Israel

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Flag of Israel

A summary history of the Nation of Israel shows that it has been on its land since ancient times, was on its land until the 7th century A.D., long after liberal scholars had previously acknowledged, and attempted to peacefully purchase land in the 20th century A.D. through the Zionist movement. Upon creation of the nation of Israel in 1947 because of the West's failure to protect Jews during the Holocaust, it has been incessantly attacked by its Arab neighbors, resulting in a number of territorial gains. It nonetheless has since reached peace with both Egypt and Jordan after generously returning the Sinai Peninsula to Egypt in 1979 following the Six-Day War. Israel was reaching peace with Palestine until the assassination of Yasser Arafat, and may well achieve peace with the Palestinians if Fatah regains control; since Hamas is a worldwide-recognized terrorist organization.

The nation of Israel has been on its land since 2120 B.C. since Abraham first arrived there, and was there steadily from 1495 B.C. to at least the 7th century A.D., as evidenced by the Huqoq Mosaics and Ophel Treasure. Israeli settlement began through lawful purchase of land by Zionists in 1901 A.D. through the Jewish National Fund, and the British Empire which, from 1915 to 1947 governed modern-day Israel, began plans to create a separate Israeli state in 1917.

The nation of Israel was formally created in 1947 by the European Union in large part because Europe and western nations had failed, miserably, at protecting the Jews from global genocide by the Nazis. The U.S. at one point even turned away Jews seeking refuge, allowing the Nazis to murder them. Immediately following the creation of Israel, it was attacked by all four of its neighboring Arab states, resulting in the 1948 Arab-Israeli War. Israel won decisively and expanded its borders, with peace arrived at through the 1949 Armistice Agreements.

In 1956, Egypt blocked the Straits of Tiran to stop Israeli shipping in defiance of the 1949 Armistice Agreements, and Israel retaliated by seizing the Sinai Peninsula in what is known as the Suez Crisis. Israel just a year later in 1957 withdrew its forces from the Sinai Peninsula, and left U.N. peacekeepers to govern the region. In 1967, Egypt attacked the U.N. forces, reoccupied the Sinai Peninsula, and blocked Israeli shipping through the Straits of Tiran once again while mobilizing forces along the border with Israel. After Israel attacked Egyptian airfields, Jordan and Syria joined Egypt in attacking Israel; resulting in Israel capturing the Sinai Peninsula and Gaza Strip from Egypt, the West Bank from Jordan, and the Golan Heights from Syria.

Following peace accords with Egypt in 1975, Israel generously returned the Sinai Peninsula to Egypt from 1979-82. In 1994, Israel and Jordan similarly signed peace accords.

Historical Context

2120-1925 B.C.: Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph Live in Israel

See also Bible Chronology

It is important to note that God gave land, not just to Israel, but also to neighboring nations such as the Edomites (descended from Esau, Jacob's brother), the Ammonites, and the Moabites (both descended from Lot, Abraham's brother). The land was promised to Abraham over 4,000 years ago, around 2120 B.C., during the time that he lived in Canaan. Thus Abraham and his descendants, including Isaac, Jacob (surnamed Israel), and Joseph lived in Canaan, now modern-day Israel, from approximately 2120 B.C. to 1925 B.C.

1495 B.C.: Exodus, Israelites Return to Israel

Following a 430-year sojourn in Egypt (Exodus 12:40-41), they would return to Israel around 1495 B.C.

Genesis 15:18-21 In the same day the Lord made a covenant with Abram, saying, Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates: The Kenites, and the Kenizzites, and the Kadmonites, And the Hittites, and the Perizzites, and the Rephaims, And the Amorites, and the Canaanites, and the Girgashites, and the Jebusites.

Deuteronomy 2:1-5 Then we turned, and took our journey into the wilderness by the way of the Red sea, as the Lord spake unto me: and we compassed mount Seir many days. And the Lord spake unto me, saying, Ye have compassed this mountain long enough: turn you northward. And command thou the people, saying, Ye are to pass through the coast of your brethren the children of Esau, which dwell in Seir; and they shall be afraid of you: take ye good heed unto yourselves therefore: Meddle not with them; for I will not give you of their land, no, not so much as a foot breadth; because I have given mount Seir unto Esau for a possession.

Deuteronomy 2:17-19 That the Lord spake unto me, saying, Thou art to pass over through Ar, the coast of Moab, this day: And when thou comest nigh over against the children of Ammon, distress them not, nor meddle with them: for I will not give thee of the land of the children of Ammon any possession; because I have given it unto the children of Lot for a possession.

