Much of the international politics of the 20th century revolved around the drive for national self-determination, such as that of the Serbs in the Balkans, setting in motion the crises that led to the Great War, or that of the Germans in the Sudetenland, aggravating the tensions that brought about the titanic clash between the Western Allies and the Axis powers.
And in the aftermath of World War II, the anticolonial struggle for national independence served as the engine for much of the violence that erupted in what came to be known as the Third World.
Both Zionism and Arab nationalism ended up playing a central role in this historical epoch, as the two movements allied themselves with the victorious powers of World War I that committed themselves to grant political independence to the Jews and the Arabs in the Middle East, a process that was accelerated as Britain (and France) started their withdrawal from the Middle East after World War II, including from Palestine, which, based on a U.N. resolution, was supposed to be partitioned between Arabs and Jews.
In a way, the contending drives for self-determination in the same territory (Palestine or the Land of Israel) have been at the center of the Arab-Israeli Palestinian conflict since 1947, when the Zionist leadership had accepted, while the Arab leaders rejected, the idea of partitioning the land between the two peoples.
During the Oslo Process of the 1990’s, it...