The Jewish claim to the land of Israel is a very large topic with the historical pedigree thousands of years old. On the one hand, some people do not agree on the propriety of this claim, as they believe that the Jewish people inhabited an already populated territory through force. On the other hand, one may say that the Jewish people were granted the land of Israel by God. There is no simple solution to this complex question, especially when religious beliefs and national identities are involved. The essay discusses Palestinians and Jews claims on Israel, as well as the possible ways to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
One may agree that the Jewish people have considerable reasons to perceive Israel as their homeland. Firstly, it was God who promised the land of Israel to Abraham. Secondly, it was the Jewish people who settled and developed Israel. Thirdly, it was the League of Nations who declared the country to be the Motherland of the Jewish since 1992 and the United Nations who did the same after the Second World War.
Also, one should mention the hostility and permanent threat of wars from the Israeli neighbors, as well as the ever-present trauma of the Holocaust. Therefore, the land of Israel is the most suitable place for the Jewish people, considering the long attachment of Judaism to the Holy Land and awful story of poor conditions for Jews in Europe.
However, Palestine, to which majority of Jews immigrated, was not an empty territory but had an indigenous population of Arab peasants. As the number of the Jewish people inhabiting Israel and Palestine was growing, Arab peasants lost their land and thus the ability to feed themselves. That is why some of them became gangsters and organized raids on Jewish settlements. That served as the starting point of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. On the one hand, the Jewish claims to the land may be considered rational. On the other hand, however, the land of Israel was an Arab- and Muslim- majority territory. That is why Arabs also have the right to consider the area to be theirs.
Speaking of the situation of the Palestinians, one may consider it to be a political and military impasse. Originally, the percentage of the Jewish population in Palestine was small, so the territory was demographically Arab. Over the years, the Jewish people put enormous pressure on the Palestinian Arabs and took their lands. For example, the 1948 Arab-Israeli war resulted in ethnic cleansing, due to which many Arabian people had to leave their homes to find a new place for living.
In 1967, the Israel Defense Forces initiated the Six-Day war to lead an attack on the armed forces of Arabs and occupy the Gaza Strip and the West Bank (Thrall). These two territories were home to large Palestinian populations. Therefore, it is impossible to agree on the propriety of the Jewish claim to the land of Israel considering a great number of Arab refugees who were deprived of their homes.
What the Palestinian Arabs want is the return of their lands, the end of the military regime in the West Bank, and freedom of movement and work. The Israelis are also tired of eternal war; they want their state to be recognized by the Palestinian Arabs and terrorist attacks to be ceased. The two major problems today are the blockade of the Gaza Strip and the military regime of the West Bank where millions of non-Israeli citizens live under military authority and control.
One may argue that the most feasible idea of resolving the conflict should imply creating two independent states, Israel and Palestine. Taking into account that the Jewish people want to live in a Jewish state and Palestinians want to live in a Palestinian one, this solution may satisfy both sides of the conflict. However, this scenario is viewed as problematic as the Palestinian Authority, in fact, controls only little part of the territory of the West Bank.
Another challenge is that Israelis and Palestinians are currently unable to come to an agreement regarding this two-state solution. This may be explained by the fact that Arabs and Israelis have different mentalities which may complicate conflict resolution. Israelis are uneasy negotiators who focus on the final result, whereas Arabs are more concerned with the vindication of their grievance.
Even though the two-state solution is more desirable by both nations, they are still unable to agree on the borders of the states. Therefore, the alternative solution involving the creation of one state should be considered. In this case, Israel, the Gaza Strip, and the West Bank will merge into one big country, either big Israel or big Palestine. One may claim that this would cause even more serious problems, though this solution is becoming more feasible.
To sum up, the propriety of the Jewish claim to establish a homeland in the land of Israel has been discussed. It has been explained that both Jews and Palestinians have the reasons to consider the territory to be their home. The Jewish people cannot be sovereign owners of Israel, as it was a historical region of Arabs. The solutions for resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict involve either establishing two independent states or merging the territories into one country.
Thrall, Nathan. “How 1948 Still Influences the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict.” Time. 2018. Web.