[MUSIC] Welcome back, in our previous classes, we have learned about the emergence of the society in Israel. And about some of the features and institution that keep this society together despite it internal cleavages and disputes. So far, we have focused mainly on internal forces but as much of you all ready know. One of the main aspects that have shape Israeli society even before the state was founded is Israel conflictual relation with it's neighboring countries and they are bored. To understand Israel's society and it's history better, we must therefore know more about this conflict, it's history and the constant attempt to bring this conflict to its end. I have asked Professor Elie Podeh to help us navigate through the complex history of the Israeli Arab relations, war and peace. Elie Podeh is a Professor at the Department of Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies here at the Hebrew University. In his research and teaching, Professor Podeh deals with modern history of the Arab Middle East, since the collapse of the Ottoman empire at the beginning of the 20th century. More specifically his main areas of interest are Arab Israeli relation, inter-Arab relations, Egypt, culture, and education in the Arab world. He's the author and editor of ten books and more than 60 academic papers in English, Hebrew and Arabic. Among his books are the Arab Israeli conflict in Israeli history books between 1948 and 2000 that was published in 2002. And most recently Chances of Peace, missed opportunities in the Arab-Israeli conflict published in 2015, welcome Elie. >> Hello, my name is Elie Podeh and I'm a Professor at the Department of Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies at the Hebrew University. Today we are going to talk on the Arab-Israeli conflict. And I'm sure that everyone of the teachers in this course already said that it's very hard to include all the elements of a subject in one class. And that's exactly what we're going to do, which is almost and impossible task but it will have to be very concise. So what we're going to do is to discuss in general about the stages, and characteristics and the evolution of say the conflict. Now before we start in going into the details I think it's very important to talk about some methodological remarks, which are connected very much to this subject. The first one is that in any given conflict, and we are talking about the Arab-Israeli conflict, the existence of two or several collective memories in historical narrative. It means that usually we have in our case an Israeli or Zionist situation narrative. And on the other side we have an Arab, or a Palestinian, Syrian, Egyptian narrative of the country. Usually you can find them in the textbooks, especially in school's textbooks that are issued by the ministry of education. And our task here at the university is somehow to combine all to give you elements of the two or more narratives of the conflict. The second point is the difficulty to change an objective account but particularly if you are part of the conflict. I'm Israeli and I'm Jewish, and therefore in a way I'm biased. Now the fact that I'm a makes it perhaps more easier to try at least to be as objective as possible. But we have to remember always that someone who is involved has the problem of objectivity. The third point is the existence of stereotypes and negative perceptions and images of the other. Meaning that you are brought up according to certain stereotypes, usually they are negative of the other side. And it takes time to uproot those negative images when you want to discuss, say, the subject, so you have to be very careful. In trying to see the whole picture and try to uproot your original images, as if you enter a completely new subject. The fourth point is the use of loaded terminology. Meaning that in every conflict, there is a certain terminology which is problematic or might be bias to all is the very essence of the one party narrative for example. When we talk about the Palestinian refugees after 1948, when we said that they ran away, well you gave an Israeli the interpretation. When you said that they were expelled by these values, then you say that this is a Palestinian narrative. Sometimes the words are loaded, they are not neutral and you have to be aware of that. Fifth point, the importance of comparing your conflict to other conflicts, and that is very helpful because, always we think that our conflict is unique, it's different and so on. But in many respects there are many things that are in common, for example, I found a Greek Cypriote conflict in Cyprus. In many ways quite similar, maybe in Northern Ireland the conflict is also quite similar. So it means that you can get a lot of understanding on your country by comparing it to other. The sixth point the importance of knowing the language of the other/enemy. And that is very important for the researchers themselves because you cannot really investigate the subject without knowing the language of the other. And the last point this is a subject which is affected by current daily affair, which might twist the historical analysis that means that it is an ongoing subject. And the error conflict or error Palestinian conflicts are very much relevant today. And whatever is going outside we leave or we teach, we study in Jerusalem. And in Jerusalem we know that all the time they are occurrences or violence and so on. It might affect you the way you look at the conflict. So, therefore, you have also somehow to disengage yourself from the current reality, which obviously is not easy. Now, let's move to some