Max Levy Pd.


Israeli-Arab Conflict
For many years the people of Palestine and Israel have fought over a small strip of land. The Israelis call this land Israel, and the Palestinians call it Palestine. In order to understand the reasons for this conflict we must go to a post World War II North Africa. The Jewish people, now freed from Nazi oppression, were homeless, and they had no homeland to call their own. The victorious allies decided that this was a problem, and they gave the land of Israel, then belonging to Palestine, to the Jews. After the war in 1946, the Jews were awarded their land, and the Arabs were very unhappy that they had to give up their land for something that they had nothing to do with. They believed that Britain had given away something (the patch of land in question) that they hadn’t actually owned. In a report to the Anglo-American Committee of Inquiry on April 20, 1946, it states that the Palestinians now demanded independence and that they believed they were as advanced as any neighboring Arab countries. In the very same report, it continues to say that Palestine can not become a Jewish or Arab state, and either way there would be one majority controlling the other, whether Jewish or Arab. When the British withdrew from Israel in 1948, the Israelis declared their independence. The Declaration of Israel’s Independence states, “Eretz-Israel was the birthplace of the Jewish people. Here their spiritual, religious, and political identity was shaped.” While the Jews believed this was their true homeland, the Palestinians believed a very similar thing. In Article 1 of the Palestinian National Charter it reads, “Palestine is the homeland of the Arab Palestinian people; it is an indivisible part of the Arab homeland, and the Palestinian people are and integral part of the Arab nation.” Both groups believed that this land was theirs, and like any dispute over who owns what it ended in anger for both sides. The conflict is still alive today, but both sides have shown a desire for peace negotiations. In a 1977 letter from the Egyptian president to the Israeli legislature, Anwar Sadat sets the terms for a peace agreement. The terms of the agreement were: to end the occupation of Arab territories by Israel, and allowing Palestinians to have their own sovereign state. Even the more radical groups in Palestine were open to this compromise, and as such the legislature of Israel recognized the Palestinian Liberation Organization as the spokesman of the Palestinian group. Although the land is still disputed, both sides have wanted to settle it peacefully, and are willing to deal with each other to achieve this. The conflict has come a long way since Britain gave the homeless a home, and now it is an item that is open to respectful debate no matter which side debated for.