Montana Model United Nations 2001
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General Assembly - Plenary

TOPIC I

Israel/Palestine

The world cannot ignore the conflicts in the Middle East, particularly those between the Israelis and the Palestinians. It is time to face the fact that these are problems with global consequences, and the international community must begin practical solutions.

Impact

All nations were affected by the events of September 11. It is unfortunate that it took such a catastrophic event to wake the "sleeping giant" to the concerns of terrorism abroad as well as in the Middle East. There isn't any nation that can go about their daily business without the fear that they too could be attacked without warning. Israel/Palestine is a mounting concern for all nations. It is imperative that we stop ignoring the conflicts in the Middle East, and actively seeks solutions. We need to stop turning a blind eye toward the conflict, and start taking the necessary steps toward peace. This is a process that at the center will be a united front of all nations. Any nation that continues to ignore the concerns in the Middle East is inviting conflict in their very homes.

History Highlights

In 1947-At the end of the Second World War Palestine was a territory administered by The United Kingdom under a mandate from the League of Nations. The Assembly established a committee of 11 States to investigate all matters relating to the question of Palestine and to recommend solutions. The majority in the Committee recommended that Palestine be partitioned into an Arab State and Jewish State, with special international status for Jerusalem.

November 29, 1947- The Assembly adopted resolution 181 by whose terms it approved the partition plan of the majority. The plan was not accepted by the Palestinian Arabs, because they would oppose any scheme which provided for the dissection, segregation or partition of their country, or which gave special and preferential rights and status to a minority.

May 1948- The relinquishing of the mandate by the United Kingdom and the declaration of the Jewish State sparked a war between Arab and Jewish communities in the area. Fighting continued despite the efforts of a United Nations mediator.

July 1948- By the time a truce called for by the Security Council came into force Israel controlled much of the territory originally allotted to the Arab State. Jordan and Egypt respectively administered the remaining portions of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

The events of 1947-1948 created a serious refugee problem, with thousands of Palestinians being uprooted and ending up in Jordan, Gaza, the West Bank, Lebanon, Syria or Kuwait. The United Nations quickly set up the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) to support the refugees. In December 1948, the Assembly declared that refugees must be permitted to return to their homes and live in peace with their neighbors, and that those choosing not to return should be compensated. Under resolution 194, the Assembly called for the demilitarization and internationalization of Jerusalem. The resolution was never implemented, but its provisions on the special status of the city and the right of Palestinian refugees to return have been reasserted by the Assembly virtually every year since 1948.

1956 and in 1967-
The affairs of the Middle East changed with the Six Day War of 1967 between Israel, Egypt, Jordan, and Syria. It ended with Israel occupying the Egyptian Sinai, the Gaza Strip, The West Bank and part of the Syrian Golan Heights. The UN Security Council called upon Israel to ensure the safety and welfare of the inhabitants where military operations had taken place, and to help in returning the refugees displaced by the war. Israel/Arab dispute continued for the next 20 years. It turned to open hostility in...

October 1973-
Another Israel/Arab war broke out. The Council called for an immediate truce and asked the parties to begin the implementation of resolution 242 immediately after the ceasefire. The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), joined by Arab States, criticized the resolutions for reducing the Palestinian problem to a question of international charity and for reducing the Palestinians to the status of refugees without national political rights.

Present- Conflicts between the PLO and Israel continue to hurt the peace process. There was a ray of hope in 1994 when PLO leader Yasser Arafat, Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, and Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Perez won the Nobel Peace Price for the Oslo Accords. After the assassination of Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, November 4, 1995, the peace process took a severe blow, and has yet to regain the lost ground.

Links
http://mason.gmu.edu/~hillel/israel.html
http://www.un.org/
http://www.cyberus.ca/~baker/palestine4a.htm

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