characteristics of the conflict and there are many of them. And here, what I'm trying to do is to look in a bolder perspective and the first point is that it's quite a long conflict. In the modern era we talk about from 1882, which is the first Zionist Aliya. Aliya is a wave of immigration. And we are talking about more than 100 years of the conflict. And by the way, some say that because it also has religious dimension, then we have to go earlier to the 7th century. The beginning of Islam, with the first encounters and violence clashes in some cases, between Jews and Muslims in Arabia, so that's another way. But in the modern era, we are talking about a long conflict. The second point, this is a conflict which combines element of identity, which relates to the question, who am I? Ideology, border, sovereignty, and demography, all those issues are very much part of the conflict. And to date, you should add another dimension, which is the question of whether the conflict is existential or territorial. And the answer to this question is very important, because if you say that it is existential, in a way, you say it's unsolvable. It means that you cannot really solve the conflict. Because it is the question of the destiny and the future of the two people living here. While, if you say that it is a territorial dispute, so this is a completely different question. It means that the territory or the border will go through here or there but eventually, a compromise can and should be found. That was the logic of the Oslo Agreements in the 90's, we'll mention it later. But the essence was that it was no longer existential dispute, which means that I recognize the other and I'm willing to live side by side, and we are turning it into a territorial dispute. But some of the elements in the conflicts, like the Hamas organization and right-wing element, extreme-right wing elements in Israel, they want to control the whole of Palestine, the whole of Eretz Yisrael. Therefore, this mean that this is an existential dispute. The third one, and this is a term that the expert in the conflict use mainly from social sciences. They call it an intractable conflict. Which means that it is a process. It is not a single violent episode of competitive relationships that extend over a period of time and involve hostile perceptions and occasional military actions. So in a way, this dimension include within it some of the characteristics that we had already mentioned. But some that use the word, they are very much concerned that indeed this is more of an existential dispute rather than a territorial. Which means that it's a long conflict and that it includes a lot of elements of violence and the chances for finding a solution are quite slim. The fourth point is that it is a multi-party conflict. When we talk about the Arab-Israeli conflict, we are talking in fact about several element. The first one, of course, is the Israeli state. Before '48, it was the Zionist State Movement. The second one is the Palestinians. And the Palestinians, they emerge as a national movement during the Mandate Period, we'll see that period in a minute. Now when we talk about the Palestinians, well, in a way, they are divided into three elements, which are located in different places, one of them in Israel. In Israel, they are something like 20% of the population. West Bank and Gaza. West Bank and Gaza, that was basically, theoretically, this is the core of the future Palestinian state. But today they are separated because in the West Bank, the Palestinian authority controls, while in Gaza, the Hamas organization are controlling. So you could say, in a way, that the Palestinians are divided among three territorial elements to date. The fifth characteristics is that we are talking about a communal, and not only state, conflict. Why is that? Because on the one hand, the communal conflict relates to the fact that we are talking about the conflict between the Jewish Israelis and the Arab-Palestinians, those Arabs living, residing in Israel. They identify themselves mostly as Palestinians, and they reside in Israel and they have a valid citizenship. So this is a communal conflict which has its own characteristics. On the other hand, you have a conflict with the Arab states and the Palestinian community outside Israel, okay? So therefore, it means that in several years or part of the conflict in certain stages, the conflict was battle between Israel and the Arab states. On certain occasions, it was between Israel and the Palestinians, and we'll see in a minute, the stages of evolution. Next, high level of violence. Usually when we talk about the Arab-Israeli conflict, everybody connects it to violence. It's a violent conflict and throughout the conflict from the early stages, you saw many occasions of that. Whether it's a war or terrorist activities, and so on. Now, here [COUGH] on this slide, you can see the example. I not necessarily will go over everyone of them, because this is a long list. But it just gives you an example of how often violent occurred in the conflict. In fact, every decade, sometimes even more than once in a decade. And it started already during the Mandate Period. Again, we'll see what does it mean immediately, but you can see here the disturbances and incidents in the 20s and the 30s, and which ended in the 1948 War. What is written 47, 49? This is the most important war. The Liberation War, we call it the Palestinians called it the Nakba. Again, we were talking about the loaded terminology. So you see, every side have its own narrative and has its own terms. For the Israelis it's the