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Home » Israel’s Borders and Nationhood History by Gary Ridenour

Israel’s Borders and Nationhood History by Gary Ridenour


To read this article complete with maps open the PDF file.



 A Generalized Summary of Events & Peoples


 July 25, 2014


Gary T. Ridenour




This review of the history of Israel’s borders and nationhood and how Israel came to exist was initiated for personal reasons to help the author better understand the dynamics of how Israel arose from the many districts of the Ottoman Empire after its collapse after World War I, and then how the dynamics of the region’s peoples and world politics played a role in the formation of the borders, and thus the nation of Israel.

The paper can be described purely as a much generalized summary of many complicated events over the last nearly 100 years. There are a number of significant events and situations that contributed to the formation of Israel, but their detail was avoided in order to ensure the focus was purely on the actual events that created the various configuration of Israel’s ‘official’ borders over this period. There are other works that go into far more detail, so if this paper peaks an interest, perhaps a visit to those many works would be a valuable exercise.

To assist the reader, the sources used are listed herein at the end. All of the source material is from internet sites that are devoted to the history of Israel and the people that were a part of the evolution of Israel. The URL of each website is provided for convenience. Maps were acquired from various sites not listed, but were verified through other sources. Selection was predicated on the quality of the map.



Fact: There is already an independent state established for the Arabs who refer to themselves as Palestinian, it’s called Jordan, as this paper will show. The areas of the Middle East where modern day Israel, Jordan, Syria, Iraq, Egypt and other nations are located were part of the Ottoman Empire from 1517 to 1917. Map 1 shows the geographical expanse of the Ottoman Empire in 1914 just as WWI began.

After WWI, there was a partitioning of the Ottoman Empire, which was a dynamic process that took place between October 1918 and November 1922. In effect, it was a series of political events/decisions that divided the huge conglomeration of Ottoman Empire territories and peoples into several new territories. This partitioning ushered in the geographical structure that forms the modern Arab world today, including the Republic of Turkey, which was formerly the regional-seat of the Ottoman Empire. This partitioning by the League of Nations granted France the mandates over Syria and Lebanon, and granted the United Kingdom mandates over Mesopotamia (later renamed Iraq) and Palestine (later divided into two new territories Arab Palestine and Jewish Palestine; see Map 2.

Britain would ‘administer’ this region continuously from 1920 to 1948. Although not a focus of this historical summarization, the remainder of the Ottoman Empire’s land possessions on Arabian Peninsula became the Kingdom of Hejaz and Sultanate of Nejid (today Saudi Arabia), the Mutawakkilite Kingdom of Yemen, and the other Arab States of the Persian Gulf today.



READ MORE:  click on PDF to open this article complete with maps.