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The past two centuries have been plagued with conflicts arising from groups of people identifying themselves as nation with unalienable rights to govern themselves This concept of national self-determination is a product of the Enlightenment a movement that began in Europe and spread throughout the world destroying alliances and tearing down empires The ideas of territorial allegiance in a state and the right of sovereignty over that state combined with national identity became the driving forces behind the bloodiest wars of the twentieth century The conflict between Israel and Palestine is one of the most classic examples of a nationalist conflict For over seventy years this conflict has been described as a religious ethnic and civilizational based on the variable that presented itself on the surface By acquiring a deeper understanding of the nature of the conflict and its possible solutions it is possible to characterize it as a fight for national sovereignty over the same piece of land The different descriptions of the conflict can be attributed to the major differences between Jews and Palestinian Arabs Israelis are Jews while the Palestinian Arabs are either Moslem or Christian The Israelis are overwhelmingly descendants of European or Slavic Jews while the Palestinians are completely Arab Israel is considered a Western state with values and goals similar to those found in Europe or the United States The Palestinians are part of the Islamic world and members of the Pan-Arab nation All these contrasts contribute to the misinterpretation of the conflict as being something other than nationalist On the other hand while these individual attributes do not define the conflict they have contributed to its prolongation by providing a forum for its misperception Despite all the misconceptions associated with the conflict it is at the core a conflict between to national movements competing for total sovereignty over the same territory This is a contemporary controversy as it did not exist before the late 19th century Contrary
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