When was the modern State of Israel Founded?
The area that is now known as Israel has had a turbulent history and has remained under the rulership of many different nations. As a matter of fact, this land has been under the Nation of Israel for only a small fraction of time, nearly last 6000 years. This area is a highlight of the world geography because of the religious, political and social aspects linked to the three major monotheistic religions in the world.
According to the scripture, this land was first inhabited by Canaanites, known to be the descendents of Noah. The Nation of Israel appeared on this land centuries later when they were brought out of the land of Egypt. They remained here for a few centuries until their exile by Assyrians and then by Babylonians. Founding favor with the Persians, they returned to this land, only to be swept away by Romans and Greeks. For the next two millenniums, the tribe of Judah had an appearance here in the time when Byzantines, Christians and Muslims were fighting over the land. Except for one century that the land remained under Christian Crusaders rule, this area was under Muslim control from 7th through 20th Century. This ended with the fall of Ottoman Muslim Empire in 1900s.
Rise of the Zionists
It was towards the end of the Ottoman Empire, roughly around 1878, that the modern Zionist movement started springing up in Eastern Europe with their purpose to resettle Jews in the land. This was triggered mostly because of the persecution of Jews and Russia and some Western countries. Until this time, the regions spread entirely from east to west of the Jordan River was known as Palestine.
The Zionist movement was strong in Britain and by using its influence; the two parties signed the Balfour Declaration which stated that Britain was in favor of creating a home for Jews in Palestine. According to this plan, Jews were to be immigrated to the land so that they can become a majority and practice self-rule. The Balfour Declaration was accepted by the League of Nations in 1922. This led to the increase in the immigration rate and Jewish population started to grow in the region.
Zionists had worked with Britain through the World War I but the confrontation of immigration quotas led to armed conflicts in 1945 and onwards. The same year, in 1945, League of Arab States was formed whose formation had become critical due to the increasing Arab-Israeli conflicts. The issue of Palestine was taken to the United Nations in 1947 where a committee was formed in the General Assembly to solve this issue. The committee approved the partition of Palestine into Arab and Jewish states. Arabs refused this partition on the grounds that Zionists don’t have any right on the Palestinian land.
Nonetheless, the State of Israel was officially proclaimed in 1948 and the mandate was relinquished. Within a short time, Israel had taken control of the considerable areas of Palestine proposed to be their homeland and if that wasn’t enough, they also occupied some Arab areas by force. In 1949, Israel was having a rule over ¾ of the land, which was twice as much as proposed by the United Nations. The same year, Ben-Gurion was made the Prime Minister of the new state with Weizmann as the president.
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