The Arab- Israeli Conflict
AO1: "What are the main differences between the beliefs and attitudes
of the Jews/Israelis and the Arabs/ Palestinians towards the land now
called Israel with the Gaza Strip and the West Bank?
The Arab- Israeli conflict is one of the most interesting conflicts
that have strained relations between the Muslims and the Jews which
involves a small but significant piece of land known as Palestine
(Israel today). This conflict is not rooted in modern times though, as
this section of my coursework will explain.
Both groups have extremely strong views on this topic, both
historically and religiously important, which has lead to this
stalemate between them.
Some Historians have said that the Jewish claim to Palestine (the old
name for the combined Israel, the West Bank and the Gaza strip) is
stronger historically than the Arabs. We need to remember that the
Jews first settled in the area of Palestine in groups of Hebrews
around 4000 years ago and set up their own kingdom and a beautiful
capital city - Jerusalem, but it was cruelly taken away by the Roman
Invaders around 63 AD. Despite the Jews rebelling against their new
overlords around 64AD they were defeated cruelly by 70AD. Their last
stand was made at the ancient fortress built by King Herod - Masada.
It shows that the Jewish believe they would rather kill themselves
than be slaves to a new nation of rulers. All the main Jewish
synagogues were destroyed, including the Temple of Solomon, reduced to
rubble with only one wall (the Wailing Wall) remaining. This act of
destroying all the evidence of Jewish occupation - and dispelling them
to the far ends of the empire is now known as the Diaspora. So, one of
the reasons why the Jews believe this is their homeland, - they had it
taken away from them to start off with by foreign invaders.
Another reason why the Jews believe they needed their homeland back
was the way in which they were treated in the European countries.
Western people generally hated the Jewish people- they were obviously
different in terms of customs, diet and dress. Many Catholics blamed
the Jews for the death of Christ on the cross, and resented the fact
that the Jews were good moneylenders, rich and much more influential
than the working class Europeans. This all lead to a belief now known
as Anti - Semitism, which made the Jews feel intimidated and unwanted
- but they didn't have another place to go. The biggest example of
this was that many Europeans blamed the Jews for the Black Death or
"Bubonic Plague" outbreak in the middle of the 13th century, as a
punishment from God for harbouring them. In Strasbourg for example,
2000 people were burnt on a massive scaffold erected in a Jewish
cemetery in 1349. Many countries started to evict the Jews from Europe
as they were seen as "evil...