Israel and Palestine: A Brief History

hector vargas

What do you think about first when you hear about Israel and Palestine? Do you think of death and destruction at the hands of an oppressor? Or a constant uprising conducted by a people angry at a poor state? The discussion of what is going on in Israel is seldom ever talked about in American schools or discussions and that is something that absolutely needs to change. What is happening in Israel is really important to the indigenous people that make up Israel or, as it was once known, Palestine. The people that once made up Palestine are being driven out, killed, and forced to go through inhumane, dehumanizing, and humiliating conditions as a new set of people occupy their land and call it Israel. It’s a gigantic human rights issue that has been building up throughout the years, is constantly overlooked, and has been effecting millions of people everyday for more than 80 years. Occupied first by Egypt in 1948 but “From 1967, Israel officially occupied the area, until it withdrew its troops and settlements in 2005. Though Israel still controls some aspects of Gaza, it is officially still presided over by the Palestinian Authority.” (Rich. 2022). Not only is the current Israeli occupation of Palestine illegal, it’s inhumane, and a violation of human rights. These actions under Israel must be recognized by the world in order to institute a meaningful change.

The country that is currently known as Israel has been the illegally occupied land formerly known as Palestine, however, there had already been large claims to the land prior to that by the Jewish Community. As a result of the after math of World War 2 a region of Palestine was shared with the surviving Jewish community, but since 1949, Egypt occupied a territory that was supposed to become part of a new Palestinian state. Confirmed by Alex K Rich and Chuck Goodwin in their article “Israel and the Palestinians: Overview.” that “Palestine is actually the site of the ancient land of Israel, which was, according to the Hebrew Bible, promised to the Jews by God”. Both Christians and Jews observe this in the Hebrew Bible so both support the Jewish control of Palestine. Meanwhile the authors make mention of how the native Palestinian Arabs say “their sustained and continuous majority status as residents of the region grants them the right to control it.” (Rich. 2022). Well, what if the biblical claims that the region belongs to Israel are false? In a recent article by Bernard Katz titled “Jewish People are not indigenous to Israel.” Katz asserts that the Israelites weren’t indigenous to Palestine but enslaved to another part and “The Israelites in turn, freed from their Egyptian enslavement, invaded and conquered.” Speaking about the land of Palestine. So without the basis of their stance what are they defending? Even still, there is an “inability of either side to recognize the validity of the other side's claims to the disputed territory” (Katz. 2021) and both sides tend to see each other as state terrorists and domestic terrorists.

The centuries wide debate has sparked decades of fighting in the region, and as a result, in that time, Israel has been using their power to start displacing and ethnically cleansing the native Palestinians. In an article by the Sri Lanka Daily Mirror titled “Eviction of Palestinians - Ethnic cleansing by other means - EDITORIAL.” The Sri Lankan news source goes into an in depth look at the events that have been slowly unfolding over the last 84 years noting that “Today there are more than seven million Palestinian refugees -being, those Palestinians who fled, were expelled, or forced from their homes in the area of historic Palestine or who have been refused re-entry to their homes and now live scattered around the world.” The action, they say, is eerily similar to the nazi practice inflicted on the Jews, and worse yet it is still happening today. The Sri Lanka Daily Mirror reports that just in May of 2021 thousands of Palestinian resident homes were demolished from attacks and air strikes, along with dozens of schools, 138 Palestinian lives, and 120,000 displaced Palestinians, in an attempt to evict Palestinians from Israel. If this had happened anywhere else in the world there would be a massive outrage. Not only has the no one recognized the atrocities being committed in Israel, it’s only recently that there has there been any kind investigations on possible war crimes they might have been committing in Israel.

