A History of the Middle-east Conflict


Current violence between Palestinians and Israelis is the result of preceding decades of extremely complex local and international interactions. The following historical outline is not meant to be exhaustive. It does attempt to present a balanced overview of the history of the region, with a particular focus on international geopolitics. The history has unfolded as it has for many reasons, including Western colonial policies and superpower rivalries. It is hoped that this sketch will acquaint readers with the complexities of the present situation and demonstrate why simplistic solutions are untenable. 

The history is presented in six parts:




  1. Before World War I

  2. Between the World Wars

  3. Establishment of the State of Israel 

  4. The Cold War

  5. The Cold War Recedes

  6. To 2001

  7. For developments after 2001, including the attacks on September 11, 2001 and the ensuing wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, we recommend the historical summary on MidEast Web.org.