By Steve Segner
Sedona-AZ–With the recent attack on Israel, I wanted to have a better understanding of the situation, particularly from the Muslim point of view. American media tends to take complicated world problems and try to make them fit; it is a 90-second sound bite. I found “Destiny Disrupted” by Ramim Ansary well-balanced and a great source on the history of the Ottoman Empire and the founding of Israel, along with “Lost Enlightenment” by S. Frederick Starr. The increase of Jewish refugees and immigrants in Palestine during the late 19th and early 20th centuries had a significant impact on the resident Palestinian Arab population and continues to influence the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to this day.
Land Displacement: As Jewish immigrants arrived in Palestine, they acquired land, often leading to the displacement of Palestinian Arab tenant farmers and landowners. This led to land disputes and conflicts over property rights, with many Palestinian Arabs losing their land.
Economic Impact: The Jewish immigrants brought modern agricultural techniques and capital, allowing them to develop the land more efficiently. This created economic competition with Palestinian farmers and disrupted traditional Palestinian agriculture.
Demographic Shift: The demographic changes led to shifts in the ethnic and religious composition of the population. By the early 20th century, the Jewish population in Palestine had increased significantly compared to the Arab population.
Political Tensions: The influx of Jewish immigrants fueled tensions between the Jewish and Arab communities. The Palestinian Arabs, who were the majority, were concerned about the growing Jewish presence and the potential for a Jewish state.
British Mandate: During the British Mandate period (1917-1948), the British administration favored Jewish immigration and settlement in Palestine, further exacerbating tensions between the communities.
Arab-Israeli Conflict: The culmination of these tensions and the conflicting national aspirations of Jews and Arabs in Palestine ultimately led to the Arab-Israeli conflict. The 1947 United Nations Partition Plan for Palestine proposed the establishment of separate Jewish and Arab states. Still, it was rejected by the Arab states and Palestinian Arabs, leading to the 1948 Arab-Israeli War and the displacement of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians.
The Jewish population in Palestine increased from 56,000 in 1918 to about 88,000 in 1922, when the total population was officially estimated at 750,000. Less than 1%, a small minority,
Today, the numbers stand: the Jewish population is the majority at 7,101,400, and the Arab population is around 2,560,000—the minority.
With any conflict, there are always at least two versions; in 2023, America is experiencing pressure on its borders from people fleeing persecution; during the fiscal year of 2023, only 60,014 refugees were admitted to the United States with a population of 332,000,000— The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is deeply rooted in historical, political, and demographic factors, making it a complex and multifaceted issue. Understanding its historical context and the evolving demographics is essential for comprehending the perspectives and challenges facing both Israelis and Palestinians in their quest for a resolution