Views of the Arab-Israeli conflict
Overview
The Arab-Israeli conflict is the result of numerous factors. Reasons cited for the conflict therefore vary from participant to participant and observer to observer. A powerful example of this divide can be found in opinion surveys of Palestinians and Israelis. In a March, 2005 poll 63% of the Israelis blamed the failure of the Oslo Peace Process on Palestinian violence, but only 5% of the Palestinians agreed.
Encyclopedia
The Arab-Israeli conflict is the result of numerous factors. Reasons cited for the conflict therefore vary from participant to participant and observer to observer. A powerful example of this divide can be found in opinion surveys of Palestinians and Israelis. In a March, 2005 poll 63% of the Israelis blamed the failure of the Oslo Peace Process on Palestinian violence, but only 5% of the Palestinians agreed. 54% of Palestinians put the blame on continuing Israeli settlement activity, but only 20% of the Israelis agreed. It is therefore difficult to develop a single, objective reason for the conflict, so this article will present some of the arguments made by each side, in turn.

Israeli views

There is not a single "Israeli view"; there are many different Israeli views, which differ widely.

Israeli Peace Offers

When Israel met Arab leaders who spoke the language of peace to their own people and were willing to take concrete steps for peace, such as President Sadat of Egypt and King Hussein of Jordan, Israel made sacrifices for the sake of peace and reached peace agreements with them. http://www.israelemb.org/faq_main_peace.htmhttp://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Peace/peace_with_Egypt.html
Peacemaking requires concessions and confidence-building measures on both sides. Just as Israel is willing to address the rights and interests of other parties in the conflict, Israelis insist that their rights and interests must be addressed as well. However, Israel maintained a blockade against Gaza, and Israel broke the 2008 ceasefire on November 5 (in spite of Hamas honouring the ceasefire) by entering Gazan soil in defense of the Israeli people, killing 6 armed persons, peace negotiations were halted briefly in the face of this Israeli military action.

In 2000, at Camp David
Camp David
Camp David is the country retreat of the President of the United States and his guests. It is located in low wooded hills about 60 mi north-northwest of Washington, D.C., on the property of Catoctin Mountain Park in unincorporated Frederick County, Maryland, near Thurmont, at an elevation of...

, the Palestinians were offered a nominally independent state.Led by Arafat, the Palestinians rejected this offerWhen President Clinton and the Israelis asked the Palestinians to offer a counter-proposal, Arafat declined and returned to the West Bank. Later, further negotiations did take place, but they were terminated. In his book The Missing Peace: The Inside Story of the Fight for Middle East Peace
The Missing Peace
The Missing Peace: The Inside Story of the Fight for Middle East Peace is a 2004 non-fiction book by Dennis Ross on the history of and his participation in the Israeli–Palestinian peace process and the Arab-Israeli peace process. Ross, an American diplomat, was the Director of Policy Planning in...

, Dennis Ross
Dennis Ross
Dennis B. Ross is an American diplomat and author. He has served as the Director of Policy Planning in the State Department under President George H. W...

, the American ambassador and facilitator, writes that the idea the Palestinian state would be a "Bantustan" was a myth, and provides maps showing an offer that included contiguous territory. http://www.motherjones.com/news/qa/2004/10/09_404.html

Arab Peace Offers

The PLO have openly stated that they are prepared to recognise the state of Israel on the basis of the removal of illegal settlements and retreat from Palestinian territory back to the 1967 borders. Israel maintains that Hamas refuses to recognise Israel.

Arab hostility

Many if not most Israelis believe that the conflict is largely a result of Arab attempts to destroy Israel, and that only Israeli military power stands between them and annihilation. They characterize the Arab-Israeli War, the Six Day War and the Yom Kippur War
Yom Kippur War
The Yom Kippur War, Ramadan War or October War , also known as the 1973 Arab-Israeli War and the Fourth Arab-Israeli War, was fought from October 6 to 25, 1973, between Israel and a coalition of Arab states led by Egypt and Syria...

 as attempts to destroy Israel. As evidence of this intent, pro-Israeli literature often places a heavy emphasis on statements made by Arab leaders during and preceding the wars. The following quotes are mainstays of these arguments:
  • "If Israel embarks on an aggression against Syria or Egypt...The battle will be a general one and our basic objective will be to destroy Israel." (Gamal Abdel Nasser
    Gamal Abdel Nasser
    Gamal Abdel Nasser Hussein was the second President of Egypt from 1956 until his death. A colonel in the Egyptian army, Nasser led the Egyptian Revolution of 1952 along with Muhammad Naguib, the first president, which overthrew the monarchy of Egypt and Sudan, and heralded a new period of...

    's speech to Arab Trade Unionists (May 26, 1967) http://www.mfa.gov.il/MFA/Foreign%20Relations/Israels%20Foreign%20Relations%20since%201947/1947-1974/7%20Statement%20by%20President%20Nasser%20to%20Arab%20Trade%20Unio)
  • On May 30, 1967, Nasser proclaimed: "The armies of Egypt, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon are poised on the borders of Israel...to face the challenge, while standing behind us are the armies of Iraq, Algeria, Kuwait, Sudan and the whole Arab nation. This act will astound the world. Today they will know that the Arabs are arranged for battle, the critical hour has arrived. We have reached the stage of serious action and not declarations." (Isi Leibler, The Case For Israel, 1972, p. 60.) After Iraq joined the Arab military alliance on June 4, its president Abdur Rahman Aref announced: "The existence of Israel is an error which must be rectified. This is our opportunity to wipe out the ignominy which has been with us since 1948. Our goal is clear - to wipe Israel off the map." (Leibler, p. 18)

Israel chooses to fight in self-defense

Some Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

is say that, when nations declare war against Israel, Israel by definition is then at war with them. Israel says that it has always preferred peace to war.

SC 242, the Land for peace
Land for peace
Land for peace is an interpretation of UN Security Council Resolution 242 which has formed the basis of subsequent Arab-Israeli peace making. The name Land for Peace is derived from the wording of the resolution's first operative paragraph which affirms that peace should include the application of...

 formula, was adopted on November 22, 1967 in the aftermath of the Six-Day War
Six-Day War
The Six-Day War , also known as the June War, 1967 Arab-Israeli War, or Third Arab-Israeli War, was fought between June 5 and 10, 1967, by Israel and the neighboring states of Egypt , Jordan, and Syria...

 and the Khartoum Resolution
Khartoum Resolution
The Khartoum Resolution of September 1, 1967 was issued at the conclusion of an Arab League summit in the wake of the Six-Day War. The resolution, which formed a basis of the policies of these governments toward Israel until the 1973 Yom Kippur War, called for: a continued state of belligerency...

. It called for withdrawal from occupied territories and for "termination of all claims or states of belligerency" and mutual "acknowledgment of the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence" by Israel and the other states in the area, and recognized the right of "every state in the area" to live "free from threats or acts of force" within "secure and recognized boundaries".

Immediately after the Six-Day War
Six-Day War
The Six-Day War , also known as the June War, 1967 Arab-Israeli War, or Third Arab-Israeli War, was fought between June 5 and 10, 1967, by Israel and the neighboring states of Egypt , Jordan, and Syria...

, Israel offered to return the Golan Heights to Syria
Syria
Syria , officially the Syrian Arab Republic , is a country in Western Asia, bordering Lebanon and the Mediterranean Sea to the West, Turkey to the north, Iraq to the east, Jordan to the south, and Israel to the southwest....

 and the Sinai Peninsula
Sinai Peninsula
The Sinai Peninsula or Sinai is a triangular peninsula in Egypt about in area. It is situated between the Mediterranean Sea to the north, and the Red Sea to the south, and is the only part of Egyptian territory located in Asia as opposed to Africa, effectively serving as a land bridge between two...

 (including the Gaza Strip
Gaza Strip
thumb|Gaza city skylineThe Gaza Strip lies on the Eastern coast of the Mediterranean Sea. The Strip borders Egypt on the southwest and Israel on the south, east and north. It is about long, and between 6 and 12 kilometres wide, with a total area of...

