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A very brief history of the current conflict in Palestine

The roots of the current conflict did not start in the past week nor was it “unprovoked” as the mainstream media would have us believe.

2023 is the 75th anniversary of the violent creation of the state of Israel. Palestinians and much of the world call this event the “Nakba” or “The Catastrophe.” For 75 years there has been repression, oppression, and especially occupation of the West Bank and Gaza since 1967, and a siege and control of Gaza for the past 16 years. (1)

The UN has been tracking deaths in the conflict and data from 2008-2020 shows 5,590 Palestinian deaths and 251 Israeli deaths. (2)

US citizens and residents have a special obligation and opportunity to try stop the madness

When Jimmy Carter mentioned Israeli Apartheid in his 2007 book Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid, he was roundly condemned. Now it has been demonstrated to all, except Congress, with recent in-depth reports by leading Human Right groups such as Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, B’Tselem-The Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories (leading Israeli Human Rights group) showing in great detail how Apartheid works in Israel and the Occupied Territories. (3)

Many important Jewish groups and Israeli luminaries, while not excusing the gross excesses of some of the Hamas attacks, especially on the first day, point out the root causes of the violence are Israeli repression, oppression, and occupation.

For example, Jewish Voice for Peace stated while on 10/7/23, that they were terrified for their loves ones on the ground,

“The Israeli government may have just declared war, but its war on Palestinians started over 75 years ago. Israeli apartheid and occupation — and United States complicity in that oppression — are the source of all this violence.

Reality is shaped by when you start the clock. For the past year, the most racist, fundamentalist, far-right government in Israeli history has ruthlessly escalated its military occupation over Palestinians in the name of Jewish supremacy with violent expulsions and home demolitions, mass killings, military raids on refugee camps, unrelenting siege and daily humiliation. In recent weeks, Israeli forces repeatedly stormed the holiest Muslim sites in Jerusalem.

For 16 years, the Israeli government has suffocated Palestinians in Gaza under a draconian air, sea and land military blockade, imprisoning and starving two million people and denying them medical aid…..

The bloodshed of today and the past 75 years traces back directly to U.S. complicity in the oppression and horror caused by Israel’s military occupation. The U.S. government consistently enables Israeli violence and bears blame for this moment.” (4)

Eminent Israeli Historian Ilan Pappe has recently (10/10/23) written in “My Israeli Friends: This is Why I Support Palestinians,”…. It is this moral compass {to resist settler colonialism} that led me, and others in our society, to stand by the Palestinian people in every way possible…. It is not always easy to stick to your moral compass, but if it does point north – towards decolonization and liberation – then it will most likely guide you through the fog of poisonous propaganda, hypocritical policies and the inhumanity, often perpetrated in the name of ‘our common Western values’.” (5)

As Jewish Voice for Peace notes, US citizens and residents have a special obligation and opportunity to try stop the madness by becoming more informed and informing others, demonstrating, and especially contacting their members of congress to support ending military aid to Israel, including supporting H.R.3103 Defending the Human Rights of Palestine Children and Families Under Israeli Military Occupation Act. The road will be hard, but if we do not follow our North Star-towards decolonization and liberation- the road will be much harder or may not exist at all.

In addition to the sources highlighted in this short essay and the endnotes, the list of information sources below are excellent to counteract the US mainstream media and that have been trusted sources for years.


1.  Rashid Khaldi, The Hundred Years War on Palestine; Edward Said, The Question of Palestine; Noam Chomsky, Fateful Triangle: The United States, Israel, and the Palestinians: N. Chomsky and Ilan Pappe, On Palestine (among many other books by these authors)





Information Sources

Lawrence Mosqueda is Professor Emeritus of Political Economy at the Evergreen State College. He is also a long-time activist and solidarity activist with Central America and Palestine.



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