I. Religious background
A. Israelis = Land of Israel (according to Torah) promised by God to the Children of Israel (Jews)
1. Christians support Jews because they recognize their ancestral rights to this and as explained in the New Testament.
B. Muslims claim religious priority in accordance with the Quran as descendants of Ishmael (Abraham’s elder son)
1. Land is referred to as “Canaan” or “Palestine”
II. Historical Background
A. Roman Diaspora (compare to “dead dandelions”) 72 A.D.
1. Non-Christians were kicked out of the Roman Empire – most fled to Palestine
B. Region controlled by Ottoman Empire for approximately 500 years
C. World War I: Allies needed support
1. End of war, Prime Minister David Lloyd George thanked the Jews by giving the “Balfour Declaration”
a. “The establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people” but that “nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil & religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities”
2. Prime Minister Winston Churchill later denied that this was ever the intention of the Balfour Declaration
D. Between 1948-1952, 700,000 Jews moved to Israel.
1. 1948: Israel declared independence in a letter to the United Nations.
2. Initiated the Arab-Israeli War
3. Muslims reacted by exiling any Jews on the West Bank or in Gaza from their property and homes to Israel.
E. 1966-1967: Gamal Abdel Nasser (Egypt’s leader) – began a Pan-Arab campaign seeking unified support to conquer Israel and expel the Jewish population (backed by the Soviets)
1. Resolution - 1979: Camp David Accords – peace treaty between Israel and Egypt
Answer the following questions on a separate lined piece of paper to submit:
1. What is at the core of the ongoing conflicts between the Arabs and the Israelis?
2. What are the basic arguments each group has regarding the conflict?
3. In your opinion, who is the rightful owner of the land? Why?