Well earlier this month, I joined my first ever MUN Conferences. It was a really great experiences because I learned a lot there. I learned how to Negotiate with others, learned how to make a draft resolutions, and etc..
For those who don’t know, Model United Nations, also known as Model UN or MUN, is an educational simulation and academic competition in which students learn about diplomacy, international relations, and the United Nations. MUN involves and teaches research, public speaking, debating, and writing skills, in addition to critical thinking, teamwork, and leadership abilities.Usually an extracurricular activity, some schools also offer Model UN as a class.
There was 1 topic that we discussed there. A loong unfinished and classic topic, the Israel-Palestine conflict. I represents the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Eventough I don’t contribute much to the conferences, I tried my best to solve this problems. It was a lil bit confusing at first because I have no idea what to do and I don’t know much about this topics. But as time goes by, I getting used to it and start to enjoy the conferences.
And now I want to share the study guide and the overview article about Israel-Palestine conflict who was made by the Org Comm, check this out!
Topic Area A : The Palestine-Israeli Conflict
Statement of The Problem
The history of the conflict in the Palestine area is even longer than that of UN itself. This is especially the case for the Fourth Committee, where this topic seems to be constantly a main point on the agenda. The conflict in the Middle East is one of the most important and most complex topics of the United Nations. Palestine has been of great religious and political importance throughout the history. It has been occupied by different regimes while, currently, Israel has dominant control over it after the 1948 Arab-Israeli War. Palestinian movement is a bold development that responded to the ravaging of Palestinian civilian society during this third orchestrated massacre by Israel carried out against the people of Gaza in the last six years. It is not only that more than 70 percent of the Palestinian casualties were civilians. It needs to be understood that the entire Gaza population was locked into the combat zone during the 50-day onslaught, resulting in collective traumatization. The civilian population was denied the possibility of escaping the war zone by crossing the border to become refugees, usually the option of desperate last resort in conflicts of this character
As is currently evident in Syria and Iraq, tens of thousands have been seeking sanctuary by leaving the country. It is this most minimal form of humanitarian assistance that has been denied to all Gazans ever since Hamas started governing in mid-2007. UN speechess by
Mahmoud Abbas naturally expressed a different view of the situation. He placed great stress on the extent to which the Israeli intensive settlement process had destroyed any prospect of resolving the conflict through diplomacy. Abbas seemed to finally recognize what had been long evident to many Palestinians, that participating in Washington’s peace process operated mainly as a facilitator of Israeli settlement building plans, and was contrary to Palestine’s interest. He didn’t repudiate the Oslo approach altogether, but he did insist that direct negotiations could only be resumed if Israel unconditionally stopped further expansions of the settlements.
Abbas’ diplomacy moved in new directions: He submitted a formal request to the Secretary-General to forward to the Security Council for action on Palestine’s request for full membership in the organization and an end to Israeli occupation in three years. This move undoubtedly irritates Washington as it may force the US to use its veto, unless its diplomatic pressure can avoid nine affirmative votes in favor of the resolution. Notable for several reasons, avoided mentioning the most dramatic development: the new phase of the conflict. Israel is now openly moving towards a one-state solution that will involve incorporating the West Bank and consolidating control in East Jerusalem. Palestine is continuing its state-building project on the West Bank coupled with the realization that the political energy of its national movement has shifted to a combination of civil society activism and Hamas resilience and resistance. Whether this new phase will bring the two peoples any closer to a sustainable peace with justice seems highly unlikely.
At the end of the 19th century and at the beginning of the 20th century, a large number of Jews purchased land from Ottoman landlords and established communities in the area which later became the British Mandate of Palestine. An economic boom quickly followed this settlement; this caused the population to grow, as not only Jewish people but also Muslim, Christian and Druze people migrated to the area. The victory of the Allies in the
First World War and consequent fall of the Ottoman Empire resulted in UK’s taking control of the area, which was carved into a mandate; an important issue surfaced when it was discovered that during the war the British promised control over the area to both the Jews and the Arabs.
