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.


  1. 5:56 700,000 fled. Why do think 700,000 fled off their land? Is it possible that many years later the rocket attacks might have had something to do with how they have been abused over decades by the Israelis? It seems like no matter how hard someone tries to tell the story objectively, the story is always going to be told with some slant, bias, or something being omitted.

  2. Islam wasn’t created 1400 years ago. It was always here. Islam came to our “last” Prophet, Muhammad (PBUH) during that time (1400 years ago). Islam is the very nature of Allah. No beginning or ending. Also, how could Islam start 1400 years ago with our last Prophet? Wouldn’t having a last prophet suggest that we had a 1st that predates all other prophets?

  3. israel had no right to establish its zionist enterprise in Palestine, as it belonged to other people. The UN had no capacity to partition Palestine, to do so would have required a plebiscite. israel was created on May 14, 1948 when a gang of zionist terrorists declared they would establish their enterprise in Palestine, and ethnically cleanse the Palestinian owners from their homes and land. In 1948, the Palestinians were 65% of the population and zionist immigrants 30%, but Palestinians owned or controlled 85% of the land, and the zionists just 7%. Under international law, the Palestinians have every right to defend themselves and expel the invaders and occupiers of their land. israel has no such right! As an invader and occupier, israel has only obligations to the Palestinians, foremost of which to preserve life and property.

  4. As a Christian you can guess what side I'm on but to be honest I'd rather see the holy land at the hand of Islamists or Zionists than destroyed and left at nothing

  5. It will never end as long as the Islamists can continue breeding more inbred morons for their "cause" as Islam has never had any interest in peace true peace!
    Seriously how come Muslims allways complain over Israel but if you point out Muslim colonialism you're an "Islamophobe"???

  6. No mention that Jewish Kings Like David or Soloman ruled there or of the Jewish sites there that pre-date Islam. This is why Israel is the natural ancestral home for the Jews.

  7. this video is so aggravatingly hostile to the Jewish State of Israel. the islamoNazis never had control over Israel other than the Ottoman Empire, but even in that one case, it was from a distance, from Turkey, and not from Israel itself. calling that land Palestine is extremely misleading. it was the name given to the Jewish Land of Israel by the conquering Roman Empire, who so named it to spite the Jews, as the name reminded the Jews of their centuries-old nemesis, the Philistines of Goliath fame. next, faulting the Jews for causing hostility by purchasing land from the islamoNazis? really? so Jews should not be allowed to buy land? even worse in this case, since Israel has always really belonged to us Jews, ever since it was given to us by G-d in the Old Testament. oh, and this is not a religious conflict, but of land? are you kidding? so then why do the islamoNazis murder Jews around the whole world, and not just within the land of Israel? next, the so-called Palestinians do not come from Israel itself, but from neighboring States such as Jordan, Egypt, and Syria. ironically, they only came to Israel when the Jews had come first and made the land blossom. while that is understandable, that hardly makes the islamoNazis more deserving of the land of Israel than are the Jews themselves. disputed territories like the so-called West Bank (Judea & Sumeria) never belonged to the so-called Palestinians, and in fact that land belongs to the Jews, both because the Jews acquired it in a defensive war against the islamoNazis, and also because it was given to them by G-d as clearly expressed in the Old Testament. and btw, when the narrator of the above video talks about the Palestinian desire for a Palestinian State, what he conveniently fails to mention is that the so-called Palestinians do not believe in a Jewish State at all, that what the islamoNazis really want is the entire land, which of course means the destruction of the Jewish State of Israel. notice how he blames the Jews for islamo Nazi violence. that would be like those who blamed the Jews for nazi violence against the Jews. and no, the so-called Jewish settlements in Judea & Sumeria are NOT illegal. that land belongs to the Jews, but even if one says that that land is under dispute, having Jews living there is no more illegal than having the islamoNazis live there. he calls it "extremely violent invasions" when Israel defends itself against the islamoNazi terrorists. so apparently Jews are not allowed to defend their lives. this kind of thinking exactly mirrors that of the nazis, who would become outraged if any Jews dared to defend their own lives against the savagery of the nazis. and finally, he is completely wrong to leave religion out of this, as religion is exactly the reason for this conflict. the islamoNazis behave the way they do because they are following the teachings of their founder, mohammed, who ordered his followers to murder all Jews

