed over all the valuables left behind in safe deposit boxes. From 1960 onward, each General Assembly Session was presented with Arab proposals for the appointment of a United Nations custodian to take over the abandoned property and to make available to the refugees revenue from the properties, alleged to total scores of millions of dollars a year. The Arab delegations argued that this revenue would make it unnecessary for the refugees to be maintained on international charity. The Israel reply was that appointing such a custodian would violate sovereignty, that there was no legal basis or precedent for it, that it was beyond the competence of the General Assembly, and that the alleged revenue was nonexistent. The proposals were invariably defeated.

the israel-held territories

As a result of the *Six-Day War (1967), Israel found itself in control of two territories – the West Bank and the Gaza Strip – containing hundreds of thousands of refugees falling under unrwa's mandate. On June 14, 1967, immediately after the cease-fire, an agreement was signed between the Israel government and unrwa by which the Agency was invited to continue its operations in these territories with the full cooperation and assistance of the government. In subsequent annual reports, the commissioner-general confirmed that this cooperation was effective. The financial cost of the unrwa operation to the Israel taxpayer is considerable. In the year ending June 30, 1968, it came to about $3½ million: $2½ million as the Israeli contribution to services for the refugees; $700,000 for port services, transportation, storage, etc.; and a cash contribution of il 1 million. In addition, the refugees benefited indirectly by the maintenance of public services and economic activity in the territories, the government budget for which amounted to il 140 million per annum.

A joint technical study of the numbers of refugees in these areas was undertaken by Israel and unrwa officials. The unrwa statistics were checked against the results of the census carried out in the territories in September 1967 and the identification cards issued to the inhabitants. The Agency adjusted its figures downward, but they remained somewhat above the levels of the Israel census, which indicated the presence of 207,000 refugees in the Gaza Strip (out of a total population of 360,000), and 105,000 in the West Bank (out of 600,000 plus). The census statistics on housing standards and possession of household goods showed that while the living conditions of the refugees in the camps were not as good as those of the average town population of the areas, they were better than those prevailing in the Arab villages.

the 1967 displacement

During and after the Six-Day War, there was another large-scale population movement – mainly from the West Bank into East Jordan, and also including over 100,000 from the Golan Heights into Syria. unrwa reports quoted a Jordanian figure of 400,000 persons alleged to have crossed from the West Bank, including over 100,000 unrwa registered refugees. According to Israel's estimates, the total was little more than half that figure. A limited number had fled during the 72 hours of hostilities on this front, mainly from the Jericho camps. In addition, the Jordanian lists were presumed to include other groups: local residents left destitute by the war; inhabitants of the eastern side of the Jordan Valley who had moved further inland because of continued border clashes; persons from the West Bank who were already residing in East Jordan before the war; and a steady migration across the bridges that continued for a long period after the cease-fire, for family, income, and other reasons. The policy of the Israeli authorities was neither to encourage nor to prevent their departure.

In the summer of 1967, the Israel government initiated a repatriation scheme with the assistance of the International Red Cross Committee. Under this project 14,000 persons returned from Jordan to their homes in the West Bank and another 7,000 permits were issued but not utilized. After that, a return in small numbers continued under a family reunion scheme. Speaking before the General Assembly on Oct. 8, 1968, Foreign Minister Eban undertook that the processing of applications for the uniting of families would be intensified, and the 7,000 unused permits from the 1967 repatriation project would be made available to other would-be returnees. International concern focused on the plight of the displaced persons in Jordan, particularly some 80,000 of them who were housed in tented camps under winter conditions. The Israeli government was urged to lift restrictions on their return, and in December 1968 the General Assembly adopted a resolution to this effect. The Israel delegation voted against it and maintained that the extent and rapidity with which a return could be facilitated had to be considered in the light of current political and security conditions, which remained disturbed as a result of border warfare and terrorist activity promoted from Jordan.

incitement in school textbooks

For a number of years prior to the Six-Day War, Israeli representatives in the United Nations debates had complained about the fact that textbooks used in the unrwa/unesco schools were indoctrinating the minds of a whole generation of refugee children with hatred, revenge, and incitement to war. After the Six-Day War, the textbooks in the non-refugee government schools now in areas under Israel rule were revised or replaced. As regards the refugee schools, the matter was referred to unesco. A three-man committee of experts was appointed to examine the textbooks and found that most of them needed to be revised or replaced. The Syrian government withheld its cooperation, while the Jordanian government rejected the committee's findings on the ground that refugee children were entitled to be taught about their political claims to Palestine. Israel found the expert recommendations generally acceptable.

the refugee problem and peace

The resolution unanimously adopted by the Security Council on Nov. 22, 1967, called for the establishment of "a just and lasting peace" between Israel and the neighboring Arab States. As "a just settlement of the refugee problem" was one of the elements in the resolution, it therefore tacitly abandoned the earlier hopes of resolving the problem as a separate issue, and again placed it in the framework of an overall Israel-Arab peace settlement. In his statement to the General Assembly of Oct. 8, 1968, outlining nine principles for peace, the Israel foreign minister proposed that

A conference of Middle Eastern States should be convened, together with the Governments contributing to refugee relief and the Specialized Agencies of the United Nations, in order to chart a five-year plan for the solution of the refugee problem in the framework of a lasting peace and the integration of refugees into productive life. This conference can be called in advance of peace negotiations.

There was no response to this proposal.

In the later debate on the unrwa Report, the Israel delegation also proposed that a refugee program should include a Reintegration and Compensation Fund, and reaffirmed the willingness of the Israel government to give substantial financial support to such a Fund. The practical aspects of a solution would take a number of years and very substantial funds, but should not be unduly formidable once the political and psychological roadblocks had been removed. Until there was a peace settlement, the best hope for the refugees lay in stimulating the process of spontaneous economic absorption, especially for the younger persons who had acquired education and skills.

[Michael Comay]

Arab National Movement

the rise of arab nationalism

Arab nationalism – as opposed to ethnic self-awareness – did not appear until the end of the 19th century; it was the claim to political rights for the Arabs on the basis of their existence as a separate group that turned mere self-awareness into nationalism in the modern sense. Arab consciousness is of long standing and was based primarily on three factors: the belief in a common descent from Arabian tribes that engulfed the Middle East and North Africa in the seventh century; the existence of literary Arabic; and the special position of the Arabs in Islam. Until the end of the 19th century, however, this consciousness was devoid of all political implications. The religion of Islam provided the source for political organization, government administration, and the legitimacy of rule; the various Muslim empires were the political framework of Islam from the first Caliphate up to the Ottoman Empire.

