Prepping Israel – US role in Palestine Crisis


Gaza, Israel, Palestine, Terrorism, US


1948 -Birth of Israel

The U.S. supported Israel from its birth. The Truman administration recognized the newly declared state of Israel on May 15, 1948 literally minutes after this unilateral declaration was made.

 1948-1962- First small military loans by US

US aid to Israel was limited to economic development assistance until 1962, when the first, small military loans were made.

 1963- Formation of AIPAC

The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) was founded in 1963 under JFK administration. For strength the Israeli Lobby in USA and hijack American foreign policy to promote Israeli interest globally.

 1967- First Israeli settlements in occupied territories

The first Israeli settlements were created in the occupied territories following the June 1967 war, the United States has held that such settlements are illegal under international law (Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention states that an occupying power may not transfer its civilian population into occupied territories) and are an “obstacle to peace” because their presence implies an Israeli claim of sovereignty that appears to rule out a willingness to negotiate.

1973 Arab-Israel war

U.S. financial and military assistance quadrupled after Syria and Egypt, supported by the Soviet Union, invaded Israel on Oct. 6, 1973. Prime Minister Golda Meir asked U.S. President Nixon for immediate military assistance for her army that had been decimated in the 1973 Yom Kippur War and the 1967 Israeli war against the Egyptian and Syrian armies.

From 1967 until the election of Prime Minister Menachem Begin in May 1977, the US and Israel interpreted UN Resolution 242 to mean that Israel would withdraw from most of the occupied territories in exchange for peace. The Israeli Labor party continues to support partial withdrawal from the territories.

1974- Special Military grants by US started

Military “grants” began in 1974 when the US waived repayment of part of a military loan.

Economic assistance earmarked for specific development projects or commodity purchases was dropped in 1975 when direct loans and cash grants for general budgetary purposes began.

Since the mid-1980s, total annual economic and military aid to Israel has averaged $3.0 billion-$3.5 billion

1975- Agreement to Israeli request

In September 1975, then-Secretary of State Henry Kissinger agreed to an Israeli request that the US would not recognize or negotiate with the PLO until the PLO recognized Israel and accepted UN Resolution 242 (the territory for peace principle).

 1978 Camp David Accords

Following the 1973 war, Egypt and Israel began to quietly explore the possibility of a diplomatic peace. Under the guidance of U.S. President Carter, cease-fire talks between Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin and Egyptian President Anwar Sadat opened 5 years later at Camp David.

The meetings ended with the Camp David peace accords, based on U.N. resolutions 242 and 338, which stipulated that Israel would relinquish territory to neighboring Arab nations in exchange for recognition of Israel’s national sovereignty and security. The Camp David accords ended the war between Egypt and Israel and laid the foundation for the so-called “land-for-peace” deals between Palestinians and Israelis.

The Carter-initiated Camp David process was viewed by some in Israel as creating US pressures on Israel to withdraw from occupied territories and to take risks for the sake of peace with Egypt. Jimmy Carter’s support for a Palestinian “homeland” and for Palestinian political rights created additional tensions with Israel.

1981- Israeli law applied on Golan Heights and US reaction

The Menachem Begin and Yitzhak Shamir governments rejected any withdrawal from Golan; on December 14, 1981, the Knesset passed legislation applying Israeli “law, jurisdiction, and administration” to the Golan Heights, in effect, annexing the territory. The United States disagreed with the Israeli move as a violation of international law (Article 47 of the Geneva Convention which forbids acquisition of territory by force, and UN Security Council Resolution 242), and as a violation of the spirit of the Camp David peace process.

1982-Lebanon war

The Lebanon war of 1982 exposed some serious differences between Israeli and U.S. policies, such as Israel’s use of U.S.-provided military equipment in the attack on Lebanon and Israel’s rejection of the Reagan peace plan of September 1, 1982, it did not alter the Administration’s favoritism for Israel and the emphasis it placed on Israel’s importance to the United States

1982- Change in US Policy

U.S. policy, beginning in 1982, supported neither an independent Palestinian state nor Israeli sovereignty or control of the occupied territories. Instead, the Reagan Administration preferred a form of “association” between the West Bank/Gaza areas and Jordan.

Meanwhile, President Reagan reiterated the 1967 U.S. position on September 1, 1982: “we remain convinced that Jerusalem must remain undivided, but its final status should be decided through negotiations.”

1984-Congress makes new law about PLO

In 1984, Congress codified the provision that US would not recognize or negotiate with the PLO until the PLO recognized Israel and accepted UN Resolution 242 (the territory for peace principle) into law, adding a new condition that the PLO must renounce terrorism.

1991-Gulf war

On September 27, 1990, amid Iraqi threats against Israel generated by the Iraq- Kuwait crisis, former President Bush repeated the U.S. commitment to Israel’s security. Israeli-U.S. tension eased after the start of the Persian Gulf War on January 16, 1991, when Israel became a target of Iraqi Scud missiles. The United States urged Israel not to retaliate against Iraq for the attacks because it was believed that Iraq wanted to draw Israel into the conflict and force other coalition members, Egypt and Syria in particular, to quit the coalition and join Iraq in a war against Israel. Israel did not retaliate.

