Isaiah Nation. By Moshe Dann. Jerusalem Post, June 25, 2013.
Frontier Myths and Their Applications in Israel and America: A Transnational Perspective. By S. Ilan Troen. Israel Studies, Vol. 5, No. 1 (Spring 2000).
De-Judaizing the Homeland: Academic Politics in Rewriting the History of Palestine. S. Ilan Troen. Israel Affairs, Vol. 13, No. 4 (October 2007).
Israeli Views of the Land of Israel/Palestine. By S. Ilan Troen. Israel Studies, Vol. 18, No. 2 (Summer 2013).
Jewish Settlement in the Land of Israel/Palestine. By. Ilan Troen. Jewish Virtual Library, July 2011.
Palestine, Peoples and Borders in the New Middle East. By Ahmad Samih Khalidi. NJBR, June 3, 2013.
Israel Lives the Joseph Story. By Thomas L. Friedman. NJBR, June 6, 2013.
Israel May Always Be in Conflict. By Shaul Rosenfeld. NJBR, June 28, 2013.
In 1862, at the beginning of the Civil War, Congress passed and president Abraham Lincoln signed the Homestead Act, which granted unclaimed and uninhabited state land to American “settlers.”
The current dilemma over Israel’s borders offers an application of Turner’s thesis. If Judea and Samaria (the West Bank) can be considered Israel’s frontier, what does it represent in terms of a national psyche and what might be the psychosocial effect of its loss? Is Jewish settlement in this territory central to the future of Israel? And are Israeli settlers today doing what their predecessors, the pioneers, did generations ago? Opponents of settlements argue that Israel’s “occupation” of territory which it conquered as a result of the Six Day War in 1967 undermines democratic values, encourages oppression and exploitation and fractures Israeli society.
For Palestinians the expansion of Israel’s frontiers (indeed Israel’s very existence) and the “occupation” are a disaster. The nakba (disaster) which is observed by Arabs inside and outside of Israel refers to the establishment of Israel in 1948; the loss of more territory in 1967 made things worse, they claim.
BEFORE BECOMING a state, Israel’s frontier was marked by purchasing vacant land and swamps for reclamation projects. Palestine was known by Jews as The Yishuv, the settlement, because all of it was just that. Nationbuilding made everyone a pioneer. Settling the land was the essence of Zionism; the frontier was everywhere.