If you've got the time and really want to know, read a couple books:
Tom Segev's (revisionist Israeli historian) One Palestine, Complete, about the British mandate years
The Iron Wall, have to admit I haven't read it but it has been strongly recommended
Martin Van Creveld's (brilliant Israeli military historian) Defending Israel, recent look at the military realities and the way forward
Probably a lot of good books I have never even heard of, but be very wary of the biases involved.