Arabs vs Jews
The differences between the Arabs and the Jews have existed since time immemorial and led to wars and skirmishes between the two ethnic groups. Despite the fact that both the Arabs as well as the Jews are people of Semitic origin, they have been at loggerheads, and the Arab Israeli conflict has been in the limelight and a sore point in relations between the US and the rest of the Islamic countries on the whole. This article attempts to trace history to find out the real causes of differences between the Arabs and the Jews.
Arab is a pan ethnicity that is found concentrated in West Asia and North Africa. Arabs are found in primarily 21 nations belonging to this geographical region though they are also found in other parts of the world. Though today most of the Arabs are Muslims, Arabs were there before the rise of Islam, and there is proof of Arab Christians as well as Arab Jews. Today Arabs are found concentrated and spread over a large geographical area comprising 21 countries such as Egypt, Libya, Sudan, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Oman, Algeria, Mauritania, Bahrain, Qatar, UAE etc. Arab countries are renowned for their oil resources.
Jew is a word used for people professing Judaism irrespective of the place they live. Most of the Jews, however, are found in the state of Israel that was created in 1948. The region called Israel is surrounded by Arab states of Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, and Egypt. Though the majority of the population of Israel is Jew, there are also Arab Muslims and Christians living in Israel. There are 75% Jews in a population of 7 million in Israel. Close to a million Jews live abroad, mostly in US, France, and Canada.
What is the difference between Arabs and Jews?
The reason for an ongoing conflict between the Arabs and the Jews can be traced to their religious beliefs. According to Jewish Bible, the Land of Israel was promised by God to the sons of Israel. According to Quran, the Land of Canaan was promised to not just the descendants of Isaac, the younger son of Abraham, but also to descendants of his elder son Ishmael. Arabs consider themselves to be sons of Ishmael. In the last 1400 years, Muslim rulers have built structures that are today holy sites for the Arabs but lie in the land called Israel. Jerusalem, the capital of Israel, is believed by Muslims to be the place through which their prophet Muhammad passed during his journey to heaven. Thus, the territory that has been claimed by Jews as the land promised to them by God has also been claimed by Palestinian Arabs.
If one looks into political reasons, he finds that the rise of Arab nationalism as a mark of resentment against Arab discrimination by Ottoman Empire and the revolt against the Empire during the WWI that was supported by the British led to the creation of Palestine. Huge influx of Jews in this state created insecurity among the Palestinian Arabs. Jews also started to purchase properties in this area leading to resentment among the Arabs. The battle of Tel Hai took place between the Arabs and the Jews in 1920. There was an increasing feeling that the British were trying to create an independent state of Israel inside Palestine. It was in 1948 that the British declared their intention of leaving. On 14th May 1948, David Ben Gurion, the Chairman of Jewish Council, declared a State of Israel inside Palestine. Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, and Jordan were seething with anger and invaded the so called state that led to the Arab Israeli war of 1948. Israel managed to defeat this combined army, and there was a truce finally in 1949 between Israel and all its neighbors. Since then, Israel has signed many treaties with its neighbors, but the rift between the Arabs and the Jews continues unabated.