In 322 , the land of Israel changed hands several times under various Greek and Syrian rulers.In 160 Judas Maccabee led a rebellion that allowed the Jews to reclaim Jerusalem, a victory that Jews still celebrate in the festival of Hanukkah.
The Dead Sea (technically a lake) is, at 1,312 feet (400 meters) below sea level, the lowest inland sea on earth. The population is roughly 80 percent Jewish; of the total population, 32.1 percent were born in Europe or America; 20.8 percent in Israel; 14.6 percent in Africa; and 12.6 percent in Asia. The modern Hebrew language was designed by Eliezer Ben-Yehuda, a Lithuanian Jew who moved to Palestine in the 1880s.
Most of the 20 percent who are not Jewish are Arab. Previously, biblical Hebrew had been the language of prayer, whereas the vernacular of most Jews was Yiddish (Ladino for Spanish and Portuguese Jews).
Its total area is 8,019 square miles (20,770 square kilometers), slightly smaller than New Jersey. Mountains rise in the central region from the low coastal plain along the Mediterranean.
The Jordan River stretches 200 miles (322 kilometers) from Syria in the north, emptying into the Dead Sea. This includes an estimated 171,000 Israeli settlers in the West Bank, 20,000 in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, 6,500 in the Gaza Strip, and 172,000 in East Jerusalem.
David Ben-Gurion's vision of a national language, which would allow Jews from different parts of the world to communicate with each other, was an important element of the Zionist movement.
Arabic is the official language of the Arab minority.
The Palestinians are Arabs whose traditions are founded in Muslim culture; the Jews define their culture in large part around their religion as well.
Each group identifies as part of a larger, international religious and cultural community, and each has a history in the region that goes back to ancient times. Israel is in the Middle East on the Mediterranean Sea, bordering Egypt, the Gaza Strip, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, and the West Bank.
Judah became an independent state in 141 The Temple was destroyed, and the majority of the Jews were dispersed throughout the world.
Byzantines ruled the area from 313 to 635, although toward the end of this period, from 614 to 629, the Jews ruled Jerusalem under Persian jurisdiction.
The epoch that followed was known as the period of the judges, when Israel was ruled by judges and priests.