The root cause of Israel and Palestine Conflict and Recent US President Donlad Trumps Decision on Shifting US Embassy to Jerusalem

I’ve lost trust in all mottos… the biggest speech from the biggest leader is bullshit, all speeches in the world don’t warm up a cold person or someone sleeping in a tent after the war. The crisis is that the whole world is watching us, as though there’s nothing going on, and they’re still making speeches! (The Voice of Young Palestinian in the ground). So, what the causes actually? on this article we tried to find The root cause of Israel and Palestine Conflict and Recent US President Donlad Trumps Decision on Shifting US Embassy to Jerusalem.

Jerusalem is a critical departure point for Israel and Palestine conflict. Since long time International Community’s is resisting to accept Jerusalem as Israel‘s capital in spite of Israel emphasize for recognizing Jerusalem as its capital. Israel captured the eastern part of Jerusalem in 1968, but United Nation Security Council refuse to accept Israel’s illegal settlement. Recently Trumps has announced he will implement the decision which already made by US congress and he will shift the US embassy to Jerusalem this decision cause a huge anger in the Palestine, Muslim, Arab world and global civil society. The paper is going to highlight the historical cause of Israel- Palestine Conflict, the major actors including US, which the US president Donald Trump recent decisionneed to be analyzed from historical point of view.


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Historical Background

As Edward Said points out in 1516, Palestine became a province of the Ottoman Empire and  these people believed themselves to belong in a land called Palestine, despite their feelings that they were also members of a large Arab nation. There is an argument that Zionists insist on Israel’s historic right to Palestine, but in fact only Europe’s power made this creation possible. The two-state arrangement has been an option in Palestine from the time that the British established a colony there. Britain became the first major country in the world to support the setting up of a Jewish state with the publication of the Balfour Declaration in 1917. It came in a letter from Adam Balfour, the British Foreign Secretary, to Lord Rothschild (President of the British Zionist Federation) informing him of Britain’s support for a Jewish homeland in Palestine. This Declaration was accepted by the League of Nations in 1922 and embodied in a mandate that gave Great Britain temporary administrative control of Palestine. The period of British control was an increasingly troubled period as large numbers of Jewish immigrants arrived in Palestine and tensions with the Arab population increased.

By 1945 over 30% of the Palestinian population were Jewish compared to 15% in 1920. As it is described in the history following World War I and the collapse of the Ottoman Empire, The League of Nations creates a British Mandate for Palestine. Under this mandate, plans are drawn for the creation of a Jewish State.The Arab community opposed the flow of Jewish immigrants because they thought this is a threat to the very existence of the Arab society in Palestine so in this between British played a big role which was not possible without military backing by British. After World War II, the British terminate the Mandate and responsibility for the area is passed to the UN.  In 1947, the UN GA approves a partition plan for the creation of separate Jewish and Arab states and Israel declares independence in 1948. In the same year 750,000 Palestinians fled in terror or were actively expelled from their ancestral homeland and turned into refugees. The state of Israel then refused to allow them to return and either destroyed their villages entirely or expropriated their land, orchards, houses, businesses and personal possessions for the use of the Jewish population. This was the birth of the state of Israel. As a result of the 1948 War, the lands of Palestine not belonging to Israel are divided amongst Syria, Jordan, and Egypt.

Following the six day War in 1967, Israel captures the lands known as the West Bank and Gaza Strip from Jordan and Egypt, respectively. As reslut of Arab- Israel war The neighboring Arab nations of Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Transjordan, Syria, Lebanon, and Iraq invaded Israel to aid the Palestinian Arabs who were fighting to create their own nation. The Arabs lost that war and the Palestinian diaspora began, as hundreds of thousands of Arabs fled the new nation of Israel and moved to neighboring Arab nations to live as refugees, awaiting the day when they could return to their homeland. The Oslo Accord is signed in 1993, establishing the Palestinian National Authority, which is to hold limited administrative control over certain parts of the occupied territories. In 2005, Israel evacuates all Jewish settlements from the Gaza Strip.


Israel and Violation of International Conventions and International Laws

Israel’s Declaration of Independence (1948) states two principles which are importantfor understanding, the legal status of Palestinian citizens in Israel.  First, the Declaration describe to Israel as a Jewish state committed and it should maintain complete equality of political and social rights for all its citizens, irrespective of race, religion, or sex. Second, the universal status of each citizens in a democracy should be recognized. Israel has ratified the most important international human rights conventions, which contain minority rights protections mainly the two Covenants and The CRC, and is bounded by the Draft Declaration and the ILO 169. In June, a UN commission of inquiry released a report regarding the 2014 Israel-Gaza war that found Israeli forces committed serious laws-of-war violations, including attacking residential buildings without an apparent military target, using artillery and other high explosive weapons indiscriminately in populated areas, and apparently targeting civilians not participating in hostilities.

According to Human Rights Watch report Israel maintained onerous restrictions on the movement of Palestinians in the West Bank, including checkpoints and the separation barrier. Israel continued construction of the separation barrier around East Jerusalem. Some 85 percent of the barrier falls within the West Bank rather than along the Green Line, isolating 11,000 Palestinians on the western side of the barrier who are not allowed to travel to Israel and must cross the barrier to access livelihoods and services in the West Bank. UN reported Israeli military authorities detained Palestinian protesters including those who advocated nonviolent protest against Israeli settlements and the route of the separation barrier.Israeli security forces continued to arrest children suspected of criminal offenses, usually stone-throwing, in their homes at night, at gunpoint; question them without a family member or a lawyer present; and coerce them to sign confessions in Hebrew, which they did not understand. As per Human Right Watch Report Israel continued in 2015 to enforce severe and discriminatory restrictions on Palestinians’ human rights, and to build unlawful settlements in and facilitate the transfer of Israeli civilians to the occupied West Bank. Israeli courts have been unwilling to rule on the legality of the settlements under international law.

