What to say about a conflict going on for over seven decades that hasn’t been said already? One that is rife with religious rivalries, manifesting in extremely strong political positions.
These past two weeks violence once has again escalated between Israel and Palestine. Although a truce has finally been agreed on May 21, 2021, the Jewish state of Israel and the primarily Muslim areas of the West Bank and Gaza Strip that together comprise Palestine, cannot seem to get on with each other at all.
Israel is only one of the two countries actually made in the name of religion (the other is Pakistan). A Jewish state in the middle of areas primarily occupied by Muslims. Something that was not accepted by its primarily Muslim neighbouring countries in the Middle east and the local Palestinian population. And since then, this area of historic significance to three monotheistic religions has constantly been afflicted by war.
One cannot actually fault the Jewish people from wanting a place to call their own, considering the discrimination they have been subjected to, ever since their expulsion from Judah in the 6th century BCE. The pogroms instituted against them in Europe are known to everyone. Even before the holocaust, such discriminatory policies resulted in their wanting a separate homeland and in the 19th century this notion started to gain momentum. The Jewish people in the Ottoman territories of Arabia started looking to Palestine as a place where they belonged. The land promised to them when they entered into a covenant with God.
The problem was that by this time this land was occupied by mostly Arab Muslims — the Palestinians. There were hardly any Jewish people in Palestine during this period (only 3% were Jews). But since this had been promised to them, this is where they wanted to go. In the beginning, Arab, as well as European Jews bought land in Palestine from the locals. Then came WWI, and the European powers in their quest for empire changed the face of the Middle east. The British used both the Jews and the Arab Muslims in their colonial ambitions. Learning from the contemporary nationalistic ideologies in Europe, some Jewish people also started developing a nationalist Zionist agenda. The Palestinians on the other hand wanted the Jews out, with some of them embracing militant…