In 1936 the British Government created the “Palestinian Royal Commission”, with the intent of reviewing and possibly amending the status of the British Palestinian Mandate. The commission suggested a partition of land between the Arabs and the Jews; the suggestion was however rejected by the Arabs, who insisted that they had been promised full independence, and that too many concessions were being made to the Israeli. This lead to a war which took place between 1936 and 1939 and to the United Nations Partition Plan (Resolution 181 from 29 November 1947). On 14 May 1948, the Zionist Organization announced through the voice of its president, David Ben-Gurion, the establishment of a Jewish state within the territory formerly under the British Mandate; a war quickly followed, after which Israel’s borders expanded, the Gaza Strip was annexed by Egypt and the West Bank by Jordan.Founded in 1964 as a result of the Arab League summit in Cairo, the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) is an organization which originally aimed at the creation of an Arab-Palestinian state in the territory of the British Mandate67, claiming that “The liberation of Palestine, from an international viewpoint, is a defensive act necessitated by the demands of self-defence as stated in the Charter of the United Nations”. It also contests the authority of Israel, stating that the Israeli do not constitute a nation since they are the citizens of their respective states and that they only share a Divine Religion.
Two wars occurred between the two sides, one in 1967 and the other in 1973, during which the Arabs were supported by the USSR and the Israeli by the USA. Several months after the 1967 war, the Arab League leaders met at the Khartoum Arab Summit and issued the “Three No’s” concerning the relation with Israel: no peace, no recognition, no negotiations
A very important point in the peace process took place during the Oslo accords, where The Oslo Accords where administration rights for most of the West Bank were given to Palestinians.
- The Palestine Royal Commission, was a British Royal Commission of Inquiry set out to propose changes to the British Mandate for Palestine following the six-month-long Arab general strike in Mandatory Palestine. The Commission was established at a time of increased violence; serious clashes between Arabs and Jews broke out in 1936 and were to last three years. The Commission was charged with determining the cause of the riots, and judging the grievances of both sides. The Commission found that the drafters of the Mandate could not have foreseen the advent of massive Jewish immigration, that they considered to due to “drastic restriction of immigration into the United States, the advent of the National Socialist Government in Germany in 1933 and the increasing economic pressure on the Jews in Poland.” They wrote that “The continued impact of a highly intelligent and enterprising race, backed by large financial resources, on a comparatively poor indigenous community, on a different cultural level, may produce in time serious reactions.” ( )British Policy in Palestine, 1937-38: From the Peel to the Woodhead Report, Bulletin of International News, Vol 15, No. 23 (Nov. 19, 1938). The Arab leadership in Palestine rejected the plan, arguing that the Arabs had been promised independence and granting rights to the Jews was a betrayal. The Arabs emphatically rejected the principle of awarding any territory to the Jews. With the Arab Higher Committee also lobbying, hundreds of delegates from across the Arab world convened at the Bloudan Conference in Syria on 8 September and wholly rejected both the partition and establishment of a Jewish state in Palestine
- On November 29, 1947, the United Nations General Assembly adopted Resolution 181 (also known as the Partition Resolution) that would divide Great Britain’s former Palestinian mandate into Jewish and Arab states in May 1948. Under the resolution, the area of religious significance surrounding Jerusalem would remain under international control administered by the United Nations.
- The United Nations resolution sparked conflict between Jewish and Arab groups within Palestine. Fighting began with attacks by irregular bands of Palestinian Arabs attached to local units of the Arab Liberation Army composed of volunteers from Palestine and neighboring Arab countries. These groups launched their attacks against Jewish cities, settlements, and armed forces. The Jewish forces were composed of the Haganah, the underground militia of the Jewish community in Palestine, and two small irregular groups, the Irgun, and LEHI. The goal of the Arabs was initially to block the Partition Resolution and to prevent the establishment of the Jewish state. The Jews, on the other hand, hoped to gain control over the territory allotted to them under the Partition Plan.
After Israel declared its independence on May 14, 1948, the fighting intensified with other Arab forces joining the Palestinian Arabs in attacking territory in the former Palestinian mandate. On the eve of May 14, the Arabs launched an air attack on Tel Aviv, which the Israelis resisted. This action was followed by the invasion of the former Palestinian mandate by Arab armies from Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, and Egypt.
