Land For Peace
A major part of the Jewish desire to come back to the Land of Israel has always been a desire to come back peacefully. From the very beginnings of the state of Israel, peace was offered to its Arab neighbors, though usually not accepted. From the Declaration of the Establishment of the State of Israel itself, peaceful intentions were made clear.
When one examines the phrase used most in the peace process, "Land for Peace," the intentions of both sides are clear. In essence, the Arab world is willing to compromise and offer peace in order to attain their objective - land. Israel is stating they are willing to compromise land in order to attain their objective - peace. Thus the very cornerstone of all negotiations takes as a given that Israel is attempting to attain peace and is willing to give away land to accomplish this.
The map above portrays the entire Middle East region. The countries highlighted in grey are Arab countries; Israel is highlighted in red. It is easy to see the huge struggle Israel faces, based on size alone. Click on the map to enlarge it.
In The Beginning...
In the year 1272 BCE, Jews first entered the land of Israel as a nation. For the subsequent 13 centuries, Jewish Kings and prophets changed the Israeli world spiritually and culturally. Then, in 70 CE, the Jewish people faced their second exile, this time by the Romans.
The Jewish people are not only spiritually connected to the land of Israel, they are also physically linked to it. It is a large misconception that in 70 CE Jews were banished from Israel, and in 1948, 2,000 years later, 600,000 Jews came rushing back. Jews have had a constant presence in their land since the Romans expelled them.
In the year 70 CE, after living in Israel for over 1,000 years, the vast majority of Jews were exiled, but not all of them. Going through the 2,000 years since the exile, evidence shows Jewish communities continuously present, mainly concentrated in Jerusalem, Tsfat, Tiberias and Hebron.
By the 9th century there were major Jewish populations in Jerusalem and Tiberius. In the 11th century, when the crusaders came, the Jews were almost the majority of Jerusalem. During the first crusade, all the Jews were rounded up, gathered into a building and burned alive. Almost the entire Jewish population of Jerusalem was destroyed. Jews returned to their homeland even after the crusades.
The Jewish presence in Israel persisted, and in the 1850s, Jews once again became the majority in Jerusalem. Thus, not only are there spiritual ties that connected Jews in exile all over the world to their homeland, but Jews were actually living there the whole time.
This Web site serves to navigate the struggles that Israel has faced throughout its short life, faces today and will face in the future.