Lod

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Lod
Hebrew transcription(s)
 • Hebrew לֹד, לוֹד
 • ISO 259 Lodd
Arabic transcription(s)
 • Arabic الْلُدّ al-Ludd
Lod city center
Lod city center
Official logo of Lod
Logo
Lod is located in Israel
Lod
Lod
Coordinates: 31°56′54.59″N 34°53′20.4″E / 31.9484972°N 34.889000°E / 31.9484972; 34.889000Coordinates: 31°56′54.59″N 34°53′20.4″E / 31.9484972°N 34.889000°E / 31.9484972; 34.889000
District Center
Government
 • Type City
 • Mayor Yair Revivo
Area
 • Total 12,226 dunams (12.226 km2 or 4.720 sq mi)
Population (2010)[1]
 • Total 70,000

Lod (Hebrew: לוֹד; Arabic: الْلُدّal-Ludd; Greco-Latin: Lydda, Diospolis, Ancient Greek: Λύδδα / Διόσπολις - city of Zeus) is a mixed Jewish-Arab city 15 kilometers (9.3 mi) southeast of Tel Aviv in the Center District of Israel. At the end of 2011, it had a population of 74,000.

The name is derived from the Biblical city of Lod.[2] In 1948, after the Israeli conquest of al-Ludd, as it was known in Arabic, most of its Arab inhabitants were expelled.[3] The town was resettled by Jewish immigrants, most of them refugees from Arab countries,[4][5] alongside 1,056 Arabs who remained.[4] Lod is known today by its biblical name.[6]

Israel's main international airport, Ben Gurion International Airport (previously known as Lydda Airport, RAF Lydda, and Lod Airport) is located on the outskirts of the city.

Etymology[edit]

The Hebrew name Lod appears in the bible as a town of Benjamin, founded by Shamed or Shamer (1 Chronicles 8:12; Ezra 2:33; Nehemiah 7:37; 11:35). In the New Testament it appears as its Greek form, Lydda.[7][8] The city also finds reference in an Islamic Hadith, as the location of the battlefield where Dajjal (the Anti-Christ) will be slain before the Day of Judgment.[9]

History[edit]

Canaanite period[edit]

Pottery finds have dated the city's initial settlement to 5600–5250 BC.[10] The earliest written record is in a list of Canaanite towns drawn up by the Egyptian pharaoh Thutmose III at Karnak in 1465 BC.[11]

Jewish period[edit]

From the 5th century BC until the Roman conquest in 70 AD, the city was a Jewish city, and a well-known centre of Jewish scholars and merchants.[12] According to Martin Gilbert, during the Hasmonean period, Jonathan Maccabee and his brother Simon Maccabaeus enlarged the area under Jewish control, which included conquering the city.[13]

The city is mentioned several times in the Bible: in Ezra 2:33, it is mentioned as one of the cities whose inhabitants returned after the Babylonian captivity, and in the New Testament, it is the site of Peter's healing of a paralytic man in Acts 9:32-38.[14]

In 43 AD, Cassius, the Roman governor of Syria, sold the inhabitants of Lod into slavery, but they were set freed two years later by Mark Antony.[15][16] During the First Jewish–Roman War, the Roman proconsul of Syria, Cestius Gallus, razed the town on his way to Jerusalem in 66 AD. It was occupied by Emperor Vespasian in 68 AD.[17]

During the Kitos War, 115-117 AD, the Roman army laid siege to Lod, then called Lydda, where the rebel Jews had gathered under the leadership of Julian and Pappos. The distress became so great that the patriarch Rabban Gamaliel II, who was shut up there and died soon afterwards, permitted fasting even on Ḥanukkah. Other rabbis condemned this measure.[18] Lydda was next taken and many of the Jews were executed; the "slain of Lydda" are often mentioned in words of reverential praise in the Talmud.[19]

