The Jewish people have maintained a well-documented, unbroken presence in Israel for well over 3,000 years, beginning in the 2nd millennium B.C.E., continuing under a long series of Jewish kingdoms and foreign rulers, and through to the modern State of Israel. Conquerors, diplomats, pilgrims and visitors throughout the millennia have left an abundance of references to the Jewish communities living there. Israel is filled with archaeological and historical sites, many of which testify to Jewish life over the centuries. Even the Muslim Qur’an refers to the Jewish people as the “Children of Israel”.
The historical Jewish right to a homeland in Palestine was first recognized by the modern international community (and by Great Britain, which had gained control of the region from the Ottoman Empire during World War I) in the Balfour Declaration of 1917 and the League of Nations Mandate of 1922. Both of these documents preceded the Nazi Holocaust by decades, thereby disproving more recent (yet widespread) claims according to which Israel's creation was justified not by thousands of years of Jewish history, but rather only by the Holocaust.
Israel has also always been central to the lives of religious Jews living outside of it, in the Jewish diaspora. Although the territories of the former Jewish kingdoms were renamed “Palaestina” by their Roman conquerors with the specific intention of erasing their Jewish significance, for nearly 2000 years Jews living in exile prayed 3 times a day, facing Jerusalem, in the hopes that they would one day return.
Despite all this, Palestinian leaders, university professors, religious figures, archaeologists, historians, school textbooks, music videos, and even the Palestinian National Charter, continually spread the fabrication that Jews have no historical connection to the land, and that any claimed history was invented in order to justify the creation of Israel.
“Israel is the very embodiment of Jewish continuity: It is the only nation on earth that inhabits the same land, bears the same name, speaks the same language, and worships the same God that it did 3,000 years ago. You dig the soil and you find pottery from Davidic times, coins from Bar Kokhba, and 2,000-year-old scrolls written in a script remarkably like the one that today advertises ice cream at the corner candy store.”
- Charles Krauthammer