Politics World

Echoes of Israel: A Journey Through Time

Reading Time: 16 minutes

In the heart of the Middle East, there is a nation so small that for some standard maps, its name will not fit inside its boundaries. The title has given away the name of the nation, so let us try and see if we can cough up something else that you can guess. What is common in the following?

  • S. FREUD

You are right, they all are Jews. So, Israel and Jews. Let’s open this piece with their connection. But be prepared, there are more quizzes ahead. Oh but first let’s put this here: Judea, Canaan, Zion or the Holy Land, it all means the same tiny nation of Isreal.

What is the start-up nation of the world? Any guesses? Israel, duh. But what was their first start-up? It was Monotheism. Given by a nomad whose name was Abraham. A trending idea for our times but not so trending for his times. The startup didn’t quite take off and he made eight children. If you have nothing interesting to do and looking up Abraham on Wikipedia seems boring, then you can try reading this document.

Anyways, the children were wanderers. What do wanderers do? They wander. To? Picture yourself in Israel on the map, if you are a wanderer, where would you go? Well Egypt, of course. They had jobs, dates, great sea views, and camels [More about wanderer children and camels in the book of Genesis, Chapter 24]. So, the children of Abraham made more children. But one fine day, the Egyptians woke up and enslaved all these wanderers. It was torture. Then came Moses, yes the guy who split the sea. He frees all the Israelites and makes a journey to Canaan. Well, it was not like the Egyptians did not try to stop him [See the second picture, looks like they really tried].

You can read more about it from this document.

Ray Jr., P. J. (1986). The Duration of the Israelite Sojourn in Egypt.

Andrews University Seminary Studies, 24(3), 231-248 [Link]

Depiction of Moses Splitting the Sea
Source: Natalia Kadish
Pharaoh’s army engulfed by the Red Sea
Source: Frederick Arthur Bridgman

Sadly, Moses was good at splitting the sea but not at navigating. So, on their way, the Israelites walked on longer paths [see their path in the map below] and whined a lot because there was no food and it was pretty hot. It still is. You can check. Anyways, to make his followers whine a little less, he climbs Mount Sinai and writes 10 obvious lines and it becomes the Ten Commandments. And the Israelites stopped whining. [Google Exodus 19, if you wish to read more.]

Somehow, they managed to reach Canaan. But guess what? Canaan is now also the home of Philistines, people of Greek heritage, not to be confused with today’s Palestinians. So, you have the same land and two ethnicities, what happens next? Showdown time.

Read more about the Israelite-Philistine rivalry from this document.

Novak, S. (2015). The Philistines: Bitter Enemy of Israel. Jewish Bible Quarterly, 43(3), 176–184 [Link]

One day, a colossal Philistine giant named Goliath issued a challenge to the Israelites for a winner-takes-all duel. Betting odds favoured Goliath, yet he was stunningly defeated by a petite shepherd with a sharpshooter’s precision named David. So now you know the origin of the phrases related to David and Goliath.

David and Goliath, a colour lithograph.
Source: Osmar Schindler (c. 1888)

The Israelites crowned David as King, and he established Jerusalem as Judea’s capital. Yes, the year is 1000 years BC. A quick note: The UN immediately condemns this as an immoral and irresponsible act meant to provoke the Palestinians! Just kidding – there was no UN back then, and it would be another 3000 years before the Palestinians would seek to usurp this land.

If you find this David guy pretty badass and want to read about his biography, it’s here.

David’s son, Solomon, constructs the temple in Jerusalem [Solomon’s temple]. The temple stands robustly for four centuries, serving as a bustling hub of activity, until its destruction by the Babylonians [Jerusalem in First Temple Period]. Subsequently, the majority of Jews are compelled into exile. After a fifty-year period of displacement, the Persians liberates the Jews, permitting them to return to their homeland. They make a new temple on top of the ruins of the old temple. [Second Temple Period]

Then enters Alexander the Great, a great Greek King and, you guessed it, another invader, who demolishes Persia and assumes control over Judea.

