Palestinian Nationalism & Nationalist Violence -- Paper written for International Relations, INR 2002.

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Palestinian Nationalism and

Nationalist Violence

Throughout the history of the planet's civilizations, since before records were kept, different groups of people have felt superior to others or disrespected by others and have acted according to those feelings. Some stage protests, others enforce sanctions or other means of discipline, and others, all too often, resort to violence. No matter what type of action is displayed in these situations, it has a common root; nationalism. The belief that one's ethnicity, religion, or nation is better than a different one is quite commonly the foundation of violence and is also quite difficult to keep control of once it has been provoked or instigated. No example of nationalist violence is known more widely in today's world culture as the constant state of tension and sporadic attacks between the Palestinian people who live on the Gaza Strip and the West Bank and their neighbors, the Israelis.

The most outstanding cause of this tension is the difference in religion; the radical Islamists, believing that their religion is the only true religion, carry out attacks on Israeli people, which only draw returned fire, thereby leading to a constant state of tension and hostility. Another reason the Palestinians carry out these attacks can be traced to the concept of irredentism; this strong belief that land that rightfully belongs to you has been taken by another people or nation is a very common occurrence throughout history and even in modern times, and often helps explain why violence takes place, and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is no different.

The historic battles between the religion of Islam and differing religions or factions have been studied intensely, reenacted in movies, portrayed in video games, and are still a source of "intellectual entertainment" in conversations amongst historians. Most recently, Islamic fundamentalists have taken verses...