I could teach an entire course on the long, turbulent history between Jews and Arabs, which started 30 centuries ago in and around Jerusalem, the great Holy City for all three major Western religions: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. But in a nutshell, the modern Israeli-Palestinian conflict goes like this:
What is The Palestinian Conflict?
Jewish religion proclaims that God promised Israel to Abraham and that God restored the homeland to Moses' followers after their slavery in Egypt. In the late nineteenth century, religion started mixing with politics and the modern Zionist movement started as England encouraged Jewish immigration back to the Jewish homeland, which was then British-ruled Palestine. Then in 1948, the United Nations (in an attempt to make amends for the atrocities committed against Jews by the Nazis in World War II), created the state of Israel as a new Jewish nation by partitioning Palestine and, quite literally, "giving it" back to the Jews.
Naturally, the Palestinians didn't appreciate having their homeland taken from them, and surrounding Arab nations joined Palestinian Arabs in opposition. This disagreement turned violent many times, with wars in 1956, 1967, 1973, and 1982. Terrorist attacks on Israel and its citizens have continued until today, and support for Israel has contributed to the intense hostility by some Islamic nations (such as Iran, Iraq, and Syria) toward the United States and its allies for supporting Israel.
A long succession of U.S. Presidents — including Jimmy Carter, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush — have brokered peace between Israelis and Palestinians. But it's not just a matter of finding a happy medium or giving back some land to Palestine as a free nation. Both Israelis and Palestinians feel that their homeland was taken from them, and both feel entitled to stay and make claim to the land. Meanwhile, Israel has irrigated and developed a great deal of former Palestinian land, making it far more valuable than it was before 1948. I'm afraid this is one conflict that will be very difficult for humanity to overcome.