The Jews and Alexander’s heirs were on splendid terms for many years until a new Greek King, Antiochus IV Epiphanes proclaimed, ‘Hey Jews! Let’s ditch the one-God agenda; Say a big hello to our Gods – Zeus and his divine squad.’ But the Jews were not in for it, so they revolted and gave the Greeks a run for their money. Antiochus, not to be outdone, rallied a gigantic army, threatening the Jews. The Jews were like ‘ Why are you exactly doing this? We didn’t snatch any foreign lands. Just took back what was ours.’ And so, the Jews fought and emerged victorious, sprucing up and rededicating the temple. Note the persistent pattern: the Jews consistently returned to the temple in Israel, establishing it as their pivotal point of equilibrium.

Read more about the persecution of Jews by Antiochus in this document.

Antiochus’ Persecution in Josephus’ War: Chris Seeman Walsh University


But it’s Israel; good times in this neighbourhood have an expiration date, right? Just a century later, Rome pops by, and voila, Judea becomes its puppet state.

Then around 2000 years ago, a Jewish baby, Jesus, makes his entrance in Bethlehem. [ Fun fact: From the Biblical references of the Christmas star, astronomers pinned his birthday to the 17th of June, 2 BC (Christ born before Christ!)]. He grows up, sprouting fresh ideas, but lands in hot water, accused of sedition. The High Priest of Jerusalem and the Roman Prefect spells it out: D-E-A-T-H [More about these two guys can be read here]. But from there, a new Jewish sect blossoms, evolving into Christianity, and bestowing upon the world the promise of eternal salvation, a brand-new library of holy books, and of course, the freedom to eat pigs.

The Jews, weary of Roman rule, finally declare, ‘Enough is enough!’ Rising in revolt against Rome, their rebellion is brutally crushed. The Romans, not stopping at mere victory, also ransack and demolish the second Temple, seemingly just for the sake of it. Fast forward sixty-one years, the Jews challenge the Romans to a rematch and manage to give them a solid beating. But the Romans, undeterred, bring in their heavy hitters and decisively defeat the Jews…again. Score: Romans 2, Jews 1. You can read more about it by looking up for Bar Kochba rebellion.

Read more about the destruction and restoration of the temple in this document.

Jerusalem: Twice Destroyed, Twice Rebuilt: Lawrence H. Schiffman
The Classical World, Vol. 97, No. 1 (Autumn, 2003), pp. 31-40

[Download the document]

This time, Roman Emperor Hadrian decides to be a genuine pain in the a**. He disperses numerous Jews throughout the Roman Empire and, in one of the first instances of historical misrepresentation, renames the area – brace yourselves… “Syria – Palestina,” after the Greek Philistines, who had been extinct for 800 years.

The best shift in the name is clearly seen in the writings about C. Julius Severus, a consul in 127. A military diploma from just after the Bar Kochba rebellion praises him for his work in Judea, where he was a high-ranking official. Yet, another inscription refers to him as the legate of Palestinian Syria in late 134 or early 135, showing a change in territorial naming. You can find more about it in this document.

So, ‘Palestine’ was not a designation for a people; it’s a fabricated name that the Roman emperor maliciously assigned to Judea, Israel, the homeland of the Jews.

Quiz Time!

Are the Jews occupying Palestine? True or False?

Answer: Bullshit! The Jews are the indigenous people of Judea. Just like the people of Indus Valley Civilisation in India, Greeks in Greece, Native Americans in America, and Chinese in China, Jews can’t occupy Jewdea.

Great! So, where were we? Romans, right? Hang on, the Roman Empire collapses and is gone. But the Jews are still scattered all over the map.

With a significant portion of the Jewish population dispersed, an illiterate man named Mohammad emerges in present-day Saudi Arabia, uniting various nomadic Arab tribes under the flag of a new religion – Islam. His adherents kind of agree that he was a Hanif, a descendent of Ishmael, son of….ta-dah…Abraham. Anyway, following Mohammad’s death, Muslims seize the land of Israel and construct the Al-Aqsa Mosque atop the ruins of the first and second Jewish temple – the most sacred site of the Jews.

