Palestine, presently known as Israel, belonged historically to the Jews. During the time of the old biblical days, Abraham moved to Canaan (present day Israel) from Ur (present day Iraq). Due to severe famine the Israelites moved south settling in Egypt, east of the Nile delta. After being pressed into slavery and finally rescued by Moses, they resettled in modern day Israel. The Jews were driven out of Palestine by the Romans who occupied the land at the time, after two revolts in AD 70 and AD 135. The Arabs remained in Palestine.
Jews were expelled and had to resettle wherever they could. They were often persecuted. Hatred of the Jews (anti-Semitism) stemmed from a variety of reasons. They were seen as 'Christ killers', as an elite group which considered itself to be the 'Chosen people'. By the end of the nineteenth century, anti-Semitism was commonplace in Europe, for example there were organized attacks on Jews in Russia ( pogroms). It was at this time that a movement called Zionism was set out to establish a Jewish homeland. The idea was put forward by Theodor Herzl.
The main aim of Zionism was, 'to create for the Jewish people a homestead in Palestine secured by public law. ' Also during WWII Hitler found the best solution to the "Jewish problem" by exterminating them in such a brutal and inhumane manner. It has been estimated, Hitler killed 11 million Jews, over half of the Jewish population. The British took over the administration of part of the Middle East following the First World War but relinquished the mandate for Palestine in 1948. David Ben-Gurion, who was an active Zionist, during the War of Liberation, established Israel.
Despite military attempts by the Arabs to prevent Jewish control of Palestine, the Zionist movement succeeded in its campaign to establish a Jewish state in part of the area formerly under the British mandate. The creation of Israel in 1948 led to clashes with the Arab world, which have continued until the present day. Peace may have a different meaning to both Israel and Palestinians. Peace for Israel is to keep all its occupied areas and its holy sites including Jerusalem and to be recognized as a unified state not to be attacked by the Arabs. This is a national security issue.
Palestinians believe that peace for them would be to regain all the occupied territories lost during the Six Day War in 1967 and also regain some economic stability that is much controlled by Israel. Many people may still argue that a solution may not be possible for the Arab-Israeli conflict for the following reasons: There have been many peace attempts in the past and still today, but have all failed due to terrorist attacks from both the Arabs and Jews. This is because many Arabs and Jews are not willing to compromise and give up land which they believe belongs to them.
On 5 June 1967, the third major war to occur between the surrounding Arab nations and Israel, following the events of previous months, when President Nasser blockaded the Gulf of Aqaba, cutting off the Israeli port of Eilat, he prevented the Israeli's from gaining any extra income from the port to help the country. What was known as the 'Six Day War' had begun. Israel successfully won the battle taking the Sinai Peninsula and also regained more land taking Palestinian territory, such as the Golan Heights and West Bank occupying East Jerusalem, only to provoke the situation further by not showing any signs towards peace.