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Ancient Jewish History

  • Flavius Josephus (37-100)
    From The Columbia Encyclopedia
    Jewish historian and soldier, b. Jerusalem. Josephus' historical works are among the most valuable sources for the study of early Judaism and early Christianity. Having studied the tenets of the three main sects of Judaism—Essenes, Sadducees, and Pharisees—he became a Pharisee. MORE
  • Pharisees
    From The New Encyclopedia of Judaism
    The spiritual leaders of the Jewish people in the Land of Israel during the greater part of the Second Temple period. MORE
  • Sadducees
    From The New Encyclopedia of Judaism
    A political and religious grouping in Erets Israel during the latter half of the Second Temple period (from the second century BCE to the first century CE). MORE
  • The Hasmoneans
    From The New Encyclopedia of Judaism
    Together with “Maccabees” the name designating the Jewish family and later dynasty in Erets Israel that raised the standard of revolt against the religious oppression of the Syrian Seleucid ruler Antiochus IV (Epiphanes) in 167 BCE. MORE
  • The Maccabean Revolt (BCE 167-160)
    From Andromeda Atlas of the Bible
    The Maccabean revolt, which began in 167 BC, was initially a struggle to preserve the Jewish faith against Hellenistic opposition. The revolt later became a movement for Jewish independence, which saw the Jewish area of control enlarged by successive rulers. MORE
  • Zealots
    From The Columbia Encyclopedia
    Jewish faction traced back to the revolt of the Maccabees (2d cent. B.C.). The name was first recorded by the Jewish historian Josephus as a designation for the Jewish resistance fighters of the war of A.D. 66–73. MORE

Political Figures

  • David Ben-Gurion (1886-1973): Topic Page
    Among the most prominent figures in Israeli national history, Ben-Gurion headed the Zionist worker movement in Palestine and founded what became Israel's Labor Party, which dominated Israeli politics until 1978. MORE
  • Chaim Herzog (1918-1997): Topic Page
    Irish-born Israeli politician who served as president (1983-1993). A staunch defender of Israeli security, he established his political reputation as a military intelligence leader during the Six-Day War (1967). MORE
  • Golda Meir (1898 - 1978)
    From The New Encyclopedia of Judaism
    Zionist leader and prime minister of Israel. Golda Meir grew up in Kiev and Pinsk and settled with her family in Milwaukee in 1906. Becoming active in the Socialist Zionist movement, she left for Palestine in 1921 after marrying and teaching school for awhile. MORE
  • Binyamin Netanyahu (1949 - ): Topic Page
    Israeli right-wing politician and diplomat, leader of the Likud (Consolidation) party 1993-99 and prime minister 1996-99 and from 2009. A hard-line politician, he succeeded Yitzhak Shamir to the Likud leadership in 1993, following the party's 1992 electoral defeat. MORE
  • Ehud Olmert (1945 - ): Topic Page
    Israeli right-of-centre politician, prime minister 2006-09. Deputy prime minister from 2003, he became acting prime minister in January 2006 after Ariel Sharon suffered a severe stroke. MORE
  • Shimon Peres (1923 - ): Topic Page
    Israeli statesman, born in Poland: prime minister (1984-86; 1995-96); Nobel peace prize 1994 jointly with Yasser Arafat and Yitzhak Rabin. MORE
  • Yitzhak Rabin (1922 - 1995): Topic Page
    Israeli general and statesman, b. Jerusalem, the first native-born prime minister of Israel (1974–77, 1992–95). His extensive military experience began in 1940 when he joined the Haganah (Jewish militia) and thereafter fought in the British army. MORE
  • Ariel Sharon (1928 - ): Topic Page
    Israeli military and political leader who served as prime minister (2001-2006). MORE
 

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Modern Jewish History

  • Arab-Israeli Wars: Topic Page
    Series of wars and territorial conflicts between Israel and various Arab states in the Middle East since the founding of the state of Israel in May 1948. These include the war of 1948-49; the 1956 Suez War between Israel and Egypt; the Six-Day War of 1967, in which Israel captured territory from Syria and Jordan; the October War of 1973; and the 1982-85 war between Israel and Lebanon. MORE
  • Gaza Strip: Topic Page
    Gäzʹə, (2003 est. pop. 1,330,000) rectangular coastal area, c.140 sq mi (370 sq km), SW Asia, on the Mediterranean Sea adjoining Egypt and Israel, in what was formerly SW Palestine, now officially administered by the Palestinian Authority. MORE
  • Hamas: Topic Page
    Islamic fundamentalist organization formally founded by Sheikh Yassin Ahmed in 1988. Its militant wing, the Izzedine Al Qassam Brigades, played a major role in the Intifada, the Palestinian uprising in the Israeli-occupied territories from 1987, particularly in the economically deprived Gaza Strip, the Hamas heartland. MORE
  • Holocaust: Topic Page
    Name given to the period of persecution and extermination of European Jews by Nazi Germany. MORE
  • Intifada: Topic Page
    Palestinian uprising, specifically between December 1987 and September 1993, during which time a loosely organized group of Palestinians (the Liberation Army of Palestine, also called Intifada) rebelled against armed Israeli troops in the occupied territories of the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. MORE
  • Kristallnacht
    From The Columbia Encyclopedia
    In German history, the night of Nov. 9, 1938, a night of violence against Jews and of destruction of the businesses and other property belonging to them. The name is a reference to the broken glass that resulted from the destruction. MORE
  • Palestine Liberation Organization: Topic Page
    An organization founded in 1964 with the aim of creating a state for Palestinians; it recognized the state of Israel in 1993 and Israel granted Palestinians autonomy in the Gaza Strip and West Bank. Abbreviation: PLO MORE
  • Pogrom
    From The Columbia Encyclopedia
    Russian term, originally meaning "riot," that came to be applied to a series of violent attacks on Jews in Russia in the late 19th and early 20th cent. Pogroms were few before the assassination of Alexander II in 1881; after that, with the connivance of, or at least without hindrance from, the government, there were many pogroms throughout Russia. MORE
  • The Dreyfus Affair
    From Philip's Encyclopedia 2008
    French political crisis arising from the conviction of Captain Alfred Dreyfus (1859-1935) for treason in 1894. Dreyfus was a Jewish army officer, convicted on evidence later proved false. MORE
  • West Bank: Topic Page
    Territory, formerly part of Palestine, after 1949 administered by Jordan, since 1967 largely occupied by Israel (2005 est. pop. 2,386,000), 2,165 sq mi (5,607 sq km), west of the Jordan River, incorporating the northwest quadrant of the Dead Sea. MORE
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