ABOUT THE ISSUE
The most important goal of our organization is to educate the frighteningly unaware teenage generation about what's happening in Israel and Palestine. We want to instill in young minds the magnitude of this conflict and, as a result, the need to help through donations toward peace. Below, you can find resources to learn more about the issue yourself. Head over to the speaking page if your organization wants a more in-depth speaker.
THE EVOLUTION OF THE CONFLICT: A TIMELINE
This timeline was our first project, with the goal being teenage self-education. This timeline is an environment in which you can pick and choose their educational experience. With an interactive UI, you can pick and choose what events to learn about by simply clicking to hear more. Carefully selected pictures help tell the story, especially for events of violence.
CONFLICT IN ISRAEL AND PALESTINE: SIMPLIFIED
For those completely new, this is a history boiled down to the basics.
The conflict between Israel and Palestine is based on rightful claim to the land between Egypt and the Red Sea in the South, Jordan in the East, the Mediterranean Sea in the West, and Lebanon and Syria in the North. After World War I, this land (previously owned by the now collapsed Ottoman Empire), was administered in a Mandate (type of territory) by Britain. In 1947, with tensions rising and Britain deciding to withdraw from the region, Jews and Arabs in the region (both with large populations) were given a plan from the UN. The Jewish state was largely created as a homeland from antisemitism, following the Holocaust just several years earlier. The plan would have two states, one Jewish and one Arab, with Jerusalem (the most sacred location for both) administered by the UN.
The following year, after Jewish leaders accepted the plan and Arab leaders rejected it, Israel declared its independence in the borders of the Jewish state from the plan. Surrounding Arab countries waged war, but in the conflict that Palestinians call "the catastrophe", Israel gained control of some areas in the Arab part of the plan. After more years of rising tensions, a war in 1967 between Israel and Arab states left Israel in control of the Gaza Strip (a portion of land in the west corner of Israel), the Sinai Peninsula (large, desolate land from Egypt), the West Bank and East Jerusalem from Jordan (the missing piece of a modern day map), and the Golan Heights (a northern region) from Syria.
In 1973, war broke out between Israel and Egypt in the Sinai Peninsula area between them as well as between Israel and Syria in the Golan Heights, with later peace agreements between Israel and Egypt along with numerous nearby countries. In 1974, an organization named the PLO (Palestinian Liberation Organization) was recognized as the representative of the stateless Palestinian people. In 1988, this organization declared a state of Palestine, with Jerusalem as the capital - but without specific borders or widespread support.
After 20 years of occupation, horrible conditions in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, now the areas recognized (by some) as Palestinian as well as confiscation of land led to a Palestinian uprising (1987-1993). With hundreds or thousands killed on both sides, the violence was only to increase in following years. New peace accords, such as the Oslo Accords in 1993, looked to change this through face-to-face agreements. Despite creating a group in charge of Palestinian territory and withdrawal of Israeli forces from parts of the Gaza Strip and West Bank, the accords ultimately were not successful. The Prime Minister of Israel who signed the accords was assassinated 2 years later. Since then, various peace deals have tried and failed to create peace, and each deal brings the situation farther and farther from agreement. Recently, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas applied for and received status in the UN as a non-member state, which makes the situation even more controversial.
Negotiations are ongoing, but the current situation is bleak. International terrorist organization Hamas gained control of the Gaza Strip in 2007, and is now the official government of the area. There is limited rights for the population, and rockets are fired into Southern Israel by Hamas on a normalized basis. Violence has become so ingrained in the region that it is out of the societal norm NOT to have a missile shelter in a typical home. On the flip side, Israelis continue to increase settlement activity in Palestinian land, which makes negotiating essentially impossible. Without recognizing Palestinian land as Palestinian, it is impossible to believe that Israelis recognize Palestinians as equals in any capacity. Children are proven to be experiencing countless negative psychological effects by living in a society where violence is the normal, especially in border areas.
THE HISTORY OF THE TWO-STATE SOLUTION
This term is thrown around constantly and is often the first idea that comes to mind when the conflict is mentioned. This solution has a long and complicated history but, in some form, is necessary to peace in the future. Learn more about the two-state solution.
CHECK OUT THE BLOG
Part of the educational experience we are looking to provide is ever-changing, as we learn more and more about the issue. Our blog has numerous posts on Israel and Palestine from countless angles - early history, recent history, international and regional dilemmas, physical and psychological effects, etc. Head on over to read about what we have to say as a result of our research.