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The Arab-Israeli Conflict History in the 20th Century Essay

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Updated: May 1st, 2019

The Arab-Israeli conflict is the opposition between several Arabic countries and several radical groups supported by the native Arabs inhabiting Palestine territories occupied by Israeli on the one side and Zionist movement on the other side. It is one of the most long lasting conflicts of the 20th century.

The history of the conflict encompasses more than a century beginning in the end of the 19th century when the political Zionist movement was created. After the collapse of the Ottoman Empire the conflict was mainly based on the territorial disagreements. As the conflict developed, cultural and religious issues were involved. These issued highlighted the national differences of both nations.

These days, one of the greatest conflicts on the territory is between Palestine and Israeli. It is based on the territorial interests of Arab and Israeli people who live in Palestine. As a result, there are often open armed conflicts and acts of terrorism.

Mani historians and sociologists assume that the basis for these violent attacks is the nationalistic movement developed both in Israeli and Palestine, “the current generation of violent Islamist extremists may have a goal of forcing people to accept a distorted seventh-century version of Islam” (Nye 269).

Thus, we can come to a conclusion that in these countries nationalism is an extremist and exclusivist political ideology that tends towards violence.

In order to support this argument, a background of the Arab-Islamic conflict should be provided. So, a historic development, religious and cultural differences between both countries created various issues for conflict between Palestine and Israel.

Palestine was inhabited by Arab people since ancient times. When the Zionist movement was developed to restore the “historical home” of Jews in the territory belonging to the Arabs, the interests of the Arab population inhabiting the territory were ignored. As a consequence:

“Arabs did not accept the partition and war broke out. The Jews won a decisive victory, expanded their state and created several hundred thousand Palestinian refugees. The Arab states refused to recognize Israel or make peace with it” (“Divisive History” n. p.)

There were many wars since then. Until now, both nations do not accept the position of the neighbor. And the question of ceasing the conflict is impossible.

As it has already been mentioned, there are many issues that contribute to the conflict. Let us consider them. The territorial issue is seems to be the most important one. The Zionist movement (which is the basis of the Israel government) considers Palestine a historic land of Jewish people. Consequently, Jews have right for their own territory.

This assumption is based on principle of the equality of all people, principle of protection Jewish people from anti-Zionistic movement and principle of historic land. As opposed to this theory, Arab countries refuse to accept the Israel on their land and consider the territory an ancient Muslim land. They are disturbed with the fact that Israel was established against their approval. As a result:

“Almost all Palestinian groups were founded with the declared aim of destroying Israel by violence, and had a history of terrorist activities. Only the PLO (Palestine Liberation Organization) has renounced this aim officially” (“Palestinian Terror” n. p.).

Thus, we can see that the issue of nationalism as an extremist and exclusivist political ideology have place in the Arab-Israeli conflict. As Hall mentions in his book, “nationalism is the starkest political shame of the twentieth century, the deepest, most intractable and yet most unanticipated blot on the political history of the world since 1900” (156). In this regard, it is very close to extremism.

Taking the nationalism in Arab countries as an example, we can see that violent and war conflict arose on the basis of it. The Arab nationalist and Jews are committed to extreme points of view which result in provocations, mass civil disobedience, terrorism movements and partisan attacks. The nationalists refuse the negotiation based on compromise.

Exactly such behavior we can see in the Arab-Israeli conflict. One of the main issues for the nationalism and, as a result, conflict, is the religious beliefs in both countries. As we know, Muslim and Jewish religions are the most loyal and adamant.

The people are strong believers, and, as religion is the basis for national politics in both countries, the conflict and the issue of religion reinforce the nationalism as an extremist and exclusivist political ideology. In response to Palestinian violence, the Israel government checks the borders and limits flow of workers from Palestine.

Arab-Israel conflict is one of the most urgent issues of the international politics. According to Nye, “in international politics, divided peoples do not share the same loyalties and some states that are stronger than others, may resold to force” (4) and it can become the main reason for the international conflict.

Thus, the Arab-Israel conflict and events that take place in both countries support the argument that nationalism is an extremist and exclusivist political ideology that tends towards violence. Long history of the conflict and events are the best evidences that prove the theory.

Works Cited

“Divisive History” In a Nutshell: Israeli Palestinian Conflict. Web.

Hall, John A. The State of the Nation: Ernest Gellner and the Theory of Nationalism. Cambridge University Press, 1998.

Nye, Joseph S. Understanding International Conflicts: An Introduction to Theory and History, 7th Edition. Oxford: Pearson/Longman, 2009.

“Palestinian Terror” In a Nutshell: Israeli Palestinian Conflict. Web.

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