Michael Shine

Michael Shine – A personal view of recent history in the Middle East


Michael Shine   enhanced-buzz-19916-1377644744-17    Michael Shine:  Throughout history boundaries have changed, countries have been created and countries have disappeared. More often than not as a result of wars and aggression, rarely negotiation!



Michael Shine:


The land now called Israel, was part of that vast area of Europe, Africa and Asia won in war by the Ottoman Empire, who ruled it for a number of centuries from 1453, until they were defeated in WW1, leading to the disbanding of the Ottoman Empire and the British and French becoming the rulers of the area (which included Syria, Jordan, Iraq, Lebanon and what was to become Israel).

One thing that is clear however is that there never was an Arab Muslim country, or a state, called Palestine. Indeed the British mandate rulers following WW1 used the term Palestinian for anyone living in the biblical area (which of course is what the Romans renamed the area to stop Jews wanting to be there after the Jews were defeated by the Romans), predominantly to describe the Jews living in the area. The British mandate used the term Palestine to describe a geographical area, not a specific race, religion or people. In fact the area now known as the state of Israel, had not been an independent country since the Jews last ruled it 2000 years ago!

After a decision taken by the once legitimate organization, the U.N., (which has now sadly lost its way, being virtually controlled by many new Muslim countries), to create a homeland for the Jewish people, which was agreed to by the majority of the world’s countries, Israel became an independent state in 1948.

The British were instrumental in changing the rulers and quite often the boundaries of many of the countries in the Middle East, including Jordan, Iraq and of course were also the main movers and shakers in the establishment of the State of Israel. (http://history1900s.about.com/cs/holocaust/p/balfourdeclare.htm)

With the break-up of the Ottoman Empire at the end of World War I, the League of Nations and the occupying powers, Britain and France, redrew the borders of the Middle East. Their decisions, most notably the Sykes–Picot Agreement, led to the establishment of the French Mandate for Syria and British Mandate for Palestine. The latter included the territory of Transjordan, which had been allocated to Abdullah I of Jordan approximately a year prior to the finalization of the Mandate document (the Mandate officially introduced in 1923).

On 24 April 1950, Jordan formally annexed the West Bank (including East Jerusalem)[11] declaring “complete unity between the two sides of the Jordan and their union in one state…at whose head reigns King Abdullah Ibn al Hussain”.[12] All West Bank residents were granted Jordanian citizenship. The December 1948 Jericho Conference, a meeting of prominent Palestinian leaders and King Abdullah, voted in favor of annexation into what was then Transjordan.[13]

Jordan’s annexation was regarded as illegal and void by the Arab League and others. It was recognized only by Britain, Iraq and Pakistan.[14][15][16] The annexation of the West Bank more than doubled the population of Jordan.[17]                                                 (Wikipedia)

So, following the war that the Arab nations had started in order to annihilate the New Israeli state in 1948, Jordan had won part of the territory originally intended in the partition plan of the United Nations to be part of the Jewish state – and in 1950, just two years after being part of the losing side, or at any rate if not losing, then definitely not the winning side, during that war, Jordan annexed the West Bank, in effect doubling its territorial size. It continued to rule the area until it joined in, again with the neighboring Arab states, in another losing attempt to destroy Israel, in 1967, but this time losing to Israel the area that they had previously ‘stolen’ 17 years earlier, that is to say the West Bank of the river Jordan and the eastern part of the city of Jerusalem. At the same time, its losing partner Egypt lost the Sinai Peninsula and the Gaza Strip, and Syria, lost the Golan Heights. As was said earlier, throughout history countries that attack other countries and lose, quite frequently see their boundaries changed as a result of their misguided aggression. (Since the Peace agreement made between Israel and Egypt in March 1979 following the Camp David accord in 1978,, Israel withdrew its entire people and forces from the Sinai Peninsula and returned it to Egypt, at the same time offering to also return the Gaza strip – which the Egyptians declined!)

Since 1948 the only reason that hostilities have continued between the Middle-Eastern Arab Muslims and the predominantly Jewish State of Israel, is that it would appear that the Arab Muslims apparently have always hated Jews (which is why they all attacked the newly born state in 1948), and are not prepared to accept a Jewish state in their midst.

Stop the hate, accept the right of Israel to exist within defendable and secure borders and peace will be attained – don’t accept these two premises and war will unfortunately continue, with its miserable consequences for all involved. Which do you prefer – honestly?


Michael Shine 






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