Date of Award

1984

Document Type

Thesis

Department

Political Science

First Advisor

Dr. J. Randall O'Brien

Second Advisor

Dr. Fran Coulter

Third Advisor

Dr. Raouf Halaby

Abstract

Israel and the United States believe that the Israelis have the right to exist as a nation and that the Palestinians do not have this right. The Palestinians believe that Israel, with the help of the United States, has usurped their land, and that they, the Palestinians, have the right to self-determination and statehood.

Who, then, is right, and who is wrong? The writer of this paper believes that Israel's right to statehood has been used to justify the suffering of the Palestinians. When right is used to sanction another's misery, it becomes wrong. Therefore, hoping that she may strengthen an unpopular position, the writer of this paper will look with Palestinian eyes at the official positions of the United States, Israel, and the frontline Arab states of Egypt, Lebanon, Syria, and Jordan regarding the issue of the Palestinian right to self-determination and statehood.

It is necessary to clarify some basic terminology use in this paper. The term "Palestine" will refer to the area known as Mandate Palestine. This does not include the area now known as Jordan, but does include the Israeli-occupied territories known as the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, and the Golan Heights. The term "Palestinian" will refer to those persons who are or were refugees of Palestine. The term "Middle East" will refer to the region consisting of Bahrain, Cyprus, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syria, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, Yemem (Aden), and Yemen (Sana).

To understand the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, one must first have a historical knowledge of the conflict. This paper will overview the history of Palestine before and during the British mandate of 1922 and the history of the Palestinians after Israel became a state in 1948.

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