In Jewish classical writings,[20] the “slain of Lydda” specifically refers to two Jewish brothers with Hellenized names, Julian (Lulianos) and Pappos, who willingly made themselves martyrs in order to save the entire Jewish population of Lydda from annihilation. Their real names were Shamayah and Ahiyah. According to ancient Jewish accounts,[21] when Lusius Quietus of Lysia was appointed Roman governor of Judaea by Trajan, a certain gentile child had been found slain in the city of Lydda. The blame for the child’s murder was laid upon the Jews of that city. The said governor intervened by threatening to kill all the Jews of the city, unless the perpetrator of the vile act would deliver himself up to be punished. When no one could be found to take responsibility for the act and the governor was insistent on punishing all the Jews, Lulianos and Pappos, being “wholly righteous men,”[22] voluntarily gave themselves up to be punished, in order to save innocent Jewish lives. A dialogue soon developed between the two Jewish men and the Roman governor, Lusius Quietus. The governor had affronted their God by saying to them: “If you are of the people of Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah, whom God delivered from the fiery furnace (Dan. 3), let your God come and deliver you from my hand!” They replied, “Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah were wholly righteous and were worthy that a miracle be performed unto them, and Nebuchadnezzar was also a right king and one worthy of having a miracle be performed on his account. However, as for that wicked man (i.e. Hadrian), he is merely a commoner and isn’t worthy of having a miracle performed on his account, while we are they who have acted wrongly and made ourselves liable to death before God, and if you do not kill us, there are many other ways in which we might be killed. God has many bears and many lions that could meet up with us and kill us. Moreover, the Holy One, blessed be He, hasn’t delivered us into your hand, except that our blood might be avenged of you in the future!” Forthwith, the governor had them executed.

The aforementioned event is said to have happened on the 12th day of the lunar month Adar, when Hadrian was then Roman Emperor. The emperor, anxious to remove Lusius Quietus from his post as governor, had sent two Roman legates with orders to relieve him of his duties. When they arrived in Lydda that same day, Lusius was still standing in the place where he had ordered their execution. Being sensible of what had happened, and with Caesar’s orders in their hands to have him removed, they took up wooden clubs and clubbed him on his head, causing him severe brain damage, until he died. The sages of Israel decided to recognize that day, the 12th of Adar, as a religious holiday, owing to the deliverance which came to the Jews of Lydda on that day. The day was transcribed in the Scroll of Fasting as a day of celebration, mentioned under the name “the Day of Trajan” (Hebrew: yom ṭūriyanos). The Scroll of Fasting is a rabbinic document outlining in Jewish law those calendar days in which it was forbidden to fast, or, in some cases, forbidden to mourn. The holiday, however, was soon cancelled, since the day also marked the death of these two righteous men. There are those who say that these things happened, not in Lydda (Lod) of Judaea, but in Laodicea (Latakiyah) of Syria.

Roman period[edit]

In 200 AD, emperor Septimius Severus elevated the town to the status of a city, calling it Colonia Lucia Septimia Severa Diospolis.[23] The name Diospolis ("City of Zeus") may have been bestowed earlier, possibly by Hadrian.[24] At that point, most of its inhabitants were Christian. The earliest known bishop is Aëtius, a friend of Arius.[15] In December 415, the Council of Diospolis was held here to try Pelagius; he was acquitted. In the sixth century the city was renamed Georgiopolis[25] after St. George, a soldier in the guard of the emperor Diocletian, who was born there between 256 and 285 AD.[26] Church of St. George is named for him.[11]

Arab period[edit]

Khan el-Hilu, Lod

After the Muslim conquest of Palestine by Amr ibn al-'As in 636 AD,[27] Lod which was referred to as "al-Ludd" in Arabic served as the capital of Jund Filastin ("Military District of Palestine") before the seat of power was moved to nearby Ramla during the reign of the Umayyad Caliph Suleiman ibn Abd al-Malik in 715-716. The population of al-Ludd was relocated to Ramla as well.[28] With the relocation of its inhabitants and the construction of the White Mosque in Ramla, al-Ludd lost its importance and fell into decay.[29]

The city was visited by the local Arab geographer al-Muqaddasi in 985, when it was under the Fatimid Caliphate, and was noted for its Great Mosque which served the residents of al-Ludd, Ramla and the nearby villages. He also wrote of the city's "wonderful church (of St. George) at the gate of which Christ will slay the Antichrist."[30]

Crusader and Ayyubid period[edit]

Tomb of Saint George, which is first mentioned in about 530 by the pilgrim Theodosius[15]

The Crusaders occupied the city in 1099 and named it St. Jorge de Lidde.[12] It was briefly conquered by Saladin, but retaken by the Crusaders in 1191. The Crusaders built a cathedral, currently changed to become the Great Mosque of Ramla -- one of Israel's best-preserved Crusader churches.[31] For the English Crusaders, it was a place of great significance as the birthplace of Saint George. The Crusaders made it the seat of a Latin rite diocese,[32] and it remains a titular see.[15] According to the Jewish traveler Benjamin of Tudela, there was one Jewish family living there in 1170.[33]

In 1226 Syrian geographer Yaqut al-Hamawi visited al-Ludd and stated it was part of the Jerusalem District during Ayyubid rule.[34]

Ottoman era[edit]

Lydda, 1903

The missionary Dr. William M. Thomson visited Lydda in the mid 19th century, describing it as a "flourishing village of some 2,000 inhabitants, embosomed in noble orchards of olive, fig, pomegranate, mulberry, sycamore, and other trees, surrounded every way by a very fertile neighborhood. The inhabitants are evidently industrious and thriving, and the whole country between this and Ramleh is fast being filled up with their flourishing orchards. Rarely have I beheld a rural scene more delightful than this presented in early harvest ... It must be seen, heard, and enjoyed to be appreciated."[35]

In 1870, under the rule of the Ottoman empire, the Church of Saint George was built. In 1892 the first railway station in the entire region was established in the city.[36] In the second half of the 19th century, Jewish merchants migrated to the city but left after the 1921 Jaffa riots.[36]

British Mandate era[edit]

Lydda, 1920
Herbert Samuel at Lod train station

From 1918, Lydda was under the administration of the British Mandate in Palestine, as per a League of Nations decree that followed World War I. During World War II, the British set up supply posts in and around Lydda and its railway station, also building an airport that was renamed Ben Gurion Airport after the establishment of Israel.[36]

Until 1948, Lydda was an Arab town with a population of around 20,000—18,500 Muslims and 1,500 Christians.[37][38] In 1947, the United Nations proposed dividing Palestine into two states, one Jewish state, one Arab; Lydda was to form part of the proposed Arab state.[39] Several Arab states attacked, and in the ensuing war Israel captured Arab towns outside the area the UN had allotted it, including Lydda.

The Israel Defense Forces entered Lydda on July 11, 1948.[40] The following day, under the impression that it was under attack,[41] the 3rd Battalion was ordered to shoot anyone "seen on the streets." According to Israel, 250 Arabs (men, women, and children) were killed. Other estimates are higher: Arab historian Aref al Aref estimated 400, and Nimr al Khatib 1700.[42][43]

State of Israel[edit]

Lydda, 1948

During 1948, the population rose to 50,000 people as Arab refugees fleeing other areas made their way there.[36] All but 700[44] to 1,056[4] were expelled by order of the Israeli high command, and forced to walk 17 kilometres (11 miles) to Arab Legion lines on one of the hottest days of the year. Estimates of those who died from exhaustion and dehydration vary from a handful to 355.[45][46] The town was subsequently sacked by the Israeli army.[47] The few hundred Arabs who remained in the city were not permitted to live in their own homes.[48] They were soon outnumbered by the influx of Jewish refugees who moved into the town from August 1948 onwards, most from Arab countries.[4] as a result of which Lydda became a predominantly Jewish town.[38][49]

The Jewish refugees came in waves, first from Morocco and Tunisia, and later from Ethiopia and the former Soviet Union.[50] The city continues to influence the work of Israeli artists and thinkers, such as Dor Guez's 2009 exhibit Georgeopolis at the Petach Tikva art museum.

According to the Economist, a three meter-high wall was erected in 2010 to separate Jewish and Arab neighborhoods, and limits have been imposed on Arab building whereas construction in the Jewish areas is promoted. Some municipal services, such as street lighting and rubbish collection, are only provided to Jewish areas. Violent crime in the Arab neighborhoods of Lod is largely directed at other Arabs and revolves around family feuds over turf and honor crimes.[51]

Although the city has been plagued by a poor image for decades, dozens of projects are under way to improve life in the city. New upscale neighborhoods are expanding the city to the east, among them Ganei Ya'ar and Ahisemah.[52] In 2010, the Lod Community Foundation organized an event for representatives of bicultural youth movements, volunteer aid organizations, educational start-ups, businessmen, sports organizations and conservationists who are working on programs to better the city.[53]

Demographics[edit]

Synagogue, mosque and church in Lod

In 2003, an Israeli government report outlined Lod's social and demographic problems.[54] The report noted a high rate of drug use and crime, a large number of poor and social service cases (about 10 percent of the population), and cramped and substandard living conditions among the city's Arab population.[54] According to the Israel Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS), the population of Lod in 2010 was 69.5 thousand people.[55]

Education[edit]

According to CBS, there are 38 schools and 13,188 pupils in the city. They are spread out as 26 elementary schools and 8,325 elementary school pupils, and 13 high schools and 4,863 high school pupils. 52.5% of 12th grade pupils were entitled to a matriculation certificate in 2001.

Economy[edit]

Reception hall, Ben Gurion International Airport

The airport and related industries are a major source of employment for the residents of Lod. A Jewish Agency Absorption Centre (the main type of facility for handling olim arriving in Israel) is also located in Lod. According to CBS figures for 2000, there were 23,032 salaried workers and 1,405 self-employed. The mean monthly wage for a salaried worker was NIS 4,754, a real change of 2.9% over the course of 2000. Salaried men had a mean monthly wage of NIS 5,821 (a real change of 1.4%) versus NIS 3,547 for women (a real change of 4.6%). The mean income for the self-employed was NIS 4,991. There were 1,275 people receiving unemployment benefits and 7,145 receiving an income supplement.

Archaeology[edit]

A well-preserved mosaic floor dating to the Roman period was excavated in 1996 as part of a salvage dig conducted on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority and the Municipality of Lod, prior to widening HeHalutz Street. According to Jacob Fisch, executive director of the Friends of the Israel Antiquities Authority, a worker at the construction site noticed the tail of a tiger and halted work.[56] The mosaic was initially covered over with soil at the conclusion of the excavation for lack of funds to conserve and develop the site.[57] The mosaic is now part of the Lod Mosaic Archaeological Center.

The Lod Community Archaeology Program, which operates in ten Lod schools, five Jewish and five Israeli Arab, combines archaeological studies with participation in digs in Lod.[58]

Sports[edit]

The city's major football club, Hapoel Bnei Lod, plays in Liga Leumit (the second division). Its home is at the Lod Municipal Stadium. The club was formed by a merger of Bnei Lod and Rakevet Lod in the 1980s. Two other clubs in the city play in the regional leagues: Hapoel MS Ortodoxim Lod in Liga Bet and Maccabi Lod in Liga Gimel.

Hapoel Lod played in the top division during the 1960s and 1980s, and won the State Cup in 1984. The club folded in 2002. A new club, Hapoel Maxim Lod (named after former mayor Maxim Levy) was established soon after, but folded in 2007.

