Defining the Conflict

  • 6 minute read
  • • by Sharon Koifman
  • • September 28, 2022

Why is it Important?

For years, we have been told that the Arab/Palestinian-Israeli conflict is complicated. But it’s really not; it’s quite simple. Yet the reason why it seems to be so complicated is because our opponents have managed to misdirect us with so much information and provide pictures of suffering Palestinians. The way to fix it is to go back to the fundamentals and define the conflict by 2 factors: who started the war and who is preventing it from ending. Breaking it down into 2 components that can be spelled out in 2 minutes will help the listener to organize the ideas in the head and be less overwhelmed with the information that is out there.


Any war or conflict can be simply defined by 2 components: who started the war, and who is preventing it from ending. The Palestinians, led by Amin al Husyani and assisted by outside the Arab nations, declared a genocidal war against the Jews when they received a proposal to divide Palestine in 2. They continued this genocidal attempt by refusing 4 peace proposals and ignoring a goodwill gesture of evacuation from Gaza. It is quite straight forward.

Long Answer:

If you had a few minutes to define a conflict, how would you do it? Well, if you want to remove the complexities of most wars, you would break them down into 2 components: who started and who is preventing them from ending. As an extension of the second component, there could be a discussion of whether the war was dealt with ethically, which might be the reason why one side chooses not to end. In reality, not all wars are so clear-cut, and it might not be so easy to define the instigator of that conflict. But when it comes to the Israeli/Arab/Palestinian Conflict, it is quite clear.

If we remove all the layers of propaganda in this 70+ Israeli/Arab/Palestinian war, we can easily break it down into these 2 components.

So, let’s break down who started the war:

Following the collapse of the Turkish Ottoman Empire, which fought on the losing side of WW I with Germany, the newly established League of Nations devised the Mandate system. This helped certain regions to develop infrastructure till they became independent states. Five mandates were established for the Middle East. Four for Arab states (Syria, Lebanon, Transjordan, and Iraq) and one for a Jewish state to be established in Palestine. France held the mandates for Syria and Lebanon, while Britain held the mandates for Transjordan, Iraq, and Palestine.  We mentioned earlier that the Brits gave 78% of the British Mandate of Palestine to the Arabs. That territory was renamed after the local river Jordan. The League of Nations ceased to exist in 1946, and the United Nations took its place. It was the UN that proposed the Partition Plan to divide the remaining 20% of Palestine into 2 states: one Arab and one Jewish.

The plan did not include the 2 most important Jewish cities. Jerusalem, which would be run under an international mandate, although, Jews were a majority there since 1922 and, as usual, would probably still have the last word.  Then there was Hebron, the ancient burial place of our forefathers and foremothers, which would have been part of what was given to the Arabs. This proposal was a raw deal for the Jews. Still, they said yes.

The Arabs of Palestine, or at least, their leaders, said, “Let’s kill all the Jews!”

So here we have two populations who claim to have indigenous rights to the region. I don’t exactly understand the Palestinian story, but we are ok with the concept that they feel connected to that region, at least as Arabs. But the fact remains that the Arabs started violent revolts since the 20s, determined to rid the Middle East of Jews and prevent any Jewish immigration, while Arab immigration was never accounted for. So it is an understatement that both ethnicities did not get along, and That’s why the UN proposed the division of the region similar to what was done in India.  and, this must be repeated: The Jews said yes and celebrated, and the Arabs began working on committing another genocide against the Jews.

This is as clear as day. There is really no need for any other arguments. Any argument they have should have been easily opposed and denied with, “Hey, you couldn’t share even 10% of a land that did not belong to you in the first place? Instead, you tried to kill us!” Some claim that the Arabs were simply defending themselves from a war started by the Jews. That nonsense is clearly debunked by the continuous Violence and cries for eliminating the Jews if they declared a country. Amin Al Husyani, and the Arab High Committee absolutely refused to negotiate with Jews, and they had many chances.

So, let’s imagine that the Palestinians accepted their mistakes and wanted to end the conflict, which brings us to the second component. Who is preventing the war from ending? It most certainly is not Israel, considering that Israel offered 4 huge compromises for peace, and the Arabs responded with a big NO. They even evacuated the entire region of Gaza, leaving behind a multimillion-dollar flower industry for Gazans to take over. Those greenhouses were looted and destroyed, after the Israelis were evacuated. They have always been clear that they want all of Israel while continuously trying to get rid of any trace of Israel. Till today, Palestinians and anti-Israel advocates love to chant, “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free.” It is very hard to interpret this as meaning anything other than a genocidal chat to get rid of all the Jews in the region and call Israel Palestine.

As an extension of the second component, there is a third optional component, challenging if the sides have been behaving ethically, giving a reason to the Victims not to end the conflict. Well, besides proposing 4 peace compromises, the Israeli Military is probably the only Army to provide Phone Calls, Text Messages, millions of warning leaflets, and even Roof knocking bombs that scare but cause no damage, as a warning for the civilians. Israel lost many opportunities to take down key players because of their incredibly ethical process. In return, the Palestinians indiscriminately shoot thousands of missiles and send suicide bombers to cause as much damage as they can. (2023 Edit, the October 7th Massacre has solidified any ethical discussion on the Palestinian side).

Honestly, in a rational world, no other explanation is needed, but the opposition have been brilliant in diminishing these incredibly important factors and clutter our brains with technicalities from daily events. You might be one of those experts that has the time and knowledge to debunk all these points, but for the rest of us, the best route is to counter most arguments by understanding the 2 components above.

When I encounter someone who wants to discuss daily occurrences that I’m not up to date on, I simply respond with:

“I’m not up to date with everything that is happening on a daily basis, nor do I know every fact about the conflict, and chances are you are getting your information from very biased resources. Saying that, one thing is very clear to me: This is a more than 70-year-old conflict, and there is no way that I can claim that Israel has never made mistakes. But in the end, it’s all about who started the war and who is preventing it from ending. Clearly, on both counts, the facts are  pointing at the Palestinian leadership and its supporters.”

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