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According to Christian legend, Jaffa was named after Noah's son, Japhet, who built it after the Flood. There are others who believe that the name derives from the Hebrew word "Yofi" - beauty. From archaeological discoveries and ancient documents we learn that Jaffa existed as a port city some 4,000 years ago, serving Egyptian and Phoenician sailors in their sea voyages.

Historians believe that Jaffa is the only port in the world which can boast uninterrupted inhabitation throughout its entire existence. The biblical account mentions that the cedars from Lebanon for the construction of King Solomon's Temple came in via Jaffa. Jonah departed from this city in his flight from God. Greek legend tells of the chaining of the beautiful Andromeda to the rocks facing Jaffa's shore. Simon the Tanner lived in Jaffa, and it was here that the Apostle Peter performed a miracle. Roman legions, Richard the Lion Hearted, Napoleon and Turkish sultans all conquered the city; but with the eclipse of the Ottoman Empire, the city's vitality declined. Towards the end of World War I, the city was conquered by General Allenby, ushering in the period of the British Mandate.

The port of Jaffa, (the sole port at the time) served as the point of entry for the increased Jewish immigration which came to resettle the land. The Jews suffered from pogroms and persecution at the hands of the Arabs. The attacks reached a peak shortly before the declaration of the State of Israel in May 1948. Jewish defensive actions led to the flight of most of the city's Arabs, and shortly after that part of the city was settled by impoverished Jewish families whom the war had left homeless.

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Additional Photos by Assi Dvilanski (asival) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 296 W: 110 N: 749] (5299)
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