war of independence and liberation, for the Palestinians is the Nakba, this is a word in Arabic which means disaster. Now, you go over and you see that there were certain wars with the Arab countries because the Palestinians, they fled from the country. They were expelled and then the conflict moved mainly to the Arab countries. So you had the Suez War in 1956 with Egypt. The Six-Day War, which was with Egypt, Syria and Jordan. War of Attrition with Egypt. The Yom Kippur War, which again, was very crucial. It was with Syria and Egypt. But eventually also leading to the peace agreement with Egypt. We'll mention it in a minute. The Lebanese War. And then we move again to the Palestinian anger of the conflict. The Intifada, the uprising, the first wave in 87-91. The second one, in the year 2000, 2004. Two long Intifadas, two long uprisings. Many of us talk whether what we witness now in Jerusalem, in Israel, is the third Intifada. I mean, the violence around us which is mainly a Palestinian affair. And then we have several military operations, which is another word for actually a war. And that was the second Lebanese War and then we had three operations in Gaza, the last one in 2014. So again, you see that high level of violence throughout the conflict. At the same time, and now we move to the next characteristic, we, at the same time what we witness is periodical negotiations with the other side. So this is also a characteristics of the conflict, so it's not correct only to emphasize the violent element, which is crucial, no doubt. But at the same time, there were period of negotiations, and the first one started already in 1919, with the Faisal–Weizmann Agreement. Nothing came out of it but it was an interesting episode. And Weizmann was the head of the Jewish organization, or the World Zionist Organization and Faisal was the representative of the Arabs at that time. And then during the mandate period, we had Zionist-Arab meetings which nothing came out of them, but again, they were trying to reach an understanding and they failed. The armistice agreement, which was ceasefire agreements after the war of 1948, there were not peace agreement, but there was ceasefire and they lasted. They lasted until 67 and then, we had this Sadat initiative in 1971, which means that six years before the signing of the agreement between Israel and Egypt, Sadat decided to offer an initiative. This is a little bit unknown episode which is very interesting because that was the first time that an Arab leader in fact suggested a peace agreement to Israel. And the government at that time, headed by Golda Meir, refused or rejected the initiative. Of course, it's a long and interesting episode but we don't really have the time to go into it. The bottom line is that it could have averted the 1973 war, had we reached some kind of compromise with Sadat in 1971. In any case, that was the beginning of certain negotiations which were held between Israel and Egypt and a certain trust were built between the two countries, which eventually culminated in 1979. It was preceded by Sadat's visit to Jerusalem two years earlier in 79 and then ten years of negotiations with the help of the United States. Eventually they led to the first formal Israeli-Egyptian peace treaty, which opened the door and broke the ice between Israel and the Arabs. But it took another 14 years before another agreement was signed and that was the breakthrough with the Palestinians in 1993 which is called the Oslo agreements because we are talking about the series of agreement that was signed during the Peres and Rabin as a prime minister of government. And they lasted, in fact they last until today, although since 1995 with the assassination of Rabin there were already many problems which was seen at that agreement. But nevertheless, the breakthrough with the Palestinians was very crucial because it led to the signing of the peace agreement with Jordan which lasts until today. And also to intensive negotiations with the Syrians which were had for something like at seven years during three different Israeli Prime Ministers. All of them with President Hafez al-Assad, the father of Bashar al-Assad, the current Syrian leader. Eventually they failed and believe it or not, but the gap between the parties was not wide. And I see it as a missed opportunity, because an agreement could have been signed at that time. Finally, two more interesting episodes. One of them is the Arab peace plan, and I'll end my lecture with this plan, because I think it's important, interesting, and I want to elaborate a little bit about it. And the talk between Olmert and Abu Mazen which were held in 2008. In here, they failed as well, although Olmert was pretty generous I'm think in terms of the offer that is submitted to the Palestinians and unfortunately the Palestinians eventually rejected it. So, that is the notion of negotiations with the other side. Then if you summarize it, you see that there were quite a lot along the conflict. The eighth point is the involvement of the superpowers. Superpowers were always, almost always involved. At the beginning, it were the British because they control the territory. Eventually when the British left the Middle East and Israel or Palestine, then the United States and the Soviet Union entered the Middle East. And they played important role, especially the United States who played the role of a mediator. In fact, most of the plans for the negotiations were submitted by the United States, although none of them really succeeded. But still, the Americans played a crucial role in mediating some of the