I am old enough to have lived through much of the Israeli-Arab conflicts having been born on Israel Independence Day [May 14, 1948]. Much of the media hype over the conflict is influenced by the personal political, personal and religious opinions of the observers. In truth, there are very few individuals on the planet who do not have strong emotional reactions to what is going on there.
But in short the conflict between Jews and Muslims involves the very existence of the country of Israel and their control over Jerusalem. Historically speaking, the partition of the land which Britain conquered from the Ottoman Turks after WW I into a 'Jewish' and 'Arab' set of nations by the vote of the United Nations did produce an Arab Palestinian state. It's name is Jordan.
The borders of the original Jewish state of Israel were amazingly tiny. They also controlled only half of Jerusalem. If the Arab world would have accepted this UN mandate, the state of Israel would exist as that tiny fraction of what it became. Unfortunately, the Arabs NEVER accepted the existence of such a state and the result has been several horrific wars with countless loss of lives on both sides. The present borders of Israel are the consequence of such wars and the unwillingness of certain Arabs states to recognize Israel's existence. Of course Egypt and Jordan are powerful exceptions, demonstrating that peace, even a fragile peace can exist.
History is replete with examples of territorial concessions for the sake of peace. Look at the history of the US. Wars with Spain, France and England has produced the outline of what we take to be 'sacred' territory. The history of Europe reveals an incredible degree of alterations in the borders and even the existence of countries. Much of these changes have been the consequence of war and subsequent peace treaties. NO ONE IS SUGGESTING THAT EUROPE OR THE USA GO BACK TO ANY PRIOR TERRITORIAL SITUATION. In fact it would be impossible for any country to do so. At what point in history is a particular city in Poland, for example, German, Russian, Lithuanian, Ukrainian or Polish ?
"Reasonable" human beings understand that life is imperfect and that peace is better than war. 'Reasonable' people understand that conflicts produce changes in land and borders and that the 'winners' determine those borders. Spain is no longer at war with the US, England, France or Germany because reasonable Spaniards prefer peace to war.
Unfortunately a significant percent of the radical Islamics of today are not so 'reasonable'.
Their entire metaphysical platform reeks of hatred. Peace is not in their vocabulary nor in their consciousness. They are the reason behind continuous suffering in the Middle East.
Americans and Westerner's in particular have to understand that Israelis do not want war, do not want to 'control' the territory of Arabs. They gave back the Gaza to demonstrate that to the Palestinians and to the the world. Israelis are like us–the want to work, party, do science, culture, discover inventions which will help ALL of humanity. And they do so, in spades. War is a terrible disruption to their way of life.
But what choice to they have but to defend their right to exist ? Of course they should give back land for peace. Of course right wing Jewish fanatics need to be controlled and evicted from illegal settlements [and they are].
But what happened with Gaza ? It didn't exactly work, did it ?
So stop blaming Israel for defending its own land !
Convince Hamas that life trumps death, that hatred inevitably brings down those who hate, that their children deserve better than to be infused with the sin of hating another of Allah's creatures.
It is time for a comprehensive peace in the region–but it will never happen until the a….holes stop shooting rockets across borders……