Why the Conflict?Alot of the conflict started after the end of WWI and from the discovery of oil. The Ottoman Empire, composed of several different ethnic and religious groups, including Turks, Christians, Jews, Kurds, Muslims, etc., sided with Germany. After Germany lost, England and France, the winning side of the war, took it upon themselves to partition the Ottoman Empire. This led to much of the strife and conflict that you see today.
About 21 years after WWI came WWII. Jews felt slightly insecure in Europe since a little after WWI, but what really pushed this tension over the edge was the Holocaust. The Jews wanted to return to their homeland. Unfortunately, the country that was once Canaan is now Palestine, descendants of the Romans that kicked the Jews out a long time ago. This led to a series of conflicts called the Arab-Israeli wars. Israel won most of these wars, even though they were greatly outnumbered.
Another conflict in Southwest Asia is the Persian Gulf War, which was fought over oil. Iraq invaded Kuwait to get to it's oil fields. Later, the U.S. and other countries formed a coalition and invaded Iraq and Kuwait simultaneously. They then drove Iraq out of Kuwait.
The Invasion of Afghanistan happened because of 9/11. On September 9th, 2001 a terrorist group called Al Qaeda hijacked and crashed 3 planes into the Pentagon and both of the Twin Towers. There was a 4th plain, but evidence suggests it was taken over by passengers, and it crashed into an empty field. The Invasion of Afghanistan was conducted to eradicate Al Qaeda and it's leader, Osama Bin Laden. They did manage to strongly weaken Al Qaeda, but, unfortunately, did not find Bin Laden.
Last, but not least, there's the 2003 Invasion of Iraq. In 2003, Saddam Hussein was spreading rumors about having WMD's. The U.S. had reason to believe this was true and, along with England, Spain, and a few other countries, went in to take them. Unfortunately, there were no WMD's.
Another conflict caused over land AND religion are the conflicts between Israel and Palestine. According to the Old Testament, Jews were promised the land of Canaan (now Israel) by God, in return for faith and obedience. A while later, the Romans attacked this land and later named it Palestine. After WWI, when the Ottoman Empire was partitioned, Palestine was re-made in it's original place. Towards the end of WWII, Jews felt unsafe, due to the Holocaust and continuous Anti-Semitism, led to the Zionist movement, the movement of Jews returning to their homeland. This didn't go over well with Palestine, so England came in and partitioned Palestine, giving the Jews what is now Israel. As soon as they left, however, the Palestinians attacked Israel. Israel retaliated, gaining more land, and this led to the Israeli-Palestinian wars.
Georgia Performance Standards
SS7H2 The student will analyze continuity and change in Southwest Asia (Middle East) leading to the 21st century.
c. Describe how land and religion are reasons for continuing conflicts in the Middle East.