agreements. Like the agreement between the Israelis and the Egyptians, also between the Israelis and Palestinians and so on. But also the superpowers played an important role. Because they escalated the situation because they provided arms and ammunition to the parties in the conflict. We'll see that later on. What you have here is something which gives you a clue about the demography of Palestine or Israel from 48. And you can see the changes, you can see starting already from 1517 until 2015. I mean the number of the Jews that constituted something like 1.7% of the population to where they came to 88 in the 60s, now declining to 75 in 2015. But the major changes of course were held during the mandate period as a result of the great and massive waves of immigration. So here you have the numbers and of course the major change was the result of the 1948 war where you can see what happened to the Palestinian non-Jewish population from something like 1.2 million, they came to be less than 200,000. That was a result of the 1948 war and of course that had an important impact on the Palestinians society in Israel and outside Israel. Here it's a map that shows you when we talk before here about the periodical negotiations with the other side. I decided to give you another two example which are very well-known in the config, the very well known episode. The first one it is called Peel Commission which was a British Commission that was established in 1937 and that was the boundaries that it suggested. And you could see that the yellow a territory are that should have been the Jewish part and the green one was an Arab one and next to Jordan. And then remaining British territory because of it's importance and because Jerusalem. Now the importance of the Peel Commission is that that was the first time that an international or any committee suggested a partition plan. Because in fact what we're dealing today is with partitioning Palestine. That was the first time there was an offer, because until then the assumption was that the Jews and Arabs and Palestine can live together. They came to the conclusion that that is an impossible mission and therefore, they decided to divide. The next map shows you the UN Commission, the UNtZ Corp Commission that was established in 1947 when the British was about to leave Palestine. Now you can see completely defend boundaries that suggested more territory to the Jews, why? Because meanwhile many Jews immigrated to the Palestine and therefore they delineated the boundaries in a different way which in a way gave more territory to the Jews than to the Arab population. Okay, now we move to the next section which deal with the main stages of the conflict. Because we are dealing with more than 100 years we need somehow to define the stages of the conflict in order to understand the main events. So the first stage it's what I call the formative period of the conflict and it is still under the sovereignty of the Ottoman empire. You can see the years 1882 until 1920. Which means that at that period the whole area including Egypt, North Africa, Arabian Peninsula, Jordan and Iraq. Although those countries, they've didn't exists, they were part of, they were provinces in the Ottoman Empire and sometimes they were called in a different way. Now here you have a good example, because Palestine did not exist. Palestine is an older term, and when we talk about the history of the term, then usually we are mentioning two things. One is a territory or a place called the Pleshet in the bible which might be the essence or the origins of the term. And secondly, the period of the Roman empire when they control the area and then they invented the term Palestine in order to disengage it from the Islamic rule and the whole period which came later on. And that means that the term itself is an invented term which mainly is connected to the Christian legacy or history. And that is why one of the reasons why later Muslim rulers they didn't want so much to use term that was associated with Christianity. So therefore what we see is first, different term that used in order to define the territory. And secondly, that we didn't have any territory that is called Palestine. You could see here the division and you could see that on the west side, on the east side of the river Jordan you have the Damascus Vilayet, which means the Damascus province. And then around Jerusalem, you have an area which was called Jerusalem and from their northward, that was region that was a Beirut area, which is today the capital of Lebanon. So what is important to remember for that that Palestine, when the British delineated was an invented term associated with Christianity, and the boundaries of that Palestine were also invented like many other countries in the area, like Iraq, like Syria and so on. Obviously, the Jews, they claim that they have their own history, which is connected to the boundaries of Eretz Israel. Eretz Israel is the Jewish term and Eretz Israel is mentioned in the Bible. And there it is mentioned at least twice from the river to the river and it is considered to very from the river of the Tigris, the Euphrates from Iraq to the Nile. So that in essence is the Greater Eretz Israel, which some religious people in Israel perhaps they still do believe. But most of the Israelis they confine themselves to the Israel that is now in its 1967 boundary. But this is the reason why you came find in the Arab narrative Then sometimes they refer to the Jewish, let's say, aspiration to control the greater area of Israel which means a much bigger state that Israel has today. The second period