Assembled here are key sources that have shaped the modern Middle East, Zionism, Israel. We have also included items that give texture, perspective, and opinion to historical context. Some of these sources are mentioned in the Era summaries and contain explanatory introductions that provide context to that particular source.

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Biblical Times to 1897

Biblical Covenants

16th to 8th Century BCE

G-d promises Jews a great nation in return for observance of belief and practice of laws.

Liturgical References to Zion and Jerusalem

The Hebrew Bible, Prophetic Books, the Talmud, the daily prayer book, and ancient Jewish texts reinforce Judaism’s relationship to G-d and Eretz Yisrael.

The Jewish State, Theodor Herzl

1896

Eventual head of the World Zionist Organization, Theodor Herzl says anti-Semitism requires a Jewish state.

1898 to 1948: Autonomy to Sovereignty

Husayn-McMahon Correspondence

October 24, 1915

The Sherif of Mecca and a British official in Cairo exchanged letters about the current war effort against the Turks, and the future political status of specific Arab lands in Ottoman Empire.

Sykes-Picot Agreement

May 15-16, 1916

Britain and France secretly divide the Arab provinces of the former Ottoman Empire to meet their own geopolitical interests; no concern offered to political aspirations of indigenous populations.

Balfour Declaration

November 2, 1917

British Foreign Ministry promises to set up a Jewish National Home in Palestine with no harm to non-Jewish populations, or to Jews living elsewhere who might want to support a Jewish home.

Emir Feisal – Chaim Weizmann Correspondences

January 1919 – March 1919

Emir Feisal, acting on behalf of Sherif of Mecca and Chaim Weizmann on behalf of the Zionist Organization exchange recognition of cordiality and kinship between a future Arab state and Palestine, where Zionists seek to establish their national home. Mutual assistance is offered by one of the other.

1922 White Paper on Palestine

July 1922

(July 1922)   Hurewitz, J.C. The Middle East and North Africa in World Politics, A Documentary Record . 2nd, Revised and Enlarged ed. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1979. 301-5. Print. Vol. 2 of British-French Supremacy. In September 1920, the first High Commissioner for Palestine, Sir Herbert Samuel, gave effect to the implementation of the […]

The Mandate for Palestine

July 24, 1922

International legitimacy is granted to establish a Jewish National Home in Palestine. Rules for its establishment clearly give Jews in Palestine distinct advantages over the local Arab population.

Zirin Village Land Sales

August 16, 1930

The sale of Zirin Village to the Jewish National Fund was collusively undertaken by a local Arab family through the British Courts in Palestine. The process intentionally avoided financial compensation to the resident Arab occupants.

Systematic Agricultural Colonization in Palestine

1934

1934   J. Elazari – Volcani (Issac Vilkanski) SYSTEMATIC AGRICULTURAL COLONIZATION IN PALESTINE REPORT PRESENTED AT THE XVIIITH ZIONIST CONGRESS PRAGUE, 1933 Special Printing from the Protocol of the XVIIIth Zionist Congress 1934 Published by the Zionist Central Bureau 77 Great Russell Street, London W.C. 1 The complete protocol of the XVIIIth Zionist Congress together […]

Peel Commission Report

July 1937

After outbreak of communal violence, the British investigatory committee suggests partition of Palestine, seeking to create two states for two peoples.

The Political Significance of Land Purchase

December 31, 1937

With more Arab sale offers than funds for purchases, Zionist leaders decide on strategic priorities and designate areas around Haifa, Jerusalem-Jaffa road, and the Galilee near headwaters of the Jordan River.

Arab Leaders Meeting in Damascus

September 30, 1938

A Zionist intelligence report quoting a leading Palestinian estimates that the Jews are determined to create a state and unless Arab states provide manpower and financial aid to the Palestinians, the Zionists will succeed.

Gershon Agronsky: “Palestine Arab Economy Undermined by Disturbances”

January 20, 1939

Agronsky’s clear assessment of 1936-1939 disturbances provides a graphic description of the devastation caused to Palestine’s rural economy and to the majority Arab population.

Decision to Reject a Majority Palestinian Arab State

March 1939

Mufti opposes Arab majority state in ten years contrary to wishes of a dozen key other Palestinian leaders. Mufti wants no Jewish political presence in Palestine whatsoever.

HMG White Paper: Statement of Policy

May 1939

Capitulating to Arab political pressures, the British throttle growth of Jewish national home, limiting Jewish immigration and land purchase for the subsequent five years.

The Biltmore Program

May 11, 1942

In New York, urging American (Jewish) support, Ben-Gurion proclaims the eventual establishment of a Jewish state.

Jewish Request at the End of WWII: Let My People Go [to Palestine]!

May 13, 1945

Moshe Sharett urges British and US to open Palestine to unimpeded Jewish immigration from Europe.

