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By Dr. Hedva Rabinson Bachrach (Israel)


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 By Dr. Hedva Rabinson Bachrach

Two groups of humanity, in a lasting conflict which causes the break of the two fundamental laws of humanity;  The sacredness of life  and the dignity of life.  What are the historical facts of this conflict and how do both sides see it.

 Size and population
Israel is 800 k.m. long. Its population is about 8.5  
 Million people, among them 6.5  million Jewish-hebrew,  1million 390  thousand  Moslems,  159 thousand Christians and  132 thousand DruzThe west bank enters until 22 Km. from the sea, deep into Israel.

Historical background

Until 1919, The Ottoman empire ruled all the area, since 1516. After world war 1, Many Arab sheiks, especially from the Arabi Saudi peninsula, who helped the British forces against the Ottoman empire.   were given territories.  The Gaza Strip was under Egyptian rule.
Syria and Lebanon were recognized by the U.N. in 1946  The U.N resolution of dividing the state into two entities between Israelis and Palestinians occurred in 1947. Israel recognized then the Palestinian state and agreed to the Partition U.N. resolution


At first, Palestinians did not have one national entity. some saw themselves as Syrians,   Others were family- tribes  ,  Gaza was under Egyptian rule and there were more affiliated to the Jordan kingdom. After the U.N. decision of partition into two states, Palestinians and neighboring Arab countries did not agree to recognize Israel, and 5 Arab states attacked Israel in 1948, many Palestinians joined their armies, believing they would come back with the conquering armies.
Those Palestinians who remained are Israeli citizens, with a representation of 3 Arab parties in the Israeli Parliament.

The reason for the strong opposition to Israel was two-fold;     1.Palestinians were afraid and suspicious  
 2. The main stream of thought underlying this strong opposition was that Israel was perceived as another crusaders kingdom. The Middle East belongs to Moslems!! No foreign entity would be received.



During the 1948 war about 950.000 palestinians (according to U.N. documents) fled to neighboring Arab countries, about the same number of Jewish refugees came to Israel, as mobs who were shocked by the results of the war attacked them and Jews were fleeing for their life..At first the situation of those refugees was very harsh. They lived in tents and  MAABAROT – worse than Palestinan refugee camps. Jewish Refugees came from Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, Jordan and on later dates from all Magreb countries and Yemen   and  came to Israel and had a hard time as there was no infrastructure for professionals. Still the Governments invented work initiatives and helped them. Nowadays the second and third generation of refugees from Arab countries have positions in the highest places and are 47% of the population. People were intermarried.

On the 5th of July, 2000, President Clinton invited Yasser Arafaat and The Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak, for the continuation of peace talks at Camp David. Barak offered   a Palestinian State , including the Gaza Strip and the West Bank with a connecting road,  which    would expand in the coming years to a maximum of 94% of the West Bank.   He offered to return large parts of eastern Jerusalem as the Capital of Palestinians and custodianship of the Moslem Holy places,  As a result, Israel would have withdrawn from 63 settlements, but holding some security clusters, especially at the Entrance from Jordan. Barak also offered millions of dollars as indemnities to Palestinian refugees.  One     main obstacles in this negociations was Arafaat's Insistence that  5 millions of Palestinian refugees would return to Israel under "the right of return"(Which would undermine Israel's population, therefore Israel refused. Israel was ready to accept only 100.000, and the rest to receive civil rights in their places or partly settle in the west bank.   The Saudi Prince Bandar who was one of the main mediators to negociate, called Arafaat's behavior – "a crime against Palestinians"


Those Palestinians who fled into the neighbouring 5-6 Arab countries, did not receive citizen's rights for 66 years, up to now.  The reason for that was two-fold; The host countries were not interested in them. Afterwards, more came. Many refugees were not interested, as thus they would lose the U.N. monetary help for refugees. Those who could manage got out of the camps, but the rest remained in bad conditions   The Religious leaders, the national leaders and the Host countries developed and increased the Saga of " the right to return" which remained a basic element in Palestinian policy. The host countries helped Palestinians with armament, but not with  taking care of their needs. The only country that gave them citizen's rights was Jordan. Until 1967 the west bank people were Jordanian citizens.