The wavering of Arab allegiance to the Ottoman Empire may be traced to various sources. The reforms instituted in the empire in the course of the 19th century brought about a substantial change in its traditional Muslim image. The reformist central government sought to impose a Western-style administration and law upon a society that was neither interested in nor ready for modern innovations. The local leaders of Arab provinces reacted vehemently against the secular aspects of the reforms, especially the attempts to place non-Muslims on an equal footing with Muslims. The feeling that Islam was in danger was further heightened by the confrontation with the culture, material progress, and military and economic power of the West. Muslim leaders believed that in order to stand up to the spiritual and military challenge posed by the Christian West, Islam had to regain its pristine strength. Originally, Islam had been Arab in its leadership, predominant culture, and prevailing social and administrative institutions. Thus, the desire to restore its pristine glory resulted in a reassessment of the place of the Arabs in Islam and the conclusion that this aim could be achieved only by reestablishing the Muslim Caliphate in its original form, under the leadership of a descendant of the Prophet's tribe. This conclusion was the origin of the political-religious demand for a change in the status quo prevailing in the Ottoman Empire.

In the course of time, this aim received a tremendous impetus from a variety of other sources. The second and third generation of Ottoman reformers – the Young Turks – sought a new and more forceful ideological basis for the preservation of the tottering empire. The process of Westernization brought them into contact wit h a concept that appeared to be the key to the success of Western civilization – the concept of nationalism. For a while they vacillated, unable to decide the nature of their nationalism: Pan-Ottoman, pluralist, and liberal, in which all citizens of the empire would participate on the basis of equality and fraternity in a common fatherland – and therefore a nationalism that would be more aptly described as patriotism – or a restricted Turkish nationalism, in which the decisive criterion would be ethnic and linguistic and which would transform the Muslim and supernational Ottoman Empire into a single nation-state, in which the Turks would impose their will, language, and characteristics upon all the other groups. Slowly but surely the Young Turks adopted the second alternative – the liberal, Central-European type of nationalism – and proceeded with efforts to bring about the Turkification of the entire empire. Their aim became noticeable on the eve of World War i and was among the factors responsible for the emergence of a parallel, diametrically opposed, Arab nationalism. Once the Muslim character of the empire was put in question and an attempt made to turn the empire into a Turkish one, it became inevitable that the consciousness of the existence of a separate Arab entity should be transformed into a political attitude (which regarded the Arab entity as the only possible basis upon which a political framework could be established). This cultural and ideological development, however, was confined to educated members of the social elite. The general population continued to regard Islam and the Ottoman Empire as the principal frameworks of its identity. In the years before World War i, only a few hundred activists and political thinkers were converted to the new ideology of Arab nationalism.

palestinian opposition to zionism

Palestine, in the borders defined by the British Mandate, did not yet exist as a separate administrative entity. The Acre and Nablus districts were part of the province (vilayet) of Beirut while the district (sanjak) of Jerusalem, because of its religious and international significance, came under the direct supervision of the Ottoman Ministry of the Interior.

The Arab movement, based primarily upon the awareness of common language and common descent, was by its nature all-embracing and unaffiliated with any particular region of the empire. Nevertheless, there were areas that played a more prominent role in this development. Damascus played a leading part as a seat of Muslim scholarship and the home of Arab families claiming descent from the Prophet, and it became the center of the Arab movement in the prewar years. (The term "Syria" was sometimes used to refer to the vilayet of Damascus, which also included Transjordan, and sometimes to comprise the whole of Palestine, as well as modern Syria and Lebanon.) During World War i, and especially toward the end, Mecca became the center of the movement, due to the desire to defend and strengthen the position of the Hashemite family of Hussein Ibn Ali as the emirs of Mecca. These developments, however, had little impact on Palestine. Only an insignificant number of Palestinian Arabs took part in the movement. It was only toward the end of the war that the attitude of the Arab population in Palestine underwent a change, as a result of the sufferings caused by the war and the intolerable repression carried out by the Turkish government, which saw its very existence hanging in the balance.

Other developments, concerned primarily with Palestine itself, played a greater role. The establishment of the special district of Jerusalem endowed the social elite of that city with a higher status, comparable to that of the capitals of the adjoining provinces of Damascus and Beirut. In general, the rise of the local elite to positions of leadership in society, religion, and administration was a central feature of life in the area in the 19th century. The local leadership group that came into being was a breeding ground for the activists in the movement for Arab awakening; simultaneously, however, a social stratum was created that had regional, economic, and social interests, rather than Pan-Arab aims. The establishment of the special sanjak of Jerusalem – which comprised the southern half of Palestine – also marked the beginning of a process by which Palestine came to be regarded as an entity in its own right. Opposition to Zionism and the British Mandate completed this process and gave it a political character.

As early as the end of the 19th century, the Arab population of Palestine began to pay attention to a new phenomenon: the immigration and settlement of Jews, while some of the veteran Jews were leaving the walled-in quarters in the cities, buying land, building housing estates, and entering new trades and professions. The Arabs also became aware of the new type of Jew that was entering the country, so different from the Jew that the Arabs had known. Instead of remaining secluded in his corner and accepting his inferior status in Muslim-Ottoman society, the new Jew was proud and self-confident. He was also foreign – in language, manners, and mores – and often also alien to the traditional religious atmosphere prevailing among the population. Gradually, both the local Arab leaders and the Ottoman officials came to suspect that the newly arrived Jews had political ambitions and that they had come to the country in order to establish a Jewish state.

It was not surprising, therefore, that from the beginning Jewish settlement met with opposition from both the local Arabs and the Ottoman administration. While at most times this opposition was dormant, there were many instances when it was expressed publicly. The opposition of the local population was direct, taking the form of sporadic attacks, usurpation of lands, and the like; it is doubtful whether this opposition had any political connotations. In 1891, however, nine years after the beginning of the First Aliyah, the first sign of political opposition to Zionism made its appearance. Jerusalem notables – both Muslim and Christian – called upon the Ottoman administration to prohibit the immigration of and the sale of land to Jews. This request was repeated time and again; local spokesmen demanded the enforcement of the restrictions against the entry of the Jews, which had been enacted, but not always observed.

Appeals to the Ottoman administration were not the only form of political opposition. After the 1908 revolution of the Young Turks, the first Arab newspapers made their appearance in Palestine. Some of these supported the Young Turks and others were followers of the liberal opposition (the Entente Liberale Party), but they were all united in their opposition to Zionism. They claimed that Zionism was a danger to the country and called upon both the population and the administration to put an end to it. A similar attitude was also expressed in the first books on the Arab question that began to appear at this time, such as Le Réveil de la Nation Arabe dans l'Asie Turque by Negib Azoury (Paris, 1905). Officials of the Ottoman administration who were imbued with the new spirit of nationalism did all they could to put obstacles in the way of Jewish immigration and land purchases. One well-known example was Shukrī al-ʿAsalī, the Kaimakam (subdistrict commissioner) of Nazareth, who in 1910–11 tried to prevent the purchase of the al-Fūla lands (the present Afulah-Merḥaviah area) by Jews. (For Zionist efforts to contact Arab nationalist leaders, see *Zionist Policy.)

the struggle against the mandate

The opposition to Zionism made further advances when the British conquered the country in 1917–18. The severance from the Ottoman Empire was a fact. Beginning in October 1918, a semi-independent Arab regime, under Faisal Ibn Hussein, gradually established itself in Damascus. Palestine, on the other hand, was administered by the British occupation forces. While Syria appeared to have excellent prospects of achieving independence, reports came into Palestine concerning promises made to the Jews by the British (see *Balfour Declaration). The Turkish regime, which was in the process of retreating from Palestine, took care to give these reports wide dissemination, adding exaggerated stories concerning the insolence displayed by Jews in the areas taken over by the British. In November 1918, the British and French governments – partly in order to counteract Turkish propaganda – promised the inhabitants of Syria and Iraq that they would be free to choose their own form of government. This move caused the Arab leaders in Palestine to feel that they were excluded from the promise and would thus be subject to a special regime that would strive for the realization of the Balfour Declaration. At the time, both Jews and Arabs understood the Declaration to have more far-reaching implications than were intended by the British government.

