Putting Israel in Context

Learning about Israel can seem complex and overwhelming. So we’ve made it easier for you to understand the
context and challenges that Israel’s supporters face, with this quick and easy ‘crash course’ on Israel.

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    Israel Beyond the Conflict (9:24 mins)

    Israel is more than just a “war-riddled” country, and to get the full picture we must also understand Israel’s global contribution. Despite, or perhaps because of, the challenges it must constantly overcome, Israel has truly become “a light unto the nations.” As a global hi-tech contributor and the national home of authentic Jewish values, Israel serves as a hub for positive world change.

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    The Jewish Connection (4:05 mins)

    To appreciate the Jewish People’s right to establish a homeland in Israel, it is important to understand their 3,800-year-old connection to the land. History refers to places like Jerusalem, Hebron, Shechem and Be’er Sheva as historical Jewish cities, and the Land of Israel remained a central part of Jewish belief even after the Jews were exiled from it by the Roman Empire 2,000 years ago. Despite the exile, there has always been a Jewish presence in Israel, and rituals, songs, and prayers expressing the desire to return to the land are an integral aspect of Jewish life.

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    Modern Israeli History 1(13:07 mins)

    To understand the modern Israeli-Palestinian conflict, we must first understand the processes that created and continue to perpetuate the conflict today. One important example is the 1967 War, in which Israel gained control of the land west of the Jordan river. This area is known today as both “Judea and Samaria” and the “West Bank.” Though largely populated by Palestinians, this region contains the mountains and cities most deeply connected to Jewish history.

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    Modern Israeli History 2 (2:40 mins)

    To understand the modern Israeli-Palestinian conflict, we must first understand the processes that created and continue to perpetuate the conflict today. One important example is the 1967 War, in which Israel gained control of the land west of the Jordan river. This area is known today as both “Judea and Samaria” and the “West Bank.” Though largely populated by Palestinians, this region contains the mountains and cities most deeply connected to Jewish history.

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    The Broader Context (5:35 mins)

    Contrary to popular perception, Israel is not the only Middle-Eastern country that’s experiencing conflict. The entire region is engulfed in religious and ethnic strife and wars. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict needs to be understood within this broader context because it is connected to, and affected by, everything that is happening in the Middle East. Ignoring this bigger picture marginalizes the fight for freedom and justice being waged by persecuted minorities throughout the Middle East.

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    Security Concerns 1 (5:26 mins)

    Israel faces threats from multiple directions. In the West sits Hamas, a terrorist organization intent on destroying Israel. They regularly attack Israelis by indiscriminately launching rockets at towns and cities. In the North, the terrorist organization Hezbollah, which openly calls for Israel’s destruction, perpetuates attacks and kidnappings every few years. And from the east, Israel may soon be facing an ISIS takeover of Jordan. Comprehending these threats is important if we are to understand Israel’s actions, strategic decisions, and urge to defend itself.

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    Security Concerns 2 (4:30 mins)

    Israel faces threats from multiple directions. In the West sits Hamas, a terrorist organization intent on destroying Israel. They regularly attack Israelis by indiscriminately launching rockets at towns and cities. In the North, the terrorist organization Hezbollah, which openly calls for Israel’s destruction, perpetuates attacks and kidnappings every few years. And from the east, Israel may soon be facing an ISIS takeover of Jordan. Comprehending these threats is important if we are to understand Israel’s actions, strategic decisions, and urge to defend itself.

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