From our friend Hershel Tsvi Yehuda in a pithy response to everything the pro-Palestinean activiists have to say on this very old, very bloody topic:
HISTORY SHOWS THAT THE CONFLICT here in Israel is not over land, but has to do with the inability of our Arabs/Muslim neighbors to recognize that Jews and Christians have any claim, religious or historical, to the land of Israel. Time and time again throughout the middle east, and even now in Asia, it becomes the goal of radical Muslims to destroy religious sites from other religions and build Mosques over them. From the destruction of Buddhist statues in Afghanistan to the constant religious battles in India, and back to the middle east, this history repeats itself over and over again.
But while we are on the subject, let's dig that swimming pool a little deeper, shall we, again from the rife pen of Hershel Tsvi Yehuda:
The first thing to note is that the conflict between Jews and Arabs in the land of Israel predates the settlement movement that started in 1967, and even pre-dates Israel's re-establishment as an independent state in 1948. There were pogroms that included the sadistic rape, murder, dismemberment, and burning of thousands of Jews and their properties here going back to the middle of the 19th century. There was no Israeli state, no settlements, and there was no "occupation" of an Arab people called Palestinians.
Next, it it important to point out that the Palestinian Arabs have been offered a state multiple times and rejected it outright, preferring to wage war on the Jews with the hopes of "throwing them into the sea." The entire land of the British mandate was designated as a Jewish state, and in contradiction to official British policy, 80% of the land was given to the Heshemite monarchy to establish the Kingdom of Jordan (which is now over 80% Palestinian.) Of the 20% of the land remaining, the United Nations (League of Nations at the time) offered partition, half to the Palestinian Arabs, half to the Jews. The Jews accepted the small and virtually indefensible borders and immediately established Israel. The Arabs rejected and sent 5 national armies and legions of Palestinian Arabs to destroy the new Jewish state. Thank G-d, the Jews won, and were happy to have a state even though it did not give them authority over it's most holy sites in Jerusalem.
From 1948 until 1967, after every Jew living in east Jerusalem, the West Bank, or Gaza Strip, (places Jewish families have lived consistently since temple times) had been murdered or exiled, Israel still suffered hundreds of murderous attacks from the Arabs living in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. From bus hijackings resulting in the murder of the passengers, to schools being raided by child murdering terrorists, shootings, bombings, kidnappings and more. All these attacks despite the fact that there was no occupation, no settlements, and the Arabs did not make a single attempt at establishing an independent state called Palestine.
In 1967, when the Arab countries called up their armies and pledged to throw Israel into the sea, Israel launched a pre-emptive attack destroying the Arab armies, and re-claiming the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip. Since then, Israel re-built Jewish towns (settlements) in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, reestablishing ancient Jewish communities from biblical places such as Hebron, Bet El, and Shilo, and Israel finally gained control over it's most holy site, the site of the ancient temple that Jews had been forbidden to visit since the Arabs controlled it in 1948. With Israeli control over all of Jerusalem, Christian and Jewish holy sites were restored and for the first time in many years, all religions had access to their holy sites.
Suddenly the Palestinian Arabs decided that the reason they are murdering Jews is because of the occupation. To reiterate, these attacks had been going on all along, before the West Bank and Gaza Strip were "occupied." Throughout this war of terror, Israel has repeatedly tried negotiating with the Palestinian Arabs. They have been offered a state in the West Bank and Gaza Strip 2 times by Israeli leaders, most famously by Prime Minister Ehud Barak who against the security interests of Israel offered them 97% of the West Bank and Gaza Strip with a capital in east Jerusalem. The answer Israel received was a "no," and a wave of suicide bombings and shooting attacks that murdered and injured thousands of Israelis.