Monday, September 06, 2010

Ephraim's Sharon, Land of Israel
Nadene Goldfoot
Part of Israel's coastal plain is Sharon. It runs from Caesarea to Jaffa. In ancient days it was known for its fertility and was partially covered with oak forests, pasture land and swamps. Swamps resulted from choking the river mouths and neglect of outlets through the coastal ridge. In Israelite times it belonged to the tribe of Ephraim, one of our twelve tribes.
Assyrians conquered it in 732 BCE, creating Duru (Dor) there. The Persians came along and gave it to the Sidonians. Greek and Roman cities grew up in the south until it decayed in the hands of Arabs in the Arab and Mameluke Periods. It was then deserted and swamp-ridden.
Jewish settlers in the 1880's came along in groups mostly from Russia called Aliyahs. There were several waves of them.
A town called Haderah was created in N. Sharon, founded in 1891 as a farming community by Bilu Jewish immigrants who were members of a Zionist group called Hovevei Zion, from Lithuania and Latvia. . They were greeted by extensive swamps that were flanked by sand dunes. This was the source of malaria which before world War I caused the death of nearly half of the settlers. On Baron Edmond de Rothschild's suggestion, the settlers planted eucalyptus trees and they dug drainage canals. Their health improved. By 1990 Haderah had 41,600 residents. By 1948, it was a regional center with a population of 11,800. It was declared a city in 1952. With an area of jurisdiction of 53,000 dunams, Hadera is Israel's fourth largest city.
Aliyahs were still coming in the 1930's. Jews were not met by the welcome wagon and McDonald's. They had to work extremely hard to create Israel. It took their blood, sweat and tears.
Parts of the Plain are included in the Haifa, Center, and Tel Aviv Districts of Israel. In 2008 The Sharon Plain was home to 1,131,600 people[1], 965,300 of them (85.3%) are Jews, and 166,300 (14.6%) are Arabs.
We forget about all the hard work our ancestors went through to renew the land of Israel. Very few Arabs lived there as as Joan Peters explained in her excellent book, "From Time Immemorial". This journalist did actual research herself and found that the Arabs were not native to the land except for a few. Most of them came from surrounding nations, far and wide. They came to find work with the returning Jews who were building their homeland. You can't blame them and the Jewish men probably rejoiced in being able to hire some help. There was no work in their own homelands.
Jews paid for this land. They found that owners were living in Europe amid comfort, and asked high prices, which they paid. The land was dear. It was special, but only to Jews who intended to live in their ancient homeland once again. It was land neglected, waiting for the Jews to return so that it could blossom again. It did just that. Happy for tender love and care, Israel is now coveted by the Gazans called Hamas who want all of Israel to disappear.
Reference: The Standard Jewish Encyclopedia
Wikipedia-Sharon Plain

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