Posted by: asianshock | March 9, 2011

Ancient Near East 10W and JRI info meeting

Today was an exciting day because it was the first day I met the other people who are going to China during the summer as part of the JRI research program in Beijing. We went over all the flight information and what we should expect there. I can’t wait!

Now for the lecture stuff that right now seems less relevant (sorry Dr. Cargill) but still important =).

Today was the second to last lecture in the class, and we are entering the time period of modern Jerusalem. We began with a discussion Jewish zionism and how Jews must go to Jerusalem, even if there is no Temple there. Suleiman gave the Jews the Western Wall as a place of prayer, and as a result, myths once associated with the Temple become associated with the wall. The rise of Jewish zionism results in an increase of Jewish settlement in Jerusalem. In the 19th century, European Jews began migrating to Jerusalem. One European, Sir Moses Montefiore built a Jewish settlement outside the city complete with windmill. The windmill still stands today.
Jewish zionism extended past just settlements, and one man named Theodore Herzl in 1896 declared that Jews should get their own state and disregarded Jerusalem all together. Some people described him as the “Messiah, son of David” because he was viewed as a leader of the Jewish people. Instead, Theodore built the city of Tel Aviv which is similar to Los Angeles.
During this period, there was also a rise in anti-semitism. There were anti-simitic pogroms in the Islamic world instigated by Catholics in 1840 and in Russia in 1882. Jews from Russia fled to Palestine (Jerusalem).
World War I had a big impact on the Jews. By the end of the war, the Ottoman Empire was extinct and their land was divided between the Ally countries of France and Britain. The British had a mandate that lasted from 1918-1948 which promised to protect all faiths. In the Balfour declaration (1917), Britain softly promised a Jewish national homeland. This angered the Arabs who opposed giving the Jews their own state. This led to the construction of the Peel Commission which partitioned Palestine into two states, one for the Jews, and one for the Arabs. The plan was barely accepted by the Jews, but rejected by the Arabs.
Fighting continued between the 2 groups. It got so bad that Britain was forced to leave and end the British mandate. This started the Arab-Israeli War of 1948. The war ended when Israel and Jordan signed an armistice in 1949. The Green line was drawn and gave the Jews Israel, while the Jordanisns got the West bank.
We ended the lecture with a discussion about tourism and how it may be the key to end the conflict. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict has cost the two sides tons of money in lost tourism revenue.

VT

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