the West Bank, the Gaza strip and Jerusalem. Blood has been spilled as innocent lives are taken outside of synagogues through stabbings and through encounters with military troops near the much-contested borders (“Palestinian Attacks in Israel and West Bank Kill Five”). Although there have been many attempts by Israelis and Palestinians to achieve a peaceful compromise, every attempt has failed and ended in violence. Israelis and Palestinians cannot come to a peace agreement because each lives in fear of an existential threat to their religious and ethnic identity.
The Jews have faced a continual existential threat throughout time. They faced the
Exodus in Egypt, the pogroms throughout Middle Ages and the horrors of the Holocaust. The twentieth century saw a rise in Zionism, the belief in the necessity of a Jewish homeland. Not only was the land of modern day Israel gifted to them by God and rightfully theirs, there was no telling if Jews would survive without a homeland (Scott-Baumann 5). The Palestinians lived in an Arab state that had been under the control of the Ottoman Turks. Power was passed to Great Britain who shared control over varying Arab states with France. The profit Muhammad granted the Palestinians the right to the contested land and the three holiest Islamic sites are located within “Palestine.” Between 1915 and 1917, Great Britain promised to recognize the need for a Jewish state of Israel while also promising to recognize an independent Arab state, Palestine. Great Britain promised the same land to two ethnically and religiously diverging entities, helping formulate the deep divisions that are present today.
As tensions b...
... middle of paper ...
...The Israelis also deserve this land as God gave it to them, they have faced century’s worth of anti-Semitic treatment and there is an eminent need for a Jewish homeland. Any concession that compromises an important belief on either side is a threat to the others existence.
The inability to concede too much on either side is what keeps the violence such as the
stabbings of civilians outside of synagogues prevalent. Neither the Palestinians nor the Israelis feel they should or could give the other side what they want. As Troy Gil claims, each side receives only a half loaf and as Munayyer believes, there is nothing stopping the other side from taking over and eradicating the other. Until the tensions subside and the need for peace is greater than the existential threat that comes with dividing the region into two states, Israelis and Palestinians will not reach peace.
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