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Source documents (texts) about Zionism, Israel, the Israeli-Palestinian (Palestine-Israel) Conflict and Jewish History

2004: UN Security Council Resolution 1566 - For the first time, the Security Council adopts an internationally recognized definition of terror and calls on member countries to fight terrorism.

2004: Bush's letter to Ariel Sharon in exchange for the Gaza Disengagement - Exchange of letters between Israeli PM Ariel Sharon and US President George W. Bush regarding Sharon's proposal for unilateral withdrawal from the Gaza Strip and portions of the West Bank in exchange for certain promises from the US President regarding future negotiations.

2003: UN Security Council Resolution 1515 - This resolution, introduced by Russia, adopts the quartet roadmap for peace between Palestinians and Israel as UN policy, explicitly endorses a permanent two-state solution to the conflict and calls on the sides to implement their obligations under the roadmap.

2003: Updated Middle East Peace Roadmap - Official updated version published by the Government of the United States April 30, 2003. 

2002: Jerusalem: Foreign Relations Authorization Act - This act calls for removing the US Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, and recognizing Jerusalem as part of Israel. President Bush announced that he will treat it as "advisory," meaning that he will ignore it.

2002: President Bush's Draft Road Map for a Palestinian- Israeli Settlement - In October of 2002, US President Bush issued his own version of a detailed road map for a Palestinian - Israeli settlement, based on the Quartet statement of September 17. It is known as Elements of a Performance-Based Road Map to a Permanent Two-State Solution to the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict.

2002: Quartet Road Map Statement - Sept. 17 - Representatives from the European Union, the United Nations, and Russia formed group known as the " The Quartet," which began to shape international policy toward resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.  The Quartet issued the statement below regarding a road map for peace on September 17, 2002.

2002: Announcement of the Quartet - July 16   - Following Colin Powell's mission to the Middle East, a four nation "Quartet" committee was formed to develop a road map for an Israeli-Palestinian settlement

2002: President George Bush Jr: Speech on the Palestine-Israel Conflict - In this controversial and historic speech, delivered following repeated Palestinian terror attacks and while Israel had reoccupied all of the West Bank in retaliation, US President Bush called for establishment of a Palestinian state following democratic reform.

2001: Who is Osama Bin Ladin? - On September 11, 2001, simultaneous terror attacks on the Twin Towers financial center in New York City and on the Pentagon in Washington DC killed thousands. The man behind these bombings is Osama Bin Laden, Saudi millionaire and religious fanatic.

2001: The Palestinian and Israel Proposals at Taba regarding the Refugee Problem - The Palestine refugee problem remains perhaps the most difficult obstacle facing Israeli and Palestinian negotiators. In January 2001, the sides met at Taba in a last-minute effort to salvage a peace agreement. At the conclusion of negotiations, they issued an optimistic joint communique. Their positions regarding the refugee problem were published in the French newspaper Le Monde, and indicate fundamental differences of opinion.

2000: The Clinton Bridging Proposals - Negotiators of the Palestinian and Israeli sides, together with American officials met in the United States. After several days of negotiations, President Clinton offered these proposals to bridge differences between the sides.

2000: The Israeli Camp David II Summit Proposals - An unofficial summary of Israel proposals for final settlement made at the Camp David Summit in July 2000.

2000: Camp David Summit Statement - Israeli, Palestinian and American leaders met at Camp David in an attempt to frame a final status agreement. The meeting ended in stalemate, but the statement issued at least left a small opening for hope.

1999: Opening of Final Status Negotiations - Following resumption of implementation of the Wye River Memorandum, Final Status negotiations opened in Ramalla.

1998: US Letters of Assurance Regarding Wye Memorandum Issues - Following the conclusion of the Wye River Memorandum negotiations, US officials provided Israel with letters of assurance regarding the cancellation of PLO charter provisions about destruction of Israel, and elimination of armament and surplus police not permitted under the Oslo agreement.

1998: Wye River Memorandum - Palestinian and Israeli commitments regarding the "second redeployment" (the first one was never implemented) under the interim Oslo agreement.

1998: Letter of Assurance from PNA Chairman Yasser Arafat - In 1998, PLO Chairman Arafat issued a letter assuring the US that provisions of the PLO charter regarding destruction of Israel were null and void, and specified which provisions were nullified.