Saudi Arabia sent a formation that fought under the Egyptian command. British trained forces from Transjordan eventually intervened in the conflict, but only in areas that had been designated as part of the Arab state under the United Nations Partition Plan and the corpus separatum of Jerusalem. After tense early fighting, Israeli forces, now under joint command, were able to gain the offensive. Though the United Nations brokered two cease- fires during the conflict, fighting continued into 1949.Israel and the Arab states did not reach any formal armistice agreements until February.
Though the United Nations brokered two cease-fires during the conflict, fighting continued into 1949. Israel and the Arab states did not reach any formal armistice agreements until February. Under separate agreements between Israel and the neighboring states of Egypt, Lebanon, Transjordan, and Syria, these bordering nations agreed to formal armistice lines. Israel gained some territory formerly granted to Palestinian Arabs under the United Nations resolution in 1947. Egypt and Jordan retained control over the Gaza Strip and the West Bank respectively. In 1964 the Palestinian Liberation Organization was created with the purpose of obtaining Palestine’s independence. Conceived by the Arab states at the first Arab summit meeting, the 1964 Arab League summit in Cairo, its stated goal was the “liberation of Palestine” through armed struggle.
The organization was called Palestinian Liberation Organization. The original PLO Charter (issued on 28 May 1964) stated that “Palestine with its boundaries that existed at the time of the British Mandate is an integral regional unit” and sought to “prohibit… the existence and activity” of Zionism. It also called for a right of return and self-determination for Palestinians. Palestinian statehood was not mentioned, although in 1974 the PLO called for an independent state in the territory of Mandate for Palestine. The group used multi-layered guerilla tactics to attack Israel from their bases in Jordan (including the West Bank, Lebanon, Egypt, Gaza, Strip, and Syria). In 1993, the PLO secretly negotiated the Oslo Accords with Israel. The accords were signed on 20 August 1993. There was a subsequent public ceremony in Washington D.C. on 13 September 1993. The Accords granted the Palestinians right to self-government on the Gaza Strip and the city of Jericho in the West Bank through the creation of the Palestinian Authority. Yasser Arafat was appointed head of the Palestinian Authority and a timetable for elections was laid out which saw Arafat elected president in January 1996, 18 months behind schedule The second Intifada known as the Oslo War was the second Palestinian Uprising – a period of intensified Palestinian-Israeli violence, which began in late September 2000 and ended in 2005. The death toll, including both military and civilian, is estimated to be about 3,000 Palestinians and 1,000 Israelis, as well as 64 foreigners. Both sides failed to respect the Oslo Accords. Another attempt to reach an agreement was made in July 11–25, 2000 Middle East Peace Summit at Camp David was held between United States president Bill Clinton, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak, and Palestinian Chairman Yasser Arafat. The talks ultimately failed with both sides blaming the other. There were four principal obstacles to agreement: territory, Jerusalem and the Temple Mount, refugees and the ‘right of return’, and Israeli security concerns. On September 13, 2000, Yasser Arafat and the Palestinian Legislative Council postponed the planned unilateral declaration of an independent Palestinian state.
Current Day Situation
In recent decades, there have been important civil unrests in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, which culminated with the two Intifada (1987-1993, 2000-2005). After the death of Yasser Arafat, PLO split into two parts: Fatah and Hamas; Fatah governs the West Bank, while Hamas governs Gaza; Hamas is considered a terrorist organization by several countries. Israel Defence Forces recently permored several operations in the Gaza Strip, claiming that they responded to missile launches done by Hamas. During this time, both sides accused each other of war crimes, while Human Rights claimed that both sides committed human rights violations. The United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Germanyand other Western countries support the Israeli actions, while Iran, Russia , Egypt, Turkey and several other Arab and Muslim countries condemned them; the United Nations Security Council held an urgent meeting to address the issue but the results were inconclusive.
