A Short History of Israel and the Palestinian Opposition

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The History of Israel and the Palestinian Opposition


The history of Israel is a narrative charting the growth of a modern nation from an ancient past, reflecting a complex interplay between politics, religion, and cultural diversity. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict has its roots in territorial claims and competing national identities. This English lesson will explore the historical development of Israel and the reasons behind Palestinian opposition to its existence.



In the context of the Israel/Gaza war, rewrite the following sentence using the present perfect tense: “The conflict escalated rapidly between the two sides.”


Part I: Ancient Roots to Modern Statehood
1. Biblical origins and ancient Israel: The land known today as Israel has a long and storied past, with biblical accounts dating back over 3,000 years. The Old Testament chronicles the stories of the patriarchs Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, who are considered founding fathers of the Israelites.
2. Jewish diaspora and longing for return: Due to various conquests and exiles over centuries, Jews dispersed across different parts of the world. This led to a reinforced yearning for a return to their ancestral homeland—a concept known as Zionism.
3. British Mandate: In 1917, the British government issued the Balfour Declaration supporting Jewish settlement in Palestine. The British mandate over Palestine in 1922 aimed at facilitating Jewish immigration despite rising tensions between Arab communities and Jewish settlers.
4. United Nations Partition Plan: Amid increased violence between Arabs and Jews, the UN proposed the partition plan in 1947 dividing Palestine into separate Jewish and Arab states alongside an international administration for Jerusalem.



Transform this sentence about the Israel/Gaza war into a question using the past perfect tense: “By the time the ceasefire was established, both sides had suffered significant casualties.”

VIDEO LISTENING SECTION:  Listen to the video and answer the ten questions below.


          1. What two major religions are in this region?
          2. At the beginning of the 20th century who were the majority and who were the minority in the region, Islam or Judaism?
          3. What was the plan called that planned the division of the area into Arab and Judaism?
          4. Who accepted the plan and who disagreed?
          5. What happened during the six-day war in 1967?
          6. The United Nations declared the occupation by Isreal illegal. What do we now call the areas forcably taken by Isreal?
          7. What are the three main reasons the Isreali’s choose to live in “The Occupied Territories”?
          8. Isreal controls the land and sea access to the Gaza Strip. What does this mean for The Palastinians?
          9. When and why was “Hamas” formed?
          10. What are the three relgions in Jerusalem?


Part II: Establishment of Israel
1. Declaration of Independence:   David Ben-Gurion announced the establishment of the State of Israel on May 14, 1948, marking a significant milestone in Jewish history after millennia of dispersion and persecution.
2. Arab-Israeli wars:   Following Israel’s declaration of independence, neighboring Arab countries launched military attacks against it often fueled by animosity towards Zionist intentions. Despite facing numerous wars (4) (1948-49,  1956,  1967,  and  1973), Israel emerged with significant territorial gains.
3. Expansion and settlement:   Israel has constructed settlements primarily in the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and the Golan Heights. Such expansions have often spurred international controversy and condemnation.



Combine these two sentences related to the Israel/Gaza war into one complex sentence using the future perfect tense: “Diplomatic efforts will continue for peace. A solution will be found eventually.”


Part III: Palestinian Opposition
1. Loss of territory and displacement:   Palestinians faced severe consequences from Israel’s formation and military victories, with a large portion of their land either seized or annexed, resulting in forced migration and the creation of millions of refugees.
2. Socioeconomic disparity:   The Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories led to restrictions on movement, employment, education, healthcare, and other resources for many Palestinians.
3. Political divisions:   Palestinian factions such as Fatah and Hamas hold different goals and strategies, further complicating negotiations with Israel and impairing unified leadership for the Palestinian people.



Given these two statements about the Israel/Gaza war, form a conditional sentence in present perfect tense: “Multiple ceasefires have been attempted. Most of them have failed to yield lasting peace in the region.”

The history of Israel traces its roots back thousands of years and has faced trials from ancient times to modern struggles for statehood. Palestinian opposition stems largely from the loss of land, forced migration, socio-economic disparities arising from Israeli occupation, and internal political divisions. The conflict’s complexity makes it challenging to attain a viable peaceful resolution; however, understanding the historical context provides a foundation for examining potential avenues to move forward.



Title: The Isreal/Gaza Conflict through Time

Instructions: In this 150-word writing exercise, you are required to use perfect progressive tenses while describing a hypothetical peace negotiation between Israel and Gaza. To demonstrate your understanding of the theme and grammar, include at least one example of present perfect progressive, past perfect progressive, and future perfect progressive tense in your response. You will find an example below



For years now, the tension between Israel and Gaza has been escalating. As a negotiator during a crucial meeting, you have observed that both parties have been trying to come to a truce for the past six months. Explain how the negotiators on both sides had been working together assiduously to find common ground before this meeting took place. Then, envision how they will have been establishing trust and building a cooperative relationship by a certain point in time in the near future. Your writing should showcase empathy and hope while highlighting the importance of these ongoing efforts towards peace.

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