Timeline for Palestine / Israel

  • 1840-1850: The British Empire employed the services of Lieutenant Colonel George Gawler (1796?1869). Gawler was a colonization expert who founded a penal colony in Australia and after whom a major city and state in Australia are named. In 1845, Gawler published his vision of how this might be accomplished in "Tranquilization of Syria and the East: Observations and Practical Suggestions, in Furtherance of the Establishment of Jewish Colonies in Palestine, the Most Sober and Sensible Remedy for the Miseries of Asiatic Turkey." In 1852, the Association for Promoting Jewish Settlement in Palestine was founded by Gawler and other British officials and later evolved it into the Palestine Fund.
  • 1880: First Zionist colony in Palestine Established funded by British Zionists.
  • 1897: First Zionist Congress held in Switzerland issued the Basle program on the colonization of Palestine and the establishment of the World Zionist Organization (WZO).
  • 1916: Sykes-Pico Agreement between the British and French governments signed to divide the Middle East between them contrary to public promises to allow Arab people to have independence (self determination)
  • 1917: France and Britain issue declarations in support of establishment of a Jewish homeland in Palestine: June by the French Jules Cambionb Declaration and in November the British Balfour Declaration. The two letters Zionist leaders in the France and England (Rothschild and Sokolow respectively).
  • 1919-1948: British occupation of Palestine. British government pushed to get the newly established League of Nations to give it a “mandate” over Palestine (instituted in1922). Jordan was set up as a British puppet regime under the Hashemite clan. Appointed Zionist British commissioner Herbert Samuels in 1922 who worked to encourage settlement and colonization of Palestinian land by the Jewish agency. This included supporting colonial activity (Jewish Yishuv movement) with new laws on land acquisition and arming Zionist militias resulting in outbreak of communal violence.
  • Early 1930s The Bund and other socialist/humanist Jews start a boycott of Nazi Germany because of its newly established discriminatory laws. The boycott was challenged and eventually broken by the World Zionist Organization with the help of corporate elites (including the grandfather of President Bush). Eichman was invited to Palestine as a guest of the Hagannah (precursor of the Israeli army). Leaders of Irgun and (e.g. Begin) adopt fascist program
  • 1936-1939: First major Palestinian uprising against British and Zionist colonial projects. Put down brutally by the British occupation. But also led to British “White Paper” recognizing that unlimited Zionist colonization despite native Palestinian objections is a cause of major problems, Britain attempts to limit immigration but fails because of world war and strength of now established Jewish Zionist militias and International Zionist organizations. Zionist terrorism focuses against British as well as Palestinian people. Future prime ministers/leaders of Israel among British wanted terrorists (e.g. Begin, Shamir).
  • November 29, 1947 Under extensive lobbying from the Truman administration, the General Assembly of the United Nations issues Resolution 181 (voted on 33:13) that recommends partition of Palestine. 55% of the land to make-up a Jewish state and 44% for a Palestinian state with Jerusalem area being International and including economic union. Part of the Zionist movement (Labor Zionists led by Ben Gurion) accepted the idea of a Jewish state while explaining clearly that they did not accept the idea of economic unions or other parts of the recommendation.
  • November 1947-April 1949 and beyond: Large scale ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians. 530 villages and towns depopulated and removed off the face of (Israeli) maps. Two thirds of the native Palestinian Christian and Muslims are displaced. Half of these refugees were created before May 14, 1948 when the state of Israel was unilaterally declared on 78% of Palestine. Israel and adjoining states sign armistice agreements in 1949 with Israel ending up with 50% more territory than was originally proposed by the UN Partition Plan. Egypt rules impoverished Gaza strip. As fulfillment of earlier Zionist-Hashemite agreements, the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan controlled the West Bank 1949-1967 (see Avi Shlaim, Collusion across the Jordan).
  • October 1951 Israel rejects UN peace plan accepted by Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, and Jordan.
  • Oct. 29, 1956 Israel invades and occupies the Gaza Strip and the Sinai peninsula with French and British collaboration. Backs down and withdraws after pressure from the US Administration. The Zionist movement intensifies its efforts to establish effective lobbying in the US.
  • 1956-1957: Palestinians in West Bank uprising against the Jordanian rule. Many imprisoned/tortured.
  • May, 1964: The Palestine Liberation Organization is founded with the aim of establishing a secular state in Palestine with Jews, Christians, and Muslims. It aims to challenge the Zionist conception of preventing Palestinian refugees from returning to their homes and lands (the concept of exclusion of non-Jews and for a “Jewish state”). Palestinian armed resistance initiated January 1965 by Palestinian refugees.
  • June 5-10,1967: Six-day war. Israel launches an attack which devastates armies of Egypt and Syria and ends up with Israel occupying the Egyptian Sinai, the Syrian Golan and the 22% of Palestine not conquered earlier (the so-called West Bank and Gaza strip). UN resolution 242 called for Israeli withdrawal (“recognizing the inadmissibility of acquisition of territory by war” and a just resolution to the Palestinian refugees. In some instances, this resistance resorted to extreme acts including terrorism to attract world attention to the plight of the refugees. Israel does not comply but proceeds to build illegal colonies on newly occupied land.
  • March 21, 1968: Israel attacks Karameh in Jordan, PLO and Jordanian Forces repel attacks with heavy Israeli losses