Against this background, the political organization of Palestinian Arabs began to develop. The first political societies were established toward the end of 1918: the Muslim-Christian Society, the Arab Club, and the Literary Club. In January 1919 representatives of these societies met for their first countrywide conference and adopted resolutions defining Palestine as "Southern Syria" and declaring their aim to have Palestine annexed to the Faisal regime in Damascus. The representatives of the Jerusalem leadership, who had the most to gain from an independent or semi-independent, separate Palestinian regime, were not pleased with the results of the conference. Nevertheless, the belief that union with Syria was the best guarantee for the suppression of Zionism prevailed at the conference and it continued to prevail as long as Faisal's star was on the rise. In March 1920, when Faisal was crowned king of all of Syria (including Lebanon and Palestine) and was at the height of his career, enthusiastic demonstrations of support took place in the towns of Palestine; the Nebi Mūsā celebrations in Jerusalem in April 1920 were turned into a manifestation of pro-Faisal feelings and became the occasion for anti-Jewish riots.

In July, however, the Arab Hashemite regime in Syria collapsed under French pressure and the Palestinians were left on their own. Although Syrian exiles tried to continue their struggle for the reestablishment of an all-Syrian kingdom in cooperation with the Palestinian leaders, the latter consistently refused to join them in their work. The Palestinians saw their main interest in the organization of the Arab rank and file for the campaign against Zionism. In December 1920 they convened the "Third" Palestinian Conference (the first conference was held in January 1919; the second had been scheduled to take place in May 1920, but was prohibited by the British military government), at which the Palestine Arab leaders defined their future policy. It was to consist of two basic demands: absolute rejection of Zionism and the establishment of a local government in Palestine, to be elected by the prewar inhabitants of the country. No mention whatsoever was made of union with Syria. In order to realize its aims, the conference elected an executive committee under the chairmanship of Mūsā Kāẓim al-Husseini.

The executive committee based itself upon the Muslim-Christian Societies and found its support among the urban elite of landowners, clergy, merchants, and a few modern intellectuals. As a rule, the committee was dominated by the same elements that had earlier withheld support from the idea of union with Syria. The modus operandi that the committee employed consisted of the formulation of demands, the presentation of protests, and the organization of strikes. It rejected violence and did not lend support to the riots of May 1921, which were organized by the remnants of more extremist organizations that had campaigned for union with Syria in 1919–20 and had received moral and financial support and arms from the Hashemite regime in Damascus. Until the summer of 1922 the committee sought to prevent the confirmation of the Mandate on Palestine by the League of Nations, and until 1923 it persisted in its efforts to have the terms of the Mandate amended. The committee's petitions and the talks held by its delegations in London and Geneva uniformly stressed its opposition to the Zionist connotation of the Mandate, i.e., the promise to help in the establishment of a Jewish National Home in Palestine and the recognition of Hebrew as an official language and of the Zionist Organization as an official body (the Jewish Agency) authorized to advise the Mandatory government on matters pertaining to the establishment of the National Home.

This policy also guided the committee's attitude toward the Zionist movement. The committee refused to recognize Zionism as a legitimate partner in Palestine and would not negotiate with Zionist representatives. During the visit of the first Palestinian Arab delegation in London (August 1921–July 1922), when negotiations with the British government came to a deadlock, the Colonial Office sought to arrange a meeting of the delegation with the leaders of the Zionist Organization. At first, the Arabs refused even to meet with the Zionists, but eventually they agreed to an informal meeting with Chaim Weizmann, which took place in December 1921. The outcome was completely negative, as the Palestinians did not budge from their stand that Zionism had no rights whatsoever in Palestine and persisted in their refusal to negotiate with Zionist representatives. This meeting, however informal, was the only one to take place between Weizmann and the leaders of the Palestine Arab national movement.

The Arab leaders in Palestine also refused to have anything to do with the attempts made in 1922 by Syrian leaders living in Egyptian exile to reach a settlement with the Zionists. The Syrians were prepared to recognize the rights of the Jews to a National Home in Palestine in return for Jewish support of their struggle for independence. Such an agreement, however, would have necessitated a break with Britain, and therefore the Zionist movement was not inclined to accept it. Equally important, however, was the fact that the Palestinian Arab leaders flatly rejected the idea of such an arrangement and refused to accede to the Syrians any right to decide that fate of their country for them, as they had similarly rejected the agreement reached between Faisal and Weizmann three or four years before (see Chaim *Weizmann). Furthermore, the entire affair caused great bitterness against the Syrians and thus reinforced the trend toward Palestinian separatism and abandonment of the concept of all-Syrian Arab unity. For many years, preoccupation solely with the affairs of Palestine became a principle of the Palestine Arab movement and its various organizations.

the question of local self-government

When they failed in their demands for the abolition of the pro-Jewish provisions of the Mandate, the Palestinian Arabs adopted a policy of noncooperation with the Mandatory government in matters related to the establishment of organs of self-government, as set forth in the Mandate and the Palestine Constitution (1922 Order-in-Council). Toward the end of 1922 and the beginning of 1923, they campaigned against participation in the elections for a legislative council and succeeded in preventing the establishment of this body (which was to have been made up of the high commissioner, ten government officials, and twelve locally elected representatives – eight Muslims, two Christians, and two Jews). In the course of 1922 they also rejected the establishment of a Consultative Council, to be made up of appointed members, and of an "Arab Agency," which was to concern itself with safeguarding the "civil and religious rights" of the non-Jewish population in accordance with the Balfour Declaration and the terms of the Mandate.

At the end of 1923, when the ineffectiveness of this policy became clear, a new force, which advocated more moderate methods, came to the fore. It argued that in order to achieve the expulsion of Zionism from Palestine, the Arabs should cooperate with the Mandatory government and thus attain their goal by influencing government institutions through day-today contact. This group centered around the Mayor of Jerusalem, Rāghib Bey al-Nashāshībī. The Nashāshībī family was involved in a feud with the al-Husseinis (who were in control of the executive committee and the Supreme Muslim Council), and the quarrel between the two families now found its expression in political antagonism. The committee's failure to bring about the abrogation of the pro-Zionist provisions of the Mandate made it possible for Nashāshībī 's supporters (the opposition) to increase their influence and standing. There was a perceptible abatement of anti-Zionist fervor, the committee's work came to a standstill, and in the 1927 municipal elections the opposition scored a decisive victory.