During the 1991 Gulf war, relations between the United States and the Palestine Liberation Organization soured when PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat supported Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait and its threat to attack Israel.

1991-Madrid Conference

Following US victory in the 1991 Gulf war, Former US President George H.W. Bush and Secretary Baker were instrumental in convening the Madrid peace conference in October 1991. US President George H.W. Bush and Soviet President Michael Gorbachev sponsored the peace conference to address the conflict between Israel and Palestine. The conference rejuvenated the Israeli-Palestinian negotiations.

1993 Oslo Accords

Over the next 2 years, the US and other nations moderated discussions between Israeli and Palestinian leaders, and, in 1993, at the 11th round of peace talks, Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres announced that Israel and the PLO reached a land-for-peace deal in Oslo.

Israel and the PLO exchanged letters of mutual recognition on September 10, and signed the Declaration of Principles on September 13, 1993. President Clinton announced on September 10 that the United States and the PLO would reestablish their dialogue.

At the White House, Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat oversaw the signing of the agreements reached at Oslo. Under the so-called Oslo accords:-

(i) Arafat recognized Israel’s right to exist

(ii) Arafat renounced the use of violence against Israel.

(iii) Israel promised to allow for Palestinian self-rule in sections of the Gaza Strip and West Bank.

(iv) Israel will continue to provide security for its settlements until the parties agree to a final status for the territories

1994-Palestinian Authority assumed control of Gaza Strip

The Palestinian Authority assumed control over the Gaza Strip in May 1994

1995 Oslo 2 Accords

In 1995, Israeli and Palestinian leaders met again in Washington, D.C. with Bill Clinton to discuss specific steps to gradually transfer autonomy to the newly formed Palestinian Authority in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. President Clinton, Egyptian President Mubarak, and King Hussain of Jordan witnessed the White House signing of the September 28, 1995 Interim Agreement between Israel and the Palestinians.

1995- Assassination of Yitzhak Rabin

The US lost a key ally when an Israeli extremist opposed to the Oslo accords assassinated Rabin in November 1995. President Clinton attended the funeral of assassinated Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin in Jerusalem on November 6, 1995.

1995-Palestinian Authority assumed control of 6 West Bank cities

The Palestinian Authority assumed control over six West Bank cities in December 1995

1996-Special Loan Grants to Israel

George H.W. Bush and Yitzhak Rabin announced on August 12, 1992, that the US would support loan guarantees for Israel. The loan guarantees were approved on October 6, 1992. The last traunch of the $10 billion was made available in October 1996 (for FY1997), but Israel has not drawn the whole amount available because the number of immigrants arriving from the former Soviet Union has decreased. The loan guarantees are being used for other infrastructure projects.

1998- Israel thinks of reduction in economic assistance and increase in military aid from US

Israeli, congressional, and Administration officials began discussions in January 1998, to reduce the U.S. $1.2 billion in economic assistance to Israel to zero over ten years, and to increase U.S. military aid to Israel from $1.8 billion to $2.4 billion per year.

In 1998, US cuts Israel’s economic aid from $1.2 billion to $1.08 billion, and increased Israel’s military aid from $1.8 billion to $1.86 billion for FY1999.

For FY2000, US appropriated $960 million in economic grants, $1.920 billion in military aid, and $60 million for refugee resettlement. In addition, Israel received $1.2 billion in military grants in FY2000 for implementing the Wye Agreement.

The Administration requested and Congress appropriated $840 million in ESF, $1.98 billion in FMF, and $60 million in refugee assistance for FY2001.

The foreign operations appropriations bill for FY2002 contains $720 million in economic and $2.04 billion in military grants for Israel.

2000- Bill Clinton favored moving US Embassy to Jerusalem

On July 27, 2000, Bill Clinton said he favored moving the embassy to Jerusalem and would review the decision by the end of the year but made no changes before leaving office on January 20, 2001.

2000 Camp David Summit

According to press accounts from the July 2000 Camp David summit, Israel offered to withdraw from more than 90% of the West Bank and all of the Gaza Strip as part of the permanent status negotiations.

Until the Camp David meetings of July 2000, Israel did not consider Jerusalem to be occupied territory, claimed that it would not negotiate the status of the city, and rejected Arab or any other sovereignty in Jerusalem.

At the July 2000 Camp David meetings, Israel offered the Palestinians control over the Muslim and Christian holy sites, but the Palestinians sought full sovereignty over the Arab Muslim/Christian areas of the old city.

2001-US-Israel Bitter relations and 2 states formula

The good relations between George Bush and Ariel Sharon established in their March and June 2001 meetings appeared to sour on October 4 when Sharon accused the Bush administration of appeasing the Palestinians at Israel’s expense in a bid for Arab support for the US. anti-terror campaign. The White House said the remark was unacceptable. Rather than apologize for the remark, Sharon said the US failed to understand him. Also, the US criticized the Israeli practice of assassinating Palestinians believed to be engaged in terrorism, which appeared to some Israelis to be inconsistent with the U.S. policy of pursuing international terrorist Osama bin Ladin “dead or alive.”

