The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is one of those situations which create anguish for anyone with a modicum of compassion. Unfortunately, both participants to the conflict do not make resolution or even taking side an easy proposition. To begin to get the most basic understanding of the conflict, one has to go back into history, history of the Jewish people and history of the Palestinian people.The area that makes up the state of Israel today was called Judea during the times of the Roman occupation. It was obviously a Jewish territory. After the Romans, the area fell into the hands of several occupiers, including the Arabs who ruled it for almost five hundred years.
This is how the Arabs got there. At the beginning of the 1900s, the United Nations put the territory under British control. By this time, the area was called Palestine. After World War II and the Holocaust became exposed, there was universal sympathy for the Jews and the recognition that the Jewish people needed a homeland of their own. The most obvious location was their ancient homeland which was now called Palestine.The problem of moving the Jews to Palestine was twofold.
First, the current occupants of the land, the Arabs who referred to themselves as the Palestinians, did not want the Jews. Secondly, the Jews would not settle for a homeland in which they were left to the mercy of another group of people. Their experience in Europe hardened their determination for self-rule. So, with the urging of the United Nations, the British agreed for the Jews to immigrate to Palestine.
In 1948, the Jews declared and drove the Palestinians from into the West Bank. Since then, the world has had to deal with constant skirmishes between the Jews and Arabs over territorial rights.After the Holocaust, only pathological racists and idiots like Iranian President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who deny the necessity for a Jewish homeland.
The need for a Jewish homeland, however, does destroy all sympathies for the Palestinians. They are people too. Since 1948, they have had to live as refugees in other Arab countries and endure Jewish domination which included rules that are definitely unfair. For example, the habit of destroying a family’s home if a member of the family if a suicide bomber does nothing more than create more hatred among Palestinians for the Israelis. Until both the Jews and the Palestinians have separate homelands, there will never be peace in that part of the world.
The road to peace is made bumpy by political opportunists in on both sides. Palestinian groups, like Hamas, who do not want to recognize Israel’s right to exist may be heroes among a certain segment of the Palestinian community. They, however, do a great disservice to their people because the Palestinians would never ever have a state next to Israel if the declared objective of that Palestinian state is the destruction of Israel. On the other hand, the hard lined Jews, like current Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who do not want a two-state solution, do not help the cause of the Israeli people.
There will either be a two-state solution, with a Palestinian state that recognizes Israel’s right to exist, or the Israelis must settle for an environment with suicide bombings while the Palestinians endure the constant status of refugees.The Jewish people have a right to take seriously any threats to their existence. To the rest of the world, the Holocaust is just another genocide in history.
For the Jews, it is a part of their recent historical experience. As a matter of fact, there are Holocaust survivors who are still alive today. The Jews deserve to live in peace. For the Palestinians, their suffering is a present reality. The Palestinian people also need a peaceful existence. Until the moderates on both sides prevail, I am afraid the Israeli-Palestinian conflict will remain a political reality for many generations to come.