Palestine and Israel Introduction

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  • by Anup Shah
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The Israeli-Palestinian conflict, or Arab-Israeli conflict, or whatever name it goes by, is perhaps one of the more sensitive issues that is discussed. From the historic British dominance in the Middle East, and the more recent US influence and control over the region, the Anglo-American goal is simply to be able to dominate the Middle East due to the vast oil reserves and the West's economic dependence upon it. Prior to the discovery of oil, one of the main reasons for involvement in the Middle East had been religious (Christianity, Judaism and Islam all have roots in the Middle East) and on the natural arable land. During the Cold War, the Soviet excuse may have been used on numerous occasions to justify involvement there, but in modern times, it has always been for oil.

Hence, the support for the Jewish people and the state of Israel has been due to the interests of oil and to ensure an ally is there in the region.

It is also no surprise that some other nations in the Middle East are also amongst the largest recipients of US military aid, like Turkey and Egypt. (For more about this check out this web site's section on the Arms Trade1).

What makes this a particularly sensitive issue oftentimes, is due to the horrendous suffering the Jewish people suffered in (Christian) Europe during World War II, to the extent that (in the United States, anyway), any criticism of Israeli policies towards the Palestinian people and other Arabs, lends well to an automatic, unfavorable label of anti-Semetic. In the United States as well, the Jewish community is well established and has influence over many aspects of US foreign policy in the Middle East. In fact, some commentators suggest that US Zionism is more extreme2 that that seen in Israel itself.

Sure, the Jewish people suffered terribly during World War II and there is no one (apart from ultra Right Wing neonazi types) that would deny that. However, that can also not be a reason not to criticize Israeli actions where warranted. Hence, this part of the web site provides a look at the on-going conflict in light of the fact that mainstream media (in the US and UK particularly) has been fairly one-sided. This is not some sort of anti-Jewish or anti-Israel sentiment, rather, a look at some of the issues from additional wider perspectives. In this section, you will find many links to a variety of resources from those critical of Israeli leadership and American policy including resources from American Jews, and others, prominent in political discourse of foreign policies.

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