Land Transfer Inquiry Committee Report

November 1945

Circumventing the existing law on prohibition of land sales to Jews, Palestinian Arabs are found selling lands regularly and furtively to Zionists.

1947 Truman Doctrine

March 1947

Fearing Communist penetration of the Eastern Mediterranean, Truman at the beginning of the Cold War defines the region as a sphere of US national interest.

Remarks by Soviet Foreign Minister Andrei Gromyko to the UN Special Committee on Palestine

May 14, 1947

Despite an officially anti-Zionist stance, Stalin’s administration endorsed the partition of Palestine in order to terminate British presence there, leaving the area open to Moscow’s penetration and influence.

Abdulrahman ‘Azzam Pasha Rejects Any Compromise with Zionists

September 1947

The head of Arab League says Palestine may be lost in a confrontation with the Zionists, but emphatically states that war is the Arab’s only option.

UNGA Resolution 181

November 29, 1947

The UN decides Arab and Jewish states should be created as a solution to the Arab-Zionist conflict. The Plan calls for an economic union of the two states and an international regime to be set up for Jerusalem.

US Government’s Position on the Future of Palestine

February 24, 1948

Worried about Arab opposition to a Jewish state, the US State Department opposes partition even after the UN voted for it the previous November.

Israel Declaration of Independence

May 14, 1948

May 14, 1948: The Declaration recounts the Jewish connection to the land of Israel, the birth of Zionism, and recognition by the UN of a Jewish state’s legitimacy. It also promises that the state will be a democracy for all its citizens.

Proposed Constitution for the State of Israel

December 10, 1948

Israel’s proposed written constitution was never ratified though it spoke eloquently about protecting individual, religious, and civil rights for all. Instead individual civil rights in Israel were protected by a series of Basic Laws.

UN General Assembly Resolution 194 Concerning Palestinian Refugees

December 11, 1948

The resolution states that refugees “wishing to return to their homes and live at peace (with Israel) should do so or compensation be paid…” Israel opposes the idea because it jeopardizes Israel as a majority Jewish state.

1949 to 1979: Sovereignty to Recognition

Israeli-Egyptian General Armistice Agreement, Excerpts

February 24, 1949

One of four agreements Israel signed in 1949 with Arab neighbors, it does not end “state of war,” between Israel and Arab states. No treaty is signed until 1979.

Israeli Foreign Minister Moshe Sharett to the Israel Knesset

June 15, 1949

Sharett gives an overview of Israeli foreign policy, key issues, and relationships with UN and Arab states.

Israel’s Law of Return

July 5, 1950

Jews worldwide are given the right to come to Israel and become citizens.

Menachem Begin on Whether to Accept Reparations from Germany

January 7, 1952

In an impassioned Knesset speech, Menachem Begin staunchly opposes accepting $1.5 billion in German reparations for Jewish deaths during WWII. No price, he believes, can be put on the lives lost.

Eisenhower Doctrine

January 5, 1957

Further reinforcing the Truman Doctrine, the US President promises military or economic aid to any Middle Eastern country resisting Communist aggression.

David Ben-Gurion’s “Vision and Redemption”

1958

Ben-Gurion elegantly connects modern Israel from messianic redemption to Zionism, building the country through labor and immigration, with dual needs to remain actively linked to the Jewish diaspora and Jewish values through education.

Israel’s Basic Laws

12 February 1958- 12 March 2014

With no constitution, citizen rights and government responsibilities are stated in 12 laws.

PLO National Covenant

May 28, 1964

Palestine Liberation Organization seeks Israel’s destruction through armed struggle. It retains this stated policy until December 1988.

Prime Minister Levi Eshkol’s Radio Address to the Nation

May 28, 1967

With tensions on its borders, Eshkol tries to reassure Israeli public. Instead he gives a “painfully faltering” speech. Popular and party disgruntlement follow, opening the way for Eshkol to turn over the Defense Ministry two days later to General Moshe Dayan.

President Nasser Speech to the Egyptian National Assembly

May 29, 1967

Nasser asserts that the conflict with Israel is not over access to the Gulf of Aqaba but the very existence of Israel; Egypt’s foes are Britain and the US that support Israel.

Israel Ambassador to the UN Gideon Rafael to the UN Security Council

June 3, 1967

A detailed outline is presented of events that led to the June 1967 War.

Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser: Resignation Broadcast

June 9, 1967

In four days the Israeli army swept through Sinai. He acknowledged Israel’s pre-emptive strike. Nasser blamed the US and Britain for aiding Israel’s success, yet took responsibility for the Arab defeat and resigned. Immediately millions of Egyptians poured into the streets angry that he led the country to defeat, but loving him as a father, demanded that he stay as President. All the Egyptian military command resigned, but Nasser stayed in office till his death in September 1970.

