I never understood this. My family is Jewish. You'd think I would be pro-israel, but I'm not.
Why should the Jewish people be allowed to invade another country simply because of religious context? Because of World War II? The Holocaust? They are not the only people in the world to suffer. We are now putting Palestine's people in the way of death and war. Aren't we?
The history lessons given here count a highly basic outline with a couple users here leaving some convenient facts out (for one side or the other). Your best bet is to pick up and read an objective account of the last century of history in the Levant. Luckily there are non-religious scholars who have done so as well as Christian, Muslim, Jewish, secularist, atheist authors who have been able to write empeccably objective histories (they all pay a price for publishing anything critical of their own side). Read more than one if this subject facinates you (it is definitely the most fascinating part of post-WWII history in my opinion). To get a handle on the utter complex horrific barbaric dehumanising mess on both sides and the countries that enable them you'll need to read voraciously with multiple sources. There are so many absurdly one sided and highly biased works out there (some even published in Academic journals) that it's difficult to find an objective list of which histories and political analysis have been objectively and fairly written. It's difficult. Any work that presents one side as notably more responsible for the mess both sides are in, or presents one side as notably more responsible for impeding a solution...has almost certainly broken all the rules of academic writing, objective rational critical thinking and intellectual integrity.
I had my pro-Israel phase, spent a year in the Middle East and then had my pro-Palestine phase...and then decided to really do my homework and read chunky history books (many terribly biased). I went to lectures on the topic (I think only 1 in 10 were even remotely objective...mostly Israeli or Palestinian academics demonising the other side). I shadowed pro-Israel and pro-Palestine student groups (so much hate on both sides). Some researchers painstakingly source their material and evidence and explain their methodologies and will unappologetically point out attrocities on both sides with no discalimers or appologetics. Just take any single year in the last five decades and you'd have a telephone book worth of inexcusable destructive stupidity that both sides are guilty of...I was left with a terrible embarassment that I was ever pro-one-side or ever painted one side as more responsible for anything.
The rest of the world stands back and give both sides money and use both sides as chess pieces. That's also a source of bias for some writers on the Levant. Be weary of this as well. I've developed a numbness to the area. A new settlement is built. I don't get angry. A jihaddist bomb goes off. I have no reaction. What I do get angry at is terribly biased writing by writers who should no better (and do know better). I highly recommend picking up books and reading on the topic. It's a crazy ride.
The past is so hard to predict. So called 'Historical' accounts are in so many cases as subjective as the holy books.
Leave it to Robert to say what took me multiple paragraphs but only in two consise sentences!
here's so far NO OBVIOUS WAY for most people in our modern world to educate themselves on the most important topics our world of people faces.
There is. Find sources that reveal their methodology from the beginning, cite their resources and evidence (lots and lots of primary sources) ... and show a deep understanding of the content from the beginning to modern times, properly narrating (or simply ordering) the "history" of the place chronologically. The less commentary and interpretation the better. The less generalizing the better. The more they show people of the same government, army and churches having different opinions and taking different actions the better. These books exist on the Middle East. I can recommend two in particular if you are interested. It isn't hard reading but it is long. There are always scholarly articles which review these books and evaluate these texts. You can form a list of the best texts which fellow scholars comment are objective and of high quality. Start with those books. They exist on Palestine/Israel and knowing some of this will help you answer the question: Why should America support one side.
As for elitism...a scholar becomes an "expert" on the topic because of their investigative skills, extreme dedication to working through the material and ability to produce works worth reading. That is the same for both Historians and Scientists (only scientists are fortunate to have greater certainty in their answers). I don't think it makes sense calling Scientists or Historians or Philosophers elite. They're simply the ones who did all the work and did good work.
As for being useful for the masses? This stuff trickles down. Forget about the Middle East and think about Norse culture (viking age sort of) and the amount of painstaking research that has gone into understanding it. You have to learn a dead language "old Norse" and preferably several languages that branched out or influenced others like English, Danish, Icelandic), go over every inscription, artifact, narrative, saga, work of art, ruins, myth etc. before you can put together a history of vikings that is not one just of "long haired ruthless pillagers in fur coats and metal helmets". What is learnt from it trickles down to the masses in several ways. The basic outline of Norse culture is learnt by children in school (and that outline is revised as new information is gained). The produces of films and programs that show Norse people go to great pains to show the many different side of Norse people and rely on scholars (often as advisors) to get it right. It gives us a much better product. Those who watch interesting easy to follow documentaries depend on these scholars. Novelists use Norse Saga and scholars explanation of these sagas to inspire their work. People in the UK and Ireland researching their geneology benefit from the historical sources and records and accounts that scholars tirelessly investigate. The wikipedia article, non-fiction books, folk depictions, haloween costumes, German opera and children's books all depend (to some extent or another) on the thankless work of these scholars. Slowly but surely the scholars are winning in their attempt to end the "barbarian primitive viking vacuous of cultre" cliché so that we don't live in such extreme ignorance of a very important part of Europes (and therefore the British and therefore English Speaking countries's history, politics, religion, culture. It trickles down totally. Knowing a little about tons of stuff is good for being a "read person" but being more passionate about a few topics and delving into them deeply is something all inquiring minds should do. There must be a topic Pope that you are interested enough in to dive into from the deep end. No?
"I highly recommend picking up books and reading on the topic. It's a crazy ride."
I'll second that.
To the question; "Why should America be Pro-Israel?"
I think the "Why" should be dropped.
The question then leads to a more practical discussion.
Give this a listen Violetta.