The land of Palestine was inhabited by Palestinian Arabs. In 1850 these consisted of approximately 400,000 Muslims, 75,000 Christians, and 25,000 Jews. For centuries these groups had lived in harmony: 80 percent Muslim, 15 percent Christian, 5 percent Jewish.
But then in the late 1800s a group in Europe decided to colonize this land. Known as "Zionists," this group consisted of an extremist minority of the world Jewish population. They wanted to create a Jewish homeland, and at first considered locations in Africa and South America, before finally settling on Palestine for their colony.
At first this immigration created no problems. However, as more and more Zionists immigrated to Palestine ó many with the express wish of taking over the land for an exclusively Jewish state ó the indigenous population became increasingly alarmed. Eventually, there was fighting between the two groups, with escalating waves of violence.
http://www.ifamericansknew.org/history/index.html - http://www.ifamericansknew.org/history/index.html
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