Skip to comments.How Israel Became a State
Posted on 04/08/2002 2:19:54 PM PDT by cd jones
HOW ISRAEL BECOMES A STATE
The land of present-day Israel has been invaded, conquered and re-invaded since Biblical times.
1250 BC: Israelites began to conquer and settle the land of Canaan on the eastern Mediterranean coast.
961-922 BC: Reign of King Solomon and construction of the Temple in Jerusalem. Solomon's reign was followed by the division of the land into two kingdoms.
586 BC: The southern kingdom, Judah, was conquered by the Babylonians, who drove its people, the Jews, into exile and destroyed Solomon's Temple. After 70 years the Jews began to return and Jerusalem and the temple were gradually rebuilt.
638 AD: Conquest by Arab Muslims ended Byzantine rule (the successor to Roman rule in the East). The second caliph of Islam, Omar, built a mosque at the site of what is now the al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem in the early years of the 8th Century. Apart from the age of the Crusaders (1099-1187), the region remained under Muslim rule until the fall of the Ottoman Empire in the 20th Century
THE LAND PURCHASES
Let's go back to the late 1800's.
The land currently known as Israel was once an area called Palestine. For more than 1200 years
the dominant population there was Arabic.
Starting around the 1880's a steady stream of Jews began to enter into the area and began buying land from the Arabs.
It turns out that many of the wealthy landowning Arabs were absentee landlords who made a quick buck by selling to the new Jewish settlers. These transactions OBVIOUSLY upset the peasant Arab farmers living on these lands who believed they had the RIGHT to live, cultivate and transfer these properties to their families.
at around this time many of the Jews entering into Palestine were part of a group belonging to the ZIONIST movement. This group had one goal
."to redeem the land of Palestine as the inalienable possession of the Jewish people." One of the ways this was done was with the creation of the Jewish National Fund
.an entity that organized the purchase of land from the Arab landowners.
This practice went on for decades.
PROMISES AND MANIPULATION
It is now 1914 .several months before the start of WWI. Both the Zionist Jews and the Arabs are hoping to achieve a separate sovereign state for themselves. The Jews wanted to increase their stake in the population of Palestine while the Arabs fought amongst themselves as to what kind of Palestine they wanted.
A key player who exploited this situation was a man called Chaim Weizmann. He was an accomplished scientist a master of European diplomacy with strong ties to Britain.
Weizmann realized that the key to the future of Palestine was going to be decided by the global politics at the time.
It turns out that history proved him right.
The following is going to be an intricate soap opera so please pay extra attention.
When World War I broke out Great Britain had many interests in the Mideast region including Palestine. Even though it was of great strategic importance to them Britain's police in the Middle East was an incredibly confusing mess.
---The British commissioner to Egypt, Sir Henry McMahon, was corresponding with Arab leader Sharif Husayn. In a letter dated July 14, 1915 Sharif proposed an area of land for total Arab independence (Arabian peninsula, Lebanon, Syria, and Palestine) governed by Sharif and his family.
Three months later, McMahon responded that the British government will SUPPORT Sharif's goal for Arab independence when the war was over.
---Simultaneously, the British government was negotiating with the French over the SAME area! In February 1916 the "Asia Minor Agreement" was signed divvying up the Middle East between the French and the British. AS for Palestine...it was destined to be controlled by the French, British AND the Russians!
---But there was ANOTHER agreement
this one affected the region for years to come.
British Foreign secretary Arthur Balfour had an idea. He wanted his government to establish a presence in Palestine.
Because the British were planning to attack Syria from bases in Egypt. They had already placed 300 THOUSAND troops for this effort AND Palestine would be of great strategic importance to them.
But the British needed an ally to run Palestine so they turned to the JEWS!!!
So guess who came in to help out to fulfill Balfour's idea?
Yup ..Chaim Weizmann (leader of the Zionist movement)
THE BALFOUR DECLARATION
on November 2, 1917
a document called the "Balfour Declaration" was presented.
The paper stipulated that the British government was sympathetic to the Zionist cause and favorably agreed to the "establishment in Palestine of a National Home for the Jewish People" AND that they would help the Zionists achieve their goal.
But then there was the following proviso .
" let it be CLEARLY understood that NOTHING shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing (stress this!!) NON-JEWISH communities in Palestine "
The Zionists were overjoyed at the "Balfour Declaration". Now their organization had clout from a world superpower their dream of a homeland was closer to reality.
Needless to say, the Palestinians weren't too happy about this. They saw that a foreign power was making decisions about THEIR lives
directly contradicting THEIR wishes in the process. The Arabs felt it went against the earlier negotiations between Sharif and McMahon in 1915 BUT more importantly
.there was an inherent INCOMPATIBILITY within the document.
