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According to the Bible, Israel is the name given by God to Jacob.
The modern country of Israel includes two distinct nationalities, the Palestinian and the Jewish.
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).
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.
Each nationality is inextricable from its religious identity.
The Palestinians are Arabs whose traditions are founded in Muslim culture; the Jews define their culture in large part around their religion as well.
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.
Judah became an independent state in 141 The Temple was destroyed, and the majority of the Jews were dispersed throughout the world.
Its melody is of unknown origin, although some believe it comes from an Eastern European fold song.Its lyrics are explicitly Zionist, extolling the return of the Jews to their holy land.The song was banned from the airwaves during the British mandate, and it continues to be somewhat controversial today; there has been some debate as to whether its Zionist message is still valid. There is archaeological evidence of settlements in Israel dating from nine thousand to eleven thousand years ago.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.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.
Saul became the first king of Israel in 1020 , and ruled for nearly forty years, during which time the First Temple was built.