Read more about the destruction of Solomon’s Temple and the construction of Al-Aqsa mosque in this book.

Magness, J. (2012). The Archaeology of the Holy Land: From The Destruction Of Solomon’s Temple To The Muslim Conquest (1st ed)(P.355)


Next stop: the Dark Ages, and spoiler alert, it wasn’t a party for the Jewish folks. Fast forward to the Middle Ages, and things are still pretty gloomy. Jews sprinkled all over the map, unfairly shoulder the blame for the Romans’ execution of Jesus, facing everything from surprise attack parties (of the not-fun kind) to mob riots, expulsions, and downright brutal persecution. [Read more about Anti-Semitism in Medieval Europe from here.]

The Christian Crusaders, are on a mission to snatch Jerusalem from the Muslims. Once they succeed, guess who is on the chopping block along with the Muslims? The Jew. Why? Because why not? Yikes!

Read more about the Christian Crusade in this book.

Kostick, C. (2009). The Siege of Jerusalem: Crusade and Conquest in 1099

[Download the Book]

Up next, enter Saladin, a complete Kurd, who wrests Jerusalem away from the Crusaders. Quick note, jot this down: Saladin is not Arab. He’s a Kurd, hailing from what we now know as eastern Turkey. And Palestine? It continues to be a geographical area with a misapplied name. This is important because this is where most of the lies around Palestine are on the internet.

Good. So now if your disillusioned friend, let’s call him Abdul, spins a tale about a once-independent Palestinian state or kingdom with all the post-Crusade glory of Al-Aqsa mosque and Arabic origin, you might gently prod him with a few questions.

  1. What were its borders?
  2. Who were its rulers?
  3. During what period did it exist?

Observing Abdul’s dance through the details might just offer a few enlightening (and perhaps entertaining) moments. And to make this more fun, ask him that if Palestine were some ancient Arab country, they probably would have had a different name for it, right? Just as there are Arabic sounds with no equivalent sounds in English, in the Arabic alphabet, not a single Arabic word has the P sound in it. So, you can ask Abdul to provide the texts of that time that has Arabic equivalent name for Palestine.

Knock-knock! Guess who? The Ottoman Turks, making their entrance to conquer the Holy Land. They manage a reign that’s a mixed bag of corruption and peace for a solid 400 years.

So, what became of the Jews? Despite numerous attempts to eradicate, expel, and forcibly convert them, they steadfastly and unbrokenly maintained a presence in the land of Israel i.e.kept hovering around their temple (where Al-Aqsa stands now).

Quiz Time!

Jerusalem is equally sacred to Muslims as it is to the Jews. True or False?

Answer: Flapdoodle! Jerusalem pops up over 800 times in the Bible and a grand total of zero times in the Quran. Go ahead, fact-check it. From its inaugural days under King David, Jerusalem has stood as the capital for just one nation – the Jewish nation.

In the 1880s, there is a surge of Jews immigrating back to their ancestral homeland. The once malaria-infested swamps are drained, allowing agricultural communities to flourish amidst the previously barren hills.

Read more about incoming Jews and the way they established agricultural communities.

Zimmermann, K. F. (2005). European Migration: What Do We Know?

Aaronsohn, R. (1995). The Beginnings of Modern Jewish Agriculture in Palestine: “Indigenous” versus “Imported” Agricultural History [link]

The 19th century: a time pulsating with revolutions and reforms; a period where nations are yearning for freedom. Jews worldwide sense the moment is ripe… A journalist, Theodor Herzl, not only pens ‘The Jewish State’ but also establishes the Zionist movement, advocating for the return of Jews to their homeland. As increasing numbers of Jews make their way to the Holy Land, an economic boom ensues, drawing Arabs from distant lands like Algeria and Syria. [link]

Israel is liberated from the Ottoman Empire by the British Indian Army. The curtain falls on World War One, and the victors gather in San Remo, Italy, for a conference – aptly (if unimaginatively) named the San Remo Conference – to reshape the Middle Eastern map. New borders are drawn; and new countries are formed. An area roughly equivalent to today’s Israel plus Jordan is handed to England. Their mission, under solemn oath, is to establish a ‘National Home for the Jewish People‘ there. The document doesn’t allocate land to any non-Jewish entity. The strategy involves restoring to the Jews the land seized from them by a succession of empires. This plan is unanimously ratified by the League of Nations, the precursor to today’s United Nations.

