Sunday, January 4, 2015

Important Events Surrounding the Creation of the Modern State of Israel

SOME FACTORS SURROUNDING THE CREATION OF THE STATE OF ISRAEL

As a direct result of the Nazi persecutions, on November 29, 1947, the United Nations General Assembly voted thirty-three to thirteen, with ten abstentions, in favor of a Partition Plan that created the State of Israel. On the same day, the General Assembly of the United Nations voted with a two-thirds majority to partition western Palestine into a Jewish and an Arab state.[1] Over seventy five percent of the land allocated to the Jews was desert. Desperate to find a haven for the remnants of European Jewry after the Holocaust, the Jewish population accepted the plan, which accorded them a diminished state. The Arabs, intent on preventing any Jewish entity in Palestine, rejected it.

On May 14, 1948, the last British forces left Haifa, and the Jewish Agency, led by Israel’s Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion, declared the creation of the State of Israel, in accordance with the 1947 United Nations Partition Plan. United States President Harry S. Truman immediately recognized the new state, followed hours later by Soviet premier Joseph Stalin. Arab League members Egypt, Transjordan, Syria, Lebanon and Iraq declared war and announced their rejection of the United Nations partition decision. Saudi-Arabia and Yemen also sent forces to participate in the invasion. The latest segment in the anti Jewish persecution was starting. This was not the first time that Muslims have persecuted Jews. In fact because of the Muslims persecuting Jews from the beginning of the long history of Islam they have never had a true Golden Age. [2]

In A.D. 627 Muhammad the founder of Islam while fleeing a Meccan tribe decided to attack the Jewish tribe of the Qurayza, which had refused to convert to Islam. He had trenches dug in the marketplace of Medina and according to Muslim sources beheaded between six and nine hundred Jewish men. One was reported to have converted to Islam and his life was spared. The women, children and property were divided among the Muslims. Jihad or holy war is a permanent state of war for Islam and it does not include the possibility of any true peace, ever. It has been this way from the inception of Islam and it is true today. Only the na├»ve and ignorant fall victim to the untruth of  “Islam being a peaceful religion.” It never has been. [3] It seeks world domination and will stop at nothing to achieve its ends. They would have dominated Europe if Charles Martel had not slaughtered thousands of them at Lyon, France, which stopped their expansion in the early eighth century.

David Ben-Gurion (1886-1973) was the State of Israel's first prime minister (1948-1953 and 1955-1963) and defense minister. He was born David Gruen in Plonsk (in Russia that became Poland), October 16, 1886. At age fourteen, he became one of the founders of the Ezra youth movement. Ben-Gurion joined the Poalei Zion (Zionist workers) movement at age seventeen and was arrested twice during the revolution of 1905-1906. He settled in Eretz Yisrael in 1906, first working in orange groves and wine cellars. As a watchman and farm worker, he became convinced that true Zionism meant settling the land. In Jerusalem in 1910, he began writing for Poalei Zion newspaper Ahdut, along with Yitzhak Ben-Zvi and Rachel Yanait (Ben-Zvi). This was the first time he used the name "Ben-Gurion." During World War I, he originally favored Turkey and adoption of Ottoman citizenship. Anti-Zionist persecution changed his mind. He and Ben-Zvi were exiled to Egypt in March 1915. Ben-Gurion went to New York where he was instrumental in preparing young Jews to come to Palestine immediately after the war. He married Paula Munweis in 1917. She was an integral part of everything he did until her death in 1968. After the war, he became general secretary of the Histadrut labor federation in 1921. In 1930 he formed Mapai, the Zionist labor party; and in 1935 he became chairman of the executive committee of the Jewish Agency for Palestine. When Britain limited Jewish immigration to Palestine in 1939, a decade of Zionist warfare began. Ben-Gurion was unrelenting, and finally in Tel Aviv, on May 14, 1948, he proclaimed independence for the State of Israel.

