The Question of Palestine and the Palestinians
Palestine is a small territory, and the Palestinians—the indigenous Arab people of Palestine—are a relatively small population, numbering nine million in 2005. Yet the Palestinian problem has loomed large on the international scene for nearly sixty years, with tangled roots over a century old. Since 1948, the Arab-Israeli conflict has been punctuated by a major war nearly every decade and countless invasions, incursions, clashes, and skirmishes, producing regional and global tensions and even threatening world peace during the cold war. Indeed, since the advent of the nuclear age, the only known nuclear war alert was issued by the United States during the fourth major Israeli-Arab war, the October War of 1973.