The Formation Of The State Of Israel

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The Formation Of The State Of Israel Essay, Research Paper Israel is a small country in southwestern Asia that was founded in 1948 as a sanctuary for Jews from all parts of the world. Israel lies along the eastern coast of the Mediterranean Sea and is bordered by Syria and Lebanon to the north, Egypt to the southwest, and Jordan to the east. Jerusalem is the capitol and the largest city in Israel. It is considered by many faiths to be the holiest city in the world. Israel and the Jews have been oppressed often and have numerously beaten the odds to get to the point that they are at today. Israel makes up most of what was considered by the Old-Testament to be the holy land. According to the bible, Abraham, who some consider to be the first Jew, was promised by God a place

where his descendants could live. Many scholars believe that Israel is that holy land and that sometime between 1800 and 1500 BC Abraham established the first Jewish population there. Eventually Israel fell to a procession of conquerors. In 63 BC the Jews were attacked and beaten by the Romans. The Jews followed with revolts that were unsuccessful, and consequently most of the Jews were forced by the Romans to leave. The Romans gave Israel the name Palestine. Palestine was ruled by Rome and then the Byzantine Empire until the 7th century when the Arabs took over. From then until the mid-1900 s, when Israel became a state, it was inhabited mostly by Arabs. Israel became a state in 1948, but the movement to create a Jewish homeland, called Zionism, started in the 1890 s. One of the

trailblazers on this subject was Chaim Weizmann, a Russian-born chemist and Zionist leader, who in 1949 became the first president of modern Israel. Weizmann was a key factor in getting the Balfour Declaration signed by the British. The Balfour Declaration was a letter issued in 1917, during World War I, by foreign secretary and British statesman Arthur James Balfour. The letter expressed Britain s approval of Zionism and also that the British government would make the best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country. As an indirect result of

the Balfour Declaration, Israel was established as an independent state in 1948. In 1920, the League of Nations, which later gave rise the United Nations, declared Palestine a mandated territory of Great Britain, and gave the British the responsibility of keeping order between the Jews and the Arabs, whose relationship had become increasingly hostile. Also, the mandate said that Britain was to help in making a national homeland for Palestinian Jews. Many Zionists viewed the mandate as helpful to their cause, but Britain, fearful of the hostile Arab population, proposed limits on the number of Jewish immigrants allowed to enter Palestine. These limits were not enforced, but they helped to alleviate the pressure being put on the British by Arab inhabitants of Palestine. The mandate

period lasted until 1948 and during that period the Jewish population in Palestine increased tenfold. During the mandate uprisings were common and led to two major revolts, one by the Arabs, the other led by the Zionists. As Jewish immigration to Palestine increased, so did the Arab opposition to Zionism and British rule. Several uprisings occurred and they culminated in a general Arab revolt which lasted from 1936 to 1939 and was finally quieted by British troops on the night before World War II. About 6 million Jews were killed by German Nazis during World War II. Zionists soon realized that the need for a Jewish homeland was growing and their efforts intensified towards getting one. By the end of WWII most of the Jewish population in Palestine was revolting against British