Israel. The Israeli government was squeezed from two directions during the year. Many Israelis believed that Prime Minister Ehud Barak was too lenient towards Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat, but at the same time Barak’s government received international criticism for the violence against Palestinians. In December, Barak was forced to step down.
The only real highlight of the year for Barak was the withdrawal from Lebanon in May. Barak had hoped, within the framework of a peace agreement with Lebanon and Syria, to withdraw Israeli forces from southern Lebanon by July 2000. But when the number of Israeli soldiers killed in Lebanon exceeded 900, Barak chose to unilaterally call back his troops on May 24.
About 6,500 members of the Israeli-supported militia SLA (Southern Lebanese Army) fled to Israel with their families. Some of them later returned to Lebanon.
The trips around the presidential post were a severe blow to the government. The incumbent President Ezer Weizman resigned May 28 after it emerged that when he was a member of the government he had received money gifts without taxing money. The government’s candidate for new president, Minister of Regional Cooperation Shimon Peres, lost the Knesset presidential vote. Instead, the right-wing Likud candidate Moshe Katsav was appointed new president.
- ABBREVIATIONFINDER: Offers three letter and two letter abbreviations for the country of Israel. Also covers country profile such as geography, society and economy.
During some summer weeks, 14 of the coalition government’s 22 ministers left their missions. Everyone believed that Barak had offered the Palestinians major concessions in the US negotiations in July. The heaviest defender was Foreign Minister and Deputy Prime Minister David Levy from Barak’s own Labor Party. Shlomo Ben-Ami, Minister of Public Security, was appointed acting Foreign Minister.
On September 28, Ariel Sharon, Likud leader and military responsible for the massacres of Palestinians in Lebanese refugee camps in 1982, made an unexpected visit to the Temple Mount, or as the Arabs call it, Haram al-Sharif. This height in Jerusalem is sacred to both Jews and Muslims.
The Palestinian protests against the visit turned parts of Israel into a war zone when Arabs with Israeli citizenship joined a Palestinian uprising in the Palestinian-controlled areas. In October, the UN General Assembly passed a resolution condemning Israeli violence. 92 countries voted for the resolution, six voted against; Sweden and 45 other countries abstained, and 45 countries did not participate.
Barak tried to form a unifying government to unite the Israelis, but it failed. On December 10, he filed his resignation, and a new election to the Prime Minister’s post was announced until February 6. Barak said he hoped the people would give him a new mandate to work for peace.
Israel visited by German President Johannes Rau on February 15-19, by Pope John Paul II and by Jordan’s King Abdullah on April 23. Chinese President Jiang Zemin also visited Israel in April. Two months later, after an American pressure, Israel broke an agreement that they had concluded with China to sell an advanced Phalcon airplane system to the Chinese.
For the Soviet Union was a Jewish state preferred over the continued presence of a British military base, and Soviet support was therefore crucial to the formation of the State of Israel. By contrast, London and Washington did not consider the divide a viable path, and US Secretary of Defense James Forrestal therefore suggested President Truman send troops to make Palestine a UN protectorate. In the end, however, the UN General Assembly adopted the split plan with 33 votes against 13 (the Arab countries and India) and 10 whites. The armed Zionist organizations occupied the larger cities and began to expel all Palestinians on the grounds that an attack by the Arab countries was imminent. The ethnic cleansing policy reached a tentative climax with the April 1948 massacre of Deir Yassin. Irgun, who was led by the later Israeli Prime Minister, Menahem Begin.
On May 14, 1948, the English High Commissioner withdrew from Palestine and Ben Gurión proclaimed the establishment of the State of Israel. Jordan, Egypt, Syria, Iraq and Lebanon responded by immediately attacking the country militarily. The Zionist cleansing policy has now reached its climax. 600-800,000 Palestinians were displaced from their homes and had to go into exile in Lebanon, in the eastern part of Palestine (West Bank of the Jordan River) and in Egypt (especially Gaza). In Israel’s official history, it was claimed that the attacking Arab countries had called on the Palestinians to flee. Only when Israel’s military archives were opened to Israeli historians in the late 1980s could they prove that the official history writing was wrong. Ben Gurion himself had called for ethnic cleansing, and this expulsion policy was implemented throughout 1948 with a system that was only repeated during the ethnic cleansing in the Balkans in the 1990s.
In January 1949, a ceasefire was concluded with the Arab countries. Israel had then increased its territory by 40% according to the sharing plan. Crucial to the victory were the Soviet weapons and aircraft that Israel had acquired through Czechoslovakia. Yet the young state immediately took sides with the other party in the Cold War, forming a close strategic alliance with the United States that continues to exist to this day. However, there was no simple or immediate alliance. When Israeli, English, and French troops invaded Egypt in 1956 in return for the nationalization of the Suez Canal, this step was counteracted by both the United States and the Soviet Union, and the invasion troops were forced to retreat.
The diaries of the late Israeli Prime Minister Moshe Sharett show that Israel forced the Eisenhower government in the United States to bet on Tel Aviv rather than Cairo as its primary ally in the Middle East. It happened, among other things. with acts of sabotage aimed at Western interests in Cairo by a Zionist agent network. These events have gone down in history as “the Lavons case”. US disruption of credits and weapons to Egypt forced its country’s President Gamal Abdel Nasser into the arms of the Soviet Union, paving the way for a further rapprochement between Israel and the United States.
1967 June wars
In June 1967, with the aim of expanding its borders, Israel conducted North American weapons in the so-called «6 Day War». After that, Israel occupied all of Palestine, the Syrian Golan Heights and the Egyptian Sinai Peninsula.
UN Security Council Resolution 242 of November 22, 1967, required Israeli withdrawal from all occupied territories, but Israel refused to comply with the resolution, citing the need for “safe borders” in defense of “Arab aggression against its existence”. A new military conflict broke out in 1973, when Egyptian troops crossed the Suez Canal and brought down the myth of the Israeli military’s invincibility, although the fence poles had not been moved much on the battlefield when the ceasefire was concluded.
In 1977, Menahem Begin was elected prime minister, implying a break in Israel’s political life since independence. For the first time in the history of the State of Israel, the labor party stood outside the government. Begins ‘election victory partly reflected the social tensions between, on the one hand, the Ashkenazi Jews of European descent with a higher cultural and economic level and traditional workers’ party supporters, and on the other, the Oriental Jews who originated from the Arab countries, the Middle East and North Africa. A group often mistakenly mistaken for the Sephardi Jews. They were often subjected to ashkenazi discrimination’s. Oriental Jews were culturally closer to Arabs than European Jews and made up 55% of the population, but their average income was only two-thirds of the Ashkenazis. Due. their distancing from the Europeans – who sometimes turned into fanaticism – constituted the electoral basis of the right wing.
According to COUNTRYAAH, the population of Israel in 2000 was 5,945,839, ranking number 100 in the world. The population growth rate was 2.440% yearly, and the population density was 274.7666 people per km2.