450 A.D.: Israelite Mosaics

Huqoq Inscription and face

Biblical mosaics discovered in Israel's ancient city of Huqoq (located in the Galileean region) show numerous Biblical stories, including Samson, Noah's Ark, Jonah being swallowed, the parting of the Red Sea, building of the tower of Babel, and spies sent by Moses to explore the land of Canaan. In the words of FOX News' James Rogers, "Experts say that the wealth of mosaics show that Jewish life in the surrounding village flourished during Christian rule in the fifth century A.D. This challenges a widely held view that Jewish settlement in the area declined during that period."[1]

614 A.D.: Israelites Were Still in Israel

The Ophel Treasure, a gold medallion engraved with a menorah and Torah scroll. Photo by Ouria Tadmor/Eilat Mazar. See King Hezekiah in the Bible: Royal Seal of Hezekiah Comes to Light for a larger resolution image.

The prize find of the Ophel excavations by Eilat Mazar was a gold medallion engraved with Jewish holy symbols, a menorah (candlestick) and Torah scroll. The treasure dates to the 7th century A.D. and shows that practicing Jews were in Israel 1,400 years ago.[2]

1901 A.D.: The Zionist Movement, Purchasing Land in Israel

Isaac Leib Goldberg helped found the Jewish National Fund in 1901 to purchase and develop land in what was then Palestine. In 1903 the first plot of land for the Jewish National Fund was given as a gift by Goldberg for growing olives in Israel.[3] In 1908 he purchased the first plot of land on Mount Scopus, Jerusalem for the future Hebrew University. Isaac Leib Goldberg also helped create the Geulah Company for private land acquisition and sale in Israel, and the Carmel Company for sale of Jewish wine.[4]

Upon his death on September 14, 1935 in Switzerland,[5] Goldberg bequeathed one half of his estate to the Jewish National Fund for the promotion of Hebrew language and culture. This donation, known as the Isaac Leib and Rachel Goldberg Fund, amounted to roughly $30 million by today's standards.[6] Goldberg was buried in Trumpeldor, Tel Aviv, Israel.[5]

1915 A.D.: World War I and British Rule of Israel

The British Empire captured Palestine, now modern-day Israel, during World War I from the German-led Ottoman Empire as part of the Sinai and Palestine Campaign (1915-18). This would mark a roughly 30-year period of British rule from 1923-48.

1917 A.D.: British Plans to Create an Israelite State

The British Government had plans to create an Israelite state since November 2, 1917 when the Balfour Declaration was issued, per the British Mandate for Palestine (1923-1948). Immediately before the outbreak of World War II, a major Arab uprising against the British Empire running Palestine and the growing influx of Jewish immigrants occurred, the 1936-39 Arab revolt in Palestine.

World War II: The Holocaust

U.S. Government Turns Away Jewish Refugees

The U.S. government turned away a ship with over 900 Jewish refugees. President Franklin D. Roosevelt ignored pleas by the passengers, many of whom were children, for asylum. As a result, 254 of them were ultimately murdered by the Nazis.[7]

1947 A.D.: Formal Creation of Israel

As the result of Hitler's genocide against the Jewish people, and the failure of Europe to protect dispersed Jews during World War II, the European Union November 29, 1947 adopted a partition plan creating the state of Israel alongside a separate Palestinian state with the Jerusalem-Bethlehem region an internationally-administrated separate enclave.[8]

1947-48 Wars and 1949 Armistice Agreements

The British attempt to create an independent Israeli state quickly resulted in warfare, as Arab communities attacked Jewish communities during the 1947–1948 Civil War in Mandatory Palestine. Immediately upon expiration of the British Mandate of Palestine as the state of Israel was created, all of the neighboring Arab states attacked Israel; Egypt, Transjordan, Iraq, and Syria, resulting in the 1948 Arab-Israeli War. Israel won and expanded its borders, resulting in the 1949 Armistice Agreements.

1956 A.D.: The Suez Crisis

Egypt, in defiance of the armistice agreements, blocked the Straits of Tiran to stop Israelite shipping to the Mediterranean, resulting in Israel invading the Sinai Peninsula in 1956; what is known as the Suez Crisis. In 1957 Israel withdrew its forces from the Sinai Peninsula, and the United Nations Emergency Force was stationed there to prevent further conflict.