1995- Last Speech of Yitzhak Rabin - Israeli Prime Minister Yitshak Rabin was assassinated by right-wing  fanatic Yigal Amir at a giant peace rally in 1995. The rally had been called to protest violence that had been rising on both sides, and to reaffirm the commitment of the government and the Israeli people to peace. 

1995: Jerusalem Embassy Act - This act of the US congress called for moving the US embassy to Jerusalem, and for recognizing Jerusalem as the united capital of Israel. It has had no practical effect, because presidents Clinton and Bush issued periodic waivers stating that implementation of the act would interfere with US policy.

1995: The Oslo Interim Agreement  - This frequently misunderstood document made it possible to hold elections and set up a Palestinian Authority that would negotiate a final settlement with the Israelis. It did not stipulate the nature of the final settlement in any way.

1995: The Beilin Abu-Mazen Draft Agreement - Draft agreement, never ratified, between Israeli negotiator Yossi Beilin and PLO negotiator Abu Mazen (Mahmoud Abbas). Though repudiated by both sides, many of the principles of the agreement have been reflected in subsequent negotiations.

1994: Israel-Jordan Peace Treaty - After the Palestinian - Israeli peace process appeared to be well under way, Jordan and Israel were able to rapidly conclude a peace treaty, aided by warm personal relations between HM King Hussein and PM Rabin. 

1993: The Oslo Declaration of Principles - Breakthrough agreement of mutual recognition between the State of Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization, which began the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.

1993: Exchange of Letters between Yitzhak Rabin and Yasser Arafat - Prior to the signing of the Oslo Declaration of Principles, Yasser Arafat of the PLO and Yitzhak Rabin exchanged letters. Arafat promised to refrain from violence and to amend the PLO Charter which called for liquidation of Israel. Rabin promised to work for normalization of life for Palestinians and peace.

1989: Israeli Peace Proposal - Under pressure from the US following the Palestine National Council declaration of acceptance of UN Resolutions 242 and 338, Israel issues a peace plan for negotiations with the Palestinians, but not with the PLO.

1988: Speech by PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat, Recognizing Resolution 242 - Under internal pressure, as well as pressure from the United States, Yasser Arafat declares that the PLO recognizes UN resolution 242.

1988: Palestinian Declaration of Independence - Under the impetus of the uprising ("Intifadeh") in the Israeli-occupied Arab territories, the Palestine Liberation Organization declared a state in exile. Some see this declaration as implying recognition of Israel, but the declaration makes no mention of Israel or of UN resolution 242.

1988: The Hamas Charter - This Islamic fundamentalist group was formed to fight the idea of compromise over Palestine/Israel. Its charter declared that all of Palestine belongs to the Moslems, that it can only be liberated by Jihad - holy war, and that the program of Zionism was to expand and take over Arab countries one by one. This Zionist program, according to the charter, is set forth in the Protocols of the Elders of Zion (an anti - Semitic forgery).

1983: Draft Israeli-Lebanese Treaty - This treaty was signed during the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 1983, but it was never ratified.

1982: Kahan Commission Report - This report summarizes  the investigation of massacres perpetrated in the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps by Phalangist Christian militia allied to Israel. The report concluded that Israeli Defense Minister Ariel Sharon and others had indirect responsibility for the massacres, since they had ample reason to believe that they could occur, and nonetheless allowed the militia to enter the camps.

1979: Peace Treaty Between Israel and Egypt - The peace treaty was signed almost a year after the historic Camp David agreement, and after intensive shuttle diplomacy by US President Jimmy Carter.

1978: The Camp David Framework Agreements - Egyptian President Anwar Sadat and Israeli PM Menachem Begin, meeting at Camp David under the auspices of US President Jimmy Carter, sign framework agreements for peace in the Middle East and peace between Egypt and Israel. The Middle East framework was not implemented, but its some principles were incorporated in later negotiations with the Palestinians and Syrians.

1978: UN Security Council Resolution 425 - Adopted in March, 1978, when Israel invaded Lebanon (Operation Litani).

1975: Harold H. Saunders Testimony before a House Subcommittee: " In many ways, the Palestinian dimension of the Arab-Israeli conflict is the heart of that conflict." The content of this speech was to set the agenda for US policy in next three decades.

