The Arab-Israeli Conflict: Protecting Democracy in the Middle East

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Standing in front of the Knesset, the Prime Minister-designate gives a stern welcome to his fellow legislators. “I do not stand here with the glee of victory, but with a sense of grave responsibility in testing times,” he says. What has brought Benjamin Netanyahu to the head of government in Israel is the need to bring peace, to bring about an end to violence, and to erase the misdeeds of the past and renew the spirit of cooperation and harmony in the Middle East. It is a task of mammoth proportions, rife with possibilities for failure, but one which is the responsibility of any government that is to be taken seriously by the international community to undertake. The peace that Israel seeks is often hampered by those who claim that the …show more content…
There were over 200 pogroms in Russia in the four year period of 1881–1884 (Morris 4). These pogroms led to an ever increasing call for the Jews to find a place that they could be under their own sovereign rule, and many saw that place as Palestine (Morris 4). The beginnings of mass immigration to Palestine began when, according to Lesch and Tschirgi’s Origins and Development of the Arab-Israeli Conflict, Herzl created the World Zionist Organization (WZO) in 1897. Among other things, the WZO helped immigrants to Palestine with purchasing land with the express intent of establishing a homeland there (Lesch and Tschirgi 5). With this immigration, Israel’s detractors have claimed that the Jews who did come to Palestine displaced those who were already there. According to Alan Dershowitz’s A Case for Israel, Professor Mohammad Abu Laila of the Al-Azhar University in Cairo has said that the Jews stole the land. M. Shahid Alam has said that the Zionists conceived their plan for a colonial-setter state and expelled the Palestinians. The reality of the situation is that the Jews who moved to Palestine bought the land, legally. The land purchase records show that many of the landowners were absentees; living in Beirut or Damascus, they had no connection to the land and sold the land to the Jews. Also, Palestine was already vastly

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