It seems that the “Free Gaza” movement is spreading around the internet, and unwitting people are joining without proper knowledge of the history of the region, or the ruling party in Gaza. People have been led to believe that Israel was just magically formed post WWII. This belief by many is a scathing indictment on our educational system, the media, and the global elite who aim to divide and conquer us.
The Kingdom of Israel occupied the land on the Mediterranean Sea corresponding roughly to the State of Israel of modern times. The region was known, historically, as Canaan, then, as Phonecia. Named after the Hebrew patriarch Jacob (also known as Yisrae’el, `persevere with God’) and, by extension, his nation, Israel was, at first, the region allegedly conquered by the Hebrew General Joshua around 1250 BCE.
Israel developed into a united kingdom under the leadership of King David (c.1000-960 BCE) who consolidated the various tribes under his single rule (having taken over from Israel’s first king, Saul, who ruled circa 1020 BCE). David chose the Canaanite city of Jerusalem as his capital.
The Kingdom of Israel, culturally, seems to have been characterized by a strong belief in God (the same who was claimed to have inspired Moses to lead the Israelites out of Egypt) named Yahweh, who was considered the only `true god’ and the creator Lord of the Universe. David and Solomon, especially, seem to have used this belief to their benefit in unifying the people but, upon Solomon’s death (around 920 BCE) the kingdom split in half, Israel occupying the northern region with a capital at Samaria and the Kingdom of Judah in the south with Jerusalem as capital. The two kingdoms would sometimes ally and sometimes war, but would never again achieve the strength and wealth of the kingdom under the rules of David and Solomon. The Kingdom of Judah prospered under the reigns of the kings Omri (c.876-869 or 884-872 BCE) and Ahab (c.876-853 BCE) and, later, Jehu’s dynasty (842-746 BCE) according to archaeological evidence.
Unable to achieve a lasting, meaningful alliance with each other, Israel fell to the Neo-Assyrian Empire in 721 BCE and the population was deported (replaced by Assyrian settlements) and, in 587 BCE, theBabylonian King Nebuchadnezzar II defeated Judah, sacked Jerusalem (destroying the temple) and deported the aristocracy, scribes and skilled craftsmen back to Babylon (known as the Babylonian Captivity).
Following the sack of Samaria, the destruction of Jerusalem and the Diaspora, Israel ceased to exist until the creation of the modern State of Israel in 1947-1948 CE by the United Nations
The name Palestine originates from the Philistine inhabitants of the land of Judea. After the Romans conquered the region in the second century C.E., the Romans used the term Palestinia to refer to the region in an attempt to minimize Jewish attachment to the land. The Arabic use of the term Filastin is from this Latin root. Under the Ottoman Empire (1517-1917), the term Palestine was used as a general term to describe the land south of Syria; it was not an official designation. In fact, many Ottomans and Arabs who lived in Palestine during this time period referred to the area as “Souther Syria” and not as “Palestine.” Syria, during this time was called Bilad al sham “greater Syria” which consisted of countries such as Lebanon, Jordan, Palestine, etc.
After World War I, the name “Palestine” was applied to the territory that was placed under British Mandate; this area included not only present-day Israel but also present-day Jordan. When the Jewish homeland was created, Israel was picked as the country for their long history in the territory. The Romans were the ones that created Palestine. There are more Palestinians living in Jordan than in Israel and the Jordanian king had carried out a Palestinian massacre called Black September, yet many are unaware of it.
Over half of Jordan’s population is Palestinian, and Palestinians in Jordan are treated as second class citizens. During the Ottoman empire, Palestine was both Israel and Jordan combined, so if Palestinians are fighting to get their land back, they better get their land back from Jordan too
Throughout all history, there was never a nation of “Palestine,” never a people known as the “Palestinians,” nor any notion of “historic Palestine.” The region remained under successive foreign rulers, from the Umayyads and Abbasids and Ayyubids to the Fatimids, Ottomans and British. During these millennia the term “Falastin” referred to an undefined geographical region, much like “Appalachia” or “the great Southwest” in modern U.S. geography.
In 1695 a Dutch orientalist, Hadrian Reland, conducted a geographical survey of the region. He found that none of the known settlements, ancient or contemporary, bore Arabic names. Most names were Hebrew, Greek, or Latin in origin. Moreover, the land was almost empty of inhabitants, desolate, the few towns (Jerusalem, Acre, Safed, Jaffa, Tiberius and Gaza) inhabited mostly by Christians and Jews, with Muslims present only in very small number.
Right now, Israel is defending its citizens with rockets, and Palestine is defending its rockets with people.