MAP 1. DAVID’S KINGDOM, CIRCA 1100 BCE: King David, the second king of the ancient Israelites, expanded what had begun as a small collection of tribes into a substantial kingdom. For Zionists, creating a Jewish state in the Middle East would be the fulfillment of the Jewish people’s longstanding dream of returning to their ancestral homeland. Political Zionism in the late nineteenth century transformed that dream into a political movement, but the vision itself predated modern Zionism by thousands of years. See Chapter 2: Some Spot of a Native Land.
MAP 2. JEWISH TOWNS AND VILLAGES IN OTTOMAN PALESTINE, 1914: With the launch of political Zionism at the end of the nineteenth century, Jewish immigration to Palestine began in earnest. The Ottomans, who then controlled Palestine, sought to limit Jewish immigration. Nonetheless, many Jewish settlements were established then and in the century that followed. Some of them became the basis for the kibbutz (a symbol of Zionism’s engagement with socialism), while others turned into modern, European-like cosmopolitan centers such as Tel Aviv. See Chapter 4: From a Dream to Glimmers of Reality.
MAP 3. BRITISH MANDATE FOR PALESTINE, 1920–1948: Following the defeat of the Ottomans in World War I, Palestine came under control of the British Empire in what is called the British Mandate for Palestine. The Balfour Declaration, issued in 1917, stated that the British looked with favor upon “the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people,” but it did not make explicit what the boundaries of that national home would be. The 1937 Palestine Royal Commission, however, intimated that it was meant to include the whole of historic Palestine, including both sides of the Jordan River. In 1948, the State of Israel was created on a small portion of Mandatory Palestine. See Chapter 5: The Balfour Declaration.
MAP 4. PEEL COMMISSION, 1937: The Peel Commission was a British delegation dispatched to Palestine in 1936 to find a solution to the widening conflict between the Jews and the Arabs. In 1937, when it issued its report, the commission became the first body to formally suggest dividing the land between Jews and Arabs (essentially the first version of a “two-state solution”). While the Yishuv, the Jewish community in Palestine, accepted the proposal, even if unhappily, the Arab leadership rejected it. See Chapter 6: Nowhere to Go, Even If They Could Leave.
MAP 5. UNITED NATIONS PARTITION PLAN, 1947: In 1947, the United Nations Special Committee on Palestine (UNSCOP) recommended the partition of Palestine into two states: one Jewish, one Arab. The United Nations General Assembly approved the plan, then called Resolution 181, on November 29, 1947. Though the land allocated to the Jewish state was but 12 percent of Mandatory Palestine, the Jewish community decided to accept the partition. The Arab leadership rejected it and launched what became Israel’s War of Independence the next day. See Chapter 7: The Yishuv Resists the British, the Arabs Battle Partition.
MAP 6. ARMISTICE LINES, 1949: During the War of Independence, Israel expanded its borders beyond what the United Nations had allocated to it in 1947. Though the Arab states at war with Israel refused to sign peace treaties with the Jewish state, the armistice agreements at the end of the war essentially became Israel’s borders until the 1967 Six-Day War. See Chapter 8: Independence.
MAP 7. ISRAEL AND THE ARAB WORLD: After World War II, the Middle East was divided into the modern nation states that make up today’s map. Until 1979, when Egypt became the first Arab nation to sign a peace treaty with Israel (Jordan later followed), the entire Arab Middle East was committed to Israel’s destruction. Even the creation of a formidable military force has not entirely erased Israel’s sense that it is a small island in a sea of hostile neighbors.
MAP 8. AFTER THE SIX-DAY WAR, 1967: With Egypt preparing to attack in June 1967 and its president, Gamal Abdel Nasser, threatening to destroy the Jewish state, Israel’s air force launched a preemptive strike, essentially destroying the Egyptian air force before the war began. In six lightning days, Israel more than tripled its original size, gaining forty- two thousand square miles. It captured the Gaza Strip and Sinai Peninsula from Egypt, the West Bank of the Jordan River from Jordan, and the Golan Heights from Syria. Years later, Israel’s pre-1967 borders would become the framework for peace negotiations and the proposed borders of an eventual Palestinian state. See Chapter 12: Six Days of War Change a Country Forever.
MAP 9. ALLON PLAN, 1970: In 1970, Yigal Allon presented his proposal of what to do with the territories acquired by Israel during the Six-Day War. His plan suggested Israel create a bloc of settlements along the Jordan Valley to serve as an early-warning system for a potential attack from the east. The remainder of the West Bank would be returned to Palestinian or Jordanian rule. While the plan was never adopted as official Israeli policy, and was in fact rejected by Jordan, among others, many Israeli settlements were established in the areas suggested by Allon. The plan also became a harbinger of other proposed divisions of the West Bank that would follow decades later. See Chapter 13: The Burden of Occupation.
MAP 10. OSLO ACCORDS, 1993: The Oslo Accords were designed to be the first step in the creation of an eventual Palestinian state. The accords stipulated that the Palestinian Authority would gain control of the Palestinian territory in stages. Area A was transferred to the Palestinian Authority in the first stage of the enactment of the accords, Area B was under joint Israeli-Palestinian security control, and Area C was under the control of the Israelis. In the years following the accords, the agreement disintegrated following the assassination of Prime Minister Yitzchak Rabin and a surge in Palestinian violence. See Chapter 16: Taking a Page from the Zionists.