Palestine.

Back in the very many days ago, there were a couple of runty little Jewish kingdoms in what is today Palestine (between the River Jordan and the Mediterranean).  Then came the Babylonians, the Assyrians, the Persians, the Greeks under that psycho Alexander, and the Romans.  No more Jewish kingdoms.  Jews ended up spread all over the Middle East and Europe.

Flash forward to the end of the 19th Century.  Everybody else gets a country (Germany, Italy, Rumania for crying out loud), why shouldn’t the Jews have a country too?  This idea is called Zionism.  Trouble is that the place where Zionists wanted to have that country, Palestine, was now full of Muslims and belonged to the Ottoman Empire.            Then, jump to the First World War.  The Ottoman Empire fought on the same side as Germany (which lost) and against Britain (which won).  The Ottoman Empire got broken up, with the British in temporary charge of Palestine.  Also, during the war the British had supported the creation of a “Jewish national home” in Palestine.

Next, along came the Nazis, who tried to wipe out the Jews of Europe.  After the war many of the survivors of the Holocaust didn’t want to remain in Europe.  One bright idea: let them go to Palestine.  Zionists liked the sound of this.  Arabs didn’t like the idea because they were starting to set up their own countries and didn’t see why they should take in a bunch of European colonists just because some other Europeans had done some bad stuff.  Brits weren’t too crazy about this idea because it would make the Arabs mad.  Nevertheless, the Zionist managed to ship the Jews to Palestine, then fought a war (1948-1949) with the Arab countries in order to create the state of Israel.

Lots of Palestinian Arab Muslims got driven off their land during the war.  They ended up living in refugee camps in Egypt (Gaza Strip), Jordan (on the West Bank), and Syria.  Arab countries weren’t too good about taking in their fellow Arabs, although they were pretty good at chasing out all the Jews from their own countries and stealing their property.  Instead, the Arab countries kept talking about wiping Israel off the map and letting all the Palestinian refugees go home.

However, the post-Holocaust Jews of Israel weren’t the pre-Holocaust Jews of Europe.  After the Holocaust the Israelis always took people seriously when they said that they wanted to wipe out the Jews, then spent a lot of time figuring out how to beat up on people who talked that way.  They beat up on Egypt in 1956; then Egypt, Syria, and Jordan in 1967; then Egypt and Syria in 1973; then they bombed a nuclear reactor under construction in Iraq in 1981.

Outcomes of the war of 1967. First, Israel took the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, which were full of Palestinian Arab Muslims.  So they have this huge population of captives who hate their guts.  Second, the Palestinians got fed up with Mickey Mouse Arab countries talking about wiping Israel off the map, only to get beat up on by Israel, always making the situation of the Palestinians worse than it was before the Arab countries tried to “help.”  Palestinians decided that they were going to have to fight on their own to create a country.  It had worked for Israel, so be like Israel.  They didn’t have an army or an air force, so they turned to terrorism.  Israel doesn’t want to turn loose of the West Bank and Gaza if it is just going to turn into a safe-haven for extremists who will try to wipe out Israel, but the longer Israel holds these people captive the more anti-Israel the Palestinians become.  If that’s possible.

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