(RightWing.org) – After World War I ended, the League of Nations divided the Middle East among the victorious allies using the British Palestine Mandate, which had both Jewish and Arab communities within it. In May 1948, when the United Kingdom withdrew from the area, David Ben-Gurion established the nation we know as Israel, much to the consternation of the Arabs of the region.
In 1967, Jordan, Egypt, and Iraq entered into an alliance with the goal of taking over the land allotted to the Jewish state. However, the Israeli Armed Forces launched preemptive strikes leading to the Six-Day War, which greatly expanded its borders. The result is the current set of borders, which do not technically include a Palestinian state. Instead, Palestinians occupy land within Israel, known as the Gaza Strip. This has led to tensions in the area, sometimes to the extreme.
Fast forward to 2023, CIA Director Bill Burns traveled to the area during the last weekend of January and met with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and discussed those tensions. Part of the discussions included an urgent request for the US government.
Turn Back Time
Abbas has asked for the United States to apply pressure on the Israeli government, which is currently led by Prime Minister (PM) Benjamin Netanyahu, to stop what he described as Israel’s unilateral aggression. This comes after a recent spate of violence which began with the Islamic Jihad in Gaza allegedly firing several rockets toward Israel, to which that country’s Air Force responded with an airstrike into the region.
Abbas adamantly stressed to Burns the need for an independent Palestinian state with its capital in East Jerusalem and having Israel’s borders pulled back to where they were before the Six-Day War.
In an exclusive interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper, Netanyahu responded as he hailed the success of the Abraham Accords, which former President Donald Trump brokered as models of Israeli-Arab cooperation. The PM, naturally, takes an opposing view from Abbas and sees the uptick in violence due to terrorist attacks perpetrated by members of the Islamic Jihad and Hamas. This was his reasoning for attacking the Palestinian Jenin refugee camp from which they were supposedly operating.
Antony Blinken Visits
All of this history, as well as Burns’ meeting with Abbas, paints the background to the recent visit to the area by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, which came directly on the heels of the one by Director Burns.
As a high-ranking official in the administration of President Joe Biden, Blinken’s comments during his visit were not well received by the current Israeli government and seemed to harken back to the policies established under former President Barack Obama. He was accused of overstepping his bounds by criticizing Netanyahu’s plan to overhaul its judicial system and of appearing lukewarm over the Jewish state’s primary security concern, the Islamic Republic of Iran. The issue of Palestine appears not to have been a significant issue during his visit.
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