In the 1940s, Palestine was seen as British territory, Arabs were seen as inferior people, and the Holocaust created a sympathetic environment for the creation of a Jewish homeland. Evolving ideas against colonialism and racism means that Israel would never be created in the same fashion today,
The conflict with the Palestinians stems from several key facts:
1) Israel was created out the land on which the Palestinians had lived for thousands of years. Heavy post WWII immigration and proclaiming of the state of Israel, turned most of them into homeless refugees, after they either fled from, or were expelled by, Israeli military forces.
2) The claim of a right to exist, specifically in this space, is rooted in a Jewish belief (that God promised them this land) that is neither shared by Palestinians, nor widely accepted throughout the world.
3) Israeli continues to implement policies designed to lead to a subtle capture, over a long-term period, of the remainder of Palestinian held territory.
Feeling the strain of the situation with Israel, with no relief is in sight, certain desperate people are drawn into joining outlying militant groups, and engage in acts of violence. They consider it self-defense or guerrilla war. However, the reality is that it does little good, as Israel has far superior military resources, and this merely provides Israel with the pretense to engage in certain actions that are a part of a long-term strategy to eradicate the Palestinian refugee presence in land they considered promised to them by God.
Frustrated with Israeli behavior, the Palestinian people living in the Gaza strip democratically elected one of the outlying militant groups, Hamas, to political power in 2006. The reaction of Israel was to make life an unbearable as possible for the Palestinian people, believing that this would drive them to oust Hamas. One of the ways Israel did this was to blockade Gaza so that nothing, but the most basic items needed for immediate survival could enter.
This strategy has failed miserably as it has only served to strengthen the perception of Hamas and swell its ranks. It was always the Israeli belief that if such happened, any increase in violence towards Israel would provide the pretense for another attack on the Palestinians. However, the 2009 invasion of Gaza was a disaster for Israel as the growth of media and cultural awareness in the western world, led to Israel being called to account by both the world and its institutions. It was an Israeli military victory, but a crushing political defeat.
This trend of botches has continued with Israel’s successful but politically devastating assassination of a Hamas leader (which ticked off the British), its embarrassing of the U.S. by announcing settlement construction during its vice president’s peace talk visit, and its raid on a Turkish ship with armed military commandos, which cost Israel its only Muslim ally, and exposed the extent of its unpopular blockade of Gaza.