Conflict in Israel and Palestine: Crash Course World History 223


Hi, I’m John Green, this is Crash Course World
History, and today, we’re going to talk about Israel and Palestine, hopefully, without a
flame war. John from the past: Yeah, yeah big ask, Mr.
Green, I mean, that fight goes back thousands and thousands of years. John: Except, thousands of years ago… there
wasn’t an Islam yet, so, yeah, no. Also, let me submit that very little of this conflict
between Israel and Palestine over the last several decades has been about, like, theological
differences between Islam and Judaism. No one’s arguing about whether the most important
prophets descended from Abraham’s son Isaac, or his son Ishmael, right? It’s not about
whether to fast during Yom Kippur or Ramadan. It’s about land. Portraying the conflict as
eternal or as religious makes it feel intractable in a way that frankly, it isn’t. So instead,
let’s begin as most historians do in the late 19th century. And instead of talking about
religion, let’s follow the lead of historians like James Gelvin and discuss competing nationalisms. [Intro] Ok, so in the late 19th century, the Ottoman
Empire ruled over what we now know as Palestine. The population there, according to Ottoman
records from 1878, was 87% Muslim, 10% Christian and 3% Jewish. Everybody spoke Arabic as the
daily language, and in Jerusalem the religious populations were roughly equal. To give you
a sense of life in Ottoman Palestine, an Arab Orthodox Christian musician named Wasif Jawhariyyeh
grew up in Jerusalem in the first decade of the 20th century learning the Quran in school
and celebrating both Passover and Eid with his Jewish and Muslim neighbours. Ottoman
Palestine was, in short, a place in which people of different religious faiths lived
peacefully together. Alright, let’s go to the Thought Bubble. The
late 19th century was the Golden Age of nationalism in Europe, and no place was crazier than the
Hapsburg Austro-Hungarian Empire in which at least 10 different nations all wanted their
own state. And in that hyper-nationalistic empire lived a Jewish journalist named Theodor
Herzl who had hoped that Jews could assimilate into European nations but soon became convinced
that the Jewish people needed to leave Europe and settle in their own state. The concept
of Jewish nationalism came to be known as Zionism. It’s important to keep in mind that most Zionists
were secular Jews, so they imagined Israel as a state for Jews more than a Jewish state.
In 1917, the British government, hoping to gain the support of Jewish people, issued
the Balfour Declaration, promising, quote, “The establishment in Palestine of a national
home for the Jewish people,” a bold promise considering that Palestine was still technically
Ottoman, as they hadn’t yet lost World War One. Of course, they would soon, but it turned
out that the British were overpromisers when it came to Palestine, because a year before
the Balfour Declaration, the British had secretly promised the French that they would divide
up the Arab territories and the Brits would keep Palestine. Furthermore, in 1915, other
British officials had promised the ruler of Mecca, Sharif Hussein, that he would rule
over an Arab state including Palestine if he led an Arab revolt against Ottoman rule,
which Hussein promptly did, so basically the Brits had promised Palestine to the Meccans,
to themselves, and to the Zionists. What could go wrong? Thanks, Thought Bubble. So shortly after the
end of the war, the British established a colony in Palestine with the idea that they’d
rule until the Palestinians were ready to govern themselves, at which point the people
living in Palestine were like, “Well, now seems good,” and the British were like, “Yeah,
but maybe not just yet.” Meanwhile, the British established separate
institutions for Christians, Jews, and Muslims, making it difficult for Palestinian Christians
and Muslims to cooperate and easier for the British to, quote, “divide and rule” the inhabitants
of Palestine. Again, what could go wrong? Meanwhile, the British did attempt to honor
the Balfour Declaration’s promise to, quote, “facilitate Jewish immigration under suitable
conditions.” Between 1920 and 1939, the Jewish population of Palestine increased by over
320,000 people. In fact, by 1938, Jews were just under 30%
of the population of Palestine. And the growing Jewish population focused on purchasing land
from absentee non-Palestinian Arab landowners and then evicting Palestinian farmers who
were living and working there. By controlling both the land and the labor,
they hoped to establish a more secure community within Palestine, but of course, these practices
heightened tensions between Jewish people and Arab Palestinians between the 1920s and
the 1930s. Along the way, Palestinian Arabs began to think of themselves as the Palestinian
