The Beginning Of The Modern History Of Israel

Israel’s modern history starts on May 14, 1948, when in Tel Aviv, Jewish Agency Chairman David Ben-Gurion declares the State of Israel as the first Jewish state in 2,000 years. Hence, Ben-Gurion became Israel’s first premier. After a hard battle, i.e. the conflict between Jews and Arabs, the British army withdrew. On that very evening, Egypt launched an air assault against Israel, causing a blackout in Tel Aviv and the Arab invasion. Nevertheless, Jews celebrated their new nation’s birth jubilantly, especially after the United States recognised the Jewish state. 

Flag of Israel

The Chronicles Of A New State of Israel

Israel’s modern history dates back to the Zionism movement, founded in the late 19th century by Jews from the Russian Empire. Zionism aimed to establish a Jewish national state after undergoing endless persecutions. In 1896, Jewish-Austrian journalist Theodor Herzl published an influential and essential political pamphlet: The Jewish State. Herzl, who became the leader of Zionism, expressed that establishing a Jewish state was the only way to protect Jews from anti-Semitism, and in 1897 he organised the first Zionist Congress in Switzerland. In that period, Palestine was under the Ottoman Empire’s control. Herzl appealed to the Ottoman government to grant permission to buy Israel’s land, which was initially the Jewish people’s birthplace.

Picture of Theodor Herzl considered as father of the State of Israel, Independence Hall, Tel Aviv, Israel

The British Mandate

After the Russian Revolution in 1905, an increasing amount of Eastern European and Russian Jews immigrated to Palestine, joining the other thousand Jews who had arrived previously. Since the beginning, the Jewish settlers considered Hebrew their spoken language. After the Ottoman Empire’s downfall in World War I, Britain took the reins of Palestine and announced the plan to settle a Jewish homeland in Palestine with the Balfour Declaration in 1917. Even though the Arab states protested, the British mandate incorporated the Balfour Declaration all over Palestine, and the League of Nations recognised it in 1922. Arabs opposed the foundation of Israel firmly because they were against establishing a Jewish state in Palestine. British rule continued throughout the 1920s and ’30s.

Vintage Palestine 1 mil coin, minted in 1935 when the British mandate ruled the land of Israel.

Arab Revolts In Palestine

In 1929, In Palestine, Arabs riots started numerous protests because of the debate about access to Western Wall in Jerusalem. Arabs destroyed Jewish properties, and seventeen Jewish communities were expelled; moreover, the British mandate started to limit Jewish immigration from Europe. Nevertheless, several Jews emigrated to Palestine during World War II, principally due to the Holocaust in Europe. In 1945, at the end of World War II, the United States supported the Zionist movement. Since Britain was unable to find a solution, it discussed the issue with the United Nations, which decided a partition of Palestine in November 1947. While the Palestinian Arabs fought the Zionist forces, the Jews regained more than half of Palestine. On May 14, 1948, the Jews obtained complete control of their U.N. division of Palestine and some Arab territory again.

The Proclamation Of The State Of Israel

On May 14 1948, the British mandate expired, and there was the proclamation of the State of Israel. The next day, troops from Egypt, Iraq, Lebanon, Syria and Transjordan invaded Israel. However, with not so much equipment, Israel succeeded to defeat the Arabs, also seizing territories, such as Galilee, the Palestinian coast, and an area between the coastal region and the western section of Jerusalem. In 1949, U.N. negotiated the suspension of hostilities that left Israel in control of the territory. After that, hundreds of thousands of Palestinian Arabs left Israel, and the country remained with a Jewish majority.

View on Dead Sea from Masada fortress, Israel

The Arab–Israeli Conflicts During The Years

After the Israeli Declaration of Independence, the nearby Arab countries invaded Israel in May 1948, starting the First Arab–Israeli War. During the third Arab-Israeli conflict, i.e. the Six-Day War of 1967, Israel significantly expanded its borders from Jordan, Egypt, Syria, the Sinai Peninsula, the Gaza Strip, the West Bank, the Golan Heights and regaining possession of the old city of Jerusalem. In 1973 there was the conclusion of the Yom Kippur War. In 1979, Israel and Egypt signed a significant peace accord with the condition that Israel was giving back the Sinai in exchange for Egyptian recognition and peace. The agreements involved the Israeli withdrawal from the Sinai Peninsula and abolishing the West Bank and Gaza Strip’s military governance system, favouring an Israeli Civil Administration and the Golan Heights’ annexation of East Jerusalem.

IDF soldiers play a game of soccer with local Arab kids in Hebron, West Bank.

Nevertheless, during the years, it started an Israeli–Palestinian conflict, which arose in the 1982 Lebanon War. Additionally, Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) signed a fundamental peace accord in 1993, including the Palestinian self-government as ruler in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. In the period between 1987 and 1993, the First Palestinian Intifada fainted, and the Oslo Accords led to the creation of the Palestinian National Authority in 1994, during the Israeli–Palestinian peace process. Moreover, in the same year, Israel and Jordan reached a peace agreement. However, the Israeli-Palestinian peace process proceeded slowly, and in 2004 a war between Israelis and Palestinians was reopened in Israel and the Palestinian territories.

Israel Historic Chronicles in the 2000s

Even though Israel went through peace negotiations with Egypt and Jordan, the Syrian Civil War changed the situation close to Israel’s northern border. This situation complicated the relations between Israel and the Syria, Hezbollah because of rising hostilities with Iran. The conflict between Israel and Hamas-ruled Gaza was also connected to the Iran–Israel dispute in the area.
In 2020, Israel and the United Arab Emirates did a historic peace agreement.

guest
0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments