75 years after its declaration of independence, Israel is still widely misunderstood

The origin of modern Israel is usually told as follows: Pogroms since the 19th century, culminating in the Holocaust, prompted Jews to emigrate to Palestine, where they enlisted British aid to revitalize their ancient state while marginalizing the native Arab population, creating a conflict that simmers to this day. From this perspective, the Jewish state is a historical anomaly and a persistent alien to the region, born of events on another continent.