Brief Overview of the Israel-Palestinian


For over sixty years the issue of the Jewish state of Israel has been a decisive pedestal of Middle Eastern conflict, dividing the Jewish and Arab peoples not only in the region in question, but also throughout the Middle East, and installing deadly and nefarious antagonisms in each group. To comprehend the current plight of the Jewish and Arab people today over Palestinian land, one must know the general history of the Jewish-Muslim dispute.

The Jewish held a great presence in contemporary Palestine, an ancient trade center that linked Europe, Asia, and Africa. The territory was shared between Arabs and Jews up until around 600 AD, when Muslims – whose religion was just forming – conquered the territory. Drifting between various powers and cultures, the Ottoman Empire obtained the area in the 1800s at its apex. However, in the 1900s, the European force was deteriorating, and was likewise dubbed the "sick man or Europe".

Upon the capture of Ottoman territories during World War I (WWI) by the Allies, Britain – in an agreement with France – obtained Iraq and Palestine as its own territories. Obligated to fulfill a wartime promise to the Ottoman Empire (as the power had agreed to assist Britain in the war) for the creation an Arabic Homeland, Britain allowed a massive number of Muslims to migrate to Palestine.

However, such a solution, though agreeable, didn't suit the intricate circumstances of Palestinian land. Being occupied by the Jewish before a Muslim dominance, Palestine was and still is revered by many Jews as Holy Land, and contains many significant temples and areas significant to Jewish history. However, the Muslims also maintain a number of religious sites in Palestine, including important mosques; the Prophet Muhammad – an upheld Muslim icon – is also said to have risen to heaven from a site in Palestine.

The biblical decisiveness of Palestine in Jewish culture led many Jews to migrate to the area in the early 1900s. In response, the British government claimed in the 1917 Balfour Declaration that Palestine should also constitute as a Jewish Homeland as long as it didn't infringe the rights of the pre-existing Arabs.

As anti-Semitic fascism began to grip Europe, especially in Germany, during the 1930s, many Jews sought to find a refuge to the horrible abuses and executions that the minority religion was facing. Palestine was considered the most logical and most fitting sanctuary to escape European persecution.

The Zionist movement throughout the 1930s to bring the Jews to their long-lost homeland – Palestine – yielded an unprecedented number of people to the region. In 1939 alone, 85,000 Jews migrated to the joint Arab and Jewish Homeland. In the duration of the rest of World War II (WWII), 445,000 Jews sought out the land of their religious origin.

The British government left Palestine divided into two states when it relinquished the area in 1947. Though the Jews were very pleased by the move, the Arabs were incensed by the fact that, while Jews only made up about a third of the Palestinian population, their had received half of the region's land. A year later, the majority of people would continuously shift toward the Jewish, and in 1948 the state of Israel was proclaimed by the Jewish people, who now owned about three fourths of Palestinian land.

The Palestinian conflict was not considerably ignited again until the Israeli attack on the West Bank, then a colony of Jordan and Syria, and the Gaza Strip in 1967. Both areas housed many Arabs (who were to begin calling themselves "Palestinians") after fleeing Palestine during WWII, and the Jewish assault now displaced even more Muslims. Arab nations staged a military strike against Israel in response, but it was to little avail; 200,000 Arabs had fled from the Bank and over a million remained as refugees.

Such Israeli imposition over the land of Palestine created the opposition Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO), an Arab apparatus which would come to inflict terror amongst Israelis in order to reclaim their granted land.

Israel countered the PLO by invading Lebanon, a country that shares Israel's northern border. Though many PLO fighters were dispersed, the volatile Lebanon – as it was in the middle of a prolonging civil war – had many extremist Islam militants to replace these fighters, and soon gave birth to the anti-Israeli Hezbollah movement see the Lebanon essays in these works to obtain more information. Meanwhile in the 1980s, more Israelis began to invade the Arab territory with settlements that bore residents.

The closest Israel and Palestinian peace came in 1993. In a negotiation attempt hosted by the USA in Washington DC, Yasar Arafat, leader of the PLO, obtained recognition by Israel and pledged to cease terrorist acts and begin the process to a Palestinian state via elections; in compliance, Israel returned some West Bank cities to the Arabs.

This effort however did not work. In 2000, the Palestinians once again began terrorizing Israelites in a conflict that called to arms many anti-Israeli organizations and created intense fighting between the Jews and Arabs for four and a half years. It was with the December 2004 death of Yasar Arafat – the PLO head who often espoused terrorism as resolution – that the Israel-Palestine conflict truly began to obtain its contemporary momentum.

Note: this brief overview is not meant to support the personal thoughts of the author, and an apology is put forth in advance in this disclaimer if viewers believe the report is biased.