nation, and that growing sense of nationalism erupted in 1936, when the Palestinians revolted
against the British. With the help of Jewish militias, the British
brutally suppressed the Palestinian revolt, but in the aftermath, the British issued a
white paper, limiting Jewish immigration to Palestine, and calling for the establishment
of a joint Arab and Jewish state in Palestine within ten years. This managed to leave no one happy. The Zionists
were angry at Britain for limiting Jewish immigration at a time when Jews particularly
needed to leave Europe, and the Arab Palestinians were unhappy about the prospect of waiting
ten years for a state. And then came World War II, which was actually
quite a peaceful time in Palestine. But then it ended, and tensions resumed, and the British
realized that colonies like Palestine were far more trouble than they were wroth, so
they handed the issue of Palestine over to the newly created United Nations. They were
like, “Oh hey there, United Nations! For your first problem…” So in November of 1947, the United Nations
voted to partition Palestine into separate Palestinian and Jewish states. The Partition
Plan called for two states roughly equal in size, but the borders looked like a jigsaw
puzzle. I mean, you do not look at this map and think, “Yeah, that’s gonna work!” Sure enough, it didn’t, and soon after the
plan was announced, the cleverly named 1948 Arab-Israeli War broke out, with Israel on
the one side and the Palestinians and many Arab states on the other. The Israelis won,
and when an armistice was signed in 1949, Israel occupied a third more land than they
would have had under the UN proposal. Meanwhile, Jordan controlled and later annexed the West
Bank and the old city of Jerusalem, and Egypt controlled the Gaza strip. Over 700,000 Palestinians fled their homes
and became refugees in the surrounding Arab countries. To Israelis, this was was the beginning
of their nation; to the Palestinians, it was the nakba, the catastrophe, as they became
stateless. Over the next 18 years, nothing changed territorially,
and then, in 1967, Israel and several Arab states went to war again. It was called the
Six-Days War because — get this — it lasted six days. Israel won, and then gained control
over the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, the Sinai Peninsula, and the Golan Heights. So the 1947
proposal looked like this; by 1967, things looked like this. Then the UN passed Resolution 242 – man, they
are good at naming resolutions! – which outlined a basic framework for achieving peace, including
Israel withdrawing from the territory acquired in the war, and all participants recognizing
the rights of both a Palestinian and an Israeli state to exist. This of course did not happen. After the war, the broader Israeli-Arab conflict
morphed into a more specific Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and this is a nice moment to note
that not all Muslims are Arabs, not all Arabs are Palestinians, and not all Palestinians
are Muslims. Like, there’s a significant Christian minority of Palestinians, for instance. Palestinian
is a word used to describe the ethnic identity of those who have historically lived in Palestine. There were, for instance, lots of Christians
in the Palestinian Liberation Organization, or PLO, formed in 1964 and led by Yasser Arafat.
The PLO oversaw guerrilla groups that attacked civilians, but also used nonviolent approaches
to try to achieve a Palestinian state, and meanwhile, the Israeli government began to
establish Jewish settlements in what had been Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem,
the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip. There are now over 350,000 Jewish settlers
in the West Bank, and over 200,000 in East Jerusalem, and these settlements are illegal,
according to international law, but Israel counters by saying that they aren’t really
illegal because Palestine isn’t really a state. By the late 1980s, Palestinians launched the
first intifada, which literally means “shaking off.” And this began with, like, boycotts
of Israeli products and services and refusing to pay Israeli taxes, but when the Israeli
armed forces cracked down on protesters, violence ensued. And the first intifada also saw the
founding of Hamas, which launched the first suicide bombing against Israel in 1993. Hamas
gained support partly because of its militancy, but mostly because of its social welfare projects
in Gaza. It built and staffed schools, mosques, and clinics. The most important legacy of the First Intifada
was the emergence of peace talks between Palestinians and Israelis. This led to the Oslo Accords,
and the peace process, based on our old friend, United Nations Security Council Resolution
242. But there were a lot of issues to resolve – I mean, putting aside the question of, like,