  8. You conveniently leave out that the Israeli’s accepted the 1947 UN partition, but the Arab League did not. This is what lead to the war. You make a dumb joke like “oh this map looks like a jigsaw puzzle so it must be bad” to gloss over this fact. The Arabs would not have been content with less than all the land, but the Israelis agreed to the plan.

  9. This will end like crusades ended. Europeans religious extremists sent back to where they came from. Zionists didn’t came in peace and have already made so much barbaric acts destroying millions of lives that peace is not an acceptable choice for them. Zionists want it all. They Want erase palestine and the palestinians from history. I think at the end they will hhaavee nothing

    O Children of Israel! Call to mind the (special) favour which I bestowed upon you, and that I preferred you to all others (for my Message ). Then guard yourself against a Day when one soul shall not avail another, nor shall intercession be accepted for her, nor shall compensation be taken from her, nor shall anyone be helped (from ourside). And remember We delivered you from the people of Pharaoh: they set you hard tasks and punishments, slaughtered your sons, and let your womenfolk live; therein was a tremendous trial from your Lord. And remember We divided the Sea for you, and saved you and drowned Pharaoh's people within your very sight.
    And remember We appointed forty nights for Moses, and in his absence ye took the calf (for worship), and ye did grievous wrong. Even then We did forgive you to be grateful. And remember We gave Moses the Scripture and the Criterian (between right and wrong): THERE WAS A CHANCE FOR YOU TO BE GUIDED ARIGHT.
    Look at yourselves what kind of mischiefs you are not spreading in the world now !!! 😨😲😎👺🚫

  11. It actually has everything to do with theological conflicts leading to physical conflicts to conquer "promise land". Britain and everything else mentioned in this video it's just a fraction of the history and meaning of what we're seeing today.

  12. To say that Israel is not the first country to claim a right to rule by virtue of Conquest does not legitimize it.. Hitler Wanted to establish his right to rule by virtue of conquest and frankly I don't see the difference. Further, to say that it is legitimate because Israel needed a Homeland seems spurious. I may need a car but that does not give me the right to steal one. We can argue that Hitler needed Poland and Austria to better care for Germany , but that does not give him the right to take them.

    There is a sense in which this is a religious War in that Americans view Israel as a religious obligation and view Palestinians as if they were biblical Philistines to be subdued. Therefore America pours military expertise technology hardware and software into Israel which allows them to build on their conquests.

  13. Bloody Jews they are the root of many problems such as the media ,they start trouble then hide behind there puppets the USA

  14. Before the Ottoman Empire the Jewish people were living in this land for thousands of yesrs.
    The Jewish people were exiled by the Muslim Ottomans..
    After the Ottoman Empire fell the Jewish people desired to return to their homeland.

  15. Israel has been high jacked by a tightly knit group of evil, sub-human death cult. It is funded beyond words. It has no compassion or empathy. It's real and it has America in its Talons too. Sanctify yourself and don't pick a political side. Both are taken. The evil one is performing genocide on Palestinians and if you can twist that into Gods will, you can twist anything. Hide out and hold on

  16. If you trust in the bible, you have to believe that these things are gods will. So if the British had a hand in it, they were put to that task for a reason. Just as Rome was put to the task of driving the Jews from their home! God has a purpose and a plan and if you want to laugh at that, i suggest you study prophecy and how accurate it is. Especially today with the current social and political climate.

  17. Israeli and Palestines conflict, can anyone say setting the stage? How about this, how about if I ever see or hear again about anybody in the Gaza Strip, Tel Aviv, Israeli or Palestinian areas killing, attacking and/or creating any sort of unrest for the innocent people of these areas, who are wanting only to live a calm, serene and prosperous happy experience, if holy sacred fire comes down from the sky and justice being served by the Devine Holy Spirit Fire?

