From the Mitchell World Atlas of 1874, hand colored map of the Holy Land, Palestine. This shows Palestine before the creation of the modern Israeli state, at the beginning of the Zionist movement.
Zionism was a Jewish nationalist movement created by Theodor Herzl in the late 1800s. Herzl was an Austrian journalist who regarded the assimilation of Jewish people as desirable, but impossible due to anti-Semitism. He argued that if Jews were forced to form a nation, they could lead a ordinary existence. The Zionist goal was the creation of a Jewish national state in Palestine, the ancient homeland of the Jewish people. This movement to create a Jewish state was further intensified after the Holocaust. The Zionists attained their goal in 1948 with the creation of Israel. The movement exists today and works to support Israel and the Jewish people. This is the first instance in history where a nation has been reestablished after such a long period of existence as a Diaspora.
In 1874, Jerusalem gained a special administrative status. It was under direct rule of Istanbul having been under the authority (with brief exceptions) of the Ottoman or Islamic Empire since the seventh century. To this day, the city is not internationally recognized as the capital of Israel, though many believe it to be so. The city is located 15 miles west of the Dead Sea. This map, as well as all others up until 1949, don't show the state of Israel.
Israel and Palestine's engagement in something quite similar to all-out war is not without a colorful past. Palestinian effort to rid themselves of Israeli control has escalated significantly in the past fifteen years. The fight is one of multiple key issues: mutual recognition, borders, security, water rights, control of Jerusalem, the Palestinian freedom movement, and more. The often brutal violence has promoted international action.
Archival reproduction print from high resolution scan. 12" x 15"