On May 14, 1948, a new nation was born: Israel. The Jews all over the world celebrated with joy and gladness, because for over two thousand years, they had hoped to return to the land of their heritage. (Silverman, 1) However with Jews from all around the world returning to Israel, the Arabs residing in this land were forced into exile. The rebirth of Israel is just a moment in the history of Palestine, a history which is marred with Jewish Arab conflict.
Tensions between Jews and Gentiles in the Middle East have been present since biblical times. In 70 C.E., when Israel was under Roman rule, the Jews revolted and fought for independence, but it was crushed and their temple burnt down. In 135 C.E. the Romans crushed the 2nd Jewish revolt and expelled nearly all of the Jews of Israel. The Romans then renamed Israel-Palestine, so as to remove any connection between the land and the Jewish people. (Tessler, 12) The Jews never forgot their homeland, and prayed three times a day to return to Israel and to the holy city of Jerusalem. .
In the 7th century, a new religion, Islam, arose in the Middle East. The Muslim Arabs conquered Palestine from the Byzantines and began to settle the land. They built the Dome of the Rock and the Al-Aksa mosque in Jerusalem, where they believed Prophet Muhammad ascended into heaven to receive parts of the Qur"an. In the 1500's, Palestine was conquered by the Ottoman Empire, which had an extensive reign. .
During the First World War, the Turkish government placed severe restrictions on Jewish daily life, because the Turks believed that the Jews were plotting with their enemies. Four hundred years of Turkish rule suddenly ends on December of 1917. The British army under the command of General Edmund Allenby defeated the Turks and captured Palestine. Just six weeks before the annex of Turkey and Palestine, the Jews had learned of a British document called the Balfour Declaration.