is the mandate period that we mentioned already few times. And here you see the boundaries of the British mandate over Palestine. So that is in essence the boundaries of Palestine which includes Israel, the territories and Jordan. What the British did is they decided to divide this entity into two in 1922. And the boundaries they delineated was along the Jordan River. Which you see with the blue line, okay? This will be now Transjordan. Transjordan later to become the state of Jordan was established here by the British in a completely artificial way. And the rest, this is the west end part of Palestine that remain Palestine under the British mandate for 28 years until the British evacuated. And during that period we had the communal conflict between the Jews in Palestine and the Arabs in Palestine. Now the term that has been used to define the land was Palestine in English, in Arabic Philistine or the Hebrew Palestina eretz Israel. And this was they connote the same territory but from different angles. But here you can see already the narrative of each of the side when it comes to the name of the territory. But in fact most of the characteristics that we saw are relevant to that period although some of them began already in the formative period during the Ottoman Empire period. Now maybe it is important to mention one important event, and that preceded the establishment of the British Mandate. And that is the Balfour Declaration, which was issued in 1917. And in that declaration the British promised Palestine, not the whole of Palestine but part of it. You can look at the context or the text of the declaration and then, you'll see that it was in purpose. They made a very vague declaration that promised Palestine or part of Palestine to the Jews. And on the basis of the Balfour declaration the mandate period was established in order to implement the Balfour declaration and that is why the Arabs living in Palestine from the first date, they objected to the Balfour declaration and they wanted to annihilate. They did not succeed to annihilate but they did succeed to make a change in the British share position which became more pro Arab as second world war approached in the 90's. Meanwhile, the Jews transcend the opposition in Palestine. Many Jews immigrated to Palestine. You can see here the numbers, okay? You can see from the beginning 1918, you can see the number 60,000 Jews and when we come to 1946 already almost half a million. So there is a major change as a result of the several waves of immigration, okay? So this is the second stage in the conflict. And this second stage ended with the Independence Day war and here what you can see is the end of the war. It means that you see the boundaries of Israel after the war of Independence, which is the 1967 boundaries. Now these are not the boundaries that were suggested here. You see here, these are on the right side, you can see the boundary that was suggested by the UN Partition Plan, all right. Now if you compared it to these boundaries, you can see the blue territory, which is the Jewish state it's bigger than the one promised in 1947 and that is of course the result of the wall. When Israel conquered more territories and expanded its territory on the expense of the future Arab Palestinian state. What remained of the Arab territory is two parts. One of them you can see the Gaza strip, a small, narrow strip along the Mediterranean, and that belonged after the war to Egypt which conquered the area. And Gaza was administered by the Egyptians but not formally annexed. While the other part which is called the West Bank much later we called Judaea and Somalia, that part was a 1950, annexed by Jordan and became part of Jordan and Palestinians became Jordanians citizens. That was the situation between 50 and 67. So as you can see the Israeli state is bigger than before, but still suffers from some security problem certainly along the narrow waist along the Mediterranean. So at that period and after the war, it caused many problems and if we in general talk about the period between 49-67 then it can be divided into two. The first part between 49 and 56 we can talk about a period of insecurity, instability which is called by frequent infiltration by Palestinians from the borders with Egypt and with Jordan. And the target was to kill, to assassinate, to steal and defend terrorists activities that were mainly in and around the border. And that caused a lot of security problems at that time for the civilians living along the border. Eventually it culminated with a war the Suez war in 1956 which was mainly a response to the nationalization of the Suez Canal by the Egyptian president, which Israel saw as a kind of a pretext, in order to hit the Egyptian president, who became much stronger as a result of certain transactions that he made with the Soviet Union. And the idea was to hit him and if possible, to topple him. It failed, but what is succeeded and that is the second part of the period, is succeed to calm down the situation. And the borders between '57 and '67, for a decade, were quite quiet. And that gave the opportunity to the Israeli State to deal with other pressing problems like absorbing the wave of immigrations coming from. Arab countries or coming from Eastern Europe or the Western World. And secondly, to develop the institution, the infrastructure, and that is a very crucial period in terms of economy. And which has transformed the country, and in many ways prepared it to the next encounter with the Arabs in 1967. Now the next stage started with the Six-Days War. And that was very significant as