) to Egypt
Egypt
Egypt , officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, Arabic: , is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia. Egypt is thus a transcontinental country, and a major power in Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and the Muslim world...

 in exchange for peace treaties and various concessions, but Syria and Egypt refused the offer and this offer of land for peace was very soon withdrawn. Anwar Sadat
Anwar Sadat
Muhammad Anwar al-Sadat was the third President of Egypt, serving from 15 October 1970 until his assassination by fundamentalist army officers on 6 October 1981...

, the Egyptian President at the time, proposed negotiations towards peace with Israel in the early 1970s but Israel refused the offer, claiming that it held unreasonable preconditions. Later Israel signed the Camp David Accords (1978) with Egypt and subsequently withdrew from all Egyptian territory it occupied.

Many, including the original framers of the resolution, have noted that the English language version of SC 242 did not state all territories occupied during the conflict, recognizing that some territorial adjustments were likely and rejected previous drafts with the word all (see UN Security Council Resolution 242#Arguments against "all territories" reading). The French language translation of the text did include the definite article. Israel considers it has complied with this sense of the resolution when it returned the Sinai
Sinai Peninsula
The Sinai Peninsula or Sinai is a triangular peninsula in Egypt about in area. It is situated between the Mediterranean Sea to the north, and the Red Sea to the south, and is the only part of Egyptian territory located in Asia as opposed to Africa, effectively serving as a land bridge between two...

 to Egypt in 1982.

Israel has no partner for peace

Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

  says that it has demonstrated flexibility and understanding by bringing about the initiation of the peace process, agreeing to painful concessions, and partially implementing them. As opposed to this, many Israelis consider that the predominant Palestinian
Palestinian people
The Palestinian people, also referred to as Palestinians or Palestinian Arabs , are an Arabic-speaking people with origins in Palestine. Despite various wars and exoduses, roughly one third of the world's Palestinian population continues to reside in the area encompassing the West Bank, the Gaza...

 views of the peace process do not recognize Israel's right to exist, and believe that the only real long-term Arab
Arab
Arab people, also known as Arabs , are a panethnicity primarily living in the Arab world, which is located in Western Asia and North Africa. They are identified as such on one or more of genealogical, linguistic, or cultural grounds, with tribal affiliations, and intra-tribal relationships playing...

 goal is the complete destruction of the Jewish state
Jewish state
A homeland for the Jewish people was an idea that rose to the fore in the 19th century in the wake of growing anti-Semitism and Jewish assimilation. Jewish emancipation in Europe paved the way for two ideological solutions to the Jewish Question: cultural assimilation, as envisaged by Moses...

.

Non-recognition of Israel's right to exist or existence and non-recognition of democratically elected Hamas

Many Jews
Jews
The Jews , also known as the Jewish people, are a nation and ethnoreligious group originating in the Israelites or Hebrews of the Ancient Near East. The Jewish ethnicity, nationality, and religion are strongly interrelated, as Judaism is the traditional faith of the Jewish nation...

 and supporters of Israel, and most Palestinians and supporters of Palestine, take the view that the very existence of the state of Israel is at stake. Most of the other parties to the dispute maintain formally that Israel should be recognized as a state, although some consider that it should be abolished. Some opponents of Israel do not even acknowledge its existence, refusing any contact with or mention of it, and instead describing it as "The Zionist Entity" with outdated land claims. On the other hand, Hamas were democratically elected to govern in Gaza, although they are regarded as a terrorist organisation by Israel. It can be claimed that by refusing to recognise the democratically elected government of Gaza, Israel can effectively prevent meaningful peace negotiations indefinitely.

Israelis argue that the continued Jewish presence in the area throughout the past three millennia, and the deep religious ties maintained by Judaism with the Land of Israel, give Jews a continuing and valid claim. Although the 1800 years preceding the establishment of Israel saw limited Jewish presence, they emphasize that the destruction of the Kingdom of Israel and Jewish Diaspora
Jewish diaspora
The Jewish diaspora is the English term used to describe the Galut גלות , or 'exile', of the Jews from the region of the Kingdom of Judah and Roman Iudaea and later emigration from wider Eretz Israel....

 were due to foreign conquests. They also point out that since antiquity, Jewish beliefs were frequently branded as "obsolete" (see Against Apion
Against Apion
Against Apion was a polemical work written by Flavius Josephus as a defense of Judaism as a classical religion and philosophy, stressing its antiquity against what he perceived as more recent traditions of the Greeks.-Text:Against Apion 1:8 also defines which books he viewed as being in the Jewish...

, Supersessionism
Supersessionism
Supersessionism is a term for the dominant Christian view of the Old Covenant, also called fulfillment theology and replacement theology, though the latter term is disputed...

). It may also be noted that historical grounds are not the only reasons given for the establishment of a Jewish state.

Israelis regard many of the Arab
Arab
Arab people, also known as Arabs , are a panethnicity primarily living in the Arab world, which is located in Western Asia and North Africa. They are identified as such on one or more of genealogical, linguistic, or cultural grounds, with tribal affiliations, and intra-tribal relationships playing...

 criticisms against the state of Israel as threats to the state's existence, and say that against the multitude and power of the Arab states, there is only one Jewish state, which, they feel, should behave vigilantly, and assert its power in both a defensive and preemptive manner as deemed necessary.

Treatment of Jews in Arab-ruled societies and vice-versa

Some Israelis point to issues of unfair and prejudicial treatment of Jews in Arab-ruled societies historically http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/myths/mf15.html and currently. Israelis say that Arab countries such as Syria
Syria
Syria , officially the Syrian Arab Republic , is a country in Western Asia, bordering Lebanon and the Mediterranean Sea to the West, Turkey to the north, Iraq to the east, Jordan to the south, and Israel to the southwest....

 and Yemen
Yemen
The Republic of Yemen , commonly known as Yemen , is a country located in the Middle East, occupying the southwestern to southern end of the Arabian Peninsula. It is bordered by Saudi Arabia to the north, the Red Sea to the west, and Oman to the east....

 do not give full rights and freedoms to Jews, and others (such as Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia , commonly known in British English as Saudi Arabia and in Arabic as as-Sa‘ūdiyyah , is the largest state in Western Asia by land area, constituting the bulk of the Arabian Peninsula, and the second-largest in the Arab World...

) do not even allow Jews to be citizens. The United Nations Human Development Reports http://www.rbas.undp.org/ and human rights groups report that many Arab countries do not allow political opposition and other freedoms and lack checks and balances and separation of powers
Separation of powers
The separation of powers, often imprecisely used interchangeably with the trias politica principle, is a model for the governance of a state. The model was first developed in ancient Greece and came into widespread use by the Roman Republic as part of the unmodified Constitution of the Roman Republic...

.

They also argue that within Israel, Israeli Arabs are not subject to this type of discrimination. They point to Israel's democratic system which protects the rights of Jewish and Arab Israelis alike. Within the pre-1967 armistice lines
1949 Armistice Agreements
The 1949 Armistice Agreements are a set of agreements signed during 1949 between Israel and neighboring Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan, and Syria. The agreements ended the official hostilities of the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, and established armistice lines between Israeli forces and the forces in...

, Arab and other minorities are given freedom of religion, culture and political organization. Several Arab political parties have elected parliament members in the Knesset
Knesset
The Knesset is the unicameral legislature of Israel, located in Givat Ram, Jerusalem.-Role in Israeli Government :The legislative branch of the Israeli government, the Knesset passes all laws, elects the President and Prime Minister , approves the cabinet, and supervises the work of the government...

. Arabs are typically not conscripted into the Israeli military (though they are accepted as volunteers), so they will generally never have to fight their peoples. However, it is recognized that this can affect later job opportunities, as some jobs in Israel require previous military service.

Many Israeli Arabs, however, say that they are discriminated against, and that Israeli government agencies treat them worse than non-Arab Israelis http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/4493525.stm http://www.hrw.org/reports/2001/israel2/index.htm#TopOfPage. In 2004, the US State Department's Country Report on Human Rights Practices indicates that Israel "did little to reduce institutional, legal, and societal discrimination against the country's Arab citizens" http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2004/41723.htm.