In 1928, after a lapse of five years, the Seventh Palestinian Conference was convened to decide upon a new policy. The resolutions adopted by the conference emphasized the need for a local government, responsible to an elected parliament; opposition to Zionism was mentioned only indirectly by confirming the resolutions passed by previous conferences. A moderate atmosphere prevailed at the conference, the result of the realization that the Arabs had made a mistake in rejecting all the British proposals made in 1923 concerning the establishment of a self-governing body. This line was taken by both the opposition and the executive committee and its supporters. The Seventh Palestinian Conference took place at a time when Zionist settlement had for two years been facing the most severe crisis it had yet undergone. In 1927 more Jews left the country than entered it, and those that did come met with intolerable conditions. Many Palestinian Arabs thought that the Zionist vision was about to evaporate. Accordingly, they thought it preferable to adopt a practical line and not insist on the abrogation of a policy that they thought had in fact failed.

At the beginning of 1929, on the basis of the resolutions adopted by the conference, the executive committee approached the high commissioner with a proposal to establish a "local government." In June of that year, an agreement was reached between the Mandatory government and the leaders of the two factions, Mūsā Kāẓim al-Husseini and Rāghib Bey al-Nashāshībī, on the establishment of an appointed legislative council. The Arabs were now ready to accept an even more moderate form of the arrangement they had rejected in 1923. Other developments, however, foiled the plan. In August 1929 a clash over the *Western Wall was followed by a wave of Arab violence against the Jews, and under the circumstances the British government felt that the time was not ripe for concessions on matters of local administration.

The following year, however, the British government sought to appease the Palestinian Arabs by restricting immigration and the sale of land to Jews (the "Passfield White Paper," October 1930 – see Palestine *White Papers). But when this policy encountered vehement opposition and worldwide protests from Zionist and pro-Zionist circles, the British government, in effect, reversed its policy in a letter from Prime Minister Ramsay MacDonald to Weizmann in February 1931. The government did not give up the idea of finding a way to appease the Arabs, however, and toward the end of 1931, when complete calm had been restored, it again broached the idea of a legislative council. Although the executive committee continued to press for a "local government," it did not appear too difficult to bridge the gap between the British proposal and the Arab demand. Once again, however, the Zionist Movement took issue with the British government and the renewed plan for a legislative assembly was again shelved.

The Zionist Organization declared its unalterable opposition to a local governing body that would give constitutional expression to a minority status for the Jews of Palestine. Its adamant resistance strengthened the hand of those members of the British government who were reluctant to run the risk of establishing a self-governing body in a country in which there were several hostile communities. The plan was not officially revived until the end of 1935, when the representatives of the local population were invited to participate in discussions for its enactment. The reaction of the Arabs was mixed: although they did not totally reject the plan, they did not display any enthusiasm over it, hoping to obtain more by hard bargaining. Jewish opposition was absolute, and all the supporters of Zionism in Britain acted against the proposal. Members of Parliament also had their doubts about its merits and many thought that Palestine, with its host of problems, was not yet ready for self-government. These doubts were strengthened by Zionist resistance, and, when the plan came up for discussion in the House of Commons in February 1936, there was hardly a member who was ready to support it. Thus the plan was finally buried.

The defeat of the plan for a legislative council may have been the spark that set off the "Arab Rebellion" of 1936–39. The roots and motives of the rebellion, however, lie in the early years of British rule.

the rise of hajj muhammad amin al-husseini

When the British first occupied Palestine, they were faced with a problem that they had to solve immediately, i.e., the organization of Muslim religious life. The severance of Palestine from the Ottoman Empire had left the Muslim community courts and the administration of the waqf (religious foundations) without leadership and supervision. These establishments were put under the temporary supervision of the military government, but it was clear that, as a Christian power, the British government would seek to rid itself of this function. At the same time, the British began to enhance the status of the mufti of Jerusalem, Kāmil al-Husseini, appointing him president of the Muslim Court of Appeals. They treated him as the head of the Muslim community of Palestine, although there was no historical or religious basis for this attitude. The result was that when Muslim religious life was organized in the course of 1921, and the Supreme Muslim Council was established (January 1922), the mufti of Jerusalem was elected, as a matter of course, to stand at its head.

In the meantime, however, events had taken a new turn. In March 1921 Kāamil al-Husseini died. He had done all he could to help the British regime, and it had in turn strengthened his position. After his death there were many candidates for the post of mufti of Jerusalem. The al-Husseini family and its supporters closed ranks in support of the candidacy of Hajj Muhammad Amīn al-*Husseini, who lacked the proper religious qualifications, but in the period 1919–20 had come to the fore as a skillful political leader and organizer and was in the forefront of the campaign for union with Hashemite Syria. He was also one of the instigators of the anti-Jewish riots in Jerusalem of April 1920 and was sentenced in absentia to 15 years in jail; in the autumn of that year, however, he was pardoned by the high commissioner, Sir Herbert *Samuel, and returned to Jerusalem.

Now the high commissioner was faced with the demand to appoint him mufti of Jerusalem. Above all, the high commissioner wanted to ensure that the bloody riots that had taken place in Jerusalem would not be repeated during the Nebi Mūsā celebrations in April 1921. He also looked for ways and means to appease the anti-Zionist feelings that prevailed among the Arabs of the country. He came to the conclusion that appointing the leader of the extremist elements to a prestigious religious and public position would assure his proper behavior. Furthermore, Hajj Amīn al-Husseini himself stated in a talk with the high commissioner (as recorded by the chief secretary of the Palestine government) "that the influence of his family and himself would be devoted to maintaining tranquility in Jerusalem, and he felt sure that no disturbances need be feared this year."

Thus in May 1921 Amīn al-Husseini was appointed mufti of Jerusalem and in January of the following year, with the support of the Mandatory government, was elected president of the Supreme Muslim Council. On the whole, peace reigned until 1929. Amīn al-Husseini made good use of this period to reinforce his position and turn the Supreme Muslim Council into a stronghold of his supporters and sympathizers. The council became a government-within-a-government, and the Mandatory authorities did not interfere with the administration of the waqf (which yielded a yearly income of £60,000 at the time) and the Sharīʿa courts. Moreover, the Mandatory government favored the strengthening of the Supreme Muslim Council, which thus became – in fact if not in theory – a counterpart to the Zionist Organization and the outstanding representative body of the Palestinian Arabs, thereby creating a measure of balance between the two communities.

