First Zionist Congress (1897)
In 1897 modern political zionism, the nationalist movement to establish a Jewish state, emerges in Europe. The First Zionist Congress led by Theodor Herzl agreed the movement would seek to colonize a part of Palestine, having also considered parts of Africa and South America.
In 1917, UK's Foreign Secretary Arthur Balfour issued the ‘Balfour Declaration’ promising the UK’s support for the creation of a ‘national home’ for Jewish people in Palestine, despite its inhabitants being 92% Palestinian Arab (zionist immigration increased the Jewish population in Palestine from 3% to 8% since 1897).
British Rule & Settler Colonial Zionism (1920 - 1948)
Following WW1, Britain ruled Palestine for 30 years facilitating the zionist settler colonial project. These are not typical immigrants seeking to build a better life in a foreign country. Rather, they are part of a project that seeks to expel the native people from their own homes, and create their own nation in its place. The settler Jewish population rose from 9% to 31% and crushed all Palestinian revolts.
The Nakba & Creation of Israel (1948)
Britain hands over responsibility to the United Nations, which created a proposal to create a Jewish state of Israel on 55% of historic Palestine, even though just one third of the population was Jewish. The Jewish Agency accepted the deal, the Palestinians rejected, and war broke out. What Israel calls its “war of independence”, Palestinians call the Nakba “catastrophe” having suffered ~15,000 deaths, ~530 destroyed villages, and over 800,000 forced to flee as refugees into neighbouring countries. Israel colonized 60% of the area allotted to Palestine, bringing the total proportion of Israel to 78%. Israel ignores UN Resolution 194 demanding it allow the return of the Palestinians expelled in 1948.
Occupation of the West Bank, East Jerusalem & Gaza (1967)
During the "Six Day War" in 1967, Israel defeats a coalition of Arab States, and goes on to occupy the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip (the “Occupied Palestinian Territories” - OPT), bringing all of historic Palestine under Israeli control. Up to 420,000 Palestinians are forced into exile. Israel ignores United Nations resolution 242 calling for it to withdraw.
Annexation of East Jerusalem & Golan Heights (1980-1981)
East Jerusalem & the Golam Heights were captured by Israel during the 1967 war. In 1980, the Israeli government proclaimed Jerusalem its undivided capital, and the following year it formally annexed the Golan Heights.
Oslo Accords (1993-1995)
During the years of negotiations (and the interim period that followed) which aimed to address Israel's withdrawal from the Occupied Territories, the illegal Israeli settlements in the OPTs doubled in size. Ariel Sharon in 1998, while Minister of Housing and Construction (Prime Minister from 2001-06) stated;
Construction of the Separation Barrier (2002-present)
Illegal under international law, dividing to conquer demonstrating Israel's real ambition of colonizing the West Bank rather than a temporary occupation. 760km long to date, with >85% built on Palestinian land carving off 10% of the territory. Dividing communities, farms, and neighbourhoods while scarring the landscape and the fabric of Palestinian society.
Blockade of Gaza (2007-present)
Following democratic elections that saw Hamas come to power, Israel declared it a hostile entity and imposed a full blockade of Gaza with the support of Egypt which shares a border with southern Gaza. The result of the blockade has been devastating with the majority of the population living under the poverty line, one of the highest rates of unemployment in the world, and completely shut off from the rest of the world. Gaza is one of the most densely populated regions in the world yet frequently comes under attack by Israeli airstrikes which have killed at least 7,747 people, 1,737 of whom were minors.
Source: Excerpt from a lecture entitled "Imperial Continuity: Palestine, Iraq, and U.S. Policy", by Palestinian American Professor Edward Said at the University of Washington, 8th May 2003.
The Separation Wall. (Photo: Ahmad Gharabli, AFP)
Source: Carlos Latuff - artist, Mintpressnews.com 2020.
"Everybody has to move, run, and grab as many hilltops as they can to enlarge the settlements because everything we take now will stay ours... Everything we don't grab will go to them."
"I will do everything in my power to halt the further implementation of the Oslo Accords and any further Israeli withdrawals"
Benjamin Netanyahu came to power in 1996 and stated;