Islamic vs. other views of Land ownership

Some views focus on differences in concepts of land ownership as a root source of conflict. Sharia
Sharia
Sharia law, is the moral code and religious law of Islam. Sharia is derived from two primary sources of Islamic law: the precepts set forth in the Quran, and the example set by the Islamic prophet Muhammad in the Sunnah. Fiqh jurisprudence interprets and extends the application of sharia to...

(Islamic law) contains the concept of Waqf, revenue-generating property as religious endowment that, once established, is permanent in nature http://i-cias.com/e.o/waqf.htm.

Under some traditional interpretations, Muslim
Muslim
A Muslim, also spelled Moslem, is an adherent of Islam, a monotheistic, Abrahamic religion based on the Quran, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God as revealed to prophet Muhammad. "Muslim" is the Arabic term for "submitter" .Muslims believe that God is one and incomparable...

 territory encompass all land that was ever under Muslim control. The Hamas charter http://memri.org/bin/articles.cgi?Page=countries&Area=palestinian&ID=SP109206 embraces this view of land ownership: "The Islamic Resistance Movement maintains that the land of Palestine is Waqf land given as endowment for all generations of Muslims until the Day of Resurrection. One should not neglect it or [even] a part of it, nor should one relinquish it or [even] a part of it. No Arab state, or [even] all of the Arab states [together], have [the right] to do this; no king or president has this right nor all the kings and presidents together; no organization, or all the organizations together - be they Palestinian or Arab - [have the right to do this] because Palestine is Islamic Waqf land given to all generations of Muslims until the Day of Resurrection. This is the legal status of the land of Palestine according to Islamic law. In this respect, it is like any other land that the Muslims have conquered by force, because the Muslims consecrated it at the time of the conquest as religious endowment for all generations of Muslims until the Day of Resurrection."

Also concerning the oftly quoted Hadith, "The Last hour won't occur until you (Muslims) fight the Jews and kill them." This view is not universally agreed in the Muslim world. Muslim scholars such as Abdul Hadi Palazzi, the leader of Italian Muslim Assembly, accept Israel's sovereignty over the Holy Land and Jerusalem, on condition that the rights of other religions are protected. Palazzi quotes the Qur'an to support Judaism's special connection to Israel, and claims that the Qur'an "expressly recognizes that Jerusalem plays the same role for Jews that Mecca has for Muslims".

Characterizations of Zionism as Racism and Colonialism

Some Arabs believe that Zionism
Zionism
Zionism is a Jewish political movement that, in its broadest sense, has supported the self-determination of the Jewish people in a sovereign Jewish national homeland. Since the establishment of the State of Israel, the Zionist movement continues primarily to advocate on behalf of the Jewish state...

 is a racist ideology, that implies the superiority of Jews. They view Jewish immigration, from the late 19th century, as a colonization of Palestinians' land.
Most Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

is see Zionism as the desire of Jewish people to live as free people in the land of Israel
Land of Israel
The Land of Israel is the Biblical name for the territory roughly corresponding to the area encompassed by the Southern Levant, also known as Canaan and Palestine, Promised Land and Holy Land. The belief that the area is a God-given homeland of the Jewish people is based on the narrative of the...

, where the concept of Jewish nationhood first evolved somewhere between 1200 BCE and the late Second Temple era (i.e. up to 70 CE). They argue that Zionism does not imply the superiority of Jews over any other nationality or ethnicity, but it does imply a superior right to Biblical land. Religious Zionists also believe that Land of Israel
Land of Israel
The Land of Israel is the Biblical name for the territory roughly corresponding to the area encompassed by the Southern Levant, also known as Canaan and Palestine, Promised Land and Holy Land. The belief that the area is a God-given homeland of the Jewish people is based on the narrative of the...

 was promised to Jews by God.

People of many races, colors and ethnic backgrounds live in Israel. It is pointed out that Israeli Jews come from a wide variety of ethnic backgrounds. In the 1930s, ideas of a 'population exchange' of Arabs and Jews between Arab states and Israel were actually popular among Zionists. In practice, most Jews living in Arab Nations in 1948 have currently left Arab countries: 2/3 have moved to Israel. Zionism allows Arabs, Druze
Druze
The Druze are an esoteric, monotheistic religious community, found primarily in Syria, Lebanon, Israel, and Jordan, which emerged during the 11th century from Ismailism. The Druze have an eclectic set of beliefs that incorporate several elements from Abrahamic religions, Gnosticism, Neoplatonism...

, Bedouin
Bedouin
The Bedouin are a part of a predominantly desert-dwelling Arab ethnic group traditionally divided into tribes or clans, known in Arabic as ..-Etymology:...

 and other non-Jews to live in Israel as well, although by most interpretations it requires a Jewish majority to be established.

While some extremist Israelis (particularly supporters of outlawed Kach
Kach
Kach is town and union council of the Ziarat District in the Balochistan province of Pakistan. It is located at 30°26'2N 67°19'27E and has an altitude of 2020m ....

 party ) believe in the forced transfer of Arabs from Israel, this is not a widely held view .

Zionists hold that Zionism is not colonialism, since the area was Jewish homeland, before Romans expelled the Jews from Palestine, in 2nd century CE. They argue that Jews have the right to return to what they consider their historical national homeland, and that living in the Diaspora
Diaspora
A diaspora is "the movement, migration, or scattering of people away from an established or ancestral homeland" or "people dispersed by whatever cause to more than one location", or "people settled far from their ancestral homelands".The word has come to refer to historical mass-dispersions of...

 restricted the full growth of Jewish individual and national life.

Jewish refugees

After the establishment of the State of Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

 in 1948, most of the Jewish population in Arab countries
Jewish exodus from Arab lands
The Jewish exodus from Arab and Muslim countries was a mass departure, flight and expulsion of Jews, primarily of Sephardi and Mizrahi background, from Arab and Muslim countries, from 1948 until the early 1970s...

 fled, were expelled, were coerced by Arab governments, or voluntarily left their homes in an increasing climate of hostility, with nearly 66% absorbed by Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

. The State of Israel reacted by encouraging and facilitating emigration of non-local Jews to Israel. In a few Arab countries, this population change occurred over several decades and was accelerated by the promise of prosperity and acceptance in Israel. Many Jews lost much of their property and continue to claim compensation.http://www.americansephardifederation.org/sub/sources/jewish_refugees.asp There has since been various return invitations from Arab states although these are mostly dismissed as politically motivated attempts to discredit Israel, and virtually no resettled Jews have shown interest in returning to their former homes, as they have integrated in their new homes or fear persecution in Arab states.

According to Benny Morris
Benny Morris
Benny Morris is professor of History in the Middle East Studies department of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in the city of Be'er Sheva, Israel...

, "[i]n the early years of statehood, Israeli leaders like David Ben-Gurion
David Ben-Gurion
' was the first Prime Minister of Israel.Ben-Gurion's passion for Zionism, which began early in life, led him to become a major Zionist leader and Executive Head of the World Zionist Organization in 1946...

 and Moshe Sharett
Moshe Sharett
Moshe Sharett on 15 October 1894, died 7 July 1965) was the second Prime Minister of Israel , serving for a little under two years between David Ben-Gurion's two terms.-Early life:...

 viewed the flight of Palestinians and the influx of Oriental Jews
Jewish exodus from Arab lands
The Jewish exodus from Arab and Muslim countries was a mass departure, flight and expulsion of Jews, primarily of Sephardi and Mizrahi background, from Arab and Muslim countries, from 1948 until the early 1970s...

 as simply a 'population exchange,' akin to those between Greece and Turkey in the 1920's or India and Pakistan in 1947."http://www.samuelfreedman.com/articles/jinterest/nyt10132003.html Iraq
Iraq
Iraq ; officially the Republic of Iraq is a country in Western Asia spanning most of the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range, the eastern part of the Syrian Desert and the northern part of the Arabian Desert....

i Prime Minister
Prime minister
A prime minister is the most senior minister of cabinet in the executive branch of government in a parliamentary system. In many systems, the prime minister selects and may dismiss other members of the cabinet, and allocates posts to members within the government. In most systems, the prime...

