The modern state of Israel has its roots in the Land of Israel (Eretz Yisrael), a concept central to Judaism for over 3000 years. After World War I, the League of Nations approved the British Mandate of Palestine with the intent of creating a "national home for the Jewish people." In 1947, the United Nations approved the partition of Palestine into two states, one Jewish and one Arab.

On May 14, 1948 the state of Israel declared independence in accordance with the UN decision and this was followed by a war with the surrounding Arab states, which refused to accept the plan. The Israelis were subsequently victorious in a series of wars confirming their independence and expanding the borders of the Jewish state beyond those in the UN Partition Plan.



Since then, Israel has been in conflict with many of the neighboring Arab countries, resulting in several major wars and decades of violence that continue to this day. Since its foundation, Israel’s boundaries and even the State’s very right to exist have been subject to dispute, especially among its Arab neighbors. However, Israel has signed peace treaties with Egypt and Jordan, and efforts are being made to reach a permanent accord with the Palestinians.

Read the stories about Gay Israel
Welcome to Israel
Welcome to Israel...
Acre-overview
Acre-overview...
Acre-sea walls
Acre-sea walls...
Acre-man on horse drawn wagon
Acre-man on horse drawn wagon...
Acre-young guide
Acre-young guide...
Ancient underground tomb with round door
Ancient underground tomb with round door...
Tel Aviv-overview
Tel Aviv-overview...
Tel Aviv-beachfront avenue
Tel Aviv-beachfront avenue...
Bethlehem-Arafat poster
Bethlehem-Arafat poster...
Bethlehem-Church of Nativity entry
Bethlehem-Church of Nativity entry...
Bethlehem-Israeli checkpoint
Bethlehem-Israeli checkpoint...
Bethlehem-gentle Arab
Bethlehem-gentle Arab...
Bethlehem-futile welcome sign
Bethlehem-futile welcome sign...
Beth Shearim-school class guard
Beth Shearim-school class guard...
Beth Shearim-ancient synagogue
Beth Shearim-ancient synagogue...
Capernaum-Greek Orthodox Monastery
Capernaum-Greek Orthodox Monastery...
Capernaum-Greek Orthodox Monastery
Capernaum-Greek Orthodox Monastery...
Caesarea-ancient Roman sculptures
Caesarea-ancient Roman sculptures...
Caesarea-ancient Roman carved detail
Caesarea-ancient Roman carved detail...
Caesarea-ancient Byzantine road
Caesarea-ancient Byzantine road...
Caesarea-modern sculpture
Caesarea-modern sculpture...
Caesarea-modern sculpture
Caesarea-modern sculpture...
Dead Sea
Dead Sea...
Dead Sea-toddler at beach
Dead Sea-toddler at beach...
Sea of Galilee overview
Sea of Galilee overview...
Capernaum-Church of St Peter
Capernaum-Church of St Peter...
Capernaum-Church of St Peter (rock altar)
Capernaum-Church of St Peter (rock altar)...
Golan Heights-Israeli tanks
Golan Heights-Israeli tanks...
Golan Heights-Israeli tank maneuvers
Golan Heights-Israeli tank maneuvers...
Golan Heights-bombed mosque
Golan Heights-bombed mosque...
Golan Heights-Israeli memorial
Golan Heights-Israeli memorial...
Golan Heights-young Israelis
Golan Heights-young Israelis...