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Homeland: Part I: The Return
By Mike Martin - January 7, 2009


Ancient Israel: Trade Routes
The story of the Jewish search for a homeland where they could simply live in peace is one of struggle, survival and persistence. Jews have never been unsure about the location of their homeland and from the days of Abraham have known where they have the right to live. This has been confirmed not only by Biblical texts but by historical and archaeological records that continue to confirm their right to an ancient homeland in the Middle East. The challenge has been getting back there and convincing others of their righteous claim to a Jewish homeland.

The Jews never lost hope in reclaiming their land of destiny even as they were driven from their ancestral home time and again by invading armies. They never lost this hope either in the dark days of wandering all over the earth, in Europe, Africa, Asia or even America. After hundreds of years of dreaming a small group of them joined together to actually plan and deliver a Jewish state for their people. The early Zionists had little more than that hope when they began but they knew how to build an infrastructure to make the dream a reality. They laid a solid foundation for the beginnings of the new homeland, the state of Israel.

The Zionists were the political force behind the creation of a Jewish homeland and they worked hard to develop allies and friends in high places. Their efforts paid off with the Balfour Declaration in 1917 that declared that the British Government "view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people". This one act in a letter delivered to a leader of the British Jewish community from the British Foreign Minister inspired thousands of Jews to immigrate to the unknown world of Palestine and begin to transform its barren soil into a fertile ground for the new homeland of the Jews.
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