1975: UN General Assembly Resolution 3379 - The "Zionism is Racism" resolution, adopted November 10, 1975.

1974 - UN General Assembly Resolutions 3236 and 3237 - These resolutions recognized the right of the Palestinian people to "resist" the occupation and granted observer status to the Palestine Liberation Organization. 

1974- Yasser Arafat's Speech Before the UN General Assembly - Yasser Arafat, chairman of the PLO  was invited to speak before the UN General Assembly. He equated Zionism with racism and anti-Semitism, asserted that terrorism was legitimate for the purpose of revolution, and vowed to liberate Palestine and replace Israel with a secular democratic state.

1974 - Palestine National Council Resolution - In 1974, the Palestine National Council adopted a program for gradual "liberation" of Palestine, declaring that it would establish a state on any part of Palestine liberated from the Zionists. This has variously been interpreted as a historic compromise implying that Palestinians would be willing to live alongside Israel, or as a "staged plan" for the destruction of Israel.

1973: UN Security Council Resolution 338 - Resolution adopted following the October Yom Kippur War.

1968: Palestinian National Charter - Document adopted by the Palestine Liberation Organization in 1968, as the basis for their struggle against Israel and Zionism. In 1993, as part of the Oslo agreement, the Palestinians promised to cancel key provisions of the charter that denied the right of Israel to exist. The PLO executive met on two different occasions (the second one in the presence of President Clinton) to alter the charter. 

1967: UN Security Council Resolution 242 - Resolution adopted following the  6-Day War, calling for a negotiated peace and Israeli withdrawal from territories conquered in the 6 Day war.

1967: Khartoum Resolutions - Following the 6-Day war, an Arab summit meeting in Khartoum rejected the possibility of peace or negotiations with Israel.

1967: Speech by Gamal Nasser to Arab Trade Unionists - Made on May 26, 1967 -  Nasser  claimed that Egypt was only looking for the right movement and the proper excuse to fight for the Palestinian cause.

1967: Speech by Gamal Nasser to Egyptian National Assembly Members - Made on May 26, 1967, - Nasser insisted that the battle with Israel would reverse the Arab loss of 1948, or in other words, that Egypt was preparing to destroy Israel.

1964: Israeli Notes to the UN Following Arab Summit - Following the Arab Summit of September 13, Israel sent two notes to the UN regarding the declared intention to destroy Israel which was among the resolutions of conference.

1964: The second Arab summit conference - The conference held in Alexandria on Sept. 13, 1964, declared the goal of eliminating Israel, and made concrete decisions regarding unification of army commands, increased size of armed forces and diversion of the waters of the Jordan before they reached the Sea of Galilee, in Syria and Lebanon.

1964(?) The Fateh Constitution - The Fateh Palestinian resistance movement began to form about 1957, but was not officially organized until the 60s. It soon became the leading Palestinian group. Their constitution, which has not been changed following the peace accords, calls for the destruction of Israel and of Zionism.

1951 : UN Security Council Resolution 95 - Called on Egypt to open the Suez Canal to Israeli shipping and to desist from belligerent acts.

1949 : UN General Assembly Resolution 302 - created the United Nations Relief Works Agency for assisting Palestinian Arab refugees.

1949 : UN General Assembly Resolution 212 - This resolution provided interim aid to Arab refugees from Palestine.

1949: Armistice Agreements - Under the aegis of UN Mediator Ralph Bunche, negotiations were conducted between Israel and the four neighboring states that were at war with it. The agreements incorporated lands that had been allocated to the Palestinian state into Israel, Jordan and Syria, and left the Gaza Strip under Egyptian administration Armistice between Israel and Egypt - February 24, 1949   Armistice between Israel and Lebanon - March 23, 1949   Armistice  between Israel and Jordan - April 3, 1949 Armistice  between Israel and Syria- June 20, 1949

1948: UN General Assembly Resolution 194 - This resolution, adopted near the close of the Israel War of Independence (1948 War), calls for repatriation of any Palestinian refugees who are "willing to live in peace with their neighbors," and compensation for loss of property as a result of the war.

1948: UN Security Council Resolution 62 - This resolution called on the parties in the Arab-Israeli war to conclude armistice agreements that would lead to a lasting peace.

