What is the current conflict between the Palestinians and Israelis?


The current conflict between the Palestinians and Israelis is not really about religion, but about land. The Jews claim a historical right to Israel, at the same time continuing to encroach on the remnant Palestinian Territories. The Palestinians have no choice but to accept the presence of Israel within defined borders, but think of Israeli settlements in the Palestinian Territories as the theft of land and a continued humiliation of their people.

The League of Nations gave Britain a mandate to govern the lands west of the Jordan River after the end of the First World War. The League of Nations disintegrated as a result of the Second World War and was eventually replaced by the United Nations. When the Jews realised that Britain was moving towards granting independence to the Palestinian Mandate on a democratic single-state basis, the Jews began a program of terrorism designed to drive Britain out of Palestine. Britain handed the "problem" over to the United Nations, which initially favoured a division that provided approximately equal shares of the land to each side. After initiating a civil war in which many of the Palestinians fled the future state of Israel or were actually driven out, Israel unilaterally declared independence. For one day, 11th May 1949, Israel consented to negotiate United Nations proposals, during which time Israel was accepted as a member of the United Nations, then Israel reneged on any further discussions. The Palestinians did not accept this situation, but Israeli military power has forced a change of position on the part of the Palestinian leaders.

There are no doubt some Palestinians who would like to see Israel destroyed, just as there are Jews who would like to see the Palestinian Territories destroyed, but most Palestinians who continue to fight would settle for a secure territory behind secure borders. Time is on the Israeli side, as Israelis can continue to build Jewish settlements on Palestinian land as long as Israel remains the colonial power in the Territories.