THIS year the world commemorates a 100th, a 70th and a 50th anniversary in the history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The 100th anniversary is that of the Balfour Declaration. In 1916, during World War I, Sharif Hussein bin Ali of Mecca led an uprising against the Ottoman Empire in return for Britain’s promise to recognise the independence of the Arab countries between the Mediterranean and Arabian seas. The following year, without consulting the Palestinians, Foreign Secretary Lord Arthur Balfour reneged on the agreement by declaring that Britain would support the establishment of a Jewish homeland in Palestine.

The 70th anniversary is that of the 1947 UN Resolution 181 calling for Palestine’s partition into Jewish and Arab states. The former was realised in the following year when 750,000 Palestinians were expelled from their homes to make way for the establishment of Israel. The latter is yet to be born.

The 50th anniversary took place on Saturday. On June 10, 1967, Israel, in six days, completed its conquest of Palestine and began its occupation of the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza.

Read the full article by George Browning at The Courier Mail (subscription only).

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