Prime Minister Levi Eshkol Statement to the Knesset at Conclusion of June War

June 12, 1967

Two days after the conclusion of the June 1967 War, Eshkol, recounts the series of events that led to war, the war itself and the immediate aftermath. He reaches out to Arab states for peace seeking a path to peace with her belligerent neighbors. A week later, Israel will quietly messages Cairo and Damascus through the US, hat Israel seeks an end to the conflict. No answers are received.

The Israeli Government Designed Peace Plan Devised After the June 1967 War

June 19, 1967

Following the conclusion of the June 1967 War, the Israeli government sent word to Egypt and Syria seeking peace plan that was intended to jumpstart a peace process with Israel’s belligerent neighbors, Egypt and Syria. The messages were sent through the US, but no response was apparently received.

Lyndon Johnson’s Five Principles of Peace

June 19, 1967

President Johnson’s remarks became the philosophical outline for UN Resolution 242 passed in November 1967. Core to his view was that Israel would not need to return to the pre-1967 war borders, and that the territorial integrity and sovereignty of all states in the region should be protected.

Israeli Chief of Staff Yitzhak Rabin: The Right of Israel

June 28, 1967

Receiving an Honorary Doctorate from the Hebrew University following the conclusion of the June 1967 War, Rabin delivers a speech on behalf of Israel’s entire Defence Forces. He highlights the harsh realities of war, yet concentrates on commending the extraordinary efforts of Israel’s armed forces.

The Alon Plan

July 26, 1967

July 26, 1967: The Alon Plan reflects a response to Israel’s pre-1967 war border vulnerability seeking a future west bank arrangement that is not a strategic/geographic threat to Israel and its coastal plain population centers.

Arab League Summit Resolutions

September 1, 1967

Arab states declare “no peace, no negotiation, no recognition” with Israel after their collective defeat in the June 1967 War.

UN Security Council Resolution 242

November 22, 1967

The Resolution calls for unspecified Israel withdrawal from territories in return for right of all states to live in peace.

U.S. Secretary of State William Rogers Plan for an Arab-Israeli Settlement

October 29, 1969

Without any consultation with Jerusalem, Israel rejects US proposal for full withdrawal.

Transcript of Secret Talks between Egyptian National Security Hafez Ismail and US National Security Adviser Henry Kissinger

25-26 February 1973

Egypt seeks US pressure on Israel to withdraw from Sinai; Kissinger declines becoming engaged in diplomacy though Egypt stated willingness to reach an agreement, not a treaty, with Israel.

The “Galili Plan”

August 1973

With less than three dozen Israeli settlements in the territories taken in the June War, the proposal is not for a vast settlement increase, but for economic, infrastructure, and industrial development of the areas.

UN Security Council Resolution 338 on a Ceasefire and Direct Negotiations

October 22, 1973

This UN Resolution calls for cease-fire to end the 1973 War and for direct negotiations to commence between the parties. This is the first UN resolution to call for direct Arab-Israeli talks.

Memorandum of Understanding between the US and Israel

January 18, 1974

The US promises to implement an Egyptian-Israeli disengagement agreement and have the Suez Canal cleared. Israel sees eventual repopulation of Suez Canal cities as a sign that Egypt will not go to war again soon.

Israel-Egypt Separation of Forces Agreement

January 18, 1974

The US mediates an agreement separating forces in Sinai after the 1973 War; Egyptian and Israeli generals will negotiate additional details.

“Agranat Commission” – Yom-Kippur War

April 1974

The Israeli government assigns responsibility to military leaders for failures leading to and execution of the War; though not assigned direct blame, Prime Minister Meir and Defense Minister Dayan resign in April 1974.

UN Disengagement of Forces Agreement

May 31, 1974

On Golan Heights, Israel agrees to limited withdrawal; UN places forces between Syrian and Israeli armies. With few exceptions this border remains almost totally quiet for more than forty years.

Promises about the Golan Heights’ Future by President Ford

September 1, 1975

President Ford promises that the US will give “weight” to any future Israeli peace agreement with Syria that Israel should remain in the Golan Heights.

Sinai II Accords, Egyptian-Israeli Disengagement Agreement

September 4, 1975

Cairo and Jerusalem agree to additional Sinai withdrawals, demilitarized zones, limited force zones and, importantly, placement of US civilians in Sinai to monitor observance of agreement.

US-Israeli Memorandum of Agreement Dealing with Future Negotiations

September 17, 1975

The US promises coordination with Israel on resumed negotiations, not to negotiate or recognize the PLO until it recognizes Israel’s right to exist, and accepts UNSC Resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973).

Zionism is Racism UNGA Resolution 3379

November 10, 1975

Led by USSR and Arab states, Zionism is labeled as racist; the resolution is revoked in 1991.

Secretary of State Saunders on U.S. Foreign Policy and Peace in the Middle East

November 12, 1975

For the first time a US State Department official states the “legitimate interests of the Palestinian Arabs must be taken into account in the negotiating of an Arab-Israeli peace.”

