Looking through the pages of history, it becomes clear that the war over the possession of Palestine and Jerusalem has been going on between Muslims, Christians and Jews since Biblical times without reaching any settlement ever. Archaeological findings and statements in Bible clearly show that Palestine was inhabited by non-Jewish Semites a long time before Jews even claimed that it is their “promised land” and long after that. The justification of Jews, that they claim the land because it belonged to them 3,300 years ago and was lost in the war, is absurd because if that logic is true; America should give the southwestern territory back to Mexicans and the rest of the land to Indians.
The term Zionism refers to the belief of Jews that Palestine is their homeland. The name Zion came from the name of the hill on which the temple of Jerusalem is situated. The end of World War I brought an end to the Ottoman Empire and Britain took over Palestine. Balfour Declaration was issued in 1917, a British move to secure the support of Zionists by promising them a homeland in Palestine. Jewish population grew dramatically from 50,000 to 600,000 during the mandate period compared to an Arab population of 1,300,000.
The bond between the British and the Zionists was terminated in 1939 but the Holocaust secured Jewish position in Europe for asking a separate homeland. By the time British lifted the mandate in 1948, Jews had convinced the American president to support their cause of declaring an independent state for Israel.
Right after Israel declared independence; it was attacked by Palestinian Arabs backed by Arabs from neighboring countries. This war, which is known as the Arab-Israeli War, produced over 700,000 Palestinian refugees. Since then, Israel got involved in four major wars with Arabs, the Suez Crisis in 1956, the Six Day War of 1967, the Arab Israeli War of 1973 and Israel’s invasion of Lebanon in 1982.
The then population figures determined that mandatory and Turkish Palestine was of great importance and incites a lot of historical interest. Pro-Palestinian historians challenge the claim made by Zionists that Palestine is “a land without people for people without land” and show the census figures stating that the land had substantial population comprising of Palestinian Arabs by 1914. According to Zionists, most of this increase in population occurred after Jews started developing in Palestine in 1880. They claim that most of the increase happened because of Jewish immigration while pro-Palestinians hold the view that Zionist settlements forced Palestinian Arabs to displace before 1948.