how to make two states that don’t look like a jigsaw puzzle, there was the question of
the Jewish settlement, and the right for Palestinian refugees and their descendants to return to
Palestine. Water rights, which are a big deal in that part of the world, and so on. It’s
very complicated! So then came the Clinton talks. Oh, it’s time
for the Open Letter! But first, let’s see what’s inside of the
globe. Oh, look! It’s a collection of philandering American presidents. An Open Letter to Bill
Clinton: Hey, Bill, so your talks probably came closer
than any other time in recent history to an actual peace deal between the Israelis and
the Palestinians. Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak was willing to give up more land currently
claimed by Israel than at any other time in the past; even Yasser Arafat was surprised. Although not all the questions got addressed,
you were definitely closing in on something. But in the end, it didn’t happen, and since
then, not to criticize you, things have gotten kind of worse and worse and worse. Worst of
all, that was your big legacy moment. Now all you’ve got is the conflict in Northern
Ireland getting resolved while you were president. In short, it could have been amazing, but
instead it was kind of… neeeeh. Kind of like your presidency, actually! At least you
always have those vodkas-soaked hugs with Boris Yeltsin to look back on. Best Wishes,
John Green. So the Clinton talks failed; Ehud Barak’s
government was undermined, and then, in September of 2000, Prime Minister candidate Ariel Sharon
led a group of 1,000 armed guards to the Temple Mount in the Old City of Jerusalem. To Muslims,
this is known as the Al-Aqsa Mosque, and it’s the third-holiest site in Islam, behind only
the Kaaba in Mecca and the Prophet’s Mosque in Medina. And it’s the holiest site in Judaism,
so in short, it’s a pretty touchy place to march to with a thousand armed guards. So the events sparked a massive protest, which
eventually led to the much more violent Second Intifada, in which more than three thousand
Palestinians and one thousand Israelis were eventually killed. In 2002, the Israelis,
claiming to act in defense of civilians, began construction of a wall around the West Bank,
but instead of following the borders established after the 1967 War, the barrier was built
to include many Israeli settlements on the Israeli side. To Israelis, that was about
self-defense; to Palestinians, it was an illegal land grab. Then, in 2005, Yasser Arafat died, and in
an election shortly thereafter, Hamas won a majority of the parliamentary seats. Since
then, Hamas and the Palestinian Authority have sort of divided how to govern Palestine,
and it’s also sort of been poorly governed. In the past ten years, Hamas has frequently
launched rocket attacks into Israel; Israel has responded with extended and extremely
violent invasions of Palestinian territory that have seen thousands of Palestinians killed,
many of them militants, but also many not. Both parties claim to be responding to the
provocations of the other, but much of the conflict reflects the consistent failure on
all sides to understand the legitimacy of the other’s narrative. To Palestine, the Palestinian
people have been denied a state not just since the formation of Israel, but also for decades
before that, and now they live under what amounts to a military occupation. And that’s
all true. To Israel, the Jewish people clearly need
a homeland, which the United Nations established. And they certainly aren’t the first nation-state
to consolidate and increase their territory via military victory. And they need to protect
their nation against the many active threats made against them by their neighbors. That’s
also true! It’s important to understand the internal
logic of these competing nationalist visions. For both Zionists and Palestinian national
visions to eventually work, it’s necessary to understand the right of each to exist and
the legitimacy of each’s historical narrative. But these problems aren’t thousands of years
old, and they aren’t intractable. They emerged in the British Mandatory Period. But let’s
hope that by understanding this isn’t an endless religious war, that we might be closer to
seeing its end. Thanks for watching. I’ll see you next week. Crash Course is filmed here in the Chad and
Stacy Emigholz studio in Indianapolis, and it’s made possible by our subscribers on Subbable,
so thanks to you all. By the way, if you want to learn more about Israel and Palestine,
our friends at Thought Café have made a series of videos; you can also find a link to them
in the video info below. Thanks again to all our Subbable subscribers; thanks to the educators
who share these videos with their students and to the students who share them with their
teachers. As we say in my hometown, don’t forget to be awesome.