By November of that year, President Bush became the first U.S. president to publicly call for two states, Israel and Palestine, existing side by side.

2003-Iraq war

By the time the Israeli disengagement plan began to grow into reality, the US was fighting a war in Iraq, leaving little time or energy to devote to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

2004-death of Arafat

In November 2004, Yasser Arafat, died from an unidentified disease. George Bush called on the Palestinians once again to choose a leader who rejected violence as a successor to Arafat.

2005-Mahmud Abbas re-elected

Palestinians elected Abbas in January 2005, and preparations soon gave way to another White House visit amid hopes of a breakthrough in the conflict. But hopes began to fade as violence perpetrated by Palestinians and Israelis continued that summer.

2005-Israeli withdrawal

Israel in August 2005 made good on its commitment to withdraw all its settlers and troops from the Gaza Strip and parts of the West Bank, and Sharon left his right-wing Likud Party to form a new party called Kadima. His new party was based on the premise that the Israeli public favored further disengagements from Palestinian territories as long as there was, in their opinion, no Palestinian negotiating partner.

2006- Victory of Hamas

By January 2006, Sharon had faded from the political scene, felled by a massive stroke that left him permanently incapacitated.

Later that month, a fractured Palestinian ruling class, Fatah, saw its defeat at the hands of a disciplined political effort by Hamas, whose charter calls for Israel’s destruction, and who won parliamentary elections on an anti-corruption and social services platform.

2006- Reactions on Hamas’s victory

The victory of Hamas brought calls, led by Israel and the US, for the diplomatic and financial isolation of any new Hamas-led government, and essentially put an end, for the time being, to any contacts between the Palestinians and the United States and Israel.

That sentiment continued after the March 2006 election victory by Sharon’s Kadima Party, and the selection of his successor, Ehud Olmert, who pledged to complete Israel’s withdrawal from most of the West Bank by 2010.

2007 Annapolis Conference

At the end of November 2007, the Bush Administration convened an international conference in Annapolis to officially revive the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmud Abbas reached a “Joint Understanding,” in which they agreed

(i) To launch continuous bilateral negotiations in an effort to conclude a peace treaty by the end of 2008

(ii) To simultaneously implement the moribund 2003 Performance-Based Road Map to a Permanent Two-State Solution to the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict.

Both the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate passed resolutions openly declaring support for Israel’s Operation Cast Lead, despite a constant stream of reports evidencing Israeli war crimes.

2009-Netanyahu gave partial concession

In late 2009, Benjamin Netanyahu gave a partial concession—a moratorium on new settlement construction in the West Bank (but not east Jerusalem) for a period of ten months. This partial concession was achieved after getting Benjamin Netanyahu persuaded by Barack Obama.

2011-US cutoff funding to UNESCO

Congress cut off financing to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, known as UNESCO, in 2011 after it accepted Palestine as a member.

The United States provides UNESCO with more than $80 million a year, covering about 22 percent of its budget, thus making any cutoff painful.

The prohibition on U.S. funding of U.N. agencies that recognize a Palestinian state was included in two pieces of legislation that were signed into law by President George H.W. Bush in 1990 and President Bill Clinton in 1994.

The 1990 law prohibits the appropriation of funds “for the United Nations or any specialized agency thereof which accords the Palestine Liberation Organization the same standing as a member state.”

In 1994, Congress barred funding “any affiliated organization of the United Nations which grants full membership as a state to any organization or group that does not have the internationally recognized attributes of statehood.”

2011- US’s reaction on Palestinian bid for statehood

President Obama declared his opposition to the Palestinian Authority’s bid for statehood through the Security Council.

However in 2010, Barack Obama delivered an impassioned call for Palestinian statehood within the next year, to be recognized, he said, in the United Nations.

2012-US supports Israel’s right for self defence

Barack Obama said that we are fully supportive of Israel’s right to defend itself from missiles landing on people’s homes and workplaces and potentially killing civilians. And we will continue to support Israel’s right to defend itself.

The House of Representatives and Senate passed resolutions stating that Israel has inherent right to self-defence and that Hamas should end Gaza-linked rocket and missile attacks against Israel.

2014 Israel’s Gaza ground Incursion

White House spokesman Josh Earnest stated: “No country can accept rocket fire aimed at civilians and we support Israel’s right to defend itself against these vicious attacks.”

The House of Representatives approved a non-binding resolution backing Israel’s right to defend itself against Hamas rocket attacks.

Israel used firepower and send troops on the ground that killed more than 1500 palestinians and still USA insists Israel has right to self defend.

Fahad Nabeel is aspires to join the legions of those who seek to inspire the world with truth. He studies journalism. He is looking forward to interact with his readers via comment box beneath this article. | Sh Fahad is based in Khobar, Saudia Arabia.Engineer by profession and part time journalist with keen interest in Middle East.

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