1967 A.D.: The Six-Day War

In 1967 Egypt forced U.N. forces out of the Sinai Peninsula and temporarily reoccupied it. When Egypt once again opted to block the Straits of Tiran in 1967, and mobilized its forces along the Israeli border, Israel retaliated by attacking Egyptian airfields. Both Syria and Jordan joined Egypt in attacking Israel, resulting in Israel conquering the Sinai Peninsula and Gaza Strip from Egypt, the West Bank from Jordan, and the Golan Heights from Syria.

Attempts by Egypt to retake the Sinai Peninsula were unsuccessful, see the War of Attrition (1967-70) and Yom Kippur War (1973).

1975 A.D.: Israeli-Egypt Peace Agreements

However, Egypt and Israel began peace agreements in 1975 per the Sinai Interim Agreement, resulting in reopening of the Straits of Tiran to Israeli shipping.

1979-82 A.D: Israel Returns the Sinai Peninsula to Egypt

Israel then gave back the Sinai Peninsula to Egypt from 1979-82 as part of a peace agreement limiting the number of Egyptian military forces that can be stationed there. President Jimmy Carter was key to the peace negotiations, which were finalized between President Anwar el-Sadat of Egypt and Prime Minister Menachem Begin of Israel on March 26th, 1979.[9]

1994 A.D.: Israel and Jordan Sign Peace Treaty

As the result of the 1991 Madrid Conference, Israel and Egypt entered into negotiation. In 1994, Israel and Jordan signed a historic peace treaty, following 46 years of intermittent warfare. The nations agreed to allocate water resources, allow free passage for citizens of both countries, address the refugee problem, and cooperate in development of the Jordan Rift Valley.[10]

Conflict Solutions

Work With Fatah

Hamas is a worldwide-recognized terrorist organization, and it is questionable whether peace can be reached so long as they are in power. Fatah on the other hand may be more easily reasoned with. Peace accords were being reached between Israel and Fatah prior to Yasser Arafat's untimely death.

Redraw Territorial Boundaries

Map Showing Israel and Palestinian Areas

Palestinian terrorists are too close to Israel's capital of Jerusalem right now and as such are able to constantly fire rockets at it. It would be like having Al Qaida camped just outside Washington D.C. It's not a good situation.

Territorial boundaries should simply be redrawn so both sides have the same amount of land to ensure a buffer zone between Israel and Palestine, particularly the Jerusalem area. Right now Palestinian territory is all split up and surrounds Jerusalem. Just relocate the Palestinian territory elsewhere so they are all in one place away from Jerusalem.

Goodwill Efforts

Israel could make some efforts to build goodwill in the process like ensuring some decent housing for Palestinians at their new location, adequate water treatment and food facilities/farms, education facilities, etc. A few good-faith efforts by Israel during the relocation process could go a long way towards mending bridges between the two communities.

Sources

  1. Rogers, James (2018, July 12). "Stunning Biblical 'Spies' Mosaic Discovered in Israel." FOX News.
    Miller, Carly (2018, June 9). "Unparalleled Mosaics Discovered by UNC-Chapel Hill Archaeologist and Team Provide New Clues on Life in an Ancient Galilean Jewish Village." University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
  2. Ngo, Robin (2014, September 29). "Ophel Treasure Goes on Display at the Israel Museum." Biblical Archaeology Society.
    Wiener, N. (2015, September 1). "The Ophel Treasure." Biblical Archaeology Society.
  3. N.a. (2019, June 12). "Our History-1901: It All Started With A Dream." Jewish National Fund.
  4. Eisenberg, R.L. (2006)."The Streets of Jerusalem: Who, What, Why." Devora Publishing.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Slutsky, Y. (2019, June 12). "Sakiai." Jewish Virtual Fund.
    Anne Blejer, H. (2013, March 4). "Yitzchak Leib Goldberg." MyHeritage.
  6. Patai, R. (1992). "Journeyman in Jerusalem: Memories and Letters, 1933-1947." University of Utah Press.
  7. N.a. (2019, June 14). "Ship Carrying 937 Jewish Refugees, Fleeing Nazi Germany, is Turned Away in Cuba." History Channel.
  8. "UN Partition Plan - Resolution 181 (1947)." Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
  9. Gwertzman, B. (1979, March 26). "Egypt and Israel Sign Formal Treaty, Ending a State of War After 30 Years; Sadat and Begin Praise Carter's Role." New York Times.
  10. Jewish Virtual Library (2019). "Israel-Jordan Relations: Overview of Bilateral Cooperation." American-Israeli Cooperative Enterprise.