Israel, Land of Tradition and Conflict

By Bernard Reich; Gershon R. Kieval | Go to book overview

2
History

Israel is a young country, having achieved its modern independence in 1948, but it has an intimate connection to the ancient Jewish state and to Jewish history. The land of Israel was the ancient birthplace of the Jewish people, and it is in this area that the religious and national identity of that people was formed and developed. Later, the ancient Jewish state, the Holy Land, and Jerusalem became the spiritual focal points of the Jewish religion--a part of its hopes, rituals, and goals--in addition to providing the historical link for the Jews. Thus, the Jewish connection to Zion for centuries could be found at the heart of tradition, belief, and religion.


EARLY JEWISH HISTORY

The earliest connections between the Jewish people and the land of Israel are in the biblical period when Abraham, the first of the patriarchs of Judaism, migrated from Ur of the Chaldeans to Haran and then to the Promised Land around the second millennium B.C. or B.C.E. The subsequent travails of the children of Israel in Egypt culminated in the Exodus (ca. thirteen century B.C.) led by Moses, which was marked by various events of continuing significance in Jewish history and tradition. Notable Jewish holidays--Passover (Pesach), Pentecost (Shavuot), and Tabernacles (Succot)--relate to the Exodus and the wanderings of the children of Israel through the desert from Egypt to the Promised Land.

Under Joshua and the Judges the Israelites conquered and settled much of the Promised Land ( Canaan), and eventually a monarchy was established under King Saul (ca. 1020-1004 B.C.). He was succeeded by David (ca. 1004-965 B.C.), who unified the Jewish tribes, pacified the area, and made Israel into a major regional force. Jerusalem became his capital, and he established a dynasty that lasted some four hundred years. His son, Solomon ( 965-928 B.C.), inherited a strong, large, and peaceful

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Israel, Land of Tradition and Conflict
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Westview Profiles · Nations of The Contemporary Middle East ii
  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Tables and Illustrations ix
  • Acknowledgments xi
  • Introduction 1
  • 2- History 37
  • 3- The Economy 65
  • 4- Politics 85
  • 5- The Quest for Peace And Security 139
  • 6- Israel and the United States 187
  • Chronology of Major Events 203
  • Acronyms 211
  • Suggested Readings 213
  • About the Book and Authors 221
  • Index 223
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