It is IMPOSSIBLE to balance the rights of the Arabs while establishing the country as a HOMELAND for the Jews. This is where the seed of discord between the Arabs and Jews was planted and it has grown ever since.
Beginning on December 9, 1917 British troops began to push out the Turks from Palestine and the surrounding areas. By October of the following year Palestine was under British military rule.
The struggle to find an acceptable resolution between the Arabs and the Zionists continued. After a series of meetings and conferences .the "British Mandate" was developed. This further cemented the goals of the Zionists to take over Palestine.
The mandate declared that:
---there IS a historical connection between Palestine and the Jewish people.
---the British should help secure the establishment of the Jewish National Homeland
---AND most importantly a Jewish entity should assist in coordinating and developing this effort by regulating Jewish immigration AND " ensuring the rights of other sections of the population are not prejudiced."
The entity that was formed was called the "Jewish Agency". The group behind the formation the World Zionist Organization. Both groups were run by Chaim Weizmann.
This "British Mandate" gave the Zionists a renewed sense of purpose. They began to believe that not ONLY could they just settle into Palestine BUT that they could also set up their own political state.
Well as you can guess the Arabs were very unhappy with the "British Mandate". They argued that previous agreements made with them were NOT being honored. Also they disliked the fact that the language in the British Mandate referred to them as " the other sections " when in fact the Arab population consisted of 88% of the population of Palestine.
ARABS GETTING FED UP
By this time the Arab people were having an identity crisis. A number of previous agreements for an Arab homeland were being reneged on by various European countries who were busy either transferring power, issuing empty promises OR carving up the Mid-East territories in their midst.
This situation created a series of divisions within Arab society.
The rich, powerful Arab elite lost their legitimacy when they aligned themselves with the foreign governments. The rest of Arab society were trying to figure out if they should continue to try to make the best of their changing territory OR to stick with their nationalist fervor.
This lack of cohesion among the Arab people hindered their efforts against the coordinated work of the Jews and their intention to establish their homeland in Palestine.
there was one man who tried to have a go at this mess and attempted to make it work.
His name is Sir Herbert Samuels the high commissioner of Palestine. It was his job to develop Palestine with the help of the Arabs and Jews while keeping the area under the auspices of British control. As the Jews continued to immigrate into Palestine during the 20's Sir Herbert offered the opportunity to OTHER ARAB ORGANIZATIONS to take part and DECIDE how much to LIMIT Jewish immigration.
The Arabs rejected it.
They felt that if they accepted Sir Herbert's invitation that would mean they would have to accept the terms of the "British Mandate" AND the "Balfour Declaration". Even though they would have had an equal say in the direction and development of Palestine under those agreements they refused to participate!
Now even though there was this animosity between Jews and Arabs .the sale of land between the two groups CONTINUED! Jews would still approach Arab landowners (many of whom lived outside of Palestine) and would purchase their properties. By the 1930's .the price of land spiraled out of control. Consequently the Arab peasants who farmed the land for generations could not afford the rents to their landowners. The British saw what was going on but did nothing to stop this.
The costs of WWI depleted the British reserves so they needed the money from the Jewish investments to help fund the "British Mandate" in Palestine.
while the Arabs were fighting amongst themselves and others
the Jews continued to stream into Palestine. They had organized themselves into a formidable group. This coordinated effort led to many advancements in Palestine. The Jews brought new farming technologies
.developed welfare services
opened up schools, hospitals and synagogues.
AND they still continued to purchase land at a furious pace.
The man primarily responsible for organizing this effort was Ben-Gurion. Over time, he was able to develop an economic and military infrastructure that would enable the Jewish people to defend themselves. He intuitively understood that in the future THERE WILL BE MILITARY CONFLICTS with the Arabs. The desire of the Jews AND the Arabs to establish their own homeland in Palestine was forever IRRECONCILIABLE.
THE HITLER PROBEM
Now there was another set of circumstances that pushed the Jews closer to an establishing a homeland for themselves.
It is now 1929
.Germany is going thru a severe economic meltdown. One man rose to power by convincing the German people that one of the reasons for their problems was the Jewish people.
Adolf Hitler's degree of anti-Semitism was delivered with such intensity many of the Jews living in Germany fled the country and immigrated to Palestine. When Hitler became chancellor of the Reich in 1930 the immigration increased.
37,000 in 1933 .45,000 in 1934 .61,000 in 1935.
By 1936 .the Jews made up 31% or the population of Palestine.