Still, even with all the death and destruction in 2021 leading to a cease fire, “The year 2022 is set to be the deadliest for Palestinians in the West Bank since 2005.” States an article by Antony Loewenstein titled “Jews need new voice on Israel.”. Loewenstein goes on to describe how even Australia’s relationship with Israel has “ossified” to the point of  where Zionist organizations, or organizations that believe in the protecting of the state that is now Israel, are unable to acknowledge they’re defending a country that doesn’t exist. This author acknowledges that those in power in Israel have set politicians in favor of ethnic cleansing of Palestinians, endorsed Israel colonization, and have weaponized the charge of anti-semitism against critics of its policy. He knows after occupying the state for so long the Jewish community feels their identity is tied to Israel, but mentions how that was bound to happen after generations of this, and that the Jewish community has to open its mind to improve this multicultural society. Though it’s clear by this that the world has been watching and will continue to keep watching as Israel continues it’s constant attacks and attempts to erase and deny the indigenous Palestinian people and their heritage.

Though it’s good that the President of Australia can notice what’s happening in Israel and speak on it, it cant be just them starting to speak on it. Many other countries have connections with Israel and only continue to watch the tragedies without doing anything about the situation. Tony King mentions this type of situation which is happening in 2022 in his article “Recognising Palestine is the first step to peace in the Middle East; Dr Tony King responds to an editorial on Liz Truss saying that she was considering moving the British embassy to Jerusalem.” where Britain considers moving it’s embassy to Jerusalem which “would tear up the commitment to any meaningful two-state solution.“ much like how the Trump administration legitimized Israel by moving the U.S embassy to Jerusalem.  King goes on to reprimand Britains Prime minister stating that “Any government that claims to support a two-state solution and a final resolution of the conflict, but continues the decades-old pattern of refusing to take the first essential step, is guilty of not just gross hypocrisy but also logical deficiency.”. King also mentions a dark fact that Britain is not one of the 139 countries that have already recognized Palestine. So with all these countries who only send their condolences as they help those who occupy their land, one can only wonder what else they can do.

The people of Palestine have even gone as far as to reconsider voting, since nothing changes no matter what they do. In an article titled “Palestinian Citizens of Israel Debate Whether It’s Worth Voting.” Author Raja Abdulrahim paints a vivid image of where Palestinian hopes lie before the recent election took place. He relays in this article how the views of the Palestinian voters lean, noting how due to little to no progress following the passed 5 elections, many Palestinians reconsider even casting their vote. A risk which one might say will effect them in the future, but also eerily might hold some truth as Josef Federman of the Denver Post talks about the outcome of the election in his article “Netanyahu set to return to power in Israel after PM concedes”. He goes on to mention how “The acting prime minister, Yair Lapid, conceded defeat and called Netanyahu to congratulate him shortly before the final results were released.”. Though the author admits the new and current Israeli government is really far right leaning, it is worth noticing, however, how he does note that now Israel’s government is going to have to interact with the liberal/democratic Biden administration and how “The White House on Thursday said it was looking forward to working with Israel on “our shared histories and values.””

With this in mind there are still calls from with in the U.S. for possible successful outcomes. According to Robert Wexler in his article “Democrats' Debate About Israel Has Changed.“ theres a debate between democrats because of the U.S.’s strong support of Isreal but “to lead to a successful outcome for both Israelis and Palestinians, the Biden administration must take robust action to create a two-state reality on the ground, one that gives all wings of the Democratic Party a stake in stability and security for all within Israel, Gaza and the West Bank.”. Trump has started normalizing relations between Israel and the surrounding Arab regions, and while Biden seeks to build off that, the Trump administration actually denied Palestinian voices and aimed to legitimize Israel. Still, Ali Harb says it best in his article “Israel-Palestine US Policy: What Changed under Biden, What Didn’t.” When he says “Despite growing calls for conditioning or restricting US aid to Israel, Biden has actually increased Washington’s assistance to its chief ally in the region from the Obama and Trump days.”. Noting how the Biden administration still even gave Israel an extra billion this year on top of the usual $3.8 billion in U.S aid the U.S continues to give for the war that broke out in may 2021, but even though he continues to give money to the people occupying Palestinian land at least he is recognizing Palestinians and continues attempts at restoring relief for refugees while also sending half a billion to them, unlike his republican counter part.

