chapter  5
26 Pages

The origins of the Arab–Israeli conflict, 1900–48

While there is some validity to all these arguments, this chapter will argue that the causes of the conflict were the product of distinct historical developments in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries: European anti-Semitism and the rise of Zionism, the emergence of Arab nationalism and the quest for Arab independence, the Ottoman defeat in the First World War, the British mandate in Palestine, and the Second World War and the Holocaust. Thus it was not religious antagonism, fanaticism or colonial policy which pitted Arabs and Jews against each other, but, above all, competing national projects, laying claim to the same territory and resources. Arab nationalism and Zionism almost inevitably


found themselves embroiled in a bitter struggle for land and self-determination which came to be known as the Arab-Israeli conflict.