Security and Identity
Israel faces a myriad of challenges to her identity as a Jewish and democratic state, challenges that run the gamut from regular military threats, to questions of national identity and memory, to issues that most nations see as environmental but, the Jewish State, impact national security. Find out more about these problems and learn how Israel is confronting them.
Borders have historically been a fraught topic. Empires, countries, and states since the beginning of time have gone to great lengths to defend and enlarge the borders of their country. Read more »
Jerusalem is one of the world’s most ancient cities; archaeology indicates it was inhabited as early as the 4th century BCE. In 1,000 BCE, King David conquered the city from the Jebusites and Jewish sovereignty in the holy city was established. Though Jerusalem has not always been under Jewish control, and the Jewish population there has waxed and waned throughout the centuries, its centrality to the Jewish religion has not changed. Read more »
In the daily drumbeat of Mideast news, there is one story of historic proportion that is nearly unreported: the growing persecution and systematic destruction in the Islamic world of some of the world’s oldest Christian communities. Read more »
Israel’s security fence, running more or less along the borders of the West Bank, is meant to do just what its name states—provide security for the people of Israel. Its purpose is not to separate, harass, or isolate Palestinians. The security fence has one goal: To deter, and, it is hoped, prevent terrorists living in the West Bank from infiltrating Israel and harming or killing Israeli citizens. Critics have called the fence a “wall” (evoking comparisons to the Berlin Wall before it). But the fence doesn’t even much resemble a wall area along most of its expanse; much of the barrier is a simple chain-link fence. Read more »
Israel has always had to contend with too much desert, and too little water. Since the days of antiquity, scientist and great minds in Israel have tackled the problem of water scarcity. In fact, archaeological digs in the Negev have shown that ancient settlers devised ways to conserve whatever precious water they had. Wells, cisterns, dams, and public reservoirs have been unearthed, demonstrating the creative ways ancient people saved water. Today, the water dwindles and the population grows, and the Middle East finds itself in yet another crisis. Read more »
Gilad Shalit was born in 1986 in Nahariya, a city in northern Israel. When he was 2 years old, his parents, Noam and Aviva Shalit, moved to the nearby village of Mitzpe Hila, where he grew into a young man neighbors and friends describe as well-mannered, shy, and very close to his family. Read more »