Notable residents[edit]

Twin towns-sister cities[edit]

Lod is twinned with:

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Table 3 - Population of Localities Numbering Above 2,000 Residents and Other Rural Population". Israel Central Bureau of Statistics. 2010-06-30. Retrieved 2010-11-26. 
  2. ^ The Madaba Mosaic Map, Jerusalem 1954, 61-62
  3. ^ Shapira, Anita, “Politics and Collective Memory: the Debate Over the 'New Historians' in Israel,” History and Memory 7 (1) (Spring 1995), pp. 9ff, 12–13, 16–17.
  4. ^ a b c d M. Sharon, s.v. "Ludd," Encyclopedia of Islam, 2nd ed. Leiden: Brill, 1986, vol. 5, pp. 798-803. ISBN 978-90-04-07164-3.
  5. ^ Morris, Benny. (2004) The Birth of the Palestinian Refugee Problem Revisited. Cambridge University Press, pp. 414-461.
  6. ^ Yacobi, Haim. The Jewish-Arab City, Taylor & Francis, 2009, p. 29: "The occupation of Lydda by Israel in the 1948 war did not allow the realization of Pocheck's garden city vision. Different geopolitics and ideologies began to shape Lydda's urban landscape ... [and] its name was changed from Lydda to Lod, which was the region's biblical name."; also see Pearlman, Moshe and Yannai, Yacov. Historical sites in Israel. Vanguard Press, 1964, p. 160. For the Hebrew name being used by inhabitants before 1948, see A Cyclopædia of Biblical literature: Volume 2, by John Kitto, William Lindsay Alexander. p. 842 ("... the old Hebrew name, Lod, which had probably been always used by the inhabitants, appears again in history."); And Lod (Lydda), Israel: from its origins through the Byzantine period, 5600 B.C.E.-640 C.E., by Joshua J. Schwartz, 1991, p. 15 ("the pronunciation Lud began to appear along with the form Lod")
  7. ^ Bible Dictionary, "Lydda".
  8. ^ International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, "Lod; Lydda"
  9. ^ "SIgns of the Appearance of the Dajjal". Missionislam.com. Retrieved 2013-03-12. 
  10. ^ Schwartz, Joshua J. Lod (Lydda), Israel: from its origins through the Byzantine period, 5600 B.C.-640 A.D.. Tempus Reparatum, 1991, p. 39.
  11. ^ a b "Excursions in Terra Santa". Franciscan Cyberspot. Retrieved 2007-02-22. 
  12. ^ a b "Lod," Encyclopædia Britannica, 2009.
  13. ^ Gilbert, Martin. Dearest Auntie Flori: The Story of the Jewish People. New York: Harper Collins 2002, p. 82; also see Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews 14:208
  14. ^ "Lod," Encyclopædia Britannica, 2009. "And it came to pass, as Peter passed throughout all quarters, he came down also to the saints which dwelt at Lydda," Acts 9:32-38.
  15. ^ a b c d Lydda Catholic-hierarchy.org
  16. ^ Josephus, "Jewish War", I, xi, 2; "Antiquities", XIV xii, 2-5.
  17. ^ Michael Avi-Yonah, s.v. "Lydda," Encyclopaedia Judaica.
  18. ^ Ta'anit ii. 10; Yer. Ta'anit ii. 66a; Yer. Meg. i. 70d; R. H. 18b
  19. ^ Pes. 50a; B. B. 10b; Eccl. R. ix. 10
  20. ^ Babylonian Talmud, Taanit 18b
  21. ^ Rashi on Taanit 18b, s.v. לוליינוס ופפוס אחיו
  22. ^ Such are the words of Rashi, ibid.
  23. ^ Cecil Roth, Encyclopaedia Judaica, 1972, p. 619.
  24. ^ E. Mary Smallwood, The Jews under Roman rule: From Pompey to Diocletian: A Study in Political Relations, Leiden: Brill, 2001, p. 491. ISBN 978-0-391-04155-4.
  25. ^ Yoram Tsafrir, Leah Di Segni, Judith Green, Tabula Imperii Romani Iudaea-Palestina: Eretz Israel in the Hellenistic , Roman and Byzantine Periods; Maps and Gazetteer, p. 171. Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities, 1994. ISBN 978-965-208-107-0
