Sometimes I hear people ask in exasperation, “Why can’t they just settle things in the Middle East ?” A simple question, but, unfortunately, with no simple answers.
To put it into perspective: Jews consider Israel to be theirs and to have been theirs from prehistoric times. They say it was given to them by God, and they called themselves “The Children of Israel.” They say the land was theirs before they were taken into Egypt in bondage, and after the Exodus; and was theirs until they were scattered from Palestine to other countries following the Babylonian Captivity. That is known as the Diaspora, or “dispersal.” Jews say the land was returned to them after World War II, with the creation of the modern state of Israel , and that they intend to stay. As the strongest military presence in the region, that assertion is hard to dispute.
Radical Arab groups, on the other hand, say Jews lost claim to Israel after the Diaspora, when there was none of them there. They, though not all Arabs, say the land is now theirs, and they call themselves “Palestinians.” And here’s the rub: members of some radical groups, and their children, take a vow to drive Jews from the land, with the promise of instant transport to Paradise if they are killed in the process—“martyred.” One wounded Hamas leader said from his hospital bed, that Hamas will continue its holy war against the Israelis, until what he calls the “criminal Zionists” are gone. How do you “just settle” that?