The book I read to research this post was The Palestinian-Israeli Conflict A Very Short Introduction by Martin Bunton which is an excellent book which I bought on kindle. This book is part of an extensive series where they get an expert on a topic to write roughly 150 pages about it. They are on the whole pretty good and my knowledge on this topic was quite limited mostly just to stuff I saw on the television. The land area of Israel & Palestine combined is about the size of Wales so it is only small. One problem was that the Jews were driven out by the Romans in biblical times and in the meantime Arabs or Palestinians had settled in the area and prior to World War 1 it was part of the Ottoman Empire. Jews had been calling for the return of their homeland since the pogroms in 1880’s Russia and the first conference for this was held in Basle in Switzerland in 1897. After that there was a steady trickle of Jews to the area although they found it difficult to find anywhere to live or find work so many left again. It’s interesting to note there was a Palestinian soccer team sent to one of the early world cups. Anyway Britain took over Palestine after World War 1 and was meant to be preparing it for self government but was just interested in their own interests. There were several conferences meant to partition the land between Jews & Palestinians and the main one was probably in 1947 when Israel was recognized as a state. The Americans did put pressure on Britain to reluctantly agree to this as they needed favorable terms for paying America back. More recently Palestine has been recognized as a non member state by the UN and Israel recognizes it needs an independent government. A major problem is the number of Jewish settlements in Palestine which does contravene International Law. A lot of the problem is the growing population in Israel with people emigrating there and needing somewhere to live. They have also built rather a controversial wall around much of Palestine in an attempt to stem terrorism but has been compared to apartheid and cause much hardship. Also in Palestine there has been much road building to Jewish settlements that often ploughs through peoples land. There has also been several wars especially in 1967 when Israel captured much Arab land in retaliation for them attacking her but as they have made truces much of this has been returned. Another issue is the Lebanon where a weak country was destabilized by the presence of the PLO and various other factions that descended into civil war and an invasion by Israel to try and restore order which has also meant a buffer zone being kept between the 2 countries and the people in this area are resentful. I’d probably need to write alot more to cover this properly and I think there is no easy solution although they seem to have made progress. I really enjoyed the book .