  26. ^ Frenkel, Sheera and Low, Valentine. "Why Lod, the other land of St George, isn't for the faint-hearted", The Times, April 23, 2009.
  27. ^ Le Strange, p. 28.
  28. ^ Le Strange, p. 303.
  29. ^ Le Strange, p. 308.
  30. ^ Le Strange, p. 493.
  31. ^ Official Website.
  32. ^ Wikisource-logo.svg "Lydda". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. 1913. 
  33. ^ Denys Pringle, The Churches of the Crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem: A Corpus. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993, p. 11.
  34. ^ Le Strange, p. 494.
  35. ^ Thomson, W.M. (1861). The Land and the Book. T Nelson and Sons, p. 525.
  36. ^ a b c d Shahin, 2005, p. 260.
  37. ^ "Lod," January 2, 1949, IS archive Gimel/5/297 in Yacobi, Haim. The Jewish-Arab City, Taylor & Francis, 2009, p. 31.
  38. ^ a b Monterescu and Rabinowitz, 2007, pp. 16-17.
  39. ^ Sa'di and Abu-Lughod, 2007, pp. 91-92.
  40. ^ For one account, interspersed with interviews with IDF soldiers, see Ari Shavit, My Promised Land: The Triumph and Tragedy of Israel. New York: Spiegel & Grau, 2013, pp. 99-132.
  41. ^ Tal, David. War in Palestine, 1948: Strategy and Diplomacy. Routledge, 2004, p. 311.
  42. ^ Sefer Hapalmah ii (The Book of the Palmah), p. 565; and KMA-PA (Kibbutz Meuhad Archives - Palmah Archive). Quoted in Benny Morris, The Birth of the Palestinian Refugee Problem, 1947-1949. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1987.
  43. ^ Morris, The Birth of the Palestinian Refugee Problem, 1947-1949, p. 205. Morris writes: "[...] dozens of unarmed detainees in the mosque and church in the centre of the town were shot and killed."
  44. ^ The figure comes from Bechor Sheetrit, the Israeli Minister for Minority Affairs at the time, cited in Yacobi, Haim. The Jewish-Arab City, Taylor & Francis, 2009, p. 32.
  45. ^ Spiro Munayyer, The Fall of Lydda( اللد لن تقع), Journal of Palestine Studies, Vol. 27, No. 4 (Summer, 1998), pp. 80-98. See also Yitzhak Rabin's diaries, quoted here [1].
  46. ^ Holmes et al., 2001, p. 64.
  47. ^ Morris, Benny "Operation Dani and the Palestinian Exodus from Lydda and Ramle in 1948," Middle East Journal 40 (1986) p. 88.
  48. ^ Hoffman, Carl (16 December 2008). "Lod: In need of a major makeover". © 2008-2009 The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 2009-06-02. 
  49. ^ Yacobi, Haim. The Jewish-Arab City, Taylor & Francis, 2009, p. 29.
  50. ^ "Polishing a Lost Gem to Dazzle Tourists." New York Times. July 8, 2009.
  51. ^ Pulled Apart. The Economist. 2010-10-14.
  52. ^ Ganei Ya'ar in Lod The Jerusalem Post, 7 February 2008
  53. ^ Pushing for a better tomorrow in 8,000-year-old Lod
  54. ^ a b The City of Lod:Information and Statistics (Knesset Research Bureau 2003), available at www.knesset.gov.il/mmm/data/docs/m00975.doc
  55. ^ Israel Central Bureau of Statistics Annual Report 2010
  56. ^ lod-mosaic-tells-nearly-2000-year-old-story-ancient-israelLod Mosaic tells nearly 2,000-year-old story from ancient Israel
  57. ^ Lod mosaic
  58. ^ Community Based Archaeology at Khan el-Hilu, Lod, Israel
  59. ^ "Piatra Neamţ - Twin Towns". © 2007-2008 Piatra-Neamt.net. Retrieved 2009-09-27. 

Bibliography[edit]

External links[edit]