From the outset al-Husseini spared no effort to enhance the status of Jerusalem in the eyes of the Muslims. He initiated an impressive project to renovate the city's two principal mosques (Dome of the Rock and al-Aqṣā), after conducting a campaign for contributions throughout the Muslim world. One of the principal themes he used in the campaign was the allegation that the area in which the mosques were situated (known to the Jews as Har ha-Bayit, the Temple Mount, and to the Muslims as al-Ḥaram al-Sharīf) was threatened by the Zionists, who were planning to rebuild the Temple on the site. Amn al-Husseini alleged that the efforts of the Jews to obtain clear and unequivocal rights to pray at the Western ("Wailing") Wall were in fact the beginning of an attempt to take over the entire area. The Muslim authorities pointed to the provision of the Mandate for the safeguarding of the status quo of the Holy Places that existed under the Turkish regime and contended that according to that status the Jews had had no clear rights at the Western Wall. Technically there were grounds for such a contention; in fact, however, the Jews had been praying at the Western Wall both before and during the Turkish regime, although there was no regular synagogue on the spot. The restrictions imposed by the Turks were often circumvented by paying off the local officials.

The constant friction concerning Jewish rights at the Western Wall caused a series of clashes during the 1920s which culminated in the anti-Jewish massacres in *Hebron and *Safed in August 1929. Against this background, the Palestine problem ceased to be an issue of local interest and began to engage the attention of the Muslim world. Amīn al-Husseini encouraged this development and, toward the end of 1931, convened a world conference of Muslims to discuss "the defense of the Holy Places." On the basis of this issue Amīn al-Husseini became the chief spokesman of the Palestinian Arabs. He proved himself the most extreme and consistent foe of the Jews and overshadowed all the other Arab leaders. His rise was facilitated in large measure by the helplessness displayed by the executive committee and its leaders, who were only able to issue anti-Zionist protests, and had even failed in preventing the sale of land to Jews. Furthermore, the same leaders who demanded the passage of a law prohibiting the sale of Arab land to Jews were not averse to making such sales themselves.

Thus, at the beginning of the 1930s, the mufti and his followers began to attack the executive committee and its outdated methods. Under the pressure of these attacks, the committee made a final attempt to organize anti-British riots in October 1933, but retreated in the face of sharp government reaction. The committee members came to realize their impotence, and the death of the chairman, Mūsā Kāẓim al-Husseini, in March 1934 also marked the committee's downfall. Amn al-Husseini rose to leadership with the support of a younger and more extreme generation of activists, who were prepared to solicit aid for their struggle from Arabs outside Palestine and even non-Arab Muslims. They organized scout groups and young Muslim clubs and, from 1934–35 onward, attempted to thwart "illegal" Jewish immigration and the sale of land to Jews. The president of the Supreme Council used the prestige of his office and the power of religious functionaries to intimidate the Arabs who would not comply with his policy.

All his efforts, however, were of no avail. These were the years in which Jewish settlement was expanding at an unprecedented rate. The enlargement of the *Jewish Agency through the adhesion of non-Zionist Jews in 1929 enabled the Zionist Organization to extricate itself from its financial difficulties. The Nazi rise to power in 1933 and the wave of antisemitism that spread through Eastern Europe resulted in a tremendous growth in Jewish immigration. In 1935, no fewer than 61,500 Jews entered Palestine legally. Palestinian Arabs calculated that if this rate continued, it would take the Jews only 12 years to achieve a majority in the country.

The militant Muslim youth, who saw in Hajj Amīn al-Husseini their leader and savior, felt that Jewish immigration and settlement had to be prevented by the use of force. The first group of fighters had been organized as early as 1931 under the leadership of a Haifa Muslim cleric, Sheikh ʿIzz al-Dīn al-Qāsim. The failure of the plan for a legislative council at the beginning of 1936 served the Palestinian Arabs as a sign that they would not achieve their aim with the help of Britain and that the only choice left to them was to take the law into their hands.

armed struggle and its outcome

The first stage of the "Arab Revolt" was a six-month strike, which began in April 1936. Although there were Arab attacks upon Jews and British soldiers and installations during this period, the emphasis was on the general strike and political action by the leaders. The strike ended in October in response to an appeal by the Arab kings, which was welcomed both by the British (who had in fact inspired the appeal) and by the Palestinian Arabs (who had by now tired of the strike). The appeal marked the first intervention in Palestinian affairs by non-Palestinian Arabs – a development that was destined to become a central feature of the entire problem. The end of the strike was followed by the appointment of the Peel Commission, which eventually recommended the partition of the country (see *Palestine, Partition Plans). The plan was turned down by the Arabs; the Jews did not receive it with great enthusiasm; and in the end it was cancelled by the British, upon the recommendation of the Woodhead Commission.

After the publication of the Peel Commission's proposals, the Palestinian Arabs renewed their struggle, terrorism becoming its principal expression. The terror campaign had several aspects: it was directed against the Jews, against the British, and, internally, against Arabs – opponents of the mufti, who were not prepared to offer blind obedience to his leadership and his methods. In 1937 there were even contacts between some Palestinian Arab and Jewish leaders in an attempt to arrive at a political solution to the problem. The first such contacts were made in 1934 on the initiative of David Ben-Gurion, then a member of the Zionist Executive and from 1935 its chairman. No results were achieved and no way found to remove the main stumbling block – the issue of unrestricted Jewish immigration. Although some Arab leaders were prepared to agree to limited immigration, which would raise the proportion of Jews among the population to a maximum of 40%, the Jewish Agency was adamant in refusing to accept minority status for the Jews. In return for the uninterrupted flow of Jews into the country, the Jewish leaders were ready to have Palestine join a Pan-Arab confederation or even federation; for the majority of the Palestinian Arab leaders, however, Arab unity was not an end in itself but only a means in their struggle against Zionism, and the Jewish Agency's readiness to join a wider Arab framework made no impression on them. Significantly, the only Palestinian Arab leader who was at least prepared to discuss such a proposal was ʿAwnī ʿAbd al-Hādī, of the Istiqlāl Party, who advocated Arab unity for its own sake.

Militarily, the "revolt" of 1936–39 ended in defeat, but it brought the Palestinian Arabs a political reward – the 1939 White Paper (see Palestine, *White Papers) – which was in effect an abrogation of the policy formulated in the Balfour Declaration. Ostensibly, Britain had reached the conclusion that the Jewish National Home had become a reality and that by enabling some 450,000 Jews to establish a social, cultural, and political framework in Palestine under conditions of semi-autonomy, the British government had fulfilled its obligation under the Balfour Declaration. This change in policy was rooted in the realization that war with Nazi Germany had become unavoidable and that it was therefore necessary for Britain to secure friendship, or at least a passive attitude, from the Arabs. No concessions had to be made to the Jews, whose support in the struggle with the Nazis was not in the slightest doubt.

