This post has been inspired by a column I read on Gay Conservative Liberal's website. He believed there must be a reason Israel is hated, because it is hated so much! This is what I replied to him in a comment...
You are far off the mark in this one. Think of it this way. Six million Jews died in the Holocaust. According to you, there "must have been a reason." You fail to realize some people hate just because they are taught to hate from birth. That is the only reason, and the reason why we have an intractable problem with regards to the Israeli Arab conflict.A longer time frame of the conflict can be found on the Myths and Facts website.
To give you a long story short: there have been pogroms and attacks against Jews for thousands of years. But specifically, these attacks increased during the 20th century, under the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem. After the Holocaust, Israel was offered a state, as were the Palestinians, by the UN. The Palestinians, under the Mufti (who was an architect for Hitler's Final Solution), rejected the partition plan. This plan was to have an Israel on land which was majority Jewish due to immigration before and after the Holcaust.
Instead of accepting this state, the Palestinians (a people which did not exist at the time, and are not a seperate ethnicity from Jordanians any more than New Yorkers or New Jerseyians are seperate ethnicities) waged war upon Israel, and attempted a genocide after the Holocaust...and lost. Prior to the Israeli Arab conflict, 'refugees' were not defined as people who are part of a group that attempted a genocide and then lost.
Since 1948 (the founding of the state), the Palestinians and Arabs in general have refused to accept any state of Israel on any land at all. Instead, there has been constant terror attacks against Israel.
In 1967, there was an attempted annihilation of Israel, which was defeated in the Six Day War. This is how Israel won the Sinai, Judea and Samaria, and Gaza. In response, Israel attempted to give this land - won in a defensive war - back. All they wanted was peace and recognition. Instead, in Khartoum, they got the famous "three Nos" - no peace, no recognition, no negotiations. source Since then, the jihad has not ceased. The 'two state solution' was proposed first in Oslo, only to find out that Arafat did not truly intend two states - he wanted jihad. (Abbas has not proven different) And Hamas is even further radical.The past eight years have witnessed eight years of rockets against Israel, and nary a response. Finally Israel is defending itself, and doing so in the most pinpointed way possible.
I say this war is not only justified, but necessary. If Israel does not go after Hamas in Gaza, and fails to defend the South of Israel, they lose all right to call themselves a state. The primary duty of a state is to defend its citizens.
To sum up, if you want to know the root of this conflict, read about the history of jihad. That is what this conflict is about.
As an aside, for gay reasons to support Israel, I highly suggest you read the attached link, which discusses why it is the gay thing to do to support Israel!