How Did We Get Here?
A History of the Israel-Palestine Conflict
6. The Occupation
This is the sixth in a series of eight lectures, sponsored by
A Jewish Voice for Peace.
This lecture was videotaped on Nov. 25, 2002. The lecturer is George
This tape has several glitches, including a spliced in portion of the
fifth lecture (Ahmad Dallal on Lebanon) and video problems in the Q&A.
About George Bisharat
Professor at UC Hastings. His study of the impact of Israeli
occupation on the Palestinian legal profession of the West Bank,
Palestinian Lawyers and Israeli Rule: Law and Disorder in the West
Bank, was published in 1989. In recent years, Professor Bisharat has
consulted with the Palestinian Legislative Council over the structure
of the Palestinian judiciary, reforms in criminal procedure, and other
aspects of legal development.
His books include:
- Palestinian Lawyers and Israeli Rule: Law and Disorder in the
West Bank (1990, University of Texas Press)
- June 6-11: Israel's Six Day War, leaving Israel occupying the
West Bank, Gaza Strip, Sinai Peninsula (Egypt), and Golan (Syrian) Heights.
- June 28: Israel annexes Jerusalem.
- Sept.: Jordan, with US support via Israel, crushes PLO, forcing
PLO to move operations to Lebanon.
- Apr. 12: First West Bank municipal elections: 22 (of 26) mayoralty
contests won by nationalists.
- Sept. 17: Camp David accords signed by Jimmy Carter, Anwar
al-Sadat, and Menachem Begin.
- June 6: Israel invades Lebanon (Operation Peace for Galilee).
- June 14: 8,000 Palestinians and Israelis participate in
Tel Aviv demonstration protesting 20 years of occupation.
- Dec. 9: Intifada begins: in Gaza 4 Palestinians are killed
and 7 wounded when an Israeli truck collides with 2 vans of Palestinian
workers; 4000 demonstrators attend funeral for those killed.
- Dec. 23-25: Israeli troops arrest over 1,000 Palestinians.
- Dec. 5: After 1 year of the Intifada: 318 Palestinians were
killed, 20000 wounded, 15000 arrested, 12000 jailed, 34 deported, and
140 houses demolished; 8 Israelis were killed (6 civilians, 2 soldiers).
- Sept. 13: Israel-PLO Declaation of Principles (Oslo Agreement)
signed in White House.
- 1967-77: Labor governments in Israel. Settlements limited to
security-considerations: military-agricultural settlements in Jordan Valley;
civilian settlements along the north/south Highland Ridge; around Jerusalem,
to isolate East Jerusalem's Arabic neighborhoods from the West Bank.
- 1977-83: Likud government under Begin, who proposed to increase
the settler population by 100,000 over 4 years. By 1983 there were 100
- 1983-87: Settlements grew to consume 40% of land in Gaza and
Growth of Settler Population (excluding annexed Jerusalem)
- Adalah: The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel.
- Fatah: Founded in 1957 by Yasir Arafat as a paramilitary
organization fighting for the liberation of Palestine; joined PLO in
1969, which was subsequently led by Arafat.
- Green Line: the pre-1967 border of Israel, based on UN-mediated
armistice treaties signed in 1949.
- Gush Emunim: Bloc of the Faithful, Israeli political-religious
movement founded in 1974 from the National Religious Party to advocate
Jewish settlement of the Occupied Territories.
- Hamas: Palestinian Islamist group, founded by Sheikh Ahmad
Yassin as an armed wing of the non-nationalist Muslim Brotherhood in Gaza
in Aug. 1988. Opposed to secular PLO and Oslo peace process, which it has
significantly damaged through its terrorist activities.
- Islamic Jihad: Palestinian Islamist group, broke away from the
Muslim Brotherhood in '80s to push an extreme program of anti-Israeli
terrorism. Leader Fathi Abdul Aziz Shikaki killed by Israel in Malta in
- Judea and Samaria: Names used by Israel to refer to the
occupied territories in the West Bank; based on ancient Jewish kingdoms.