At four o'clock in the afternoon of May 14, 1948 the members of the provisional national council, led by David Ben-Gurion met in the Tel Aviv Art Museum. Ben-Gurion rose and read the following proclamation:

The Land of Israel was the birthplace of the Jewish people. Here their spiritual, religious and national identity was formed. Here they achieved independence and created a culture of national and universal significance. Here they wrote and gave the Bible to the world.
Exiled from Palestine, the Jewish people remained, faithful to it in all countries of their dispersion, never ceasing to pray and hope for their return and the restoration of their national freedom. . .
Accordingly we, the members of the National Council, representing the Jewish people in Palestine and the Zionist movement of the world, met together in solemn assemble today, the day of the termination of the British Mandate of Palestine, by virtue of the natural and historic right of the Jewish people and the Resolution of the General Assembly of the United Nations, hereby proclaim the establishment of the Jewish state in Palestine, to be called ISRAEL . With trust in Almighty God, we set out hand to this declaration, at this session of the Provisional State Council, in the city of Tel Aviv, on this Sabbath eve, the fifth day of Iyar, 5708, the fourteenth day of May, 1948.                                                          
                         
At that time the British who were still governing Israel refused to implement the partition plan. The British government made it plain that it would do all in its power to prevent the birth of the Jewish state. The Abrahamic Covenant declared that the nations that blessed Israel would be blessed and those that cursed Israel would be cursed (Gen 12:3). It used to be said, “The sun never set on the British Empire.” Almost immediately after this persecution of the Jews, Britain began to lose their great worldwide empire. In section IV.B.2 of this work we will see the full extent of the British decline.

When, immediately after the United Nations Assembly decision, the Palestine Arabs launched their preliminary onslaught on the Jewish community, the British Army gave the Palestinian Arabs cover and aid, which resulted in:

Obstruction of Jewish defenses on the ground;
Blocking movement of Jewish reinforcements and supplies to outlying settlements;
Opening the land frontiers for the entry of Arab soldiers from the neighboring Arab states;
Maintaining a blockade in the Mediterranean and sealing the coast and ports through which alone the outnumbered Jews could expect reinforcements;
Handing over arms dumps to the Arabs;
Sending in forces from Malta to bomb and shell the Jewish force when Jaffa was on the point of falling to a Jewish counterattack;
Continuing to supply the Arab states preparing to invade across the borders with all that they asked for and making no secret of it.

In 1948, after the United Nations voted to give Israel statehood, five Arab armies (Egypt, Syria, Transjordan, Lebanon and Iraq) immediately invaded Israel. The stated purpose of this invasion was to "push the Jews into the sea", in other words, genocide. Assam Pasha, Secretary-General of the Arab League, declared their intentions: "This will be a war of extermination and a momentous massacre which will be spoken of like the Mongolian massacres and the Crusades. “What Hitler didn't finish three years earlier, the Arabs would finish once and for all.”[4] A Nazi collaborator, Hajj Amin al-Husseini, led the Arabs of the former British Mandate of Palestine. He was charged at the Nuremberg trials before escaping in 1946. Al-Husseini actively supported Hitler's aim to exterminate the Jews in World War II.

Despite the disadvantages in numbers, organization and weapons, the Jews began to take the initiative in the weeks from April 1 until the declaration of independence on May 14. The Haganah captured several major towns including Tiberius and Haifa, and temporarily opened the road to Jerusalem. Czechoslovakia was the only country willing to provide the Jews with weapons. Because God wanted them to survive He allowed them to capture territory from which the Arab aggressors attacked. Jordan captured what is now referred to as the "West Bank" (their true Jewish names are Judea and Samaria) including the Jewish eastern half of Jerusalem (now known as "Arab East Jerusalem"). Egypt captured what is now known as the “Gaza Strip.” This was in ancient times known as the land of the Philistines. Both countries murdered or expelled every Jew who was living there at the time. During the nineteen years that Jordan and Egypt occupied those territories (now know collectively as the "Occupied Territories"), neither country was willing to create independent states for the remaining Arabs (now known collectively as the "Palestinians") residing in those territories. Instead, those regions were plundered and allowed to rot. Jewish graves were desecrated, gravestones were used to pave roads and build latrines, and Jewish homes were given to Arabs.  Most of these Jewish refugees went to Israel, and in just a few years doubled Israel’s population. The Ashkenazi Jews of Israel absorbed Arabic-speaking brethren into society. By comparison, displaced Arabs were forced into refugee camps by their Arab brethren and most remained there throughout the nineteen years of Arab occupation. There was not a policy of expulsion of Arabs from Israel.

