I’ve just returned from my fifth trip to Israel in the last decade. It prompted me to recall a conversation between two young Aboriginal friends of mine: ‘Why is Warren is so involved with the Jewish community?’ one asked. The other responded ‘Because they’ve been repeatedly smashed to the ground and each time they get up and keep going. You can’t keep them down.’ It’s true I’ve found inspiration in peoples who’ve rebuilt themselves to thrive in modern society. The Jews are one such group.By Jewish people I don’t just mean observant followers of the religion. Jews can be atheist, agnostic or even members of other religions. The Jewish people are better described as a nation – a large group of people with common descent, history, culture, language and traditional lands.

Jewish tribes originated in the Middle East over 3,000 years ago. From around 1000 BC they combined under a single monarch as the Kingdom of Israel. This split a century later into two kingdoms which were conquered in around 700 and 600 BC respectively. Over the next thousand years, the Jewish nation, like many others, was subject to repeated conquest and occupation, including by the Persians, Byzantines, Romans, Arabs and Crusaders. The Holy Temple, the most important and sacred site in Judaism, was destroyed. Jewish people were forced off their lands, persecuted, exiled, even sent into slavery.

Read the full article by Warren Mundine at The Spectator.

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