  18. zionism is satanism. period. and he did not cover history before the 19th century for a reason because if we go back to khazaria judaism's mask comes off. or the talmud

  19. this war is over 1000 years what are you talking about europe has kicked jews out of there countries over a 100 times. jews screw up everybodies country they touch. they are monsters.

  20. Insha Allah Pakistan Iran & Turkey will eliminate the existence of Israel India & America from this world 🇵🇰🇵🇰🇮🇶🇮🇶🇯🇴🇯🇴🇸🇾🇸🇾🇮🇷🇮🇷🇦🇫🇦🇫🇹🇷🇹🇷

  21. it's so funny how the whole world couldn't stand jewish ppl and wanted to get rid of em by using the weakness of an arabic country and threw them out there… how does the world expect palestinians themselves to stand em as an occupiers,,,, do they expect em to say 'hey u're welcome to take over our country'???

  22. I'm chinese living in the US. I pretty much accepted what TV/news told me in the US. But I changed my opinion after a trip to this region in the summer of 2019. I still think both sides have their legitimate points but now I really feel for the Palestine people. You can't just simply call them terrorists. They're hopelessly reacting. I wish the problem can be solved, but I doubt. Humans are supposed to be brothers and sisters and love each other. but God, we're killing each other … it's so sad. This is an ugly world that makes me want to leave …

  23. Are you for real Adele for decoration was born to England by the Roth Childs to bring America into World War I and in return they will get Palaside it didn’t work out

  24. It seems to me that one of the groups is lying. I think that it is the synagogue of satan. Revelation 3:9 King James Version (KJV)

    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.

  25. I’m sorry but you are so wrong. There have been 13 peace offers in which Israel has accepted and the Palestinian authority has time and time again rejected.

  26. people need to STOP calling Palestinians "Israeli Arabs" or "Arab Palestinians" or solely just "Arabs". We identify as PALESTINIAN first and Arab SECOND. Not because we have anything against Arabs (as we are a subset ethnicity), but this term used to replace Palestinian is a zionist tactic for erasing of Palestinian identity and basically, their existence.

  27. The sionist state is only a sabbatai zevi messianic plan by force. So it's very satanic, even more with perenialists like steve bannon and olavo de carvalho leading that flag in EUA and South America… the right wing is also satanic as the left.

  28. There was no Ottoman Palestine. It was part of the Mutasarrifate of Jerusalem. Also, if you're going to talk about the Austro-Hungarian Empire, then maybe talk about the Bushnaks.

  29. Britain the ones who take more land then they can control birthing a whole nation that would have its one rebel but unlike its mother it kept itself under control

  30. 2019.

    alot of people saying that jews are returning back to their home country and they have the right to go back. if you think that this is right then u r missing something. 3000 years ago neither Christianity nor islam existed. after they existed alot of the original jews in the lands converted to christianity then to islam. jews that fled out of the lands during or after the jews converted to other religions created new generations outside the lands. so the newly formed jews who are moving in to the lands are no more than invaders since their ancestors moved away and started a new life out.

  31. Come on where’s the flame you can start in the reply section as long as it’s an anti-somatic. I mean I like🇮🇱

  32. So, I am doing a research paper on this subject right here. The Israeli and Palestinian conflict. This helped a lot. THank you so much.

  33. Bottom line… It's like me giving u permission to live n take over my neighbor's house….. Even though I have no right to do so whatsoever.

  34. “Israeli spies have done more harm and have damaged the United States more than the intelligence agents of all other countries on earth combined… They are the gravest threat to our national security.”
    Admiral Bobby Inman

    Former Deputy Director of the CIA

  35. “Israeli spies have done more harm and have damaged the United States more than the intelligence agents of all other countries on earth combined… They are the gravest threat to our national security.”
    Admiral Bobby Inman       Former Deputy Director of the CIA

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