- Muslim Brotherhood: Islamist organization, dating back to 1920's
in Egypt, and widely influential among Sunni Arabs. Primarily engages in
charitable work, but has often been critical of Arab and other governments,
spinning off many terrorist splinter groups, including Hamas and Islamic
- PLO (Palestinian Liberation Organization): founded in 1964,
to provide a distinctly Palestinian political entity in opposition to
Israel (and Jordan); merged with Fatah in 1969, when Arafat took over.
- PPP (Palestinian People's Party): Formerly Palestinian
Communist Party (1949-67 Jordanian Communist Party), dating back to 1919,
has long been binational. Was actively involved in trade unions during
the Intifada, and supported the Oslo peace process.
- Yasir Arafat (1929- ): founder of Fatah in 1956; joined PLO
in 1968, and led PLO through the signing of the 1993 Oslo Accords;
elected President of the Palestinian Authority, a post he still holds.
- Menachem Begin (1913-92): leader in IZL (Irgun) militia;
led a series of right-wing political parties (Herut, Gahal, Likud),
eventually becoming Prime Minister 1977-82.
- Moshe Dayan (1915-81): Israeli soldier, rising to IDF
chief of staff 1953-58, after which he went into politics, where he
was closely associated with David Ben-Gurion; as Minister of Defense
in 1967 National Unity Government, he directed the June 1967 war,
and had a major role in shaping postwar occupation policy. Resigned
after being widely blamed for military failures in 1973 Yom Kippur war;
joined Begin's Likud government as Minister of Foreign Affairs in 1977,
and had a major role in peace treaty with Egypt.
- Shimon Peres (1923- ): Israeli politician, Labor party Prime
Minister 1986-88 and 1995-96; Foreign Minister under Likud-dominated
"unity" governments led by Yitzhak Shamir and Ariel Sharon.
- Yitzhak Rabin (1922-95): IDF chief of staff during 1967 war.
Later Ambassador to U.S., Prime Minister (1974-77, 1992-95). Was Defense
Minister during Intifada.
- Meir Shamgar (1925- ): Brigadier general in IDF, responsible
for formulating legal administration for occupied territories; Attorney
General of Israel (1968-75), Supreme Court Justice (from 1975), President
of Supreme Court (1983-95), chaired Commission of Inquiry into murder of
Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin.
- Ariel Sharon (1928- ): Israeli military leader and politician,
responsible for a long string of atrocities including the 1953 Qibia raid
and the 1982 Phalange massacres at the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps
in Beirut; architect of Israel's 1982 invasion of Lebanon; held various
posts in Likud governments where he promoted Israel's settlement policy;
his "visit" with 1000 security troops to the mosques in East Jerusalem
triggered the second (Al-Aqsa) Intifada in 2000; elected Prime Minister
in 2001, putting an end to the Oslo "peace process" and unleashing an
unprecedented level of violence in Israel's occupation of the West Bank
and Gaza; proclaimed "a man of peace" by George W. Bush.
The website suggests the following books for further information on this
- George Bisharat, Palestinian Lawyers and Israeli Rule (1989):
studies the impact of occupation on the legal profession and legal system
of the West Bank.
- Joost Hilterman, Behind the Intifada (1991):
looks at mass mobilization before and during the first intifada.
- Sara Roy, The Gaza Strip: The Political Economy of De-Development
(2d ed. 2001): examines Israeli economic policies that induced dependence of
the Palestinian economy.
Also mentioned in the lecture:
- David Kretzmer, The Occupation of Justice: The Supreme Court of
Israel and the Occupied Territories (2002, State University of
New York Press).
The following are useful books that we are familiar with and recommend:
- Baruch Kimmerling & Joel S. Migdal, The Palestinian People:
A History, 1994, revised edition 2003, Harvard University Press,
- Dilip Hiro, The Essential Middle East: A Comprehensive Guide,
(2003, Carroll & Graf, paperback.