Although preparations for World War ii brought forth the White Paper policy, the war itself and its tragic consequences for the Jews deprived this policy of the foundations upon which it had rested. Many Palestinian Arab leaders supported the Nazis, and Amn al-Husseini and his associates spent the war years in Berlin and Rome taking part in the Nazi war effort and trying to induce the Muslim population in the occupied territories (Bosnia and the Crimean Peninsula) to collaborate with the Germans. The situation of the Jews was quite different. The war affected them more severely than any other people, and they contributed their utmost to the Allied victory. In these circumstances, the attempts of the British Labor movement to follow, in one way or another, the policy laid down in the White Paper, faced strong opposition from public opinion in the Allied countries. At the same time, the Palestinian Arabs were in great difficulty. Although the "Arab Revolt" had earned them the White Paper, their terror campaign had brought internal dissension to an unprecedented pitch. It took the intervention of the Arab League to establish the Higher Arab Committee in 1945 as the representative body of Palestinian Arabs, and the League even had to appoint its members. Moreover, Palestinian Arab leadership bore the stigma of collaboration with the Nazis, and in the United Nations (which was founded by the anti-Axis nations and in 1947 became the arena for the political struggle for Palestine) the representatives of a people that had fought against the Nazis and had been their principal victim had a tremendous moral and political advantage over Nazi collaborators.

Against this background, the independent Arab governments and the Arab League gradually assumed the task of representing the Palestinian Arabs, while the Arab Higher Committee played a purely negative role, opposing every compromise offered by Britain in 1946 and preventing the Arab League from accepting any solution that did not recognize Palestine as a purely Arab country in which the Jews had no political rights whatsoever. Even individual civil rights, according to the Arab Higher Committee, were to be given only to those Jews who had settled in the country before World War i.

Although the Arab Higher Committee realized that its radical goals could be achieved only by the force of arms, its preparations for the eventuality of war were highly inadequate. No countrywide military organization was established among the Palestinian Arabs, the standard of combat training was low, and it appeared that the committee was relying on volunteers from the neighboring countries and the regular Arab armies. On Nov. 29, 1947, when the un General Assembly voted to partition Palestine into an Arab state and a Jewish state, the Arab Higher Committee announced its resistance to the resolution and its determination to prevent its implementation by force, but its capacity to carry out the threat was severely limited. Until May 15, 1948, when the regular Arab armies invaded Palestine, the yishuv succeeded in defending its territory and even in occupying several important Arab towns and rural centers. The invading irregular Arab troops did not succeed in changing the situation.

The Palestinian Arabs from 1948

The military intervention by the Arab states, the establishment of the State of Israel, the Egyptian occupation of the Gaza Strip, and the annexation of Samaria, East Jerusalem, and the Hebron area by Jordan all had a far-reaching effect upon the subsequent history of the Arab National Movement in Palestine. Palestinian Arabs no longer existed as a political entity. Those who remained in Israel became Israel citizens; those who were under Jordanian rule were given Jordanian nationality; and only in the Gaza Strip was there an insignificant remnant of Palestinian Arab political existence. In addition, hundreds of thousands of the Palestinian Arabs had become refugees, and as a result many of their social institutions were destroyed: villages were uprooted and families torn apart, regional institutions ceased to exist, and it seemed as though the voice of the Palestinian Arab had been silenced.

It took the Arabs who had remained in Israel several years to recover from the shock of defeat. Many believed that the newly established Jewish state was a passing episode and passively waited for the neighboring Arab states to restore the status quo ante. When the Israel Arabs realized that the State of Israel was a permanent feature in the Middle East, two groups developed among them: one accepted the existence of Israel and tried to find a way of leading a peaceful life in the democratic framework of the country, while the other refused to accept the Jewish state and joined anti-Zionist groups to lead a political struggle for equal rights and the return of all Arab refugees and abandoned Arab property. The first group cooperated with the government in their daily lives, devoted themselves to their economic advancement (in which they enjoyed government assistance), and cast their votes in municipal and Knesset elections for lists linked with Mapai, the largest Jewish party. The second group expressed its attitude mainly by supporting the Communist Party or, at times, purely Arab nationalist organizations. Most of the Arab population, however, vacillated between the two trends, and the fact that many Arabs supported Mapam – a leftist, though Zionist, party – was a characteristic expression of the prevailing condition.

In the Gaza Strip, the refugees preserved their Palestinian identity but had no leadership of their own. The difficult conditions in which they lived under Egyptian rule – hundreds of thousands of refugees crowded into a small area and practically not allowed to leave – precluded their social and economic integration and added to their implacable hatred of the Jews and of Israel.

In Jordan, on the other hand, there was a more complex development. A considerable part of the Palestinian population was unhappy about their incorporation as the "West Bank" of the Jordan Kingdom. The supporters of Amīn al-Husseini and many of the young people who had been influenced by the extreme nationalistic ideology of the revolutionary Baʿth Party and the Arab Nationalist organization were in violent opposition to the annexation and it was years before they came to accept it. Until the late 1950s, Jordanian rule on the West Bank was based upon the rivals of al-Husseini, i.e., the supporters of Rahib Bey al-Nashāshībī. In the 1960s, however, the situation changed, largely as the result of the economic advance in Jordan during this period. The cultivation of new lands, the beginnings of industrial development, the increase in trade, and the expansion of education, and other services all required skilled manpower, which the Palestinians were able to supply. Many left for the East Bank, where most of the development was taking place, in order to benefit from the favorable economic conditions there. They were successful in business and assumed important positions in the administration of the country. In fact, from the social and economic aspect, it was Jordan that was being "Palestinianized," rather than the opposite.

The refugees were also affected by this process. Many of them left the refugee camps, found a livelihood in new branches of a budding economy, and in fact were no longer refugees. This process was further accelerated by the growth of an "Arab America" along the Persian Gulf and in Saudi Arabia. Tens of thousands of Palestinians were employed in these areas and were able to make their families independent of the unrwa rations. Various observers have estimated that on the eve of the Six-Day War at least half of the refugees in Jordan had, from a practical point of view, ceased to be refugees. Nevertheless, this development did not result in a mitigation of the Israel-Arab conflict. The Arab states, which were at all times at odds with one another, exploited the refugees' plight for political ends and tried to outdo one another in adopting extremist stands. Arab solidarity induced them to sustain the urgency of the "Palestine problem," but, with the exception of Jordan, they did nothing to improve the refugees' sorry lot.

At the beginning of the 1960s, when Egyptian-Iraqi tension was particularly acute, the idea of a "Palestine Entity" was again raised, with Egypt and Iraq vying with each other for the sponsorship of the plan and both using it in their attacks upon Jordan. As a result of various inter-Arab developments, the first Arab summit conference, held in January 1964, passed a resolution calling for the unification of Arab efforts on behalf of Arab Palestine. The groundwork was also laid for a Palestine Conference, which was held in May 1964 on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem and established the Palestine Liberation Organization, with Ahmad Shukeiry as its head. The effectiveness of the organization was limited, for it had come into existence as a result of inter-Arab political maneuvers, each Arab state having its own interpretation of the organization's meaning and purpose. Its leaders were appointed by the Arab League, and the participation of Palestinians in its activities was limited.