However the density of population in the Gaza Strip and especially cultural codes. One of the basic cultural codes of Islam is HONOR. Defeat, any kind of defeat is shame, and should be avenged. The refugee camps were Ideal places for Moslem religious authorities - to brainwash youngsters into terror, especially when youngsters were promised benefits in the next world in Paradise.  Educating children to be a SHAHID (saint who sacrifices himself) started and starts today in Kindergartens in the Hamas Governed Gaza  . In the West Bank school books do not include Israel in the Area.

The attitude of Palestinians towards Jews was also problematic. Judaism was already well established in Medina two centuries before Muhammad's birth.    Muhammad arrived in Medina in 622 believing the Jewish tribes would welcome him, but the insistence  to convert to Islam caused great resentment.  Therefore the Moslem world saw the Jews as traitors to Mohammad.

Nowadays Palestinians were a rural tribal and family society. They were used to spaces, to cultivating the land  ( once for the Turks)   It was difficult for them   to adjust to Modern High-story buildings. Their dream was to return to their once treasured homes, ignoring all the changes around them.   

Terror and wars

All this vicious circle of the Palestinian – Israeli conflict was caused by non-stop terror and Army retaliations on small and larger scales.


Even before the declaration of the state - In 1921, Haj Amin al-Husseini,   the Mufti of Jerusalem  engineered   bloody riots against jews  in 1929 and 1936. In 1929 the whole Jewish Nablus community was massacred.
In 1941, Haj Amin al-Husseini met with Adolf Hitler, Heinrich Himmler, Joachim Von Ribbentrop  . He wanted   to extend the Nazis' anti-Jewish program to the Arab world.Many Nazis found refuge in Arab countries.

THE 1967 OCCUPATION OF THE PALESTINIAN TERRITORIES WAS CAUSED BY THE ENDLESS TERROR FROM THESE AREAS. Israel, who had a lot of difficulties – social and financial at its beginnings, did not want to annex anything –   The occupation, as well as the wars, were a result of an impossible situation of endless terror. The Palestinian West Bank, which was former Jordan  goes deep inside Israel until 22 KM from the sea. There were hundreds of suicide bombers from the West Bank and Gaza during the 66 years who killed civilian population in Buses and streets. Terrible crimes were committed, including Children brains smashed on the wall in the Haran family in Naharia, holding girls at school as hostages, beheading a captured soldier,    the butchering  of the stripped and bound with ropes 42 Israeli prisoners in Syria, and many more. All this lasted  Until the Wall was built round the West Bank, which caused dismay to Palestinians as well as Israelis who fear the Getto Idea. The Wall reduced suicide bombers by 70 %.  Israel conducts everlasting searches after armament in the West bank and maintains everywhere checkpoints, as many even ambulances carried explosives.
The Lebanon wars ;  Arafaat and his people fled to Lebanon after the 1967 occupation, and continued his guerilla war from there.   After his death the shihite-  Hizballa became a threat, especially when they bombarded for 3 years the northern cities, by missiles sent by Iran. Sharon,   wanted to eradicate these organizations.  . More armament from Iran entered the country under the nose of U.N. soldiers..    Israel was  angry because nobody pays real attention and does anything to help the people butchered in Syria, but Israel is always to blame. Only now the world is awakening to the terrible deeds of ISIS and Daesh.. We had atrocities for 66 years.   
Israel has abandoned the Gaza Strip 9 years ago-in 2005-, by Sharon's one sided decision to evacuate Gaza.   taking out all settlements.  Gaza was a free territory, able to reconstruct itself with the many offers for Investment by European countries.  


The Gaza strip

Gaza is a small territory with a dense population. However there are examples in the world of small territories that flourish , like Singapore, or former British Hong Kong. Palestinians in the Gaza strip chose, after elections, the Hamas Shia movement, strongly – religiously and ideologically, connected with Iran. Before election, the Hamas did good things for the people, but after : Instead of caring for the rehabilitation of the people They decided to attack Israel non-stop, Iran sent armament through the sea and Sinai desert, by Beduins, through tunnels which were dug under the whole city infrastructure.  The Hamas augmented the rate of Missiles sent to Israel, aimed at civil population  all these years


It was a non-stop bombardment through missiles, Israel responded by closing the armament shipments through a siege on Gaza, Sea and Land, although it allowed food and merchandize to pass to Gaza, provided they are checked for weapons.Until the last occurance  Israel provides water and electricity to Gaza,   Hamas sent long range missiles Nowadays reaching Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.    


