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This discussion post has 2 seperate questions. THEY ARE NOT TOGETHER. ūüôā

1. The situation regarding Israel and the Palestinians is very challenging.  It is important to look at the maps in the text before taking part in this discussion.  Here are the facts:

1) Israel was created in 1948 as a Jewish homeland.  This was justified by the Holocaust, and the creation of Israel was strongly supported by most western nations (notably the United States).

2) Israel was created in a region known as Palestine, and in 1948 hundreds of thousands of Palestinians (non-Jewish Muslims) were forced out of their homes and off of their land.  This ensured that Israel would remain primarily Jewish.

3) Most Palestinians, including the refugees that were evicted, live in the West Bank and in Gaza.  Naturally, Palestinians are very angry about what happened, and demand the right to return to their homes.  Also, they are angry that Israel continues to build Jewish housing settlement in the present-day Palestinian territories such as the West Bank.

4) Because of the situation involving the creation of Israel, most Arab states are very anti-Israel.  Several wars have been fought over the years, but Israel has won.  Israel is supported by the United States, and receives considerable military aid.  Presently Israel occupies part of Syria known as the Golan Heights, and at times has occupied parts of Lebanon and Egypt.

5) Radical Palestinian groups regularly attack Israel by using suicide bombings and other terrorist tactics.  On the other side, many Israelis claim that Israel should also take over the West Bank, and evict the Palestinians from where they presently live.

It may be easy to brand Israel as the wrongdoer in this situation.  However, consider this:

If Israel were to permit the Palestinians to return to their homes, the Jewish people would be vastly outnumbered in their own country.¬† Thus, Israel would “cease to exist” as a Jewish homeland.

Also, several Arab nations have vowed to destroy Israel.  Thus, without taking a very strong position on the land, a major war could erupt.

Thus, the question¬† for this discussion is “What is the solution?”¬† How can we give fairness to the Palestinians and security to Israel?¬† Remember, Palestinians expect more than their own country, they claim the right to return to the land that they were evicted from.¬† It is easy to say that “people over there have always fought each other,” but the truth is that this conflict is new.¬† The Middle East was peaceful for hundreds of years.

What can be done?

2.The United States and Iran have been on very hostile terms since 1979.  In that year ultra-conservative Islamic clerics overthrew the pro-Western king and established a staunchly anti-American regime.  These clerics dislike the U.S. and our allies, notably Israel, because they claim that we are corrupting the moral fabric of the Islamic world.  They also assert that the United States is an imperialist power that interferes with people and governments around the world for our own, selfish, purposes.

More recently Iran has begun to develop a nuclear program.  They claim that they wish to build nuclear power plants, but this ability would also give Iran the ability to have nuclear weapons.

Needless to say, the United States, Israel, and much of the world doesn’t want a nuclear Iran.¬† Simply put, we consider the Iranian leadership too radical and irresponsible to have such capacity.¬† In fact, Iran has more than once threatened to “wipe Israel off the map” if they could.

The question, of course is what do we do?¬† Bear in mind that “just bomb them” has very serious implications.¬† We just ended an 11 year, 1¬†trillion¬†dollar war in Iraq.¬† Attacking Iran would probably start a war that would be longer and more expensive.¬† Also, there is no guarantee that we can even eliminate an Iranian nuclear program, or that they would not use nuclear weapons if they had them and were attacked.

Also, Russia and China are friends with Iran, and may even have given them nuclear material.

Thus, what is the solution?