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This guide supports the Hillel presentation (04/08/24) on Antisemitism.

Links to Resources on the History of the Israel-Palestinian Conflict


  • The Palestinian-Israeli Conflict: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford Press) -- Link
  • Israel and Hamas October 2023 Conflict: Frequently Asked Questions (Congressional Research Services) -- Link
  • The Question of Palestine (United Nations) -- Link
  • Arab-Israel Conflict (Wikipedia) -- Link

Books on Israel - Palestine Conflict -- Link

Journal articles on Palestine - Israel Conflict -- Link

ChatGPT 3.5

ChatGPT prompt, "What is the controversy surrounding the history of the Israel and Palestine conflict."

The controversy surrounding the history of the Israel-Palestine conflict is multifaceted and deeply rooted in conflicting narratives, historical interpretations, and political agendas. Here are some key points of contention:

1. **Narratives of Origin**: Israelis and Palestinians have starkly different narratives regarding the origins of the conflict. Israelis often emphasize the historical connection of Jews to the land of Israel, dating back thousands of years, and the need for a Jewish state as a refuge from persecution. Palestinians, on the other hand, highlight their own historical ties to the land, including continuous habitation for centuries, and view the establishment of Israel in 1948 as a form of colonialism and dispossession.

2. **1948 War and Palestinian Nakba**: The events surrounding the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, which led to the creation of the State of Israel, are highly contentious. Israelis celebrate it as their War of Independence, marking the establishment of a Jewish homeland. However, Palestinians refer to it as the Nakba, or catastrophe, as it resulted in the displacement of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians from their homes, leading to their refugee status.

3. **Occupation and Settlements**: The Israeli occupation of the West Bank, Gaza Strip, and East Jerusalem since 1967 is a central point of contention. Palestinians view the occupation as illegal and oppressive, leading to restrictions on their freedom of movement, land confiscation, and settlement expansion. Israelis often argue that the occupation is necessary for security reasons and cite historical and biblical connections to the land.

4. **Jerusalem**: The status of Jerusalem is a highly contentious issue. Israelis consider Jerusalem their eternal and undivided capital, while Palestinians see East Jerusalem as the capital of their future state. The Israeli annexation of East Jerusalem after the Six-Day War in 1967 is not recognized internationally, further complicating efforts to reach a resolution.

5. **Right of Return**: The issue of Palestinian refugees and their right of return to their ancestral homes is deeply divisive. Palestinians argue for the right of return as enshrined in UN Resolution 194, which Israel rejects, fearing it would undermine the Jewish character of the state. The refugee issue remains a major obstacle to achieving a comprehensive peace agreement.

6. **Terrorism and Security Concerns**: Israeli security concerns, including Palestinian terrorism and rocket attacks from Gaza, often shape Israeli policies and military actions. Palestinians argue that their resistance against Israeli occupation is legitimate under international law, while Israelis see it as terrorism. The use of violence by both sides has perpetuated a cycle of retaliation and further entrenched the conflict.

7. **Peace Process**: Efforts to resolve the conflict through peace negotiations have been marked by setbacks and failures. Disagreements over core issues such as borders, security, refugees, and the status of Jerusalem have hindered progress. Additionally, domestic politics on both sides, as well as regional dynamics, have often complicated peace efforts.

Overall, the controversy surrounding the history of the Israel-Palestine conflict reflects the deep-seated grievances, competing national identities, and unresolved issues that continue to shape the conflict today. Efforts to address these controversies and find a just and lasting solution remain a significant challenge for the international community.

** This response does not reflect the opinion of Cowles Library or Drake University **