That same year
the Arab frustration had begun to boil over. In April 1936, a series of Arab attacks gave way to the Palestinian Revolt. A loosely assembled group of Arab parties formed together and made three demands:
----a halt to Jewish immigration,
---no more land sales to Jews
---AND the formation of an Arab government in Palestine.
this particular bit of news came at a bad time for the British government
since they were planning to go to war with Germany. Consequently
there was a need for oil from the Middle East.
In order to get that oil Britain needed to shore up its ties with the Arabs by appeasing them over the issue of Palestine.
Ironically the Jewish influence over Britain was declining.
Most of the pro-Jewish British members had been transferred out of office AND the Jews had no choice but to support Britain in their campaign against Hitler and the Germans.
But the British had a difficult time trying to appease the Arabs. By the mid 1930's
the Jews had already firmly planted themselves in Palestine with their economic and military investments. Even if the Arabs were able to set up their own government in Palestine
they could have cared less about looking after the Jewish community.
The British could only see three available options in this mess:
---get out and leave the Jews and Arabs to themselves
---cordon off the Jewish and Arab areas
---stick around and see what happens next.
In July 1937 they got their answer.
A Royal Commission was dispatched to Palestine to assess the situation. The "Peel Commmission" reported the following: The existing "British Mandate" was a failure. The obligation Britain had to the Jews and the Arabs was impossible to continue.
So what do you think the commission recommended?
To separate Palestine into TWO states
the other Jewish. AND to continue having Nazareth, Bethlehem and Jerusalem under British control.
The Jews didn't like the proposed boundaries but they agreed to the principal of dividing up the land.
The Arabs, not surprisingly, completely rejected the idea.
It is now May 1939. The British declare an end of their responsibilities to the Jewish people in Palestine as set forth by the "Balfour Declaration". A new document called the "White Paper" was issued.
This resolution stipulated the following:
---establishing a Palestinian state in TEN years
---the establish of an Arab government to run that state
---future land sales by Arabs would be SEVERELY restricted
---the control of Jewish immigration would be under Arab control
Well guess what? The reaction from the Arabs was mixed while the Jews COMPLETELY rejected it. The Jews were so much against this policy that when WWII broke out in September 1939, Ben-Guiron, the architect of the Jewish development of Palestine said: "We shall fight the war against Hitler as if there were no White Paper and we shall fight the White Paper as if there were no war."
But then something very interesting happened.
In May of 1940, Italy had entered the war.
For the British government that meant the global conflict was getting closer to their interests in the Middle East.
British Prime Minister Winston Churchill needed to make peace with the Arabs so he began to implement the "White Paper" policy of restricting Jewish immigration into Palestine. This came at a time when Jews across Europe were desperately trying to get out of the war path.
The tensions between the British and the Jews boiled over in April 1942 when a boatload of Jewish refugees was denied entry into Palestine. As the ship returned to sea it sank leaving only TWO survivors.
This really pissed off the Jews in Palestine. One person in particular was SOOO enraged he took it upon himself to create an underground Jewish force to kick the British out of Palestine.
That man's name .Menachem Begin.
It is now 1943. The news is spreading around that Jews throughout Europe are being persecuted by the Nazis. The Jewish underground in Palestine are attacking British forces in the hopes of opening up Jewish immigration. The following year in November, these rogue Jewish groups assassinated (in Cairo) a close personal friend of Winston Churchill.
This particular event distanced the British government even further from the Jews in Palestine.
It is now 1944. The news that a genocidal Holocaust against the Jews in Europe is now worldwide. By this time
more than 6 MILLION have perished. As a consequence
the precepts of Zionism (which is the establishment of a Jewish homeland) began to take a deep, fervent root with Jews EVERYWHERE.
It was at this point in history that ZIONISM unified the global Jewish community.
THE FINAL PUSH
When WWII ended
the British encountered ANOTHER problem. HUNDREDS of thousands of Holocaust survivors were in camps throughout Europe. All of them were demanding to be allowed to resettle into
you guessed it
Leaders thruout the world, including President Harry Truman, pressured Britain to loosen up its immigration restrictions.
In February 1947, the Brits went to the United Nations for their help in deciding what to do with Palestine. A few months later a special UN committee was setup to assess the situation. Then in August
the committee recommended the following.
---To separate Palestine into SEVERAL Jewish and Arab areas.
---to establish Jerusalem as an international area
---AND to economically tie in all THREE entities.
On November 29, 1947 the proposed UN resolution was adopted.
Well guess what happened
the Jews agreed to the PRINCIPLE of dividing the country.
The Arabs said they would do everything in their power to stop the implementation of the UN resolution.
Then it got worse .
