Israel is even more prominent in the news these days because of Sharon's perceived impending demise, which threatens the newly formed Kadima Party and chances of peace with Palestine. The nature of Palestine itself is currently under discussion at All Things Beautiful.
I have a simple principle to determine who owns what piece of land, when it comes to nation-states, and that is the right of conquest. This and only this have been the enduring principle of ownership throughout history. It does not care who was there first, tracing one's lineage back as far as one can, nor does it does not care who is there most. For better or for worse, the Israeli has managed to hold that sliver of the Middle East by force of arms, and triumphed over those who would try to take it for themselves. There is no morality to conquest. But there is morality afterward, as to how you treat the conquered, and how you behave as the conqueror. As far as I can surmise, the Palestinians are treated better in Israel than in Jordan or Egypt; better than the Jews would have been treated had the situation been reversed.
Unfortunately, I fear the "Palestinians" are a lost people, whose only culture is hate and violence. They have become this way not from occupation but from manipulation and encouragement of their Arab brethrens.
Also worth reading:
General Ariel Sharon: A Military Perspective at the Officers' Club
Not a Fish