• On November 2, 1917, British Foreign Secretary Arthur James Balfour submitted a formal statement announcing the British government’s support of a Jewish homeland in Palestine. Many interpreted the Balfour Declaration as a victory for Zionism, the movement that sought to resettle Jews in the historic “Land of Israel,” on the east coast of the Mediterranean. Arab leaders, however, interpreted it as a betrayal of earlier British promises to establish an independent Arab nation in the same area. (The region at the time was under British control as the Mandate for Palestine.)
     
    The Balfour Declaration was one of the first steps that ultimately led to the creation of the nation of Israel in 1948. Conflict over Israel’s boundaries resulted in three wars between Israel and neighboring Arab states since the country’s founding—in 1948, 1967 and 1973. Violence and tension between citizens of Israel, Palestinian refugees, and neighboring nations continues to this day.
  • Term Part of Speech Definition Encyclopedic Entry
    coast Noun

    edge of land along the sea or other large body of water.

    Encyclopedic Entry: coast
    conflict Noun

    a disagreement or fight, usually over ideas or procedures.

    establish Verb

    to form or officially organize.

    government Noun

    system or order of a nation, state, or other political unit.

    interpret Verb

    to explain or understand the meaning of something.

    Jewish Adjective

    having to do with the religion or culture of people tracing their ancestry to the ancient Middle East and the spiritual leaders Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

    nation Noun

    political unit made of people who share a common territory.

    Encyclopedic Entry: nation
    refugee Noun

    person who flees their home, usually due to natural disaster or political upheaval.

    region Noun

    any area on the Earth with one or more common characteristics. Regions are the basic units of geography.

    Encyclopedic Entry: region
    resettle Verb

    to move and build a life in a new place.

    submit Verb

    to present for approval or consideration.

    tension Noun

    uncomfortable relationship between two people or groups.

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