I am quite pro-Israel in my sentiments, and while I don't post on the topic here very often, I get into discussions on other sites.
I always seek to simplify arguments as much as I can see my way to. The public arguments on all topics are often wading in the shallows, picking up shells and seaweed while ignoring the foundational sea. There is one foundational argument which underlies any defense of the Palestinians, and I think that argument false.
Just in case there are readers with the usual criticisms of Israel ready to hand, I should note that arguments which claim to disapprove of Hamas or the PLO but maintain that Israel is not above criticism seem to always end in the same place. While that sentiment is certainly reasonable in theory, I find that in practice such people go on to spend 95% of their energy criticising Israel. They deceive themselves that they are being open-minded. They make a mere nod to deploring the actions of the Palestinians. David Bernstein's criticism of Human Rights Watch over at Volokh brings out many commenters of this type. They protest often that of course they don't approve of the actions of the Palestinians, but they resent what they see as a blind support for Israel.
Blind support, upon examination, turns out to be any support at all.
Here is the simple argument which I believe underlies all those defenses, the ocean which enables the shells and seaweed to exist. They believe that the Palestinians are the "real" owners of the the land, so everything they do is self-defense; that Israel is an intruder, so everything they do is unwarranted agression. Few would admit that this level of prejudice motivates them - shreds of reason and evenhandedness are important to them - yet it just pours out of them. If one tries to enter into any discussion of the original UN resolution, of Balfour, of purchase of land, of continuous presence, we find that all of these things aren't really part of their discussion. All those arguments are rejected out-of-hand.
I would ask what the basis of unassailable Palestinian ownership is. Not that the Palestinians have no claim, but I wonder what is the overwhelming, slam-dunk rightness that allows their defenders to dismiss all treaties, negotiations, history, and rights of property as irrelevant? Because when one strips the other debris away, that argument, whatever it is, is the one that supports all the others. Why do people believe that the Palestinians are the "real" owners of every square inch?
There is, of course, another type of critic of Israel who simply believes that more talk, more negotiation, more concession, more niceness, is what is needed but has never been tried by Israel. I can't see any point in even addressing that