Right, but I think that you're conflating Arabs into this gigantic group of people rather than, say, Saudi Arabians, Egyptians, Lebanese, etc. To my thinking that's an oversimplification.
Regardless of opinion, the whole situation over there sucks for a whole lot of people who don't have any say in the matter.
I guess I'm still a bit confused on how I'm conflating Arabs. I realize that Arabs aren't constricted to one country, but are instead found in countries throughout the Middle East. Perhaps my point would be clearer if I said that Palestinian Arabs do not have a claim to Israel superior to that of the Jews, and that if Palestinians (who are largely Arab, in culture and in language) want their own state, they should seek to establish it in the area that has long belonged to Arabs (the Arabian Peninsula), and leave the Jews alone, in the area that has long been the homeland of Jews.
But you're right: the whole situation is terrible.
So my question then becomes, why do the Israelies have superior claim here that requires our intervention to help enforce, when there are legions of nations of displaced and lost/retaken/lost to someone else territories out there that we do nothing about?
Why aren't we ceding the northeast to the english? Shouldn't they then cede it to the dutch? And then you know, native Americans.
It seems inconsistent. Everyone is on someone else's land a thousand years ago.
Theoretically, we helped establish Israel and have been helping grow them militarily because they needed their own state and the means to defend themselves from persecution and oppression.
But in the meantime we unseated people without cause other than 'I said so', and have allowed Israel virtual impunity when dealing with the displaced Palestinians.
It would seem that by aiding one group, we've helped to oppress another, and as an American I can't help but have silly idealistic thoughts like 'we're better than that'.
Of course, I'm not the one who has to mitigate the argument between two nations with visceral hatred for each other, so I'm pretty much just chirping in from the cheap seats here.
You make a good point about the idea of getting back land that used to belong to someone else. In one sense, what's done is done. For me, as a Christian, I view this situation as being unlike any other in the world, because of the heavenly mandate we've mentioned before. Of course, I realize that such an idea has little to no legitimacy with a lot of people, so bearing that in mind, I'll say that the Jews' land claim should take precedence because they have no place else to go, whereas Palestinians, who are mostly Arab, could conceivably obtain land for their own state in one of the several nearby Arab nations, particularly large and wealthy Saudi Arabia, which could probably even help finance such an undertaking.
Since biblical times, Israel has been fine with peaceful members of other people groups living there, and I think that still holds true. And, for what it's worth, I'm fine with that. I feel bad about innocent Palestinians being displaced, especially for the ones who've been there a long time, but I just can't see the fairness in taking land from the only Jewish state in the world, in the only homeland they've ever had, and giving it to a people who already had their own homeland, and could still quite possibly go back there and live in peace.
Just a hypothetical: If Saudi Arabia, for example, stepped forward today and said, "We'll give a million acres to the Palestinians so they can have their own state, and we'll even help finance their move," would you be okay with that?