Whereas recognition has been given to the historical connection of the Jewish people with Palestine and to the grounds for reconstituting their national home in that country.

In 1922, ALL 51 countries of the League of Nations unanimously signed and declared:

UN Documents:

The Palestine Order in Council

Mandate for Palestine

The original homeland designated for Jews under the British Mandate was based on the 12 Tribes of Israel map. [Source]

Transition to Jewish sovereignty over their ancestral homeland. However, in the latter part of 1922, Winston Churchill (it had to be him) altered the trajectory set by the San Remo Conference agreement. The British, without hesitation, deviated from their commitment to the Jews, allocating more than three-quarters of the territory to Emir Abdullah, a Saudi prince, to establish a brand-new Arab state named Transjordan.

Emir Abdullah with Winston Churchill at the Cairo Conference. Emir Abdullah was given 78% of the land promised to Jews (today’s Jordan), and his brother, Emir Feisal was given Iraq. [Source]

You would think that apart from the drama on quanta of land allocated to them, the Jews still got recognised land, right? Wrong. Among all the new borders and countries established since World War One, the sole area referred to as ‘occupied’ by some and ‘disputed’ by others is that tiny piece of land allocated to the Jewish people. Most of the world considers all other decisions binding. To assert their claim to the entire land of Israel, Arabs initiate terrorist attacks against the Jews.

Read more about attacks of Arabs on the Jews in this book.

Kedourie, E and Sylvia G. Haim. Zionism and Arabism in Palestine and Israel. [Download the Book]

Remember, by this time everyone residing in the region known as Palestine is designated as a ‘Palestinian’; a term that envelops Jews, Arabs, Muslims, Druze, and Christians.

A quick quiz!

The Jews are not a nation. Yes or No?

Answer: Jews are the only nation that inhabit the same land, carry the same name, converse in the same language, and worship the same God as they did 3000 years ago. A Jew in any part of the world will speak the same language that Moses used to lead the Israelites out of Egypt.

World War 2 unfolds. In Europe, the Nazis are committed to remove the Jews. Jews globally align with and fight alongside the Allies. The central Arab leader, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, meets with Hitler. The aftermath- Six million civilian Jews, among them 1.5 million children, are exterminated. The nature of the meeting can be contested on the lines of correlation does not imply causation. We leave it for you to decide.

Source: Heinrich Hoffmann Collection

However, let’s refocus… The land of Israel is not given to the Jews as compensation for their suffering; it is theirs through unequivocal aboriginal rights, stemming from their indigenous origin and an unbroken presence spanning over 3,000 years. While the Holocaust has concluded, Arab attacks against the Jews in Palestine persist. Israel remains under British control by this time.

But this time, an unexpected shift occurs. The Jews, having reached their limit, take up arms and metaphorically signal a resolute ‘bring it on.’

The Jews, residing in their ancestral territory of Israel, form armed organizations to shield themselves against Arab terrorists. When the British government seals the ports of Palestine, effectively trapping the European Jews alongside their exterminators, Jewish militias rise to drive the reprehensible British forces from the Land of Israel.

More about Israel’s struggle for Independence from the British in this book.

Jacob Shavit, Jabotinsky and the Revisionist Movement 1925–1948.

[Buy the Book, Routledge,1988]

After countless, unproductive peace talks attempting to persuade the Arabs to accept any form of a Jewish homeland in Israel, the British say ‘Peace Out’; they withdraw and dump the issue to the newly formed UN.

The UN opts to partition the remaining modest territory into the first Jewish state in almost 2000 years, a 22nd Arab state, and a third substantial area, including Jerusalem, to be under international control. Remember the map above, that was the land proposed to be given to the Jews as their right? Now look at the map of Israel proposed by the UN.

