The 1967 war resulted in a decisive victory for Israel over the combined forces of Egypt, Syria and Jordan. By launching a preemptive air strike, the Israeli Air Force was able to wipe out virtually all of Egypt's air force in one swift, massive attack. This guaranteed Israel air superiority for the rest of the war. Consequently, after trouncing Syria in the Golan Heights and Jordan in the West Bank and Jerusalem, Israel was in the possession of a great deal of territory: the Sinai Peninsula, the Gaza Strip, the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and the Golan Heights. While Sinai was returned, today Israel still retains control of the Golan Heights, the West Bank, and Jerusalem. Of these three, the West Bank may be the most hotly contested region of all. Internal debate over the fate of this area continues to rage among the people of Israel. Conquest over the West Bank unleashed heavy arguments. There are two primary schools of thought on the subject. The first is more militant in nature.
[...] The conflict will always prove a source of disunity among Israel's people, especially the Arab citizens who despite their desire to be accepted as true Israelis will always feel the sting of discrimination and mistrust from the rest of the population. Because they cannot join the military, they are separate from the rest of the people. Politically, the conflict is the main point of contention among Israel's many political parties. The constant struggle for supremacy between left- and right-wing factions makes for a great deal of instability in the government. [...]
[...] Israel has never had a consensus on this issue, and this fundamental cleavage characterizes Israel's politics. The strained relationship between Israel's Ashkenazi Jews (those from Europe and North America) and the Sephardim and Mizrahim (those Jews from the Middle East and the Orient) is less a point of contention than it was at Israel's inception, but it still manifests itself in the bitterness between these groups. The Sephardi and Mizrahi immigrants were long sufferers of discrimination at the hands of the more Ashkenazim. [...]
[...] This movement advocates that Jewish settlement on land they believe God has accorded the Jewish people in the Torah, including the West Bank, will hasten the coming of the “messianic age.” In more practical terms, Israel's justification for its presence in the West Bank is based on these facts: Israel's eastern border has never been concretely defined, these territories have never been an official part of any state since the time of the Ottoman Empire, and according to the Camp David Accords, the 1994 agreement with Jordan, and the Oslo Accords, the final status of the territories would be set only a permanent arrangement was established between Israel and the Palestinians. [...]
[...] As Israel celebrates its 61st anniversary, what are the most pressing issues on Israel's national agenda? 61 years after its creation, Israel is still a nation rife with conflict both internal and external. If anything, its people have only become more conflicted as they deal with a number of issues, none of which have easy answers. There are six readily apparent social and political cleavages which contribute to the fractured nature of Israel's diverse population and are serious concerns on the national agenda. [...]
[...] No one within Israel and outside it can really agree whether there should be a two-state solution where a new Palestine coexists with Israel or whether the Palestinians should be assimilated as full citizens of Israel. The Palestinian people will likely never forgive the Israelis for being forced out of their own country. In addition, Israel is surrounded by nations of people who in general have professed their hatred for Israel and its Jewish people. Some have insisted that they will not rest until they see the land of Israel wiped off the face of the Earth. [...]
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