So what is the two state solution? And what was Trump thinking when he tried to make Israel a single state? According to the Encyclopedia Britannica in an article titled “Two-State solution Israeli-Palestinian history” since “1993 the Israeli government and the Palestinian Liberation Organization agreed on a plan to implement a two-state solution” by proposing a “framework for resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict by establishing two states for two peoples: Israel for the Jewish people and Palestine for the Palestinian people.” This clearly did not work as both sides did not think their government had any land to give up. With unwavering U.S. support for Israel, Trump decided to make a greater Israel. The Sri Lanka Daily Mirror goes into great detail about this in an article titled “A two-State solution or a Greater Israel - EDITORIAL.”. They outline how Trumps peace plan for Israel accepts Israel’s illegal settlements, keeps Israel in control, and creates a single state solution recognizing only Israel, It also disallows the Palestinian state to have a military and forces them to the status of municipality in hopes that displaced Palestinians come back as citizens of Israel with all the same rights, including the ability to vote in democratic elections, to disrupt the (Jewish) status quo. The significance of that is huge as “Today the population of Palestine is 5.02 million, the Arab population in Israel is approximately 1.9 million, together with the returning seven million Palestinian refugees, they would form a strong opposition to the Israeli status quo.” (Sri Lanka. 2020)

Understanding the Palestine Israel situation is not easy. The situation has evolved over time and though the occupation is illegal and countless of human rights violations may be occurring it’s not clear what will arise from this situation. Noticing how this situation has led to terrible injustices is the first step towards over coming these hardships. Recognizing that both parties in Israel seem eager for successful outcome is also a giant sign for hope in the times to come. This can understandably be a touchy subject. The biblical debate on wether or not someone can lay claim on the land., a controversy that has sparked the near genocide, among many other things, war crimes, of a group of people by another group of people comprised of people that were nearly genocide’d themselves.  All in all, the Israeli occupation of Palestine is illogical, immoral, and inhumane, and Palestine must be freed.


Abdulrahim, Raja. “Palestinian Citizens of Israel Debate Whether It's Worth Voting.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 30 Oct. 2022,

"A two-State solution or a Greater Israel - EDITORIAL." Sri Lanka Daily Mirror [Colombo, Sri Lanka], 24 Feb. 2020, p. NA. Gale In Context: Global Issues, Accessed 4 Dec. 2022.

"Eviction of Palestinians - Ethnic cleansing by other means - EDITORIAL." Sri Lanka Daily Mirror [Colombo, Sri Lanka], 4 Aug. 2021, p. NA. Gale In Context: Global Issues, Accessed 27 Nov. 2022.

FEDERMAN, JOSEF. “Netanyahu Set to Return to Power in Israel after PM Concedes.” The Denver Post, The Denver Post, 3 Nov. 2022,

Harb, Ali. “Israel-Palestine US Policy: What Changed under Biden, What Didn't.” Israel-Palestine Conflict News | Al Jazeera, Al Jazeera, 13 July 2022, 

Katz, Bernard. "Jewish people are not indigenous to Israel." Toronto Star [Toronto, Ontario], 7 July 2021, p. NA. Gale In Context: Global Issues, Accessed 27 Nov. 2022.

King, Tony. "Recognising Palestine is the first step to peace in the Middle East; Dr Tony King responds to an editorial on Liz Truss saying that she was considering moving the British embassy to Jerusalem." Guardian [London, England], 4 Oct. 2022, p. NA. Gale In Context: Global Issues, Accessed 27 Nov. 2022. yes sir 938

Loewenstein, Antony. "Jews need new voice on Israel." Age [Melbourne, Australia], 12 Nov. 2022, p. 41. Gale In Context: Global Issues, Accessed 28 Nov. 2022.

Rich, Alex K., and Chuck Goodwin. “Israel and the Palestinians: Overview.” Points of View: Israel & the Palestinians, July 2022, pp. 1–5. EBSCOhost, Accessed 21 Nov. 2022

“Two-State Solution.” Encyclopædia Britannica, Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 

Wexler, Robert. "Democrats' Debate About Israel Has Changed." New York Times, 30 Sept. 2021, p. A23(L). Gale In Context: Global Issues, Accessed 28 Nov. 2022.

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