Just Vision's glossary is comprised of nearly 400 terms related to the Israeli-Palestinian context. Given the rapidly shifting landscape, we recognize this glossary cannot capture the full range of nuances, narratives and historical events. Thus, we hope you to use this glossary as a starting point and encourage you to continue your exploration of this topic through further research. Definitions have been reviewed by Arab, Muslim and Jewish scholars of the Israeli-Palestinian context. Last update and review: January 2012

Full list

Beer Sheva/Ber Al-Sabe'

City in the south of Israel in the Negev Desert, Est. population 200,000.

Begin, Menachem

(1913-92) The primary political leader of the "revisionist" right-wing opposition in the Zionist movement and subsequently in the State of Israel as of 1948. A commander in the pre-state "Irgun" or "Etzel" Jewish underground militia, considered a terrorist entity by the British administration and a radical rival by the dominant Labor Zionist movement. Begin later headed the Likud Party and was elected Prime Minister in 1977. He negotiated a peace treaty with Anwar Sadat of Egypt that led to Israel's withdrawal from the Sinai Peninsula in exchange for Egypt's recognition of Israel as a legitimate state, and was co-recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize with Anwar Sadat (1978). He authorized the Israeli Air Force to bomb the Osirak nuclear reactor in Iraq, out of concern that Iraq was developing nuclear weapons, and launched the 1982 invasion of Lebanon, referred to by the Israeli government as "Operation Peace for the Galilee." He was a supporter of the settlement movement in the Occupied Territories (See: http://nobelprize.org/peace/laureates/1978/begin-bio.html).

Beilin, Yossi

(1948-) A member of the Labor party and a Knesset Member for 11 years. He was Minister of Justice from July 1999 to March 2001. He was instrumental in the early stages of the Oslo peace talks and is one of the authors of the non-governmental, non-binding Israeli-Palestinian Geneva Accord. Beilin is currently the chairman of the Yachad party in Israel. See Yachad's website http://www.yachadparty.org.il/Eng/ASP/Yachad.ASP?wci=MainPage.


The largest city and capital of Lebanon is on the west coast of the country along the Mediterranean. Its population exceeds 1.8 million and includes a diverse range of peoples from various backgrounds including Muslim (Shi'a, Sunni, Druze, Isma'ilite, Alawite, and Nusayri), Christian (Maronite Catholic, Melkite Catholic, Armenian Orthodox, Syrian Catholic, Armenian Catholic, Roman Catholic and Protestant), and other religious sects. Beirut was the home of the PLO for ten years until Yasser Arafat's departure in 1982, as a result of the Israeli intervention into the Lebanese Civil War. The city was also the site of the infamous Sabra and Shatila massacres, which occurred during that same year.See http:CIA Factbook BBC

Beit Hanina

A Palestinian populated town located to the northwest of the city of Jerusalem. In 1980 it was divided into two parts where one is now considered to be in the West Bank and the other within the municipal borders of Jerusalem. Est. population 21,392.

Beit Hanoun

A city in the northeast Gaza Strip, with an estimated population of 32,000.

Beit Iksa

A Palestinian village in the West Bank of the Occupied Palestinian Territories, bordering the Green Line. 80% of the village’s inhabitants are registered UNWRA refugees.

Beit Jala

A Palestinian populated city on the western outskirts of Bethlehem in the West Bank, 5 km south of Jerusalem. Est. population 13,000.

Beit Safafa

An Arab village in southern Jerusalem, originally straddling both the Israeli side and Jordanian West Bank side of the post-1948 Green Line, now surrounded by Jewish settlements and neighborhoods that have expanded southward since 1967.

Beit Sahour

A Palestinian town to the east of Bethlehem in the West Bank, population approximately 12,000.

Beit Ummar

A Palestinian village located in the West Bank north of Hebron, between that city and Bethlehem.


Founded in the 1920s, Beitar (also Betar) is a Zionist youth movement in Israel and the Jewish Diaspora. Beitar was shaped by the ideas and worldview of Ze'ev Jabotinsky. Some of its activities include: summer camps, Israel tours, and the promoting and facilitation of aliyah-- the official immigration of Jews to Israel.

Ben Gurion University of the Negev
Ben-Eliezer, Binyamin

(1936-) Nicknamed "Fuad", Ben-Eliezer is a former leader in the Israeli Labor party. For more information see: http://www.mfa.gov.il/MFA/MFAArchive/2000_2009/2002/11/Benjamin%20Ben-El...)

Ben-Gurion, David

(1886-1973) Israel's longest serving Prime Minister (1948-1953 and 1955-1963), head of the provisional government who announced Israel's independence, and considered to be one of the State of Israel's primary founding fathers. For more information see Ben-Gurion's profile at the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs at http://www.mfa.gov.il/MFA/Facts+About+Israel/State/David+Ben-Gurion.htm.


A city in the West Bank, about 10 kilometers south of Jerusalem. Home to the Church of the Nativity, the city is of particular significance for Christians who believe it is the birthplace of Jesus Christ. Est. population 30,000, the vast majority of whom are Palestinian.

Bialik, Hayyim Nahman

(1873-1935): Jewish poet born in Russia who immigrated to Palestine in 1924. Considered the national poet of Israel during his lifetime, his works are still popular today in Israel.  http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/biography/bialik.html


A village in the northern West Bank affected by the construction of separation barrier (see also, Separation Barrier).


Organization established in Israel for planners and architects, it works toward “strengthening the connection between human rights and spatial planning in Israel.” They believe that urban planning must take into account civil rights and equality. They work through community planning, education, and outreach activities. See the Bimkom website at http://www.bimkom.org/aboutEng.asp

Bir Nabala

A Palestinian-populated village north of Jerusalem in the West Bank of the Occupied Palestinian Territories, bordering East Jerusalem’s municipal borders. The village is located in what has come to be termed the “Jerusalem envelope,” a stretch of Israel’s separation barrier surrounding Jerusalem. The “Bir Nabala enclave” is a cluster of five villages – Bir Nabala, Qalandiya, Beit Hanina, El-Jib and El-Jadira – trapped between the separation barrier and East Jerusalem’s municipal borders.