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While many associate the idea of a Jewish state solely with modern Israel, history tells a tale of multiple attempts to establish Jewish states in locations as diverse as ancient Babylonia and Niagara Falls. Despite their differences in era and geography, each of these states shared a common fate—they never lasted.

Ultimately, these historical attempts underscore a profound truth: the quest for a Jewish state is as old as the Jewish people itself, but the enduring bond between the Jewish people and the Land of Israel is not just a matter of heritage, but of destiny; Israel is the only place where the vision of a Jewish homeland can, and has truly and permanently, taken root.

00:00 Intro
00:24 The ancient kingdoms: Ancient Babylonia
02:00 The ancient kingdoms: 5th century Arabia
03:09 The ancient kingdoms: Yemen
04:08 Ararat (Niagara Falls), New York, USA
06:09 Uganda, Africa
07:46 Birobidzhan (Siberia), Soviet Union
09:57 Lublin, Poland
10:39 Madagascar, Africa
12:45 The only place that has stuck: the State of Israel

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Image and footage credits:
David Rumsey Map Collection, David Rumsey Map Center, Stanford Libraries
© IWM WPN 219, © IWM IWM 84, © IWM AYY 1163
Un Topo por el Mundo
Yad VaShem
Executive Producer:
— Barry Skolnick
Co-Executive Producer:
— Shmuel Katz
Translation credits:
Portuguese: Saymon Pires,, @safralivraria

About Explainers: From ancient Jewish traditions to the modern State of Israel, we explain it all. Diving into anything and everything related to Jewish culture, history, and even religion.
Understand Jewish holidays, Israeli politics, Jewish diasporic communities, and more. Learn about Judaism in pop culture, debunking myths about Jews, and explore obscure Israeli landmarks. We’re asking questions as basic as “What is the Talmud?”, and as obscure as “How did hip-hop boost Kosher wine sales?”, and everything in between.

About Unpacked: We provide nuanced insights by unpacking all things Jewish. People are complex and complicated — yet we’re constantly being pushed to oversimplify our world. At Unpacked we know that being complex makes us more interesting. Because of this, we break the world down with nuance and insight to drive your curiosity and challenge your thinking.

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