Facts About Israel You Should Know
by Nadene Goldfoot
Israel's Land: From 70 CE when Rome attacked Jerusalem to 1948 CE, for this 1,878 years, the Land was ruled by foreign governments and never by the people which lived in it. It's frontiers underwent changes according to the administrative interests of the ruling power. Its name was also changed by successive rulers to suit their needs.
1. Roman rule: 70 CE-395- changed name to Palaestina (for Philistines)-Jerusalem to Aelie Capitolina
2. Byzantine rule: 395 to 636
3. Arab rule: 636-1072
4. Seijuk rule: 1072-1099
5. Crusaders' Rule: 1099-1291
6.Mamluk Rule: 1291-1516
7. Ottoman Rule 1516-1917 up to WWI which they lost, thus Britain held mandate
8.British Rule: 1918-1948 (1922 they divided in Palestine West of Jordan and Transjordan on East of Jordan-breaking promise to Israel's leaders.
9. Israel was born: May 1948
Six-Day War: when Israel was attacked by all the Arab countries and the Israel Defence Forces defeated the massed Arab armies which menaced Israel's frontiers. This caused Israel to administer four areas.
The West Bank: Original name-Judaea and Samaria-known as the West Bank of the Jordan) Had been until 1948 part of the British Mandate of Palestine. Between 1948-1967 it was ruled by Jordan, which annexed it in 1950.
Gaza Strip: Had been until 1948, part of the British Mandate of Palestine. Between 1948-1967 (with a brief interruption in 1956-7, following the Sinai War, it was administered by an Egyptian Military Government. It was not annexed by Egypt.
The Sinai Desert: Was, until 1967, under Egyptian administration.
The Golan Heights: Until 1967, were under Syrian administration.
East Jerusalem was reunified by Israel in June 1967 with West Jerusalem.
Modern Israel has never known permanent boundaries. Until 1967, boundaries consisted of temporary armistice lines, agreed upon in 1949. Since 1967 and waiting for a peace settlement, cease-fire lines demarcate the area under Israeli control. Most of the urban regions of Israel are less than two hours away from the nearest cease-fire lines. Before 1967, the armistice lines bisected Jerusalem and were twenty minutes away from Tel Aviv. Peace has never really come. Arabs keep trying to overcome Israel.
Today I see people arguing about who Israel belongs to, and I don't think they've ever opened a book to check out facts. Israel bought land from absent Arab landowners who were living abroad in Europe at very high prices. They also were created by the United Nations in 1948, and became a very legal state. That unfortunately didn't stop the Arab nations who had no respect for legalities, and still don't as they continue to attack the very tiny state. I'd like to think that we have help from Ha-Shem (G-d) in this miraculous endeavor. Never again do we want to lose this extremely important piece of land that we were guided to.
I feel that this hatred of the Arabs stems from us not converting to the Muslim religion as they thought we would. They were converting by the sword when people didn't come along with them. We've endured many peoples who have tried to convert us, and we have remained steadfast in our convictions. This did not please the Arab nations at all. When we lived in Arab countries we were treated as 2nd class citizens because of it. We have never been equals. However, this was better treatment than being rounded up and slaughtered as happened inthe WWII.
Resource: Facts About Israel from Division of Information, ministry for foreign affairs, Jerusalem. 1973.