History Coursework – Arab Israeli Conflict

In 1948 the village of Deir Yassin was invaded by Jewish Irgun fighters. By noon on the same day they had killed everyone in the entire village – women and children included. There is no real proof about who is to blame for the Palestinian refugee problem.
The reasons of the fight over Deir Yassin go back since the partition of Palestine. The partition meant that majority of the population, the Arabs, would get less land that the Jews. On the other hand, the Jews did not get Jerusalem, their homeland, included in their area. Both sides were unhappy about the land they were given, so they started to fight each other to get the land back. In December 1947 violence broke out between them and they grew more and more aggressive until massacre itself in April the next year. The Jews thought that if they committed the mass murder, they could gain back the land. Deir Yassin would have been an extremely important strategic point for whoever had control of it. This made the village more valuable to both the Arabs and Jews, which meant it was the centre for violence.
The two sources are written about the same event but express the opinions of different people. Source A is a pamphlet produce by the PLO describing the Arab exodus form Palestine, and the Deir Yassin massacre. Source b is a statement made to the UN by Israel’s foreign minister in 1961, expressing her view of the incident and the general exodus of Palestine.

As source A is a pamphlet, it’s obviously propaganda. It’s heavily biased in the Palestinians point of view. It’s advertising the fact that the Palestinians left Palestine because of their fear, and not on their own accord. It blames the whole refugee problem on Israel: “Thousands of Palestinians fled… were prevented from returning to their home by Israel.” They had a fair argument because they were forced to leave in fear, as nobody would want to be slaughtered. As the source is directed towards the world to try and get international support, it is obviously exaggerated to make everything sound worse for the Arabs to generate sympathy for them: “In cold blood”… “Mutilating many of the bodies”. Before concluding, one must take into account the fact that the Palestinians do not tell both sides of the story.
The source fails to mention the Infitada or “uprising”, which was the civil disobedience that grew in parts of Israel. It consisted of riots and protests led by Arabs. The Infitada happened before the source was written, so they have no excuse for not writing about it in the pamphlet. They did not want to include the other side f the story as this would lower the amount of sympathy gained by the Palestinians from the world. Also, the UN Resolution 242, which could have solved the refugee problems, and could also be to their advantage, wasn’t mentioned. As well as this, the various terrorist acts committed before the source was written aren’t included in the source, so anyone that reads this source will not think badly of the Palestinians.
Although source B is written about the same event, it draws all the attention away from the massacre. As the source is a statement directed towards the UN, it only mentions the facts that Israel wants them to know. The main purpose was to convince the UN to take their side, and stop them from passing resolution 242 which was going to force Israel to withdraw from all their occupied territories. Mrs Meir brings all the attention away from the Jewish actions and tries to turn the argument around. She tries to convince the world that the massacre at Deir Yassin was committed by “Jewish Dissidents”, or crazy terrorists, not the Israeli government, and nothing to do with Golda Meir.
The source cleverly accuses the Arab armies for the Arab refugees. It states the all that carried out aggression against Israel are responsible for the refugees. According to the source the Arab leaders who led the armies told all the Arabs living in Palestine to evacuate the country so the armies could get in, forcing them to live in refugee camps. As with the first PLO source, the writer of this purposely leaves out the earlier Israeli terrorist actions, such as the attacks on the King David hotel in Jerusalem.
To conclude, the 2 sources are totally different. They differ in almost every way, and each source is extremely biased, the sources are not reliable at all, we can only use them to see individual opinions. Neither of the sources either have proof to support the opinions, for example source B tells us that the massacre was undertaken by people who had nothing to do with the government, but the Israelis have no evidence for this, so we have no reason to believe this. The sources give so diverse facts and opinions, it is impossible to draw conclusions about who is to blame for the refugee problem, we can only have our own opinion.
Question 2
Although sources A-F include a lot of information, it is hard to analyze the sources to make the conclusion of who is to blame for the Palestinian refugee problems. Many of the sources are biased and don’t give both sides to the story. The 6 sources give us lots of information concerning the opinions of the different sides, but when it comes to concluding and giving a fair opinion, it’s almost impossible. We need to analyze each source for their efficiency, and asses them to find out their purpose and reliability.
Source A gives us the Palestinian view of the Arab exodus from Palestine. It says that the Jews invaded the village of Deir Yassin, and then killed the entire population. It says that the thousands of Palestinians who fled Palestine in terror were prevented from returning to their own “homeland” by Israel. The source blames Israel for the refugee problem. Reading this source alone, one would believe that the entire refugee problem would be the fault of the Israelis, but the source is heavily biased and given in the Palestinian point of view. The source fails to mention a few major details which could help you conclude, such as the intifada that happened when the Palestinians started to fight back against the Israelis, and the various s terrorist attacks they made to try and get their land back. The main cause for the violence was the fact that the British forces left.
Source B is written in a similar style as source A, but it is heavily biased and in the view of the Israelis, It is written about the same event, but blames the Palestinian Arabs for the whole refugee event. It basically says that the Arabs actually caused the whole refugee problem, and that the Jewish had nothing to do with it. They say that the massacre at Deir Yassin was committed by terrorists, and was nothing to do with the Jewish government. It says that the other Arab countries told the Palestinians to leave the country so the Arab forces could get in, which would mean that the Jews aren’t responsible at all for the problem. As with the first source, there is no proof, so we can’t believe what is said. Using these 2 sources, there’s no conclusion we can come to as they both contradict each other.
Source C is an article by an Irish journalist. It contradicts source B, saying that there were no orders at all, by the Arabs, to leave Palestine. This proves source B wrong, and it has proof. It says that there are records in the British museum which say that there was not a single order to evacuate Palestine. It says there were even appeals to stay put in Palestine, which contradicts source B. This source offers evidence and is reliable, and is obviously non-biased. It’s hard to tell who caused the refugee when you have two sources telling you that the other is wrong.
Source D is an extract from some comments made by Palestinian refugees. They tell us what work the UN did to stop the refugee problem. They say that they have refused homes and other forms of compensation because all they wanted was to be allowed to return to their homeland. This means that the Palestinians are responsible for keeping all the problems, and it’s their own fault that they’re living in camps. They are purposely being awkward, even though the UN is supporting them. This is an informative factual statement which is slightly biased in the Palestinians favour.
Source E is written by the Israeli ambassador to the UN. The source states that if Palestinians settled elsewhere, the whole problem would stop. It is basically a confirmation to source D. This source pretty much proves that the Arabs are causing the refugee problem.
The last source, F, is 2 photos. They say that the Arab was born in Jerusalem, but can’t go back to live there. The Jew was not born in Palestine, but she can return there any time she wants. The Arab and the Jew can still say exactly the same thing20 years later, as their situations are exactly the same, nothing has changed. The source is defiantly not biased as it has the perspective of a Jew and an Arab. It doesn’t explain the cause of the problem, but it tells us that the problem has not been solved yet.
To conclude, these sources do not let you come to a conclusion. Source A contradicts source B, and source C contradicts source B. Sources D and E tell us that the Arabs didn’t want compensation and acted awkwardly to annoy the UN, which contradicts source A again. With all the sources saying that others are wrong, and the lack of evidence for sources A, B and E, we cannot believe any of them, or come to any sort of agreement about who really is to blame for the refugee problem. We need more evidence and facts to come to a firm conclusion.

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