THE STATE OF ISRAEL
© January 2017, The Writers Group
All information in this article is for educational purposes only. It is not for the diagnosis, treatment, prescription or cure of any disease or health condition.
The purpose of this article is to introduce you to the modern nation of Israel and to clear up a number of lies that are told about it and her people.
The name Israel comes from the Old Testament of the Bible. It is the name that was given to the third patriarch of the Hebrew faith on earth, Jacob. He was given the name after he wrestled with an angel to save a man. The literal meaning of the name ‘Israel’ is one who wrestles with God to do the right thing (Reference: Genesis 32:28-29 and 35:10).
Geography. Israel is a tiny sliver of land on the east coast of the Mediterranean Sea. The land area of Israel is about 20,770 km2 or 8,019 sq miles. This is extremely tiny – about the size of the American state of New Jersey. Israel occupies 1/6 of one percent of the land area occupied by the 22 Arab nations that surround her.
Politics. Politically, Israel is a parliamentary democracy, and the only nation with democratically elected leaders in the Middle East. People of all religions are welcome there and live there, and have their own political parties. This is unlike the surrounding nations, which are all Arab dictatorships. They do not allow religions other than Islam to be practiced, and regularly imprison and kill Christian or Hebrew people.
THE FOUNDING OF ISRAEL
Efforts to set up a homeland for Hebrew people where they could live in safety, and without persecution, began several centuries ago. This movement was called Zionism. There is a lot of nonsense about Zionism on the internet and elsewhere. It was not about dominating the world, or anything like that. It was a movement to establish a Jewish homeland.
Orthodox Hebrew people had traditionally asked for this in their daily prayers. In 1799, the French leader, Napoleon Bonaparte had thought of establishing a Jewish state in the ancient lands of Israel.
In 1847, Benjamin Disraeli, a respected prime minister of Great Britain, wrote a novel about a Hebrew homeland called Tancred. In 1862, Moses Hess, a friend and coworker of Karl Marx, published an important book, Rom Und Jerusalem. Anyone can look at these books to see what Zionism was about.
The man most associated with the desire for a Hebrew homeland, however, was Theodore Herzel, who lived from 1860 to 1904. Although he had a short life, he wrote an influential book called The Jewish State in 1896 that gathered a lot of attention to the idea of a Hebrew state.
Little was done about the idea until the end of World War II. At that time, there were millions of Jewish refugees who had fled Russia, Germany and Eastern Europe due to the Nazi terror of extermination against people of Jewish descent.
Many nations were asked to take in the refugees, but few wanted them. Some refugees came to the United States, but even this large, open-minded nation took in just a few hundred thousand of them.
The United Nations was new, having been formed only two years before. They took up the issue of what to do with the Hebrew refugees.
A compromise was finally reached by which a tiny territory in the Middle East that was a British colony called Palestine would be given over to the Jewish people as a haven and sanctuary nation. The rule would be that anyone born to a Jewish mother would be accepted as a citizen of the new land.
The Arab people in the neighboring lands hated this idea. However, they were outvoted in the United Nations. They vowed to destroy the new nation immediately if the plan was implemented.
Due to the refugee crisis, the plan went ahead and the State Of Israel was officially formed in 1948. To understand this better, watch the movie, Exodus (1960), starring Paul Newman. It is based on a novel entitled Exodus by Leon Uris.
True to their promise, soon after its founding, the Arab nations around Israel including primarily Egypt, Syria, Lebanon and Jordan, attacked the new Israeli nation. It was a brutal and vicious attack on mostly unarmed refugees who just wanted to get away from the Nazis.
It is important to say that many Arabs do not want to spend their time energy and money fighting Israelis. They would prefer to raise families, tend their flocks or build businesses, and live in peace. However, their leaders, with the help of Communist Russia, have repeatedly incited them to violence and lied to them about supposed Israeli treachery that is not true.
In the first war of 1948, the Arab armies almost succeeded. They outnumbered the Israelis about 20 to 1. If the fighting had continued for another few months, it is likely that Israel would not have survived. However, swift help mainly from the United States turned the tide and Israel survived.
The next war was fought in 1967. Once again, seven Arab nations attacked Israel all at once in an attempt to destroy the young nation. Their fighters outnumbered the Israeli soldiers at least 10 to 1.
Though the Israelis fought well, the Arab fighters, armed mainly with weapons given them by the Russians, overwhelmed the Israelis. Once again, however, outside help at the last minute, mainly from Great Britain and United States, turned the tide. The Israeli nation survived and actually won some extra land that has proven very helpful for them because it is a natural boundary.
The next war was called the Yom Kippur war because once again about seven Arab nations all attacked Israel at the same time on the holiest day of the Jewish year, Yom Kippur. Once again, the Arabs overwhelmed the Israelis, who came very close to losing. Outside help from the United States, mainly, again saved them.
All this has made the Arab nations very angry with the United States, which now has a treaty to support Israel in time of war.
THE ARGUMENTS OVER THE LAND
The Arab nations say the wars with Israel are all the fault of Israel, since Israel occupies their land illegally. Israel says it is not their land and it is not illegal. The land was given to them by a United Nations resolution voted upon by over 100 nations.
The Arabs say the land belongs to the Arabs, and it has been theirs for thousands of years. The Israelis counter this by saying that if one wants to look at history, this land belonged to the Jewish people long before a small number of Arabs settled there.
To prove this, the Israelis cite the Biblical history of the Jewish people in the land of Canaan. Also, many modern proofs also exist in the form of artifacts and ruins, such as that of the Jewish Temple, that have been discovered by anthropologists who have excavated in and around Israel.
The debate goes on, but this solves nothing. The fighting is over a sliver of land that occupies 2% of the land mass of the Middle East, and does not even have any oil.
Since the Yom Kippur war, the attacks from the Arab world have been mostly terrorist attacks. These are not full-scale, all-out war. Instead, they take the form of setting off bombs and sending rockets loaded with explosives into Israel. Arab men also rape Israeli women and attack Israeli citizens all around the world. This is continuous and never stops.
IS ISRAEL EXPANSIONIST AND WARLIKE?
Israel has chosen to defend the nation and nothing more. They have never sought to conquer other lands. They have expanded their borders a little when they won a war, but a lot of this land was given back later, in the hope that this would appease the Arabs. However, it did no such thing!
Israelis want what most people in the world want – to live in peace, get married, raise families, build industry and prosper as a result.