1948: Arab League Statement - Immediately following the Israeli declaration of independence, the Arab League states declared war on Israel and issued a statement announcing their intentions to restore the state of affairs prevailing prior to partition - in other words, to eliminate the State of Israel.

1948: Declaration of Independence of the State of Israel - Issued May 14 1948, as the British were departing Palestine, the declaration of independence promised equality to all citizens of Israel in a "Jewish State."

1948: Haganah Intelligence Report Regarding the Situation in Jerusalem - Following the decision of the UN to partition Palestine , Arabs tried to put into effect a blockade of Jerusalem that would force the surrender of the Jewish community there. As this Haganah report shows, the situation had become desperate, belying the claim that the Jews had clear military superiority over the Arabs.

1948: British Police Report Regarding Arab Evacuation of Haifa - In the chaos that ensued following the decision of the UN to partition Palestine , Palestinian Arabs began fleeing from major towns, including Haifa. Part of the flight was directed from above, by the Arab higher command, part was due to fear following the attack of Jewish dissidents on Deir Yassin , in which over a hundred civilians were killed. In Haifa, Jewish attacks by the Hagganah and Irgun as well as Arab attacks and Jewish counter-attacks, turned the city into a battle field. Some Jewish authorities intervened to try to convince Arabs to stay, but the leadership explained that Arab higher committee members had left, the community was disintegrating as they talked, and there was nothing they could do.

1948: Truman Statement on Trusteeship for Palestine - Issued March 25, 1948, it was Truman's way of defusing the trusteeship plan that had been backed by the State Department and advanced at the UN without his approval. The purpose of the trusteeship plan was to prevent Israeli statehood. Truman's statement turned trusteeship into a prelude to statehood. In fact, the idea was never implemented. Support of the Truman administration for Israeli statehood is discussed here.

1948: Plan Dalet (Plan D) - The general plan developed over several years by the Haganah for defense in case of Arab attack on the Jewish state. 

1947: Haifa Refinery Riots - Following the announcement of the partition plan, violence erupted sporadically throughout Palestine. Here is one account of a major incident in Haifa.

1947: UN Partition Plan for Palestine: General Assembly Resolution 181 - Plan to partition Palestine into two states after the British Mandate ended.

1947: UN Debate on Palestine Partition- November, 26, 1947 - The USSR favored the partition plan.

1947: UN Debate on Palestine - US Position - The US supported the partition plan.

1947: UN Debate on Palestine - Remarks of Soviet Representative Andrei Gromyko, May 14, 1947 - The USSR supported a one-state solution at this time, but would support partition if the one-state solution was unworkable.

1945: Rabbi Milton Steinberg Creed of An American Zionist - An historic article outlining the case for Zionism and a democratic Jewish state just after World War II.

1942: The Biltmore Program - The 1939 British White Paper had closed Palestine to Jewish immigration, trapping millions of Jews in Nazi occupied Europe. Zionist leaders met in the Biltmore Hotel in New York, and declared their support for a Jewish Commonwealth and renewed immigration, in open defiance of the British mandatory authorities.

1929: Arthur Ruppin - Buying the Emek - This account of Zionist land purchases in Palestine gives insight into how the land was bought, the difficulties involved, and why so little land could be purchased by the Zionist movement.

1923: Vladimir Jabotinsky: The Iron Wall - This essay was published by the head of the Zionist Revisionist movement, Vladimir (Ze'ev) Jabotinsky in 1923. In reaction to riots that had occurred in 1920 and 1921. It called for an independent, legal Jewish defense force, a Jewish Legion in Palestine, which Jabotinsky referred to as an "Iron Wall."

1922: The British Mandate for Palestine - The League of Nations Mandate giving Great Britain control of Palestine for the purpose of making a Jewish National Home there.

1919: Statement of the Zionist Organization to the Paris Peace Conference - The Zionist organization presented this statement at the Paris peace conference, outlining the Zionist position regarding Palestine, and supporting the British proposal for a mandate that would create a Jewish national home, in line with the Balfour Declaration . The statement provides a great deal of background regarding the position of various Zionist groups and foreign governments, and gives proposed borders for the Palestine mandate as well as proposals for organization of the Palestine government.

1919: A Jewish Palestine by H. Sacher - An eminent Jewish scholar pleaded the case for a Jewish National Home in Palestine.

