Jewish claims to this land are based on the biblical promise to Abraham and his descendants, on the fact that this was the historical site of the Jewish kingdom of Israel (which was destroyed by the Roman Empire), and on Jews' need for a haven from European anti-Semitism (2). Palestinian Arabs' claims to the land are based on continuous residence in the country for hundreds of years and the fact that they represented the demographic majority (3). Arabs do not believe that they should forfeit their land to compensate Jews for Europe's crimes against them.
In the 19th century, following a trend that began earlier in Europe, people around the world began to identify themselves as nations and to demand national rights, foremost the right to self-rule in a state of their own (self-determination and sovereignty). Jews and Palestinians both began to develop a national consciousness, and mobilized to achieve national goals. Because Jews were spread across the world (in diaspora), their national movement, Zionism, entailed the identification of a place where Jews could come together through the process of immigration and settlement (4). Palestine seemed the logical and optimal place, since this was the site of Jewish origin. The Zionist movement began in 1882 with the first wave of European Jewish immigration to Palestine.
Until the beginning of the 20th century, most Jews living in Palestine were concentrated in
Cited: 2. Kegley, Charles W. and Eugene R. Wittkopf. World Politics: Trend and Transformation. 5th ed. New York: St.Martin 's Press, pp.193, 1998. 3. Almond, Gabriel A. and Bingham G. Powell, Jr. Comparative Politics Today. 5th ed. Harper Collins Publishers, 1992. 12. MidEast Web Historical Documents. "U.N. Security Council Resolution 242, November 22, 1967" 1999 13. Yale Law School. "Camp David Accords, September 17, 1978" March 28, 2001. to Recognize Palestinians" Dec. 1997, Pages 81-83. < http://www.washington-report.org/backissues/1297/9712081.html>. 16. MidEast Web Historical Documents. " The Israeli Camp David II Proposals for Final Settlement July, 2000" 1999