22.2 - The Eastern Mediterranean


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A look at the Eastern Mediterranean, focusing on Israel, Jerusalem's importance to the three big faiths, and the conflicts there.

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22.2 - The Eastern Mediterranean

  1. 1. The Eastern Mediterranean
  2. 2. It looks like this:
  3. 3. <ul><li>Holy places </li></ul><ul><li>Since this area includes Israel and Jerusalem, it’s not surprising that there are a whole slew of holy places here. </li></ul><ul><li>Judaism </li></ul><ul><ul><li>For the Jews, the whole city of Jerusalem is very important. It is the traditional center for the Jewish people. </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. <ul><ul><li>There is also the Temple Mount. This is the hill on which the ancient Jewish temples were built. </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. <ul><ul><li>All that’s left of the original temple complex is the Western Wall. This was a retaining wall to the Temple Mount. </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. <ul><ul><ul><li>The Western Wall is one of the most cherished sites in Judaism since it is all that remains of the temples. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>It’s sometimes also called the Wailing Wall by some because Jews would bemoan the destruction of the temple. </li></ul></ul></ul>
  7. 7. In 1929
  8. 8. <ul><li>Christians </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Since Jesus lived and died in Israel and Jerusalem, the place is important to them too. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Mount of Olives </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Where Jesus spent a lot of time. </li></ul></ul></ul>
  9. 9. <ul><ul><li>Church of the Holy Sepulchre </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>In Christian tradition, it sits on the spot where Jesus was crucified. </li></ul></ul></ul>
  10. 10. <ul><li>Islam </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Islam too considers the place important. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>According to Islamic tradition, Mohammed went to Jerusalem one night and ascended from a rock on the Temple Mount to heaven, where he was given a divine tour. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Over this rock sits the Dome of the Rock, the third holiest site in Islam. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>This same rock is believed by Jews to be the slab upon which Abraham bound Isaac and nearly sacrificed him (in Islamic tradition, it was Ishmael). And that it was the rock in the Holy of Holies upon which the Ark of the Covenant was put. </li></ul></ul></ul>
  11. 14. Now where’s that Foundation Stone?
  12. 15. <ul><li>This area was under the control of the Ottoman Empire from about 1520 to 1922. </li></ul><ul><li>A series of bad rulers and growing power in Europe, however, meant declining fortunes and loss of territory. </li></ul><ul><li>When Ottoman Empire falls apart after WWI (in which it unwisely sided with Germany against the allies) </li></ul>In 1683 In 1914
  13. 16. After the Ottomans, the British and the French add it to their colonial empires, with the French in the north and the British in the south.
  14. 17. <ul><li>While under British control, the Zionist movement started precipitating greater Jewish immigration into the area. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>It increased as oppression grew in Europe. Jews constituted 11% of the population in 1922 and 30% by 1940. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Then, as now, the Arabs and the Jews didn’t get along all that well. </li></ul></ul>
  15. 18. <ul><li>After WWII, world opinion was on the side of creating a Jewish state in Palestine. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>This was especially considering the Holocaust in which 6 million Jews had been murdered. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The British passed the matter to the newly-formed United Nations. </li></ul></ul>
  16. 19. <ul><li>The UN came up with a plan to split Palestine between the Jewish people and the Arabs with a 55%/45% split. It didn’t work out too well. </li></ul><ul><li>While the Israelis accepted it and officially became a nation-state, the Arab League did not. </li></ul><ul><li>As a result, a war ensued, which Israel won and gained territory. </li></ul>
  17. 21. <ul><li>Many of the Arab Palestinians fled the area thinking that the Arab forces would prevail and they could return. Instead, they became refugees. </li></ul>
  18. 22. <ul><li>Later in 1967, Israel launched a preemptive war against Egypt, Jordan, and Syria due to provocation. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>It succeeded in gaining the West Bank, the Golan Heights, the Gaza strip, and the Sinai Peninsula. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>For the Israelis, this was also a matter of security. As this map shows, there wasn’t much distance between hostile forces and Israeli population centers. </li></ul></ul>
  19. 24. <ul><li>The Sinai was given back to Egypt, but the other territories remained occupied, which, among other things, has helped lead to current animosity between Palestinians/Arabs and Israel. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Other factors include Jewish people founding settlements in Palestinian territory as well as Palestinian terrorism against Israeli Jews. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>One of the groups opposing the Israelis was/is the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), which was headed by Yasser Arafat. </li></ul>
  20. 26. <ul><li>The PLO started out as a terrorist organization. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>It pretty much stayed that way too and was responsible for numerous terrorist attacks in Israel and abroad. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>It’s stated goal (it’s in the charter) is to destroy Israel. </li></ul></ul>
  21. 27. <ul><ul><li>The PLO and Arafat, though, managed to get international legitimacy as representative of the Palestinian people. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The historical tensions between the Israelis and the Palestinians are still ongoing today. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The Palestinians are currently engaged in an intifada (and uprising or shaking off) against the Israelis and have been since 2000. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The Israelis have responded militarily by raids and recently attacking Lebanon, but also diplomatically by no longer occupying the Gaza Strip and Golan Heights as well as removing settlements encroaching into the Palestinian territories. Not that it’s done them much good. The Israelis are currently building a barrier wall. </li></ul></ul>
  22. 28. <ul><li>Economy </li></ul><ul><li>The area has the capacity for a good economy. It has a temperate climate that’s good for crops, has lots of tourists attractions (mainly religious) and is in a good trade location. </li></ul><ul><li>The infrastructure, however, is lacking. Some of it has been damaged in wars and has to rebuilt. In other places, extensive irrigation systems must be constructed. </li></ul>