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Can someone give me a brief unbiased history of Israel?

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Jul 10th, 2001, 05:10 AM
  #1
anon
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Can someone give me a brief unbiased history of Israel?

I am totally ignorant on this subject and hoping someone can shed some light on it for me. Basically, I'd like to know why the Palestinians and Jews are fighting and why they both think they have a right to the land, and why we never hear about Christians in the conflict. I'd just like the facts if possible. Thanks!
 
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Jul 10th, 2001, 11:03 AM
  #2
jhm
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Sadly, I really think the answer to your question is "no." There is no impartial or unbiased history, but that's a whole other kettle of fish. This is an area where people's perspectives on the facts are radically different from one another. You should probably look at a few different books to get a good idea -- some historians like Laqueur, Hourani, Shipler, Sachar and Said write about this history from their own perspectives.

I have very strong feelings and opinions about these issues, but don't want to indoctrinate you. I think it is admirable that you want to learn about it for yourself -- it's a fascinating history. I would recommend that you read as much as possible and talk to as many people as possible.
 
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Jul 11th, 2001, 01:03 AM
  #3
anon
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Ok, how about some opinions?
 
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Jul 11th, 2001, 04:16 AM
  #4
jhm
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Sorry -- I'm not going to go there on a travel forum.

This should help get you started, although it's not the most unbiased source either:
http://nytimes.com/2001/01/16/world/...MIDE-TIME.html
 
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Jul 13th, 2001, 09:28 AM
  #5
John
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Anon, you can start your review as far back as biblical times, or at the fall of Rome, or at the rise of Islam, or at the time of the Crusades (plenty of Christian involvement then) or at the rise of the Ottoman Empire or its fall, or at the beginnings of Zionism in the 19th Century, or at the end of World War I and the expansion of British influence in the middle east, or at the rise of the Nazis, or at the Holocaust or at the end of the war, or at the partition of Palestine or at the War of Independence or at the Six Day or Yom Kippur warsÖ and on and onÖ

This is a central theme of modern history as well as a big theme in the history of western civilization, with links to the reformation, the conflicts in the Balkans, the rise of Arabism and the fall of European imperialism, the global economy, and many, many other parts of the past and present. Itís good you want to understand it; only with a full education in the history can one begin to grasp the complexities of the current situation.

This is a travel board, not a classroom or library. But you might start by familiarizing yourself with the history of Jerusalem, because the ancient city has been and remains the focus not only of three great religions but also centuries of civil, military, economic and cultural developments. From an understanding of the role of Jerusalem you can branch off in a dozen directions that will help you understand the roots of todayís events.

Best of all, and consistent with the purpose of the Fodor forums, it may spur you to want to visit Jerusalem, a few days in which will provide more enlightenment than years of reading. Good luck in your studies.

By the way, there has been something of a history on the forums of anonymous posters using innocent questions like yours to trigger controversy, some of which has turned hateful. When things get extreme Fodors sometimes pulls the threads, and in extreme cases I presume they can obtain or block the senderís IP address should it be needed to insure the board remains civil. Iím not suggesting thatís the case here, but just a heads up.
 
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Jul 16th, 2001, 03:15 AM
  #6
anon
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John, thanks for the response. I certainly wasn't trying to start anything and I didn't post with my real name out of fear of looking especially ignorant. I was just hoping for a simple explanation as to the religous claims on the area. I realize this is a travel forum and was prompted to ask this question after considering traveling to the area. As far as I'm concerned, the history of an area and it's current events are directly related to traveling there. Thanks anyway.
 
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Jul 16th, 2001, 03:53 AM
  #7
Anon
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Hello Noname: If you're going to start reading (and it is a fascinating subject) there's a beautiful little piece on this board that will get you started.

"Temple Mount for Dummies" thread - John's description of Jerusalem - I just did a search - I think it's the 6th message down.
 
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Jul 17th, 2001, 07:56 PM
  #8
rudy
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A few years ago Peter Jennings did an outstanding one hour show on Jerusalem, during which he covered much of the history of the land, the peoples, and the problems. Perhaps get in touch with the network (is Jennings on ABC?) and try to get a videotape of the show.
 
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