Category Archives: International Organizations

Timeline: Israel and Palestine

UN 1947 partition plan for Palestine

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1300-931: Israelite tribes defeat the Canaanites within the territory of Palestine (the region between Egypt, Syria and Arabia). The kingdom of Israel is established.

931: The kingdom splits into the Northern Kingdom (Israel) and the Southern Kingdom (Judah).

721: Northern Kingdom falls to Assyria.

587: Southern Kingdom falls to Babylon

539: Babylonian Empire falls to the Persian Empire.

331: Persian Empire falls to Alexander the Great. Following his death, the land is subject to rule by Egypt and Syria.

63-61: Romans conquer Jerusalem and Jews live under Roman rule.


476: The Roman Empire falls

638: Muslims from the Arabian Peninsula conquer Jerusalem.

1099: European Crusaders conquer Jerusalem.

1187: Muslims under Saladin reclaim Jerusalem.

1517: Ottoman Empire conquers all of Palestine.

1914: World War I begins. Ottoman Empire enters the war on the side of Germany.

1918: World War I ends, bringing defeat of the Ottoman Empire.

1920: League of Nations divides lands of Ottoman Empire.

1939-1945: The Holocaust takes place during World War II. Jewish migration into Palestine increases.

1947: UN General Assembly passes Resolution 181, which would partition Palestine into a Jewish and Arab state. The Jewish state receives 56% of the land leaving the Arab state 44%.

1948: Israel declares statehood on May 14. Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia declare war on Israel.

1949-1950: At war’s end, Israel holds 78% of the territory of Palestine.

1964: Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) is established with the aim of destroying Israel.

1967: Six-Day War. Israel conquers Gaza Strip, West Bank, East Jerusalem, the Sinai, and Golan Heights. UN Security Council passes Resolution 242 calling for Israeli withdrawal from occupied territories.

1973: Egypt and Syria attack Israel, beginning Yom Kippur War. Israel pushes back both armies.

1981: Israel annexes the Golan Heights.

2002: Israel decides to build a Security Fence to reduce suicide bombings from Palestinian terrorists.

2004: International court of Justice (ICJ) rules that the Israeli Security Fence violates international law and must be torn down as it is built on occupied territory. Israel announces that it will ignore the ruling.

2005: Israeli evacuates its Gaza settlements and four West Bank settlements.

2006: The terrorist organization Hamas wins an upset victory in Palestinian Legislative Council elections. A UN study declares the humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip “intolerable”, with an estimated 80% of the population living in poverty.

2008: Israel invades the Hamas controlled Gaza Strip in response to rocket attacks by Palestinian militant groups.

2011: Palestine Authority moves a resolution in UN for recognition of Palestine statehood.



The Sovereign Power of Libya

The sovereign power of nations, along with the related concept of self-government, is fundamental in a world of nation-states. The concept of sovereignty requires the recognition of the legitimate rule of governments over their own citizens—with the time-honored understanding that the internal affairs of nations should be left to the political and social processes and forces within a particular country. Events in Egypt and Libya in early 2011 provide heart wrenching examples of how principles such as sovereign power can fall short in the modern world. In the case of Libya, Muammar al-Gaddafi has held power since leading a coup d’état against the monarchy of King Idris in 1969. Gaddafi stands out as one of the relatively few remaining dictators left in the world today. Much like the uprising in Egypt, people in Libya opposed to the rule of Gaddafi have struck out. And, as with Egypt, the nations of the world appear unable or unwilling to intervene. For many, the hesitation is based on respecting the sovereign rights of the people of Libya.

The Huffington Post published a call from a number of United States Congressional leaders calling for Gaddafi to quit the violent crackdown against the protests. The posting falls short of demanding the exit of Gaddafi or of offering immediate substantive support to the protestors. In fact, their appeal indirectly recognizes the status of Gaddafi as a national leader. Gaddafi’s claim on sovereign power has never been based on any legitimate democratic process. His use of foreign mercenaries against his own people opens the door to more aggressive outside intervention in the crisis in Libya. Does the world community have an obligation to recognize the sovereignty of Libya? Does the United States have a responsibility to intervene, either alone or with a coalition of nations? What do you think?

Dennis Falcon

President Obama Falls Short on G-20 Goals

President Obama began his trip to Asia with hopes of increasing exports and boosting American jobs, but he ends it with modesty being forced upon him, having failed to deliver in several key areas. The president concluded the summit of the G-20 economic superpowers with an acknowledgment of the limits of American influence. This article provides insight into why the president was not able to deliver in some key areas of trade. (11/12/10 ABC News, Jake Tapper) … Read Article

1. What is the potential consequence for the U.S. economy of the president’s failure to win trade concessions in Asia, according to Ernest Bower, a senior adviser and director of the Center for Strategic and International Studies Southeast Asia Program?

2. What is President Obama’s defense of his economic record?

Russia Threatens To End Adoptions To The U.S.

In a meeting between Russian and U.S. officials on a new pact for adoptions of Russian children, Russia demanded greater monitoring of the children and the right to prosecute American parents who abuse those children. (4/30/10 ABC News, Alexander Marquardt) … Read Article

1. “Many adoptions are in limbo…” Discuss the circumstance that put adoptions to the U.S.  in jeopardy.

2. Discuss the implications of Russia’s demand for the right to prosecute American parents who abuse their adopted children.

A ‘Lost Boy of Sudan’ Dreams of Medical School

John Kuai works hard to come up with the money for school tuition. He works the overnight shift at a local cigar factory in Jacksonville, Fla. After sleeping for a few hours, he heads to his biology, chemistry and physics classes at the University of North Florida, where he is a junior. (4/30/10 ABC News On Campus, April Dudash) … Read Article

1. Discuss the origin of the name ‘Lost Boys of Sudan” and their survival experience before coming to the U.S.

2. Kuai sees himself as a messenger. Discuss what message he plans to take back to Sudan.

Mother Ships Adopted Son Back To Moscow Alone?

A Tennessee mother’s decision to send her 7-year-old adopted son back to Russia, alone and with a note that she no longer wanted him, has horrified officials and adoption experts in both countries. (4/9/10 ABC News, Sarah Netter and Zoe Magee) … Read Article

1. Discuss the potential effect of this incident on U.S. – Russian relations.

2. According to Johnson of the Tennessee Department of Child Services, “We do not track international adoptions.” Do you think the department of child services in the U.S. should be tracking international adoptions? Why or Why not?

(Video)Haiti Ends Searches For The Living

The United Nations says the Haitian government has declared an end to the searches for living people trapped in the rubble, despite that, another survivor was reported. (1/23/10 Associated Press, John Mone)

1. Why is Saturday referred to as a day of good byes?

2. What is the “declaration” referred to in the video.