Have you wondered, “Who’s really leading this world?” Is it the United States? Is it Israel? Since about 1970, the United States [At 3.8 million square miles (9.8 million km2), the United States is the world’s third or fourth largest country by total area[d] and is slightly smaller than the entire continent of Europe‘s 3.9 million square miles (10.1 million km2). With a population of over 327 million people, the U.S. is the third most populous country.] has become the principal ally of Israel. The Land of Israel (also known as the Holy Land or Palestine) is the birthplace of the Jewish people, the place where the final form of the Hebrew Bible is thought to have been compiled, and the birthplace of Judaism and Christianity.
It contains sites sacred to Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Samaritanism, Druze and the Bahá’í Faith. In 1979, an uneasy Egypt–Israel Peace Treaty [The Egypt–Israel Peace Treaty was signed in Washington, D.C., United States on 26 March 1979, following the 1978 Camp David Accords. The Egypt–Israel treaty was signed by Egyptian President Anwar Sadat and Israeli prime minister Menachem Begin, and witnessed by United States President Jimmy Carter.] was signed, based on the Camp David Accords[The Camp David Accords were signed by Egyptian President Anwar Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin on 17 September 1978, following twelve days of secret negotiations at Camp David. The two framework agreements were signed at the White House, and were witnessed by President Jimmy Carter. The second of these frameworks (A Framework for the Conclusion of a Peace Treaty between Egypt and Israel) led directly to the 1979 Egypt–Israel Peace Treaty. Due to the agreement, Sadat and Begin received the shared 1978 Nobel Peace Prize.
The first framework (A Framework for Peace in the Middle East), which dealt with the Palestinianterritories, waswritten without participation of the Palestiniansand was condemned by the United Nations.In 1993, Israel signed Oslo I Accord with the Palestine Liberation Organization, followed by establishment of the Palestinian National Authority and in 1994 Israel–Jordan peace treaty was signed. Despite efforts to finalize the peace agreement, the conflict continues to play a major role in Israeli and international political, social and economic life. The economy of Israel was initially primarily democratic socialist and the country dominated by social democratic parties until the 1970s. Since then the Israeli economy has gradually moved to capitalism and a free market economy, partially retaining the social welfare system. Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat signed the Israeli–Palestinian Interim Agreement on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip on 28 September 1995 in Washington. The agreement was witnessed by President Bill Clinton on behalf of the United States and by Russia, Egypt, Norway and the European Union, and incorporates and supersedes the previous agreements, marking the conclusion of the first stage of negotiations between Israel and the PLO.
The agreement allowed the PLO leadership to relocate to the occupied territories and granted autonomy to the Palestinians with talks to follow regarding final status. In return the Palestinians promised to abstain from use of terror and changed the Palestinian National Covenant, which had called for the expulsion of all Jews who migrated after 1917 and the elimination of Israel.The agreement was opposed by Hamas and other Palestinian factions, which launched suicide bomber attacks at Israel. Rabin had a barrier constructed around Gaza to prevent attacks. The growing separation between Israel and the “Palestinian Territories” led to a labour shortage in Israel, mainly in the construction industry. Israeli firms began importing labourers from the Philippines, Thailand, China and Romania; some of these labourers stayed on without visas. In addition, a growing number of Africans began illegally migrating to Israel. On 4 November 1995, a far-right-wing religious Zionist opponent of the Oslo Accords, assassinated Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. In February 1996 Rabin’s successor, Shimon Peres, called early elections. In April 1996, Israel launched an operation in southern Lebanon as a result of Hezbollah’s Katyusha rocket attacks on Israeli population centres along the border.
Jeanette Grattan Parker is Founder/Superintendent of Today’s Fresh Start Charter Schools. All articles copyright© Inquiring Minds Want to Know. www.todaysfreshstart.org.