  • 1970: Jordanian Government clashes with Palestinian factions in Jordan.
  • Oct. 6, 1973. Egypt and Syria initiate a war to reclaim the land illegally occupied by Israel. Through massive US interference (under Henry Kissinger’s machinations) including massive arms airlift from the US, Egypt and Syria are not successful in reclaiming their lands. However, the International shock (especially due to the oil embargo) forces the beginning of a “peace process” between Egypt and Israel.
  • March 30, 1976 Palestinian inside Israel protest continued land confiscation declaring annual land day which becomes a unifying call among all Palestinians to stop the land confiscation and colonial Zionist activity on Palestinian lands.
  • March 26, 1979 Peace treaty signed between Egypt and Israel. Israel left the illegally occupied Sinai but now to be demilitarized. Israel received billions in unconditional aid from the US (Egypt had conditional and much less US Aid). The Israeli lobby and Henry Kissinger also developed legislation and other programs that ensure Israel receive oil (even if there is shortage for the US) and have military edge over any potential combination of regional powers.
  • June 7, 1981 Israel destroys Iraqi civilian nuclear reactor even though the International Atomic Energy Agency has been visiting regularly and certifying Iraq had no nuclear weapon program.
  • June 6, 1982 Massive Israeli invasion of Lebanon results in tens of thousands of civilian deaths due to carpet bombings of civilian areas and refugee camps. The PLO is removed from Lebanon with promises by the US administration to protect Palestinian refugees in Lebanon. Yet, Israeli backed and financed militias massacre hundreds of refugees in the camps of Sabra and Shatila in September 1982 (Ariel Sharon in command of Israeli forces that surrounded the camps, armed the militias, and gave them the green light, and lit the skies for them to continue massacring civilians at night).
  • 1987-1990: Palestinian uprising in the occupied areas. Largely non-violent, this uprising was put down with massive force (thew Iron fist policy). Rabin instructs his troops to literally break the bones of any Palestinian caught throwing stones at Israeli occupation forces. Hundreds of Palestinians thus literally had their limbs broken.
  • 15 November 1988: Palestinian National Council declares Palestinian statehood in compliance with UN resolutions (including recognition of partition resolution 181 recognizing the state of Israel).
  • Sept. 13, 1993: Oslo based Declaration of Principles signed. Amnesty International explained these and other “peace processes” failed because they ignored human rights.
  • 1994-2000 Israel reaps huge rewards for signing Oslo including a peace treaty with Jordan, normalization with a number of other states and increase in trade and commerce. Meanwhile Palestinians are subjected to new restrictions on movement, checkpoints, isolation from Jerusalem and increased colonial settlement activity (including land confiscation). While other interim agreements were signed (e.g. the Why River Oct 98 calling for Israeli redeployment and release of political prisoners), Israel did not implement and land confiscations continued. Israel doubles its settlement and colonial activity in the occupied West Bank (including East Jerusalem) in the 7 years following the agreement (the agreement specifically called for not altering the status of the West Bank or taking unilateral actions). Thus, the number of settlers from 1967-1993 reached about 220,000 while by 2000, it was 450,000. As expected, Palestinian resistance is reignited.
  • Sept. 28, 2000: Ariel Sharon gets government agreement to visit the Al-Aqdsa/Dome of the Rock area to assert Israeli authority on the Temple Mount. This was the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back after the systematic colonization and ghettoization of the Palestinian areas, A new uprising against the Israeli occupation ensues. Israeli forces having anticipated this and planned massive responses to kill civilians manage to kill hundreds of Palestinian civilians in the first few months of the uprising. Israeli authorities and their Zionist extensions in the US spread misinformation and hide the extent of the atrocities. Claims that the atrocities were in response to terror attacks are belied by the fact that no Israeli civilians were killed in the first month of the uprising when dozens of Palestinian civilians were murdered.
  • March 19, 2003 US forces invade Iraq. This has direct links to neocon support for Israel as articulated earlier by architects like Richard Perle and Paul Wolfowitz (April 9 Fall of Baghdad, first Arab Capital in direct occupation by US Forces).
  • July 9, 2004 International court of Justice (ICJ) rules that the Israeli barrier built on Palestinian land violates international law and must be torn down.
  • Nov 11, 2004 Palestinian Authority President Yasser Arafat dies under mysterious circumstances (many Palestinian leaders believe he was poisoned). Israel had to invent other excuses for not negotiating and not implementing International law.
  • July 2005 Palestinian Civil Society call for boycotts, divestments and sanctions analogous to what transpired with Apartheid South Africa until Israel respects human rights and International law (including full withdrawal from all areas occupied in 1967 and implementing the rights of refugees to return to their homes and lands). November 6 is day of action against the wall (see stopthewall.org).
  • By Aug. 2005 Israel removes 2% of settlers (Gaza and four colonies in the West Bank) but had already added 4% more in the settlement blocks in the West Bank. Dov Weissglass (right hand man for Ariel Sharon) explains that this move helps freeze the peace process and the idea of a Palestinian state.

Today, 2/3rds of the nearly 9 million Palestinians live as refugees or displaced people. Others live under apartheid and/or surrounded by walls and fences in shrinking reservations. The US government continues to give Israel billions of our tax money.


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