Political

The PalestinianIsraeli Conflict

Proceeding with a historical overview of the conflict, the competing Israeli-Palestinian narratives will then be reviewed, following from which Oslo, despite its eventual failure, will be used to establish the possibility of reconciling the said narratives.The origins of today’s conflict between the Jewish and Palestinian people lie in the birth of political Zionism at the end of the 19th century and the development of Arab nationalism in response to colonization during the British and Ottoman empires in the 19th and 20th centuries.1 Violence between the two groups first erupted in the 1920s and has continued to plague their relationship ever since. After World War I, the British promised Palestine to the Palestinian Arabs for a homeland while simultaneously guaranteeing it to the Zionists as a Jewish homeland.In 1947, a British royal commission recommended the partition of Palestine in order to create a Jewish state, which ceded 55 % of Palestine to the new state of Israel.2 This recommendation was approved by the United Nations (UN) but rejected by the Arabs. Therefore, in 1948, when the first Israeli Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion declared the independence of Israel without specifying the state borders, seven Arab states attacked Israel. The 1948 war was the first military clash between the two nationalist movements of Zionism and Arab nationalism, comprised of conventional state-to-state, military-to-military combat in the name of national security.Ultimately, Jewish forces defeated the opposing Arab forces, and the UN then negotiated armistice agreements between Israel and Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan, and Syria.3 As a result of this war, the state of Israel won additional land but lost old Jerusalem, a city that is considered sacred and holy to the religions of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. At this time, the West Bank of the Jordan River was ceded to Jordan and the Gaza Strip to Egypt.

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