The nowaday's war

 300.000 tons of concrete entered into gaza during the last 9 years, and instead of building houses for the population , schools and hospitals, the hamas used the concrete to build an under-city of tunnels . Through these tunnels they got Irani armament and missiles through the SUDAN , arriving to the Sinai desert and also through the Mediterranean. Irani instructors for building rockets were in Gaza too. Both Hizballa and Hamas are of the same Moslem trend and extremity like Iran. They are the Irani proxis. Only now we saw the long range missiles arriving to Tel Aviv and Jerusalem and Haifa, and you tell us not to retaliate???  Why is it that our government built shelters for people and scientists invented the Iron dome, while the Hamas put entrances to tunnels and in civilian's houses, and launched  rockets from within civil houses l, thinking that within the civilian population Israel would not react. No army in the world has warned citizens to evacuate, by pamphlets from the air, by sms  and phone calls that would endanger the soldiers, thus revealing   their place. How is it that rockets were shot from civil houses, from  within mosques, and from the roof of the Rafa hospital, while beneath the hospitals the Hamas leaders had their headquarters. How is it that houses were full of entrances into tunnels, from within bedrooms .  How is it that within 3 Unrwa schools there were enormous quantities of rockets????? And launchers in markets, where children were roaming.  We grieve and are full of sorrow for the civil population that was harmed and killed- we never wanted it. we value human life. But they remained by Hamas intimidation, preaching in mosques that Israel was bluffing, sometimes even receiving money, and most of the time warned by the hamas for a bitter end. Sometimes they were killed by our mistakes and God forgive us!!!!!!!  But How is it that the Hamas wired houses with explosives, not thinking that maybe the family would come back, and only wanting to kill Israeli soldiers?? This the media does not show you!!!!

Mohamad Deff, the head of the Military Arm of the Hamas said that the "Hamas is not afraid to die, it adors death and being Shaids, while Israelis would loose because they adore life…"   The "honorable" head of Hammas who lives in Quatar, in a luxury hotel said.. "Never mind the victims, in the Vietnam war 3 millions Vietnamese were killed !"  a leader indeed!!!! While we care for each soldier and even their bodies.


Seeing the Arab Spring around in Arab countries, Israel  had some hope that more democratic values will be installed in governments around it. However, noticing that Extreme religious regimes come instead the older dictatorships, either military or tribal, Israel is on its toes because such regimes are a danger to its existence.  You finally saw  in Europe and the States   what Daesh and Isis are doing in Iraq. The Islamic state " warriors"  Butchering the Yazidis because they don't want to convert to Islam??? And taking 300 of their young daughters as sex slaves??? Do you know that extremist groups are rising throughout the world???  The Sinai desert is filled with El Kaida groups and other groups, living among the beduins whose livelihood depended on the drug, women and armament smuggling to Gaza and   and drugs into Israel. The el DaESH and ISIS and Islamic state TERRIBLE MURDERERS,   who fight against the butchery Assad regime in Syria,  try to enter Jordan – a group of them are already there. Everywhere in the Middle East there are terror groups fighting and also Sunis against Shihites – the two major streams of Islam.

 On our side the hard core of the settlers is also religious, whom the high court of Justice tries always to restrain. . Extreme religion in the middle east is fighting against more reasonable people.


Palestinians never abandon the Idea of overtaking Israel, either by Terror or Diplomatic means. In their conversations with the local Media in Arabic they always point out that they will return to Jaffa and Acre and all cities in Israel. There is a great difference between the Gaza strip inhabitants and the Palestinians in the West Bank, which have even millionaires in their society and a much more developed Middle-class infrastructure.  Abu Mazen tries to reach his goal through Diplomatic means, and has arrived to a partly recognition of a Palestinian state in the U.N .  In the West Bank there are about 25,000  of Hamas people.  