Brookings Institute Report: Toward Peace in the Middle East

December 1975

Outlining an Arab-Israeli settlement, it calls for Israeli withdrawal to “almost the pre-June War borders” and “extensive Palestinian autonomy.” The Carter Administration embraces the report for its policy.

Jimmy Carter Remarks and a Question-Answer Session at Clinton, Massachusetts Town Meeting

March 16, 1977

Carefully stated, Carter says that there should be a homeland for the Palestinian refugees. He is the first US president to assert the need for a place for the Palestinians and for Israel’s right to exist in peace.

Minutes of a Policy Review Committee Meeting About the Middle East

April 19, 1977

When the Carter Administration entered office in 1977, an early foreign policy priority was to kick-start Middle East negotiations. In this Policy Review Committee Meeting, Carter’s staff proposed a negotiating outcome that would pass through a conference, including the withdrawal of Israel’s forces to almost the 1967 borders, bringing the PLO into talks as Palestinian representatives, all the while seeking to uphold Israel's security requirements.

Memorandum of Conversation between Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin and US President Jimmy Carter

July 19, 1977

Following his surprise electoral victory in May, Prime Minister Menachem Begin traveled to Washington in an effort to establish a positive rapport with President Carter. While this initial meeting was cordial, each met the others’ stubbornness, a characteristic that would keep their relationship respectful but acrid for years to come.

Israel Framework for the Peace-Making Process between Israel and its Neighbors

July 19, 1977

Begin tells Carter that Judea, Samaria (the West Bank) and the Gaza Strip will not be placed under foreign sovereignty; likewise, these areas will not be annexed, leaving them open for possible negotiations.

Dayan-Tuhami Meeting Minutes: The Institute for Intelligence and Special Operations

September 16, 1977

Israeli and Egyptian representatives meet secretly in Morocco to test intentions for direct talks between their leaders, with details of the meetings unknown to the United States.

Joint U.S.-Soviet Statement of the Middle East

October 1, 1977

Naively, the Carter Administration believes that a conference with the USSR would start comprehensive negotiations; instead, the fear of Moscow’s engagement helps drive direct Egyptian-Israeli talks.

US-Israeli Working Paper on Conference Procedures

October 4, 1977

After brutally frank and caustic meetings between Israeli Foreign Minister Dayan and President Carter, the US relents to Israeli demands that a peace conference be only an opening for direct talks.

Memorandum of Conversation between US President Jimmy Carter and Israeli Foreign Minister Moshe Dayan

October 4, 1977

Common to both the Labor Party and to Begin’s government was a fear that the US would pressure Israel into unwanted concessions and deny Israel its right to sovereign decision-making. It was a concern that Dayan expressed in this October 1977 meeting, and one that he would articulate on several occasions during the Camp David negotiations.

Israeli Prime Minister Menachen Begin to the Israeli Parliament

November 20, 1977

Begin welcomes Sadat’s bold initiative, seeking an end to the conflict with other Arab states through negotiated treaties. Begin invites other Arab leaders to negotiate as Sadat was doing.

Egyptian President Anwar Sadat to the Israeli Knesset

November 20, 1977

Sadat tells the Israeli people and world that he seeks a just and durable peace, which is not a separate peace, between Israel and Egypt. He equates statehood for the Palestinians as their right to retu

Statements by Presidents Sadat and Carter in Aswan, Egypt

January 1, 1978

As part of a joint statement, President Carter makes promises regarding US’ role in coming Political-Military Committee Talks in Cairo and Jerusalem. Likewise presenting a four-point formula for resolving the conflict, these statements contribute to US-Israeli tensions.

Memorandum of Conversation between US President Jimmy Carter and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin and their Delegations

March 21, 1978

After a year in office, the Carter administration’s initiative to achieve a comprehensive Middle East peace between Israel and her Arab neighbors had stalled. At this White House meeting, Dayan reviewed Israel’s concerns about the West Bank and Brzezinski criticized Begin’s autonomy plan for the Palestinians. Begin and Carter’s mutual dislike over policy decisions continued to rise.

Memorandum of Conversation between Israeli Foreign Minister Moshe Dayan and Israeli Defense Minister Ezer Weizman with US Secretary of State Cyrus Vance and 
US Secretary of Defense Harold Brown

September 7, 1978

At this early Camp David meeting, Israeli Foreign Minister Moshe Dayan and Israeli Defense Minister Ezer Weizman presented cogent summaries of Israel’s willingness to resolve the 1967 refugee issue and Israel’s security needs in the West Bank, Gaza Strip, and Sinai.

Memorandum of Conversation between the US and Egyptian Delegations at Camp David

September 11, 1978

Like all other US records of conversations from the Camp David negotiations, this conversation too was a summary of what was discussed and raised, and not a verbatim transcript. From this meeting we learn that when it came time for the Egyptians to respond to the Israeli ideas, President Anwar Sadat kept very tight control over the content of his advisers’ drafts.

