This land of Israel, tens of thousands of years ago, saw the first civilization being created. Then they gathered the people from the villages, from the sea, from the fields and forests and mountains and forced them in cities and settlements and … into armies. Over the time, hundreds of Kings rose up from the lands of (what’s now) Israel and invented new ways to wage war over the lands. One king conquered an area in these lands, which was shortly overrun by another king, who went down as well by other one and that went on and on until there was not much left, and then the few survivors were overran by an other army from the south, the east and the north.
Over the ruins and death of hundreds of thousands, empires were being created and expanded and ruled and flourished over hundreds of years within the lands of what is now Israel. Wonderful cities and monuments were created to last a life time and far beyond … and they did … the empires were defeated by others and replaced by even greater empires from what is now Egypt, Syria, Iran, Iraq, Africa, Greece, Italy and from the rest of Europe. All of them left something behind in this country, some fishing communities, some cities, some huge monuments, roads, industry, knowledge, art, writing, literature, science, structures and … people.
No other country in the world has any history comparable as that of the lands of Israel, none! It makes this lands, where “rivers of blood streamed through its fields, hundreds of thousands wept, loss of lives was indescribable“, an unique place, where conflict ruled for thousands of years, over and over again, never ending.
Slowly this land was dominated by the Israelites, who were the dominating force and slowly the land settled itself … and again it went down in fire and destruction of terrible battles … again from huge armies from the north, and the peoples of the lands of Israel, the Jews, were killed, massacred and its survivors spread all over the world!
Again conflict ruled the lands and this time the land was emptied of most of its people. And again strife and destruction ruled the land, and the lands were again overrun by armies, which were so terrible and powerful, nobody could stand against them. While that empire occupied this land, a true miracle came in the form of Jesus Christ, which led to the birth of the biggest power ever, greater then all those empires together and much more … the religion of the Christians … Christianity. This new religion spread as a whirlwind over the area and expanded worldwide, especially in Europe and is now the biggest religion in the world with billions of believers. Six hundred years later, close to this land, another religion was born and it spread like wildfire through the Middle East, and wars started again, but this time in the name of one of the three religions; Islam, Christianity and Judaism, the religion of the original Israelites and where Christianity was derived from.
For Judaism and for the Muslims alike, there is something special in Jerusalem. The Foundation Stone. It’s located at “the center of the world“; the Muslims built the Dome of the Rock over the place where the Foundation Stone is located. It’s the first stone, which was used by God to create the earth and its location is by this the center of the earth, according Judaism. It’s also the place where you can hear the voices of the death weeping, waiting for the day they can return. The Jews built their first Temple on that spot, also the second Temple. The Muslims built their third holiest Mosque at that spot. For the Christians, that was the spot where Jesus was lifted up to the heaven, as was Muhammad for the Muslims. The dominance of that place by one of the three religions was the cause of many wars, slaughter and utterly destruction.
The lands of Israel were occupied by the Muslims, then the Christians, and then again the Muslims and Christians and it went on and on repeatedly and again blood flowed over the country and thousands wept over the death left behind. In those times, hundreds of thousands of Europeans died in the crusader campaigns. Every time the Christians dominated the country, they built their structures, their culture, their science, their churches and their cities and the same was with the Muslims. And again the Christians conquered… and later were defeated (again) and left so much behind, and when the Muslims conquered … and later were defeated as well, just like any other civilization and culture, also they left behind their structures, their culture, their industry and science… and peoples.
Between the battles and the occupations of the armies of the west, east, south and north, the survivors mixed, used what was left from the Christians and Muslims and continued to live and were flourishing. And then they were overrun by other armies, this time from an empire originating from Turkey, and they were part of the most terrible wars the earth ever had witnessed … and that says something.
Millions and millions of people were being slaughtered in Europe by war, mass destruction and disease. A big part of the world was involved one way or the other in that war, even the lands of Israel suffered. And again they left many things behind and those were integrated within the peoples living here.
Then the British came and after a while they left like the many others before them, and they left behind their juridical systems and so much more. So many cultures mixed between the peoples of Israel from all the powerhouses of the Middle East, Africa and Europe.
Then the Second World War happened and the death and destruction were even worse then that of the first one! The whole world, each country, was involved in that terrible conflict. Between that mass destruction, the peoples of Israel, who were spread throughout the world, suffered terrible; millions of them were being systematically slaughtered! When finally the war was over, many of the Jewish survivors moved to their old homeland, Israel. They returned to the land of their forefathers.
And then at last, but not the least, the State of Israel was created. The State of Israel instantly managed to end the mass killings, the massacres, the attacks, the poverty, and “the streams of blood dried up“. They defended themselves successfully against the attacking Arab armies and the State became a safe haven for Jews, Christians, Arabs, Druze and Muslims alike. The State of Israel created a stable state; no mass killings, no destruction, no weeping … the peoples within the lands of Israel, which is now the State of Israel, were protected at last. And the State took care that they were stronger then strong, because they needed to guarantee the safety and protection of all the peoples and their guests within.
Finally it’s safe to raise a family, to earn your living, to live the way you like and to worship the religion of your choice.
If you walk in the streets of Jerusalem or Tel Aviv, and you study a random person, watch intently at his or her face. You will undoubtedly notice that many times those faces carry traces of Egyptian, Syrian, Iranian and/or European peoples. Many of Israeli men and women are extremely handsome and beautiful and if you look at some of their noses, you might recognize Cleopatra. Or you see the man with his red hair and pale face from North Europe. Or the fair skin of the beautiful peoples in Iraq and Iran. They can trace their forefathers thousands years back!
But the nightmare is not at the end! The Middle East is in flames again.
“Rivers of blood are streaming through its fields, hundreds of thousands are weeping, loss of lives is indescribable“
Barbaric practices of mass murder and genocide dominates the north of the Middle East and it’s spreading all over north Africa. Christians are being raped, slaughtered, crucified, beheaded, executed and persecuted. Millions of Arabs and Muslims are being driven from their country, rulers acting like the old kings from thousands of years ago, murdering and slaughtering their populations by the hundreds of thousands. Old, ancient and modern states wants to try again to create new empires. More then seventy different countries in the world are one way or the other involved in the conflicts of the Middle East and Northern Africa. Whole countries are overrun by barbarians or are at the point of collapse.
And in the middle of it, Israel is an island of stability, armed to the teeth and everyone knows not to attack it, or they will be utterly destroyed. It’s a democracy, where people live their lives in normality, where strangers from all over the world are more then welcome and everyone is protected against the barbarism surrounding the country. People live safer in Israel then they can live anywhere else.
When you visit Israel, you can see for yourself the many traces of so many cultures once ruling these lands and some of the cultures still exist. You can see the many religious monuments where everyone is free to visit or choose it as the place of worship. You can see its untouched rough nature, the way how it was formed millions of years ago, and it’s still there. You can see yourself the places where Judaism and Christianity originated from and the places where Jesus once walked the earth, where he was born and raised and died and resurrected. You can visit the places, which were all named in the Bible (Old and New testament) or the Torah (Holy Book for the Jews).
There is no other place on earth, where there were so many cultures and civilizations ruling for so many millennia, and are now stable and safe. It’s the birthplace of the two major religions and important to four religions. It’s the place where hundreds of thousands of years the first peoples were living. It’s the place where the Christians spread all over the world.
Wim Vincken, Tour Creator/Operator Shalom Israel.
This article is written with the help of the creation of the following tours and articles:
- Israeli History and Culture tours
- Food and Wine Tours
- Archaeology tours
- History of the land of Israel
- Foundation Stone
- Western Wall
- Judean Desert Impressions