In 1949 Israel signed armistice agreements with Egypt, Syria, Lebanon and Transjordan, (which in April 1949 changed its name to Jordan). At this time Jordan annexed Judea and Samaria. Only Britain and Pakistan recognized this annexation as legitimate. This region became a source of many terrorists’ attacks against Israel’s citizens. In 1945 there were about 870,000 Jews living in the surrounding Arab countries. The Muslims call them the Dhimmi. During 1947 and 1948 the Arabs persecuted these Jews. Their personal and real property were confiscated. Yemen Egypt, Libya, Syria and Iraq had anti-Jewish riots. Zionism was declared to be a capital crime in Iraq. Approximately 600,000 Jewish refugees left the Arab states and were welcomed into Israel by the Ashkenazi Jews living there at that time. The Jews became full citizens of Israel. Due to the wishes of their Arab leaders the Arabs in Israel did not become citizens but remained in internment camps and remained “refugees.”

Having lost in battle, Palestinian Arab terrorist groups, called "Fedayeen", began systematic raids against the Israeli civilian population. Thirteen hundred Israelis were killed and wounded by Arab terrorists between 1949 and 1956.[5] The "Fedayeen" operated from bases located in and controlled by Egypt, Lebanon and Jordan.

The next stage of persecution was the Suez Crisis, also known as the Suez War or Suez Campaign. This was a 1956 war fought on Egyptian territory. The conflict pitted Egypt against three allied nations, France, the United Kingdom and Israel. The alliance between the France and the United Kingdom and Israel was largely one of economic security; the European nations had economic and trading interests in the Suez Canal, while Israel wanted to open the canal for Israeli shipping. All three interests were financial. By the conclusion of the war, only Israel realized positive gains. The roots of the crisis extend back to 1952, when officers in the Egyptian army overthrew the monarchy under King Farouk. Abandoning policies, which were co-operative with European powers, the new government desired to undertake a more nationalistic and assertive stance. This led to conflict with Israel and the European powers over the Suez Canal.

Throughout 1956, conflict increased between Israel and Egypt, with Israel launching frequent incursions into Egyptian territory and Egypt increasingly defending itself. Egypt, under the leadership of President Gamal Abdul Nasser, blockaded the Gulf of Aqaba and closed the Suez Canal to Israeli shipping. At the same time, Egypt nationalized the canal, a vital trade route to the east, in which British banks and business held a forty four percent investment. Through the nationalization process the Egyptians usurped title to the canal. They of course believed it was their right to do so. The British Prime Minister of the time Anthony Eden needed to persuade the British public of the need for war and compared Nasser's nationalization of the Suez Canal with the industrial and commercial nationalization of businesses under Mussolini and Hitler twenty years earlier.

On October 29th, Israel invaded the Gaza Strip and the Sinai Peninsula and made rapid progress towards the Canal Zone. As per the agreement, Britain and France offered to reoccupy the area and separate the warring armies. Nasser (whose nationalization of the company had been greeted with delirium by Egyptian crowds) refused the offer, which gave the European powers a pretext for a joint invasion to regain control of the canal and topple the Nasser regime. The campaign progressed as planned at first, but the European forces never reached the canal itself. Although Israel captured the Gaza Strip in the course of the war, the whole episode is usually regarded in Britain as an embarrassment. Eden was forced to resign because of a combination of ill health and opposition from Labor and his own party over the invasion of Egypt. [6]

The invading forces were forced to withdraw in March 1957 under pressure from the United States, which saw good relations with the third world as being more important than defending Anglo-French interests. Perhaps more significantly, the United States also feared a wider war after the Soviet Union's offer to intervene on the Egyptian side. After the withdrawal, the United Nations established the UN Emergency Force (UNEF) to keep peace in the area. There were a few thousand casualties, mostly Egyptian, many civilian. It is interesting to note that the super powers of the United States and the Soviet Union injected themselves into this issue. The campaign therefore broadened and took on a larger scope than the regional conflict it started out to be. The crisis greatly improved Nasser's stature within the international Arab communities. It also hastened the process of decolonization as the remaining colonies of both Britain and France become independent over the next several years. In a way, it also marked the end of the British Empire as expressly stated in the Abrahamic Covenant. And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.
(Gen 12:3). The crisis realized the transfer of power to the new superpowers, the United States and the Soviet Union.