Memorandum of Israeli Delegation Consultation with US Secretary of State 
Cyrus Vance at Camp David

September 14, 1978

This meeting between Secretary of State Cyrus Vance and the Israeli delegation exemplified the injection of US interests and the application of concerted diplomatic pressure on Israel. The Israeli delegation at Camp David repeatedly refused the Carter administration’s vigorous efforts to introduce new formulations that might ultimately result in a Palestinian state.

Memorandum of Conversation between US President Jimmy Carter, US Secretary of State Cyrus Vance, Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin, and Israeli Foreign Minister 
Moshe Dayan at Camp David

September 16, 1978

In this meeting, the contents of which have not been released by the Foreign Relations of the United States (FRUS) but are available from the Israel State Archives (ISA), Begin clearly committed that “perhaps one military settlement” in the Jordan Valley would be established during the three months of the treaty negotiations. The extraordinarily contentious public dispute on the settlements would mar the diplomatic success of the Camp David Accords and add tension to the already fraught Carter-Begin relationship.

Memorandum of Conversation between US President Jimmy Carter and Israeli Foreign Minister Moshe Dayan in the Billiard Room at Camp David at 14:00

September 17, 1978

In the waning hours of the Camp David negotiations, the US introduced a new formulation related to the long-held American position on the areas of Jerusalem captured by Israel in the June 1967 War. Beyond saying that these areas of Jerusalem should be negotiated, Carter conveyed Sadat’s preference which called for raising an Arab flag over the Temple Mount and a description of East Jerusalem as occupied territory.

Camp David Accords

September 17, 1978

With President Carter mediating, Sadat and Begin agree to two outlines: a framework for a treaty between them and to define Palestinian “autonomy,” not self-determination or a state for them.

Minutes of Departure Conversation Between President Carter and Prime Minister Begin

September 20, 1978

Begin agrees to halt settlements construction only for the duration of the peace treaty negotiations, not until Palestinian autonomy is applied. Carter erroneously believes that Begin made a promise to halt settlements.

Memorandum of Conversation between US President Jimmy Carter and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin

March 2, 1979

Embedded in the September 17, 1978 Camp David Accords were broad outlines for an Egyptian-Israeli Peace Treaty and a Framework for Palestinian autonomy. The details of both remained to be negotiated. Yet, obstacles to implementation of the Accords appeared almost immediately.

Memorandum of Conversation Between US National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski and Saudi Arabian Prince Saud on Camp David Accords and Other Regional Issues

March 17, 1979

Nine days before the March 26, 1979 signing of the Egyptian-Israeli Treaty, US National Security Adviser, Zbigniew Brzezinski and Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud carried out an extraordinarily frank conversation. It included discussions about their bilateral relations, common fears of regional turbulence, and Sadat’s building estrangement from Arab leaders.

Israel-Egypt Peace Treaty

March 26, 1979

Signed sixteen months after Sadat’s visit to Jerusalem, it calls for establishment of diplomatic relations, staged Israeli withdrawal from Sinai, and American security arrangements to support the bilateral treaty.

Memorandum of Agreement between the Governments of the United States of America and the State of Israel

March 26, 1979

If Egypt breaches the Egyptian-Israeli Treaty, the US will enhance its presence in the area, provide military and economic supplies to Israel, and vote against any UN resolution contrary to the treaty.

1980 to Present: Recognition to Normalization

Venice Declaration on the ME Concerning Inclusion of PLO in Negotiations

June 1980

It calls for “recognition of the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people, a just solution to the Palestinian problem, the right to self-determination, [and] for PLO association to the negotiations.”

United Nations Security Council Resolution 478 on the Status of Territories Taken in the June 1967 War

August 20, 1980

(20 August 1980) https://unispal.un.org/DPA/DPR/unispal.nsf/0/DDE590C6FF232007852560DF0065FDDB The Security Council, Recalling its resolution 476 (1980), Reaffirming again that the acquisition of territory by force is inadmissible, Deeply concerned over the enactment of a “basic law” in the Israeli Knesset proclaiming a change in the character and status of the Holy City of Jerusalem, with its implications for peace and security, Noting that Israel […]

MOU Between US and Israel on Strategic Cooperation

November 30, 1981

It calls for building a mutual security relationship and for enhancing strategic cooperation to deter Soviet threats to the region. Establishment of a consultation framework is a key to the agreement.

Kahan – War in Lebanon

June 1982 – February 1983

Conclusions suggest that Israel has no direct responsibility for the massacre of Palestinians in refugee camps in Beirut; Defense Minister Sharon resigns for ignoring the danger of potential bloodshed.