Eventually of greater importance for the renewal of the idea of a "Palestine Entity" after the 1967 war was the al-Fataḥ organization, which originally came into being in 1965, largely as the result of inter-Arab quarrels. The revolutionary Baʿth regime in Syria, established in 1963, sought to appear as the outstanding champion of the Palestinian cause and the most extreme in its hatred of Israel. It had not taken part in the establishment of the Palestine Liberation Organization and regarded al-Fataḥ as an excellent weapon to use in its attacks upon the other Arab States. Al-Fataḥ developed the ideology of a "people's war" that would bring about the destruction of Israel, and the Baʿth regime was eager to lend it support and assistance. The increasing terrorist activities from Syrian territory, carried out by al-Fataḥ, created ever-growing tension which finally led the Arab states into a new war against Israel in June 1967, but the outcome of the war was a bitter disappointment to those who had been its prime instigators.

Al-Fataḥ appeared, therefore, as a new version of a Palestinian Arab body, no longer willing to accept Pan-Arab custodianship of Palestinian Arab affairs. This was borne out by the events after June 1967. While in the past Palestine Arab terror organizations had served only as a tool in the hands of Arab rulers, they were now largely independent bodies that from time to time were even able to exert pressure upon Arab governments, particularly in Jordan and Lebanon. Although the terrorist organizations continued to receive financial aid and arms from Arab States (Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Egypt, and Syria), their leadership was largely independent. Their members were Palestinians first and their Pan-Arab ideology receded. In light of this revival of Palestinian Arab Nationalism, the theory so widely accepted in the 1960s that Pan-Arab ideology had won out over particularist trends lost much of its validity.

The Arab National Movement in Palestine began as a force opposed to Zionism. When it failed in its efforts to stem the realization of the Zionist aim, it turned to the Arab states and to the Muslim world for help. Various developments during the 1940s resulted in the almost complete removal of an independent Palestinian Arab element from the political arena. Yet almost 20 years later, it appeared that the shock and paralysis that the Palestinian Arabs had suffered as a result of their defeat in 1948 was wearing off, and Palestinian Arabs were reappearing upon the political scene. This development was enhanced by the disappointing failure of the Egyptian-Syrian union (in 1961), by the outcome of the Algerian war, and also by the trend of successful "people's wars" and guerrilla tactics in other parts of the world. However, the revitalized Palestinian Arab nationalism, even after adopting a leftist style, remained characterized by unmitigated hostility to Israel, absolute refusal to accept its existence and recognize the right of the Jews to a state of their own, and hatred of Jews, which was virtually indistinguishable from antisemitism.

since the six-day war

The Six-Day War was a decisive turning point for the Palestine national movement. On the one hand, the Palestinian nationalists' hopes of drawing the Arab states into all-out war with Israel were realized, but on the other, the war resulted in a resounding victory for Israel. The strategy of the al-Fataḥ had been based on the theory that an independent "popular war" would provoke or even compel Israel to initiate retaliatory and preventive action and this, in turn, would lead to a new war, in which the growing power of the regular Arab armies would achieve victory.

As a result of the Six-Day War, however, not only was "Palestine" not "liberated," but Israel now occupied the entire area usually defined as Palestine. The Gaza Strip and the West Bank, which had been under Arab control until June 1967, now came under Israeli rule. About 1,000,000 additional Palestinian Arabs came under Israel's military administration, bringing the total under Israeli rule, together with the Arabs living in Israel since the establishment of the State, to about 1,400,000. This situation had important new aspects, which the Palestinian guerrilla organizations, under the leadership of Yasser Arafat, tried to exploit to their advantage. In the political arena, the Israeli occupation of the whole of Ereẓ Israel reopened the debate about the rights of Jews and Arabs in Ereẓ Israel. The existence of close to one-and-a-half million Palestinian Arabs under Israel authority reawakened a question that had been all but dormant since 1948: the political definition of the Palestinian Arabs. As a result of Israel's conquest, which united the Arabs of the Gaza Strip, the West Bank, and Israel under one government, it was possible, for the first time since 1948, to relate to the Palestinians as a single political body.

After the traumatic shock had passed, the first question marks about the continuation of the struggle began to appear. On June 23, 1967, the central committee of al-Fataḥ met in Damascus and discussed the continuation of the struggle. One opinion called for concentration, in the meantime, on preparations and the building of an underground resistance movement in the territories occupied by Israel. Arafat and his supporters were in favor of the immediate transfer of the activities of the organization from Syria and Jordan to the occupied territories in order to start a "popular liberation war" as soon as possible, in the belief that this time the war would succeed, as it would be based upon much greater popular support then in the past. Arafat's view prevailed, and the leaders began to implement their mission immediately. Hundreds of guerillas, under Arafat's leadership, began to penetrate the occupied territories and set up networks (based upon cells), disseminate propaganda, and carry out the first acts of sabotage. These efforts ended in failure, however, as the Israel authorities succeeded – through a combination of liberal treatment of the local population and efficient security intelligence – in dislocating the networks and exposing the majority of their members, thus forcing the handful of guerrillas that were not caught (including Arafat) to fall back to the East Bank.

Henceforth, al-Fataḥ gradually adopted a new form of fighting. Its forces concentrated close to the cease-fire lines on the Arab side, along the eastern Jordan Valley and the Lebanese border, whence they fired upon Israel border settlements and sometimes attempted to cross over to lay mines and attack Israel Defense Force (idf) patrols or passing civilian traffic. Counteraction by the idf, however, forced the guerillas to withdraw from the Jordan Valley into the interior of Jordan, as they could not withstand idf raids and the Israel air force attacks. The Hashemite government in Jordan was less than enthusiastic over this development, but it did not do much to prevent it, for fear of being branded as a traitor to the Palestinian cause. Thus al-Fataḥ succeeded in establishing itself deep in the Kingdom of Jordan, with refugee camps as natural bases for its activities.

Although these developments did not lead to military victories for al-Fataḥ, it achieved important successes in the political and propaganda spheres. To the world at large it often succeeded in presenting its efforts as a war of national liberation against a foreign, colonialist conqueror. Within the Arab world, al-Fataḥ became the most outstanding Palestinian organization, overshadowing, and finally gaining control over, the Palestine Liberation Organization. The dubious personality of Aḥmad Shukeiri, head of the plo, was exposed during the Six-Day War by his flight from Jerusalem and his stand after the war contradicting ideas he had voiced a few days before it. Although he tried to return to the arena of the struggle, Shukeiri could not be trusted, and toward the end of 1967 he was forced to resign as the head of the plo, Yaḥya Ḥammuda, a lawyer from Ramallah, taking his place. Hammuda attempted to make the plo into a roof organization for all the guerrilla organizations and even established the "Popular Liberation Forces" as the guerrilla arm of the plo. Al-Fataḥ, however, was willing to join the roof organization only as its decisive power. It agreed to participate in the Palestinian National Conference that convened in Cairo in May 1968, where it won a representation of 38 members (out of 100) on the Palestinian National Council elected at the conference. Even this situation, however, did not satisfy al-Fataḥ, which aspired to a more powerful position. At the following meeting of the council in February 1969, al-Fataḥ and its supporters achieved a majority, Arafat being elected chairman of the organization in place of Ḥammuda.

