In order to understand the ongoing conflict between Jews and Arabs in the country, it is vital that we understand the nature of the conflict. First and foremost is the distinction between Jewish Nationalism and Arab Nationalism. The Jews, once inhabitants of Palestine, had emigrated and scattered over almost the whole of the earth’s surface, like Syria and many others. Their independence and their home was destroyed by the Romans. After the fall of the Jewish State of Palestine and the last struggles for Jewish independence from the Romans in the years 70 and 135, up until the establishment of Israel in 1948, only two Jewish states have ever been formed. The first appeared in the Yemen in the fifth century, and took the form of a core of original Jews ruled by natives of southern Arabia converted to Judaism. The other was likewise similar. These were the only two instances in the long course of history when Judaism was anything other than a group of minority communities. However, all of this was to change. In this paper, I will first explain the historical background of the region. As we will see, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is only of a recent issue, and not a millennium-old conflict as had been believed. Then I will discuss the two major wars: the war of 1948 and the war of 1967, which I believed was the main decisive turning point in the relations between Israel and the Arab world. This will eventually help confirm my idea that Israel is not behaving in accordance with international law, and that its hostility towards other Arab countries was by no means justifiable in any possible righteous way.
Theodor Herzl, who created political Zionism, wrote of Palestine: “We should there form a portion of the rampart of Europe against Asia, an outpost of civilisation as opposed to barbarism.” Small Jewish colonies did exist within Palestine. Jews all around the world had come to settle in the Holy Land. (Rodinson, 1982; 12-13)
The story goes that the Jews conquered and began to settle in the land of Canaan during the thirteenth century before the Christian era. Then Moses led them out of Egypt, bringing them to the borders of the Promised Land. After Moses, Joshua initiated a prolonged military campaign in which they slowly took control of the territory and made it their home. Most of the contemporary scholars believe that it took the Jews many decades to establish hegemony over Eretz Yisrael, and even after its occupation, the Canaanite Commune still remained there. The Israelite political community developed steadily under the monarchical rule of David and Solomon. Under the rule of David, the kingdom of the Jews stretched from the Red Sea in the south to what is today the southern part of Lebanon, and from the Mediterranean Sea in the east across the Jordan River to Ammon and Moab. The kingdom continued to develop and remained united through the reign of Solomon, the son of David. His accomplishments include construction of the royal complex in Jerusalem, consisting of the palace and the Temple; expansion and fortification of many other cities; and creation of an integrated political system for governing his kingdom. Under his leadership, Jerusalem became a great city, and Palestine became an important country. However, there was also a downside to his administration. The side-effect was that there was an increase in class division, with the wealthy gaining from the growth of the state, while many common citizens were impoverished by heavy taxes levied to support the state’s building programme and the luxurious lifestyle of its upper class.
After Solomon’s death, the kingdom split into two: the region of Judea and the region of Samaria. Samaria was then occupied by Assyria while Judea preserved its independence only to lose it to the conquest of Babylonia. With it marked the end of the Jewish predominance in Palestine. The Jewish life was revived after Babylon fell to Cyrus...
Bibliography: Beilin, Y. (1992) ‘ISRAEL: A Concise Political History’ (London:
George Weidenfeld & Nicolson Ltd.)
Flapan, S. (1979) ‘Zionism and the Palestinians’ (London:
Finkelstein,N.G. (1995) ‘Image and Reality of the Israel-Palestine
Conflict’ (London: Verso)
Rodinson, M. (1982) ‘Israel and the Arabs’ (New York: Penguin)
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