President Reagan Statement on the West Bank and the Palestinians

September 1, 1982

US endorses application of UN Resolution 242 to the West Bank and Gaza, and seeks Palestinian control over land and resources, and for the territories to be affiliated with Jordan.

Reagan and Shamir on US-Israel cooperation

November 29, 1983

Areas of bi-lateral political and military cooperation are noted to fend off Soviet involvement in the the Middle East, to assist Israel in building the Lavi aircraft, to assure an independent Lebanon, and promote Arab-Israeli negotiations.

MOA Between the US and Israel Regarding Joint Political, Security, and Economic Cooperation

April 21, 1988

It affirms close relationship between US and Israel based on common goals, establishes the US-Israel Free Trade Agreement, and institutes multiple regular meetings between Israeli and US officials.

Hamas Charter, Islamic Resistance Movement of Palestine

August 18, 1988

Founded in Gaza, Hamas absolutely opposes Israel’s right to exist and any negotiations or recognition of Israel; in contesting leadership, Hamas severely fragments Palestinian politics for a quarter century.

U.S. Memorandum of Agreement to Israel on the Peace Process

September 16, 1991

As part of the preparations for the Fall 1991 Madrid Peace Conference, US Secretary of State James Baker drafted a memorandum of agreement between the US and Israel regarding the particulars of resuming the Arab-Israeli peace process. He opens by reiterating that the intention of the negotiations is to achieve a regional peace agreement based on UN Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338.

President George Bush I, Opening of the Madrid Middle East Peace Conference

October 30, 1991

After the 1991 Gulf War, the US orchestrates a conference with Israel, multiple Arab states, and Palestinians participating; the conference leads to bilateral and multilateral negotiations.

Israel-PLO Mutual Recognition Letters

September 9, 1993

Four days before signing the Oslo Accords, the PLO and Israel recognize each other. Israel’s Rabin worries about the growth of Hamas influence, thus elevates the PLO through international recognition.

Oslo Accords (Declaration of Principles on Interim Self- Government Agreements)

September 13, 1993

Negotiated through the Norwegians, the Accords call for limited Palestinian rule in some of the territories; it did not call for a Palestinian state or an end to settlements.

Israeli-Jordanian Treaty, Excerpts

October 26, 1994

Jordan becomes the second Arab country after Egypt (1979) to sign a peace treaty ending the state of war with Israel.

Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin’s Reasons for Signing the Oslo Accords

November 1, 1995

(November 1, 1995)   On the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the signing of the Oslo Accords, September 13, 1993, an agreement between Israel and the PLO that spelled out potential Palestinian self-rule, scholars and diplomats who worked back then have written dozens of articles, published interviews, and participated in video documentaries praising and […]

United States Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995

November 8, 1995

In 1995, Senators Robert Dole and Jon Kyl introduced the Jerusalem Embassy Act to move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem. The bill was adopted by an overwhelming majority in both houses of Congress; it provided Presidential authorization to effectively delay the embassy move every six months, if deemed necessary for U.S. national security interests.

Shamgar Commission Report on the Assassination of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin

March 28, 1996

The Israeli investigation concludes that Yigal Amir is Rabin’s assassin. The Commission does not assess the impact on the assassin of the vicious language directed at Rabin for signing the Oslo Accords.

US-Israel Joint Statement on Strategic Cooperation

April 30, 1996

President Clinton and Prime Minister Peres agree to deepen cooperation between their countries through regular consultation in all economic, political, military spheres.

Wye River Memorandum on Unilateral Actions, Security and other Matters between Israel and the PA

October 23, 1998

With Israeli-Palestinian talks in a hapless state, President Clinton rejuvenates them. In the Arafat-Netanyahu agreement Israel shares Hebron, with the CIA playing a role in West Bank security.

Minister of Foreign Affairs David Levy Comments on EU – Israel Association Agreement

June 13, 2000

This is the third (1971 and 1985) and most extensive trade agreement signed between Israel and the EC/EU, emphasizing that more than half of all Israeli exports are to Europe. Virtually every conceivable area of sharing and exchange is noted in the agreement.

Or Commission- The Arab Sector

October 2000

Responding to two weeks of violence in the Arab sector, the Government’s report blames several political and community leaders for mismanagement, and sets up a permanent Ministerial Committee for Arab affairs.

Clinton Parameters for Negotiating Peace

December 23, 2000

After trying but not succeeding in having PLO leader Arafat and Israeli Prime Minister Barak reach an understanding at Camp David in August 2000, he offers a US view of a final status agreement near the end of his term in office.

Mitchell Report

May 8, 2001

In the midst of severe Palestinian-Israeli clashes, the Report concluded as had many previous investigations that the two communities feared, disdained, and wanted to live separately from one another. From the report flowed the EU, UN, US, commitment to a two-state solution suggested in the 2003 Road Map for Peace.