On May 15, 1967 Nasser ordered a blockade of the Strait of Tiran. This blockade cut off Israel’s southern access to the Red Sea and beyond. By May 31,1967 Egypt had moved 100,000 troops, one thousand tanks, and five hundred heavy guns into the Sinai. By June 4, Arab forces outnumbered Israel three to one as they poised on Israel’s borders. This was Israel’s Six Day War and it was fought on three fronts, against three countries, in three overlapping stages. In the south, Israel engaged and defeated the Egyptians. In the central region, Israel engaged and defeated the Jordanians. In the north, Israel engaged and defeated the Syrians. In each of these theaters, Israel gained significant territory that would serve as its own buffers in future years.

On the morning of June 5,1967 the Israeli Air Force destroyed almost the entire Egyptian Air Force (more than three hundred planes) in less than three hours.  Israel’s armored divisions, under the leadership of General Ariel Sharon, also launched a lightning attack on the same day. More than eight hundred Egyptian tanks had been destroyed, and thousands of soldiers were taken as prisoners of war. Nasser later acknowledged that eighty percent of Egypt’s Russian-supplied military equipment had been lost in the Sinai debacle. Finally, at 8:00 p.m. on June 8, Nasser accepted a cease-fire.

From 1948 to 1967, Jerusalem was a divided city. The Arab Legion of Jordan had occupied East Jerusalem, including the Old City, since the War of Independence. The Jordanian troops had decimated the Jewish Quarter of the Old City, blowing up its synagogues and destroying every vestige of Jewish life there. During the initial battles with Egypt, Israel actually notified King Hussein that it had no intention of attacking his country. Hussein, however, believed Nassar’s lies and joined the Arabs. When the Arab Legion began to shell Western Jerusalem, the Israelis swiftly counterattacked, with success. Paratroopers landed and attacked from the Mount of Olives, entering the Lion Gate from the east. Israel was careful to minimize the use of artillery, which could have made their attack much easier with less loss of life. This was done out of respect for the numerous holy sites within the ancient walls. By June 8, Israeli troops were gazing at Herod’s stones of the Western Wall. Although Jerusalem was the central prize, Israel also captured in those four fierce days the areas of biblical Judea and Samaria. (Now called the West bank) These are not only the sites of biblical Jerusalem, but also the ancient towns of Shechem, Shiloh, Bethel, Bethlehem, and Hebron.

Egypt’s ally in the north was Syria. From their heavily fortified bunkers and miles of trenches along the Golan Heights, Syrian gunners had harassed the Jewish farmers and fishermen of the Huleh Valley and Sea of Galilee for nineteen years. The problem for the Israelis was that the Syrians literally held the high ground, and their Russian sponsors had helped them to fortify it well. With Syria also threatening Israel’s destruction, the army saw an opportunity to end this threat to its northern citizens once and for all. The battle for the Golan was difficult. This was not a desert, like the Sinai, where tanks could maneuver easily. Furthermore, the Syrians had planted numerous mines to deter any Israeli response to its constant shelling. The Air Force prepared the way by landing paratroopers behind the Syrian lines. Finally, Israeli bulldozers were able to clear the way so the armored units could batter the Syrian troops and drive them deep into the Golan. Syria accepted a cease-fire on June 10, 1967

Although it was an amazing military victory, the Six Day War left more than seven hundred Israelis dead and more than twenty five hundred wounded. Although figures were never officially released, Arab casualties were conservatively estimated at fifteen thousand. The Six Day War established Israel as a major military power, but it unexpectedly cast it in the role of "occupier", a burden that has proven hard to bear for forty-three years. Israel eventually returned the Sinai to Egypt (after another war in 1973), when President Sadat finally acknowledged their legitimate existence. Israel remains in control of the Golan Heights, unwilling to see it return to a nest of bunkers and artillery positions. On the other hand, Israel is under great pressure to return most of the West Bank, those areas of biblical Judea and Samaria. Israel does not trust the Palestine Liberation Organization to oversee such a "Palestinian State" in light of its murderous record of terrorism.

