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A Brief Documentary History of the Palestine-Israel Conflict


This modest collection of documents is meant  for interested readers and beginning students of the Palestine/Israel conflict. Palestinian Arabs and Israeli Jews live essentially in two different realities, both regarding historical, as well as present events. We have inherited not only the errors, the hatreds and fears of our ancestors, but also the myths they have built to justify themselves. As long as we do not know the truth, it will be difficult, if not impossible, to reach a real understanding between peoples. Each side ignores those facts that are inconvenient for them. We cannot even build a true picture   by merging the two versions. We can only present as many of the the sources as possible, and try to build a more objective picture of the past. The existence of these documents as a convenient source will not prevent the endless partisan bickering. However, it will allow anyone interested to view the whole of a historical source, or large parts of it. rather than quotes arfully taken from a source to 'prove' a point. 

As you read through the documents you may be struck by the way in which foreign powers have used all of the people of the Middle East for their own purposes, bartering their protection, their influence and their "help"  in return for our independence our pride, our natural resources and our money and often our lives, given in conflicts that the powers created and encouraged for their own benefit. In the Sykes-Picot agreements, for example, we learn that France and Great Britain were not ashamed to divide the Middle East into areas where each could supply "advisers." In the history of the Balfour declaration, we can see how Britain created a conflict by promissing the same land to two peoples, hoping to benefit by dividing and conquering. Each country in the Middle East has a heavy debt or dependence on foreign powers for the arms they supply and the "protection" they give. One may well ask if the money spent on wars would not better be spent on feeding our peoples and building a better future. It remains to be seen if the current peace process is the real start of a new begining, or just a different way of creating dependence on foreign "mediators."

Some introductory text has been appended to each document in order to put it into context.  With the best intentions, it is not possible to be wholly objective or to present the entire truth, which in many  cases may be unknown. We can hope however, that the selection of materials is balanced and that when complete it will be comprehensive. We ask our friends to provide additional materials and commentary as well and to point out errors of fact and omissions.

Middle East Gateway