It would be easy to characterize the Arab/Israeli conflict as simply a religious disagreement: fiery rhetoric, often fueled by religious beliefs, is preached by both sides as to the legitimacy of the existence of Israel. Religion cannot be completely removed from the equation, as many contested sites, particularly in Jerusalem, have deep religious significance to Jews, Muslims, and Christians alike. However, the main motivator behind the conflict is land, with both Israelis and Palestinians claiming their rights to the area now known as Israel, as well as the disputed Occupied Territories, including the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.1 Any workable plan for establishing peace must take into account the disparities between the two populations which live in such close proximity, but have starkly different standards of living. Israel is a first world country with a functioning economy and a government acknowledged by most of the world.
"Here and Back Again: US National Security Interest in the Arab/Israeli Conflict,"
Pepperdine Policy Review: Vol. 4
, Article 9.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.pepperdine.edu/ppr/vol4/iss1/9