The Arabs reject even this plan vowing to push the Jews into the sea. [Link]

Despite a significant numerical advantage, five Arab states, each boasting a standing army and collectively representing over 30 million people, attack the nascent state of 6,00,000 Jews. It becomes a scenario of David versus five Goliaths. David still emerges victorious.

Israel fends off the attacks and proclaims its independence. 7,11,000 Arabs depart from Israel, while 1,56,000 Arabs opt to remain and are – quite BRUTALLY! – granted Israeli citizenship and civil rights. 8,50,000 Jews are expelled from the neighbouring Arab countries. Jordan annexes the West Bank, including the sacred sites in Jerusalem, and proceeds to ransack, loot, and desecrate every synagogue and Jewish cemetery within its territory. Meanwhile, Egypt lays claim to Gaza.

This is where it gets extremely funny – Even with complete Arab control of the West Bank and Gaza from 1948 to 1967, the Arab world does not establish a Palestinian state in those territories. Do you get this point? They have full control over the areas often referred to as the occupied territories, yet a Palestinian homeland is not created.

Quiz Time!

Israel is an Imperialist nation! True or False?

Answer: Balderdash! Come 2023, the globe has got 56 Islamic nations, a hundred-plus Christian-majority countries, and just one tiny Jewish state. Hey world, maybe if you just lend us a smidge more land, we will all have peace. I mean, just look at how this cruel country 36 times tinier than Egypt is conquering the world!

Now let us see how Israel is committing a severe racist genocide. Let’s take a moment to analyse the numbers. From the 1,56,000 Arabs who chose to remain in Israel post-1948, their numbers grew to 4,72,000 by 1972 and further increased to 8,75,000 by 1990. Fast forward to 2023, and the Arab population in Israel stands at over 2 million. Remember the original mandate about establishing a Jewish homeland? The numbers tell a story of coexistence and growth in Israel.

Compiled by Sanely Written

As a fun exercise, try finding out how many Jews are left in the Arab countries. [Link]

Hold on, let’s come back to our timeline. Fast-forward a couple of wars to 1964. The Arab League creates the Palestinian Liberation Organization, the PLO. They rally the local Arabs, instilling in them a deep-seated animosity towards Jews [Link], and for the first time in history, bring them together under the banner of the ‘Palestinian People.’ Feel free to fact-check what we said earlier that until this point everyone residing in the region known as Palestine was a ‘Palestinian’ – Jews, Arabs, Muslims, Druze, and Christians.

Horray! A new nation is born out of thin air – The Palestinians.

Read more about the founding of PLO in this book.

The Palestinian Entity 1959-1974: Moshe Shemesh [Taylor & Francis Year: 1988]

[Download the Book]

Fun Fact: According to Article 24 of The Original Palestine National Charter of 1964 written by the first PLO Chairman, Ahmed Shukeiry, Palestinians lay no claim to the West Bank or Gaza, then under Jordanian and Egyptian control, respectively. Surprised? Well, don’t be. At the time, the PLO sought to exert Palestinian sovereignty only over western Jerusalem, together with the rest of the internationally recognised territory of Israel. [It is in the book mentioned above]

1967: There is this war, you see, that spans just six days. It kicks off when the Egyptian army inches closer to the Israeli border, with President Nasser of Egypt confidently declaring, “My army will destroy the Zionist entity.” Yet, in a twist, six days later, Israel decisively defeats the four Arab armies that launched an assault, seizing the Sinai Peninsula and Gaza from Egypt, and the Golan Heights from Syria. They also reclaim the so-called West Bank, including Jerusalem’s Old City, from Jordan. After nearly two millennia, the Israeli flag once again flutters over the Western Wall, remnants of the ancient Jewish Temple, now a place where believers of all faiths can worship without hindrance.

Another Fun Fact: It was only after Israel won Gaza and the West Bank back in 1967, the PLO immediately amended Article 24 and included those two territories in Palestine.

Read more about the Six-Day War in this book.

