||CHIM: A web biography of David Seymour|| |
In April 1947, Britain asked that the question of Palestine be placed on the agenda of the next regular session of the United Nations General Assembly to consider recommendations concerning its future. On 29 November 1947, the United Nations General assembly approved a plan for Palestine, west of the Jordan River, to be partitioned into a Jewish and an Arab state economically linked, with Jerusalem as an international city.
Both the United States and the Soviet Union voted in favor. The representatives of the Jewish community in Palestine, who were invited to take part in the deliberations, declared that, although the partition plan would involve a heavy sacrifice for the Jewish people, they were ready to accept it to achieve a peaceful solution. The Arabs rejected the proposal outright.
The British Mandate ended on 14 May 1948, and on that day the State of Israel was proclaimed.
The core of the Arab-Israel conflict is the refusal of the Arab states to accept Israel's right to exist as a sovereign Jewish state in its homeland with secure and recognized borders. This refusal, expressed in the determination to destroy Israel through war, forced Israel to take up arms five times, with each war fought at great cost in terms of human suffering and economic waste.
Since attaining independence, Israeli prime ministers from David Ben-Gurion onward have repeatedly called on Arab leaders to enter peace negotiations to end the conflict.
However, with the single exception of Egypt in 1977, no Arab country has responded. Relentless in their opposition to Israel, the Arab governments have supported terrorist attacks on Israeli and Jewish targets, instituted commercial and diplomatic boycotts and provoked all-out war.
Arab rejection of the November 1947 UN Partition Plan gave rise to escalating attacks on the Jewish community in Palestine, continuing until the British Mandate terminated on 14 May 1948. On 15 May 1948 the regular armies of Egypt, Jordan, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and a Saudi Arabian contingent, invaded the new state. War was fought intermittently for over a year; Israel Defence Force (IDF), although poorly armed and vastly outnumbered, repulsed the Arab assault. By July 1949 separate armistice agreements were signed with Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria based on cease-fire lines. The armistice agreements were intended to facilitate transition to permanent peace.
Arab violations of 1949 armistice agreements, particularly escalating acts of terror and sabotage, culminated in Egypt's blockade of Israeli shipping through the Straits of Tiran. The IDF moved against Egyptian bases of attack in Gaza and the Sinai Peninsula, capturing both areas. In March 1957, in exchange for promises that the attacks would cease and that there would be no more maritime blockades, Israel returned territory to Egypt. The promises were not kept.
Copyright 1998 David Seymour Estate