The council meeting in May 1968 also drafted a Palestinian National Covenant to serve as an ideological basis for the struggle against Israel. The document declared that the Palestinians will struggle for the liberation of all of Palestine, according to the borders in effect during the British Mandate and that the country belongs to the Palestinians alone (Article 6). It stated that "Jews who were living permanently in Palestine until the beginning of the Zionist invasion will be considered Palestinians." In another article, the "Zionist invasion" was said to have started in 1917. Only those Jews who lived in the country before 1917 would, therefore, be considered Palestinians and would be permitted to live in "liberated Palestine."

At the same time, the Palestinian organizations tried to present their struggle as a progressive, humane, and anti-imperialist one. It was difficult to reconcile this attempt with the general spirit of the National Covenant. Shortly after the meeting of the council, therefore, the organizations began to disseminate the idea that the Palestinians were fighting for the establishment of a "democratic and multi-racial Palestine," which would have room for the Jews living in Israel. It was impossible, however, to reconcile this slogan with the terms of the covenant. Some members of the Palestinian organizations attempted to reopen the question at later meetings of the council, but the majority refused to return to it and continued to maintain both aspects of the paradox – the "progressive" slogan and anti-Jewish article – simultaneously. There is also a contradiction between the slogan and Article 1 of the convention, which states that "Palestine is… [an] integral part of the Great Arab Homeland and the People of Palestine are part of the Arab Nation." If the guerrilla organizations took the slogan of a "democratic and multi-ethnic Palestine" seriously, they would have had to take into consideration the fact that today the number of Jews in "Palestine" is greater than the number of Arabs; and if every Jew in Israel were to become a citizen of a "democratic and multi-racial Palestine," it would be difficult to see how the people of such a state could be part of the "Arab Nation."

These contradictions are the expression of the general confusion among the Arabs over their national identity. Should they formulate their political frameworks on the basis of the borders established after World War i? Or perhaps the wider area in which the Arab-speaking peoples live is a more proper framework? Can a common written language bridge the economic, social, and dialectical differences that exist within the great expanse called the Arab world? This search for identity is not confined to the Palestinians alone, but is one of the basic phenomena of Arab life.

The attitude toward this key question contributed substantially to the division among the Palestinians. On the side of al-Fataḥ were the organizations politically connected with the Baʿth Party and unquestionably loyal to the aim of Arab unity. But the split within the Baʿth Party itself brought about the establishment of a number of organizations: The Arab Liberation Front, affiliated with the Iraqi Baʿth Party; the Pioneers of the Popular War of Liberation, called al-Sa'eka and affiliated with the Syrian Baʿth Party; and smaller organizations established by people who were affiliated with the Baʿth but preferred to remain independent. An interesting development took place in the "Arab Nationalist Movement" (al-Kawmiwoun al-Arab). This organization was established during the early 1950s by two Palestinian physicians, George Habash and Wadʿa Haddad (both Greek-Orthodox Christians) in order to work toward Arab unity and thus revenge the defeat of 1948 (their motto was "Unity, Freedom, and Revenge!"). They gradually began to look upon *Nasser as the personality who would realize their goal, and when he turned to the left they followed him. In the 1960s, however, they began to become more leftist than Nasser and despair of the hope that Arab unity would bring about the destruction of Israel. In 1966 the organization decided to adopt the policy of a "popular war" to liberate Palestine without waiting for the realization of Arab unity.

Immediately after the defeat in June 1967, the heads of al-Kawmiwoun al-Arab amalgamated with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (pflp), which began to advance a Marxist-Leninist ideology and a strategy of exhibitionist terrorism against Israel (sky hijackings, etc.). Because of its leftist position, the pflp avoided participation in the Palestinian National Council. In contrast to al-Fataḥ, the pflp also claimed to operate against "reactionary" elements in all the Arab states and was not content with the struggle against Israel alone.

Within the pflp, an extreme left-wing branch developed and progressively began to emphasize the notion of a comprehensive social revolution. This branch, under the direction of Nayef Hawatmeh, began a struggle for the control of the Front, and in February 1969 broke away from it to create the Democratic Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. It accused the leader of the pflp of fascism, chauvinistic nationalism, and betrayal of Marxism-Leninism. In its founding platform the dpflp stated that the solution to the Palestinian problem was "a popular democratic Palestinian state in which all citizens will enjoy full religious and cultural rights and constitutional and social equality." This was the first Arab publication in which the Jews of Israel were not considered as only a religious community, but also as a collective body with its own culture. A year later Hawatmeh raised the possibility that the solution to the Palestinian question could be found through the establishment of a federation, on the lines, perhaps, of Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia, containing a Palestinian Arab component and an Israeli one, with the stipulation that the Israeli element must liberate itself from the Zionist ideology. This ideological development was restricted to the dpflp, whose influence was minimal. The other organizations, despite the divisions between them, were united in their denial of national and cultural rights, as distinguished from religious rights, to the Jews of Israel.

The establishment of the Palestinian guerrilla organizations in Jordan brought to the fore the question of their relationship to the Hashemite government. In contrast to the pflp, al-Fataḥ preferred not to interfere in Jordan's internal affairs. It wanted to concentrate its energies against Israel, with Jordan, as a pro-Western state, providing it with immunity against fierce Israel counterattacks. It was difficult to implement this approach, however. As a result of the growth in the numerical strength of al-Fataḥ, the refugee camps and many areas in Jordan were, in effect, removed from the scope of Jordanian rule. From time to time clashes took place between armed Jordanian forces and members of the guerrilla organizations. It appeared that al-Fataḥ was gradually gaining ascendency over the Jordanian government and was turning the kingdom into a large anti-Israel base, without wishing to control the country's internal affairs. Though the Hashemite authorities tried to avoid clashes with the Palestinian organizations, a bitter clash took place between them and the Jordanian army in June 1970. At that time King Hussein restrained his forces and gave in to the organizations on every point connected with their position in Jordan, but in September 1970 there were fierce battles in which the guerrilla organizations were dealt a severe blow. The hijacking of American passenger planes to Zarqā, and the guerrilla control of Irbid, the second-largest city in the country, was viewed by the king and his army as a grave threat to their rule and position. The confrontation proved again that the military strength of the guerrilla organizations had been exaggerated and deflated the popularly held image of the Palestinian "revolutionary" movement.

This defeat at the hands of the Arab "reactionaries," added to the failure of terrorist tactics to force Israel to withdraw from territories occupied during the Six-Day War, exposed the weakness of the Palestinian national movement. In one unexpected area, however, it had some success. If it had seemed, up until 1967, that the Arabs of Israel were reconciled to their problematic position as citizens of the State of Israel, the appearance of a Palestinian factor, since 1967, led to the emergence of small guerrilla groups affiliated with Palestinian organizations among the Arabs of Israel. Israeli Arabs found themselves faced with a multiple dilemma: not only were they torn between two types of identity – pan-Arab and Palestinian – but they also had to reconcile that identity with the obligations involved in Israeli citizenship.

For subsequent developments, see *Palestine Liberation Organization.

[Yehoshua Porath]


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State of Israel: Historical Survey: the State and its Antecedents (1880–2006)

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