100 thoughts on “Conflict in Israel and Palestine: Crash Course World History 223”

  1. You left out a lot of key parts and brushed over LOTS of history… you don’t even mention that HAMAS IS A TERRORIST ORGANIZATION… they did a lot for Palestinian society?! Like fire rockets from schools and hospitals and brainwash their children? Wtf guy.. you’re the problem.

  2. If zionists are seculars, why do they care about Judaism?
    I mean why don't both nations live together in one secular state? No Islamic state nor jew state.

  3. you forgot to mention 1973 war, the peace declaration between Israel and Egypt and that 20% of Israelis are Arab, but they don't have the same right of jew citizens, however, they live better than all the Arab countries.

  4. This is a great video its fair and shows the real history behind the war and shows how Israel has become a country by just killing people and starting wars with everyone who tried to stop them…actually now i have a better vision of the whole situation as i didnt know the exact details behind the history…Free Palestine 🇵🇸

  5. would love to see a pro-Israel version of this, since this is clearly leaning Palestinian. Just sayin'; the few attempts to make this difficult and complicated topic seem objective are pretty weak and the bias seeps through.

  6. This conveniently brushed over the numerous attempts at an amicable two state solution, which was agreed to by the Israelis and denied by the Palistinians. A 2 state solution has been proposed multiple times, with the Palistinians being against it every time. They don't want to co-exist. They want Israel to cease to be.

  7. Most of this is ok but Palestinians fled not stayed in 6 days war they lost their homes in war. Not fight 6day war hmm.

  8. You can't even keep the tally of people who lost their lives due to british stupidity and uncompetebilty. Israel-Palestine India-Pakistan China-HK and many more.

  9. At the beginning of the video, he says "What is now called Palestine." For the sake of intellectual honesty, there is currently no recognized state called Palestine.

  10. How weird it's almost as if Israel is literally only defending itself from attack then every complains because they win alot.

  11. Ok, so, maybe I misunderstood.
    I get that it’s Britain’s fault.
    But wtf? I’m also getting a feeling that Israel has been pushing little by little its boundaries? I do not see the fairness in that part.

  12. want to be better if they just created an equal State between Jews and Muslims and try to create some integration and peace that would probably be the best ending for everyone

  13. if you knew Arabic and if you knew a bit of what the Arabs are saying in the mosques every friday you would know it is 100% religious conflict and the land issue is only a mask and a lie to fool stupid westerners like yourself . the Arabs has a say that "after Saturday comes Sunday " which means that after we kill the Jews we come for the Christians . Israel just refuse to die and fight back and the "religion of peace is now in your hometown . sad

  14. Aren’t Palestinians just Arabs from elsewhere trying to live in the West Bank ? Hmmmm !? These folks would fight over 3 feet of sand !

  15. Watch yourselves Israel, these people think if they blow themselves up they get a buncha virgins !? Dumass muslums ! Satan lied big to you !

  16. Palestine have been offered their own territory not once but 5 times. Did you forgot to mention Hussaini the guy who became bffs with Hitler for the eradication of Israel. And what about the fact that there was NEVER a Palestine state nor identity until late 1930s. 🤔

  17. Thank you for being honest and accurate about this tricky part of political history, not taking sides is very hard yet important.

    All respect to you mr. Green

  18. Palestine isn't a place. Never has been. All of those bigoted bastards could live in Jerusalem just fine, like a million other muslims do, but they won't let go of their false claim to that land.

  19. This is most definitely the fault of the British BUT “Palestine” wasn’t really “populated” as this video suggests. To paraphrase Mark Twain: The land was desolate and arid. There were mile and miles of stretches of land between run down homes. It was basically empty and forgotten.

    Israel has always belonged to the Jews in one way or another. It wasn’t until the destruction of the Second Temple that the Romans sent the Jews into exile and renamed the holy land Syria-Palaestina (after the mortal enemies of the Jews: Philistines) in an attempt to erase the Jews from history. However, not all of the Jews left, which is why there were still Jews living in Jerusalem during the crusades.

    The Arabs invaded Israel, just like they did with Byzantium, North Africa and the Iberian peninsula. When the Arabs lost control of Israel they refused to admit defeat and want to claim ownership, just like they do with Iberia (Portugal and Spain).

