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2010-09-10 23:51:40
2010-09-10 23:51:40

Prior to 1948, Palestine had gone through a number of demographic shifts. The Roman sacking of Jerusalem in 70 AD resulted in many Jewish inhabitants being enslaved, although many Jews and Samaritans in the countryside remained. Many Jews moved back to the land over the following centuries as indicated by the many Sephardic villages in Palestine and all over the Middle East. Despite the Muslim conquest, the Crusades, and the Ottomans, the Sephardic Jewish population of Palestine grew, and the Old Jewish Quarter in Jerusalem was often the most populated in the city.

In the 19th century, Ashkenazi Jews from Europe began moving to Palestine for reasons religious, zionist, and/or due to anti-semitic pressures in Europe...this is the time many people consider "the return of the Jews to the Holy Land" which fails to recognize the continuing presence of Sephardic Jews.

In the 20th century, the Jews of Palestine, considered themselves Palestinians until Israel declared independence in 1948, at which point they considered themselves Israelis. At that time, Jews and Muslim Arabs were in almost equal numbers along with Christians, Druze, etc.

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