The conflict between the Palestinians and the Israelis erupted after
the partition made by Great Britain on November 29, 1947. Immediately
after the decision to make Israel a separate, independent state, there
were massive attacks on both sides. Upon reading the first set of
articles, I felt that the Palestine’s unnecessarily attacked the Jews
and that they deserved the land being given to them. But the first set
of articles I read were incredibly biased toward the Jewish perspective
and, I think that because of this, I presented a distorted view of the
situation. Now that I have read the second packet, I understand that
many of the Arabs must have felt helpless about the situation, and even
startled by the numerous attacks and massacres by the Israelis.

I now believe that the reason that the fighting started was because
both sides felt that they had an obligation to uphold their religious
beliefs and, also, justification to do what they did. Both the Arabs
and the Jews felt that it was their sacred duty to keep or regain their
land. The Arabs thought of the partition as an automatic declaration of
war against them. Therefore, they thought that they had to
counter-attack the Jews in order to keep their land.

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One of the biggest massacres that the Jews waged on the Arabs was
the attack on Deir Yassin on April 9, 1948, when 250 men, women, and
children where killed. The first set of articles that we read did not
mention anything about the ruthlessness of this massacre. Since the
articles were biased toward the Jews, I do not think that they wanted
the reader to know what really happened. In the first set of articles,
they never really gave a set explanation of why so many Arabs fled their
homes so quickly. If the Jews were as inadequately equipped as they
claimed to be, I do not think that as many Arabs would have emigrated so
readily. On the other hand, the second set of articles was biased
toward the Arabs, so they might have exaggerated the facts a little
bit. According to the Arabs, it was the most barbaric and “calculated
massacre” yet. It caused many of the Arabs to flee their homes in
terror; which is exactly what the Jews wanted. The Jews made themselves
out to be the “helpless ones,” but I believe that they were the most
ruthless, and that is why many of the Arabs fled instead of fighting for
their country. The worst part about the massacre was that it was
planned and carried out by former Israeli Prime Minister, Menachem
Begin. After committing such a terrible deed, he was allowed to reign
over Israel for years after that.

The massacre at Deir Yassin terrified the Arabs of Palestine. Part of
the reason that so many Arabs fled was due to the announcement made
about the massacre by Dr. Hussein Khalidi, Secretary General of the Arab
high committee. He announced the massacre in such a frantic way, that
all the Arabs in range of Jewish attacks panicked and were instigated to
leave their homes. It was the combination of the Deir Yassin massacre
itself, and all the hype, which caused many Arabs to flee their homes in

After summarizing both packets, I still cannot clearly say who was
more at fault in this situation. The Arabs were simply defending the
land that had belonged to them for so many years. And the Jews were
fighting for that same land because it was given to them by a partition
that remained unrecognized by the Arabs. Both sides felt that they were
right about the situation, and, therefore, massive fighting broke out.

The fighting sparked as a result of the partition so I think that the
British are largely to blame for the fighting. The United Nations
should have thought about the results of such a partition resolution.

They never took into account that, obviously, the Jews would want to
regain their land immediately. The lesson to be learned from all of
this is that even though something sounds good on paper, it should be
well thought out before actually being put into action