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Glossary

Here are some names and terms you may run into while researching material about Israel:

 

BEDOUIN:
nomads who have lived in Middle Eastern deserts for thousands of years. Many of them serve in the Israeli army.

 

CRUSADES:
Military expeditions taken by Christians to conquer the land of Israel from the Moslems from the end of the 11th century to the end of the 13th.

 

ETZEL:
(Irgun Tzvai Leumi), an underground Jewish military force organized in 1937. Etzel had two goals: to fight Arab terror and to engage in retaliatory attacks against the British, who were blatantly discriminating against the Jews.

 

HAGANAH:

The largest pre state Jewish underground army that operated during the British Mandate. The Haganah (defense, in Hebrew) was founded in 1920 when the British Mandate forces did not stop Arab attacks on Jewish settlements.

 

HERZL, THEODORE (1860 1904):

Assimilated Jew who was shocked by French anti-Semitism. He founded modern political Zionism as a solution to anti-Semitism.

 

ISRAELITE:

Referring to the Jews who lived in Israel in Biblical times.

 

KIBBUTZ:

Communal settlement. The kibbutz movement was founded at the beginning of the 20th century by idealistic pioneers who strove to create an egalitarian, utopian society. The plural of kibbutz is kibbutzim; members are called kibbutzniks.

 

MOHAMMED:

Founder of Islam in the 7th century.

 

OTTOMAN EMPIRE, TURKS:

conquered and ruled the land of Israel from the early 16th century to the beginning of the 20th century.

 

ROMAN ERA (in Israel):

First century B.C.E. to 4th century C.E.

 

PALESTINE:

A term coined by the Romans in the second century, refers to the land of Israel.

 

RIVERBED:

A channel through which water flows, or flowed.

 

SIX DAY WAR:

In May 1967 Egypt expelled the U.N. peacekeeping force from Sinai and blockaded the Israeli port of Eilat. Egypt, Jordan and Syria formed a joint military command and prepared to destroy the State of Israel. Three weeks later, Israel launched a pre-emptive attack on Egypt. Subsequently, Jordan and Syria attacked Israel. In the course of a war lasting six days, Israel took the Sinai desert from Egypt, the West Bank from Jordan and the Golan from Syria.

 

TEL (TELL):

An archeological site. A tel is often a hill which has several layers of remains from different time periods.

 

WAR OF INDEPENDENCE:

The day that Israel was established, May 15 1948, surrounding Arab states invaded the new state. War raged for over a year, ending in 1949 when Israel signed a cease fire agreement with Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria.

 

ZIONISM:

Modern political movement for the return of the Jewish people to Zion (Zion is the biblical name for Palestine).

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Dear Shmuel,
I am writing to tell you how pleased we were with our adventure tour with you. It was an extraordinary experience. We feel very fortunate to have had such a wonderful opportunity to see so much of Israel and so many historic and modern sites. It was an excellent mix of education and recreation and suited to all of us aged 14 to 74. We really do commend you on planning such an intriguing and diverse itinerary, and for making appropriate accommodations and alternate plans along the way. We will be thrilled to recommend you to future travelers!
Best regards, Sue.

Sue Summit