Palestinians life is no life with the everlasting search for armament by soldiers. The checkpoints disturb their life, having to stand and wait for the searches. Sometimes tragedies occur if they have to wait too long.

Palestinians in the West Bank have a  good Universities and Intelligentzia .However they can not find work in the West Bank as the Socio-economic infrastructure is not yet mature.     After the Oslo agreements there was a good will atmosphere from all sides, Palestinians studied Hebrew and Israeli studied Arabic, but the leaders did not want to commit themselves to anything.
The Gaza strip people live in a very dense surrounding. The youth there feel caught especially since the siege. Every now and then another terror and missile group rises, who wants to show Heroism . The HaMAS  either excites these organizations sending them to act, or sometimes has difficulties in restraining them. The Merchants resent the sole domination of the Hamas who provided the daily goods, which they received through the tunnels and took extra money for them, they prefer the Israeli merchandise which flows through the gates, but the Hamas poses a lot of limitations in this respect

 People are desperate as since the missile story they have no work, Israelis are afraid to let them in.  The youngsters  are taught to think only according to military and conquest solutions, as the Hamas   main concern is to wipe out Israel and to establish among Palestinians an extreme Moslem regime  - One has only to read their agenda.

In one sense the Palestinian almost won the war and that is PROPAGANDA. Arab Oil countries invest a lot in Propaganda throughout Europe, the states and even the far East. THE QUATAR SMALL EMIRATE IS ONE OF THE RICHEST OIL COUNTRIES IN THE WORLD. IT IS THE ONE FINANCING THE HAMAS   AND SERVES AS A MEDIATOR BANQUER FOR IRAN. THE ALJAZEERA MEDIA NETWORK FUNCTIONS FROM QUATAR, AND IS A PWERFUL HAMAS PROPAGANDA TOOL. Israel  has  no means for this propaganda worldwide network.


In the west bank there are groups of Palestinian photographers who send youngsters to soldiers ( to remind that even in ambulances explosives were found, and in suicide bombers – male and female clothes. ) The youngsters come and provoke the soldiers. Although soldiers, by military decree, are asked not to respond  - when youngsters call their mothers whores they sometimes can not hold themselves.  Then photographers take pictures – Children are sent to throw stones – when soldiers try and sieze them from so many stones thrown at them, then photographers take pictures and send them to news agencies. However – nobody takes pictures of soldiers taken to hospitals who suffer from concussions and brain damages from these stones. My own son was hit by a brick in his face, he had a concussion, his nose was broken and the eyeglasses went into his eyes. Thanks God, after operations he got better. Some soldiers don't!

Yet, Israelis are no angels. A lot of time soldiers , especially settlers youngsters more then soldiers, behave wrongly. All this situation is un-natural. But what can we do if in Palestinian schools they have no Israel in their Geographical maps and Terror is reigning????


Water Problems

 The Middle East is an arid area. Everything is dependent on rain,  Syria has a very big problem of lack of water in the middle and south of the country.  . The Euphrates,  represents more than 80 percent of Syria's water – but Turkey uses most of these waters -  the Balikh and the Khabur, are small perennial rivers.  
This is why Syria has always tried to control the Lake of Galilee.  The lake of Galilee is the only big source of water to three populations, to Israel and Jordan by agreement.   By means of reservoirs and pipes water is brought  to the desert on all sides, and through an Israeli invention of underground drop method, allows to grow even vegetables for export.

The 1967 war with Syria is called "The war for water". Afterwards Syria has tried to deviate the Yarmouch, one of the main water sources of the Jordan and lake of Galilee, for its own ends. Syria wants to get back the Golan for the purpose of being again at the side of the Lake of Galilee, which By international law gives the right to states on a river bank or lake to use its waters.