 Nuri as-Said
Nuri as-Said
Nuri Pasha al-Said was an Iraqi politician during the British Mandate and during the Kingdom of Iraq. He served in various key cabinet positions, and served seven terms as Prime Minister of Iraq....

 and other Arab leaders viewed it the same way.http://www.meforum.org/article/263 Many continue to view it this way. http://www.acpr.org.il/publications/policy-papers/pp090-xs.html http://www.meforum.org/article/263 http://www.americansephardifederation.org/sub/sources/jewish_refugees.asp http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/History/jewref.html Some Palestinian refugees never accepted that a "population exchange" had occurred,http://www.samuelfreedman.com/articles/jinterest/nyt10132003.html though others do accept that an irrevocable population exchange has occurred.http://www.meforum.org/article/263

Furthermore, Israel has charged that Palestinian refugees were neglected by most Arab nations, whereas Jewish refugees were integrated into Israeli society, and that this neglect is a contributing cause to the poverty and misery experienced by the residents of those camps.

Palestinian refugees

Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

 does not recognize a Palestinian Right of Return
Right of return
The term right of return refers to a principle of international law, codified in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, giving any person the right to return to, and re-enter, his or her country of origin...

. Property that belonged to Arabs who left or fled Israel before, during and after the 1948 Arab-Israeli War
1948 Arab-Israeli War
The 1948 Arab–Israeli War, known to Israelis as the War of Independence or War of Liberation The war commenced after the termination of the British Mandate for Palestine and the creation of an independent Israel at midnight on 14 May 1948 when, following a period of civil war, Arab armies invaded...

 is confiscated under the Absentee Property Act.

Israel maintains that the General Assembly resolutions establishing the Right of Return are merely recommendations under International law, and in any event doubt that the refugees wish to "live in peace with their neighbors".

Jewish Israelis fear that if Palestinian refugee
Palestinian refugee
Palestinian refugees or Palestine refugees are the people and their descendants, predominantly Palestinian Arabic-speakers, who fled or were expelled from their homes during and after the 1948 Palestine War, within that part of the British Mandate of Palestine, that after that war became the...

s were allowed to return to Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

, the Jews would become a minority and Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

 would no longer be a Jewish state
Jewish state
A homeland for the Jewish people was an idea that rose to the fore in the 19th century in the wake of growing anti-Semitism and Jewish assimilation. Jewish emancipation in Europe paved the way for two ideological solutions to the Jewish Question: cultural assimilation, as envisaged by Moses...

. Many believe that if surrounding Arab states integrate the Palestinian refugees hostilities could be defused, and that the harsh treatment of refugees in Arab states is done deliberately by those states in order to keep the conflict alive.

Israel has stated that it is willing to allow a limited number of Arabs to immigrate on a humanitarian basis (such as the unification of families) and limited compensation for others in the framework of a comprehensive peace plan. Although serious discussion of how this would be implemented between both sides have yet to take place.

The text of UN Resolution 194 refer to a "just settlement of the refugee problem" and does not specifically mention either the Palestinian refugee
Palestinian refugee
Palestinian refugees or Palestine refugees are the people and their descendants, predominantly Palestinian Arabic-speakers, who fled or were expelled from their homes during and after the 1948 Palestine War, within that part of the British Mandate of Palestine, that after that war became the...

s or the Jewish refugees
Jewish refugees
In the course of history, Jewish populations have been expelled or ostracised by various local authorities and have sought asylum from antisemitism numerous times...

 http://domino.un.org/unispal.nsf/0/c758572b78d1cd0085256bcf0077e51a?OpenDocument. However, in 2004, in Resolution 59/117, the UN General Assembly "[n]otes with regret that repatriation or compensation of the refugees, as provided for in paragraph 11 of General Assembly resolution 194 (III), has not yet been effected and that, therefore, the situation of the Palestine refugees continues to be a matter of grave concern" http://www.un.org/unrwa/publications/resolutions/2004/res59117.pdf.

Settlements

Israelis typically of the political right, support settlements in the West Bank
West Bank
The West Bank ) of the Jordan River is the landlocked geographical eastern part of the Palestinian territories located in Western Asia. To the west, north, and south, the West Bank shares borders with the state of Israel. To the east, across the Jordan River, lies the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan...

 . The platform of the "Likud" party states that "settlement of the land is a clear expression of the unassailable right of the Jewish people to the Land of Israel and constitutes an important asset in the defense of the vital interests of the State of Israel." http://www.knesset.gov.il/elections/knesset15/elikud_m.htm

Israelis typically of the political left oppose settlements, believing they are illegal under the Fourth Geneva Convention
Fourth Geneva Convention
The Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, commonly referred to as the Fourth Geneva Convention and abbreviated as GCIV, is one of the four treaties of the Geneva Conventions. It was adopted in August 1949, and defines humanitarian protections for civilians...

 and/or thwart peace efforts. However, most Israelis do not view the building of houses and stores in Israeli settlement
Israeli settlement
An Israeli settlement is a Jewish civilian community built on land that was captured by Israel from Jordan, Egypt, and Syria during the 1967 Six-Day War and is considered occupied territory by the international community. Such settlements currently exist in the West Bank...

s as an act of war, and believe that disputes over land do not justify violent resistance or terrorism, but that there should be politically negotiated solutions. This view is rejected by Palestinians and many outside Israel, as Israel's leadership continues to build settlements on land they contend to be Palestinian, an activity that is roundly condemned by much of the world except Israel and overlooked by the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

.

Israel's settlement supporters argue that the Fourth Geneva Convention does not technically apply to the territories, since they have no "High Contracting Party", and claim that the Convention in any event only applied to forcible transfers of populations into or out of captured territories. However, a conference of High Contracting Parties in 2001 "reaffirmed the applicability of the Fourth Geneva Convention to the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem" and "they reiterated the need for full respect for the provisions of the said Convention in that Territory." http://domino.un.org/UNISPAL.NSF/85255a0a0010ae82852555340060479d/8fc4f064b9be5bad85256c1400722951!OpenDocument

Palestinian and other Arab views

There is not a single "Arab view"; there are many different Arab views, which differ widely.

Illegitimacy or illegality of Israel

See also International law and the Arab-Israeli conflict
International law and the Arab-Israeli conflict
There is a broad international consensus that the actions of the nations involved in the Arab-Israeli conflict violate prohibitions contained in international law. However, this legality is disputed by some of the nations involved...

.


Palestinians claim they have International law
International law
Public international law concerns the structure and conduct of sovereign states; analogous entities, such as the Holy See; and intergovernmental organizations. To a lesser degree, international law also may affect multinational corporations and individuals, an impact increasingly evolving beyond...

 on their side.

UN General Assembly Resolution 181
1947 UN Partition Plan
The United Nations Partition Plan for Palestine was created by the United Nations Special Committee on Palestine in 1947 to replace the British Mandate for Palestine with "Independent Arab and Jewish States" and a "Special International Regime for the City of Jerusalem" administered by the United...

 orders that "Independent Arab and Jewish States...shall come into existence in Palestine". Israeli founding father and author of Resolution 181 Abba Eban
Abba Eban
Abba Eban was an Israeli diplomat and politician.In his career he was Israeli Foreign Affairs Minister, Education Minister, Deputy Prime Minister, and ambassador to the United States and to the United Nations...

 claimed that Israel "tear[s] up its own birth certificate" when it ignores UN resolutions.http://www.haaretzdaily.com/hasen/pages/ShArt.jhtml?itemNo=231659&contrassID=3&subContrassID=0&sbSubContrassID=0

Palestinians hold that Israel disregards the following UN resolutions/International Law provisions:
  • UN General Assembly Resolution 194
    UN General Assembly Resolution 194
    United Nations General Assembly Resolution 194 was passed on December 11, 1948, near the end of the 1948 Arab-Israeli War. The resolution expresses appreciation for the efforts of UN Envoy Folke Bernadotte after his assassination by members of the Zionist ultra-nationalist Lehi , headed by Yitzhak...

     calls for "the refugees wishing to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbours should be permitted to do so at the earliest practicable date, and that compensation should be paid for the property of those choosing not to return and for loss of or damage to property" not naming either Palestinian refugees or Jewish refugees
    Jewish refugees
    In the course of history, Jewish populations have been expelled or ostracised by various local authorities and have sought asylum from antisemitism numerous times...

