Countryaah, Ariel Sharon, leader of the Conservative Likud
Party, took home 62% of the vote in the extras to the prime
ministerial post held on February 6. The election campaign
was focused mainly on security issues, notably the incumbent
Prime Minister Ehud Barak's handling of the Palestinian
uprising that broke out in September 2000. Leading Israelis
with Arab backgrounds urged Arab voters, traditionally loyal
to Barak's Labor Party, to boycott the election. Turnout was
record low 62%. Sharon formed a coalition government
consisting of Likud, the Labor Party, the ultra-Orthodox
party Shas and five other small parties. The Labor Party
veteran Shimon Peres was named Deputy Prime Minister and
Foreign Minister. Barak resigned after the election from the
party leader post.
Despite Sharon's promises to stop the violence, the
Palestinian extremists' attacks continued both in Israel and
against settlements in the West Bank and Gaza. For example,
on June 1, 22 Israelis were killed in a blast attack at a
Tel Aviv disco and on August 9, 15 Israelis were blown up in
the air at a pizzeria in Jerusalem. On October 17, Israeli
Tourism Minister Rehavam Zeevi was murdered in a Tel Aviv
hotel. It was the first time Palestinian extremists murdered
a people-elected Israeli ruler. Israel then, despite US
protests, launched the biggest offensive against the
Palestinian territories since they were established in 1994.
On December 2, ten Israeli youths were first killed in two
suicide attacks on a street in Jerusalem and later 15
Israelis in another suicide attack in Haifa. IN. responded
with massive bombings and missile attacks against
Palestinian targets (see Palestine). The United States then
gave Israel its support.
The divide within the government became clear when Peres
said on November 15 at the UN General Assembly that most
Israelis want to see a Palestinian state in the future,
whereupon several of Peres's government colleagues demanded
his departure. Opinion polls showed that two-thirds of
Israelis supported Sharon, while only one-third agreed with
Peres that calls must be made. Assessors said Sharon's goal
was to oust Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat.
The violence hit the tourism industry hard, while the
cheap Palestinian labor force did not appear when Israel blocked
off the Palestinian territories. In addition, the general
recession in the world affected the export industry.
fell by 0.6% in the first half of the year compared to the
A Brussels prosecutor opened a preliminary investigation
in July against Sharon, who was charged with crimes against
humanity in connection with the massacre of Palestinian
refugees in Beirut in 1982. 28 survivors of the massacre had
notified Sharon. Belgian law makes it possible to convict
foreign nationals for war crimes committed abroad.
78 people, most of them Russian Jews living in Israel, were
killed on October 4 when a Ukrainian missile accidentally
hit a passenger aircraft on its way from Tel Aviv to
Novosibirsk in Russia.
At least 23 wedding guests perished in West Jerusalem on
May 24 when a building in which a banquet hall was located
collapsed. The breed was due to defects in the building.
1982 Invasion of Lebanon
While Begin rejected any negotiation with the PLO and declared that Israel
would annex the West Bank, the United States persuaded Egyptian President Anwar
al Sadat to sign with Camp Begin the agreement in 1978 (signed in Washington,
March 26, 1979), paving the way for a peace settlement between Cairo and Tel
Aviv and entailed Israeli return of the Sinai desert to Egypt. From that point,
international attention gradually shifted from the issue of Israel's border
security to the situation of the Palestinians. With changes in its tactics, the
PLO managed to secure new allies and increasing sympathy. That is why Israel's
decision in 1980 to declare Jerusalem for the country's capital condemned as an
arrogant act by even many of the country's close allies. In June 1982, Israel
launched the military operation "Peace in Galilee", which consisted of invading
neighboring Lebanon and ravaging the capital Beirut, on the pretext that it
involved maneuvers aimed at curbing the infiltration of Palestinian
partisans. Arafat's forces agreed to leave Beirut against the promise that
French-Italian-North American forces would guarantee the safety of the civilian
Despite the agreement, thousands of refugees were killed by right-wing
militia in the Sabra and Chatila refugee camps in an area under Israeli control
and with their approval. The invasion of Lebanon caused so much dissatisfaction
in Israel that a demonstration was held with 400,000 people summoned by the
"Peace Now" movement. The demonstration led to the setting up of a commission of
inquiry that indirectly placed the responsibility for the Sabra and Shatila
massacre on Defense Minister Ariel Sharon and other military leaders. Sharon
therefore had to resign as minister.
In 1984, the Labor Party, led by Shimon Perez, regained government power,
but it did not achieve absolute majority. Therefore, a ministerial coalition was
concluded with the right wing and rotation of the prime minister's office. In
1986, Peres, as agreed, transferred the Prime Minister's post to Yitzhak
Shamir from the Likud Coalition.
In December 1987, there was a clash between young Palestinians in the
occupied West Bank and Israeli military patrols. Several Palestinians were
killed and the clashes developed into protest demonstrations, prompting new
clashes, more deaths, "general strikes" and civilian protests where no one left
their homes. In this way, the so-called intifada rebellion - which
turned upside down on Middle East policy - was in a way no one had foreseen. Not
as an outside event, but as a rebellion from within. Not with weapons, but with
stones. In 1989, at the last Palestinian National Congress, the PLO recognized
the state of Israel and accepted UN resolutions 242 and 338.
The TV images of a heavily armed Israeli military that attacked young
Palestinians armed only with sniper rifles and stones went around the world
changing the world view on Israel. The consequence was that 250,000 young
Israelis left Israel annually in the late 1980s. The net immigration flow turned
out of the country and only stabilized in 1989, when immigrants galore arrived
from the Soviet Union. Despite the fact that Israel had been formed for the
purpose of stopping the millennial persecution of the Jewish people, since its
inception, the state had only been able to attract 20% of the world's Jews.
Acc. information from the United States amounted to $ 53 billion in
assistance from the superpower to Israel in the period 1949-91. Already since
the signing of the Camp David agreement in 1979, aid had amounted to 40 billion,
or 21.5% of the total North American foreign aid.
In Israel, all men to the age of 51 and single women to the age of 24 are
part of the military reserve. The militarization of society is also reflected in
the state's extensive participation in the economy and in the fact that the
majority of industrial production is militarily oriented. Based on its extensive
development of the military industry, Israel has become an exporter of
weapons. This trade has triggered a number of scandals, such as the Iran-Contra
scandal, in which Iran was provided with weapons in return for weapons supplies
to the counter-revolutionaries in Nicaragua as well as military training of
Colombian drug traffickers.
It was a central element of Zionist ideology to create a state consisting of
Jews - much like Italy made up of Italians and Japan of Japanese - but the
ideology conflicted with reality: territorial expansion. The repeated
annexations of land led to about 2 million Arabs living within the borders of
the State of Israel. Due. the demographic development would mean that by the end
of the millennium, the Arab population would exceed the Jewish one. In March
1990, these fundamental problems and cyclical problems caused the alliance
between the Labor Party and Likud to break down.