Settlements are the most critical issue which angers Palestinians and a lot of Israeli citizens, including me and my family. The settlement policy has two aspects;

Israelis have a right wing government together with religious factors. The current government has enlarged the settlement policy because of the reason that The west Bank goes so deep into Israel- until 22 k"m from the sea_, and there are a lot of Hamas people within the west bank population. OUR DEEPEST FEAR IS THAT FROM THE WEST BANK THERE WOULD BE MISSILES SENT TOWARDS ISRAEL, AND THE WEST BANK IS SO DEEP WITHIN. Nowadays when extreme Moslem groups are rising, there must be some sort of control on the west Bank. Another argument is that we have evacuated Lebanon and Gaza, It did not help to peace, as  the launching of missiles against Israel began. On the Israeli side there is an extremist  sector,  still small in numbers,  who   clashes with the Army – by building new barracks on empty hills, and the  Army has all the time to evacuate them by Supreme court of law's order.  The army does not like those youngsters..  Sometimes the feud becomes bloody, by Palestinians throwing stones and shooting passing by cars.  
 Regarding Israel , the settlement policy has two problematic aspects;   a) If Israel agrees to a Two states solution- nobody can vouch that a religious Moslem regime would not rise there, and therefore a terrible danger of missiles within Israel.   For Israel there would be no means of real control there and supervision on Armament delivery or another Army joining Palestinians. There was such a danger when Sadam Hussein was in Power.
b) If Israel wants one state solution (some Palestinians talk about it too). There is a danger that in one passing generation the Moslem families' birth rate ( similar to the Jewish religious one) will overpass the Jewish population, and as a democratic country Islam would raise into Power.
The settlements problem creates a break in Israeli Social consciousness.  A lot of Israelis think that some Settlements are necessary for security reasons, but the rest are redundant and harmful to the Moral  codes of the Population.

ON THE OTHER HAND Palestinians regard the whole of ISRAEL - Haifa and Tel Aviv as their own territory, to be returned to. So this conflict remains unsolved. The Palestinians do not realize that each violent act on their part gives new justification to the right wing government, and makes it reelected again and again.

The Palestinian- Israeli Conflict – Is it possible to find solutions???

There are several main obstacles on each side which prevents the reaching of a proper solution.
In Israel it is  f e a r – The two thousand years of suffering , culminating in the holocaust have made our population  afraid for their life in the only home they have. This fear of extinction has its justification in the Threats of Extreme Islamic elements. Israelis will never give up the defense aspect and valid insurance for defense, by security spots etc.. In Israel too there are severe socio-economic problems mainly because of the defense budgets and also because of a right wing government economic policy.

On the Palestinian side it is frustration, poverty, honor and vengeance, also according to their holy scriptures. In spite of the multitude of Islamic states,more than 20 in the world - Palestinians were terribly neglected in Arab states, and after two generations of brainwash Palestinians will not give up the "right of return" and the dream of the entire area.  

On both sides the ones who are most to blame are the  extreme leaders and sects.   The Islamic world has not adapted yet democratic values . Israel is a real and valued democracy. We can speak freely against leaders and government and no harm would come. We have free press , the right to demonstrate and all aspects of a free, democratic country. 

  There is no illiteracy in Israel. Still, in the last 15 years people start having difficult economic problems especially the middle class and the weaker strata of society.  In Arab countries there is a total turmoil  with a lot of extreme religious factors.

 Maybe another aspect for the future..   but can only be adapted in the far future….
Every nation in the world passes through generations a certain sort of transformation,  We, Israelis, are also in a new born state..

 WHEN PEOPLE IN OUR AREA GROW UP AND BECOME MORE MATURE ( WHICH WILL TAKE SOME GENeRATIONS, NOT IN THE CURRENT SITUATION IN WHICH WORLD TERROR IS RAISING ITS UGLY HEAD) I WOULD THINK THAT BECAUSE WE AND PALESTINIANS LIVE ONE WITHIN THE OTHER AND USE THE SAME POOR WATER SOURCES, THAT SOME SORT OF ALLIANCE  BETWEEN FREE AND INDEPENDENT STATES WOULD ARISE. Each free, but with an upper court of justice, to deviate the conflict from the hands of terror and military response, with a common water authority and with a court for work issues, as each one will work at the other's and in the surrounding countries. With an advisory committee for Religious and ethnic aspects, made of religious leaders, but only on an advisory basis.
Dr. Hedva Rabinson Bachrach



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