Louis, W. R. (2012). The 1967 Arab-Israeli War: Origins and Consequences (Cambridge Middle East Studies) Cambridge University Press.

Not complying with their annihilation plan, resilient Israelis resist obliteration and continue to face ongoing terror attacks. The unprovoked October 8 attack on Israel by Hamas is the latest exhibit of terrorism that claimed the lives of 1300 Jews. [Google about other such terror attacks. To undertake the task of putting it here will lengthen this piece.]

But be careful. It could be very hard to say that Israel was under an unprovoked attack by the terrorists without your friend, Abdul, cutting in and saying, ‘The (terror) attack is a consequence of occupation’, which brings us to our next Quiz.

Terror is a direct consequence of the occupation. True or False?

Answer: Trick Question. What “occupation” are we talking about? There is no occupation. Judea/Israel have always been the ancestral lands of the aboriginal Jews, a fact undeniably supported by archaeological finds [example: the image below], historical records, and genetic analysis. And by the way, Arab terrorism began roughly half a century before the period some misinformed people label as “the occupation.” So, what exactly is it? Preemptive retaliation?

[Pardon the low quality] From the 6th to 4th centuries BCE, Judaea, under Persian rule, minted silver coins. Adopting the owl design from Athenian coins, they replaced the Greek “AQE” with the Hebrew “YEHUD,” the Persian name for Judea. [Source]

Another Quiz:

Israel is an Apartheid state? True or False?

Nonsense! Palestinians (hereon subscribing to the current misnomered term) make up over 20% of Israel’s population and enjoy full rights. This includes Palestinian doctors, a Supreme Court justice, generals, a Miss Israel, and parliament members. Arabic even holds special status in Israel. Palestinians in Israel have more freedom than in many Arab states. Does that sound like Apartheid?

So that you get it straight, the Palestinians seek a Jew-free state because they think the Jews of Israel are being racist. Hmm🤔.

Why do highly regarded ‘leaders’ believe that the Jewish territory of Israel should respect Arab rights, but a Palestinian state is only possible when it excludes all Jews? What is the logic?

But still, in 2005, dripping with irony, Israel takes a bold step in ethical cleansing. They move over 8,000 Jews out of Gaza, a move no other nations would even consider. All in the name of peace, they hand Gaza to the Palestinians, completely Jew-free. But you are in 2023 and you know this did not bring peace. So, what exactly happened to the Jew-free Gaza? Israel’s gesture is immediately “thanked” with rockets. Rather than transforming Gaza into a prosperous, peaceful region, it morphs into a hub intent on Israel’s destruction. Sadly, a region where the citizens rob the greenhouse gifted for infrastructure development [link] and terrorists dig up water supply pipes to make rockets [link], could never prosper.

We still advise caution that saying out loud, all these facts that you are learning here could get you in trouble with your friend, Abdul. He could argue ‘Gaza is a huge concentration camp.’ So it’s time for…you guessed it…another Quiz.

Gaza is a huge concentration camp! True or False?

Answer: Whopper of a falsehood. The most prevalent health issue among Gaza’s women is obesity [Source], which isn’t typically associated with concentration camp conditions. While it’s true that for the safety of Israeli civilians, Gazans can’t enter Israel, they also have an 8-mile border with Egypt, a fellow Muslim country. Why is the spotlight only on Israel for restricting movement? Why doesn’t Egypt, their Muslim neighbour, allow them passage? You guessed it…for the same reason that Israel doesn’t.

We end this piece with our last Quiz:

If the Arabs put down their weapons today, there would be no more ‎violence. If the Jews put ‎down their weapons ‎today, there would be no ‎more Israel

Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel’s Prime Minister

True/False? You decide.

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5 replies on “Echoes of Israel: A Journey Through Time”

But instead of history we talk about current situation then we can say that current day isarelites are not what is historykingdom of Israel,Israelites are not modern day isarel as the current israeli living in holy land are migrants from Europe and from all over the world.Israeli pm setanyahu was polish,president of Israel was Russian so Israel in 3000bc is not what it is today dna report of an Israeli is approx similar to European

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