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How Israel occupied the whole of Palestine in 1967

We are are discussing the ongoing conflict between Israel and Palestine, with both sides blaming each other for the latest hostilities. The conflict is a long-standing issue with a history of bloodshed and sorrow, and the land is claimed by both sides under different names.

The Emergence of Israel and Judah in the Canaan Region

The term "Israel" first appeared in the 13th century BC, referring to a people rather than a place, and later on, it was used to describe two sister kingdoms in the Canaan region. These kingdoms were Israel and Judah. In 722 BC, the kingdom of Israel was conquered by the Neo-Assyrian empire, causing the term "Israel" to no longer exist as an ancient geographic term.

The Destruction of the Jewish Temple and the Exile to Babylonia

Less than 150 years after the emergence of two sister kingdoms in the Canaan region, Judah was overthrown, and its capital Jerusalem was sacked, leading to the destruction of the Jewish Temple and the exile of many of its inhabitants to Babylonia. After the exile ended, the former territory of Judah became the center of Judaism for almost seven centuries, despite the destruction of the rebuilt Temple by the Romans in AD 70.

Muslim Rule in the Region and the Emergence of Zionism

After a Jewish revolt failed in AD 135, Roman Emperor Hadrian expelled Jews from Jerusalem and designated the city and its environs as "Syria-Palestina." In the seventh century, Arabs settled in the region after the Islamic conquest of the Middle East. The land was under Muslim rule for roughly 1,200 years, except for 90 years of Crusader control, and despite Jewish presence, the populace was predominantly Arab.

The Establishment of Mandatory Palestine and the Creation of Israel

Zionism, a nationalistic movement aimed at returning Jews to their ancestral territory, arose in the late 19th century due to rising anti-Semitism in Europe and Russia. Upon immigrating to the region, Jews encountered a predominantly Arab population. The land was under Ottoman control and not yet known as "Palestine." In 1917, it became part of the British Empire, and in 1923, "Mandatory Palestine" was established, including what is now Jordan. The Arab inhabitants primarily identified as Arabs in Palestine rather than as Palestinians.

The "War of Independence" and the Catastrophe for Palestinians

Zionist leaders in Mandatory Palestine sought to increase the Jewish population to bolster claims to statehood, but British restrictions on immigration in 1939 hindered their efforts. The Holocaust ultimately spurred global support for the Zionist cause. In 1947, the United Nations passed a resolution dividing the land into Independent Arab and Jewish states, but it faced immediate Arab opposition, with Palestinian militias attacking Jewish settlements. Despite this, the state of Israel was declared on May 14, 1948, by Zionist leaders. (Read: The Geopolitics of the Muslim World)

Challenges and Conflicts in the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

Arab countries and Palestinian militants invaded the newly established state of Israel, leading to the "War of Independence" for Jewish Israelis and the "Catastrophe" (al-Nakba) for Palestinians. By the war's end, Palestinians lost nearly 80% of their United Nations allocation, and 700,000 were displaced without the right of return. In 1988, the Palestinian National Council declared independence, which the UN General Assembly recognized a month later. Today, around three-quarters of UN member states accept Palestine's statehood, though it has non-member observer status.

Attempts at Negotiating a Two-State Solution

Israel has thrived despite multiple wars with Arab states and militant groups, while Palestinians have struggled to establish functional governance and economic stability. Israel repelled an existential threat in the Six-Day War of 1967, seizing East Jerusalem, the West Bank, and Gaza, leaving Palestinians under Israeli occupation or control. 

Throughout the conflict, more Palestinians than Jewish Israelis have been killed and wounded, with Hamas's strategy of situating command centres within civilian areas adding to the toll. Israel has experienced two violent Palestinian Intifadas, with the Security Barrier erected in response essentially eliminating terrorist attacks but adding to Palestinian civilian pain. 

There have been several unsuccessful attempts to negotiate a two-state solution since the 1990s. Under Benjamin Netanyahu, Jewish settlement in the West Bank and East Jerusalem accelerated, making future talks more challenging.

Moving Forward from the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict has seen wrongs and brutalities on both sides, with Jews and Arabs having a legitimate claim to the land. Despite many attempts, a two-state solution has not been achieved, and both sides have suffered. Israel has largely flourished while Palestinians have struggled to establish governance and economic stability. Israel treats Arab Israelis as second-class citizens, although the recent coalition government may help address this issue. The only way to move forward is to look to the future and stop looking to the past.