    . Palestinians hold that this resolution should allow for the Palestinian exodus to return to their homes in Israel. Israel has blocked the return of these refugees and confiscated their land as "absentee".

  • UN Security Council Resolution 242, adopted after the Six-Day War
    Six-Day War
    The Six-Day War , also known as the June War, 1967 Arab-Israeli War, or Third Arab-Israeli War, was fought between June 5 and 10, 1967, by Israel and the neighboring states of Egypt , Jordan, and Syria...

    , emphasizes "the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war and the need to work for a just and lasting peace in which every State in the area can live in security," and calls for "withdrawal of Israel armed forces from territories occupied in the recent conflict" and for the recognition of the "sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of every State in the area and their right to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries free from threats or acts of force". These territories occupied included the Gaza Strip
    Gaza Strip
    thumb|Gaza city skylineThe Gaza Strip lies on the Eastern coast of the Mediterranean Sea. The Strip borders Egypt on the southwest and Israel on the south, east and north. It is about long, and between 6 and 12 kilometres wide, with a total area of...

    , Golan Heights, West Bank
    West Bank
    The West Bank ) of the Jordan River is the landlocked geographical eastern part of the Palestinian territories located in Western Asia. To the west, north, and south, the West Bank shares borders with the state of Israel. To the east, across the Jordan River, lies the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan...

     and the Sinai Peninsula
    Sinai Peninsula
    The Sinai Peninsula or Sinai is a triangular peninsula in Egypt about in area. It is situated between the Mediterranean Sea to the north, and the Red Sea to the south, and is the only part of Egyptian territory located in Asia as opposed to Africa, effectively serving as a land bridge between two...

    . The Palestinian Authority intends eventually to establish a state in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Israel maintains control of the West Bank and maritime/aerospace control of the Gaza Strip.

  • The Fourth Geneva Convention
    Fourth Geneva Convention
    The Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, commonly referred to as the Fourth Geneva Convention and abbreviated as GCIV, is one of the four treaties of the Geneva Conventions. It was adopted in August 1949, and defines humanitarian protections for civilians...

     forbids an occupying power from confiscating occupied land and transferring its own population to that territory.

  • UN Security Council Resolution 446 declares that the Israeli settlement
    Israeli settlement
    An Israeli settlement is a Jewish civilian community built on land that was captured by Israel from Jordan, Egypt, and Syria during the 1967 Six-Day War and is considered occupied territory by the international community. Such settlements currently exist in the West Bank...

    s in the occupied Palestinian territories are illegal.http://domino.un.org/UNISPAL.NSF/0/ba123cded3ea84a5852560e50077c2dc?OpenDocument

Historical treatment of Jews in the Arab world

Many Muslim
Muslim
A Muslim, also spelled Moslem, is an adherent of Islam, a monotheistic, Abrahamic religion based on the Quran, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God as revealed to prophet Muhammad. "Muslim" is the Arabic term for "submitter" .Muslims believe that God is one and incomparable...

s and contemporary western historians assert that Jews were treated better
Islam and Judaism
Islamic–Jewish relations started in the 7th century CE with the origin and spread of Islam in the Arabian peninsula. The two religions share similar values, guidelines, and principles. Islam also incorporates Jewish history as a part of its own. Muslims regard the Children of Israel as an important...

 by Muslims than by other rulers who persecuted
Persecution of Jews
Persecution of Jews has occurred on numerous occasions and at widely different geographical locations. As well as being a major component in Jewish history, it has significantly affected the general history and social development of the countries and societies in which the persecuted Jews...

 them. One pertinent example is the mass expulsion of Jews from Spain
Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

 after the fall of their last refuge there, the Muslim kingdom of Granada
Granada
Granada is a city and the capital of the province of Granada, in the autonomous community of Andalusia, Spain. Granada is located at the foot of the Sierra Nevada mountains, at the confluence of three rivers, the Beiro, the Darro and the Genil. It sits at an elevation of 738 metres above sea...

 in 1492. This resulted in the migration of Jews (especially those fleeing the Spanish Inquisition
Spanish Inquisition
The Tribunal of the Holy Office of the Inquisition , commonly known as the Spanish Inquisition , was a tribunal established in 1480 by Catholic Monarchs Ferdinand II of Aragon and Isabella I of Castile. It was intended to maintain Catholic orthodoxy in their kingdoms, and to replace the Medieval...

) to the Ottoman Empire, including the present-day region of Israel and surrounding areas. Authoritative works summarizing Jewish treatment within Muslim lands written by Jews have concluded that although occasional violent persecution did occur, it was not systemic nor continuous and substantially better than treatment by Christians in the pre-modern era. (Lewis, 1984)

The creation of Israel as a cause of conflict

Supporters of this viewpoint regard historically good relations with much of the Middle East as having been shattered by the creation of Israel. They cite the example of Mizrahi Jews
Mizrahi Jews
Mizrahi Jews or Mizrahiyim, , also referred to as Adot HaMizrach are Jews descended from the Jewish communities of the Middle East, North Africa and the Caucasus...

, who had long been living in large measure peacefully among Arabs and Muslims, but who left after the establishment of the state of Israel for a variety of reasons (depending on the country), including Muslim hostility because of the new state. Some point out as well that during the times of the Spanish Inquisition
Spanish Inquisition
The Tribunal of the Holy Office of the Inquisition , commonly known as the Spanish Inquisition , was a tribunal established in 1480 by Catholic Monarchs Ferdinand II of Aragon and Isabella I of Castile. It was intended to maintain Catholic orthodoxy in their kingdoms, and to replace the Medieval...

, Muslim countries were prominent in accepting Jewish refugees.

Opponents of this viewpoint, including some Mizrahi Jews themselves, see this as one-sided at best. They point to the persecutions of the Jews of North Africa in the 12th century under the Almohades, the slaughter of thousands of Jews in Fez in 1465 (after the Jewish deputy vizier Harun (Aaron), who had imposed heavy taxes on the population on behalf of the vizier, was accused of treating a Muslim woman "offensively"), http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/myths/mf15.html#c and to similar massacres in Libya
Libya
Libya is an African country in the Maghreb region of North Africa bordered by the Mediterranean Sea to the north, Egypt to the east, Sudan to the southeast, Chad and Niger to the south, and Algeria and Tunisia to the west....

, Algiers
Algiers
' is the capital and largest city of Algeria. According to the 1998 census, the population of the city proper was 1,519,570 and that of the urban agglomeration was 2,135,630. In 2009, the population was about 3,500,000...

, and Marrakesh in the 18th and 19th centuries (Morris, 2001). They also point to waves of synagogue destructions and forced conversions throughout the Arab world from the 11th to 19th centuries, and to the fact that, by the 19th century, most Jews of North Africa were forced to live in mellah
Mellah
A mellah is a walled Jewish quarter of a city in Morocco, an analogue of the European ghetto...

s
or ghettos, and were subject to a number of restrictions and humiliations, as they were in Europe.

Jewish immigration as a cause of conflict

Some Arabs maintain that there is nothing wrong with Jewish immigration into Palestine, in itself, any more than there is with Jewish immigration into any other part of the world. But in their view the Zionist immigrants arriving in Palestine from the late 19th century on did so in course of a plan to take it over and establish a Jewish majority state, in some cases by force; they consider this to be colonization of Palestinians' land, made possible not by Palestinian self-determination
Self-determination
Self-determination is the principle in international law that nations have the right to freely choose their sovereignty and international political status with no external compulsion or external interference...

