Seeds: Israel is the world’s only Jewish country, and has been sacred to the Jewish people since biblical times. The capital is Jerusalem, though it is not internationally recognized due to the conflict. In the middle ages the country was conquered by the Arabs, who called it Palestine and practiced Islam, and was held by the Ottoman Empire (kind of like a bigger Turkey) until World War I. After World War I, what was then Palestine was under British control. During the 20th century Jewish migrations back to the area increased dramatically, as they were often fleeing persecution because Nazism and Stalinism were growing in power. Israel became a country in 1948 after hundreds of thousands of Jews migrated.
Core: However, hundreds of thousands of Arab Palestinians had been living in the region for thousands of years and did not want to leave the land deemed sacred by the Jewish people. After a war Israel possessed 77% of the land they desired and Palestinians inhabited the rest. As a result, there were hundreds of thousands of Palestinian refugees who were without homes or any way to survive. Now there are more than 7 million refugees.
Skin: This conflict is extremely controversial. Those who are in favor of the Jewish state argue that after the horrors of the Holocaust the creation of a Jewish state was necessary. Because Jerusalem was considered by the Jewish people their homeland, Israel was formed where it is. Those who favor the Palestinians argue that the Arabs occupied the territory for thousands of years and should not be forced to uproot their lives. As well as this, they argue that the Israeli government does not treat the Palestinian occupants of the area equally to Israel, there have been cases of torture, imprisonment and extrajudicial killings (killings not legally authorized).
Leaves: The crisis is still not resolved as there is daily violence between the Palestinians and Israelis. As well as this, Israel still tries to expand its borders in areas called settlements, displacing more Palestinians. The UN recently reached a resolution wherein they called for all this expansion to stop, but Israel has already refused. In fact, Israel just motioned to legalize more than 4,000 new homes, offering the Palestinians who resided there money or other land in turn.
Food For Thought: What do you think of this contentious debate? With whom do you side? Do you think there is a solution?
Think we missed something? Tell us in the comments.