The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is likely to bring what if questions to the mind of the average American. What if the Israeli takeover of Palestine is partial justice for the atrocities committed against Jews during World War II? What if an Israeli state is simply manifest destiny as promised to Abraham in the Book of Genesis? What if Arabs and Jews have been fighting for thousands of years, and they will continue to fight forever? These are valid questions, but none of them strike the heart of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Despite the pro-Israel messages from the vast majority of American politicians and media figures, the conflict is so much more than Americans really know—no thanks to the seemingly one-sided media spin (Omeish 2007) and the Israel Lobby. Because of this lack of information, many Americans are on a pro-Israel rant as “Israel is often portrayed as David confronted by Goliath, but the converse is closer to the truth” (Mearsheimer and Walt 2007). Common views on American-Israeli policy would probably be different if opinions were better informed, and this paper seeks to do just that. It will first explain the lesser-known truths regarding the conflict, give an alternative view of so-called terrorist groups, and offer different and perhaps more sound ideas regarding the U.S.-Israeli relationship. The central message is this: while Palestinians and certain so-called terrorist groups are criminalized for their actions, a deeper knowledge of the subject is likely to bring a greater understanding and sympathy for the true victims; that known, the United States should alter its current relationship with Israel so as to bring about a more stable Middle East—something that is truly in our best interest.
Before getting to the meat of the thesis, it is important to discuss the beginnings, development, and status quo of the conflict in a more balanced way. In other words, it is important to understand the conflict in a non-American-media-spun way. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict started with the Jewish influx during the first half of twentieth century—especially during World War II. The floodgates opened, and Jews came in masses. Contrary to popular belief, relations between the groups were relatively good for a time. According to the film “Occupation 101”, relations were friendly enough wherein Arabs and Jews were babysitting each other’s children. Boiling under the surface, though, was the Zionist movement among a small group of Jews. They held the belief that Jews were entitled to the land of their fathers—the Holy Land—Palestine (Omeish 2007). This, however, proved to be problematic: the land was already full of a culturally-established people who had been there for innumerable generations; furthermore, Palestinians could effectively argue Abrahamic entitlement just as well as any Jew.
Jewish sympathies in mind, lands began to be stripped from the Palestinian locals. The U.N. split up the territory between the two feuding groups. Israelis seemed to have an unfair advantage as they were given greater amounts of fertile land. The Palestinians began to be systematically shuffled around, and the Israeli army instituted a bit of ethnic cleansing. A full-scale occupation ensued—some calling it illegal (Omeish 2007). Today, Palestinians are classified as refugees. Many do not have basic necessities and are regularly beaten and harassed by a well-funded and well-armed Israeli military.
In response to the occupation, the Palestinians have taken matters into their own hands. This included the 1982 Watershed Mark and the 1987 Intifada. Under the leadership of Rabin, Israelis responded with “force, power, and blows”—also known as the “break the bones” tactic. Over time, repeated Palestinian efforts failed against a stronger Israeli force. During the Rabin government of 1992, human rights conditions quickly deteriorated in Gaza and the West Bank. Palestinians were finding that they were not getting...
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