The Israeli-Palestinian Debate in Brief | Teen Ink

The Israeli-Palestinian Debate in Brief

August 12, 2014
By SarahHarmon GOLD, Lawrenceville, New Jersey
SarahHarmon GOLD, Lawrenceville, New Jersey
11 articles 1 photo 48 comments

Favorite Quote:
"I have learned that people will forget what you did, people will forget what you said, but people will never forget how you made them feel." ~Maya Angelou

66 years to this very month, Israel became a nation and was recognized by the United Nations. A large part in its formation is thanks to the work of Zionists and the U.N. in the years after the Holocaust. Israel was to become once more a Jewish homeland. Its only flaw was that Israeli land was home to Palestinians for thousands of years just as it was home to the Jewish people those thousand years ago before that. Its very existence is controversial. Since it’s formation, Israel has taken part in many wars and large-scale military operations among which were the 1948 War of Independence, the Sinai War in 1956, Suez Crisis in 1956, the Six Day War in 1967, the War of Attrition from 1967-1970, the Yom Kippur War in 1973, Lebanon Wars in both 1982 and 2006, the Gaza War in 2008-2009, and Operation Pillar of Offense in 2012. All of these wars were fought with Arab countries surrounding the country, many of which still deny Israel recognition as a nation. This denial of recognition has commonly been attributed to terrorist organizations promoting anti Antisemitism and anti Israel sentiment. Most of these organizations that Arab-Palestinian Terror Groups. The Palestinian Liberation Organization actually recognizes Israel’s right to exist but through terrorist attacks have ultimately betrayed their goals. Israel’s existence is controversial in itself, and now I’m going to tell you both sides in hopes of you better understanding the Israeli-Palestinian Debate.

The argument in favor of Israel is vastly routed in Israel being the historical homeland of the Jewish people who lived there as far back as biblical times. The land was by fought over Muslims, Arab invaders, and Christian Crusaders alike, who persecuted the remaining Jews of Palestine that did not leave over hundreds if not thousands of years of different expulsions. The greatest migration to Palestine, which is now Israel, by Jews before Israel was made a Jewish state was a Sephardic immigration of 10,000 from Spain back during the Spanish Inquisition. An important factor to consider is that although “Jewish” is referred to a religious group, as President of the Israel Institute Itamar “Rabinovich clarified…[they are also considered] an ethnic group, and the Jewish people should be entitled to their own nation state, like the Palestinians.” (Lauren Betesh for the Huffington Post) It has also been argued that “Jews deserve a Jewish state because of historical injustices, such as the Holocaust, and because they have international support and recognition through the United Nations.” ( As of right now, it is believed that a contributing factor to the “one-state” solution being highly considered by far right view Israelis is that the Palestinians’ continuous terrorist attacks and refusal to recognize Israel is preventing them from reaching an agreement where both parties win. “The majority of Israelis actually support a "two-state" solution, creating a Palestinian state alongside Israel in the West Bank and Gaza Strip” ( The West Bank and the Gaza Strip are the two areas with the majority of the remaining Palestinian population in Israel.

The argument for the Palestinians is basically that the land that they lived on, that their grandparents lived on in the country of Palestine was just suddenly taken from them by the U.N. for this new country. At the time, the Jewish people were a minority in Palestine. Now after years of conflict with everything from land claims to prejudice to Palestinian refugee camps, the Palestinians are the minority in Israel. They are only 20% of Israel’s population. They claim that they lived there the longest i the past hundreds of years and that the recent increase in Jewish immigration through “birthright” does not give them a right to establish a state on Muslim land. They do not believe that the U.N. should have authority to take land from them that they lived on for generations. They believe that they too are a “national entity, deserving of the rights of all nations, including an independent Palestinian state” just as the Jews cliam they deserve an independent state ( Now there has been 66 years of settlement and creation of a separate Palestinian state is becoming less and less possible. The far right view is that Israel should be destroyed and Palestine should be the one-nation left standing. “In a letter [the King of Jordan] on March 13, 1961, [it was written that] 'On...Israel, we believe that the evil introduced into the heart of the Arab world must be uprooted.'" (Benny Morris, Righteous Victims, p. 300-301, Vintage Books, 2001) This is the belief of many surrounding terrorist groups. However, “the majority of Palestinians support a "two-state" solution, creating a Palestinian state alongside Israel in the West Bank and Gaza Strip” ( The other percentage of terrorist groups, including a part of thr PLO as mentioned before, have been famed to use violence in intent to speed up political action for the “two-state solution”, which has obviously not been successful.

The Israeli-Palestinian Debate will continuously be a problem until both sides can find common ground. In my personal opinion, I think at this point the “two-state” solution is in the best interest of both parties after all that’s happened. However, I can now see strong reasons for both sides over the existence of Israel itself. Of course, being Jewish myself I find myself in a position of being a bit biast. But overall, anything that will eliminate any war or more civilian deaths is what is necessary for both Israelis and Palestinians. I chose this topic because a couple years ago, my Muslim friend had family on the Gaza strip who’s house got bombed by Israelis. I felt a sense of guilt even though I personally had nothing to do with it, because I, as a Jew, felt connected to the Jewish state of Israel. Often I wonder if our situation was reversed, if people on the Gaza strip bombed some hypothetical family I had in Israel, if my friend would feel the same way. And unfortunately, if the fighting and the terrorism does not stop between the Israeli and the Palestinians after all that has transpired, I don’t think a peaceful solution will ever be attained.

The author's comments:
This was written for my public speaking class. Our assignment was to write a 5 minute speech on an International issue. Therefore, I do not delve deeper into other terrorist organizations,and only briefly talk about war and the countries surrounding Israel. This was written before the recent events between Israel and Hamas in Gaza this summer.

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This article has 1 comment.

on Aug. 18 2014 at 5:00 pm
Caesar123 DIAMOND, Union Grove, Wisconsin
50 articles 7 photos 103 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Madness in great ones must not unwatched go" --Claudius in William Shakespeare's Hamlet

Not a bad look on the situation that gives equal recognition to both sides. However, you definitely need to check your grammar and spelling closer and perhaps flesh it out a little more creatively. The article wasn’t terrible, and if you keep working at it, there’s nowhere to go but up. Happy writing!