Sunday, August 3, 2014


Ramle was established around 716 and was the only town founded by Arabs during the 1400 years of Arabs living in the country. From the very beginning and in the early part of its history, Ramle had thriving Jewish, Samaritan, and Karaite communities. It was also one of the stopping points for the Radhanites, convoys of Jewish merchants who crossed the land routes from Europe to Asia and back again. A period of expulsions took place during the Crusader era and in the 12th century, only 3 Jews lived there. The community was, eventually reestablished, but often went through periods of prosperity and decline between the 14th and 17th centuries. By the end of the 19th century, the town’s Jewish population was about 66.

Ramleh, c. 1875

The Arab riots in the 1920s forced some Jews to leave the town. In the 1930s Ramleh still had five Jewish families; even this small population bothered the Arabs and they were forced to leave during the ourtbreak of new riots in 1936.

Today, Ramle is a town where 80% of its population is Jewish, but many anti-Jewish incidents still occur among the 20% Arab minority.

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