UN Security Resolution 1397 Reaffirming a Two-State Solution

March 12, 2002

This is the first UN resolution to call for “two States, Israel and Palestine, to live side by side within secure and recognized borders.”

The 2002 Arab Peace Initiative

March 28, 2002

From an Arab summit, the initiative is revised several times since; it calls for normalization of relations with Israel, Israel’s withdrawal to the 1967 lines, but states an imprecise resolution of the refugee issue.

President George Bush II on the Middle East, “The Future Itself is Dying”

April 4, 2002

He castigates PLO leader Arafat for support of terrorism and condemns Palestinian groups that “seek Israel’s destruction.” Bush suggests to Israel to support economically a viable Palestinian state.

A Roadmap for a Permanent Two-State Solution to the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

April 20, 2003

As a negotiating plan it seeks an end to the conflict with reciprocal performance objectives. Israel accepts the plan with some reservations; Hamas rejects it out of hand. The plan is not enacted.

George Bush (II) and Ariel Sharon Letters

April 14, 2004

President Bush outlines view of Palestinian-Israeli settlement with Israeli Prime Minister: two state solution, borders to take into account changes in territories since 1967 War, and refugee resettlement in a future Palestinian state.

Annapolis Peace Conference, Joint Understanding Read by US President George Bush II

November 27, 2007

Israeli Prime Minister Olmert and Palestinian leader Abbas meet in Washington to ‘kick start’ negotiations by implementing previous promises; the US is to judge performance to see if a treaty can result. It does not.

United Nations Security Council Resolution 1860

January 8, 2009

Following two weeks of Israeli-Hamas fighting, it calls for a cease-fire, and for a “lasting solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict by peaceful means.” The Hamas-Israeli war occurs again in 2013-2014.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at Bar-Ilan University, June 14, 2009

June 14, 2009

Forty years ago in the Camp David negotiations, Prime Minister Begin's team was unalterably opposed to any considerations for a Palestinian state. Since then four Israeli prime ministers have proposed some variation of a demilitarized Palestinian state. Prime Minister Netanyahu's June 2009 suggestions provide insightful context.

President Obama Statement on the Middle East, North Africa and the Negotiating Process

May 19, 2011

Focusing on the Arab spring and Palestinian-Israeli negotiations, Obama seeks democratic reform in the region and advocates two states for two peoples based on the 1967 lines with land swaps.

Remarks by Secretary of Defense Leon E. Panetta

December 2, 2011

The speech is typical of high American office holders in summarizing the US-Israeli relationship; it affirms an unshakable relationship, support for Israeli security, and the need for negotiating progress.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Addresses AIPAC

March 6, 2012

Netanyahu devotes the bulk of his speech to the Iranian threat, its desire to acquire a nuclear weapon, and its sponsorship of terrorism internationally. He speaks proudly of the US-Israeli relationship.

US-Israel Enhanced Security Cooperation Act

July 27, 2012

Building on a collaborative relationship of over 50 years, the US once again affirms its strategic commitments to Israel through an additional “Security Cooperation Act.” The agreement bolsters American military and financial aid to Israel.

President Obama to the People of Israel

March 21, 2013

In Jerusalem, Obama affirms the bonds in the US-Israeli relationship, praises Israel’s democracy, calls for Israelis to support a democratic Palestinian state, and Palestinians to recognize Israel as a Jewish state.

Remarks by Secretary of State John Kerry at the Saban Forum

December 7, 2013

Kerry reaffirms that the US-Israeli relationship as an “unshakable bond” and calls for a two-state solution. He promises that the US will “never allow” Iran to gain a nuclear weapon.

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper Addresses the Knesset

January 20, 2014

As the first Canadian Prime Minister to address the Knesset, Harper asserts Canada’s long-time friendship with Israel. Two days later, Canada signs a strategic cooperation agreement with Israel.

Remarks on the Israeli-Palestinian Negotiations by US Negotiator, Ambassador Martin Indyk

May 8, 2014

As part of the US negotiating team, Indyk enumerates why talks faltered after nine months. He asserts Israeli settlement activity undermined Palestinian trust for Israel. He also blames Palestinian indecision.

President Obama’s Address to the UN General Assembly

September 24, 2014

US President announces creation of a coalition of countries to fight against the Islamic state in Syria and Iraq. His plan calls for limited US military action with supplies provided to others fighting on the ground.

Israeli Ambassador to the UN Prosor’s Statement to the the UN

November 24, 2014

Prosor accuses the UN of duplicity and hypocrisy because it is constantly critical of Israel, but not of radical Muslims for killing of Yazidis, Bahais, Kurds, and Christians.