In March 1969, still humiliated by the 1967 defeat, Egypt launched a War of Attrition against Israeli forces in the Sinai with intense artillery fire against Israel’s “Bar-Lev Line” on the east bank of the Suez Canal. After large losses in May, June and July 1969, Israel responded with air raids into Egypt. Nasser, in response, appealed to the Soviet Union for aid and on March 19, 1970 Soviet missile batteries were installed in Egypt near the Canal. Moscow in addition to supplying weapons also participated in the war effort operating weapons for the Egyptians. Intense United States pressure led to a cease-fire on August 7, 1970 with plans to put into effect a United States plan for peace in the region based on land for peace. However, the cease fire, which called for a freeze on the situation in the Canal (no movement of either troops or military equipment) was breached by Egypt’s movement forward of forces on the same day it came into effect. Israel responded by suspending her participation in negotiations until the situation, which had prevailed on the eve of the signing of the ceasefire agreement, was restored. The peace plan was never implemented.

In an effort to force Israel to surrender captured lands, Egypt and Syria jointly attacked Israel on October 6, 1973, on Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the Jewish calendar. Other Muslim states contributed troops and financial support. Caught by surprise, Israel suffered severe losses in human life and equipment. Following an Egyptian refusal to accept a cease-fire and a Soviet airlift to the Muslim states, the United States sent an airlift to Israel enabling a recovery from earlier setbacks. Saudi Arabia then led the Arab world in an oil embargo imposed on the United States and other western nations.

In the years following the 1973 war, Israel's enemies realized that they could not defeat Israel on the battlefield. Churchill realized this many years earlier as he wrote of the Jews military superiority when he was Britain’s Prime Minister in a memo to General Ismay on January 25, 1944. [7] Therefore they turned to diplomatic warfare and sought to weaken Israel's international diplomatic position. Due to pressure from the Muslim world, most African and third world countries broke diplomatic relations with Israel. In 1975, the Soviet-Muslim-Third World bloc at the United Nations succeeded in passing the infamous "Zionism equals racism" General Assembly resolution.  This was an attempt to delegitimize the right of the Jewish people to return to their ancestral homeland. The resolution was not revoked until December 1991.

S.A.A. Maududi a Muslim wrote the following words in Jihad in Islam in 1991.
Islam wishes to destroy all States and Governments anywhere on the face of the earth, which are opposed to the ideology and program of Islam. Islam requires the earth - not just a portion, but the whole planet." And that God's Law (Shariah) should be enforced in the world "by force of arms." Truth cannot be confined within geographical borders. "The allegiance of a Muslim does not rest on his domicile in the country which is his, but on the faith to which he belongs ... wherever there is the rule of Islam, there is his own country.[8]

The great expansion of Islam in the short time after its inception was mostly because of the military efforts of the new faith. Their conversion “by the sword” had great success on their expansion efforts. They had almost unbridled success until Charles Martel stopped them in 732 A.D., just one hundred years after the death of Mohammed. His victory over Abd-ar-Rahman at the battle of Tours stopped Muslim expansion into Europe.[9] A great many verses of the Koran [10] enjoin on Moslems to take up arms against polytheists, unbelievers and hypocrites. The words used in expressing this commandment are “Qital” (slaying, warfare) and “Jihad" (going forth to fight in the holy war). This latter word is more typical as its original meaning is striving with might and main; and, as will be seen, the dedication of maximum effort to the holy undertaking characterizes the commandment. Although the wording of one verse (Sura II.186) implies that fighting is justified when the enemy has attacked first, this is by no means the general rule. Nor is there any substance in the argument which is sometimes advanced to the effect that Jihad should be understood primarily in the sense of moral endeavor and self-discipline in the cause of service to Islam, and only secondarily in that of holy war. The verses quoted below will show that the emphasis is distinctly on warring against non-believers in order to propagate Islam and command to fight will receive a promise of rewards:

