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Palestinian-Israeli Conflict as Covered by US and Arab Media

Arabs rioted against the growing Yishuv in 1920, 1921, 1929, and 1933--in the view of some at the behest of the British (Bregman, 2002), although Palestinians accused the British of arming the Yishuv (Ozacky-Lazar & Kabha, 2002). The effect over the long term was to make the assimilationist position difficult to sustain.

In 1939, when Nazi persecution of German Jews was becoming more visible and neither the U.S. nor any European country offered them asylum, the British government issued a so-called White Paper proposing that Arabs rule Palestine and that Jewish immigration into the Yishuv halt. Illegal Jewish immigration into Palestine continued throughout the war, however, and amplified greatly afterward, eventually becoming a cause cTlFbre that turned world opinion in favor of a Jewish state (Tevet, 1985; Oz, 1998; Ben Gurion, 1969). In 1947 the UN passed the resolution authorizing the state of Israel, which was officially created on May 14, 1948.

That same day, Israel's five Arab nation-state neighbors invaded it. After 18 months an uneasy truce took hold. Until 1967 there were periodic flare-ups between Israel and one Arab state or another. Why Arab states in the region threatened the existence of Israel had much to do with the status of the Palestinians. Many Arabs were displaced from lands they had occupied for centuries during the 1948-49 war; they became the Palestinian refugees from Israel who settled in Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, and Egypt. Meanwhile, Israelis converted the lands to their own use.

Some Arab resentment toward Israel was based on concerns for the plight of displaced Palestinians, but some stemmed from the Arab states' concerns about the impact of a Palestinian-refugee influx on their societies. Not only were the states already politically and economically unstable, but refugees, whose loyalties were by no means necessarily to the receiving states, also strained their economies (Robbins, 1998). The whole matt...

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