Facts on the ground

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Facts on the ground is a diplomatic term that means the situation in reality as opposed to in the abstract.[1]

The term has been in common use in English since at least the mid-1920s.[2]

It was popularised in the 1970s in discussions of the Israeli–Palestinian conflict[3] to refer to Israeli settlements built in the occupied West Bank, which were intended to establish permanent Israeli footholds in Palestinian territory.[4]

Rashid Khalidi wrote in 2010:

One reason Israel continues to build settlements is that, according to the so-called Clinton parameters laid down in 2000, a final Israeli–Palestinian agreement would grant sovereignty over Jewish-occupied areas to Israel, and Palestinian-inhabited areas to the new Palestinian state. Indeed, well over a decade of failed negotiations have only led to an acceleration of Israel’s land grab in the Holy City. Israeli planners have spent this time pushing settlers into heavily Arab-inhabited areas of the city, such as Sheikh Jarrah, Silwan, and Abu Dis, in order to create fresh "facts on the ground"—a tactic used by the Zionist movement for over a century in order to obtain control over more and more of Palestine.[5]

See also


  • Berridge, G.R.; Lloyd, Lorna (2012), The Palgrave Macmillan Dictionary of Diplomacy, Palgrave Macmillan, p. 105, ISBN 978-1-137-01760-4 
  • Blok, Josine; Lardinois, A. P. M. H. (2006), Solon of Athens: New Historical and Philological Approaches, Brill, p. 442, ISBN 978-90-04-14954-0 
  • Khalidi, Rashid (April 2010), "Bad Faith in the Holy City", Foreign Policy 
  • Koffka, Kurt (1946) [1924], The Growth of the Mind: An Introduction to Child Psychology, Transaction Publishers, p. 284, ISBN 978-1-4128-3711-8 
  • Rosen, David (Fall 2007), "Searching for 'Facts' on the Ground", The Current, archived from the original on 2008-02-15 

Further reading

Gershom Gorenberg, The Accidental Empire: Israel and the Birth of the Settlements, 1967-1977, Macmillan, 2006

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