Today in Middle Eastern history: the Faysal-Weizmann Agreement (1919)

One of those loose ends, as we all now know, involved the question of establishing a Jewish homeland in what had been Ottoman Palestine (or the Sanjak of Jerusalem, if you want to be technical). In 1917, British Foreign Secretary Arthur James Balfour issued a letter to Zionist (NOTE: I’m using that term historically, not … Continue reading Today in Middle Eastern history: the Faysal-Weizmann Agreement (1919)

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Today in Middle Eastern history: the First Intifada begins (1987)

In contrast with the Second Intifada, which began with a deliberate provocation when Ariel Sharon and 1000 Israeli police officers marched on to the Haram al-Sharif/Temple Mount in September 2000, the First Intifada began almost by chance. On December 8, 1987, an IDF truck crashed into a line of cars stuck at the Erez crossing … Continue reading Today in Middle Eastern history: the First Intifada begins (1987)

Today in Middle Eastern history: the Faysal-Weizmann Agreement (1919)

As World War I was wrapping up, and the Ottoman Empire was collapsing, the question of what to do with all that soon-to-be-former Ottoman land loomed large. Most Ottoman territory outside of Anatolia was predominantly Arab, and the 1916-1918 Arab Revolt had done much to advance British war aims in the Middle East, so the … Continue reading Today in Middle Eastern history: the Faysal-Weizmann Agreement (1919)

Today in Middle Eastern history: the First Intifada begins (1987)

In contrast with the Second Intifada, which began with a deliberate provocation when Ariel Sharon and 1000 Israeli police officers marched on to the Haram al-Sharif/Temple Mount in September 2000, the First Intifada began almost by chance. On December 8, 1987, an IDF truck crashed into a line of cars stuck at the Erez crossing … Continue reading Today in Middle Eastern history: the First Intifada begins (1987)

Today in Middle Eastern history: the Balfour Declaration (1917)

I approach these historical pieces with the hope that I won’t shade into politics or advocacy and potentially turn some readers off. But on some topics that becomes almost impossible, and I wouldn’t be keeping up with this history business if I didn’t mention that today is the anniversary of the day in 1917 when … Continue reading Today in Middle Eastern history: the Balfour Declaration (1917)

Today in Middle Eastern history: the First Intifada begins (1987)

and that's the way it was

In contrast with the Second Intifada, which began with a deliberate provocation when Ariel Sharon and 1000 Israeli police officers marched on to the Haram al-Sharif/Temple Mount in September 2000, the First Intifada began almost by chance. On December 8, 1987, an IDF truck crashed into a line of cars stuck at the Erez crossing between Israel and Gaza, killing four Palestinians. This was probably an accident, notwithstanding a pervasive Palestinian belief that it had been an intentional Israeli attack. A demonstration that broke out at the funerals, that evening, turned into mass PLO-led protests throughout Gaza, the West Bank, and East Jerusalem the next day, and that turned into nearly four years of violence. Over 2200 people lost their lives, more than 2000 of them Palestinians.

“Palestinian youth starting a fire during the First Intifada” (via OldHistoricPhotos.com)

Of course, if you know anything about the history of the…

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