In the beginning of the 20th century there was some sort of peace between Muslims, Christians and Jews in the area we now call Israel, during this period this part of the Middle-East fell under Ottoman rule. Many people believe that the conflict between the Israeli and Palestinians has been going on for centuries, however this conflict only started to escalate after 1900, after the fall of the Ottoman Empire in 1922. This caused a great disturbance in the area. Before this large numbers of Jews have already settled in Palestine, they believed in Zionism, which said that Judaism was not just a religion but a nationality, one that deserved a nation of its own. This movement started in Europe, but all over the world Jews in diaspora answered this call, this caused more and more Jews to move the area. After centuries of prosecution, many believed the Jewish state was their only way of safety, and saw their historic homeland in the Middle-East as their best hope for establishing it. After the First World War the Ottoman empire was divided into multiple nations. The United Kingdom received rule over Palestine, and called it the British mandate for Palestine. In 1922, Palestine was separated into two areas, the area west of the Jordan River fell under the British rule, and the area east of the river became the Emirate of Transjordan. In the period between 1919-1923 40.000 Jews moved to Palestine, this mass migration was caused by the massacre of over 100.000 Jews in Ukraine and Russia. Tension began to grow between the Jews and Arabs, acts of violence were committed, by the 1930’s the British decided to limit the amount Jewish immigrants (Bernard, 2013).
After the Second World War many Jews had moved to Palestine, they fled for the Nazi regime. In 1947 the United Nations accepted the Partition Plan for Palestine, which planned to divide Palestine into three areas: an Arab state, a Jewish state and an international regime for the cities of Jerusalem and Bethlehem. This to be able to fulfill the claims made by both sides of the conflict. Many Arabs saw the UN proposal as a new form of European colonialism, and did not agree with the proposal, however, the Jews had already accepted the plan and declared their independent state: Israel. Many of the surrounding Arab states, who had just won independence themselves, united in order to establish a Unified Arab Palestine, hence they declared war on Israel. The new state of Israel won the war, but in the process they pushed well beyond the borders of the UN plan. They captured the West of Jerusalem, and much of the land that at first belonged to Palestine (Waines, 1971). Furthermore, they also expelled huge numbers of Palestinians from their homes, creating massive refugee flows, the number today is around seven million individuals. At the end of the war the Israeli’s controlled all of the land except for the Gaza strip, controlled by Egypt, and the West Bank, controlled by Jordan and named the West Bank because it was at the west of the Jordan River. This was the beginning of the Arab-Jewish conflict that is still present in the area. However, nowadays, the conflict has transformed into what seems a lot like the Cold War (1945-1989) between the Soviet Union and the United States of America.
Despite the history of the area, the Jews and Arabs in the area now live in some sort of peace, unfortunately, there have been terrorist attacks and other acts of violence. But compared to what the population has been through, for some years there has been prosperity and peace in the area. The recent actions by the American president Donald Trump have heated the conflict again. He decided to move the American embassy from the Israeli city Tel Aviv to the proclaimed capital of the nation: Jerusalem, and hereby supporting the Israeli government in their claim of Jerusalem.
Both sides of the conflict will not agree to peace, Israel as well as Palestine still lay claim on parts of Jerusalem and other areas in the Middle-East. Either side does not trust the other side, a perfect example of this is the border crossing near Jerusalem. Both nations conduct multiple security checks and passport controls, to be sure that no one can be of any threat to either of the nations. In the area between the borders, there is a No-man’s land, a strip of about 500 meters wide where no one is allowed. Only watchtowers, bunkers and other military equipment are visible in this deserted land. On both borders there are many heavily armored soldiers intimidating anyone who want to enter their nation. Both sides willing to die for their country, you can feel the strong presence of nationalism. Both sides with different religions, which makes it even harder for the population to understand one another. However, the question is if they even want to understand one another. The Arab states around Israel consider the Israeli as the invader, an imagined community of Jews claiming the land. The Jews settled in this land strongly disagree with them, they believe that the land belongs to the Jewish people. Now that there is a Jewish nation the conflict that has been going on for over a century now escalated.
As Anderson states, nations awake something in humans, some sort of interconnectivity, even if you have never seen or heard someone with the same nationality, one will stay feel somewhat connected to this other (Anderson 1991) Not only this interconnectivity, nations can be considered similar to a religion. A religion describes the way of living, the meaning of live and the after live. Judaism describes the area we now call Israel as Zion, a place where all Jews are safe and should live. A place that belongs to the Jews. However, Muslims and Christians have the same desire, their most Holy place all lie in the same city. A very complicated situation, where either nation will not acknowledge the other and will not accept the presence of the other. Strong feeling of nationalism on both sides, this feeling has a difference in the mere foundation on either side, different languages, different histories and different religions.