Israel was created in November 1947 when the United Nations voted in favor of the partition of Palestine. This created a Jewish state.
The partition was proposed after the discovery of Germany’s “final solution” to the “Jewish question”. Sympathy for the Jews in the international community allowed the Zionists, those who wanted a Jewish homeland in Palestine, to finally obtain a homeland.
The Arabs opposed the partition while the Zionists supported it; this was the origin of modern-day Israel and the modern-day Israeli-Palestinian conflict (part of a greater conflict between Arab nations and Israel).
Having controlled Palestine for over a millennia it is understandable why Arabs might oppose the creation of a Jewish homeland in an area that the Arabs not only view as sacred but as their land. With the Ottoman Empire collapsing Europe divided the Middle East with Britain controlling Palestine.
The Injustice that the Arab world feels is exacerbated by the occupation of their land in what they view as an illegal assault on their territory (Israel started the war) and the injustices and human rights violations committed against the Palestinians.
The underlying problem is that Israel is located in territory that the Muslim world considers its own, has displaced Palestinians with no reimbursement and continues to commit human rights violations against the Palestinians.
Prior to the six day war Egypt massed 100,000 or more troops at Israel’s border, expelled U.N. Peacekeepers from Sinai and closed the Tiran Straits to Israeli shipping. On June 5, 1967 Israel launched what they claimed was a “pre-emptive” attack on Egypt. The war that ensued between Israel and neighboring Arab nations ended with Israel’s victory due to superior weapons.
Israel occupied territory during the war. This has changed the goals of many of the Arab powers from the annihilation of Israel to the return of occupied territory.
Workers rights: Many construction companies in the settlements, until the Israeli supreme court ruled against it, used Jordan’s labor laws (more lax, no minimum wage etc.) on Palestinians and Israel’s Labor laws on Israelis.
Despite only accounting for about 10% of the population in the West Bank, Israelis produce 25% of the sewage.
Israel “employs an undeclared policy of leniency and compromise” towards settlers. Frequently settlers will use violence as a way to intimidate Palestinians in the region and increase their settlement’s size.
Israelis living in the settlements are not subject to local law, only to Israeli law, a little reminiscent of how the English weren’t subject to Chinese law after the opium wars.
Israel has slowed the development of new settlements under international scrutiny but has allowed existing settlements to expand and supports these settlements.
In 1991 when the Oslo Accords were being negotiated Al-Qaeda and its offshoots/imitators did not exist. The failure of the moderates to ensure peace has led to the rise of extremism in the Middle East. It is true however, that the moderates have achieved little if anything at all. The desperation that this conflict has engendered has caused many to turn to terrorist organizations.
The Arab Peace Initiative, originally proposed at the 2002 Arab League summit, would grant normalization of relations between Israel and the Arab League nations in exchange for the territory occupied during the six days war and for displaced Palestinians to be able to return to their home or ,should they not want to go back, to be compensated appropriately. This initiative was later reaffirmed at the 2007 summit. One survey stated that currently 67% of Palestinians and only 39% of Israelis support this proposal. This plan has been adopted as part of the Obama administrations foreign policy in the middle east.
Donate money to aid the Palestinians so that they don’t have to turn to extremism
Start a petition to the government to take a more decisive and firm stance on the conflict, especially the settlements, the U.S. has some leverage over the Israeli government in the form of loans and military assistance. Despite the overwhelming pro-Israeli sentiments in the U.S. (especially after 9/11) neither side in the conflict is without blame, the longer it takes to achieve peace the more people die and the more these people will turn to extremism as a method of resistance.
Hariri, Saad. "Middle East peace has become a global problem." Los Angeles Times Sunday, May 30, 2010 12:07 a.m. MDT: 1-2. Web. 31 May 2010. <http://www.deseretnews.com/article/700035944/Middle-East-peace-has-become-a-global-problem.html?pg=2>.