The areas heavily populated by Jews were being attacked by Arabs. President Truman, on the advice of the State Department, reversed his position on Palestine and agreed to delay the partition. Additionally
the British were fed up with the Jewish clandestine groups attacking them so they help support the Arabs.
Meanwhile, these underground Jewish groups were able to create a communication network linking them with the various Jewish settlements throughout Palestine.
Around the same time, Chaim Weizmann, leader of the Zioinists, was able to convince President Truman to change his position AGAIN and support the Jews.
Then it finally happened .
On May 14, 1948
the Jews declared the establishment of the state of Israel. The next day, Britain renounced its mandate over Palestine AND the US recognized the state of Israel. The Soviet Union followed suit
along with DOZENS of other countries.
A year later in May 1949 Israel became a member of the UN.
AS to be expected the Arabs were not pleased with these series of events. Thousands of Arab troops (many who were poorly trained) fought against Israeli troops (many were WWII veterans). The Israelis won and held on to their territory (which was MUCH larger than what was allotted by the UN).
after decades of promises, bad judgments, manipulations, blood, sweat and tears
.Palestine was carved up.
Jerusalem was split in two the Old City belonged to the Arabs, the New City belonged to the Jews.
As for the rest of the country the Arabs settled into TWO areas.
The largest portion is the West Bank along the border of Jordan AND the Gaza Strip along the Mediterrean Sea.
SIX DAYS AND BEYOND
more skirmishes, battles and altercations take place between Israel and the surrounding Arab countries.
One of the more defining battles the one that is a foundation for the peace process to this day .is the Six-Day war that took place on June 5, 1967.
It turns out that Israel's neighbors (Egypt, Jordan and Syria) were mobilizing themselves against Israel. Launching a pre-emptive strike against the Arab troops on their borders, Israel increases its territory big time.
They captured the West Bank and the Gaza Strip along with the Golan Heights and the Sinai Peninsula.
It is these territories that make up the basis of the ongoing Arab-Israeli peace negotiations.
This is where you will hear the phrase "land-for-peace".
You see the Arabs are willing to RECOGNIZE the right of Israel to exist IF they return the lands they got during the 1967 war.
The Sinai peninsula was returned to Egypt in 1979 but the other THREE territories are still under Israeli control.
Let's take the Gaza Strip for example.
This tract of land is a bit larger than the cities of Santa Monica and Venice combined. It is the home of more than ONE million Palestinians nearly a THIRD of them live in refugee camps run by the UN.
Compare that to the 7000 Jewish settlers that live there.
Israel controls almost 40% of the Gaza Strip which includes the settlements all of the major roads AND its borders.
Then there is the largest territory
the West Bank. Numerous Jewish settlements have been built here
60% is DIRECTLY controlled by the Israelis.
25% is secured by the Israelis but is CIVILLY administered by the Palestinians.
The remaining 15% is run by the Palestinian Authority.
Israel has CONTINUOUSLY and SYSTEMATICALLY built settlements in both the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
By 1987 the Palestinians had had enough.
They initiated a public uprising .or intifadah against Israeli occupation.
Initially the Palestinians participated in civil disobedience, boycotts and general strikes. But that quickly gave way to the current form of expression suicide bombings.
Since the declaration of the intifadah there have been numerous attempts at peace by various Arab and Israeli leaders. Negotiations have been held
agreements have been reached
treaties have been signed
.at some point
.someone throws a rock.
Then a shot is fired then a Molotov cocktail is thrown then a grenade is launched .then a suicide bomber explodes then the tanks are called in.
People die blood is spilt hostilities are raised.
Once the anger calms down .both sides begin to talk again.
Let's hope that when that happens no one throws a rock or fires a shot.
Produced By: Emiliano Limon
Read By: Bill Handle / KFI Radio AM640
Compiled from: The Library of Congress, The Origin of the Palestine-Israeli Conflict, BBC News, The UK Guardian
What a bunch of crap. The first time arabs mentioned anything about recognizing Israel was few weeks ago by the Saudis. That's the first time in Israel's existence (over 50 years).
Give me a break. Israel pulled out of Lebanon, did Hezbollah cease its attacks?
Pre-1967 borders means that Israel gives up Jerusalem. THis is a non-starter for them.
Some of the information presented is not accurate. Menachem Begin in 1942 was imprisoned in a communist concentration camp in the Soviet Union as a Polish soldier. Released in Siberia under the terms of the Stalin-Sikorski agreement he arrived with the Polish troops to the Middle East in 1943, where with the agreement of the Polish authorities he was demobilized from the Polish Army.
Therefore in 1942 Begin could not be organizing an underground Jewish force.
Free Market BUMP and PINGS. Interesting article.
The crew will be here soon...