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  -- Description and History --

                Presented by
The Sonoma County Israel Action Committee
ISRAEL (2002)
            Israeli Demographics*
• 6.4 million citizens inside the “Green Line”
   –   4.9 million Jews (77%)
   –   1.0 million Muslims (16%)
   –   135,000 Christians (2%)
   –   100,000 Druze (2%)
• Official languages:
   – Hebrew
   – Arabic

   * US State Dept (2005)
     Israeli Demographics (cont’d)
                         • Immigrants from more than
                           100 countries, including
                           50,000 African Jews rescued
                           from Ethiopia*
                         • More than 50% of Israeli
                           Jews are indigenous to the
                           Middle East and Northern

* US State Dept (2005)
Israeli Form of Government
• Parliamentary democracy
• Legislative, executive, and judicial branches
  operating on the principle of separation of
• All Israelis– Arabs and Jews, women and         Prime Minister
  men– share the same freedoms of speech,
  press, religion, and assembly.
• All Israeli citizens are guaranteed equal
  access to universal health care
                                              Supreme Court
   Freedom of the Press in Israel:
               Unique in the Middle East
• Israel has one of the highest
  concentrations of journalists in
  the world
   – 350 foreign news
      organizations based in
   – 1,300 journalists visit each
• Israeli media, in Hebrew and
  Arabic, can strongly criticize
  the head of government without
  fear of closure, arrest,
  imprisonment, or bodily harm
  Freedom of Religion in Israel
                          • No official religion
                          • The only growing
 Ba’hai                     Christian population
                            in the Middle East
                          • All Israeli citizens -
                            Christians, Muslims
                            and Jews - have
Druze                       freedom of religion
                            and the right to vote

            Human Rights in Israel
• According to recent
  opinion surveys, “66%
  of Palestinians give a
  positive evaluation to
  the status of
  democracy and human
  rights in Israel.*”    • Arabs hold 12 of 120 seats
   * West Bank-based Palestinian Center for   in the Israeli parliament
      Policy and Survey Research
                                              • There are 5 Arab political
                                              parties in Israel
                Women’s Rights in Israel
 •   16 women serve in the
     Israeli Parliament
                                • Free to dress as they please
                                • Free to drive
                                • Free to study and work
                                • Free to choose their own
                                • Free to travel abroad without
                                  the consent of a male relative
• Golda Meir: the 2nd
woman in the world elected as   • Free to make reproductive
head of government in 1969        choices
            Gay Rights in Israel
• Israel hosts the only Gay
  Pride Parade in the Middle

• Gay men and women
  serve openly in the Israeli
  Defense Force
• World’s highest per capita rate of university
                  Israel Economy
• Major cities

                            Tel Aviv (largest)
     Jerusalem (capital)                            Haifa (main port)
• Major exports
   – Agriculture: Cut flowers, melons, kiwis, strawberries, tomatoes,
     cucumbers, peppers and avocados
   – Hi Tech: medical electronics, agrotechnology,
     telecommunications, fine chemicals, computer hardware and
     software, and solar energy
   – Diamond cutting and polishing
      Israeli Economy (cont’d)
• World’s highest per capita rate of scientific
• World’s largest number of start-up
  companies, except US
• World’s highest concentration of high-tech
  companies, except Silicon Valley
• World’s highest per capita rate of home
Israel’s Technological Contributions
  Environmental Achievements
                          • World’s only country
                            to have a net gain in
                            trees in 2000
                          • Innovator of drip
                            irrigation systems to
                            conserve water
                          • Developed large-scale
                            solar electricity plant
• Innovator of
                            in CA Mojave desert
desalination technology
 Jewish people have maintained ties to their
historic homeland for more than 3,700 years.
Jewish Communities in the Land of Israel
          (7th to 11th Centuries)
          Pre-State History of
• Part of the Ottoman (Turkish) Empire for 400
  years (1516 – 1918) ending with World War I
• Heterogeneous population
   – "Palestine‟s population was composed of so
     „widely differing‟ a group of inhabitants whose
     „ethnological affinities‟ create „early in the 20th
     century a list of no less than fifty languages‟”
     Encyclopedia Britannica of 1911
• In 1880’s fewer than 300,000 population
   – “Desolate country whose soil is rich enough, but is
     given over wholly to weeds – a silent mournful
     expanse...” Mark Twain, 1867
                   Modern Zionism
• Started in 1897, when Jews were already a
  majority in the city of Jerusalem*
• National liberation movement of the Jewish
  people, which holds that Jews, like any other
  nation, are entitled to a homeland.
• Goal was to empower Jews, who were a powerless
  minority in countries throughout the world
• History has demonstrated the need to ensure
  Jewish security through a national homeland.
• Zionism recognizes that Jewishness is defined by
  shared origin, religion, culture and history.
*US Library of Congress Country Studies(1988)
   League of Nations Mandate
• “….Whereas the Principal Allied Powers have also agreed
  that the Mandatory should be responsible for putting into
  effect the declaration originally made on November 2nd,
  1917, by the Government of His Britannic Majesty, and
  adopted by the said Powers, in favor of the establishment
  in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people,
  …shall encourage...close settlement by Jews on the land,
  including State lands and waste lands not acquired for
  public purposes ….”
British Mandate
  Jewish Achievements During
        Mandate Period
• Technicon (Israel Institute of Technology)
  established in Haifa in 1924
• Dedication of the Hebrew University of
  Jerusalem in 1925
• OTHERS????
Population Changes during Mandate
    • 1915 population in Palestine*
          – 83,000 Jews
          – 590,000 Muslim and Christian Arabs
    • Throughout the Mandate period the British
      restricted Jewish immigration, but did not
      restrict Arab immigration
    • 1948 population between the Jordan and the
          – 650,000 Jews
          – 1,300,000 Arabs
    *Arieh Avneri, The Claim of Dispossession p. 28; Yehoshua Porath, The Emergence of the
        Palestinian-Arab National Movement 1918-1929. pp. 17-18  .
    **Howard Sachar, A History of Israel From the Rise of Zionism to Our Time, p. 292.
UN Partition Resolution - 1947
“….Independent Arab and Jewish States and
 the Special International Regime for the
 City of Jerusalem, set forth in part III of this
 plan, shall come into existence in Palestine
 two months after the evacuation of the
 armed forces of the mandatory Power has
 been completed but in any case not later
 than 1 October 1948. …”
UN Partition Resolution - 1947
 UN Partition Resolution - 1947
• Jews were a majority in the area allotted to them
  by the resolution*
      – 538,000 Jews
      – 397,000 Arabs
• Jews were a majority in Jerusalem
• Israel accepted the resolution
• Arabs rejected it
      – “I declare holy war” – the Mufti of Jerusalem
      – Armies of 5 Arab states attacked Israel
• Israel victorious after 15 months of fighting, but
  6,000 Jews were killed (nearly 1% of the
**Howard Sachar, A History of Israel From the Rise of Zionism to Our Time, p. 292
Lost Jewish Communities
• During the 1948 war
  approximately 720,000
  Arabs fled from what is
  now Israel*.
     – They and their descendants
       are still confined to refugee
       camps in Arab territories
• During and after the 1948
  war approximately
  600,000 Jews fled from
  Arab countries to Israel*
     – They were quickly absorbed
       into Israeli society
*Irving Howe and Carl Gershman (eds.),
     Israel, the Arabs and the Middle East
     (New York: Bantam, 1972), p. 168.
Jews of Arab Countries

