Britain gives support the Zionist movement by supporting the Balfour Declaration, which would give the Jewish people a homeland in Palestine.
British Control of Palestine
The League of Nations gives control of Palestine to Britain
Jewish Migration to Palestine
Over 500,000 Jews have migrated to Palestine by this time. They build cities, agricultural settlements, start industries, restore desert lands to fertility, improve health standards, and establish schools.
British Limit Jewish Migration
The British start to limit Jewish immigration into Palestine in order to appease the Arabs. The Zionists believe this violates the Balfour Declaration.
Palestine and the UN
The British continue to keep Jews from moving to Palestine even during World War II. The Palestinian problem is turned over to the United Nations. The UN decides to end British control of Palestine, place Jerusalem under international control, and partition Palestine into separate Arab and Jewish states.
Israel proclaims independence and becomes the Middle East's only modern democratic state.
The Arab League enforces an economic boycott against Israel and against Western companies doing business with Israel. President Nasser of Egypt keeps Israeli ships from using the Suez Canal and allows guerrilla raids against Israeli border communities.
Israel invades Egypt to desrtoy guerrilla bases and end the blockade. Israeli forces are able to overrun the Sinai Peninsula. Israel withdraws from Egypt and the UN stations a United Nations Emergency Force (UNEF) in Egypt on the border with Israel.
Palestine Liberation Organization
The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) is formed. The PLO is made up of various guerrilla groups committed to the destruction of Israel. Yasir Arafat becomes the leader of the PLO.
Geneva Peace Conference
Israel, Egypt, and Jordan send delegates to a UN peace conference in Geneva, Switzerland. The conference fails after one day.
Arab Support for the PLO
The Arab nations unanimously declare the PLO to be the representative of the Palestinian people. The PLO also gets a UN invitation to the General Assembly to take part in debates on Palestine.
The Camp David Conference
President Sadat of Egypt and Prime Minister Begin of Israel Meet with President Carter of the United States in Camp David, Maryland. In return for Israeli withdrawl from the Sinai Peninsula, Egypt agrees to (a) demilitarize the peninsula, (b) permit peacekeeping forces to be stationed there, (c) guarantee Israeli ships free passage through the Suez Canal and the Gulf of Aqaba, and (d) negotiate a peace treaty with Israel.
Assassination of Anwar Sadat
President Sadat of Egypt is assassinated by members of a Muslim fundamentalist group that was critical of Sadat's policy of peace toward Israel.
Splits in the PLO
Israel and Syria invade Lebanon and force PLO guerrillas to leave. The PLO splits into two factions, one seeking a negotiated solution, and one seeking military action.
Palestinians living in lands under Israeli occupation begin an uprising called the intifadah. This causes increasing polarization between Jews and Arabs in Israel and occupied lands.
Palestine as an Independent State
Yasir Arafat and the Palestine National Council meet and try to proclaim Palestine as an independent state with its capital in Jerusalem. Arafat also calls for an international peace conference to try to resolve the Middle East conflict. Israel and most of the Western nations do not recognize Palestine as an independent state.
The PLO formally accepts Israel's "right to exist in peace in security" and renounces "the use of terrorism and other acts of violence." Israel recognizes the PLO as "the representative of the Palestinian People."
Pact Between Israel and Jordan
Jordan becomes the second Arab nation to declare an end to its state of war with Israel.