What is the Israel-Palestine conflict?

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tjbrewer eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In Ancient times, the land that is today Israel, and the West Bank was under the rule of the Desendants of Jacob, or Israel.  This monotheistic Caananite kingdom existed as its own Country, and under the Empires that dominated the region until 72 AD when the Romans destroyed the Jewish Temple, sacked the city of Jerusalem, and drove the Jewish People out of the land the Empire called Palestine, (the diaspora).  Over the following centuries, the Jewish people lived as minorities in other countries and were routinely oppressed. 

As the Roman Empire fell, and the Byzantine Empire succumbed to the Ottomans, the region called Palestine became inhabited by Arab Muslims.  In 1922, the Balfour Declaration recognized that Jews were discriminated in every European Country where they were the minority, and called for the creation of a "Jewish Homeland" in Palestine.  After World War II, this homeland was established, led by a Nationalist movement called Zionism. 

In 1948, Arab Nations refused to recognize this Jewish state, and started a war to destroy the Zionist regime.  They failed, and the state of Israel was established in borders that were very similar to its ancient borders, except for the West Bank (it was a part of Ancient Israel but remained in the hands of Palestinian Arab Muslims).  In 1967, threats from Egypt and Syria led to pre-emptive action by Israel.  In the ensuing 6-day-war, The Golan Heights, West Bank, Gaza Strip, and Sinai Peninsula all fell to Israel. 

In the 1970s and 90s, US mediation resulted in the return of the Sinai Peninsula to Egypt, and the Concession of Gaza and West Bank for the creation of a Palestinian state, under the leadership of the PLO. 

The assassination of Israeli Prime Minister Yitzahk Rabin, ended the spirit of cooperation.  Then PLO leader Yasser Arafat died, and the Gaza strip fell under the sway of the terrorist group Hamas, which calls for the destruction of Israel.  In the West Bank, Arafat's successor, Mahmoud Abbas, has been beholden to the Palestinian Authority's hard-liners lest he lose a tenuous hold on power. 

The remaining sticking points are: Jerusalem (Both states want it as their Capital City, and it is a Holy City to Judaism, Islam, and Christianity.  The only thing they can agree on is that it shouldn't be divided), Right of Return (this is the right of Palestinians to return to land lost in the 1948 war of Independence.  This could eliminate the Jewish Majority in Israel, and leave the Jewish people vulnerable to persecution again, in express violation of the desires of the Balfour Declaration), and Israeli right to existence (Mahmoud Abbas' administration recognizes this, but Hamas does not.)  Most of the violence centers around Israel's anti-terrorism policies towards the Hamas controlled Gaza Strip. 

arjun | Student

In old Testament,there is the allusion of Samson. There were the two tribes Isreal and Philistine.They were deadly enemy,and after the Fight of Samson ,Philistine became weak.Since that,Isreal are in power and torture the philistine.If it had been the tranfer of power,the philistine might have come in power ,but due to religious lobby ,they are critically tortured and their properties are burnt to ashes.Now this conflict is based on religion.