The Youth Forum (Mladi Forum), the youth wing of the Social Democrats party (Socialni demokrati – SD), recently published a post on several social networks, celebrating the Hamas terrorists and the 75th anniversary of the imaginary expulsion of the Palestinians. They even labelled Israel an apartheid state. On the anniversary of the founding of the State of Israel, they made anti-Semitic statements in the name of woke ideology. Of course, this is not all that surprising since Tanja Fajon, the President of the SD party, has responded in a similar way to the European Jewish Association’s call for the return of the stolen villa in which the country currently has its headquarters.
The SD party’s Youth Forum also organised a round table to discuss “the history and present of the Palestinian people, human rights violations and their struggle for statehood and independence,” in which MEP Milan Brglez will also take part.
“On the 14th of May 1948, the establishment of the State of Israel was proclaimed – its creation accompanied by grave human rights violations against the country’s Arab population. During the civil war in what was then the British colony of Palestine, and then in the war between Israel and a coalition of Arab countries, more than 700,000 Arabs were driven from their homes. They were forced to settle in Gaza, the West Bank, and neighbouring Jordan, Syria and, most of all, Lebanon,” they wrote, adding that most of the Palestinians are still living there in mostly inhumane conditions. “This collective pain continues to oppress Palestinians. Until it is addressed, peace in the Middle East will not be possible,” they added. They went on to say that one of the key authors of early Zionism, Ahad Ha’Am, was also aware of the problem that would arise from the dismissive attitude towards the Palestinians.
But what the Youth Forum wrote is, of course, a distortion of the truth. As Nejc Krevs, the author of the documentary film Honey, Milk and Unrest (Med, mleko in nemir) – made on the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the creation of the State of Israel – said, Israel’s argument for not withdrawing from the areas that were supposed to belong to Palestine according to Resolution 181, was security – because otherwise, it would not have been possible for them to protect the borders in the face of some 1,000 terrorist attacks a year. “This is a security issue and a challenge. As the number of terrorist attacks by the Palestine Liberation Organisation increases, these ideas of withdrawal are being removed. All these attacks burden the consciousness of Israeli life, and each such attack has pushed the Israeli people’s idea of peace further away.”
What actually went down
Between the years 1948 and 1949, the Israeli War of Independence and the Palestinian Nakba took place. On the eve of the British withdrawal, the 14th of May 1948, or on the 5th Iyar according to the Jewish calendar, Jews proclaimed their own State of Israel (Hebrew: Eretz Israel), modelled on the Western democracies, in a museum in Tel Aviv. The proclamation was read by David Ben Gurion, the future Prime Minister. The next day, they were attacked by five Arab countries, who practically competed to see whose army would be the first to invade Tel Aviv.
After the Holocaust, independence was an option for survival
For Jews, victims of the Holocaust, Israel was the option for survival after the end of the Second World War. Of the nine million Jews living in Europe before the Second World War, six million were murdered by the Nazis. In the first years after Israel’s creation, some 600,000 Holocaust survivors found a new home in Israel. By the end of the 1950s, their number had risen to 800,000, which was about half the Jewish population at the time. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, Israel experienced a second major wave of immigration in the 1990s.
Just ten minutes after the proclamation of the State of Israel in 1948, the first recognition followed. Israel was officially recognised as a state by the USA, followed by Iran, Guatemala, Iceland, Nicaragua, Romania and Uruguay. Israel was recognised as an independent state by the then-Soviet Union on the 17th of May, 1948. It was followed by Poland, the then-Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia, Ireland and South Africa.
After each attack, Israel had more territory
The day after the declaration of independence, on the 15th of May, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, and Iraq attacked the new state. The war ended in their defeat, but Israel consolidated its independence and increased its territory by almost 50 percent compared to the partition plan.
The creation and continued existence of the state, which borders Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, and Egypt, has been the source of many tensions and wars with neighbouring Arab countries since 1948. Israel has so far managed to conclude peace agreements with Egypt and Jordan, and with the Palestinians in 1993 under the Oslo Accords, the first direct agreement between the parties. Nevertheless, many unresolved issues and tensions remain between the Arab world and Israel.
The 1967 Six-Day War between Israel, on the one hand, and Egypt, Jordan, and Syria, on the other, also had far-reaching consequences. Israel occupied all of Jerusalem, the Gaza Strip, the Golan Heights and the Sinai Peninsula at the time. The consequences of that war are still felt in world politics today. Both the Palestinians and much of the world community are calling for Israel to withdraw to the pre-1967 borders and for the Middle East conflict to be resolved by the creation of two states, Palestine in addition to Israel, but the Middle East peace negotiations have been deadlocked for a long time now.
What is a happy day for the Jews is a disaster for the Palestinians
For the Palestinians, the day on which the State of Israel was founded is what they call a “nakba” (catastrophe). The Palestinians celebrate their catastrophe day on the 15th of May, so one day after the proclamation of the State of Israel.
Does Israel want to withdraw from the occupied territories?
Today, after all the wars and terrorist attacks that followed, Israel is deeply entrenched in the areas that belong to Palestine under Resolution 181. Does Israel want to withdraw from the occupied Palestinian territories? The Israeli argument is that this is the only possible way for the country to protect its borders in the face of some 1,000 terrorist attacks a year. “This is a security issue and a security challenge. As the number of terrorist attacks by the Palestine Liberation Organisation increases, these ideas recede. All these attacks burden the consciousness of Israeli life, and each such attack has pushed the Israelis’ idea for peace further away,” Nejc Krevs explained.