    “The British issued a white paper limiting Jewish immigration to Palestine” aka the Arabs threatened the British and the Jews were forced to return/stay in Germany where they were slaughtered by the Nazis.

    I’m short, Israel did and does belong to the Jews, as all history books, as well as the bible, show.

  20. At 4:50, couldn’t the Palestinians have waited for 10 years for their state and worked for a dual state solution with the moderate Jews then? It feels like hardline nationalism has caused decades of bloodshed and economic strife for no good reason. I know hardline Zionist-leaning Jews will hate the idea of sharing the land with other people, but people need to compromise to work together, else war is inevitable

  21. So happy that this video exists. I came here after wanting to educate myself more on the conflict as a American Jew and hearing Trump say that American Jews who vote Democrat show a "lack of knowledge" or "great disloyalty". My search for non-biased history led me here. Thank you so much John Green. Even if this video is 4 years old, it's still more than enough information to help me start to form an opinion based on non-biased historical fact.

  22. White European colonizers move in, take whats sheared among all. Then say its everyone else is wrong for existing there before they ever got there.

  23. They missed out the Arab revolts in the 1920s and 30s where thousands of Jews were raped and kjilled by arabs/palestinians for simply emigrating to Israel. They missed out the fact that Israel accepted the UN declaration but Palestine didn't also they missed out that in the holocausts jews had nowhere to go so journeyed to Israel where under the pressure arabs/palestinians they would kill innocent jews – often holocaust survivors. They also missed out the arabs/palestinians started each war. THe reason the Clinton talks didn't work is because Yasser Arafat said NO even though it was an extremely generous offer

  24. Good job not mentioning Hamas' stated goal is Jewish genocide and pretending this hasn't been going on for 1400 years by trying to blame the Brits. Also your completely refreshingly "unbiased" take of not mentioning Israel sending Palestinians food and supplies that Hamas refuses it's citizens while Hamas, a terror group, and the half dozen other terror groups operating in Palestine, straps bombs onto children and mentally disabled and sends them back in order to murder more Jews.

  25. Israel has offered land and peace 3 times but the Palestinians keep turning it down as they believe in wiping Israel off the planet.

  26. What people don’t realize is Islam has been here since the first man prophet Adam people just got misguided and left the ways so god selected new prophets to fit the people of that time and their nation until Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him came and this Islam was universal for anytime and the book was never lost

  27. Skips over the Holocaust. Because things "were peaceful in Palestine" during World War II. No mention of 800,000 Jews expelled from Arab countries. No mention of Arabs invading Israel in 1948. No mention of lead up to Six Day War with Arab countries threatening to destroy Israel.

    I give him credit for acknowledging Israel's need for security. But you cant discuss Zionism without the Holocaust.

    We have a hipster, largely one sided history that mostly ignores Jewish suffering.

  28. god save pelastine from the jews

    سيئتي المهدي و سيحرره من اليهود و الئدجال و سيحاسبون على جرائمهم في حطم و جهنم و الجحيم و سيسقون من ويل عضيم

  29. the fight between (israel) and palestine its not a simple conflict ,, its a conflict of two religions ,, two nations ( Muslims around the world and Jews around the world ) …. its end at the end of the day

  30. Basically they made part of palestine into isreal to house the jews, but isreal is encroaching on more and more of the palestines land

  31. Lesson learned: the UN sucks at inventing Nations … a social experiment disaster.
    Historical Proven Best Practice Method of Nation Establishment: WAR !!! … thousands of years later, is still #1, like it or not

  32. 7:42 it's not really illegal because they had 2 wars and Israel won both wars. Like The American / Indian in the US, ooooooor any other time one people got to war with a different people over land..

  33. Cheap Zionist Israeli propaganda. It's clear to every person with some sanity that Palestinians have been and still the victims of organized ethnic cleansing conducted by Israel and fully supported by the USA and the west.

  34. It's hilarious that around the 7 minute mark, we get sentences like "the Palestinians attackedabunchofcivilians but also worked through non-violent methods!" and "Hamas, which startedsuicidebombingpeoplelikecrazy, but ALSO built a bunch of things that people liked!"

