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Situated between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River, Palestine has represented, for millenniums, a subject of discussion between different nations. Its geographical position--a bond of land situated at the crossroads of Europe, Asia and Africa, a bridge between the Mediterranean Sea to the West and Red Sea and Indian Ocean to the South--has been a decisive factor for the events happened across these regions, for hundreds of years. The term of Palestine derives from the word PHILISTINE, the name of a non-Semitic ethnic group originating from Southern Greece and related to Mycenaean civilization (1). The oldest records about Palestine appear in the Bible and are sustained by some archeological discoveries, most of them in Egypt and Assyria (2). The Moabite Stone and the tables from Assyria are among the most important discoveries. We can also find writings about this civilization both in the old Egyptian records and in Herodotus' works. Sometime between 1800 and 1500 BC a Semitic people called Hebrew left Mesopotamia and settled in Canaan (3), near the place where it is now placed Beer-Sheba. This population was ruled--as it is written in the Bible--by Abraham. He played a decisive role; Abraham organized his tribe for the sake of unity. All the members of the tribe became monotheists. During this time, as the Bible specifies, God promised Abraham the great gift: "And I will give unto thee, and to thy seed after thee, the land wherein thou art a stranger, all the land of Canaan" (5). God's/Yahweh's decisive decision as an overwhelming force of the Israelite religion--the prototype of the single "God" worshiped by Jews, Christians and Muslims--has gradually proved to be true, in all the historical periods of Jewish people, from the Exodus of Hebrew people out of Egypt until nowadays. At the end of the 40 years of wandering in the desert, the old generation guided by Moses was destroyed, and the ideal of conquering Canaan represented the force that joined together Jewish tribes. Once they reached Canaan and conquered it, the structure of historical events began though to be clarified. Thus, Joshua, the great leader of Israel, conquered most of Canaan after long and terrible fights. The valleys, the Jerusalem and the fortresses on the seaboard had been left unoccupied, some of them being populated by the powerful philistine tribes which had come from the Greek Islands. Soon after, according to the Bible traditions, King David conquered Jerusalem around 1000 BC, his kingdom being divided between the Kingdom of Judah to the South and Israel to the North (6). In 586 BC the Kingdom of Judah is conquered by the Babylonians who destroy Solomon's temple of Jerusalem and exile many Jews. Although, 50 years later, the Persians conquer Babylonia and reconstruct Jerusalem, many Jews remain outside this perimeter and form the first Jewish Diaspora. Conquered by Alexander the Great in 332 BC, this territory will become a cause of dispute between Lagids and Seleucids (7), becoming a Roman province in 63 BC. Jewish resistance to the conquerors will be rapidly crashed, and the new power announces, even from the beginning, its intention to interdict any hostile manifestation. Thus, it began a period of vassalage of the Kingdom of Judah to Rome. After Caesar's decisive victory against Pompey, at Pharsalus (48 BC), all the territories under Roman domination will have a new political configuration. A new procurator is named for the entire Palestine, namely Antipater who will begin to reconstruct Jerusalem (8). His son, Herod, who lost his crown in 37 BC, distinguished himself and gained notoriety for raising, during his reign, the prosperity of Palestine, but, at the same time, he forced the Jews to adhere to the administrative system of the Roman Empire. The death of Herod the Great (in 4 BC) put an end to the last phase of the Judaic domination from Palestine, until the middle of XXth century (9). During Roman domination, the Jews suffere

Politics & Current Events
October 1
University of Craiova
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