The creation of modern Israel

How did the conflict start?

Even that is a contentious question, but most historians begin the story with the first waves of modern Jewish migration to the Holy Land, in the 1880s. By the mid 19th century, the Jewish population of the region, then controlled by the Ottoman empire, was small: about 10,000 strong. 

But the dream of a home in Biblical Israel was deeply rooted in the culture of the Jewish diaspora, and modern Zionism emerged as a force at this time, fed by increasingly virulent antisemitism in Europe, particularly pogroms in Poland and Russia. The first Zionist Congress was held in Basel in 1897, and declared as its aim “the creation of a home for the Jewish people in Palestine”. By 1914, the Jewish population of the area had grown to 85,000, perhaps a tenth of the total. Most of the new arrivals came from Russia, Romania and Yemen.

How did Zionism develop?

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