    You also didn't mention that the Palestinians were the ones who refused completely 100% to not even attempt to negotiate during the Clinton talks.

    Kind of … bi-assed.

  35. You forgot to say that the Israelis are Khazars descended from Satan! And have no right to any part of Palestine!

  36. A couple of things…. Who started those wars? Suspiciously missing information… Secondly, Israel has made overt attempts at peace including abandoning land, giving the temple mount up, and giving a place in the government to "palistinians". What has Hamas done? Launched rockets….

  37. The narrative of dismissing religion limits the perspective of the true story. This region has been in conflict much longer than the entrance of the British into the mix that’s why they are still fighting today even though the British are out of the picture.

  38. "The British promised Palestine to…" except it wasn't Palestine yet. It was just a piece of the Ottoman empire. Misleading af

  39. British did the same with Nigeria. There north Nigeria, totally in poverty and a lot of them are illiterate and they reject western education. And have created boko haram and Fulani herdsmen killing people in the north because of religious beliefs. In the southwest it is the richest place in the country and also the most literate but the north is holding them back as the north are more populated so they get to win elections. The south east and ss are also among the most educated but to end it off no body wants to be a Nigeria as we are all too different

  40. It's ironic how left-wingers will boo-hoo how the Jews set up camp in Palestine, a place where there was bound to be cultural conflict, yet at the same time think no one should have a problem with Muslims immigrating to the West.

  41. Israels government kills Palestinian people with bombs while Palestinians have rocks. Satanyahu loves murdering Palestinians and really wants to start WW3 with Iran. Republicans want war with Iran and Democrats want war with Russia.

    Revelation 3:9 Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee.

  42. These British had been responsible for almost every geographical disputes on Earth like Kashmir b/w India and Pakistan , Hong Kong , Gaza strips and West Bank b/w Israel and Hamas

  43. 2000 years ago a group of greedy money-changers went to Caesar to falsely accuse an Innocent man of Being a Terrorist, simply because he kicked over their Interest-ridden trading tables

    2000 years later Today , a group of Greedy Zionist Banksters have again stolen the Holy Land and converted it into A DEN OF THIEVES

    Somebody call the banker-buster and lets pray, He does more than just kick over their trading tables.. Ameen

  44. Say anything but it's clear that Israeli military is brutal to civilians of Palestine. It is a human rights abuse that no one talks about

  45. Facts make a difference. 1. WHO owns the land? The ones given it and winning every war forced on them for the land. 2. WHO are the refugees? In their own words: "The Palestinian people does not exist. The creation of a Palestinian state is only a means for continuing our struggle against the state of Israel for our Arab unity. In reality today there is no difference between Jordanians,Palestinians, Syrians and Lebanese. Only for political and tactical reasons do we speak today about the existence of a Palestinian people, since Arab national interests demand that we posit the existence of a distinct 'Palestinian people' to oppose Zionism.  (PLO executive committee member Zahir Muhsein, in a 1977 interview with the Dutch newspaper Trouw.). And it continues:@t,@t @t for more. Facts make a difference. WHO owns the land? The jews. Who are the refugees? Jordanians, that Jordan refuses entry to.

  46. I don't get it
    Many people say that the Jewish settlers from Europe had no rights to the land and that's why they shouldn't have been able to "accept" in the first place when Palestinians and Arabs wanted to attack and did so

    But their state had the right to exist because of its ability to defend itself, isn't that the same for any other nation? Why isn't it considered an actual state then?

  47. Because the British had most of the world do what they wanted, by their supreme diplomacy and tactics.

    Balfour declaration = Crusade (to have sympathy and support as well wishers of persecuted Jews instead of grudge of everyone else and regain Jerusalem and Israel without being called a religious war)

    And keep supporting Israel via America and the UK itself to make sure land of Jerusalem is under control. Still make sympathetic statements for the persecuted Palestinian Arabs.

    👏👏what a game

  48. As a Palestinian, I believe the segregation of the ethnic groups into separate lands was the initial flame, so to speak. There was no need for an Israel just as there was no need for a Palestine. Everyone was living peacefully before. It seemed to be a beautiful time… Why segregate them? They turned the chains that once connected them now into chains that separated them.

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