, or even consent, but by British (and to a lesser extent Turkish) fiat. This process led to what they regard as an expulsion by Zionists of the majority of the indigenous Palestinian population in 1948, and continues today with Israel's ongoing expansion of settlements. Palestinians also decry what they see as the inherent inequity of long-standing Israeli laws on immigration where, according to Israel's Law of Return, a Jew born in, say Stockholm, may immigrate to Israel and gain automatic citizenship and elect to live anywhere he chooses, including East Jerusalem
East Jerusalem
East Jerusalem or Eastern Jerusalem refer to the parts of Jerusalem captured and annexed by Jordan in the 1948 Arab-Israeli War and then captured and annexed by Israel in the 1967 Six-Day War...

, whereas a Palestinian born and raised in Jerusalem and forced to leave as a refugee of war may not return to his home.

The detractors of this argument regard the existence of a Jewish minority in the Land of Israel
Land of Israel
The Land of Israel is the Biblical name for the territory roughly corresponding to the area encompassed by the Southern Levant, also known as Canaan and Palestine, Promised Land and Holy Land. The belief that the area is a God-given homeland of the Jewish people is based on the narrative of the...

 throughout the past two millennia, and the importance of Jerusalem and the Land of Israel in Judaism, as giving Jews a right to go there that trumps Palestinians' objections. They also claim international approval for their immigration, noting that both the League of Nations
League of Nations
The League of Nations was an intergovernmental organization founded as a result of the Paris Peace Conference that ended the First World War. It was the first permanent international organization whose principal mission was to maintain world peace...

's 1922 Palestine Mandate and the 1947 UN Partition Plan supported the establishment of a Jewish National Homeland in the region, and view the Arab leadership's former rejection of any partition as an attempt to deny the Jews their right of self-determination
Self-determination
Self-determination is the principle in international law that nations have the right to freely choose their sovereignty and international political status with no external compulsion or external interference...

. They claim that a national homeland for Jews would have protected them from persecution. Mainstream Zionists have argued that the land could support a greater population density without major population displacement.

Israeli treatment of minorities

Some Palestinians feel that the Jewish state of Israel was established under conditions that were deeply unfair to them. Palestinians do not oppose a Jewish state as such, but all Palestinians feel that it should not have been established at their expense. They argue that after World War II - and, indeed, after World War I - the world allowed a state for Jewish people in Palestine to be established without much concern for the existing indigenous Arab population. Accordingly, Palestinians were forcibly expelled from their homes by Jewish militias before and during the 1948 Arab-Israeli war (see Palestinian exodus.) Those who remained in Israel face various forms of discrimination, such as housing and employment discrimination. Many job opportunities in Israel are open only to those with previous military service, typically non-haredi Jews, Druze
Druze
The Druze are an esoteric, monotheistic religious community, found primarily in Syria, Lebanon, Israel, and Jordan, which emerged during the 11th century from Ismailism. The Druze have an eclectic set of beliefs that incorporate several elements from Abrahamic religions, Gnosticism, Neoplatonism...

, Circassians and Bedouins. Those who do not serve in the IDF (typically Israeli Arabs and haredi-Jews) are denied those opportunities.

Some Palestinian Christians are of the opinion that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict
Israeli-Palestinian conflict
The Israeli–Palestinian conflict is the ongoing conflict between Israelis and Palestinians. The conflict is wide-ranging, and the term is also used in reference to the earlier phases of the same conflict, between Jewish and Zionist yishuv and the Arab population living in Palestine under Ottoman or...

 has led to the diminishment of their population http://christianactionforisrael.org/antiholo/hate_jews.htmlhttp://www.amconmag.com/2004_05_24/article.html. Others, like Abe Ata are of the opinion that American Christians
Christianity
Christianity is a monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus as presented in canonical gospels and other New Testament writings...

 have "turned their backs" on them by supporting Israel http://www.natcath.com/NCR_Online/archives/112202/112202r.htm. Some Palestinian Christians have said that Israel does not give them permission to visit holy places in Jerusalem.http://www.amin.org/eng/daoud_kuttab/2005/may20.html

In contrast, the a Shi’ite Pakistani-American scholar Dr. Tashbih Sayyed, has said that Arabs are protected by Israel's democratic principles, the Muslim Arab citizens of Israel are afforded all the rights and privileges of Israeli citizenship. He noted that Israel is one of the few countries in the Middle East where Arab women can vote. In contrast to the non-Israeli Arab world, Arab women in Israel enjoy the same status as men. Muslim women have the right to vote and to be elected to public office. Muslim women, according to Sayyed, are in fact are more liberated in Israel than in any Muslim country. Israeli law prohibits polygamy, child marriage, and the "barbarity" of female sexual mutilation. He concluded by saying "I am convinced that it is true that God created this earth but it is also a fact that only an Israel can keep this earth from dying".

Legitimacy of war against Israel

As the refugees' exile continued, some Palestinian groups chose war, considering it as a necessary way to regain what they saw as their rights over the land they came from. The failure of these efforts to improve the Palestinians' condition fueled increased hostility.

Some Palestinians distinguish between violent resistance against Israeli military occupation, and violent acts against Israeli civilians. They hold that the former is legitimate resistance under the laws of war
Laws of war
The law of war is a body of law concerning acceptable justifications to engage in war and the limits to acceptable wartime conduct...

, while the latter comprise illegitimate acts of terrorism. Other Palestinian voices reject violence altogether and look to exclusively non-violent resistance as a solution. Palestinians making the case for purely non-violent resistance, or for armed resistance against only military targets but not Israeli civilians, invoke both practical arguments that such tactics are counterproductive, as well as moral and legal arguments against the use of violence, especially against civilians. Most Palestinians claim that Israel's occupation engenders routine violence against Palestinian civilians that is institutionalized and carried out on a much larger scale than anything Israelis experience. They often question what they see as the media's one-sided use of the word "terror" in cases where Palestinians are perpetrators and Israelis are victims, while ignoring what they view as state terrorism carried out by Israel against the Palestinian population.

Some Palestinian and Arab leaders believe that Palestinians are justified in using violence against any Israeli, seeing all Israelis as illegal occupants, and arguing that Israel's universal conscription renders almost all Israelis potential combatants. They see these illegal occupants as the source of tens of thousands of deaths, and millions of refugees. Some claim that trusting the international community to help them to get their rights back is useless, suggesting that, in recent history, as long as Palestinians were peaceful no state made any serious efforts to solve their problem. In their opinion, only when other countries see Palestinian problems as causing problems to themselves do they help Palestine.

They also argue that the civilian deaths caused by their operations are dwarfed by those dismissed as "collateral damage
Collateral damage
Collateral damage is damage to people or property that is unintended or incidental to the intended outcome. The phrase is prevalently used as an euphemism for civilian casualties of a military action.-Etymology:...

" caused by the full scale military campaigns done by various world powers. Some see the innocent deaths caused by such operations as regrettable, but as an only option to solve the problems of millions of Palestinians. Furthermore, they point to the use of violence against non-combatants by most other independence struggles, including, they say, the American War of Independence.

Despite having underlying grievances in common, the relationships between the PLO and Hamas and other Palestinian factions is rife with philosophical and tactical differences, as well as frequent power struggles, all of which tend to work to Israel's advantage and weaken Palestinians' ability to influence the outcome of the conflict.

Treatment of Palestinians

Restrictions on Palestinian movements were introduced to increase levels of security within Israel and Jewish settlements in the West Bank and Gaza. They have been of variable severity over time. The international community often views these as punishments of the masses because of the actions of a few. This perception of unjust persecution provides a continuing rationale for hostility toward Israel.

Bulldozing of houses and destruction of infrastructure within Palestinian residential areas in the name of Israeli security add to the poor conditions and lack of opportunities for the Palestinians. This is a frequently-used point of indignation against Israel by Palestinian sympathizers.

Arab publications and others have compared Zionism
Zionism
Zionism is a Jewish political movement that, in its broadest sense, has supported the self-determination of the Jewish people in a sovereign Jewish national homeland. Since the establishment of the State of Israel, the Zionist movement continues primarily to advocate on behalf of the Jewish state...

 to German Nazism
Nazism
Nazism, the common short form name of National Socialism was the ideology and practice of the Nazi Party and of Nazi Germany...

 and other historical examples of oppression and ethnic cleansing. Many Arabs, and others, believe Israel practices a form of Israeli apartheid against the Palestinian people, as bad as, or worse than, that practised by South Africa
South Africa
The Republic of South Africa is a country in southern Africa. Located at the southern tip of Africa, it is divided into nine provinces, with of coastline on the Atlantic and Indian oceans...