1917: Balfour Declaration - The "letter" from Lord Balfour to Lord Rothschild, declaring that the British government "view with favor" the establishment of a Jewish National Home in Palestine. This was to be the basis of the League of Nations Mandate for Palestine, granted to Great Britain.

1917: Ber Borochov - Eretz Yisrael in our program and tactics - This last recorded speech of Borochov represents a radical change in some respects from his earlier doctrinaire Marxist position and blind faith in historical inevitability, in favor of recognizing the importance of cultural factors in Zionist aspirations.

1916: Ber Borochov - The Economic Development of the Jewish People - This article is a classic exposition of a central thesis of Socialist Zionism - the anomalous class structure of the Jewish people.

1908: Arthur Ruppin: The Picture in 1907 - Ruppin was sent to report on the state of the Jewish community in Palestine and settlement efforts. His views became the basis for a radical change in policies that he helped to implement.  

1905: Ber Borochov - The National Question and the Class Struggle - One of the fathers of Socialist Zionism, Borochov pointed out the importance of nationalism, as well as economic motives, in history.

1898: Nachman Syrkin - The Jewish Problem and the Socialist Jewish State - This article or pamphlet presents Syrkin's combination of non-Marxian socialism and Zionist nationalism.

1897 - Achad Ha'am - Jewish State, Jewish Problem - Achad Ha'am did not accept the political Zionism of Herzl, or the practical settlement approach of others. This article was a reaction to the first Zionist congress.

1897: Program of the First Zionist Congress - Theodore Herzl organized the first Zionist Congress in Basle, Switzerland in 1897. Prior to the Congress, Zionist activities had been initiated by several different groups such as Hovevei Zion (lovers of Zion) with no central direction or political program. The Basle Congress was the foundation of a mass Zionist movement.

1897: Max Nordau - Opening Address at the first Zionist congress.

1896: The Jewish State, by Theodore Herzl - This book became, essentially, the program of the Zionist movement and the embodiment of its common ideology. Complete downloadable source, with a historical preface.

1891 - Achad Ha'am - An Open Letter to my Brethren: Pinsker and his Pamphlet, Auto-Emancipation - This eulogy of Leon Pinsker, written in 1891, shows clearly that Achad Ha'am was not opposed to the idea of settlement in Palestine, and that "cultural Zionism" and "practical Zionism" were not incompatible in his view.

1889 - Achad Ha'am - This is not the way ("The wrong way")  - Achad Ha'am believed that Zionist settlement in Palestine would never amount to anything important without a cultural revival of the Jewish people.

1882: Auto-Emancipation by Leon Pinsker - This early Zionist pamphlet was written by Leon Pinsker after violent pogroms in Russia.

1862: Rome and Jerusalem: The Last National Question by Moses Hess - This book was the first call for Jewish national liberation couched in terms of nationalism and based on socialist and liberalist ideals.

1799 - Napoleon's Proclamation of a Jewish State - In this stillborn proclamation, Napoleon offered the Jews a state in Palestine under French protection. This was the first of many such nineteenth century projects for restoration of the Jews in Palestine.

c1130 - Yehuda Halevi - Two Hebrew Poems - "My Heart is in the East and "Zion, surely thou art anxious.." - These poems are part of a rich legacy that kept alive the love of Zion, enriched the Hebrew language, and had a profound influence on modern Hebrew poetic idiom.

More History at Zionism and Israel on the Web :

Timeline (Chronology) of Zionist and Israeli History

A history of Zionism and the Creation of Israel

Photo Gallery of Israel and Zionism

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Brief History of Israel and Palestine

History of Labor and Socialist Zionism

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Zionism - Definition and Brief History - A balanced article that covers the definitions and history of Zionism as well as opposition to Zionism and criticisms by Arabs,  Jewish anti-Zionists.

Labor Zionism - Early History and Critique - Contribution of Labor Zionism to the creation of the Jewish state, and problems of Labor Zionism in a changing reality.

The US Library of congress has a comprehensive and balanced set of articles about Zionism:

Zionist Precursors - US Library of Congress

Political Zionism - US Library of Congress

Cultural Zionism - US Library of Congress

Labor Zionism - US Library of Congress

Revisionist Zionism - US Library of Congress

Ambassador Herzog explains Zionism in the UN


Active Zionism - A Zionist advocacy site with many useful links

Zionism On The Web Directory

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