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Evolution of the Region

Evolution of the Region

Modern Israel's story in maps.


Excerpted from "Israel 101", produced by Stand With Us. Click here to download the entire booklet for free.

The Rise and Fall of Empires

In the first century, the Roman Empire defeated the over-1,000-year-old nation of Judea, destroyed its Holy Temple in Jerusalem and exiled hundreds of thousands of Jews. To erase all memory of Judea, Rome renamed it "Palestine" after the Jews' biblical enemy, the Philistines, an Aegean people who had once settled along the coast.1 Afterwards, Westerners referred to the Jewish-Christian Holy Land as Palestine. Arab peoples did not widely adopt the name "Palestine" until the 20th century. Though the name had always been associated with Jews, in the 1960s it became associated with the Arab Palestinian nationalist movement.

For the two millenia after the Roman conquest, no other state or unique national group developed in Palestine, and no ruler chose Jerusalem as its capital. Instead, different empires and peoples came, colonized, ruled and disappeared. Jews remained throughout these changes. Their numbers grew as exiled Jews returned in periodic waves of immigration; their numbers fell when the area's rulers persecuted them.

Between 1517 and 1917, Palestine was an unimportant backwater of the sprawling Ottoman Empire, which, at its height in 1683, covered vast parts of the Middle East, North Africa and Eastern Europe. It was separated into small subdistricts within the large province of Syria (and later Beirut). The Palestine region initially prospered under the Ottomans, but during the Empire's decline, it was reduced to a sparsely populated, impoverished, barren area.2

When the Ottoman Empire was defeated in World War I (1914-1918), its lands were ceded to the victorious Allies. Just as the Allies carved new nations out of Europe's defeated empires, so too they carved nations out of the former Ottoman Empire and created most of the Middle Eastern states we know today, including Iraq, Lebanon and Syria. They also redrew Palestine's boundaries and officially recognized is as the Jewish national home

The Middle East: A neighborhood of young countries



Israel Reborn

The League of Nations recognized the Jews' deep ties to their historic homeland, admired the thriving community they had been revitalizing since the 1880s and established the Palestine Mandate for a Jewish homeland.

This is modern Israel's story in maps.







Reprinted with permission from Stand With Us. Click here to download the entire booklet for free. - English USA

1 Michael Grand, The Jews in the Roman World, 1973, p. 255; Elliott A. Green, "What Did Rome Call the land of Israel . . .," in Midstream, October 1995.
2 League of Nations, "An Interim Report on the Civil Administration of Palestine, during the period 1st July, 1920-30th June, 1921," July 1921. 3 Balfour Declaration, November 17, 1917.
4 Treaty of Sevres, Section VII, Article 94, August 10, 1920.
5 Council of the League of Nations, The Palestine Mandate, Article 6, July 24, 1922.

August 2, 2009

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The opinions expressed in the comment section are the personal views of the commenters. Comments are moderated, so please keep it civil.

Visitor Comments: 11

(11) Steven R. Edelman, December 26, 2010 4:54 PM

Judea and Samaria

The Arabs would make Judea and Samaria empty of Jews. They would also force out as many Christians as they could. However, a whole Israel (including Judea and Samaria) would keep all people, giving them the right to practice as they believe, and participate in their government. Judea and Samaria are aboriginally part of Israel, or (if you would) the ancient kingdoms of Israel and Judea.

(10) Anonymous, August 17, 2009 6:14 AM

This e-mail article was so well put together I feel I have to write and congratulate you. It was informative, authoratative, interesting and easy to read. In 1 page it manages to expose those who would destroy Israel either by fanatical doctrine, apathy, stupidity, fear of islamofacism or isolationist self-centered diplomacy. In my opinion the quest for the petrochemical dollar needs to be balanced by ethical macro-management. This article should be part of the curriculum for school children worldwide. Maybe it could replace some of those Saudi school books which were printed and distributed world-wide. I wonder if in retrospect we could then refer to that as part of 'The Protocols of the Elders of Saudi'. Whoops...musn't descend to that level! Thank you

(9) Roger, August 14, 2009 12:26 AM

slight exageration

The Text of the Balfour declaration actually stated "A Jewish homeland IN Palestine" not that Palestine was to be completly a Jewish homeland. It also states "it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine" which to me means Palestinians be they Muslem or Christian are also entitled. Sorry but to me the Borders should remain as per the green line 1967 as per international agreements, however if people of any faith choose to live in the west Bank under a Palestinian governemt they should be allowed. But any action by Israel's armed forces or police is my mind an act of War against the palestinains

(8) Wassim, August 11, 2009 3:54 AM

West Bank is a big chunk!

I think the whole "West Bank" should be part of Israel. The problem is what to do with all the people there?

(7) Isaac, August 8, 2009 8:50 PM

was good,I believe u must say more about the history of jews in the holly land of Israel and too say and say to firiendly live between Palestinan Arabs,have same nationality acording the citizen of the holly land,I mean two neigherbood

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