Present discussions about the history of Israel pay a great deal of attention to the question of Israel as an ethnic group with a prominent, distinguishable and unique identity. By means of empirical facts, this article aims to show that the Israelite tribes were subjected to many different and divergent influences during the settlement period which contributed towards their identity. Because of limited space this article will concentrate only on the political identity but it does not deny the other important historical dimensions pertaining to the discussion. The political situation is therefore an instrument to illustrate that ethnical identity is not shaped in a vacuum, but is dependent upon events taking place in their vicinity. They form part of an allencompassing process. The conclusion drawn from this discussion is that Israel should not be understood as an identifiable entity, because history does not allow existing identities to stagnate, but strives to affirm and to renew.