                  1945     2002
Algeria            140,000      100
Egypt               80,000      200
Iraq               150,000      100
Lebanon             20,000      100
Lybia               40,000        0
Morroco            265,000    5,800
Syria               35,000      200
Tunesia            105,000    1,300
Yemen and Aden      63,000      200
Israel Development 1948 - 1967
• Established 440 new agricultural
  settlements: kibbutzim and moshavim
Events Leading Up to 6-Day War
Outcome of 6-Day War
    UN Resolution 242 (1967)
• Calls for a negotiated settlement to determine
  secure and recognized boundaries
• Israel immediately accepted UN Resolution 242.
• The Arab Summit rejected 242 with the infamous
  "three No's",
   – "no peace with Israel,
   – no negotiations with Israel,
   – no recognition of Israel.."
• Secure borders could not be drawn because of the
  refusal of the Arab states to negotiate.
    Yom Kippur War (1973)
• Egypt and Syria launched an attack on
• Israel was able to push them back beyond
  the 1967 lines
   Land for Peace Agreements
• Egypt-Israel Peace Treaty (26 March 1979)
   – Israel handed the Sinai over to Egypt in 1982
• Israel-Jordan Peace Treaty (26 October 1994)
• Israeli-Palestinian Interim Agreement (28
  September 1995)
   – By 2000, 95% of Palestinian population was under PA
     sovereignty or civilian administration
Recent Withdrawal from Gaza
• To be completed
• End on positive note
Terrorist Attacks 1948-1967
Terrorist Attacks 1967-1993
Terrorist Attacks 1993-2000
Terrorist Attacks 2000-2005
Israel’s Security Barrier
Israel’s Geographic
Kassam and Katyusha Rocket Threats
                                           Human Shields

Palestinian militants exchange fire with Israeli troops in the   A masked Hamas militant sets up a makeshift mortar
Gaza Strip February 11, 2004. REUTERS/Str                        launcher against Israeli forces, as Palestinian youths try to
                                                                 cover him from the sight of the forces in a Gaza city
                                                                 neighborhood, Wednesday Feb. 11, 2004. (AP Photo/Adel
     What are the “Settlements”?
• Some are reclaimed Jewish communities lost in the War of
• Some of the other settlements in the West Bank are the expanding
  suburbs of Jerusalem
• Established only after an exhaustive investigation process, under the
  supervision of the Supreme Court of Israel, designed to ensure that no
  settlements are established on private Arab land.
• At the July 2000 Camp David talks, Israel proposed to evacuate the
  isolated settlements, retain those near Jerusalem, and swap Israeli land
  to compensate the Palestinians. Arafat rejected the proposal, left the
  talks with no counter-offer, and resorted to violence.
• In 2005 Israeli evacuated all settlements in Gaza
   Palestinian Attitudes toward
• Palestinian Authority charter calls for the
  destruction of Israel
• Hamas charter calls for the destruction of
• Many Muslim clerics in the PA call for the
  murder of Jews
• Many PA school textbooks deny Israel’s
  right to exist
Teaching Children to Hate
Jerusalem Demographics

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