A conflict between the Israelis and the Arabs in the Middle East. The United Nations established Israel, a nation under control of Jews (see also Jews), in Palestine in the late 1940s, in territory inhabited by Palestinian Arabs. Israel was placed in the midst of four Arab nations — Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, and Egypt (see also Egypt) — and the presence of Israel has led to constant contention between Israel and the Arab world. Both the Israelis and the Arabs claim land in Palestine as theirs by ancestral rights, and war has periodically broken out between them. (See also Yasir Arafat; Gamal Abdel Nasser; intifada; Oslo Accord; Palestine Liberation Organization; Yitzhak Rabin; Anwar Sadat; and Six-Day War.)
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.