A FAQ in progress.
Jews and Arabs share recent ancestry:
More than 70% of Jewish men and half of the Arab men whose DNA was studied inherited their Y chromosomes from the same paternal ancestors who lived in the region within the last few thousand years.
The results match historical accounts that Moslem Arabs are descended from Christians and Jews who lived in the southern Levant, a region that includes Israel and the Sinai. They were descendants of a core population that lived in the area since prehistoric times.
The dream of Zionist immigrants who wanted a large Jewish state led to trouble with the people of Palestine. In 1918, Lord Curzon said:
Zionists … now talk about a Jewish State. The Arab portion of the population is well-nigh forgotten and is to be ignored. They not only claim the boundaries of the old Palestine, but they claim to spread across the Jordan into the rich countries lying to the east, and, indeed, there seems to be very small limit to the aspirations which they now form. The Zionist programme, and the energy with which it is being carried out, have not unnaturally had the consequence of arousing the keen suspicions of the Arabs. By ‘the Arabs’ I do not merely mean Feisal and his followers at Damascus, but the so-called Arabs who inhabit the country. There seems, from the telegrams we receive, to be growing up an increasing friction between the two communities, a feeling by the Arabs that we are really behind the Zionists and not behind the Arabs, and altogether a situation which is becoming rather critical . . .’
That trouble grew until, in 1937, Israel’s future first Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion said, “We must expel Arabs and take their places.”
Many Jews opposed Zionism. In 1938, Albert Einstein said, “I should much rather see reasonable agreement with the Arabs on the basis of living together in peace than the creation of a Jewish state. Apart from practical consideration, my awareness of the essential nature of Judaism resists the idea of a Jewish state with borders, an army, and a measure of temporal power no matter how modest. I am afraid of the inner damage Judaism will sustain — especially from the development of a narrow nationalism within our own ranks, against which we have already had to fight strongly, even without a Jewish state.”
In 1947, the United Nations approved a two-state solution:
…one Arab and one Jewish. Jerusalem was to be designated an international city – a corpus separatum – administered by the UN to avoid conflict over its status. The Jewish community accepted the plan, but the Arab League and Arab Higher Committee rejected it.
After war broke out in 1948, Israel seized more land than the UN had approved. The non-Jewish residents who had fled for safety were not allowed to return. The UN estimated
…711,000 Palestinian refugees existed outside Israel, with about one-quarter of the estimated 160,000 Arab Palestinians remaining in Israel as “internal refugees.” Today, Palestinian refugees and their descendants are estimated to number more than 4 million people.
In 1967, Israel started the Six-Day War and seized more land. Menahem Begin, an Irgun leader who became the 6th Prime Minister of Israel, said, “The Egyptian Army concentrations in the Sinai approaches do not prove that Nasser was really about to attack us. We must be honest with ourselves. We decided to attack him.” Yitzhak Rabin, 5th Prime Minister of Israel, said, “I do not think Nasser wanted war. The two divisions he sent to The Sinai would not have been sufficient to launch an offensive war. He knew it and we knew it.”
From The New York Times, May 11, 1997:
Moshe Dayan, the celebrated commander who, as Defense Minister in 1967, gave the order to conquer the Golan…[said] many of the firefights with the Syrians were deliberately provoked by Israel, and the kibbutz residents who pressed the Government to take the Golan Heights did so less for security than for the farmland…[Dayan stated] ‘They didn’t even try to hide their greed for the land…We would send a tractor to plow some area where it wasn’t possible to do anything, in the demilitarized area, and knew in advance that the Syrians would start to shoot. If they didn’t shoot, we would tell the tractor to advance further, until in the end the Syrians would get annoyed and shoot.And then we would use artillery and later the air force also, and that’s how it was…The Syrians, on the fourth day of the war, were not a threat to us.’