well because it ended with a huge victory. You can see here on the map the gains the territorial gains. Israel on the three fronts succeeded to gain a large chunks of territory. Which enhance its security. First of all, the Sinai Peninsula, the Hall of Sinai. Israel was now on the banks of the Suez Canal. Secondly, controlling the West Bank, taking it over from Jordan and also controlling the East Jerusalem. You have to remember that according to UN resolution, Jerusalem should have been remained as an corpus separatum, which is the Latin word for international city, which means nobody controls it or none of the parties in the conflict. But actually what happened after 1948, that Israel and Jordan, they divided the city among themselves. And the Israelis are controlling the west part. The Jordanian, the east part. And that division broke in 67 because Israel now controlled the whole of Jerusalem, including the Islamic Muslim shrines in Haram El Sharif. Which is of course a religious issue, which is part of the conflict since 1967. In the last chunk of territory is with Syria, the Golan heights. And the Golan heights, since 1981, is part of Israel. It was formally annexed by the Knesset while the West Bank, or Judah and Somalia by the Israeli name has never been annexed by Israel, and Sinai of course was delivered back to Egypt, and that ended the period in 1979. Now in between we had another meaningful war, and that is the 1973 war, the Yom Kippur War. And the idea is that the Israel and Sadat believed that because there is no way he's going to find a peaceful solution. Only a military showdown will be able to break the stalemate and that's why he started the war. Eventually it ended with a piece of women in with Egypt in 1979. And that started another phase and a phase of the re emergence of the Palestinian problem. Because once the problem with the major Arab states ended with the peace treaty, the core issue, the Palestinian issue came back to the front line. Now obviously it started earlier with the establishment of the PLO in 1964. In 1974, Arafat took over so they were important episode long time before. But that is the time that Palestine is becoming the crucial issue and of course the Intifada in 1987 is an important episode. And the end of it is of course is the beginning of the negotiations with the Palestinians, the Oslo years. And what you can see here is the result of the Oslo Agreement with the Palestinians. What you see in yellow and brown is the part where the Palestinians completely or partially are controlling. And this is part of the problem, because many the area they're not connected. They are disjointed. And that is one of the major problems of the Oslo Agreement because it didn't really create the new hope for the Palestinians of a new state. But it was meant more to answer the Israeli fears of security problems. We don't have time to go into the Oslo agreement. Try to read a little bit more about them. But for the whole decade, there were negotiations that eventually and unfortunately ended with another wave of Intifada which was more bloodiest and more deadly than the first one. And the impact of that period is still with us until today. And here we get to the last stage in the conflict, which is the period from 2000, and its escalation, confrontation, Palestinian split, The Fatah in the West Bank. Hamas is taking over in Gaza in 2007. Here you have a map of Gaza, you see a small strip which Hamas is controlling. And freeze in the negotiations also in between we have the at least one around of negotiation. Between Hai Abu Mazen and Olmert. But the situation right now is that we are in a pure deadlock. Deadlock in the negotiations. Deadlock also among the Palestinians themselves, who are split between the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. Between the Hamas and between the Palestinian Authority. And we don't see any solution in the foreseeable future. What we have in front of us, and you can go over it in your own free time, is the rest of the slides. And I'll just try to explain a little bit about them. Because we are dealing with such a long conflict. Then the idea here to see why at a certain point the conflict has subsided, when on certain occasions, it intensified or aggravated or became worse. So here you have a list of causes of escalation which means domestic instability and lack of regime legitimacy of Arab countries, which means when you find those elements you can understand why there was escalation in the country. Or competition and rivalries among Arab countries. Or a lot of involvement of the super powers and arms race. Or self image of excessive strength and omnipotence. Or ideological resistance to Israel's existence. Today it's been used by Iran, Hizballah, Hamas, and other Jihadist Islamic organization such as al-Qa'ida and ISIS. So all these are causes of escalation but there are also causes of relaxation, which means that the conflict at certain points subsided. And as I said new peace agreements, two, two and a half were signed with Jordan, Egypt, and the Palestinians. So first one it's the time factor. Meaning that people are, they are tired. They are tired from the long conflict and what it cost them. Secondly, pragmatism, metal and mental fatigue, meaning that you are becoming more pragmatist after you understand that the chances of beating Israel is not big enough. Inability to subdue the enemy, because of Israeli military edge and possession of nuclear capability, which means that many Arabs, they live with or are willing to recognize Israel. Not so much because they like the Jews, but