Creation of Israel

About the Creation of Israel we would need a full encyclopedia or many websites. So I will try to summarize the most important events.

Here I am going to concentrate on the events from the First Aliyah, the immigration mainly from Russia at the end of the 19th Century to the United Nations decision on the partition of Palestine into two states one Jewish and one Arab.

Benjamin Zeev (Theodore) Herzl founder of the Zionist Movement

The Beginnings

From the end of the 1800’s Jews begun a mass immigration into Palestine, mainly from Russia. It was called the First Aliyah. I want to mention that the name Palestine is a European invention from the time of the Romans.

There was never a Palestine country in the area and since the Jews had their homeland more than 2000 years ago, no other nation ever had a country in the area.

After World War I with the defeat of Germany and their Ottoman supporters, the area of Palestine, what is today Jordan and Israel was assigned to the British Mandate, the same as Syria and Lebanon were assigned to France.

The Jewish immigration’s main purpose was to dry the land of swamps and prepare it for the future rebirth of a Jewish Homeland.

This immigration brought some progress to the Land that attracted many Arabs from neighboring countries to the area, looking for better work and health conditions.

At that point the British saw with good eyes the creation of a National Homeland for the Jews in Palestine.

At the end of the 1800s was the First Aliyah (Immigration)

The Creation of Israel

Theodore Herzl

Theodore Herzl, called Hoze Hamedina or the Visionary of the State is the number one leader of the Zionist Movement.

At the end of the 1800’s being a press correspondent in Paris he witnessed the injustice of the Dreyfus affair and he began to believe that the only way to mitigate anti-Semitism is to create a Jewish Homeland and wrote:

“The Jewish question persists wherever Jews live in appreciable numbers"

Wherever it does not exist, it is brought in together with Jewish immigrants. We are naturally drawn into those places where we are not persecuted, and our appearance there gives rise to persecution.

This is the case, and will inevitably be so, everywhere, even in highly civilized countries—see, for instance, France—so long as the Jewish question is not solved on the political level.

The unfortunate Jews are now carrying the seeds of anti-Semitism into England; they have already introduced it into America”. He organized the First World Zionist Congress that was held in Basel, Switzerland from 29 to 31 of August, 1897.

The Congress formulated a Zionist platform, known as the Basel program, and founded the Zionist Organization. It also adopted the Hatikvah as its anthem and later to become the national anthem of the State of Israel.

The Balfour Declaration changed the future of the Middle East

Balfour Declaration

During those years of the beginning of the 1900’s Jews kept arriving into the shores of Palestine, this time on the Second Aliya and kept building and creating the terrain for a Jewish State.

In 1917 British Foreign Secretary Arthur James Balfour declared:

"His Majesty's government view with favor the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavors to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country”

Map of the British Mandate signaling the territory of the
Homeland for the Jews on the West and the Arabs on the East

1923 – 1947

After British takeover of Palestine they divided the area into two separate entities: 75% of what was supposed to be the Jewish Homeland was assigned to be an Arab Palestinian Homeland on the East Bank of the Jordan River, that later became the Kingdom of Jordan, and the remaining 25% of the land to the west of the Jordan River was to be the Jewish the Jewish Palestinian Homeland.

The Arabs never accepted the existence of the Jews in the land and began a constant fight to “Rid Palestine from Jews and throw them into the Sea”.

The British closed their eyes to the situation because at that time with the finding of oil in the Arab lands, they wanted to be seen with good eyes by the Arabs.

It was clear from the very first moment that the Jews in Palestine had to defend themselves from the Arabs and at the same time trying to get rid of the British.

Hagana and Irgun protagonists on the Creation of israel

The Hagana was formed as an organized defense that was later the seed for the israel Defense Forces.

And also an underground Jewish group lead by Menachem Begin (later in the 1970’s became Israel Prime Minister).

The British had their hands full and turned the case to the United Nations, an organization recently found from the formed League of Nations.

November 29, 1947 one more step on the Creation of Israel
The Partition of the Palestine Mandate was approved in The United Nations

United Nations Resolution

On November 29, 1947 the United Nations issued a resolution recommending the Partition of Palestine into a Jewish and Arab State with the exception of the Jerusalem Bethlehem area that will remain under international surveillance.

There was joy in the Jewish World, people danced on the streets of Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and New York, but the joy was too short. The neighboring Arab countries rejected the resolution and kept fighting to “throw the Jews to the Sea”.

The British accepted the plan and tired of a fighting they considered not theirs, declared that the Mandate over Palestine will cease on May 15, 1948. The Creation of Israel has begun.

On May 14, 1948 the Palestinian Jews through the words of its leader David Ben Gurion declared Independence and the State of Israel was born.

Israel Declaration of Independence May 14, 1948

Creation of Israel

“We members of the people’s council, representatives of the Jewish community of Eretz Israel and the Zionist Movement, are here assembled on the day of the termination of the British Mandate over Eretz Israel, by virtue of our historic right and on the strength of the resolution of the United nations General Assembly, hereby declare the establishment of a Jewish State in Eretz Israel, to be known as the State of Israel.”

Image Credits:

All courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

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