The United Nations General Assembly recognized the PLO as the “representative of the Palestinian people” in Resolution 3210 and Resolution 3236, and granted the PLO observer status on 22 November 1974 in Resolution 3237. On 12 January 1976 the UN Security Council voted 11–1 with 3 abstentions to allow the Palestinian Liberation Organization to participate in a Security Council debate without voting rights, a privilege usually restricted to UN member states. It was admitted as a full member of the Asia group on 2 April 1986. After the Palestinian Declaration of Independence the PLO’s representation was renamed Palestine. On 7 July 1998, this status was extended to allow participation in General Assembly debates, though not in voting. On Thursday, 29 November 2012, In a 138-9 vote (with 41 abstaining)
General Assembly resolution 67/19 passed, upgrading Palestine to “non-member observer state” status in the United Nations. The new status equates Palestine’s with that of the Holy See. The change in status was described by The Independent as “de facto recognition of the sovereign state of Palestine”. Recently, Anders Fogh Rasmussen mentioned several “big ifs”( if the parties involved came to an agreement, if they requested NATO to help them implement, If they requested NATO to help them implement, if there’s a UN Security Council Resolution) before the Israeli-Palestinian conflict could come to the NATO agenda. The European Union keeps a neutral stance to the conflict and encourages peace talks; in recent years, partly because of demographic changes which involve a growth in the number of Arab people, EU’s policy shifted slowly to the Arab side. Both parties have accused the UN Security Council of being biased he conflict to similar situations. A report by the United States Institute of Peace on UN reform was filed in 2005, which said contrary to the UN Charter’s principle of equality of rights for all nations, Israel is denied rights enjoyed by all other member states, and that a level of systematic hostility against it is routinely expressed. The bias against Israel within the UN has been claimed to deprive the country of its ability to exercise lawfully under the UN Charter. United States of America and its close allies have consistently supported Israel’s actions in the UN. The League of Arab States constantly condemns Israel; currently only two of its member states have recognized Israel, while most of them have not withdrawn the support for the ‘three NO’ policy. The United
Nations General Assembly recognized the PLO as the “representative of the Palestinian people” in Resolution 3210 and Resolution 3236, and granted the PLO observer status on 22 November 1974 in Resolution 3237. On 12 January 1976 the UN Security Council voted 11–1 with 3 abstentions to allow the Palestinian Liberation Organization to participate in a Security Council debate without voting rights, a privilege usually restricted to UN member states. It was admitted as a full member of the Asia group on 2 April 1986. After the Palestinian Declaration of Independence the PLO’s representation was renamed Palestine. On 7 July 1998, this status was extended to allow participation in General Assembly debates, though not in voting. On Thursday, 29 November 2012, In a 138-9 vote (with 41 abstaining) General Assembly resolution 67/19 passed, upgrading Palestine to “non-member observer state” status in the United Nations. The new status equates Palestine’s with that of the Holy See. The change in status was described by The Independent as “de facto recognition of the sovereign state of Palestine”.
The Western Bank is divided into 11 governorates. The Jenin governorate is the only governorate in the West Bank where the majority of control of land is under the Palestinian Authority. Four Israeli settlements were evacuated as a part of Israel’s unilateral disaragenent plan in 2005. The other 10 governorates are administrative districts of the Palestinian Authority. The Gaza Strip, on the other hand is primarily Hamasled. The Governance of Gaza Strip has been carried out by the Hamas administration, led by Ismail Haniyeh since 2007. The Hamas administration is often referred to as the Hamas government in Gaza. After the takeover in Gaza or Hamas on 14 June 2007, Palestinian Authority Chairman Abbas dismissed the Hamasled government and appointed Salam Fayad as Prime Minister. Though the new government’s authority is claimed to extend to all Palestinian territories, in effect it became limited to the West Bank, as Hamas hasn’t recognized the move and continued to rule the Gaza Strip. The Arab League is one of the main political actors directly involved in the conflict. While agreeing with UN Security Council Resolutions 242 and 383, they make more demands, essentially calling for full withdrawal by Israel “to the 1967 borders” (i.e., the 1949 Armistice lines ) in return for fully normalized relations with the whole Arab world. While most countries have recognized Israel’s independence, Afghanistan, Indonesia, North Korea, Algeria, Iraq, Pakistan, Bahrain, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Bangladesh, Lebanon, Somalia, Brunei, Libya, Sudan, Comoros, Malaysia, Syria, Djibouti, United Arab Emirates, Maldives, Guinea, Mali, Yemen, Niger have never recognized it. Iran, Chad, Cuba, Morocco, Tunisia, Oman and Qatar recognized Israel, but have since rescinded that recognition.
And on the next article, I will post the Draft Resolutions that been made.