, and that Zionism is a form of colonialism
Colonialism
Colonialism is the establishment, maintenance, acquisition and expansion of colonies in one territory by people from another territory. It is a process whereby the metropole claims sovereignty over the colony and the social structure, government, and economics of the colony are changed by...

 and has been carried out through extensive ethnic cleansing. Pro-Israel advocates reply that these claims are non-factual and the comparisons are specious, or with assertions that such claims are hypocritical, since Arabs have created twenty-two Arab states, in some of which the remaining Jews are discriminated against. Palestinians hold that the existence of other Arab nations is irrelevant; they want to have the land they owned back, rather than being forced to throw themselves on others' charity in foreign countries.

Israel's Family Reunification Law allowed the Interior Minister to grant permanent resident status to West Bank Palestinians who have family members in Israel. A recent revision to this Law required that the Interior Minister "shall not grant" citizenship except in exceptional cases http://www.csmonitor.com/2003/0808/p06s03-wome.html; recent additional modifications allow some citizenships, but limit based on age http://www.israelnationalnews.com/news.php3?id=86654. In his comment to the Knesset Interior Affairs committee on July 19, 2005, Shin Bet Chief Yuval Diskin stated that "11% of those involved in terror attacks are Palestinians who entered Israel via the Family Reunification Law." http://www.reliefweb.int/rw/RWB.NSF/db900SID/FPRI-6EFGS8?OpenDocument http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3115064,00.html

Refugee issues

UN General Assembly Resolution 194
UN General Assembly Resolution 194
United Nations General Assembly Resolution 194 was passed on December 11, 1948, near the end of the 1948 Arab-Israeli War. The resolution expresses appreciation for the efforts of UN Envoy Folke Bernadotte after his assassination by members of the Zionist ultra-nationalist Lehi , headed by Yitzhak...

 calls for "the refugees wishing to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbours should be permitted to do so at the earliest practicable date, and that compensation should be paid for the property of those choosing not to return and for loss of or damage to property". Israel has blocked the return of these refugees and confiscated their land as "absentee".

The supporters of Israel argue that the return of Palestinian refugees and millions of their descendants would mean the end of Jewish self-determination
Self-determination
Self-determination is the principle in international law that nations have the right to freely choose their sovereignty and international political status with no external compulsion or external interference...

 and assert the historical necessity for Jews to have a safe haven
Safe haven
Safe haven may refer to:* Safe harbor, a harbor or haven which provides safety from weather or attack, or an analogous situation* Safe Havens, a syndicated comic strip drawn by cartoonist Bill Holbrook...

. See also Jewish refugees
Jewish refugees
In the course of history, Jewish populations have been expelled or ostracised by various local authorities and have sought asylum from antisemitism numerous times...

.

Furthermore, some argue that Palestinians, if allowed to return, would not live in peace with their neighbours.

Jewish settlements in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip

There are currently 246,000 Jewish settlers living in settlements
Israeli settlement
An Israeli settlement is a Jewish civilian community built on land that was captured by Israel from Jordan, Egypt, and Syria during the 1967 Six-Day War and is considered occupied territory by the international community. Such settlements currently exist in the West Bank...

 in the West Bank, not including 200,000 Israeli Jews who live in annexed East Jerusalem http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/4188216.stm. Ongoing settlement development and growth are major reasons Palestinians claim the peace process has failed http://www.pcpsr.org/survey/polls/2005/p15ejoint.html, and the issue figures prominently in the larger narrative of the Arab-Israeli conflict among non-Palestinian Arabs http://english.aljazeera.net/NR/exeres/0761B1FF-AC1B-4969-BE65-731D454BF983.htm.

These settlements are off-limits to Palestinians and other Arabs, while any Jewish citizen of Israel can at any time choose to settle there. To monitor and control Palestinian movement, Israel has established 50+ checkpoints in and around the West Bank http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/shared/spl/hi/middle_east/03/v3_israel_palestinians/maps/html/settlements_checkpoints.stm. As well, recently, Israel has begun construction of a controversial West Bank barrier (see map http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/shared/spl/hi/guides/456900/456944/html/nn2page1.stm). Palestinians complain that these measures greatly restrict their movement and are often humiliating, while Israel asserts that they are necessary for security. Palestinians also point out that Israel accelerated the expansion of settlements
Israeli settlement
An Israeli settlement is a Jewish civilian community built on land that was captured by Israel from Jordan, Egypt, and Syria during the 1967 Six-Day War and is considered occupied territory by the international community. Such settlements currently exist in the West Bank...

 in the West Bank and Gaza Strip throughout the Oslo peace process.

During Fateh Central Committee meeting on September 5, 2005, "[r]eferring to the lands Israel would evacuate in Gaza Strip, President Abbas said that 97.5% of these lands were state-owned lands" http://www.ipc.gov.ps/ipc_new/english/details.asp?name=10285.

In 2005, approximately 9,000 settlers were evicted by Israel from the Gaza Strip and the West Bank.

Arab Peace Offer

In 2002, Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia , commonly known in British English as Saudi Arabia and in Arabic as as-Sa‘ūdiyyah , is the largest state in Western Asia by land area, constituting the bulk of the Arabian Peninsula, and the second-largest in the Arab World...

 offered a peace plan
Arab Peace Initiative
The Beirut Summit was a meeting of the Arab League in Beirut, Lebanon in March 2002 to discuss the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The meeting became especially noteworthy for the adoption, by the Arab states attending, of a proposal offering a comprehensive peace between the Arab countries and...

 in The New York Times
The New York Times
The New York Times is an American daily newspaper founded and continuously published in New York City since 1851. The New York Times has won 106 Pulitzer Prizes, the most of any news organization...

 and at a summit meeting of the Arab League
Arab League
The Arab League , officially called the League of Arab States , is a regional organisation of Arab states in North and Northeast Africa, and Southwest Asia . It was formed in Cairo on 22 March 1945 with six members: Egypt, Iraq, Transjordan , Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, and Syria. Yemen joined as a...

 in Beirut
Beirut
Beirut is the capital and largest city of Lebanon, with a population ranging from 1 million to more than 2 million . Located on a peninsula at the midpoint of Lebanon's Mediterranean coastline, it serves as the country's largest and main seaport, and also forms the Beirut Metropolitan...

. The plan is based on, but goes beyond UN Security Council Resolution 242 and Resolution 338. It essentially calls for full withdrawal, solution of the refugee problem
Palestinian refugee
Palestinian refugees or Palestine refugees are the people and their descendants, predominantly Palestinian Arabic-speakers, who fled or were expelled from their homes during and after the 1948 Palestine War, within that part of the British Mandate of Palestine, that after that war became the...

, and a Palestinian state
Proposals for a Palestinian state
Proposals for a Palestinian state currently refers to the proposed establishment of an independent state for the Palestinian people in Palestine on land that was occupied by Israel since the Six-Day War of 1967 and before by Egypt and by Jordan since 1949...

 with its capital in East Jerusalem
East Jerusalem
East Jerusalem or Eastern Jerusalem refer to the parts of Jerusalem captured and annexed by Jordan in the 1948 Arab-Israeli War and then captured and annexed by Israel in the 1967 Six-Day War...

 in return for fully normalized relations with the whole Arab world. This proposal received the unanimous backing of the Arab League
Arab League
The Arab League , officially called the League of Arab States , is a regional organisation of Arab states in North and Northeast Africa, and Southwest Asia . It was formed in Cairo on 22 March 1945 with six members: Egypt, Iraq, Transjordan , Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, and Syria. Yemen joined as a...

 for the first time.