These all happened despite of Israel’s ratification of the ICCPR and its guarantee to protect all of its citizens against discrimination, Palestinian Arab citizens in Israel are discriminated against in a variety of forms and denied equal individual rights because of their national belonging. Though this discrimination is politically motivated, the Israeli legal system is part of this political context. As well as offering limited provisions for equality or political participation to members of the Palestinian Arab minority, the law in Israel subjects them to three types of discrimination: direct discrimination against non-Jews within the law itself, indirect discrimination through “neutral” laws and criteria which apply principally to Palestinians, and institutional discrimination through a legal framework that facilitates a systematic pattern of privileges. As mentioned already, Israel must be accountable to the United Nations and international laws. Israel’s use of white phosphorous, use of human shields, Israel’s collective punishment of all of Gaza is, Israel’s target killing of children, Israel’s bombing of hospitals all are war crime and violation international laws. These are documented acts by UN Mission reports, independent journalists, and by admission of Israeli soldiers. Rather than ignoring these unjust acts, Israel must own up to these war crimes and immediately cease such acts.


The Role Played by US in Israel- Palestine Conflict

Since Israel’s creation, the United Nations has passed at least 42 Resolutions against Israel for violating international law 17 of which were passed before Hamas existed. These include resolutions condemning Israel for illegal practices against civilians in Lebanon, condemning Israel’s contravention of the Fourth Geneva Convention, calling on Israel to withdraw from all Palestinian territories, calling on Israel to recognize the Palestinian right of return, and calling on Israel to respect Muslim holy places. Post-Hamas, the UN has passed Resolutions against Israel to abide by and accept the Fourth Geneva convention, condemning Israel’s invasion of Lebanon, condemning Israel’s killing of UN employees of the World Food Program, and condemning Israel settlements established since 1967 as illegalall of which have nothing to do with Hamas.Unfortunately and remarkably, Israel has asked and the United States has agreed to veto all 42 of these UN Resolutions. Israel cannot have it both ways. It cannot on one hand claim legitimacy by citing the United Nations decision to create Israel, and then ignore UN enforcement to hold Israel accountable to international law. If UN decisions are invalid now, then they were invalid at Israel’s creation. Likewise, and reasonably, since UN decisions were valid upon Israel’s creation, they must also be valid now and Israel must maintain justice accordingly.

US provides Israel with over $3bn (£2.3bn) a year in military aid and the EU implements trade agreements which exempt only the most flagrant economic activity in the settlements from its provisions, Benjamin Netanyahu is entitled to believe he can maintain the occupation with impunity. Israel and the US successfully pressured the UN not to include Israel on its annual list of countries responsible for grave violations against children in armed conflict, even though the draft 2015 report prepared by the secretary-general’s special representative for children and armed conflict recommended adding Israel to the list due to their repeated violations against children.Largely due to special-interest lobbying, U.S. taxpayers give Israel an average of $10 million per day, and since its creation have given more U.S. funds to Israel than to any other nation. As Americans learn about how Israel is using our tax dollars, many are calling for an end to this expenditure.


Trump Decision on Shifting US Embassy to Eastern Jerusalem

Basically there are two types of arguments on recent US president Donlad Trump decision; there is an argument which favor the recent Donlad Trump decision on Jarusalam. Isreal like any other countries of the world  has the right to select its capital when the capital of a country is not recognized it means the country is deprived from their basic right as there is no tension for western Jarusalam. As of now also other administrative and diplomatic buildings are located in the western part of Jaruslam. The main source of conflict is eastern Jarusalam, as Donald Trump also told that its country has no intefrence for defining border, but it is Palistine and Isreal who can dedcide about border issue. Peace negotiation stopped during Obama asministration and Donlad Trump just want to implement the decision which was taken 22 years before by congress. As Palistine government does not consider United Nation as an effective entity for Isreal-Palistine peace process. The peace process got stoped during Obama administration so with this decision US can play important initiative for the peace negation between Isreal and Palistine. During Obama’s administrative, Iran and Russia extended their influence in the middle east so it is a threat for Israel border so US ally with Israel can help to protect its border.


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The other side of argument is, Jarusalam has a symbolic importance for Muslim world and Palistine want the eastern Jarusalam to be its capital. So the recent decision by Donlad Trump is one sided and it is a clear biased towad Israel and violating internationl conventions. However Trump has said he does not intefrence on border issue but he has said that US recognized the eastern Jarusalam as Israel’s capital. According to the 1993 Oslo occord the Isreal capital should be dermined at the very final stage of negotiation so recognizing even the west Jarusalam give a big hand for Isreal in the peace negotiation process. The Trump decision cause to tensify the situation and probbaly the peace negotiation is going to end with uncertain result. Recognizing Jarusalam as the capital of Isreal lead the negotiation on illegal settlemts to its crtical stage while according to 242 UN Security Council for peace Isreal should stop the illiegal settlement first. If the international conventions and agreements are taken as important point of departure for Isreal and conflict for instance, according to the 1980 UN Security Council article 478  allynment of eastern Jarusalam to Isreal and also determining the Jaruslam as Israel’s capitalis illegalas per the international laws and conventions. According to UN Secratory General and some of the world leaders Donlad  Trump decision will deteriaroate the situation and increase violence and mass killing in the area.



Zarifa Sabet
Kabul, Afganistan.
She has completed Masters degree in International Relations from South Asian University, New Delhi, India.
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