they realize that it's a fact of life. Because Israel has established, it was Zeev Jabotinsky, one of the founders of the right wing. He called the iron wall concept, which means that you build a strong wall, then the other side will understand that Israel is about here to stay. And only at that period you will be in the situation to negotiate with the other side. And next, fragmentation of Arab politics and Egypt's decision to sign a separate peace with Israel, which means that Egypt, in fact, It was a breakthrough because it was the biggest and the most important Arab state. So if that country is willing to recognize Israel, that means that others can follow. For the time being, only Jordan followed. And there were other attempts with the Palestinians and the Syrians, and behind the scenes there are also connection with other countries mainly in the Gulf. And growing recognition of Israel and this is a very much disputed point, because some people say, no, they are unwilling and they will never be willing to recognize the Israeli state. I'm not sure. I think that it's a mistake to look at the other states as a complete whole. I think that there are disputes, there are different elements and there are certainly elements that came to the idea that Israel is here, a fact of life. And that's why I want to end with a little bit, you know, some optimism at the end, because we talked about so much violence, and we talked about deadlock in the negotiations and so on. But what I was trying to show you that at the same time always there where signs for optimism. And I think that capable leaders, they should invest in order to promote them. And one sign of optimism is in what is called the Arab Peace Initiative. Now, that initiative was originally a Saudi initiative that was offered by then Crown Prince Abduallah in 2002. And was adopted by the Arab League and a resolution of their summit in Beirut. Now see what it says. Full Israeli withdrawal, that's what they are asking from all the territories occupied since 1967 including the Syrian Golan Heights to the June 4, 1967 lines, as well as the remaining occupied Lebanese territories in the south of Lebanon. So they are asking full Israeli control from the 67, to the 67 boundaries. Second. Achievement of a just solution to the Palestinian refugee problem to be agreed upon in accordance with U.N. General Assembly Resolution 194. Check please what the resolution says. It says that they will go back to the places or will be compensated. So this is quite a vague text that is trying to relate to the Palestinian refugee issue. And the acceptance of the establishment of a sovereign independent Palestinian state on the Palestinian territories occupied since June 4, 67 in the West Bank in Gaza. Which is Jerusalem as it's capital. So it's not talking about the establishment of a Palestinian state over the whole Palestine but part of it. What they are willing to give in return consequently. The Arab countries affirm the following. Consider the Arab-Israeli conflict ended and enter into a peace agreement with Israel and provide security for all the states of the region. And secondly establish normal relations with Israel in the context of this comprehensive peace. So this has the ingredients of a possible peace agreement between Israel and the Arab countries and the Palestinians. Unfortunately the Israeli government has never formally responded. Here and there some Israeli politicians related to it but the government Israel has not responded. I have dealt with it and published quite a lot about it, so therefore you can read a little bit more about it. Let me finish with saying just the following, anyone who is interested. To read more about the subject which as you can understand is loaded, is huge and deals with such a long period with so many events, can use at least, there are many sources but I will refer to you to two. One is text book by Charles Smith and I find it as quite an objective account of the conflict. It came out already in some eight editions. So it's quite popular in the field and I think it covers the whole period until recent times. And this is one good source which covered the whole conflict. And if you want to concentrate on the peace attempts and also the Arab peace plan that I just mentioned, you can look at my own book which just came recently. And it is called Chances for Peace: Missed Opportunities in the Arab-Israeli Conflict. It will give you some idea about the conflict. Those that were unmissed and those that we unfortunately missed. I hope that at least you gain some knowledge of the essence of these complex situation and conflict. And I wish you all the best in the rest of the course. Thank you. >> Thank you Elie for this comprehensive review. Later on in our course we will look into the various ways in which the conflictual relation between Israel and its neighboring Arab countries has affected different aspects of Israeli society, such as the relations between the Jewish majority and the Palestinian minority in Israel. The relations between European Jews and Jews of Middle Eastern origin. We will also look into the influence of Israel's constant state of war on the centrality of the military in Israel. And on the political landscape and voting patterns in this society. In our next class however, we will delve into another related issue. The attempt to construct Israel as a Jewish democracy. What does it mean exactly? And what are the political and social consequences of the attempt to combine, rather than separate state and church? Join us next week to learn all about this challenge.