In response, Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres
Shimon Peres
GCMG is the ninth President of the State of Israel. Peres served twice as the eighth Prime Minister of Israel and once as Interim Prime Minister, and has been a member of 12 cabinets in a political career spanning over 66 years...

 said: "[T]he details of every peace plan must be discussed directly between Israel and the Palestinians, and to make this possible, the Palestinian Authority must put an end to terror, the horrifying expression of which we witnessed just last night in Netanya." http://www.mfa.gov.il/MFA/About+the+Ministry/MFA+Spokesman/2002/Response+of+FM+Peres+to+the+decisions+of+the+Arab.htm

Palestinians as victims of extremism

Some Palestinians believe that their cause may be damaged by extremists within their own ranks; an issue that is mirrored in the Israeli camp. Some view the conflict as essentially extremist vs. moderate, as opposed to Israeli vs. Palestinian. Pro-Israel advocates often assert that two sets of views exist from the same speaker, with a tolerant view usually expressed in English, and an anti-peace view usually expressed in Arabic, with pro-Arab advocates making similar charges about Israeli speakers. Most if not all Palestinian spokespeople declare that they wish Israel had never come into being, regarding its creation as a historic injustice and a manipulation of International Law. However, some accept its existence today and call merely for a state of their own. Still others envisage a one-state solution in all of historic Palestine. Within this one-state view, there are both secular and Islamist visions for the future. The secular view holds that a just and lasting peace is most likely if there exists a fully democratic government for all citizens, where legal status and civil rights are not based on ethnic and religious identity. The Islamist view aspires to an Islamic government in Palestine. In both views, Jews currently living in Israel might be allowed to remain there unmolested as free and equal citizens of a future state of Palestine (in the secular Arab view) or as dhimmi
Dhimmi
A , is a non-Muslim subject of a state governed in accordance with sharia law. Linguistically, the word means "one whose responsibility has been taken". This has to be understood in the context of the definition of state in Islam...

s along with Druze and Christians, in the Islamist Arab view. Some Jews view it as extremely unlikely that they would be allowed to live unmolested in any sort of one-state Palestine.

Today, some Palestinians think that an equitable arrangement for all involved parties requires dialogue with Israelis and the international community. The PLO has officially accepted the right of Israel to exist within the pre-1967 armistice lines
1949 Armistice Agreements
The 1949 Armistice Agreements are a set of agreements signed during 1949 between Israel and neighboring Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan, and Syria. The agreements ended the official hostilities of the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, and established armistice lines between Israeli forces and the forces in...

. However, some PLO representatives, including Yasser Arafat, have also declared at times that they saw these statements as politically necessary steps. Some observers interpret this to mean that they view the two-state solution as a stepping stone to a more integrated long-term solution. Others, particularly some Israelis, claim that these statements betray a hidden agenda and worldview where the peace process with Israel is only a temporary measure in support of the ultimate Palestinian goal, which is the destruction of the state of Israel, and presumably the eviction of its Jewish citizens. They point to the fact that the PLO never updated its formal statement of policy, the Palestinian National Covenant
Palestinian National Covenant
The Palestinian National Covenant or Palestinian National Charter is the charter or constitution of the Palestine Liberation Organization ....

 to reflect their recognition of the State of Israel and that it still calls for the destruction of Israel; however the U.S. Embassy in Israel is on record confirming that "On April 24, 1996, the Palestinian National Council (PNC) amended the charter by canceling the articles inconsistent with its commitments to Israel" http://www.usembassy-israel.org.il/publish/peace/plo_note.html. Still, belief in an existential threat from the PLO causes alarm among much of the Israeli public.

Biased text books

Many Palestinian school textbooks, including those distributed and sponsored by the Palestinian Authority since 1994, have historically minimized or ignored Jewish history of the land prior to the 20th century. Israeli textbooks and school curriculum also often ignore Palestinian history. Texts and school curriculum on both sides are accused of propagating "myths" about the history of the conflict, and relegating important points of view and facts.

The role of the superpowers

Palestinians cite many reasons for the perceived lack of support of their cause in the United States, despite the perception that it is more broadly supported in Europe. One such reason is postulated to be ethnic bigotry in the U.S.; while stereotyping of many other groups is no longer rampant, many people believe that Muslims and Arabs, in particular, continue to be vilified and victimized by crude attacks. There is also strong influence by Zionist organizations on elected officials in the U.S. political system (see AIPAC
American Israel Public Affairs Committee
The American Israel Public Affairs Committee is a lobbying group that advocates pro-Israel policies to the Congress and Executive Branch of the United States...

 as one such example). It has also been argued that the U.S. continues to support Israel in order to have a strong foot hold in the region for their own national interests, politically and economically. Many also cite the political nature of the Cold War that aligned the U.S. with Israel against the USSR and its allies in the region.

The USSR
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

 traditionally used Arabs as a proxy in the Cold War
Cold War
The Cold War was the continuing state from roughly 1946 to 1991 of political conflict, military tension, proxy wars, and economic competition between the Communist World—primarily the Soviet Union and its satellite states and allies—and the powers of the Western world, primarily the United States...

 against the Western world
Western world
The Western world, also known as the West and the Occident , is a term referring to the countries of Western Europe , the countries of the Americas, as well all countries of Northern and Central Europe, Australia and New Zealand...

 (and the West's proxy in the Middle East, Israel). Some of today's anti-Zionist
Anti-Zionism
Anti-Zionism is opposition to Zionistic views or opposition to the state of Israel. The term is used to describe various religious, moral and political points of view in opposition to these, but their diversity of motivation and expression is sufficiently different that "anti-Zionism" cannot be...

 rhetoric still reflects the position of Soviet Zionology
Zionology
Soviet Anti-Zionism was a doctrine promulgated in the Soviet Union during the course of the Cold War, and intensified after the 1967 Six Day War. It was officially sponsored by the Department of propaganda of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union and by the KGB. It alleged that Zionism was a form...

.

Peace and reconciliation

Despite the long history of conflict between Israelis and Arabs, there are many people working on peaceful solutions that respect the rights of peoples on all sides. See projects working for peace among Israelis and Palestinians.
  • Currently active List of Middle East peace proposals include:
    • Geneva Accord
      Geneva Accord
      The Geneva Initiative, also known as the Geneva Accord, is a model permanent status agreement to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict based on previous official negotiations, international resolutions, the Quartet Roadmap, the Clinton Parameters, and the Arab Peace Initiative...

    • Road map for peace
      Road map for peace
      The roadmap for peace or "road map" for peace is a plan to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict proposed by a "quartet" of international entities: the United States, the European Union, Russia, and the United Nations. The principles of the plan, originally drafted by U.S. Foreign Service...

    • The People's Voice
      The People's Voice
      The People's Voice is an Israeli-Palestinian civil initiative dedicated to advancing the process of achieving peace between Israel and the Palestinians...


Views of the Conflict: Pro-Israeli

  • Myths and Facts of the Arab-Israeli Conflict, extensive collection of questions and answers with maps and documents published by the American-Israeli Cooperative Enterprise
  • Arab-Israeli Conflict: Basic Facts from the Israeli Science and Technology Homepage
  • 10 Facts About the Arab-Israeli Conflict, a presentation of facts about the conflict that are sometimes overlooked or ignored
  • Segev, Tom (1999.) One Palestine Complete: Jews and Arabs Under British Mandate. Published by Henry Holt and Company, LLC, 115 West 18th Street New York, New York 10011. ISBN 978-0-8050-6587-9
  • Bard, Mitchell, Ph.D. (1999) Middle East Conflict. Published by Alpha Books, 201 West 103rd Street, Indianapolis, IN 46290. ISBN 978-0-02-863261-2
  • The Associated Press (1967). Lightning Out of Israel The Arab-Israeli Conflict. Printed in the U.S.A. by Western Printing and Lithographing Company
  • Dershowitz, Alan. The Case for Israel (John Wiley & Sons, 2004), ISBN 978-0-471-67952-3
  • [Stunich, Andrew (2007). The Real Cause of and Likely Progression of the Arab-Israeli Conflict http://redwoodreality.blogspot.com/search?q=Arab+Israeli+conflict]

Views of the Conflict: Pro-Arab

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