“Who is he that will loan to God a beautiful loan which God will double to their credit and multiply many times?” (Sura II.245-246). “Allah has given those that fight with their goods and their persons a higher rank than those who stay at home. He has promised all a good reward, but far richer is the recompense of those who fight for Him; rank of His own bestowal, forgiveness and mercy” (Sura IV. 97). “Those who believe, suffer exile and strive with might and main in God's cause with their goods and their persons have the highest rank in the sight of God” (Sura IX.20). 'Those who...fought in the path of God have the hope of the mercy of God...' (Sura II.215). Those who fall on the battlefield in the course of holy war become martyrs. “Those that...fought and died for My cause shall be forgiven their sins and admitted to gardens watered by running streams...” (Sura III.194). “Think not of those who are slain in God's way as dead; they are alive and well provided for by their Lord” (Sura III.163 and Sura II.149). “As for those who are slain in the cause of Allah, He will not allow their works to perish...He will admit them to the Paradise He has made known to them” (Sura XLVII.5).

Other verses show God's displeasure with those who shirk their duty of fighting. “And how should you not fight in the cause of Allah and for the helpless...?”  (Sura IV.77). Except for a few verses which are revealed with reference to particular events such as the battles of Badr and Uhud, all the texts concerning Qital and Jihad have the same point; the obligation to engage in holy warfare is meant to persist, in the words of the Koran cited above, until God's (Islam’s view) religion reigns supreme. Therefore, it follows that the prescriptions concerning holy war place the Islamic community in a situation of constant hostility towards the non-Moslem world. Jihad began with Mohammad and it is still being carried out through the Intifada, which continues to this day. In short Jihad is a state of permanent war and it does not have the possibility of true peace. [11]

The term Intifada is an Arabic name for “shaking off.” It refers to an uprising in the so-called Palestinian territories starting in 1987.[12] It involves demonstrations, strikes, riots and general violence performed in both the Gaza Strip (ancient Philistia) and the West Bank (Ancient Judea & Samaria). There are three principal groups behind the Intifada; Islamic Jihad, The Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) and Hamas. Hamas and Islamic Jihad both call for an independent State for the Palestinians within the borders of Israel. PLO’s goal is to organize terrorist attacks on Israel. These three groups have been the seedbeds of violence directed against the Israelis since they were established. The violence will continue until the Lord removes the Muslim nations from the earth along with the Germans and the Russians when He brings the coalition invasion against Israel led by Gog of Russia.


Daniel E. Woodhead Ph.D.


[1] Laqueur, Walter , ed. The Arab-Israeli Reader: A Documentary History of the Middle East Conflict. New York: Bantam Books, 1969, 113.
[2] Trifkovic, Serge. The Golden Age of Islam is a Myth. Boston, MA: Regina Orthodox Press, Inc., 2002. 193

[3] Ye’or, Bat. The Dhimmi: Jews and Christians Under Islam. Cranbury, NJ: Associated University Press, 1985. 44, 46

[4] Sachar, Howard M.  A History of Israel from the Rise of Zionism to Our Time: 2nd Edition. New York: A Borzoi Book , 1976. Reprint Alfred A. Knoff, Inc.,1996, 333.
[5] Ibid.,  450.

[6] Brendon, Piers. The Decline and Fall of the British Empire. New York: Alfred A. Knopf of Random House, 2007, 503

[7] Churchill, Winston, S. Closing the Ring:. The Second World War. New York: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1953. Reprint Norwalk, CT: The Easton Press, 1989. 689
[8] Maududi, S.A.A. Jihad in Islam, Lahore 1991 (accessed July 20, 2008) http://www.peacefaq.com/jihad.html; Internet
[9] Britannica, Encyclopedia A New survey of Universal Knowledge, Published by William Benton Chicago, London, Toronto & Geneva 1962 Vol IV pg 293
[10] Atberry, R.J. The Koran Interpreted, Published by Simon & Schuster, New York, NY 1955, throughout book

[11] Ye’or, Bat. The Dhimmi: Jews and Christians Under Islam. Cranbury, NJ: Associated University Press, 1985. 46
[12] Price, Randall. Unholy War; America, Israel and Radical Islam. Eugene, OR. Harvest House 2001. 66