Rohan, aged 15

“Our work for peace must begin within the private world of each one of us. To build a world without fear, we must be without fear. To build a world of justice we must be just.” – Dag Hammarskjöld  

It is believed that during the time that the United Nations was established, maintaining peace was extremely difficult and became the primary goal of the United Nations, during the Cold War (1947-1953). One of the biggest threats in disrupting the peace around 1949, is thought to be the conflict in Palestine and the Arab-Israeli war. The United Nations (UN) is an organization established in 1945, during the Cold War. It was the clever replacement for the League of Nations, as the League had many faults as an organization. The UN’s aims were to get countries to cooperate, to develop their economies, to increase security, to progress socially, to enforce human rights and to bring about the concept of ‘World Peace’. We live in a society today where the future seems to be brighter shining than before. The fears of a planned-bomb drop can be evacuated from an individual’s mind, just because these goals seemed to have fallen through.

To this day Palestine is not considered a country, and in 1947 British governed Palestine was taken over by the UN so their issues could be taken-cared of. The issue was that there seemed to be a quarrel between the Palestinians and the Jews that had been going on for many decades. The UN took action and it was voted upon to create a separate Jewish state. Israel was created, it lead to a war in 1948, which was caused by the neighbouring Arabs. Two short-lasting truces were established by the UN, the second truce lasting longer than the first, but were immediately shunned by the people. Other countries were not whiling to get involved in the truce making, so signatures were not provided. But not all hope was lost.

The Arab-Israeli conflict was the political and physical actions taken between the Arab people and the Jewish community. All these tensions were located in the Middle East and this hatred was brought about in Palestine. This brawl went on for centuries as the Jewish community thought that they were correct, they had settled in that region for many years and were always part of Palestine, and the Arabs thought they were correct, as they have many Arab countries surrounding Palestine and have a strong Arab tie of culture, language, religion and heritage. Jerusalem had religious and historical meaning to both communities, and neither one was willing to give it up. This evidently did not bring about peace, so it took it away instead.

The Arab-Israeli war was the official series of war-like attacks as the result of the Arab-Israeli conflicts that lasted countless years. The war began after Britain’s annulment of the British Mandate of Palestine. This mandate was originally a legal commission given over to Britain and signed for by the League of Nations, transferred after World War 1. The annulment of this very mandate and stating it as the ‘Independence of Palestine’ led to a series of civil wars. After the banishment of Jews from Arab countries, awareness was raised in other bordering Jewish-nations.

After the establishment of Israel: Egypt, Iraq, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Transjordan and Yemen formed a League known as the Arab League. This League’s creation was encouraged by Britain to initiate. The Arab League was created for the Arab nations to coordinate policies and treaties. The League invaded Israel, killing many Jewish civilians, because one of the purposes of the League was to create a community to represent the Palestinian people. Egypt crossed the Palestinian border in February 1949, resulting in more death on both side.

Transjordan was made an independent state in 1946; it was a part of the British mandate of Palestine. There was a fear that Transjordan would take over Palestine and use it as a base of attack. It was stated by the Jewish Agency that “Transjordan is an important part of Palestine” and according to the UN charter, it seemed like the Jewish people had an interest in the Transjordan territory. After the mandate was terminated, Transjordan troops, as planned, invaded Palestine. Strangely, the Transjordans were unrecognizable by the US and the UN. Their reason provided to have invaded Palestine was “we were compelled to protect unarmed Arabs against massacres”. After King Abdullah (of Transjordan) took over the West Bank area, during the war, he renamed place to Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.

In 1949, sets of agreements known as the Armistice Agreements were created. It was signed by Israel and neighbouring countries (Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria). This agreement was the supposed end of the Arab-Israeli war. The Green Line was created, a line between Israeli forces and Jordan-controlled West Bank. The United Nations kept lookouts on The Green Line to make sure their movement was functioning. To aid in this movement the contribution of the other nations was vital, The Tripartite Declaration was signed in 1950.

The Tripartite Declaration was a statement that was equally agreed upon by the United States, France and Britain. This declaration was to make sure the Arabs stay on their side of the line and the Jews theirs. It focused majorly on declaring a form of peace and stability in the region. They limited the amount of arms development (arms race) for both those communities. The Middle East had a good amount of oil, so one of the goals was to make it free flowing between the Israelis and the Arabs. They were suggested to try and make common use of the West region, against the threat of Soviet disruption and Transjordan re-obtainment.

The Soviet-union played a big role in the Arab-Israeli conflict, as the conflict was one of the apprehenders of Peace and had a huge role in the Cold War. The Soviet-Union, run by Stalin, started to believe in Pro-Zionism. Zionism is a self-determined movement for the Jewish people, believing in morals, religion and political viewing, so Stalin’s beliefs were similar to those of the Jews. The USSR took the Jews’ side at UN conferences saying, “The Jewish people underwent exceptional sorrow and suffering”. The Soviet-Union, at first, sided with the Israelis and then sided with Arabs, bringing-up more to fight about. The UN was trying very hard to maintain that peace but the results seemed to be paradoxical.

In conclusion, in 1949 one of the biggest contributors to the plummeting of peace was the Arab-Israeli war, which later on (and today) became the Israeli-Palestine conflict. The Soviet-Union unnecessarily intervened and the UN’s response aided but the outcome seemed to fail. The Arab countries seemed to gang-up against the Jewish community and many groups tried to take over Palestine. Separating Palestine into two wasn’t one of the best ideas because of the resulting civil attacks. Jerusalem was unfairly and dangerously placed on the border, it had significant value to both parties. There was no peace in Palestine because of all the struggles, even to this very day. Palestine not being declared a country might cause more/less problems.

About UN News Geneva

Sharing entires to the United Nations Peace Essay competitions run by the Information Service in Geneva in 2011
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