European Parliament Calls for Recognition of Palestinian Statehood in Context with Two States Living Side by Side

December 17, 2014

European Parliament calls for recognition of Palestinian statehood in the context for a negotiated two-state solution for Palestinians and Israelis; it outlines the political and geographic contours for a negotiated outcome.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Address to the US Congress

March 3, 2015

Netanyahu praises the Obama administration for its support of Israel’s security, then roundly criticizes it for negotiating a deal with Iran that will not roll back its nuclear breakout time and for not demanding that before sanctions are lifted that Iran stop its support of terrorism and threats to wipe Israel off the map.

Remarks by President Obama on the Iran Nuclear Deal at American University

August 5, 2015

Vigorously promoting this Iran Deal as a viable way to block and limit Iran pathways to a bomb. While recognizing Israel’s intense trepidation to the deal, he forcefully claims that war remains the only alternative to accepting this agreement, or to any changes to the agreement.

PM Netanyahu’s Speech at the United Nations General Assembly

October 1, 2015

Netanyahu reproaches the international community for supporting the Iran deal, the UN for its deafening silence against threats to Israel, and, against Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas for promising to cancel all agreements with Israel.

Secretary of State John Kerry’s Address to the Brookings Institute’s 2015 Saban Forum

December 5, 2015

Kerry states five major objectives for US foreign policy in the Middle East: mobilize partners to defeat ISIS, work diplomatically to end the civil war in Syria, keep it from destabilizing friendly nearby countries, monitor Iranian adherence to the nuclear deal, and seek a two-state solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

US Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro’s Address to Security Conference in Tel Aviv

January 18, 2016

Claiming that Israel employs a double legal standard in the West Bank, US Ambassador Dan Shapiro receives a harsh rebuke for his remarks from Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu; Obama administration continues to chide Israel for its management of the West Bank.

Remarks by US National Security Advisor Susan Rice at the American Jewish Committee Global Forum

June 6, 2016

US National Security Adviser, Susan Rice presented the Obama administration’s two pronged outlook toward Israel: strong and unwavering American administration support for Israel’s long term security, and emphatic opposition to continued Israeli settlement activities.

Text of Egyptian-Drafted UNSC Resolution 2334 on Israeli Settlements

December 23, 2016

Despite a pattern of the US using its veto power to sink UNSC resolutions that were critical of Israel, the Obama administration in its last days in office, and deeply perturbed by Israel's settlement policies, abstained from voting on this resolution condemning Israeli settlement construction, including East Jerusalem.

Secretary of State John Kerry’s Remarks about the Middle East and Arab-Israeli Negotiations

December 28, 2016

With exasperating passion, Kerry lashes out at Israel for its settlements construction as the major barrier to a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

President Trump’s Speech to the Arab Islamic American Summit in Saudi Arabia

May 21, 2017

Backpedaling from previously hardline statements on Islam, President Trump refers to Islam as “one of the world’s great faiths” calling for “tolerance and respect for each other.” He implored Muslim leaders to fight against radical Islam, which he portrayed as a “…a battle between good and evil.”

Remarks by President Trump and Prime Minister Netanyahu in Joint Statement

May 22, 2017

After visiting Saudi Arabia, Trump meets with Netanyahu where both assert joint views on the peace process, Iran, regional cooperation, and the long-standing relationship between Israel and the US; Trumps second meeting with Netanyahu since taking office.

President Trump’s Speech Recognizing Jerusalem as the Capital of Israel

December 6, 2017

President Trump’s proclamation to “officially recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel” breaks precedent. In doing so, he incurs bipartisan support in the US congress, but a flurry of criticism from analysts, diplomats and foreign leaders. In his remarks, Trump rebukes claims that he disqualified the US as a “reliable mediator” in future Palestinian-Israeli negotiations.

Vice President Pence’s Speech to the Knesset

January 22, 2018

Vice President Pence firmly expresses American commitments to Israel’s security and commitment to the Arab-Israeli peace process. Palestinian Authority President Abbas and other Arab officials loudly criticize the speech and refuse to meet with Pence during his Middle East visit because of earlier US promise to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

Ambassador Haley’s Remarks at UN Security Council Briefing on the Middle East Situation

February 20, 2018

Responding to PA President Abass’ earlier speech at the UN and the PA’s rejection of the US as a legitimate participant in future Palestinian-Israeli negotiations, Ambassador Halley clarified American positions on Jerusalem and the negotiating process.

Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Anti-Iran Deal Speech in Israel

April 30, 2018

With reams of evidence secured by Israeli intelligence, the PM calls out Iran for lying about their nuclear activities both before and since signing the 2015 JCPOA nuclear agreement with six countries.

Basic Law: Israel as the Nation State of the Jewish People

July 19, 2018

(19 July 2018) https://www.timesofisrael.com/final-text-of-jewish-nation-state-bill-set-to-become-law/   1 — Basic principles A. The land of Israel is the historical homeland of the Jewish people, in which the State of Israel was established. B. The State of Israel is the national home of the Jewish people, in which it fulfills its natural, cultural, religious and historical right to self-determination. […]